Thursday, December 19, 2013

Smashwords Signs Distribution Agreement with Scribd

Smashwords today announced a distribution agreement with Scribd, which operates one of the world’s largest publishing platforms and online reading communities.  Scribd receives over 80 million monthly readers to their platform according to their website.

There are two distribution components to the Smashwords agreement with Scribd.  1.  Smashwords will supply books to Scribd’s new ebook subscription service, where for $8.99 per month subscribers can enjoy unlimited reading.  2.  Smashwords ebooks will also be available for individual sale to Scribd customers under our standard retailer terms.

Ever since Scribd launched in 2007, I’ve admired their publishing platform, their social reading technology and their commitment to content creators.  Scribd has built a massive audience of millions of readers, and these readers are now accessible to the 70,000+ authors and publishers that distribute with Smashwords.

Scribd’s roots are in community publishing. They’ve been a pioneer in user generated content, and in making it possible for content creators to share their works with the world.  Their platform makes it easy for people around the world to upload documents, presentations and books, and they’ve always done a great job of making the content discoverable, readable and sharable.

Back in October, I wrote a two-part blog post in which I named Scribd as one of the leading examples of the new breed of ebook subscription services that aim to do for ebooks what Netflix did for filmed entertainment and what Spotify did for streamed music.

Over the last year, they’ve developed a compelling subscription ebook service.  For a low monthly subscription of only $8.99, readers can enjoy a massive catalog of ebooks, and a frictionless reading environment where book price is not a deciding factor.  Readers can enjoy unlimited reading on-demand.

Visit the Scribd home page and it’s immediately apparent they’re positioning their entire business around ebooks.  They're working to convert their 80 milllion monthly visitors to subscribers for your benefit.

Scribd is going to provide an incredible level of support to Smashwords authors, and I trust every Smashwords author will want to be involved and support their efforts.

Scribd reaches a global audience, serving readers in over 100 countries.

The terms we negotiated with Scribd are author friendly, generous, and closely aligned with our standard retail distribution terms.  But as you’ll see, they’ve thrown in some compelling twists as well. 

For Scribd’s retail store, the terms are identical to our standard retail agreements.  Smashwords authors and publishers will set the price, there will be no discounting, and authors will earn 60% of the list price on all sales.  The first 10% of the book, from the cover image forward, will be the free preview sample, similar to most retailers.

For Scribd’s subscription ebook service, authors will earn 60% of the list price on all qualifying reads, and here they’ve added a cool twist.  With subscription services, the author or publisher earns credit for a full read when the reader reaches a certain trigger point, measured by the percentage of the book that is read.  The first 10% of the book is a free sample, similar to a retailer.  Excluding the sample, once the reader reads an additional 20% of the book, a full sale is triggered and the Smashwords author earns 60% of the list price, up to a maximum of about $12.50 per read.  In practice, what this means for most fiction writers is that after the reader reads more than the first 30% of your book, it triggers a full sale.  For some non-fiction writers, where your book’s content is more likely to be read non-sequentially, it means if the reader starts their reading deeper in the book at Chapter 10, a sale could be triggered after reading only 20% of the book (As an aside, this underscores the importance of authors building fully functional navigation into their ebooks so that all their book's content is easily discoverable.  To learn how to upgrade your ebook's navigation, check out my recent blog post and video, How to Add Navigation to a Smashwords Ebook).

Unlike any other subscription service or retailer, Scribd has sweetened the pot by added a secondary sales trigger for the author by providing credit for partial reads.  If the subscriber reads 5% more than the first free 10% but less than the additional 20% necessary to generate a full sale, this triggers a credit for partial read.  For every ten partial reads, which Scribd calls a “browse,” the author earns credit for a full sale.  Since most people read fiction from page one forward, this means if 10 people read just over the first 15% of your book but less than 30%, it’ll generate a full sale.  For non-fiction, where readers are more likely to read non-sequentially, they can read 5% of the middle of the book and trigger a browse credit.

