When e-book service Entitle launched last December, one of the main selling points was the idea that subscribers truly own their books. Now the company says it has given users even more control by allowing them to transfer books to their Nooks, Kobos or Sony Readers.
Until now, it seems that subscription e-book services have focused on the big app ecosystems (namely, iOS and Android) and on tablets, rather than e-ink readers. For example, Scribd offers apps for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire devices, and can also be accessed through mobile browsers, while Oyster is currently limited to iOS.
However, CEO Bryan Batten said e-ink support has been the biggest request from Entitle’s initial users. Apparently, transferring Entitle content to these readers has been possible for a little while, but Batten said he wanted to make sure everything was working smoothly before making an announcement.
The transfer requires the installation Adobe Digital Editions (which is why Kindles aren’t included — plus, the service may be less appealing to Kindle owners who already have access to Amazon’s lending library). Once you’ve installed Digital Editions, you just download a book to your computer, connect your e-ink reader, and then drag the book over to the device. You can read more about the process here.
You may recall that Entitle has a different model than the competitors mentioned above. Instead of paying a monthly fee for access to an entire library of e-books, similar to Netflix, users can only download a limited number of books each month (pricing starts at $9.99 for two books). Not only does that model give subscribers “ownership” of their books (there was a little bit of dispute about the degree of that ownership, which you can read about in my launch coverage) — it also helped Entitle to bring on major publishers (like Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, HarperCollins Christian, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) with titles from best-selling authors (like Stephen King, Dan Brown, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michael Crichton, and Walter Isaacson).
Since launch, Entitle says it has added 10 new publishers and 50,000 new books. Perhaps the most interesting trend is the fact that a big swath of books (45 percent) are being downloaded from the curated pages, while only 10 percent are being downloaded from search. Batten suggested this means most readers “are a little more open, and aren’t looking for a specific title.”