When "book streaming" services started opening up, I was right there both as an author and a reader. Subscription services like Scribd, Oyster, and Kindle Unlimited (if you're not familiar) are available now and are charging $10 or less per month. Subscribers get to read every title in their growing catalogue, and nowadays they're claiming to have all the titles we never knew we needed. Scribd even has audio books.
As an indie author, I opted into Scribd and Oyster right away. (Not Kindle Unlimited for all of my books though, as it requires exclusivity.) As a Filipino author with 10 titles featuring Filipino characters and Asian locations, this felt to me like a "well, let's see what happens." My "niche"/non-mainstream books do not do spectacularly well on other retailer stores, and if they do, it's because I did something to drum up awareness. I may write romance and NA, but I can't blame readers if they're not exactly rushing to find a "New Adult Romance Set in An Asian City" (that's very specific). The point is: I know that even in a crowded category and genre, many of my books will be considered niche.
So it was cool to see this happening, when the reports started coming in:
Apparently, even without any marketing directed at Scribd and Oyster users, my Asian-setting books were getting reads on those book streaming apps. I had already spent a year of my time writing a totally new NA series, thinking that I had to "go international" for a stretch of time for the sake of my career, so I was surprised to see this.
The numbers are not Amazon level yet, but it's encouraging. I wonder if subscribers are more willing to take a chance on an unknown author and an unfamiliar setting, because it's less risky -- no added cost for trying out a book.
What I've loved about being an indie author and writing my niche themes and topics is that I can follow my heart on a book and not worry about what it'll cost a publisher. If these books are finding a place among the book streaming apps, for whatever reason, then that gives me more reason to keep writing them.
How about your titles? Are they available on Scribd, Oyster, and Kindle Unlimited? Are there books that do better there as "borrows" than as outright purchases?