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Author Topic: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)  (Read 42101 times)  

Offline Paul Hardy

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Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« on: September 05, 2013, 10:54:41 AM »
Haven't seen anyone else bringing this up, so may I have the pleasure of bringing this to your attention?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2013/09/05/oyster-launches-netflix-for-books/

Much of the content is to be from big publishers, but Smashwords have signed up too...

http://blog.smashwords.com/2013/09/smashwords-signs-distribution-agreement.html

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Offline Greg Strandberg

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 11:00:14 AM »
If I can get my books in front of more people, make money doing it, and at no additional cost...well, I'm all for it.

Offline Dave Renol

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 11:04:55 AM »
It sounds cool to me, but I didn't see any info on how much you would make per 'borrow'.

Dave


Offline dkgould

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 11:06:58 AM »
You mean I no longer have to sell my first born to cover my reading addiction?  I can read as many books as I want?  And it's not just western romances like my local library seems to stock to the exclusion of all else?  Where do I sign up?

Offline Cherise

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 11:09:42 AM »
"Today Oyster launches its iPhone platform giving users 100,000 titles, from publishers like HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Workman and self-publishing giant Smashwords, for $9.95 a month....

Stromberg and Van Lancker are tight lipped about how publishers or author (sic) get paid through the platform..."

Paging Mark Coker!

Offline Cherise

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 11:13:24 AM »
Oyster is already live on the Smashwords channel manager. I just opted out my non-fiction.

Offline Zelah Meyer

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 11:13:51 AM »
I just saw Mark's link to that on Twitter and read the article (now read the Forbes one too - so thank you for that.)

I'm not sure.  I'm wary about it to be honest.  I tend to see subscription services as being about making money for the service at the expense of content providers, though I confess I'm under researched in this area.  I'm actually rather surprised to see that big publishers are taking part!  Given that they seem to hate giving libraries access to ebooks, I'm amazed that they've agreed to a subscription service!  

I'll wait to hear the royalties and a bit more about how it works.  If I'm still unsure, I'll opt out until I hear from others how it's going.

Offline Paul Hardy

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 11:17:16 AM »
You mean I no longer have to sell my first born to cover my reading addiction?  I can read as many books as I want?  And it's not just western romances like my local library seems to stock to the exclusion of all else?  Where do I sign up?
You can sign up here: https://www.oysterbooks.com/ for $9.95 a month (presumably not for UK users.  :( )

Yep, it's that imminent.

Paging Mark Coker!

Indeed. And apparently it's going live in only 3 weeks. Anyone with books in their premium list get entered automatically...

Sudden is not a sudden enough word to describe this. NEED MORE DETAILS!

(although this has apparently been in the works for about a year or so: http://gigaom.com/2012/10/10/can-oyster-be-the-spotify-of-books-3m-investment-says-yes/)
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Offline PhoenixS

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 11:23:49 AM »
Here's what it says on the SW Channel Manager page under Royalty Rate:

New! - On September 5, 2013 we announced a distribution deal with Oyster.  We expect shipments to begin by the end of the month.  At least 72 hours before shipments begin, we'll send out a Smashwords Author/Publisher alert to reveal the financial details.  The deal is inked and the terms are settled, so we're confident Smashwords authors and publishers will be very pleased with the terms we negotiated. 

If the deal is inked, why wait to disclose? http://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/channelManager

Offline PamelaKelley

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 11:29:22 AM »
I wonder how it works? Strange that SW is keeping the royalty piece a secret, makes me think perhaps subscribers won't be as thrilled as they say and that Oyster requested they keep it quiet until after the launch to avoid any negative publicity. Yes, feeling a bit cynical maybe.

That said, this could be interesting if you can pick and choose which books you'd like to include, such as the first in a series so you'd get the same benefit many qet with giving it away free.


Offline Monique

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2013, 11:30:24 AM »
It just bugs me that we're opted-in by default to all of these things.

I'll be very curious to hear what I've been opted-into. Yes, I know I can opt-out.

