Subscriptions vs. Cash

Seth Godin unveiled a really interesting concept in an article for his new publishing company the other day. The basic idea is that he started with a pre-order ebook price of $9.99 for his new book, and for every 5,000 people who sign up for his company’s e-newsletter, he’ll drop the preorder price by $1.

There’s no catch. You don’t have to buy anything. All you have to do is give Seth Godin your e-mail address.

He wrote article 6 days ago. At the time he had about 10,000 e-mail subscribers (so the pre-order price actually started with a $2 discount). After 6 days, he has 18,188 e-mail subscribers.

This is so interesting because Seth is saying that a direct line to his readers is more valuable in the long run than money in the short term. I would venture to say that he’s completely right.

Think about it–publishers don’t know who buys their books. The only companies that know anything are online booksellers, and they’re more interested in recommending other books to you than anything else (which is also good). But imagine if every author or publishing company had a direct line to each of their readers. The engagement would be incredible.

Blank Slate Press is gathering momentum, and as we do, we’re fully aware that we need to know who are buying our books and who are interested in the new model of publishing we’re creating here in St. Louis. If you want to be a part of that conversation, go to our homepage and scroll down a little bit to the e-newsletter signup. We won’t be annoying about it–we’re only going to send out newsletters once a month (unless we have stupendous news, like Fred Venturini wins an Oscar despite not being nominated [or an actor] or Anene swims across the Pacific).

In what ways have publishing companies engaged you? In what ways have they missed out on engagement opportunities?

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Explore posts in the same categories: the future of publishing

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