There has been a trend developing in the last year or so in the book industry. A wave of online book subscription services has emerged into the marketplace. For a monthly fee, a reader can have unlimited access to all of the books that this service has in its library. Several websites have adopted this format and this summer, Amazon joined the trend by launching Kindle Unlimited.
With so many different options, it may seem difficult to settle on just one subscription book service. All of them promise hundreds of thousands of books, a number of classics, and thousands of best selling books. In an attempt to wade through the market, I decided to do a quick overview of the three most popular book subscription services: Kindle Unlimited, Scribd, and Oyster.
Kindle Unlimited seems to have the largest offering with over 600,000 books and thousands of audiobooks for a reader to access at any time. In terms of best sellers, Kindle Unlimited offers no books on the current New York Times Best Seller List in Fiction and only one book on the current New York Times Best Seller List in Non-Fiction. Although Kindle Unlimited doesn’t offer many current New York Times Best Sellers, it does offer incredibly popular best selling titles like the Harry Potter books and the Hunger Games trilogy.
Kindle Unlimited is currently offering a free 30 day trial period so that readers can test out the service. After your free 30 days, the service costs $9.99 per month.
Scribd offers a selection of over 500,000 different books and documents for a reader to access at any time. Although Scribd has a smaller selection than Amazon, it offers more current best selling books as of right now. Scribd has one book that is currently on the New York Times Best Seller List in Fiction and three books that are on the New York Times Best Seller List in Non-Fiction. Some popular titles on Scribd include Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Alchemist.
Scribd is currently offering a free 30 day trial period so readers can test out the service. After your free 30 days, the service costs $8.99 per month.
Oyster offers a selection of over 500,000 different books for a reader to access at any time. Oyster offers no books on the current New York Times Best Seller List in Fiction, but it offers two books on the current New York Times Best Selling List in Non Fiction. Some popular titles in Oyster include The Giver and The Hobbit.
Oyster is currently offering a free 14 day trial period so readers can test out their service. After your free 30 days, the service costs $9.95 per month.
Overall, I think every reader is different and there is no “right” book subscription service. If you are a reader who enjoys listening to audiobooks, Kindle Unlimited would be a great option, as it is the only service that offers audiobooks. If you are interested in documents as well as books, Scribd may be your preference. If you enjoy more books that are listed on the Oyster site, that may be the book subscription service for you. The pricing of these services may also factor into your decision, although they are all within a dollar of each other.
I would strongly recommend doing some research before committing to a service. All three websites have a free trial period of some sort and it would benefit any reader interested in a book subscription to test out all three. If you don’t want to sign up for three different trials, you can simply search for some books that you’ve been interested in lately. Non-members can still search the libraries of all three websites and you can decide on a service based on which website has the most books that you’re interested in.
If you’ve used any of these three book subscription services before, I would love to hear your feedback. If there is another book subscription service that I did not discuss that you find interesting, please let me know.
Until next week,