In this age of email, texts and other non-tangible communiques, I doubt I’m alone in finding happiness when something is mailed to my abode that is not a) a bill b) a flyer for some terrifying new delivery place opening in my neighbourhood. My happiness increases 10-fold when that thing is reading material that I’ve been anxiously anticipating.
As of now, I subscribe only to magazines but when I saw Publishers Weekly story on the new subscription model being tried by Open Letter Books, my eyes did that cartoon poppy-outy thing. Subscription to an entire list? How awesome is that.
For small presses that already have in-house distribution, it would be as easy as fulfilling individual orders. For small presses that don’t, partnerships with independent bookstores in the town of the subscriber (so publishers could ship in bulk to the store, saving time and money, as well as maintaining the relationship) might be an option. It’s also made the easier if the press is creating eBooks—that way, I can subscribe to have those sent to me instead for a lower price.
Brand-building and loyalty cultivation for the press? Exposure to new authors that I might not have otherwise known about? Delivered to my front door? Discounted prices for buying in bulk? This deal is getting better all the time.