15 Best Ebook Subscription Services [Options for Readers, Authors & Publishers]

With reading subscription book services, you can have vast libraries at your fingertips. This is a great opportunity for authors and publishers to distribute their titles to places that offer subscriptions and reach wider audiences.

How to do it? You can go through an aggregator or directly with each platform. An aggregator offers distribution to multiple platforms simultaneously, which makes it easier for you to publish wide.

This write-up goes over:

Why Book Subscription Services?

Ebook subscription services drive visibility and discoverability by offering unlimited access to various genres. For self-published authors, their books can reach readers who might not typically buy their genre but are willing to try new titles at no extra cost. It's a chance to break through genre barriers and tap into a broader readership.

1. Cost efficiency

Subscribers can enjoy numerous titles for a fraction of the cost of purchasing individual books. This model reduces the financial risk for readers, encouraging them to explore works by new or lesser-known writers. For authors, more reads often translate to increased visibility and potentially more reviews, which can drive further sales.

2. Global reach

Digital access means readers can enjoy literature anywhere, anytime, with just a few clicks. For authors, this means a global reach. Being part of a digital book subscription service ensures that authors do not face geographical or distribution limitations, placing their work in a global marketplace.

Many consider the best online book subscription services to be those that provide personalized recommendations, enhancing the user's reading experience. These services use algorithms to suggest books to readers, which can significantly benefit self-published authors by matching their books with the ideal audience, increasing engagement and sales.

3. New release policy

Subscription services often grant early access to new releases, keeping subscribers ahead. For authors, this feature can create buzz around their new work, generating momentum even before the official release date. This early exposure can increase word-of-mouth marketing and establish a strong initial reader base.

Explore the additional benefits of ebook subscription services here.

For Authors & Publishers: 10 Ebook Subscription Services [via PublishDrive]

PublishDrive is among the top book aggregators you could choose for your book distribution, whether you’re an author or a publisher looking for international audiences. It simplifies publishing, distribution, and book promotion, offering a one-stop resource hub.

PublishDrive works based on a flat-fee subscription model, allowing authors and publishers full control over their revenue.

With a wide array of stores, collaborations, tools, and features, you access an all-encompassing book network designed to grow your business and open new markets, reaching hard-to-get audiences.

Why choose PublishDrive?

Besides the seamless process of publishing PublishDrive offers, you’ll benefit from:

Here is a walk-through of its digital book subscription partner network.

1. Kobo Plus

The Kobo Plus subscription book service has increased its territories to include the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and Europe. In February 2024, they announced availability in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

It features over 1.3 million ebooks and approximately 100,000 audiobooks. Subscribers can access content via the Kobo e-reader or the Kobo app, which is available for Android, iOS, Windows, or Mac. Subscribers enjoy an unlimited book subscription with no cap on the number of ebooks read, and the syncing between different devices is seamless.

The selection primarily includes romance and thriller genres, with some comics and graphic novels available. However, new releases and mainstream books are less common, and magazines are not included.

Author royalty via PublishDrive: 60%

💡If you want reasons to distribute to Kobo Plus, we wrote about the benefits in detail.

2. Scribd [& Everand]

Scribd is among the best online book subscription platforms. It was initially launched to publish academic papers and gained significant traction in 2009 after signing a deal to sell ebooks.

In 2013, Scribd introduced its ebook services through a subscription model. This model provides unlimited access to Scribd’s vast library for a monthly fee. Subscribers can access an extensive selection of books, magazines, newspapers, and audiobooks.

The service has continuously evolved, adding features like personalized recommendations, offline reading capabilities, and a user-friendly mobile app.

Scribd Originals [Everand] is exclusive content available only on Scribd. It features popular authors and various genres, from mysteries to memoirs.

Author royalty via PublishDrive: 55%

🔥 Authors cannot distribute to Scribd directly but can do so through PublishDrive. Here is how.

3. Storytel

Storytel is one of the best online book subscription services, praised for its audiobook selection. Originating from Sweden, Storytel has expanded its reach globally, providing subscribers with a vast library of audiobooks and ebooks.

With features like offline listening and reading, personalized recommendations, and the ability to switch seamlessly between reading the ebook version and listening to the audiobook, Storytel is one of the best book subscription apps.

