Books written by Ray Sullivan

Friday, 20 December 2013

Smashwords Writes New Alliance With Scribd

Smashwords has just announced a new alliance, with eBook publishing platform Scribd. Scribd has apparently about 80 million visitors each month according to a press release from Mark Coker and many are subscribers. For those who subscribe they have access to a massive library of eBooks they can read, a library about to be swollen by the Smashwords premium catalogue.

The deal for Smashwords authors is that all of their books can be browsed on Scribd, with the first 10% available as a sample. If a reader continues reading then after the 30% point has been passed then the booik will accrue a royalty sale. Additionally, for every book that is browsed beyond the initial 10% by at least 5% but less than the 20% required to qualify for a royalty then it will be awarded a point. Accumulate ten points for a particular book and you get your royalty. Keri-ching (maybe)

Like the Oyster deal set up earlier in the year I struggle with the payment logic - the monthly subscription per customer is $8.99 and for that you get to read to your hearts' content. The big reader should do well from this deal,  although Scribd are probably working on the assumption that initially subscribers will read many books, then they will taper off their reading.  Otherwise it's hard to see how this will pay for them, unless they come to an arrangement with really popular book authors.  I'm ready to cut a deal.

It will be interesting to see how these subscription services fare - we now have two claiming to be major players linked to the Smashwords catalogue so perhaps we'll see some browsing action going on soon.  If these services don't make Amazon with its KDP Select programme take a second look, then nothing will.  Because unlike KDP Select these services don't require exclusivity to the books, so customers are free to browse through Scribd or buy through their normal channels (although if you're already paying $8.99 a month, why would you want to buy books you can read whenever?)

You can get more details from the Smashwords blog.

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