Polish firm Legimi is one of the surprising success stories among ebook subscription services which are thriving despite the looming shadow of the giant Kindle Unlimited and is planning an IPO to give it the financial backing to move into the German market.
The company was set up in 2012 and features many Big 5 authors which do not appear on Kindle Unlimited. It claims to have around 30,000 subscribers paying an average of $7 a month for their subscriptions and almost doubled its business turnover last year.
The IPO is aiming to raise around $800,000 to help Legimi boost its business in Germany where it launched at the end of 2017. The German ebook market is considered to be the second-biggest in Europe after the UK. The firm is also planning to launch in China where ebooks have seen stunning growth.
Legimi has a tiered subscription service for different levels of access to ebooks and audiobooks. It offers a range of e-readers, including the PocketBook Touch Lux 3 and two inkBook devices. One of its subscription deals includes an inkBook e-reader for $1 if you sign up for a two-year plan. It also offers cheaper deals if you read on your own e-reader or phone using its app.
The most notable ‘independent’ ebook subscription service is Scribd, which claims to be surviving and thriving and has recently returned to an ‘unlimited’ choice for readers, but there are also several smaller operations, particularly in continental Europe, where Amazon has faced opposition.
Kobo set up a new ebook subscription service called Kobo Plus covering the Netherlands last year and is reportedly doing well, while Bookport opened up in the Czech Republic late last year with an ebook subscription service. Spanish-based 24symbols has been in business since 2010 and now offers unlimited access to nearly a million ebooks to members.
If you’re an indie author wanting to publish on the Legimi platform then you can get access through the aggregator Publishdrive, which also has partnerships with other ebook subscription services. Draft2digital offers distribution to 24symbols, Kobo Plus and Scribd.