Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Scribd Co-Founder Envisions Better Book Discovery



I've been following the news for Scribd more closely since my books entered its subscription service. This summer I started earning money from Scribd, and I believe that ebook subscription services are going to be a substantial part of the reading future.

In the recent article Scribd overhauls its ebook subscription service to help you find interesting reads the co-founder and CTO Jared Friedman said, “With subscription services, I think there’s a real opportunity to drive a lot more exposure to the backlist. That’s why we feel there’s such a great opportunity at the combination of services and better book discovery.”

Scribd says it uses a combination of personalization algorithms based on an individual's reading history to create recommendations mixing human judgment and data-driven choices.

But what's most crucial to the subscription experience, in my opinion, is that no single reading choice involves money. The person pays the same whether he or she samples 12 books in an evening or 1. As a Scribd user I can confirm how this increases my likelihood of reading something. At the slightest whim I slip something into my library if I fancy it at all. This does not happen when I'm shopping in a normal retail environment and must pay each time I pick something out.

This makes Scribd an exciting experience for a book lover. Yes, there's a monthly cost, but it's nothing like buying individual items. In general I like subscription services. Ever since I started Netflix, I've ceased buying DVDs or Blurays. I don't want them cluttering up my home until the format changes again and they become useless.

As an author I'm hoping to sustain a steady steam of income from Scribd. I realize as an obscure artist it is difficult for someone to choose my novels over a favorite author. Readers are fussy about what they want and shy of unknowns. But in Scribd, there's nothing to lose when you look at one of my books. And much to gain. Some people love my fiction and buy every novel in my series.

You can view a sample of Rys Rising: Book I right here within the Scribd system.





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