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Paperback Is One Year Old

October 3, 2014

I introduced Paperback to the public one year ago today. In the last year since this launched, many other services have started, exploded in popularity, sold out, or shut down. Yet Paperback is still in its infancy. In the last year, it’s had decent uptime and relatively little support needs. It has also been slow moving in feature development but plans to be around for a long time.

One change I want to announce on it’s first birthday is that Paperback will go from a yearly subscription model to a one time fee.

From the start, subscriptions have been a bit confusing for customers and most support requests I see are about subscriptions.

Coming up to the 1 year mark meant subscriptions were about to renew. As with most services, only a small percentage of overall users and customers are actively using the site on a regular basis and I didn’t want to take “lazy tax” money from people who kept forgetting to cancel subscriptions for a service they weren’t using anymore. Nor did I want to an increase in support requests from people who wanted refunds for the automatic subscription.

It seemed like the best way to go for both customers and myself was to change to a one time fee and cancel any automatically renewing subscriptions from current customers.

But what about ongoing server costs with only a one time payment from users? It doesn’t cost too much per month to run my servers, so the income from the one time fee covers enough costs to operate. When I first launched Paperback, I didn’t know how quickly it would grow, how customers would receive paying for a service, or how much the server costs would be to handle the n number of customers I would get in my first days, weeks, and months. Now I have a pretty good idea of these things and and have adjusted things to the best experience for everybody. Even if no new customers sign up, there’s enough money in the bank right now to run the servers for 3+ years at the current costs.

If you’re an existing customer, thank you. You should see no change in service nor should you be charged again. If you do receive an email saying you’ve been charged for your subscription, please reply to the email and let me know so I can refund you.

Don’t forget to check out the Paperback roadmap to vote on feature requests. As always, if you have any questions or requests send an email or chat with me on Twitter.