December 21 Update on Piracy Prevention:  By distributing your book to Scribd via Smashwords, you'll also help prevent and remove unauthorized versions of your work at Scribd.  To protect the intellectual property of authors and publishers, Scribd has developed and is continuing to enhance a Copyright Management System (CMS) that takes a digital fingerprint of all authorized uploads from Smashwords, and will use the Smashwords version as the authorized version of record.  So not only will the Scribd CMS help protect Smashwords authors against unauthorized uploads in the future, it will also trigger retroactive and automated takedowns of unauthorized versions.  If you ever discover an unauthorized version of your work at Scribd, visit the the Scribd DMCA takedown page and provide them a direct hyperlink to the offender's upload.

Smashwords and Scribd have begun integrating our respective distribution systems and conducting test shipments.  If all goes as well as we expect, Smashwords books will start appearing during the month of January.

To qualify for Scribd distribution via Smashwords, the book must be Premium Catalog approved.

In addition to the sales opportunity represented by their subscription service and ebook store, Scribd has outlined some exciting plans to take their support of Smashwords authors and publishers to the next level. 

Here's a hint of some of what you’ll see from Scribd in the months ahead: 
  • As part of this relationship, they plan create ongoing merchandising features dedicated to indie authors, showcasing and celebrating the amazing talent of the indie author community.  Smashwords will share our bestseller lists with Scribd, drawing upon our knowledge of your sales through the Smashwords distribution network (yet another reason to maintain full distribution with Smashwords!).
  • For a limited time, they’re planning to offer Smashwords authors who distribute to Scribd via Smashwords a free one-year subscription to the service so you can try it out.  Multiplied by 70,000 Smashwords authors, this is a $100 per author bonus, and an overall potential commitment valued at over $7 million.  Cool beans!  To qualify, make sure your books are opted in to Scribd by January 1.  The Scribd distribution channel will appear in your Smashwords Dashboard's Channel Manager later today.
  • They’re planning to develop author profile pages that Smashwords authors can access and manage.
  • They’re planning to create analytic tools in which they aim to give authors unprecedented data about how readers are engaging with their books.  I’ll share more about that in the months ahead as their plans unfold.   

Please join me in welcoming Scribd as the latest member of the Smashwords distribution network.  I’m looking forward to working with Scribd to grow our authors’ audience and sales in the months and years ahead.  I'll send out an author/publisher alert about the deal later today.

Check out the Scribd blog which quotes Smashwords author Quinn Loftis.
“I’m thrilled to learn about the partnership between Smashwords and Scribd,” said Quinn Loftis, a USA Today bestselling Smashwords author of nine young adult paranormal romance titles, including the seven-book Grey Wolves series. “I look forward to distributing all my titles to Scribd via Smashwords because I appreciate the opportunity to reach more readers.  My fans will appreciate the incredible value represented by Scribd’s subscription service.”
View Scribd's press release here:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/192561226/Scribd-Partners-with-Smashwords

71 comments:

John H. Carroll said...

This is awesome news! I've used Scribd a little bit, but stopped because I have limited time to tend to all the channels possible. Distributing to them through Smashwords makes me very happy, almost fuzzy even. :D

I'm also thrilled about the 1 year subscription! Wow!

Thank you so much, Mark. :)

R.M. Prioleau said...

I'm definitely NOT excited about this. Scribd is notorious for people pirating and posting up ebooks illegally on that website that the public can view for free. I will be opting out of distributing with them. There needs to be better control of piracy on that site before I do business with them. It's way too easy for people to post PDFs of full books on there for the public to see.

Jason Matthews said...

Oddly, Scribd is the only place where I have received notifications about possible piracy and copyright issues for books where I'm the sole author. It's actually become a small nuisance, enough to get me to remove some of my priced books from there. Not a big deal since sales are very rare at Scribd. I wonder if authors under the new agreement will come into any issues similar to that? I won't opt-out for now but will be curious how it goes.

Fiona L. Woods said...

I've used Scribd for three or four years to post free pdf download copies of my work as incentives for readers to sign up for my email list. So, I do have experience with them.

