My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Oyster Books launchers US$9.95 Apple iPhone App for lending 100,000 book titles - Amazon Kindle Lending just got competition

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oyster Books launchers US$9.95 Apple iPhone App for lending 100,000 book titles - Amazon Kindle Lending just got competition

Love visiting the library to borrow books for a good overnight read? Got an Apple iPhone? Then Oyster Books has launched an Apple iPhone App that allows people to borrow and read as many book as you can in a thirty (30) day period for only US$9.95 as declared in the article “Binge on books with Oyster”, published September 6, 2013 2:55 PM PDT by Tuong Nguyen, CNET News.

Oyster Books is named after a famous line in the Shakespearean Play “The Merry Wives of Windsor” in which a lead character speaks the words “the world's mine oyster”. Their inception in December 2012 was the brainchild of a team made up of a former Google Engineer and Apple Engineer who both apparently had a penchant for books.

Oyster Books has managed to wrangle deals with major publishers to lend their books to their subscriber for this cut-rate monthly fee. Currently their reading app is available only in Apple iTunes Store, but the Apple iPad will be added to that platform by December 2013, with Android sure to follow.

Please note this is borrowing, not downloading of books as described in my blog article entitled “US$199 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite upgrades Hardware and Software - How to find free Ebooks and e-Book Readers for Laptops and PC”.

Also, for now it’s only on the Apple iPhone; clearly the Engineer’s an Apple fanboy or Apple iTunes Store’s a lot more profitable, as the Google Play Store is not exactly made up of users who like to even spend on buying books when so many free book Apps are available.

Take note of the fact that an equivalent lending service, Amazon’s Kindle Lending Library that’s availed to Amazon Prime users who pony up US$79.99 per year, only allows you to borrow one book per month. The publishers and their stable of Authors they’ve managed to get onto the Oyster Farm are as follows:

1.      HarperCollins
2.      Houghton Mifflin Harcour
3.      Workman
4.      Smashworld,
5.      HarperCollins

Thus jumping on the Oyster bandwagon is inevitable, as more big publishers are being negotiated and more books are coming, if your eyes can stand the eyestrain from the Apple iPhone. I suspect their negotiations with these Nook Publishers are based on increasing readership in a kind of Taste-and-buy model like Spotify or even Netflix.

By allowing Lending via Oyster Books, it translates to more book sales via other portals for the Book Publishers, such as Kindle. For US$9.95, you can buy some lower end e-books on Amazon as opposed to using your Credit Card and buy the  book in Paperback or hardcover format!

Publishers, it seems, are getting hip to the reality: low-cost e-readers and cheaper e-books are the way to go to stave off e-book piracy as stated in my Geezam blog article “Piracy and E-Books in a Tale of Two Cities”. 

With a pricing and business model that mimics Netflix or even Spotify as suggested in the article “Netflix for books? Oyster launches with over 100,000 in-print titles”, published September 6, 2013 By Mike Flacy, DigitalTrends, Oyster with their nearly 100,000 titles is yet another option to Torrenting books or downloading them from Free Resources if you’re a  fan of the Apple iPhone and the Apple iPad.

Happy Reading!

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