The idea for the ebook store was born back in 2011. I was frustrated with subscriptions to small presses that expired without notice. I reached out to John Klima at Electric Velocipede and we started talking.
I learned more about the distribution side of the publishing business. A small press is a labour of love, often run by small groups of folks whose time is stretched thin. I decided that I would start building tools to make their jobs easier, allowing them more time to spend on the craft of publishing.
Since then, I’ve written the ebook store in use today by Lightspeed Magazine, Fantasy Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, and Lamplight Magazine, and previously served Fireside Magazine, before they moved to Patreon. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to John Klima, John Joseph Adams, Jacob Haddon, and Brian White, for the ideas, for the inspiration, and their willingness to share their experience with me.
Ebook Store 1.0
It’s implemented via a plugin that integrates into Wordpress. Wordpress is a solid content management system used by a lot of people but it’s not without its drawbacks. This platform has served us well, but we’re hitting limitations on what we can do without some seriously hacky code.
Ebook Store 2.0
With the above experiences in mind, I’ve started work on a new ebook store that’ll bring with it a slew of new features. The main feature will be centralization. One login will get you access to your account on every ebook store, and a single place where you can see manage all of your magazine subscriptions. I’ve planned some particularly interesting things, overlapping with my interests in artificial intelligence and neural networks, that I hope will make it even easier for readers to find fiction and authors they will love.
The current stores will continue unchanged for the foreseeable future. When the new storefront is ready, the Wordpress plugin will be deprecate for a new one that takes advantage of the new asynchronous API. To readers of those magazines, there’ll be minimal visible changes. To the publishers, there’ll be whole new ways to grow their businesses and reach new readers.