Thursday, October 19, 20170 

Why we’re in private beta

Moving fast and slow

Since we launched our first customer’s publication, Sinocism (subscribe), we’ve received a flood of inquiries from publishers interested in using Substack. That’s awesome and we hope the interest continues. But we want to make it clear that we can’t take everyone just yet.

Substack is, for now, in private beta. That means we’re working with only a small number of hand-picked publishers until (probably) the end of 2017.

We’re rolling out in this fashion because we want to build a product that subscription publishers absolutely love. We think the best way to do that is to start by serving the needs of a select few customers and getting the product right for them. That means we need to invest a lot of manual work in every customer. Since we’re just three people right now, that has to be a small group.

Our goal here is to build a wonderful, stable product that can scale to hundreds, and then thousands, and later many more publishers. We want to build a new ecosystem for independent publishers to make real money from subscriptions, and for readers to get friction-free access to content they care deeply about. We believe that’s a huge opportunity for everyone, so it’s important that we don’t mess it up by getting ahead of ourselves.

So, absolutely reach out to us at If you are a writer with an established audience who wants to charge around $10 a month, we want to work with you soon. If not, we will put you on our waitlist and keep you updated as we roll out more broadly in the near future.