As R.M. Prioleau said, it's true they do have a reputation for pirated materials being available on the "free" download side. However, I'm sure they've made appropriate changes to avoid this on the subscription and sales side of their business model to address this issue. I'm also sure Mark wouldn't have entered this agreement if it wasn't in Smashwords' authors' best interests.

I have no worries about opting-in.

dderinoss said...

So HOW exactly does one opt -in or out to the SCRIBD listing?Derinos

Mark Coker said...

RM, any site that relies on user-generated content (Youtube, Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, Facebook, Twitter) is similarly notorious, and not necessarily through any fault of their own. When you open up a platform to ordinary people, some minority of people will take advantage.

We fight it all the time at Smashwords (though spam is a bigger issue that piracy). I have no concerns about Scribd in this regard, nor do I have any concerns about their ethical backbone.

Although I can't speak for them, I've followed them for several years and I've seen them make legitimate efforts to combat this. Given their traffic, and the fact they make it ridiculously easy to upload anything, I can't imagine the impossibility they face every day. Same thing with Youtube.

The only 100% sure method of for a business such as Scribd or Amazon or Youtube to hosting pirated content is to shut the business down. The flip side is the same for authors: the only way to prevent piracy 100% is to never publish. Neither option is sensible.

It's important to place everything in perspective. Most readers are honest, and most readers are looking for books like yours at bookstores, and at reading platforms dedicated to books. As an indie author, you have a direct relationship with your fans on social media. Most of your fans would rather support you than steal from you, and for the stealers, they wouldn't want to spend money on anything anyway so their stealing really doesn't represent a lost sale.

If you take a close look at their business, their interests are aligned with those of content creators. They want to make your stuff available to readers, and they want to make the relationship with you a profitable one because they know their business is entirely dependent upon keeping authors and publishers happy.

By them reorienting their entire business around the business of books, it can only mean good things for authors. I'd encourage you to give them a chance.

R.M. Prioleau said...

Thank you very much for your response, Mark.

Unfortunately, only hours ago today when I first saw the announcement about SW signing with Scribd, I decided to have a look around the Scribd site to see if things have improved since I last checked there a few months ago. And lo and behold, I discovered a well-known indie author's book on there in its entirety for all the world to see. And that was me making a simple search on Scribd. I'm not a member or anything and I had access to this full PDF of the book showing on the website. I've since contacted the author about this so that they could do the takedown notices.

You can do a simple Google search for an author's name and the results for Scribd shows up.

By no means am I saying that it's possible to be 100% pirate-free. I understand pirating happens everywhere, even on places like SW and Amazon. But if someone like me can search for an author's name and the website shows a pirated book in the search results, then I think Scribd needs to revisit its website security and do a little more to prevent non-paying members from being able to easily access the site via a simple Google search or some other external website.

For now, I will hold off distributing with Scribd until things like this is improved a little more.

Alianne said...

I just found my freebie, The Beast on there "published by kachitamarie." I am willing to take the chance on them, but would it be reasonable for Smashwords to have Scribd scrub their site of illegal Smashwords content before they begin shipping legitimate ones? I understand that piracy is always a risk, but I am not keen on having pirated copies appear on the same website as the legitimate book itself.

John H. Carroll said...

Pirated versions of mine have been on there since shortly after I first published as well. (Around the same time you did, R.M) A few of them are still there. I glance every once in a while to make certain the paid books aren't on there, just the freebies, but don't pay it attention other than that.

That said, I believe it will be easier to get rid of the pirated copies if my legitimate copies are distributed there. I believe Scribd complies with takedown notices rather easily as well.

I believe every outlet that becomes a legitimate vendor for us indies gives us more power and a greater chance of fighting piracy in addition to going viral and becoming super-famous ... or at least self-sufficient. :)

cdreimer said...

Hi Mark,

I currently have half my ebook catalog on Scribd and was planning to upload the other half, but I'm excited that Smashwords is taking over. Over the three years I've been on Scribd, I never had a direct sale or seen any revenue from the subscription service.

