May 26, 2022

Ebook Subscription Services: Oyster and Scribd Add 10,000+ Titles From Simon & Schuster

A big five publisher, Simon & Schuster, joins HarperCollins in providing titles to two ebook subscription services.

From Gigaom:

…Simon & Schuster announced that it’s making its entire ebook backlist — over 10,000 titles — available through both Scribd and Oyster. Carolyn Reidy, Simon & Schuster’s CEO, told me that while the publisher originally had “a lot of concerns” about ebook subscription services — including how authors would be paid — “we actually have come to the conclusion that this is an exciting new way to help consumers find and purchase books.”

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From the WSJ (via Google Cache):

Until now, the only one of the five major publishers to supply books to either of the services has been HarperCollins Publishers, with the rest of the titles provided by independent firms. Other publishers have held back, worried that subscription services could cannibalize book sales.


The Oyster and Scribd deals are “an experiment, but it’s a serious experiment,” said Carolyn Reidy, chief executive of Simon & Schuster, a unit of CBS Corp.

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From the Oyster Blog:

Some of the Authors and Titles Include:

Steven King

Ernest Hemingway

Chuck Klosterman

Colm Toibin

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.

Team of Rivals

Proof of Heaven


The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Oyster charges $9.95/month while Scribd charges 8.95/month. A user never has to wait to read a title. All books are available at all times.

See Also: We recently shared some thoughts about ebook subscription services in this infoDOCKET post.

UPDATE: Formal Statement From Simon & Schuster

“Consumers have clearly taken to subscription models for other media, and we expect that our participation in these services will encourage discovery of our books, grow the audience and expand our retail reach for our authors, and create new revenue streams under an author-friendly, advantageous business model for both author and publisher,” said Carolyn Reidy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Simon & Schuster. “We are delighted to work with Scribd and Oyster to offer this exciting new model for readers to find and read eBooks, and to do so in a manner that respects the value of our authors’ creative endeavors and supports our mutual goals of selling the most possible copies of their books.”

Update 2: Scribd Strikes a Deal with Simon & Schuster (via Scribd Blog)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.