• Table of contents

    • [+]Preliminaries (3)
    • [+]Introduction (4)
    • [+]Latin America (13)
    • [+]Sub-Saharan Africa (9)
    • [+]Arab World (11)
    • [—]Russia (11)
    • [+]India (11)
    • [+]China (9)
    • [+]Conclusions (6)
    • [+]Appendix (1)


Subscription stores

In addition to portals selling individual copies, Russia has numerous websites that base their business models on subscriptions.

First of all, we should mention Bookmate, an online reading club whose users can read e-books by paying a monthly subscription fee of 99 roubles, or just over 3 dollars. The site, which was designed by three young Russian programmers and designers – Andrei Zotov, Egor Hmelev and Kirill Ten –, has over 65,000 titles that can be leafed through on a host of devices. Some of the works have been made free and open source to encourage site traffic – over 60,000 visitors a day. In an interview given in October 2010, the site creators explained:

In general terms, the book as a format has to fight for the attention of users. And now the competition comes from Facebook, among many other channels. To compete with them, access to reading must be simple and have a modern interface: I see something, I want it, I press a button and I read it. Bookmate is moving in that direction: offering easier access to books and achieving a more entertaining and informative experience.[1]

For its part, the portal KnigaFund, which like BestKniga is owned by DDC, has been offering texts online since 2008. With over 2000 titles being added to the site every month, it provides a backlist of over 50,000 works, including educational and scientific material, textbooks and lectures. Among other possibilities, the platform allows readers to make notes in the margin, insert markers and select extracts. The cost of the service varies according to the subscription period: a yearly subscription to any of the categories – for example, History, Natural Science or Philology – costs 175 dollars; this price applies to individual users: corporate clients can obtain differential rates.[2] KnigaFund has achieved considerable fame, so much so that in 2009 President Medvedev requested several of the country’s institutions to subscribe to this fee-paying virtual library system.[3]

  1. Cf. , .
  2. Cf. , KnigaFund.ru.
  3. Cf. “Assets”, Prof-Media.

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