Are streaming books, like streaming music, the future?


I’m just throwing out ideas here, I’m hoping people jump in with their own.

Background on my crazy: I escaped a dying profession (journalism) to try to make money with my passion (writing) but traditional book publishing is on death’s door, too. My profession is PR and marketing. I can’t help but combine these things when I think about the fiction book publishing industry and how what happened to the music industry and the fiction book publishing industry are related.

Here are better words said by a journalist.

Why not make streaming books? Set up a free Wattpad service for the novice writers looking to find their audience (raises hand) for the people just trying to figure things out, and a subscription based model for authors who draw a certain level of audeince within their category so that employed, more sophisticated readers can subscribe to read for a fee. Or something.

Or maybe authors could get paid on some model based on the number of people who read the book, how much of the book they read, or there could be an ancillary donation system that rewards its patrons with special goodies a la Patreon. I mean, bands don’t get paid based on Spotify popularity so much as with concert tickets and merch. Authors can’t do concerts and merch, but, maybe there’s some other way to make money on the side instead of selling content. People don’t seem to have to pay for content anymore unless there’s an overriding reason to do so.


I mean, Kindle Unlimited is already a thing. A monthly fee for (most of) all the books you could ever read.

Wattpad is the closest thing I’ve seen to a (mostly) free streaming service.


There are a number of unlimited services, not just KU - though one or two have already gone under.

How familiar are you with Indie Publishing?


Not terribly familiar.


OH DEAR, that’s gonna be a hard climb up the Learning Curve at this point. I’d like to suggest that you look into it. Especially Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Draft 2 Digital (dot) com.

Don’t bother with any company related to Author Solutions, you’ll get scalped. There’s nothing they can do for you that you can’t do for yourself for free.

I started DIY publishing in 2010. I had a couple good runs with my first e-book but never had a lot of success. After taking care of my parents, and their estate, I’m back writing again, and marketing too.
WattPad can be a good place to get your feet wet and launch a couple books before you Publish.

From your OP you seem to be on the right track - Kindle Unlimited is a monthly service of unlimited access to the e-books enrolled in the program. It pays about $.004 per Kindle Page, out of a large pot, like $3 mil or so. However, you’d need a pretty big catalog to live on, a handful of books won’t do it any more.

I would suggest that you find these three bloggers: Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith and The Passive Voice to get up to speed on the DIY Publishing industry.

Best Wishes.


I will check them out. Thank you for the advice!


Glad to help - there’s so much…disinformation…on the side of traditional publishing about what’s REALLY going on with DIY publishing that you can get caught up in ‘assisted’ publishing and spend a ton of money that you don’t need to spend.

All you really need to pay for is a GOOD editor, copy editor and cover artist. Otherwise you’ll be caught in a contract that’s your lifetime, plus 70 years, for something you can do yourself.