How should I transition from my existing ebooks to my Smashwords ebooks on Scribd?

Thank you,

Chris

Gloria Ng said...

This is so awesome! Mark, you are a miracle worker! Thanks for all you do for indie authors!!!

Deanna Miller said...

I just found the full text of both my books on Scribd. All I had to do was do a Google search of "Scribd" plus the titles of the books. One book has 1,349 views, and the other has 3,822. No wonder they haven't been selling. Ha, ha. Are there any other sites like Scribd where I might find pirated copies of my books? Thanks.

Ruthie Madison said...

I'm not signed up at scribd. So how do I do it? I go there and it says $8.99 then start your free month.

Michael said...

Scribd is very responsive in regards to takedown notices, and goes a step farther than most. Once you have an infringing copy removed, they add the book to their fingerprinting system and proactively block many future uploads of the same. It isn't perfect, but it's better than anything I've seen from other document sharing sites or e-book retailers.

In some cases, Scribd can even get carried away. If you file a takedown on your whole book, then upload an excerpt of the same book yourself, they'll often flag the excerpt and make you prove you're the author before reinstating it.

Anyone opting out of Scribd because of piracy concerns will probably be excluding the distributor *most* concerned about curbing piracy. Meanwhile, several authors and myself spent two weeks fighting a repeat plagiarist on Amazon, someone ranked highly on the bestseller lists and raking in thousands of dollars, and it was only after we got Jeff Bezos involved that it was taken care of. What's more, there's nothing to stop the thief from uploading the same ripped off books again, since Amazon bizarrely only uses fingerprinting to detect and limit the proliferation of public domain works, not detect possible copyright infringement.

Michel said...

apparently from my channel manager page I am automatically opted-in ...

now, I don't have a problem with it, but strictly speaking that's not what 'opt-in' means, so this feels a bit strange.

Mark, would you be so kind to comment on this?

Jennifer White said...

Woo hoo! Now... to whine about split royalty payments for co-authors and publishers!!

Jennifer White said...

I've had an existing Scribd account for years. How are we going to associate pre-existing accounts to our Smashwords presence? I've tried to find something about this but failed.

Rick R said...

This is awesome news! I've been hoping this would happen. I'm telling everyone I can.

Inkling said...

Mark, there's actually a solution to the bootleg copies on Scribd issue that'd make it a plus for authors to sign up. Remember, not being on Scribed is obviously no protection. Pirates can get copies elsewhere anyway.

But if Scribed adopted a policy of comparing new submissions with what's already in their library, then signing up for Scribd would give authors protection. If two submissions match, that would trigger an investigation, with the illegal one getting expelled.

The software to do that already exists with plagiarism services. All Scribd would need to do is look for in-house plagiarism.

That's be a win-win situation for authors and for Scribd. Fewer pirates. More real sales. More reason for authors and Scribd to do business together.

--Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books

R.M. Prioleau said...

Michael (Inkling): If Scribd adopts something like this, then I would definitely consider doing business with them. Right now, it's much too easy for people to find pirated books just from searching authors' names directly on the Scribd site without even being a paid member.

vickiejohnstone said...

That's so cool. Keep up the good work :) I like the new website too. Vickie

Joleene Naylor said...

Well i feel left out - no one has pirated me on scribd - ha! I did find some books I've done covers for in the documents and sent the authors notes about it, but as you said, "the only way to prevent piracy 100% is to never publish." just as the only way to 100% protect a photograph or artwork is to never upload it. Any time you put content where people can see it someone can - and potentially will - find a way to copy it/steal it/pirate it, if for no other reason than they can. I've run across several stolen books on amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other publishing sites, so of course there would be some on scribd too. What matters is how they handle it, and from a comment above me it sounds like they handle it well (as opposed to amazon, which I have heard is a nightmare). Looking forward to see how this goes.

Deanna Miller said...

