Monday, June 22, 2009

Scribbled or Scribd

E-books series, part 2: Scribd
By Meghan Goodrich
June 19, 10:20 AM

In recent press releases, Scribd has been called the YouTube of e-books. Scribd, short for “scribbled", offers millions of publications in 90 different languages. The site boasts 60 million readers each month. Users can purchase full copies of e-books, browse lengthy book previews, download games, and read magazines.

In the wake of a recent deal with Simon and Schuster, Scribd is bound to rise in popularity. Famous modern authors like Dan Brown and Stephen King are now broadcasted on the Scribd homepage. The publishing giant offers approximately 5,000 e-books for sale on the site in addition to previews of other titles. "Scribd is an exciting new platform," says Elinor Hirschhorn, Simon & Schuster's chief digital officer. "There is a very robust book reader audience there, and we want to be where our readers are." Only time will tell if Scribd will attract more deals with publishing houses. Read Full Article Here.


Most of you know I have been on the fence about e-book publishing. When I decided to make my titles available via Kindle, it seemed like a logical choice considering the current climate and the upsurge in e-book readership. Yes, piracy concerns me, as it did the music industry with the advent of Napster. There will always be people out there who want to buck the system and bootleg whatever they can get their hands on, but I would like to believe that there are more of us upstanding citizens who understand writing, making music, painting ... well, that anything artistic really is work -- work which often includes hardship and suffering -- and the artist should get paid. I am more than happy to pay for a meal when I go out to a fancy restaurant. That isn't often, but when I like a chef, I will pay whatever the price for a good meal. Craftsmanship and Art should be honored. I pay for my museum membership. Anyway, if I want readership, I can't live in a state of paranoia based on a few bad apples. Apparently Simon and Schuster's authors don't.

So, I am slowly making my work available not only through Kindle but also on Scribd and for the same Kindle price. Why Scribd? Well, it boiled down to ease of use. I could upload my already nicely formatted print PDF. No hassle, no major reformatting like one has to do with Kindle or some of the other reading devices. When a customer buys the PDF they get it exactly how it would look if they bought the print copy. All I had to do was replace page one with my cover picture. Now, this isn't an endorsement of one e-book retailer or another. I am dying to see what Google comes up with as presence is the buzz-word here.

For now, The Kissing Room and The Thin Wall are available via Amazon in print and Kindle and they are also available via Scribd at the link below. Overall my experience has been positive thus far.


duskpeterson said...

Unfortunately, I can't sell most of my gay fiction at Scribd, because of its policy against erotic content (which is elaborated upon here). I'm keeping it in mind for my friendship fiction, though.

L.K. Campbell said...

At first, my work was only e-published via Kindle; then I heard that Kindle doesn't work internationally, so I put the books for sale on Scribd last week. I also put some of my favorite free works on Scribd. So far, I've had over 260 reads.

Cheryl Anne Gardner said...

Lulu has a similar ruling on overtly offensive/pornographic material. I don't think adults having sex in a novel is considered pornography. I think word choices make the difference here. If it's graphic and overt in with regard to the word choices then they probably won't allow it.

However, like all sites, they need to have some kind of rating system. Horror can be just as offensive as sex sometimes more. They mentioned violence as well.

That's awesome LK. Keep us posted.

duskpeterson said...

The word choice *does* makes a difference, because "pornography" is banned by every distributor that I know of, even ones that specialize in erotic material. But Scribd doesn't say "pornography" in its FAQ. It says "erotic" and "adult." And when I did a Web search, I discovered that Scribd apparently yanked every single title with adult content from its site at the time this policy started.

Given that the Amazonfail fiasco revolved around what is adult content, I don't think is an issue only for writers with graphic content. Perhaps some brave soul would like to question Scribd directly about this?