Oyster Now Offers Six Months Free Subscription

oyster logoStill on the fence on the idea of a subscription ebook service? Oyster has 6 reasons why you might want to sign up with them.

A reader has tipped me to an unannounced special offer from Oyster. If you know where to look on their website, new subscribers can now get a free 6 months trial which will automatically roll over into Oyster’s $10 a month service.

The offer probably won’t be good for more than a few hours after Oyster reads this post, but those who sign up will have access to a catalog of 500,000 plus titles, including ebooks from Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins. The ebooks can be read in your web browser, or in Oyster’s apps for Android and iDevices.

Update: And now the offer requires a user specific promo code. That was not there when I saw this yesterday. I guess this means that the offer is going to be made a select few.

And so it seems this market is heating up. Oyster is not the first to offer a trial subscription (Scribd has repeatedly offered a 3 month free trial) but the Oyster offer is considerably more generous than the Scribd deal, or the Kindle Unlimited free trial – that’s only good for 30 days.

What do you think of the deal? Is this enough to get you to sign up?


Thanks, James!

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Josie Litton1 November, 2014

    This looks like a great offer but the link requires a promotion code. Any idea what that is?

    1. Nate Hoffelder1 November, 2014

      Which one?

      I clicked through to the Oyster offer and all I was asked to do was set up an account with a credit card.

      As for the Scribd offer, the promo code is: “ScribdLovesHarlequin”.

  2. Josie Litton1 November, 2014

    Nate, I followed the link above past a welcome screen to the form that asks for the usual info including credit card but also requires a promotion code. I tried leaving it blank but no luck, it wouldn’t go through. Guess they want me to stay with Scribd. 🙂

    1. Nate Hoffelder1 November, 2014

      Well, shoot.

  3. fjtorres1 November, 2014

    Generous trial subscriptions hint at low tryout rates, no?

    How would an ordinary person on the street even find out about most of these services, anyway?
    KU gets plenty of play at Amazon but what about the others?
    Are they advertising in magazines or anywhere else?

    The only places I hear of them are on enthusiast sites like this…?

    1. Thomas1 November, 2014

      That’s probably why they’re setting this up with a promo code now. They’ll probably partner with a hardware manufacturer. It’ll be a “Buy this model of tablet, get 6 months of Oyster free!”

      1. fjtorres1 November, 2014

        That would be sensible…
        It would have to be a tablet vendor that isn’t vested in selling ebooks, though.

        1. puzzled1 November, 2014

          This makes Kobo the top of the list…

          1. fjtorres1 November, 2014

            Kobo is out of the tablet business and their money is from selling ebooks. They’re the last outfit with anything to gain from sending readers to Scribd.

            1. Nate Hoffelder1 November, 2014

              He was snarking about Kobo’s ebook platform, or lack thereof.

  4. Vicente2 November, 2014

    Sorry for my poor english 🙂

    It is awful oyster does not allow searching for titles or authors in its database. How can they expect we try their service? typing our of credit card code ?
    It is not a sensible marketing policy . is it?

    1. Ben2 November, 2014

      Hi Vicente,

      Sorry for the confusion! You’ll be able to search our library at https://www.oysterbooks.com/search

      If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]

      – Ben, Team Oyster

      1. joanne3 July, 2015

        It took me 15 minutes of going everywhere on your website to find the search. It also showed that it would cost me $$ to read/buy a book, then after going to the Author’s name and searching that way, it showed the book is also included in the $9.99 month subscription. Now that I’ve seen these posts, quite by accident after googling to find out where you’re actually located, I found this thread. The only thing I was able to do easily was give you my credit card info for the free trial. Your referral chart that’s in $10 increments up to $50 makes no sense….one gets and gives a $15 credit, so why is the chart in $10 increments? and is there a limit of $50? That can’t be, obviously, because $50 cannot be divided by $15. Maybe you shouldn’t be advertising all the perks you guys give your employees and spend some time making your website more user-friendly and more intelligently formatted.

  5. neo2693 November, 2014

    Does anyone have promocode fro Oyster?

  6. Ben3 November, 2014

    Hi there—sorry for any confusion!

    This was a special offer for those who purchased a tablet through QVC. If you’d like to try Oyster, we do have a free trial you can sign up for at oysterbooks.com/join. Feel free to email us at [email protected] if you have any questions—we’d love to have you on board.

    1. Nate Hoffelder5 November, 2014

      Ah, so this was a deal with a tablet vendor. That was a good guess on the part of Thomas.

  7. Oyster Now Offers Six Months Free Subscription - MioBook.4 November, 2014

    […] Source: the-digital-reader.com […]

  8. Janniel24 July, 2015

    I am subscribed to Scribd. I checked out Oyster and foun that searches come up with too many titles that are for sale. Sticking with Scribed.


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