I contacted Scribd last night about the copyright violation of my books, and they emailed me today to let me know it's been taken care of. They took down the content very quickly. I just wish I'd discovered the copyright violation sooner, as this is the first I've heard of Scribd.

Jean Oram said...

I would prefer if Smashwords would not automatically opt us in for this new avenue--particularly without notice.

Thanks.

Case Talbot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taff said...

s.d. gripton said...

Once again Smashwords smashes the ball from the park! Wow! Well done Mark Coker and all those who helped complete this deal. Looking forward to the future with a smile on my face

Yaoi Press said...

I'm tickled pink that Smashwords has partnered with Scribd. I emailed back in October suggesting this very alliance. :) I put all the previews of my ebooks there instead of my web site because as we know people don't visit sites, they visit hubs like Scribd, Tumblr, Facebook, etc. Yeah, I found a bunch of my stuff pirated when I was searching today. They took it down within hours of my complaint. I don't know if this comment will be visible, but people should know that in the fight against piracy Scribd is one of the easiest and most responsive sites to deal with. I search the web regularly for pirated copies of my works. I send take-down notices to dozens of different sites. This is a chore EVERY ebook author needs to devote a few hours to every week. If you don't then you're deluding yourself. I've dealt with easy-peasy sites that just make you fill out their automated form, to evil profiteering sites that ask you for $50 to consider your take down request (of course, I don't deal with terrorists, I notify their sponsors, web hosts, and web domain providers that they're dealing with criminals and request the page with my content is blocked from Google searches). There's also those forums that make you prove you're not the author before you can gain access to the links where your stolen works are being distributed. I'm HAPPY when a site is legitimate and straightforward like Scribd. It's a great venue for our works! My first free preview for an ebook went up on Scribd April 2011, and as of today, with 50 free previews up, I have amassed almost 250,000 views. People do congregate on Scribd. A well trafficked site is always a good place to be!

K.C. Taylor said...

There's an easy way to cut down on piracy folks - don't offer PDFs of your books. I've dramatically reduced the piracy of mine since I did that 2 years ago.

garywi06 said...

Why not think of the piracy that does escape detection as publicity?

If piracy allows more readers to see your work than would normally have been the case, and a certain portion of those readers will be the honest kind of person... That will legitimately source other books you've written.

I go along what someone else commented here... "Why isn't someone pirating my books!"

Jan Springer said...

This might be a stoopid question but I am going to ask it anyway *grin*
If we opt in to Scribd with our Smashwords indie ebooks - and then Smashwords sends our ebooks to Scribd...ahd we find out that someone is sharing our indie books on Scribd, can we still send takedown notices to have our pirated books removed from the person who is sharing it?
I'm not familiar with how Scribd works so sorry if this is a dumb question and I hope I am making sense. Thanks!

Elena Greene said...

I've had to send takedowns to Scribd before and having just checked, I see one of my titles there right now. I just sent another takedown. I'm opting out for now.

Mark Coker said...

Hi everyone. Thanks so much for your comments. There has been a fair amount of discussion about piracy, so I updated the post above with new information on how Scribd deals with piracy, and how this distribution agreement will directly combat piracy. For the benefit of those following this comment thread, here's the update (Michael Perry/Inkling's comment above was spot on):

December 21 Update on Piracy Prevention: By distributing your book to Scribd via Smashwords, you'll also help prevent and remove unauthorized versions of your work at Scribd. To protect the intellectual property of authors and publishers, Scribd has developed and is continuing to enhance a Copyright Management System (CMS) that takes a digital fingerprint of all authorized uploads from Smashwords, and will use the Smashwords version as the authorized version of record. So not only will the Scribd CMS help protect Smashwords authors against unauthorized uploads in the future, it will also trigger retroactive and automated takedowns of unauthorized versions. If you ever discover an unauthorized version of your work at Scribd, visit the the Scribd DMCA takedown page and provide them a direct hyperlink to the offender's upload.

ObamaTribune said...