Its unique feature allows family members to have their own profiles under a single subscription, enhancing the user experience for all household members. The service is compatible with multiple platforms, ensuring accessibility at home or on the go.

Author royalty via PublishDrive: 55%

4. Dreame

Dreame is a reading subscription focused on serialized content. The platform specializes in delivering stories in an episodic format, where each narrative is broken down into 1,000-word episodes, creating a suspenseful and engaging reading experience.

Readers use virtual Dreame coins to unlock each new episode.

The cost structure is straightforward: $1.00 buys 100 coins, and each coin unlocks 100 words. This payment method allows readers to pay as they go.

Dreame fosters a close connection between authors and their audience, targeting female readers. The stories are designed for their preferences and aesthetics, but it doesn't stop there – readers can actively participate in the story writing by giving feedback that influences how their favorite stories unfold.

Author royalty via PublishDrive: 25%

5. Bookmate

Bookmate is an ebook subscription service specifically designed for mobile users. It's not just a reading app; it's a social platform where users can explore a vast library of over 12 million titles.

Bookmate allows users to browse an extensive range of genres and editorially curated lists, ensuring there's always something new to discover. It offers an impressive array of comics, making it a top choice for fans browsing ebook rental options.

What truly sets Bookmate apart is its community features. Users can browse friends' feeds and bookshelves, offering a unique social reading experience. The platform also supports uploading personal EPUBs and FB2 files, syncing them across all devices.

It is one of the best book subscription apps due to its well-designed interface, which includes essential features such as text highlighting, dictionary lookups, and translation tools.

Author royalty via PublishDrive: 50%

6. 24symbols

24symbols is an online book subscription allowing readers to curate their digital shelves. This ebook subscription service helps users create a personal library and profile to share their reading habits. The best ebook subscription feature may be its social aspect – users can follow others and explore curated lists. This social connectivity encourages the discovery of new reads and mirrors the dynamics of a virtual book club.

24symbols tailors recommendations based on existing selections. It makes the reading subscription experience more appealing without requiring you to download files.

The service offers access to over 500,000 titles, from bestsellers and biographies to niche genres like science fiction and romance, all accessible for offline reading. 24symbols' cloud-based platform ensures your library is always available across multiple devices, including web, Android, iOS, and Kindle Fire.

Author royalty via PublishDrive: 55%

7. Perlego

Perlego is a subscription book service with a global reach. With a substantial library of over 1,000,000 academic books and professional texts, the platform ensures smooth syncing across devices, providing an unlimited book subscription with unrestricted access to all available titles.

The library focuses predominantly on educational and professional materials, providing material for over 1000 topics and sub-topics covering science, technology, humanities, and business. Its niche focus is ideal for students and professionals.

Author royalty via PublishDrive: 55%

8. Hoopla

Hoopla, a digital media lending service operated by Midwest Tape, a well-known provider of library services, has 5,000,000 registered users and adds about 100,000 new users each month, partnering with over 2,000 library systems.

The service allows users to freely borrow a wide array of digital content, including audiobooks, ebooks, comics, movies, TV shows, magazines, and music on any digital screen. Hoopla's model eliminates the traditional wait times associated with library borrowing; instead, content is available instantly.

Libraries that distribute to Hoopla set their borrowing limits, generally ranging from 3 to 15 items per month. These limits are comprehensive; there are no separate caps on the number of items a patron can borrow as long as they remain within the library’s overall limit. Some libraries also enforce daily borrowing caps to ensure that resources are evenly distributed among all patrons. This daily limit resets at midnight.

Items borrowed through Hoopla are automatically returned at the end of the lending period, similar to physical library loans. Still, patrons also have the option to return items early if they choose.

Author royalty via PublishDrive: up to 70%

9. OverDrive

OverDrive is a leading digital book subscription platform that connects users to a vast network of more than 92,000 libraries and schools in 115 countries. This service is entirely free; all that's required is a library card from a participating library.

OverDrive users can access an expansive selection of digital content, including New York Times bestsellers, Marvel comics, and titles from top publishers. This selection surpasses what many paid ebook subscription services offer, making OverDrive a better choice for accessing today's most sought-after authors and books.

The platform utilizes the Libby app, a user-friendly interface for reading and managing borrowed content across various devices, including iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon Kindle, and Nook.

