This week at the Smashwords blog I learned that Scribd had chosen to feature 18 indie authors that, like me, use Smashwords to distribute their titles to various ebook stores around the world. This was a front page promotion for indie authors, and I applaud this merchandising love from the people at Scribd. They recognize that showcasing diverse content will engage more people than solely focusing on popular mainstream titles and celebrity authors like they are selling books at an airport.
With marketers willing to include independent authors, Scribd might just become the place where readers go to discover new talent. By including Smashwords titles, Scribd has committed to creating a balanced catalog inclusive of both self published authors and commercially produced authors.
Self publishing gives authors greater creative freedom and often fulfills its potential to provide readers with viewpoints beyond the status quo. Indies have the option to make the market instead of chase the market.
And since self publishing has become a financially viable outlet for writers, talented authors are no longer so quick to accept publishing deals. Scribd perhaps recognizes that it needs to include independently produced content so it can deliver the best selection possible to readers.
The Scribd premium catalog subscription is tremendously affordable at $8.99 a month. The subscription model creates an ebook ecosystem unfettered by price points. Scribd subscribers don't have to decide if they want to risk a few dollars on an author they've never heard of. The subscription costs the same no matter what they are reading, so it takes the cost out of the selection decision. Everything is based solely on interest.
As a Smashwords author, I was kindly provided a one-year complimentary subscription to Scribd. I took this as a message from Scribd that the company valued self published authors and realized the marketing value that hordes of happy writers could deliver. I'm writing this blog post precisely because Scribd was so generous. I have been enjoying my complimentary subscription. I can browse any subject that interests me and immediately dig into the titles that catch my eye.
The premium catalog has over 300,000 titles from over 900 publishers, so it's definitely not just about self publishing. It's about reading. Scribd has long been a destination for uploading and sharing documents and can boast 80 million visits a month.
At the end of my complimentary year, I will seriously consider purchasing a Scribd subscription for myself. It is a tremendous value for someone who likes reading.
Of course I'm hoping that people will read my books available at Scribd too. Over the years many people have enjoyed my novels, but, like most authors, the vast majority of readers don't know they exist. I'm grateful to be included at what is shaping up to be a major player in the ebook market.
Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale
Union of Renegades
The Goddess Queen
The Borderlands of Power
My Grandma's Vintage Recipes
The Home Canning Guide for Everyone Who Eats
Effective Use of Press Releases for Authors