Oyster is out to win over the reading community with an offer that is hard to resist: a library full of ebooks for just $9.95 a month. No wonder the Oyster offer is being equated to Netflix, which has a similar monthly plan for watching videos. At present, there are 100,000 ebooks at Oyster, with none of them being free titles. Oyster has signed up directly with publishers such as HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Rodale. Smashwords titles are also available.
Amazon has a similar offer in place, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, where subscribers of Amazon Prime service have at their disposal over 350,000 ebooks for an annual fee of $79. However, Prime members will be limited to borrowing just one ebook a month. The Oyster offer stands out in that it offers as many ebook one might need for just a few bucks more.
However, there is a catch: the service is only available for iOS right now and that too, only for the iPhone. The iPad version will be made available during fall though the team behind Oystem isn’t revealing when will they appear on the Android landscape. Meanwhile, the service is as per invitation only at present as it’s still under beta testing with about 100 subscribers trying out the service. Further, owners don’t get to own the ebooks they have borrowed from Oyster, for the moment the monthly subscription is discontinued, all of the ebooks will vanish from your device.
The Oyster offer though does make a lot of sense for the academicians or research professional who need to refer to lot of books. But then, there is no stopping anyone from trying out the service – once it is launched that is – for avid book lovers too will love to be part of the Oyster service.
“We’re trying to allow people to spend less time deciding if they should read a book and more time just reading it,” revealed Eric Stromberg, one of the co-founders of Oyster.