Spotify for E-Books

That’s what everyone’s calling it even before it has a launch date.

Oyster, a new e-book subscription service, has raised $3 million in capital to hire staff and build its product.

Publishers have been experimenting tentatively with e-book subscription services for some time now, but usually in something focused like business books, art books or romance titles. Oyster is aiming for a mass audience.

Industry observers have said it can’t be done, pointing out the monumental rights issues and problematic revenue models for publishers and authors, but Amazon is already doing it with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. That said, Oyster isn’t Amazon.

Oyster does have a boat-load of cash and a powerful backer (Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund), but can it overcome the substantial hurdles in front of it?


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The rest of the day’s top news:

Five Reasons a Free E-Reader Would Be Great for Publishers and Readers(DBW)
We’re closer than ever to a $0.00 e-reader. When we get there, it will be great for publishers and readers. Here’s why.

How Personal Library and Social Reading Site Bookshout! Works…Sort of (PaidContent)
The start-up, which allows users to create a library out of e-books they’ve purchased from places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, doesn’t break digital rights management, said the company’s CEO. So, how does it work? It’s complicated. Official announcement.

Why the Canadian E-Book Market Lags Behind the U.S. (DBW)
A report came out yesterday detailing the Canadian book market and digital growth has been fast, but not as fast as in the U.S. Here are four reasons why Canada’s e-book market lags behind the U.S. Regardless, Kobo is doing well there: It’s the leading e-bookseller North of the border.

Kobo Acquires Aquafadas, Inks New Zealand Deal (DBW)
Kobo has signed a deal to acquire French digital publishing technology firm Aquafadas in an attempt to boost its publishing services offerings. In other news, the Canadian device-maker and e-bookseller has inked deals in New Zealand to put it into more bookstores there.

Bilbary Founder: Publishers Putting Libraries at Risk (Telegraph)
Tim Coates, the founder of e-bookseller Bilbary, thinks publishers are putting libraries at risk of irrelevancy by restricting their access to e-books. Related: Librarian Patience Has Run out on E-Book Lending Issues.

Amazon’s New Author Rankings (DBW)
Amazon is now ranking authors much like it ranks books in its best-seller list. The rankings are updated hourly.

British Invasion (Pub Lunch)
UK publisher Quercus is once again trying its hand at launching a U.S.-based operation after a joint venture with Barnes & Noble’s Sterling Publishing failed.

National Book Award Finalists (PW)
If you haven’t already seen them elsewhere.

Like Being There (Scribd)
Didn’t make it to Frankfurt? Weren’t able to afford having a week away from your daily duties? Didn’t want to spend the money? Maybe just wanted to get away from it all by not getting away from it all? Here’s the next best thing: the Frankfurt show daily.

Can’t Be Made Into a Book (htwins.net)
You could find most of this information in a book, but not in this form. It’s not strictly e-book-related but we thought you needed to see this anyway.

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