This got little attention in the English-language press, but Tolino launched a new marketing effort last month at Frankfurt Book Fair.
It is being likened to Kindle Unlimited, but Tolino Select is far more limited than a Netflix-style reading service.
The way it works is that subscribers pay 10 euros per month to choose from a selection of 40 discounted titles. The selection changes each month, and subscribers can get up to four titles each month for the ten euro fee.
They're not buying the ebooks, though; subscribers just get to read the ebooks so long as they continue to pay the monthly fee.
That's not a very good deal for readers, and the terms offered to indie authors are almost as bad.
Indies Go German reported last month that the most an indie author could make was half a euro per borrow:
Indie authors are welcome to submit their books to the Tolino Select team. Simply contact them by mail or through this online form. To have a chance, your book needs to fulfill certain requirements:
- No anthologies, only complete works
- Books of at least 150 pages
- Needs to cost at least 2.99 Euro for the duration of the enrollment
- Must be available (published) at least 2 weeks before the start of enrollment
- Must be distributed via Tolino Media
What’s in it for you?
If your book is chosen to be featured in Tolino Select you will receive 0.25 Euro per borrow (for prices below 4.99 Euro) or 0.50 Euro (for prices above 4.99 Euro). But ONLY if the book has been published less than 12 months ago. Older titles don’t receive any payout (but can also be submitted, of course).
If selected, your book is going to be featured next to traditionally published books, which means higher visibility. In addition, each borrow will be counted as a sale, so your book can rise in the sales charts. For first books in a series, this might work well to drive sales to the other books.
Out of 10 euros per month, Tolino is keeping eight and paying out two (at best).
What a racket.