Loaning Your Books through Oyster

You might have heard about Oyster. It’s new and is a bit like Netflix but for ebooks, with a subscription rate of $9.95 a month for unlimited reading. It has an iPhone/iPad app and plans to have one for Android.

It began allowing subscription signups about a week or two ago. You can get the app through iTunes.

The easy way to get your ebook on Oyster is through Smashwords:

which also lets you publish books to Apple, B&N and others.

Just a few minutes ago, Smashwords announced the terms it’ll be offering authors who release books to Oyster through them. Here they are:

That’s a great deal. Someone who’s subscribed to Oyster gets to check out your book for free, so they have good reason to read it and any other book you may have written. But you get paid as if they bought your book. (Smashwords pays 60% of retail to authors.) That should be an excellent way to reach new readers.

With the amount you get for a rental being the same price you get for a sale, it’s hard to find fault with Oyster from an author’s perspective. There is this from Mark Stroker to keep in mind though:

It’s also a business model that’s going to provoke a reaction from Amazon. It will probably have to match or beat those terms.

Also, Smashwords has a helpful series of Youtube workshops on promoting your ebook whatever platform you use: … shops.html

Well worth watching.

Hopefully, when this new program begins on Monday, it’ll include three of my books, Hospital Gowns, My Nights with Leukemia, and The House of the Wolfings. We’ll see how they do.

–Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books, Auburn, AL