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 story fund to pay for original essays, reporting, podcasts, and story partnerships with other publishers.

Contributions are matched by WordPress.com. For every dollar you give, WordPress.com matches with another $3.

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 tote bag.

We work with writers, producers, artists, and publishers around the world. 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 people also often want to freely share what they’re 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 access my Longreads Member account?

If you became a Longreads Member after May 7, 2019, you can manage your membership and payments through WordPress.com. Just log in to your WordPress.com account and go to Profile > Manage Purchases > Other Sites.

If you became a Longreads Member before May 7, 2019, log in to our legacy account system to manage your payment and settings.

What forms of payment do you accept?

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

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

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

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

If you’ve contributed $50 or more to Longreads, you should receive an email within 1-2 weeks notifying you of your free gift, and you’ll be asked to share your shipping information. We process these tote bag orders manually and aim to send them to you within 6-8 weeks of joining Longreads. If you do not receive your tote bag email, please contact us at support@longreads.com.

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. Email us at support@longreads.com if you have not received an email about your free tote bag.

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

We will send your tote bag to the shipping address that you designate—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! You can purchase tote bags, T-shirts, illustrations, and more at the Longreads Store.

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 the ads on Longreads.com?

Longreads Members get an ad-free reading experience. If you’re already a Longreads Member, log in via WordPress.com for distraction-free reading.

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

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