Btw, SW, will my description at BN ever update?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 11:32:40 AM by Monique »

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Offline Zelah Meyer

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 11:31:55 AM »
Thanks for the heads-up about it being in the Channel Manager already.  I've opted out for now, but I am open to changing my mind when I find out more.

Offline Cherise

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2013, 12:25:40 PM »
Thanks for the heads-up about it being in the Channel Manager already.  I've opted out for now, but I am open to changing my mind when I find out more.

You're welcome.

I, too, am alarmed that opting in is the default whenever a new distributor signs on. This is one of the reasons I read KB every day, but really we should at least be getting email notifications that give us a chance to opt out.

Offline SandraMiller

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2013, 12:27:45 PM »
but really we should at least be getting email notifications that give us a chance to opt out.

Yes, and a little sooner than 72 hours before shipments begin.   >:(
 
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Offline cinisajoy

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2013, 12:34:42 PM »
Hmmmm let's see 100,000 books on who knows what for $119 a year.   For that I would go with amazon prime and save $40.    I can find plenty of books in my preferred genres for much less than $10 a month.
Ok so truth be told my TBR is as tall as a couple of authors.
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Offline Skye Hunter

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2013, 12:45:03 PM »
Does Amazon have any problems with books listed there for $X being available to be rented in other places? Not sure if there's anything about that in their TOU.
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Offline dkgould

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2013, 12:54:42 PM »
Hmmmm let's see 100,000 books on who knows what for $119 a year.   For that I would go with amazon prime and save $40.    I can find plenty of books in my preferred genres for much less than $10 a month.
Ok so truth be told my TBR is as tall as a couple of authors.

and if Amazon let me read as many books as I wanted in one month, I would stick with prime too (or even a more reasonable number than one) and pay more for it too.  But for right now, at the rate I go through books it's an expensive pastime, even with prime and a library card.  This seems awesome for me anyway. But yeah, if amazon takes notice, I'd definitely stick with prime.  Especially because this Oyster program seems apple product only at the moment with no plans for other platforms at the moment.

Offline Amanda Brice

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2013, 01:04:24 PM »
Mark, I know you're out there, so please come answer our questions! Why wait to announce the terms if you're confident that we'll be happy?

And why is the default to opt us in to things, so we actually have to act to opt out? I'd much prefer to make my own decisions on my business, but right now I'm not being given the necessary information to make that choice.
 
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Offline jimkukral

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2013, 01:26:51 PM »
yet another thing the publishers should have thought of and done themselves years ago.
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Offline David Alastair Hayden

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2013, 02:28:51 PM »
I am intrigued and would be more than happy to participate should the terms prove acceptable, and I would be grateful to Smashwords for the opportunity.

That said, it is WRONG to automatically opt authors into a distribution network, especially without giving them any details first. I'm not okay with that.

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Online Nathan Elliott

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2013, 02:44:19 PM »
I would like to add my vote for being opted out of new channels by default.

Offline VydorScope

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2013, 02:52:22 PM »
Thanks for the heads up! I definitely will be watching. I like the idea, but need more information before I am comfortable.
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Offline Christa Wick

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2013, 02:54:10 PM »
Oyster is already live on the Smashwords channel manager. I just opted out my non-fiction.

GD it -- this is why I pulled most of my books from Smashwords. Going now to opt these out, give a few days to make sure it takes. UNpub the last of everything there and archive it. Default absolutely should be opt out. I have to other places I can now generate free coupons when I want to do that. Smashwords just lost the last of its utility, especially when stacked against default opt-ins.

Offline Christa Wick

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2013, 03:06:59 PM »
And I'm totally opposed to having my books in something like Spotify/Netflix.

Have a look at this graphic

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-online/

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: Oyster - Netflix for books (apparently)
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2013, 03:10:13 PM »
Money issues aside.  I will not be joining Oyster because of the way they are treating authors.   It should be you have the option to opt in not contact us if you want out.
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