Substack, a web-based subscription platform for widespread writers like Glen Greenwald and Andrew Sullivan, seems to be setting its sights on disrupting the guide publishing world.
Former Forbes media and leisure author Zack O’Malley Greenburg has revealed to Media Ink that he has acquired an advance to jot down a guide for Substack titled, “We Are All Musicians Now.”
The guide will probably be launched on Substack later this month in a serialized format — with chapters dropping as soon as every week.
It will likely be the fifth guide for Greenburg, who simply accomplished a revised model of “Empire State of Thoughts,” about Jay-Z, for the Portfolio imprint of Penguin Random Home that comes with the subtitle, “Billionaire’s Version.”
However Greenburg, who additionally wrote “Michael Jackson Inc.” for Simon & Schuster, opted to go the Substack route for his subsequent guide as a result of it supplied him extra monetary upside, he mentioned.
“All in all, with the advance cash being in the identical ballpark, I’d reasonably go to a spot the place I may be my very own boss with the next upside than attempt to pressure it by an previous enterprise mannequin that I feel is damaged,” he mentioned.
Greenburg declined to say how a lot of an advance he acquired, however mentioned it was akin to what he’s acquired for extra conventional guide publications. On prime of that, he will probably be charging $5 a month or $50 a yr for “We Are All Musicians Now,” which particulars how the music trade was compelled to reinvent itself after being upended by the digital revolution, and the way it can now act as a task mannequin for different industries dealing with technological upheavals.
If Substack will get its approach, a type of industries might quickly be guide publishing.
Substack launched in 2017 as a approach for writers, together with essayists and political commentators, to develop a paying viewers by subscription newsletters. Writers can distribute their newsletters totally free as they construct a following or cost a subscription out of the gate.
Greenburg mentioned he can even provide a free e-newsletter on music, media and cash beginning this week.
The follow of dribbling out guide chapters little by little is just not new. It was widespread nicely earlier than even tv, when magazines used it to lure and preserve readers coming again week after week.
It might now be making a comeback in digital type, based on Substack.
“Zack is among the many first of what seems to be a rising variety of authors serializing books, each fiction and nonfiction,” a Substack spokeswoman mentioned, with out offering specifics.
One lure is likely to be that Substack provides writers whole management over their readership. The web platform, based by Chris Finest, Jairaj Sethi and Harnish McKenzie, makes cash by taking a minimize of the revenues. Within the first yr, Substack takes 5 % of subscriptions’ income, after which often bumps its minimize to 10 % in yr two.
“Gross sales of my first 4 books totaled over 100,000” copies, Greenburg mentioned. “If I can get share of them to comply with me to Substack, I’ll be completely satisfied.”