Macmillan Adds Ebooks to Oyster and Scribd

Jan 13, 2015

Up until now, only two of the "big 5" publishers were working with ebook subscription services Oyster and Scribd. However, Macmillan joined Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins in experimenting with the "Netflix of books" model, by adding about 1,000 titles to the services.

Right now the Macmillan books available on these services are mostly backlist titles and those that are not always easy to find in your neighborhood bookstore. Back in December, Macmillan CEO John Sargeant wrote an open letter to its authors, explaining its recent deal with Amazon and hinting at this most recent announcement. He wrote:

"In our search for new routes to market, we have been considering alternative business models including the subscription model. Many of you know that we have long been opposed to subscription. We have always worried that it will erode the perceived value of your books. Though this significant long-term risk remains, we have decided to test subscription in the coming weeks. Several companies offer "pay per read" plans that offer favorable economic terms. We plan to try subscription with backlist books, and mostly with titles that are not well represented at bricks and mortar retail stores. Our job has always been to provide you with the broadest possible distribution, and given the current financial and strategic incentives being offered, we believe the time is right to try this test."