Longreads Membership FAQ

What is the Longreads Membership, and why should I join?

The Longreads Membership is reader-funded storytelling. That means every dollar you contribute goes into a giant story fund to pay for original journalism, short fiction, and exclusive essays and book excerpts from the best writers and publishers in the world.

Your contributions are also matched by WordPress.com, so everything we do is based on your support.

Longreads Members will also get other perks. When you sign up as a monthly or yearly contributor, you’ll have all ads and pop-ups removed from the site for distraction-free reading. And if you contribute $50 a year or more, we’ll send you a limited edition tote bag.

We work with freelance writers, book publishers and magazine publishers, and we pay for work that we believe adheres to the highest standards that you, our members, have when looking for something interesting to read.

Why are you reader-funded? Aren’t you part of a bigger company?

We believe that subscription-based reader funding is critical to the long-term sustainability of a publication that practices journalism. By subscribing to Longreads on a monthly or yearly basis, you’re investing in us to fund future stories, versus just rewarding us for attention on what we’ve already published.

Reader funding keeps us accountable to our most passionate readers for our success. Big traffic numbers are nice, but the pursuit of pure traffic-based advertising revenue can put too much emphasis on the pursuit of ever-larger audiences versus keeping your existing loyal audience happy.

We are not a nonprofit organization — our parent company is Automattic, makers of WordPress.com. Not only do they subsidize our efforts by powering our site on WordPress.com, but they believe in funding great journalism. So for every $1 readers contribute, they match that with another $3.

Can I still access Longreads stories even if I’m not a Longreads member?

Yes. Longreads Editors’ Picks, Exclusives and Originals are free for everyone. We found that hard paywalls were an awkward experience for our Members, and most people also wanted to freely share what they were reading with friends, colleagues and family. We’ve decided to make these stories available to everyone—while still seeking community support to keep funding this great work.  Your contributions are as critical as ever.

Can I give a gift subscription?

Not at this time.

How do I sign in to my Longreads Membership account?

You can find the “Log In” button on the upper right hand corner of the page on the Longreads.com homepage.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We currently accept all major debit and credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, as well as Apple Pay.

What payment processor do you use? Do you store my credit card details?

We use Stripe to securely process payments for Longreads Memberships. Longreads does not store any of your credit card information.

How do I renew my Longreads Membership?

When you sign up for a Longreads Membership, you can choose to support us on a monthly or annual basis. Payments are automatically renewed, and you can see when your next payment will be charged by logging into your account and clicking on the “Membership” tab.

How do I change my Longreads Membership plan?

You may change your Longreads Membership at any time by logging into your account, clicking the “Membership” tab, and then clicking on the “Change Plan” button. You can update your credit card information there as well.

How do I cancel my Longreads Membership?

You may cancel your Longreads Membership at any time by logging into your account, clicking the “Membership” tab, and then clicking on the “cancel your membership” link. You will be directed to a page where you can confirm and cancel your membership.

I’m a Longreads Member who is contributing $50 a year or more, when can I expect to receive my tote bag?

Tote bags typically arrive within 2-3 weeks of filling out your shipping information.

If I am paying $5 a month for 10 months (or another combination that equals $50 a year), will I also be eligible for a Longreads gift?

Yes! As long as you contribute $50 a year, you will be eligible for a Longreads gift. Enter your address in your profile, and if you don’t receive one automatically, email us at support@longreads.com.

Can I have a tote bag shipped internationally or to a different address?

We will send your tote bag to the shipping address on your member profile—domestic or international. We process these shipments shortly after you fill out your profile, so be sure to enter the name and address where you would like it sent. If you believe you’ve made an error, contact us at support@longreads.com.

Can I buy a Longreads tote bag without becoming a member?

Yes, if you make a one-time payment of $50 or more, we’ll send you a tote bag.

I never received my tote bag, what should I do?

Email us at support@longreads.com and we’ll look into it for you.

How can I hide ads and membership promos on Longreads.com?

If you’re a Longreads Member, log in to your account on Longreads.com for a distraction-free reading experience.

I can’t find the answer to my question here. What do I do?

Email us at support@longreads.com and we’ll try to help you as best as we can.