My opinion about my writing is that I'd love it if people would priate it. That would mean they were interested, probably just don't have the extra income to pay, which is fine by me. I got this tip from the great Paul Cuello, btw. So, bring on the Scribd and bring on that free subscription for participants. When will it be available? --Blue Knight officialblueknight.tumblr.com

Mark Coker said...

A couple people have asked here and elsewhere about our opt in/opt out policies, and about test shipments. Here, I'll try to shed some additional light on our policies and practices. At Smashwords, all Premium Catalog books are automatically opted in to all new distribution channels, and we always give adequate time to opt out for authors who for whatever reason want to restrict their distribution. This policy is described in our Smashwords Terms of Service.

Smashwords is an ebook distributor. Although we operate a small ebook store, our primary focus is building the Smashwords distribution network. The reason most authors work with Smashwords is for our distribution. Throughout our 5+ years of opening up new distribution channels for our authors, starting with Barnes & Noble in 2009, we've always provided at least 48 hours advance notice before books are activated at a new channel partner so our authors have time to opt out for any reason. This notice is provided through three primary notification channels: The Smashwords blog, Smashwords Site Updates, and an email blast to every Smashwords author/publisher/agent with books published and in the Premium Catalog. With the Oyster announcement, we provided one month's advance notice of the agreement, followed by an additional 72 hours advance notice when we announced their financial terms. The Oyster deal was the first time (and probably the last time) in our history where we agreed - at the partner's request - to delay disclosure of financial terms. Therefore, we and Oyster delayed activation of the Oyster channel until disclosure could be made. With our announcement this week with Scribd - which of course included full disclosure - authors now have at least two weeks advance notice to opt out if they wish (I do not recommend opting out!).

Back in 2009 when we announced our deal with Sony and also Amazon, we made the mistake of announcing the agreements too early. Although we and these two retailers expected the integration to go quickly, in Sony's case it took us several months, and in Amazon's case our wholesale relationship fell into a perpetual limbo after we moved to agency terms in 2010. The delays rightly disappointed many Smashwords authors, and disappointed us as well. Those were the early days of ebook distribution. In those early days it felt as if we were building some of the world's first suspension bridges before the invention of cables, bricks, geometry and calculus. The lesson we learned is that whenever possible, we should hold off on public announcements until after we and our new channel partners have begun integration testing and we can predict with some degree of confidence when books will begin appearing. This means we will often commence test shipments of books prior to announcements. In no cases, however, will we allow books to appear at a retailer until the author has received our 48 hour or greater notification, and until the new channel partner has processed all opt-outs. The integration testing involves ongoing audits before and after the retailer is up and operational with us.

Jan Springer said...

Thanks for the quick feedback re: piracy, Mark. I appreciate it.

Happy Holidays!
jan

Ruthie Madison said...

So far no response to my question. How do I sign up without paying the $8.99?

thesilentjudge said...

Pirate copy or authosied copy, it's another reader and potentially another person to say nice things about my writing to their friends.

I accepted that piracy was an unavoidable and unassailable part of ebook selling before I joined Smashwords.

Mark, thank you for your continuing work in making Smashwords the leading ebook source for the world. More power to you, and thus, to us all.

MiniatureWargaming Editor said...

So how do I get my free one-year account?

BD Dillon said...

They've had a bad rep w published authors, and some who used them to post their freebies. My books are filed with the LOC but I still had a bad experience trying to get them to take down copies of my books. Having been published for years, I've learned there is a difference in sites that have stringent guidelines for people who upload and those who allow ppl to upload and then leave it to the author to "stumble" upon their pirated book and then spend time sending the notices to them. IMHO, in a business where you are making money off content, you should be more /diligent/ethical. No telling how many years the book was up there before I found it (tho some well known NY authors were warning about them. I'll give them a chance but I have no respect for them business wise. For many years authors have lost $ because of their lax way of running their business.

BD Dillon said...

Just want to clarify, I write as Gayle Eden and Eve Asbury, (since-04 the one book they left up so long was under a publisher , and had that cover (The copyright had been removed)It was only 2 months ago the take down was done. That book has been filed with the LOC since 05

BD Dillon said...

