Some of my friends in the Newest Literary Fiction group in Goodreads have been hunting around for book subscription plans that we can read from together, after having some positive experiences in 2017. I can find a bunch of lists online of book subscription boxes with books plus fun extras, but I had a harder time finding a list of subscriptions just of books, just books, no filler.
Please comment if you know of others and I can post an updated list! None of these are a paid advertisement, by the way, although the link to BOTM does have my account linked to it should anyone subscribe from it.
Many of these are independent publishers, and a healthy amount of them are working in translated work, something I am particularly interested in.
This seems to be a new model many independent publishers are working with. Some offer bundles by season while others just send on a schedule. This can work well for book clubs if you are all going to get the same book in the mail anyway! Might as well read it and discuss it.
And Other Stories - "And Other Stories works with writers and translators to handpick
the best international books for its subscribers and all lovers of
fine writing. Subscribe for 2, 4 or 6 titles per year." Ships from UK but available worldwide, which is a feature many subscription services lack.
- "A nonprofit press devoted to contemporary & classic world
literature." Choose between a half-year or year subscription, and see
the titles in advance. Pro-tip: The year-long eBook subscription (rather
than print) is a deal!
Book of the Month
- five popular books to choose from each month, plus add-ons that are
older titles, and you can add additional titles for $9.99, hard to
beat!. Good range of genre plus healthy inclusion of debut titles. Not
ideal for my book club since we'd all pick different titles, but vary
popular on the internet.
Coffee House Press - An indie press plus arts non-profit, they offer bundles by year. $100 gets you a season of books. The current season is Fall 2017 and contains 11 books.
Dorothy Publishing Project - Not really a subscription but you can get all current titles in one bundle. I did this last January and just have a few left to read. All fiction by women, many titles translated, all with beautiful cover art.
Homeward Bound Paperback Originals - from Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC. "Hand-curated by the booksellers of Malaprop's, we'll pick a new
paperback original every month -- fiction or creative non-fiction, a
book we find to be notable for its literary quality and its appeal --
and mail it to your home." They also have a local version for slightly less money where you can pick the books up. This is a bookstore an hour from me, so I've been a subscriber for a while now, and can attest to the range of the books.
Milkweed Books Subscriptions - Milkweed just celebrated the first anniversary of their storefront bookstore, and now have several subscription options. "The original Read This Next! subscription (six books per year) features
the most exciting new voices in literature. The Indie Spotlight
subscription showcases the vital work of our fellow independent presses
and the six books per year will introduce you to the most compelling and
eclectic books we've encountered. The Long Live Books
subscription combines the previous two." I'm tempted by Indie Spotlight myself.
New Vessel Press
- "independent publishing house specializing in the translation of
foreign literature into English." Their subscription goes by seasons,
where you pay a set amount for a set of books. My favorite book from
them is Some Day by Shemi Zarhin.
NYRB Classics Book Club - Each month, editors select a book from their newest titles (often classics or obscure titles being revived.) Annual membership is $150* for the twelve books, plus a bonus book—Balzac’s The Unknown Masterpiece, translated for NYRB Classics by Richard Howard.
Open Letter Books - "newest and greatest international literature in English translation." Subscribe for 6 or 12 months.
Restless Books -
"independent, nonprofit publisher devoted to
championing essential voices from around the world, whose stories speak
to us across linguistic and cultural borders." For $10/month, you end up
with six of their titles in a year, one of which you choose from the
backlist and the others are chosen for you. I have my eye on this one.
They recently published four volumes of Cuban science fiction!
Two Lines Press - world literature in translation. 2017's subscription was $50 for 6 titles.
Ugly Duckling Press - "a nonprofit publisher for poetry, translation,
experimental nonfiction, performance texts, and books by artists." Subscriptions are part of the support level for donations, so you can choose an amount and will receive books accordingly.