Ebook subscription service Scribd has become the latest platform to venture into publishing their own books.
It’s a definite trend, with Wattpad and Medium both recently setting up publishing imprints. Scribd Originals is aiming to be ‘an original content program that will publish new and experimental works from top authors, including Roxane Gay, Hilton Als, Peter Heller, Mark Seal, Paul Theroux, and Garrett Graff’.
Scribd Originals cover a range of across genres and are targeted at the space between magazines and full-length books which often isn’t filled in the traditional publishing marketplace. The titles will be available exclusively on Scribd in ebook and audiobook formats.
Scribd CEO Trip Adler says, ‘Working with authors and giving them the freedom to tell stories in new and interesting ways is a natural next step for Scribd. We want to help authors engage with more readers by producing binge-worthy Originals that fit readers’ interests and can often be read in one sitting.’
The company aims to work directly with authors and publishers to help attract readers outside of traditional book releases. It says the major benefit of the program for authors lies in Scribd’s personalized recommendation engine, which connects readers with new content based on their expressed interests, past reads, and favorite books and authors.
The first Scribd Original is Mueller’s War by Garrett Graff, which offers a revealing look at special counsel Robert Mueller who investigated allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
Scribd revealed in January 2019 that it had reached ‘the tipping point’ of one million subscribers, doubling its number of subscribers in about a year and a half.
The company returned to its ‘unlimited’ ebook subscription service in February 2018 after capping members for two years from 2016 at three ebooks a month plus one audiobook.
Indie authors can distribute their ebooks to Scribd through a distributor such as Draft2digital and they get paid on the same basis as for a sale once a reader has read a certain percentage of a book.
Amazon, of course, has been publishing its own series of Singles ebooks in the short-read sector for several years and has a vast array of Singles titles available through Kindle Unlimited or for purchase covering non-fiction and fiction across many genres.