A side note for authors. I was with 7 epublishers over the years and dealt w contracts, plus we (Alinar)were one of the first indie co-ops that were successful (before self pubs) gained respect. Your books/publishing is a business. You should never have the attitude that well, piracy happens so I'll upload or publish anywhere. Reputation is everything in this business. Researching a co is your job. Known booksellers/publishers/stores, like B&N are professionals and you know it by the way they deal with you, and how serious they take it when someone they do business with (you) finds a pirated book or has a problem w them. I get e mails daily from pay per read sites and I ignore them because they should be in the biz awhile and have a sound rep before you give them your works. The concerns about scribd are legitimate because they have been around for years and have a bad reputation. They will have to prove they have changed to many authors who have known about them and or dealt with them when their books were pirated.

Mark Coker said...

Hi BD, thanks for sharing your concerns. As I described in the update above, authors who distribute to Scribd via Smashwords will benefit from Scribd's digital fingerprinting in which they'll use your Smashwords edition as the authorized version, and it'll help them flag or automatically remove unauthorized versions. This fingerprinting approach is a great first step on Scribd's part to deal with unauthorized uploads. Our interest at Smashwords is to help our authors sell books. We will always work with our authors and our distribution partners toward that shared goal.

BD Dillon said...

Deanna Miller There are torrent sites all over the web with pirated books, also you can check on reader boards because they tend to pass links to pirated books to each other. Most of those sites are overseas and you cant get rid of them but do send a take down notice (There is a link on my site, evesromance.com under LEGAL where you cant find one or just google it. Scribd was all over the net a few years ago because big publishing co's were after them for pirating books. E authors have had the same problem with them since they appeared on line. (They have always had a take down notice) but most do (shrug)Keep after them and keep sending the notice until the book goes down. (It may pop back up because they allow anyone to post content. FYI free books are your marketing tool, no one should have them up that you didn't authorize. It's the principal of owning/copyrighted works. It's to their advantage, not yours, that the book is there. Never let someone convince you any exposure is good exposure. Everyone is in the business to make $ and mutual respect goes a long way. Your work either gets them viewers-hits, or makes them money. Anyone can make a website, load up content, not everyone is running an author friendly/ ethical business

BD Dillon said...

Oh well, I'll have a busy night. Not only did they ignore the 50 take down notices I sent months ago (the work is still up there) they have most of my works pirated there. In 10 years dealing with bookstores and vendors I've never had something pirated over and over and not dozens of them.

Disgusted.

BD Dillon said...

Okay, this my last word on the subject. I've never posted on SW blog in all the years I have been here. But I felt compelled to give an opinion based on my experience. I have spent two days, total 16 hours on line chasing down books that were on scribd (pirated)and had been on there for over a year. (You can't just search your name and title, you have to try different searches. I searched Eve Asbury/copyright (ironic) and found dozens more. Those books were fed to sites like filetube and docshut-dozens more, so by having the pirated copies up that long, they made it possible for people to download and take them all over the web (listing scribd as their source for the books. (scribd sends you a statement they aren't responsible for other sites. Doesn't really address the fact it is the (feeder site) source of making the infringed book avail.

Using whois, I was able to also contact the web servers/domains and notify them.*filetube and docshut*(They removed the links quicker than scribd)
Sending take down notices to Scribd (I lost track of the #) the fingerprinting measure would possibly work on books in print. But my books like BOTR, others on there, are now the Copper Creek series, so they wouldn't have the same ISBN or Title, other books like Unspoken are not marketed/printed anymore and in revision. But still not public domain works (I hold all copyrights) I could go on and on. They have a disclaimer that excuses them from being responsible for pirated works on Scribd, and they don't monitor what is put on their site (so others take them to other sites) I opted out, obviously. A year of losing 2.99 to 5.99 per book, plus tracking them all over and finding 10-12 copies in places that list Scribd as their source. I draw my own conclusions and find no merit in their statement "we take copyright infringement seriously." It's not what you say in business, it's what you do. Excusing yourself from responsibility for copyrighted material on a site with your Co name, isn't really taking things seriously, in my opinion. (We're left to do the monitoring for them?) I can't imagine B&N giving me that answer. It's too late to recoup what I have lost, and I'll be forever chasing down more copies taken from their site. But every Author will make their own decisions about who they distribute with. And so they should.
Because I've been in contract with publishers and also ran an ebookstore-also co-op published, I have a higher standard, and don't place Scibd in the category of Amazon or B&N. They don't run their business the same way, or have the same measures in place/ know what is being published on their site. If you've had a great experience with them, by all means, consider mine is just one opinion/experience, and do what you feel is best for your business wise.

