Subscription Plans: A Great Way to Support Small Presses

In this post I will highlight some of my favorite small and indie presses that offer its readers subscription plans.  By offering subscriptions a press is able to fund upcoming publications and readers get a fantastic discount on books.  These are a few of my favorites and this is by no means an exhaustive list.   I have included links to all presses for those who want more information on each plan.  Please add any additional suggestions in the comments:

new-vessel-subscription-planNew Vessel Press: A subscription of New Vessel books includes all six of their books for the publication year.  Subscribers also get to choose one book from their backlist.  The cost is $80 which amounts to about 25% off of the cover prices.  I haven’t read a book from New Vessel yet that I haven’t enjoyed.  This year’s titles include If Venice Dies and A Very Russian Christmas so this subscription is definitely worth it.  New Vessel Subscription Page.

Two Lines Press:  I embarrassed myself with a gushing review of Two Lines 25, a collection of international writing for which the Two Lines editors have scoured the world.   A copy of Two Lines 25 is included with a subscription and to me that alone is worth the price of admission.  Two Lines is also one of my favorite subscriptions because every year they send some sort of book related gift to their subscribers.  This year is was a package of postcards which all contained quotes from their latest books.  A subscription for 2016 is only $40 ($80 International) and you get four fabulous books.  Two Lines Press Subscription Page

Deep Vellum: This non-profit press offers subscriptions of five or ten books and they also provide a few options with each subscriptions.  Readers can choose both paperback and ebook versions of their books for $60 or the ebook versions alone for $50.  International subscriptions are a bit more pricey at $150.  But Deep Vellum also puts out a large variety of fantastic books that are translated from languages around the world. Deep Vellum Subscription Page.

Archipelago Books: Archipelago is also a non-profit press dedicated to publishing contemporary and classic world literature.  A one-year subscription of print books which archipelago-subscriptionincludes twelve of their titles is $170.  A full-year of ebooks is $70 and a half year subscription for six books is also $70. They provide a lot of choices depending on one’s budget.  Subscribers who are really passionate about their books and want to spend some money up front can also purchase two or three year subscriptions. Archipelago Books Subscription Page

And Other Stories: This is one of my favorite book subscriptions because they offer a recurring subscription.  I don’t have to worry about there being a gap in the books I receive because I’ve forgotten to renew.  I wish that other publishers would follow suit and also do an auto renewal option.  I was very impressed that And Other Stories sent out a lengthy survey recently to its subscribers asking for ways in which they could improve their service.  They also offer a range of options to fit different budgets: 6 books a year for £50 in UK/Europe/USA/Canada (approx $80 US), 4 books a year for £35 in UK/Europe/USA/Canada (approx $55 US), 2 books a year for £20 in UK/Europe/USA/Canada (approx $32 US).  And Other Stories also prints the names of subscribers in their books since it is the funds from these readers that have helped to publish their books. And Other Stories Subscription Page

Open Letter: This small press also specializes in world literature in English translation (notice a theme here.)  One of my favorite books this year,  The Brother by Rein Raud, has been translated from the Estonian and published by Open Letter.  They offer a six month subscription for $60 or a twelve month subscription for $100.  Shipping is free within the U.S. for both subscriptions.  I love that each new release comes with a letter from the publisher which explains the book and how they came to publish it.  Open Letter Subscription Page

Persephone Books: Persephone specializes in reprinting neglected fiction and non-fiction by (mostly) female twentieth century writers.  A friend who has impeccable taste in books sent me a copy of Greenery Street and I have been hooked on their titles ever since!  They offer a six month subscription for £60 or a twelve month subscription for £120.  For an additional fee they will also gift wrap the books.  Subscribers get to choose which books they would like to receive from their catalog of 120 titles.  My husband bought me a Persephone twelve month subscription for my birthday last year and it was delightful to receive a new Persephone title each month.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.  Persephone Books Subscription Page

nyrbplustpr-450pxThe New York Review of Books:  This press also specializes in reissuing lost classics from different countries around the world.  They call their product a “book club” but it is essentially a subscription service.   For $140 members receive a book every month for 12 months and the membership automatically renews.  For a limited time NYRB is also offering a four issue subscription to The Paris Review when readers purchase a membership.  I can’t get enough of the books from NYRB classics and I might have to buy a storage unit to house all of my books from their catalog.  I will pretty much read anything they publish and $140 is a pretty good bargain for a year’s worth of their books.  NYRB Book Club Page

Melville House: This indie press based in New York publishes a series called “The Art of the Novella.”  They have published classic novellas written by Chekov, Tolstoy, Melville and Woolfe just to name a few.  Subscribers can choose a hard copy book for $12.99 per month, an ebook for $6.99 per month or both for $17.99 per month.  Subscribers are automatically billed monthly until they choose to opt out of the service.  This is a great option for someone who wants to try a subscription and not spend a lot of money.  Melville House Novella Subscription Page