OverDrive also offers a wide range of audiobooks, streaming video content, and digital access to magazines, movies, and TV shows.

While the service is free, users may experience wait times similar to physical library borrowing due to the limited number of digital copies available. Despite this, OverDrive is a highly valuable resource for unlimited reading and media consumption, providing extensive access to educational and recreational materials.

Author royalty via PublishDrive: 55%

10. iReader

iReader distributes over 600,000 titles to 70 million active readers across over 150 countries.

The platform supports over 14 languages and is compatible with more than 200 international mobile providers, including LG, Sony, and Samsung.

Similar to the business model used by Dreame, iReader customers pay a regular or occasional fee. In return, they receive virtual currency corresponding to the amount paid, which they can use to purchase access to whole books or specific chapters.

Author royalty via PublishDrive: 35%

Digital Book Subscription Services Outside PublishDrive

1. Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is a top ebook subscription service launched by Amazon in 2014. It quickly established itself as a major player in the digital reading market.

The service is particularly appealing to fans of indie and self-published authors. However, it does not feature books from the Big Five publishers, which include Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. This means bestsellers and contemporary literature are often missing from its library. However, Kindle Unlimited compensates with an extensive selection of over 1 million ebooks and audiobooks, including various magazines.

One of Kindle Unlimited's strengths is its reliable rating system. Each book can be reviewed by Amazon’s vast user review network, helping readers make informed choices. Recognized as one of the best online book subscriptions, Kindle Unlimited offers a user-friendly app available on iOS, Android, Mac, Web, and Windows, ensuring wide accessibility.

The service is $9.99 monthly, with a 30-day free trial available to new users.

2. Blinkist

Blinkist is a different type of reading subscription service. It offers the key points of non-fiction books in concise summaries that can be read or listened to in just a few minutes.

This online book subscription service is ideal for those who want to know the essence of books without dedicating hours to each one. Blinkist's library includes thousands of book summaries across various topics, from self-help and business to science and history.

Available on iOS and Android platforms, Blinkist is priced at $7.50/ monthly, with a 7-day free trial.

3. Harlequin

Harlequin Reader Service offers a streamlined way for romance enthusiasts to access the latest books directly on their devices as ebooks or delivered to their doorstep in print form.

Subscribers to Harlequin Plus enjoy handpicked selections from editors and have access to new titles at least a month before they are available in retail stores.

Additionally, members benefit from discounts on all purchases and select collections. At the same time, new subscribers are welcomed with a special collection and have the chance to win free books for a year.

The ebook subscription is priced at $14.99 per month. This new service provides romance readers with monthly book bundles, access to an extensive ebook library, and a selection of movies and games, all accessible via the Harlequin Plus website and app.

4. Tailored Book Recommendations

Tailored Book Recommendations [TBR] is a subscription service that provides exactly what you’d expect: tailored book suggestions. Upon signing up, users must fill out a detailed questionnaire about their reading preferences and genres. They can also sync their Goodreads account to give the TBR team insight into their literary tastes.

This book subscription service excels at customization. Each subscriber is assigned a personal expert bibliologist who carefully selects books. These selections come with a personalized letter explaining the reasoning behind each choice, enhancing the connection between the reader and their new books.

TBR is designed for those eager to discover new authors and dive into books they might never have encountered otherwise. It's an excellent option for readers looking to broaden their horizons with a selection thoughtfully curated just for them.

Pricing starts at $18/ quarter.

5. Epic!

Epic! is a subscription platform designed for children aged 12 and under. With over 40,000 ebooks, the service features a blend of classics, popular series, and educational books from publishers such as HarperCollins and Macmillan. It also includes comics, videos, and audiobooks.

This online book subscription has a "read to me" option, which includes voice acting, sound effects, and highlighted text to enhance the reading experience. It has a user-friendly interface that rewards children with badges to motivate continuous reading and allows parents to monitor progress and navigate by topic. Schools in the US have free access, making it a valuable educational tool.

Pricing for Epic Family is set at $11.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

Conclusion

Ebook subscriptions blend accessibility, variety, and cost-effectiveness. With these services, users enjoy unlimited access to vast libraries, ranging from bestsellers to niche genres, ensuring there's always something new to explore.

Make the most of them and enhance your books’ discoverability with PublishDrive. 

Start publishing