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Subscribe with Amazon – a New Tool For Authors?

Talking New Media has brought one of Amazon’s many services to my attention.

It seems Amazon is pitching its "subscribe with Amazon" service to publishers today. “It’s not an app store, or an in-app purchase API,” Amazon said in its notice to account holders.

Subscribe with Amazon is the only app monetization solution that is OS, device, and platform agnostic, providing your subscribers the freedom to buy once and access on any iOS or Android supported device. It also enables you to expand your reach far beyond the app store by making your offering purchasable across Amazon’s many shopping channels.”

This service has existed under its current name since at least last August. This is the subscription service that Amazon has been using to sell Loot boxes like STEM club, and that companies other than Amazon have used to sell access to paid cloud services like Dropbox Plus, online classes, and 3rd-party tech support services.

Princeton review offers its homework service through Amazon, and you can also find other Amazon subscription services like Kindle Unlimited, Audible, and Amazon rapids available in this section.

Amazon takes a 30% commission on subscriptions in the first year, and 15% after that. You can find out more from both the subscriber and supplier side, or browse the available subscriptions.


The reason this service caught my eye is that earlier this week I gave an author feedback on the new Patreon account they planned to announce next month.

Patreon obviously takes a smaller commission on donations that Amazon charges on subscriptions, and so the former is under no serious threat from the latter, but Amazon’s subscription service could still be useful to authors.

If an author wanted to publish their own serial and make it available outside of the Kindle serial service, they could use "subscribe with Amazon". Or, if someone were providing a service to authors, they could sell it as a subscription through Amazon.

This is, to be honest, the first time I have heard that Amazon had given its subscription tool a name much less that it is widely available.

And so I have yet to sign up for any of the offered subscriptions.

Have you subscribed to any of them?

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