READER'S CORNER: eBook Subscription Services, Part 2 (The End)
Time for part 2 of where you can find more ebook subcription services. If you missed the first entry in this series then go catch up!
To start off, let's catch up on a couple of the major subscription services mentioned but not detailed last time.
After more research, I discovered obscure notices that this service shut down on July 21, 2015. Considering how hard it was to track this information, this may not have been a top tier operation. The domain of entitlebooks.com is still active over a year later, but it presents notice (giving the present date, automated) that they are working on restoring service.
Dont believe it and don't go there, unless you know how to manage and defend your browser manually!
Certificates for this site are not current. HTTPS (secure connection) is still shut off. Count this one as down-and-out forever.
- Devices: nearly any (via installed app)
- Holdings: ebooks (?), audiobooks (?), sheet music (?)
- Limits:3 books and 1 audiobook each month; sheet music unlimited
- Free Trial: 30 days
- Price: $8.99/month
It is certainly well-known, though that never guarantees much on the internet these days. Not the best deal on the block and wide open to self publishing (with some restrictions), which can be both good and bad. This is where many self-publishers go after Kindle Unlimited. Known for some rather funky content, but also for content you might not find elsewhere. Wide array of subject matter but also quality.
I cannot verify its current count of holdings, and investigation elsewhere shows the numbers vary widely. High on design glitz, but it takes real digging to get concrete information about content, and very little at that. Try it at your own discretion.
Not an ebook subscription service, but you should check it out, just the same, if you haven't heard of it. This is an email subscription service for notification of special deals on ebooks, free or discounted for a limited time. And yes, they do so for professionally published works as well as for independent authors (or those who work in both categories).
BookBub has strict requirements for what they will promote; this is to your advantage, readers. They carefully filter the growing glut of self-published works and will (usually) recommended only the best, quality products. There are even professional publishing corporations and houses that use this service. And one title of note will see a promotion (special deal) in the near future…
Highly suspicious, regardless of it being an often touted service. Security alerts counted no less thant 1,339 potential ads, trackers, and external code injections on its main page. There is roundabout attempt to connect with Fastly.net that tries to circumvent HTTPS enrypted connections. And it appears the only sign-in method is through a Facebook account.
Further investigation uncovered an announcement that Oyster shut down ebook subscription service September 21, 2015, though it continued to support existing subscribers for ebooks already accessed. Why that tracker bait front page is there a year-plus later is unknown. Skip this one entirely, regardless of where else you've heard about it.
Yes, that's the end of my report on subscription ebook services.
I found 27 others—all of which had gone down, been bought out by bigger services, and then those sometimes shut down or were bought out and absorbed by others. In some cases, the buyer later went out of business as well.
As in other industries on the internet, we are quickly heading toward the one-stop ebook subscription service. Convenient? Maybe. Good for you? Certainly not in the lack of competition. And by logic, this type of service may vanish entirely, eventually, for that is truly ultimate goal by those who want to dominate your options.
Sad, but that is the reality of commerce on the internet, even for ebooks. Find a subscription service while you can, if this interest you, avid reader. And enjoy it while you can, for it won't last… much longer.