Episode 77 – Oyster, Collaborations, and Readability

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Question of the Week: Do you think Google will try to compete in the book subscription market? How else do you think Oyster’s integration will impact the Google Play store?

Jim and Bryan took on a big week of news in the self-publishing with their latest episode. After Bryan officially announced the latest March to a Bestseller event (available at http://www.marchtoabestseller.com ), the tag team re-featured one of their $3 patrons, Sandy Williams and her book Shades of Treason. They also took on tips about whining, selling on iBooks, and collaboration. The news stories included the ad-blocking iOS9 browser, the latest month of KU earnings, getting readers to finish books, Amazon’s server outage, and Google’s acquisition of Oyster. This week’s Question of the Week is: Do you think Google will try to compete in the book subscription market? How else do you think Oyster’s integration will impact the Google Play store?
What You’ll Learn: 
  • How to be a part of March to a Bestseller 3
  • Why Konrath said some authors should quit
  • How to take advantage of the iBooks platform
  • Ways to align yourself with a collaboration partner
  • How ad blockers could impact the digital publishing industry
  • Where KU ranks among the book selling platforms
  • Why getting readers to buy may not be enough
  • What the Amazon server crash means in the long run
  • How Oyster could change the Google Play store
Question of the Week: Do you think Google will try to compete in the book subscription market? How else do you think Oyster’s integration will impact the Google Play store?

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  • Google’s “Acui-hire” can mean many things, depending on the skill set those people had. Maybe they had nothing to do with publishing, but were database techs or the like. Too early to tell, but it would be great to see Google get into the mix.

    My questions is if/when Amazon gets stiff competition, if they will continue to be the land of opportunity or morph into a land of regulation. What I mean by that is, even today, people in KU are getting better visibility and pushes from Amazon. And, that makes sense. It benefits Amazon. However, I wonder if, a Google Books or Apple Books really starts to compete, if Amazon will put the screws to those outside of KU in their store?

    As big boys, will Amazon react as every other big-boy during a disruption, i.e., collect power, enforce control and try to keep their fiefdom?

    Interesting times.

    • Bryan

      Could be. I guess we’ll see!

  • Wow! I’m definitely curious to see where this potential Oyster/Google merger goes. If Google starts a subscription service like Amazon’s KU, that sounds really interesting to me, and it would also make me wonder if Apple would jump into the book subscription game as well. They’ve just launched their “Radio” on iTunes, so that seems like another likely possibility.

    • Bryan

      Could be. Everybody’s doing it! 🙂

  • QOTW – Yes, they will. Hopefully, the Oyster execs will be able to tell google how to handle copyright infringement and get things back on track.

    • Bryan

      Seriously. Three months?!?! They’re google. Can’t they look it up?

  • Perry Constantine

    Good show as always. I have no idea whether or not Google will try to compete with their own subscription service or if they’ll use the Oyster staff to do something different.

    One thing’s for damn sure though—Google needs to do something! They practically invented the search engine and they roll out something as broken and unuser-friendly as Google Play? It’s like someone’s incompetent cousin was appointed to run this thing as opposed to someone who actually knows what they’re doing.

    • Maybe the guy in charge of Hangouts will take over

    • Bryan

      Incompetent cousin. Haha.

  • I would love to see Google open a subscription service; as long as they don’t make authors go exclusive like Amazon KU.

    • Bryan

      Personally, I just hope they fix the existing site! 🙂

  • Crissy Moss

    The announcement on Forbes is that the oyster team that Google acquired will head up their new York Google books division. I think the writing is on the wall that they did it, the question is only how much latitude is Google giving them, and what are they going to do with the platform.

    It would be nice to see Google come back with a better, and easiest to navigate platform. Hopefully with some piracy detection software implemented. And iI erlangbe surprised at all if they add some subscription plans since everyone seems to be going that way right now.

  • Really crossing my fingers that this is Google making its move, though I also find the potential of the strategy odd. Will people see any later announcement as Google and Oyster’s planned move all along, or will they simply see it as a big company saving a little company?

  • Sandy Williams

    It was an awesome surprise on my morning run today to hear Shades of Treason featured for a second time on SMBS! Thank you! And I happen to think it’s a brilliant idea to randomly pick a previous book to re-feature if you have no new Patreon supporters. 🙂 Although I bet you guys get more and more each month. The show really is great.

    As for the question of the week, perhaps Google is only buying Oyster to get access to any data it’s collected over the last few years? I hope Google does something. I would love to publish Shades of Treason to their platform, but alas, they’re still not allowing new accounts.

    • Bryan

      Happy to re-feature you :).