Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Matchbook and Oyster

Two new programs for readers debuted this week. Yesterday, Amazon's Matchbook program went live. If you've ever bought a paper book from Amazon, you may be able to purchase the eBook for a reduced price. The catch is that the publisher has to opt into the program. Out of all the books I've purchased from Amazon over the years, only two are in the Matchbook program, and both of those books were bought as gifts for others. I'm not sure how much I would use this program; it would depend on what books are available. I've bought at least three eBooks that I already own in paper, but those three are favorites of mine. I wouldn't necessarily want eBooks of all my paperbacks.

Smashwords recently partnered with Oyster, a company that allows you to read all the books you want for a flat fee of $9.95/month. As a voracious reader, I might be able to save money with a program like this, though I'm not sure how many books in my To Read collection would be part of this program. However, it's for iPads and iPhones. We do have a couple of iPads in our house, but I don't use them for reading.

As a shameless plug, I will say that Lyon's Legacy and Twinned Universes are both part of the Matchbook program, and all of my stories will be available through Oyster. (I'm not sure if they're on Oyster yet, since I don't see a search field where you can enter titles. Maybe you have to sign up first before you can do that.) As a writer, I want to disperse my books as widely as possible so readers can find them.

Has anyone tried either of these services as a reader? If so, what do you think of them? Indie writers, are you participating in Matchbook or Oyster? Why or why not? Please let me know in the comments.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I do use my iPad for reading but don't read fast enough to make Oyster worthwhile.

PT Dilloway said...

Like I was saying on someone else's blog, Oyster costs more than Netflix and I pretty much use Netflix every day, and with 30 books on my Kindle to be read it doesn't seem like something I need right now.

I supposedly enrolled in the Matchbook thing but I don't see anything on the pages for my books. I think it notified me about 4 books, but I don't see any point in buying the ebook for a book that's already sitting on my bookshelf, though I have bought a few of my favorites in ebook in case I might want to read them again at some point.

Crystal Collier said...

I knew about Oyster, but I hadn't heard about Matchbook. Thanks for the heads up. Now I'm curious how many of my purchases will pop up...

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Alex, how do you like reading on the iPad? How does it compare to paper or an e-reader? Is it hard to focus on reading when you have other apps competing for your attention?

Pat, go to the paper version of your book, then check the right-hand column. There should be something about the Matchbook program in the second box. Lyon's Legacy has a link for Matchbook, but Twinned Universes doesn't. I have to check that.

You're welcome, Crystal!

Johanna Garth said...

Interesting. The Oyster program sounds like the reading version of a music subscription to something like Spotify.

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