I got the following email from Smashwords about thier new channel, Oyster.com I wonder if Amazon.com will "price match" Oyster's offerings and if so, how?
1. OYSTER DISTRIBUTION BEGINS IN THREE DAYS (READ THE TERMS HERE!)
Oyster Shipments to Begin in Three Days
On September 5, Smashwords announced a distribution agreement with Oyster, a new and innovative ebook subscription service. Here’s a link to our original announcement: http://blog.smashwor...-agreement.html
Oyster offers consumers unlimited access to more than 100,000 ebooks for only $9.95 per month.
At the time we announced the deal, we also announced that we wouldn’t begin shipping to Oyster until at least 72 hours after we shared the financial terms with you. The clock starts now.
I also stated at the time that I believed the terms were author-friendly, and that Smashwords authors would be pleased when they learned the details. Today, via this email, I’m sharing the details.
If you’re not familiar with Oyster, here’s how it works. A reader downloads the beautiful Oyster app, available for the iPhone and iPad (new!). If they subscribe to the $9.95/month service, the customer gains access to a massive catalog of ebooks, of which Smashwords books will soon be included. Readers can read as much as they want or as little as they want. The books are contained within the Oyster app, and cannot be transferred or shared. If the customer ends their subscription, they lose access to the book. This is fair and reasonable. The customer is subscribing to a service, and for as long as they maintain their subscription, they read whatever they want. It’s a very similar offering to Spotify in music and Netflix for film and television entertainment.
A single Oyster user could conceivably read multiple books by the same Smashwords author in a single month, and the author will be paid for each book. As a Smashwords author or publisher, you’ll earn 60% of you book’s retail list price whenever an Oyster subscriber reads more than 10% of your book, starting from the beginning of the book forward. It’s an author-friendly model. That’s the same rate Smashwords authors earn when we sell ebooks through the major retailers such as Apple and Barnes and Noble.
Oyster’s subscription service will help you connect with a segment of the reading audience you’re not reaching anywhere else. Oyster will also give authors yet another reason to steer clear of exclusivity and embrace full distribution with Smashwords.
Smashwords authors don’t need to do anything to enjoy Oyster distribution other than ensure their books are Premium Catalog-approved. If you previously opted out of Oyster because you were awaiting the financial details, please click to your Channel Manager at https://www.smashwor.../channelManager to opt back in within the next 72 hours if you want to be included in our first shipments.
As a final note on Oyster, I want to encourage you to keep you sales expectations realistic. Although Oyster represents a new, innovative and exciting distribution channel, they are still a new company and it could take them many months or years to establish a sizeable readership. However, as we know from our experience opening up distribution in 2009 and 2010 to new channels such as Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple, authors who are in first have a fan-building advantage over authors who delay. Even smaller retailers add to your bottom line. Every sale you get at Oyster is a sale you would not have otherwise received.
Following our first delivery, I’m going to provide Oyster, per their request, a spreadsheet identifying the bestselling books that are opted in to the Smashwords/Oyster catalog. Oyster plans to use this spreadsheet to identify popular books their merchandising team can promote in their app. As we do with the Smashwords bestseller list we supply to Publishers Weekly each month, the list will be based on sales of Smashwords-distributed titles aggregated across the Smashwords distribution network (here’s the latest bestseller list - http://www.publisher...ugust-2013.html ). In the future, credited sales at Oyster will contribute to a book’s ranking in our Publishers Weekly list as well.