Many of us associate Scribd with embedded documents on websites, but the company has been quietly building an e-book platform -- first by selling content and later by soft-launching a subscription service. The company is now making its strategy clear by formally launching the e-book service and introducing content from HarperCollins, its first major publisher. Subscribers worldwide can pay $9 per month for access to both HarperCollins' back catalog and independent releases through apps for Android, iOS and the web. Customers can also buy any books outright, including HarperCollins' newer titles. Like with any Scribd document (and Kindle for the Web), customers can both share what they're reading and embed books into websites. If you like the prospect of all-you-can-read services like Oyster but want broader platform support, you'll want to take a close look at Scribd's new offering.
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Scribd Launches First Global, Multi-Platform Digital Book Subscription Service
Monthly Plan for $8.99 Offers Unlimited Access to Millions of Books and Written Works, Including Best-Selling and Award-Winning Titles Available to Subscribers on iPhone, iPad, Android Devices, and Web Browsers
All HarperCollins Books Available for Purchase and Majority of Backlist Available via Subscription
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Scribd, the world's largest global, multi-platform digital library of books and other written works, today launched a book subscription service available for a flat-rate plan of $8.99 per month. Scribd's cloud-based book subscription service allows people to read books on the iPhone, iPad, Android devices and Web browsers. Scribd's subscription service has been growing 60 percent each month since launching it in early 2013. Scribd has amassed more than 80 million active users and a global library of more than 40 million books and documents, in 100 countries and 80 languages worldwide. HarperCollins Publishers has signed as the first major publishing partner, making the majority of the HarperCollins US and HarperCollins Christian backlist catalog for Scribd's digital book subscription service. In addition, the full HarperCollins catalog can be purchased in the Scribd retail store. Scribd features titles from best selling authors including: Paulo Coelho, Neil Gaiman, Marian Keys, and Elmore Leonard from HarperCollins, as well as best selling authors from other publishers including: E-Reads, Kensington, Red Wheel/Weiser, Rosetta Books, Sourcebooks, and Workman.
"Since starting Scribd six years ago, we have gained a lot of experience building a library of books and written works, growing a global community, and gathering data on what readers and publishers want," said Trip Adler, CEO and co-founder of Scribd. "Those insights have helped us build a product that we believe delivers on a new and better reading experience by giving our customers instant access to a vast collection of books to read, across a wide array of the top digital devices, all for one low monthly price. We are thrilled to be working with HarperCollins on such an innovative and pioneering partnership."
"With 80 million active users, the Scribd platform is reaching a vast global audience of readers. HarperCollins is excited to reach an innovative partnership with Scribd that monetizes its audience through traditional retail and a subscription offer for our backlist titles," said Brian Murray, President and CEO, HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide. "HarperCollins authors will benefit from extended reach, increased discovery, and improved royalty streams."
"I'm excited to see HarperCollins experimenting with new business models. It demonstrates that they are not afraid to embrace new ways of expanding the reach of their authors," said Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist.
Scribd's extensive collection of user generated content also offers subscribers additional reading options that enhance and add a social element to the books they're reading or have read. For example, after reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, readers can access papers analyzing the different characters in the book, a doctorate paper on tenement houses in Brooklyn, and even a study guide for the book. Scribd will also let people easily see what books and documents their friends have read, privacy settings permitting.