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.