Posted on 2012-Oct-12
Entering the buffet restaurant, there is no restriction to how many different food items you can grab after you pay the entrance fee. They say all you can eat and you will probably fulfill their advertisement to eat till you drop. You can pile lavish proportions of beef, mussels, and fish on the table and micromanage your digestive track to savor them. Over time, you might find that each offering is worthy enough for you to individually look at their outstanding advantages of how the sweet taste of meat is different from the freshness of aquatic fish. But who is capable of supplying those indispensable ingredients?
Oyster the Fixer
The variety of carefully selected materials suddenly becomes the fine selection worthy of observation, appreciation, and consumption. One all-you-can-read eBook subscription adopts the similar concept bearing the mouth-watering name of Oyster. The fresh startup aims to approach the mass market and offers a variety of fiction and non-fiction. Founded in July 2012 by three young executives from tech companies, the newly emerging business has received venture capital to develop their service.
Unfortunately, Oyster has not released much information. According to their Q&A, they will offer national bestsellers, award-winning authors, and selected classics. The initial phase of their development will allow a small community of readers to beta test their products.
Oyster is not the trailblazer in this eBook subscription field. Other publishers have been there and done that: HarperCollins’ Skillsoft, Digital Book World’s F+W Media, independent Sourcebooks, and many others. While they pick and select their favorite genre for their niche market, Oyster promises the aspiration for readers to read “all the books you wish you’d read.” The in-book experience is supposed to facilitate readers on the go who need to satisfy their hunger for fantasy and knowledge.
Successful or Underwhelming
Borrowing the library concept, readers only have to pay a monthly fee to access the wealth of information online. For authors, your works are to be exclusively shared among books enthusiasts. Nevertheless, Mike Shatzkin, the publishing insiders who has been in the industry for nearly 50 years, questions the eBook subscription citing the failure of cable TV and Audible business models. Although subscription models work well in certain niche markets, they are backed by publishers who target agented authors instead of independent ones. The list of subscription providers goes on to include big names such as Disney and TED doing their specific eBooks.
Niche Quality Control vs. Freedom of Submission Choice
Reentering the restaurant the second time, the diner might be satiated by exotic food galore within a few footsteps. Preferably, they can come back anytime they like as long as they are capable of spawning cash. However, they do not live every day in this dreamy utopia. The limitation defined by “niche” can hamper the growth of eBooks in the long run, especially when the powerful publisher regulates submission. Authors on Amazon dare to defy this system by offering limited free giveaways, and their eBooks can sell while retaining the spirit of freedom.
For readers of certain genres, they might be satisfied to find one place that offers everything they need. For agented authors, these providers of eBooks subscription might propel them to more potential buyers. For major publishers, they can preserve their showrooms which have been outnumbered by online retailers. For you, does the subscription interest you at all?
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