Oyster Turns Web Publisher

oysterThe ebook subscription service Oyster launches an online literary magazine called The Oyster Review in a move designed to boost discovery of the titles in its catalog.

Earlier this week Simon & Schuster also debuted a site for publishing original content, called Scribner Magazine. Both new ventures reflect the hope that free, editorially curated web content can help ebook readers find–and ultimately purchase–new titles.

The Oyster Review also represents an expansion of Oyster’s business beyond just an ebook retail and e-reading platform. Scribd’s recent plunge into the audiobook market can be viewed similarly, at a time when subscription ebooks still have their naysayers.

Much more.

Related: Hear Directly from Oyster’s Chief Revenue Officer Matt Shatz Live at DBW15

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Simon & Schuster Widens Library Ebook Program (DBW)
When Simon & Schuster launched its library ebook program in June, it required participating libraries to offer patrons the option of buying titles directly through the library’s web portal. Now the publisher drops that provision in a push to expand the program.
Related: Dominique Raccah of Sourcebooks, David Wilk of Booktrix and Chantal Restivo-Alessi of HarperCollins Talk Direct Book Sales at DBW15

BiblioBoard Offers Library Ebooks by Indie Authors (PW)
A new program will offer libraries a multi-user ebook lending platform featuring best-selling titles from top indie authors like Barbara Freethy, Hugh Howey and others.
Related: Self-Published Ebooks Climb Best-Seller List

Hachette to Acquire Black Dog & Leventhal (Pub Lunch)
Hachette’s deal to acquire Perseus Book Group may have fallen through earlier this year, but the publisher continues looking for ways to bulk up its nonfiction list, agreeing to acquire Black Dog & Leventhal, which publishes illustrated and creative nonfiction titles.

Kindle Fire Users Get Six Free Months of Washington Post (NYT)
The Washington Post, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought last year, rolls out a new mobile app that comes to certain Kindle Fire users free of charge for the next six months. The app will automatically release two digital editions of the newspaper each day.

BitLit Bundles Elsevier Ebooks (DBW)
The Vancouver-based start-up offering readers discounted ebook versions of print titles they already own partners with Elsevier for a pilot featuring 5,000 of the publisher’s titles.
Learn more: Hear BitLit Founder Peter Hudson Speak Live at DBW15

Five Thoughts on the Digital Future (DBW)
Leaders in five key sectors of the digital publishing world offer their thoughts on the points of view on the industry and where it’s heading, touching off conversations that will continue in much greater depth at Digital Book World 2015.

Good and Bad New for Indie Authors (Smashwords)
Sizing up the self-publishing landscape today, Smashwords CEO Mark Coker says, “For indie authors, there’s never been a better time to self-publish an ebook. But “the gravy train of exponential sales is over,” Coker continues. “Everything gets more difficult from here.” Here’s Coker’s guide for authors adjusting to the changing marketplace. And here’s where authors can share their insights on how they’re going about it.

Ursula Le Guin Attacks Amazon (Guardian)
In her speech this week at the National Book Awards, the best-selling author said of Amazon, “We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience and writers threatened by corporate fatwa, and I see a lot of us, the producers who write the books, and make the books, accepting this.”


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