Evidently satisfied with its deals to distribute backlist titles through Scribd and Oyster, on Thursday Macmillan announced an agreement to offer its ebooks through the children’s ebook subscription service Epic.
According to the press release, the deal adds a few hundred titles like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Tikki Tikki Tembo, and The Book of Three from Macmillan's backlist (the Oyster and Scribd deals had a similar limitation) to Epic’s catalog.
Epic offers a subscription service on terms similar to Oyster and Scribd, just with a niche focus. Five bucks a months gets you unlimited access to a catalog of 10,000 plus children's ebook titles, including works from HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Epic's catalog covers readers from ages four to twelve and includes picture books, chapter books, comics, and nonfiction titles. The ebooks can be read on the iPad or iPhone, or via your web browser (but not Android).
Counting the Tor/Forge pilot test around this time last year, this is Macmillan's third deal in the subscription market. The publisher continues to cautiously test the market before making its entire catalog available.
While that is a cautious move it is still more courageous than Penguin Random House or Hachette. The latter has yet to sign any deals in this market, while the former signed a deal last month with Scribd to distribute audiobooks through that subscription ebook service.