Books from publisher Simon & Schuster are coming to two competing all-you-can-read e-book subscription services. On Tuesday, the publishing giant announced that its extensive back catalog would be available immediately on Oyster and Scribd.
The publisher's back catalog refers to older titles and not new releases. Nevertheless, there are still some great books on the subscription services via Simon & Schuster, including Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult, and Under the Dome by Stephen King.
Both Oyster and Scribd will carry books published under the Simon & Schuster brand worldwide, as well as the publisher's various imprints. E-book availability will vary from country to country depending on Simon & Schuster's publishing rights. Oyster is currently only available in the U.S.
Simon & Schuster isn't the only major publisher to sign up with Oyster and Scribd, but it is still a major "get" for both services thanks to the number of big name books and authors in the publisher's catalog.
Oyster and Scribd are both aiming to become the 'Netflix of ebooks' by offering a flat monthly rate for unlimited access to a large selection of e-books. All reading has to take place on each respective service's apps.
The U.S.-only Oyster starts at $10 per month and says its catalog offers more than 500,000 books. Oyster offers mobile apps for iOS and says an Android app is coming.
Scribd claims a slightly smaller catalog than Oyster at 400,000 titles, but you also get a slightly lower price at $9 per month. The service is available in more than 100 countries and offers apps for Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, as well as a web interface for reading on your PC.
Both Oyster and Scribd offer a free one-month trial.
Although not available as a standalone service, Amazon offers a free e-book reading program to Amazon Prime subscribers through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Unlike Oyster and Scribd, however, Amazon's lending library offers only one free ebook per month and only to Kindle and Kindle Fire devices.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.