Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Subscription Services are in the news for eBooks

With Netflix creating a new market for films, a range of subscription services for eBooks are making themselves known.

There has been much interest in Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, a service where the reader pays monthly for unlimited downloads. This service however, for authors and publishers, is exclusive as they have to sign up for KDP Select which is exclusive. This means that the titles cannot be listed elsewhere.

Being a bit of a rebel at times and not liking to be hemmed in, apart from having all titles available on Kindle (to purchase) I haven't gone down this route. I do feel however that the success of this Amazon service has undermined sales in general and subsequently the author and publisher. After all why should you buy individual books when you get get much more for your money every month regardless of individual cost.

And what if your titles are not on Kindle? The alternatives are Oyster and Scribd which were around before Amazon Unlimited and marginally cheaper. All have a free trial period. Oyster offer eBooks only for Android, iOS and Kindle Fire. Scribd offer eBooks and PDF's (which can mean any type of document).
Judging from the numbers of large publishers making books available on Oyster and Scribd - and therefore not available on Kindle Unlimited - there is still plenty of choice around.

The pros and cons of each service are listed very clearly in this article by CNET associate editor Sarah Mitroff .  http://www.cnet.com/uk/how-to/amazon-kindle-unlimited-vs-scribd-vs-oyster-e-book-subscriptions/

As we distribute ePub through US distributor Smashwords and, after careful vetting for quality all titles are included in the Premium Catalogue, all titles are shipped to both Oyster and Scribd. Titles are also for sale on the Scribd bookstore. Win-win.

As Sarah says in her article, don't forget the libraries. These are an important aspect of any community is my personal view.

Happy Reading in whatever way suits you best.