Peirene Press: Peirene specializes in contemporary European novellas and short novels in English translation. All of their books are best-sellers and/or award-winners in their own countries. They only publish books of less than 200 pages that can be read in the same time it takes to watch a DVD. As an added bonus, their books are beautifully designed paperback editions, using only the best paper from sustainable British sources.  A one-year Peirene subscription is £35.00 and members receive a book every four months.  There is also the option to sign up for automatic renewal (UK only). Peirene Press Subscription Page   Peirene has also decided to crowd fund Peirene Now! No. 2 on kickstarter. For a pledge of only £12 supporters will receive a copy of the book which looks like another fantastic and thought-provoking read.  Peirene Now! 2 Kickstarter Page

Pushkin Press: A one year subscription to Pushkin Press is £95.00 and subscribers receive one book each month from the Pushkin Collection, a %25 discount on all purchases from the pushkin-collectionPushkin online bookshop, and a free copy of Stefan Zweig’s novella Confusion.   The Pushkin Collection is a series of paperbacks typeset in Monotype Baskerville, based on the transitional English serif typeface designed in the mid-eighteenth century by John Baskerville. It was litho-printed on Munken Premium White Paper and notch-bound by the independently owned printer TJ International in Padstow, Cornwall.  The cover, with French flaps, was printed on Colorplan Pristine White paper. Pushkin Press Subscription Page

Vibrant Margins:  Ben Winston has started this fantastic subscription service that delivers to its subscribers a variety of books from several different small presses.  According to the website, “Great novels from small presses are out there. Let us find them and deliver them to your doorstep.”  For their debut season they have chosen titles from Dzanc Books, Restless Books, Lanternfish Press, Unthank Books, The Heart and the Hand Press, and New Door Books. Subscribers receive a new book every month and can choose two, three or six books for as low as $15.33 per book.  This is a great way to try a variety of small press books.  I will be reviewing two of the titles from their debut season later in the month and doing a giveaway.  So stay tuned!  Vibrant Margins Bookstore Page

For my next post maybe I will dare to dive into the world of literary magazines!

 

25 Comments

Filed under Opinion Posts

25 responses to “Subscription Plans: A Great Way to Support Small Presses

  1. Thank you for gathering all this information. These look really tempting! I love the idea of the Vibrant Margins subscription.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have had a subscription to And Other Stories for a few years now and it is not only reasonable but they are very good to work with. I’d like to consider Open Letters in the future but the other publishers tend to be far too expensive outside the US when you factor in exchange/shipping. My compromise is to buy their books in local independent bookstores.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would recommend Two Lines. That one And Other stories are my favorites. And Two Lines is one of the most affordable at $40. And you get the Two Line 25 that I was raving about!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I love Two Lines, but the subscription is $80 (or $105 CDN) and from this year I already have Issue 24, Quiet Creature and Trysting. So at least for this year it’s not wise. Issue 25 does sound good and is reasonable on its own but I was disappointed when all of the fiction excerpted in 24 was from books I had read. I do like insisting that my favourite indie stores feature my favourite publishers. (I am responsible for a certain shelf of Seagulls at one store).:)

        Liked by 1 person

    • I have Two Lines 24 as well but they really have outdone themselves with 25! You can buy is as a stand alone volume on their site and on Amazon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an interesting list – I hadn’t realised that Melville and the NYRB used a subscription model. There’s also the lovely Peirene although they’re crowd sourcing the second in their Peirene Now! series.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been tempted by a subscription to New Vessel Press for months now. I haven’t yet made the plunge, but maybe I treat myself for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stop tempting me to spend even *more* money on books….. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Vishy

    Wonderful post, Melissa! I love what Open Letter does – send a letter describing how they discovered the book and why they published it – so wonderful! I will bookmark your page and come back when I want to subscribe to some of them. Peirene has been on my list for a while. Open letter looks very tempting too. Thanks so much for this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Having all this information feels like torture. I’m going to dream about it for a little while, and then I’m going to forget all about it. 🙂
    But, what a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, yes, the exchange rate and shipping does not work in our favour for the US ones this year, but they all sound so tempting. Thank you for putting the list together, Melissa – I think I know what to ask for as a Christmas present now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post! I can vouch for the Persephone Books as being wonderful – their shop isn’t far from where I used to live (big temptation) and all their books that I have read have been excellent.

    Like

  10. Oh wow, what a fabulous and informative post, I don’t know how to decide! Why are Two Lines and And Other Stories your favourites? Maybe that would help me.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: German Lit: For Children – My Book Strings

  12. Your reminder of this post coincided with my intention to read outside my taste next year (as urged by Andy Miller on the wonderful Backlisted podcast). I now find I am subscribed to Deep Vellum, Open Letter, and And Other Stories. The one you missed that you might like is Fitzcarraldo Editions: https://fitzcarraldoeditions.com/subscribe. Deep Vellum appear to have changed and now have a flat pricing model.

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