I was excited when my library first introduced e-books earlier this year but I was quite disappointed when I logged on to view what was on offer. They had opted to team up with a small independent company offering a very limited range of titles, the catalogue heavily padded with ‘classics’ available anywhere.
Then a few months ago I was intrigued by an email from Oyster, promoting the first ebook subscription service. Essentially, for a monthly fee of $9.99US, the company offers access to over 10,000 books from a range of publishers to read using their IOS app on a iPad, iPhone of iPod. I thought the idea had a lot of potential and was eager to trial it but frustratingly, I quickly discovered that the service was only available to the US.
Last week I received an email from Scribd announcing their new subscription service and offering a 30 day free trial. Curious I followed the link to take a look, expecting once again to be ineligible due to geographical restrictions so I was delighted to learn that the Scribd subscription service was available world-wide, admittedly with a caveat, that due to publishing agreements, not all books would be available to be able to read in all countries. I decided it wouldn’t hurt to see what was on offer and signed up for the trial (you need a paypal or credit card account) and started browsing. I honestly wasn’t expecting to find much but I was soon proved wrong. With offerings from publishers like Harper Collins, Thomas Nelson, Kensington and Open Road Media I added dozens of books to “My Library” within a very short space of time.
Though I did run across titles that were not available to me, the selection on offer was very generous across a wide range of genres. As long as the Read Now button wasn’t greyed out I was good to go.
I added books that interested me to ‘My Library’ as I browsed. Though you can read the books on any web browser, handily Scribd has both an IOS and Android app and you can download the titles to your device so you aren’t dependent on internet access to read them. Readers with web-connected tablets like the Kindle Fire or Nook HD can also use Scribd., however, E-Ink based readers like the Amazon Kindle or Nook Simple Touch are not supported.
You can browse by genre and sub genre, or search for authors or specific titles. I didn’t find any new release titles but still there were plenty of books that caught my eye. I would be surprised if you couldn’t find something that has been on your wishlist for a while, here are just a few of the books I added to my library.
A month to month subscription in $8.99US which represents pretty good value. Just in time for Christmas, Scribd is also offering a gift option, you can select a 1 month subscription for $10, 3 months for $25, 6 months for $50, or 1 year for $100 – the perfect gift for a reader.
I’d like to know, what you think about e reader subscription services? Have you tried one? Would you try one? Do you think they represent value for money?