We’ve known it was coming. Someone was going to finally launch an “all-you-can-eat” plan for e-books, and no, the Kindle Lending Library wasn’t it. Today, Oyster launches with its subscription service and app for the iPhone. iPad and other platforms are “coming soon.”

So far, it looks good. They say they have over 100,000 e-book titles available from publishers such as HarperCollins, Workman, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Smashwords. I’ve been meaning to get my own books into more stores, and I have planned to research Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital and make a decision. Oyster could make me lean heavily toward Smashwords, once I see how to works.

The Oyster plan costs $9.95 a month and is supposed to allow you to read an unlimited number of books. That could be very cool and cost-effective, depending on what books are available.

Unfortunately, subscriptions are being rolled out slowly. I’ve downloaded the app, and I’m in the queue, but I haven’t yet received my invitation. I do plan to try it out for a month and see what I think. I hope the iPad app is available soon. I don’t do much reading on my phone anymore, but we’ll see if I can live with an iPhone app on my iPad.

Fair warning when you try to find and download the app: Don’t confuse it with the various apps that allow you to check or use your Oyster pass balance in the U.K.

Anyone else excited to try out the new service?


  1. First, I’m not going to read more than blog post on my iPhone. Not going to happen. It’s Kindle or bust for ereading. I suppose swap a Kindle for an iPad or other tablet. I could even maybe go for a Kobo. But not a phone. The screen is way too small for long reading.

    Second, I want to read the books I want to read, not the books available on a subscription. If the the two are the same, then great I don’t mind saving a few bucks incidentally, but low costs aren’t my primary concern when selecting a book to read.

    Third, maybe it is just me, but I couldn’t find where to browse the the titles they do have available. I saw a request invite button. Do you have to opt in to see what they have?

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