oysterIt’s been dubbed the “Spotify for ebooks,” which sounds great for booklovers.

But how were authors going to benefit from Oyster, a monthly subscription for an unlimited amount of books?

Smashwords recently revealed its payment terms for Oyster, and GigaOM had the info. Smashwords founder and CEO Mark Coker sent an email to authors and publishers with details:

“As a Smashwords author or publisher, you’ll earn 60 percent of your book’s retail list price whenever an Oyster subscriber reads more than 10 percent of your book, starting from the beginning of the book forward. It’s an author-friendly model. That’s the same rate Smashwords authors earn when we sell ebooks through the major retailers such as Apple and Barnes and Noble.”

It’s an interesting model – one that will be interesting to see how it’s received as more time goes on. However – as Coker states in the email – it could be some time, if even ever, a payout will be realized. Although, 60 percent does sound pretty good.

Books are not the same as television shows, movies or music that have been successful using this model. Books are different because of the time consumption that it takes to read one. Additionally, watching a show or listening to music isn’t as intensive. If you’re like me, you have a TV show or music on in the background just to have some noise going.

However, I will turn it all off to read a book.

This is a new channel, and one authors and publishers will decide if they want to utilize. Smashwords will encourage people to use because it looks good for them with Oyster and other companies they want to have distribution channels with down the road. The authors just need to decide if this is best for them.

In addition, Smashwords will use credited sales with Oyster as part of its best seller list in conjunction with Publishers Weekly. There could be some authors who see a change on the list if Oyster becomes popular.


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