1. How does an Emily Books subscription work?
At the beginning of every month for a year, we’ll send you an email with a link in it that will enable you to download your book.
2. Why not just wait and see whether it’s a book I think I’ll like, instead of buying a subscription?
Well, you can! But having a subscription is convenient, first of all—you never have to think about whether or not you’ll have a new book to read. Also at some point you will receive a free awesome totebag, and you definitely need another totebag. But also, maybe it’s good to be encouraged to read something you might not choose for yourself? Ruth and I have split a CSA share for years, which is like a subscription to a farm. I would probably never have purchased, say, celeriac at the farmer’s market—it looks like a hairy wizened mummy claw. But we got some in our CSA share and it turns out celeriac is a delicious, subtly celery-flavored vegetable that’s especially good with a ton of butter in mashed potatoes.
Long story short, give us a shot—we promise never to forcefeed you a bunch of kohlrabi. (And if you’re not feeling it, you can cancel your subscription easily at any time.)
3. I read on my Kindle (Nook, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Kobo, etc). What format should I download books in?
Download books in .mobi for Kindle and .epub for everything else.
4. Why did you guys want to start a bookstore? Why do you only sell ebooks?
Starting a bookstore is the secret dream of almost everyone who has ever worked in book publishing. Ruth
and I met while working at a publishing house. Reading is central to both our lives. When ereading became an option, we both jumped on it. We like reading physical books too, and doubt we will ever stop doing that. But reading on a device is convenient and practical, and we love being able to get new books instantly.
One store currently sells a very large percentage of all ebooks, and that’s not cool. This is changing -- Kobo
now partners with independent bookstores to sell ebooks -- which is great. We still think there should be many ways to sell ebooks as there are to sell physical books And we want authors, agents and publishers to get paid so they can continue creating and curating, because we know those things are important and that the people who do them deserve to be paid, even if some people think all creativity should be crowdsourced and given away for free.
We sell ebooks because ebooks are here to stay. We want to carve out a space in the retail environment for independent ebookselling by proving to publishers that it can and should be done. We want there to be a million stores like Emily Books, with dedicated booksellers—not algorithms—deciding which books to recommend. When a monolith is in charge of selecting which books readers get to hear about, everyone loses. We think independent bookselling is good for publishers, authors, and readers!
5. Why are you only selling one book a month?
Because we're focusing on selecting one truly great book and celebrating it all month long. We’re never going to be competition for a bookstore that has encyclopedic selection as its main advantage. We aim to be expert curators and trustworthy recommenders. We will only sell books we care passionately about and want to talk about with a community of readers and writers.
6. Why no DRM?
We think the real question is, Why DRM? And there’s really no satisfactory answer. DRM--aka digital rights management--is anti-piracy protection that ebooksellers, not publishers, are currently in charge of implementing. This “protection” is fairly easy to remove (here, let us Google that for you
), and there’s no real evidence it stops piracy. What it does stop, and what publishers (apparently) want it to stop, is casual sharing--which has always been a part of the book-buying experience. Half of my books are probably at Ruth’s apartment right now. Guess what--that hasn’t stopped us from continuing to buy books. We are not saying that all content should be free or that you should share your Emily Books subscription with all your friends (in fact, please don’t do that). We are saying that, when you buy something, it belongs to you. Period.
Also, DRM is super ridiculously expensive to implement. Like, so expensive Adobe will not even tell you on their website how much their Magic DRM Software costs. Right now some authors have the requirement that their books be sold with DRM built into their contracts; we think this is partly because they don’t understand what it is or does and they’re concerned that book pirates will plunder them. But some authors who understand what DRM is and who profits from it--and who doesn’t--are working to change this misconception.
7. I have a problem with my book or my subscription. How can I contact you?
and we will fix your problem.
8. Why can’t I know in advance what all the books I’ll get with my subscription will be?
It would ruin the mystique. Also, we're adding new books all the time. We welcome your suggestions! Any book published (or about to be published) at any time anywhere is fair game, with the caveat that we have a bias towards books that are unjustly forgotten, hidden gems, weird genius marvels that were ahead of their time, or books coming out soon that seem like they might slip through the cracks unless someone gives them a boost.
For more about our taste in general, check out our blog
9. I’m not sure how to get my book onto my reader.
After you place your order, you will receive three emails. One is from Emily Books confirming your order, and one is your payment receipt from PayPal. The third is from Emily Books and contains - tadah! - the link to your ebook file plus instructions for transferring the book to your device. If you are reading on an iDevice, you will swipe the link, which carries you to another page. This page will ask if you want to open your file in iBooks. Sure you do! Finished.
If you read on a Kindle/Kobo/Nook/etc., you will download the file to your desktop (or wherever you like to save files), and transfer the file to your device via USB cable. Drag and drop the file from your desktop into the folder for your device.
Kindle books must be placed *in* the documents folder on your Kindle. You will see this folder — and its friends, the music and audiobooks folders — when you connect your Kindle to your computer.
Your book will be sent to the *primary* email address associated with your PayPal account, so if nothing happens, be sure and check that email address.
10. I live in an exotic foreign country. Can I subscribe to Emily Books?
Yes and no. If you have a device with international wireless coverage, then you should be able to download books — and any other electronic content — just like you do in the US. However, we do not have international distribution rights for all our titles. If we do not have international rights, then legally we cannot sell the title to a customer with an international billing address.
11. Can I give Emily Books as a gift?
You can purchase a gift certificate here
. When you give someone a gift certificate, you will receive a discount code to pass on to your giftee. Your giftee shops as per usual, Paypal will prompt them for their payment information, and at the very end of the checkout there will be an opportunity to apply the discount. But it does happen! We wish this wasn't so annoying, and as soon as we figure out a way to fix it, we will.