A new Chrome plugin was uploaded to GitHub last week which enables users to browse the book sections on Amazon’s website and check to see whether the book they are viewing is also available via Oyster.
This ebook subscription service boasts over 1 million titles, and while that is a smaller catalog than the Kindle Store, Oyster does offer titles from major US publishers, including S&S, HarperCollins, HMH, and Macmillan, as well as Pottermore.
And thanks to the plugins, readers have the opportunity to ask themselves if they really want to buy the book they’re looking at, rather than read it in Oyster’s apps for Android, iPad/iPhone, and their web browser.
This plugin is the work of Connor Montgomery, an engineer with Pinterest, and he reports that the plugin checks the book you’re viewing with Oyster’s catalog, and if it finds a match it adds an Oyster icon so you can read the ebook via the subscription ebooks service.
He posted a screenshot (the Oyster icon is in the address bar):
Amazon is known for having a well-made website which is easy for developers to build services which integrate into it, but that advantage is quickly being turned against the retailer.
This isn’t the first plugin which works to divert customers away from Amazon; I know of several that link users to The Pirate Bay and other pirate sites, and a bookstore cooperative in France released a plugin that enabled readers to browse Amazon.fr and buy from a local bookseller.
“Let’s not browse Amazon and not shop there” is almost becoming a cause celebre, is it not?
This plugin is available via GitHub, and it will soon be available in the Chrome Web Store.