All content on ckbk is licensed from the rightsholder. This is generally either the publisher or (for older out-of-print content), the author or author's estate.
A share of all subscription revenue goes into a royalty pool, which is paid out to rightsholders quarterly, in proportion to usage. Where the rightsholder is a publisher, the publisher's agreement with the author typically will then specify how this revenue is shared.
In addition to this electronic revenue stream, ckbk also provides links to allow users to purchase print or e-book copies of books they discover.