Oyster launches e-book store with all major publishers

Oyster's got e-books for rent and, as of today, for sale

Oyster, the online company that's made a (non-exclusive) bid to be the Netflix for e-books, has made a move to become more like iTunes for e-books. Starting Wednesday, consumers can also buy e-books from its storefront.

For readers, the most important thing is being able to find the books they want to buy. In that regard, Oyster has a home run: The company has signed on all five major publishing houses. Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette and Macmillan are all offering their books for sale through Oyster. So are several independents.

As the illustration above shows, Oyster's store offers books for sale and rent side-by-side. Want to read Dennis Lehane's "Live By Night"? You can buy the e-book for $11.99, or you can sign up for Oyster's subscription service -- $9.95 per month -- and read it for free.

In addition to "Live By Night," Oyster offers a million more titles in its subscription service, including J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series.

Oyster joins Zola Books in the small market of e-book vendors that are hoping to position themselves as alternatives to Amazon.

"I would be surprised if they became a huge force in terms of the overall e-book market as a result of this," publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin told Mashable. "It adds incremental value, but it's not a game changer."

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