Scribd now has a subscription service for books. For $8.99 a month, readers gain access to more than 100,000 books. (Some places, I’ve seen 300k, but from Scribd’s website and app, it says 100,000+)
Smashwords has worked out a deal with Scribd for distribution of self-published books into Scribd’s catalog. Your books are opted in automatically, and authors receive 60% of list price after customers read 30% of your book. The first 10% is a free sample, and the next 20% can be any part of your book. (The “any part” is only important to nonfiction writers, because who would jump to the middle of a novel to read 20% of it?)
Smashwords authors also get a free subscription for a year, which is valued at about $100. You should have received the email already — once you activate your subscription, you can see the available books you can read yourself. Scribd also allows you to make an author page. You can see a screenshot of mine here:
It has all the books you’ve authored, which makes this a great link to share on social media. The interface is smooth, and readers have the option to read your book in “Standard” or “Book” view.
They’ve also been quick to update their catalog. I unpublished a few free short stories on Smashwords because they can be found in a collection, and within days, they were taken down from the Scribd view.
Scribd is available online in your browser and you can also download apps for it. You can login with Facebook, or you can make a new account. So far, from a writers perspective, Scribd seems pretty promising. They have a great interface I like directing people to.
I don’t know how many reads will come from such a subscription service. Plenty of people will pay for a subscription, but only read one or two books a month. For Oyster Books, a similar service, as of February 28th 2014, I had no reads for either of my author names. I don’t think it’s going to be extremely lucrative, at least not unless your name is well known. But I’m still glad I have the opportunity to have my books in these catalogs.
I will be posting Part 2: For Readers, on Guild of Dreams April 15th. What do Scribd and Oyster Books have to offer readers? Is one better than the other? Visit us on 4/15 to see! I will eventually repost it here, too.