The best of luck in all your publishing ventures. (I'm having Christmas with my gang today!) Happy Holidays, Eve Asbury, Gayle Eden, Nikki Rush

BD Dillon said...

Sorry, that should have been )best for you, businesswise.


Sheila Gazlay said...

If Scribd has a reputation of pirating from Smashwords, why would you now partner with them? Can you tell us how this protects authors from more pirating? What safeguards are in place now?

Sheila Gazlay said...

After reading further, I agree that there will always be good and bad people and the majority will not pirate. That being said, is there a way an author can make it impossible to pirate his work and still list on sites like Smashwords not unlike the copyright symbol on photos you find on the internet? Heck, I'd be willing to pay for a place like Smashwords to put that on there for me and monitor it.

I mean, really, if Scribd or it's customers were forced to pay you something to get access to your copyrighted work, that's the goal right?

pianomusicman said...

A little confused, Mark. Are our premium books automatically entered into the Scribd catalog? If not, what are we supposed to do?

Thanks.

pianomusicman said...

A little confused, Mark. Are our premium books automatically entered into the Scribd catalog? If not, what are we supposed to do?

Thanks.

PeteC said...

I'm an author on Smashwords. How do I get my free Scribd membership? Can't see how you do this anywhere.

Regards
Pete

Katz Tales said...

I see FOUR pirated copies of my works but as it's only the free one and everything including the ISBN is left intact I'm going to leave it.

Funnily enough, I don't see any of my published titles sent up via Smashwords.

Also, as Pete asked, How do I get my free Scribd membership?

Unknown said...

I see several unanswered questions similar to mine. How do we take advantage of the free year subscription? Nothing on Scribd's site answers that question.

HighlanderJuan said...

I have a slightly different purview on this whole subject. Many of my document posts on Scribd are 1)historical documents, long out of copyright protection, 2) government or legal documents, not protected by copyright laws, 3) public domain documents in which the author has granted free copy rights to all. I find many times these documents will get taken down by Scribd, and I suspect that is because some author has included quotes from the documents within their copyrighted books. So, even in the world of copyright protection, there are improvements that must be considered. Not everything is black and white.

And, considering this new relationship between Smashwords and Scribd, I am not a party to that relationship, and the impact on me and my posted documents should be nil unless I specifically agree to the arrangement.

The Lost Soul said...

Fuck you Smashwords. Ive been publishing my own written material as well as research material for years...never .....NEVER had a problem till this. Now...even though I do NOT violate Title 17....U fucks keep flagging multiple documents daily......conveniently ones relating to government corruption. Fuck you. Nazi Bitches. Can't wait till your children suffer for the world-prison you are helping to create. Fuck Smashwords!

Mark Coker said...

Highlander and Lost Soul, Scribd is cracking down on unauthorized works on their site. As mentioned above, they're using digital fingerprinting that matches text strings in Smashwords books against strings in books that were uploaded directly to Scribd. I'm sorry to hear your books were flagged in error. Scribd is sensitive to this concern and will work with you to repair the issue. In the email you received from them they provided a special email address to help you get issues resolved: smashwords@scribd.com

Regan said...

Apparently Scribd's piracy filters are not very good. My books, all of which are copyrighted and published between 2012-2014, are on their site. My publisher, who is sending them a cease and desist letter, tells me they do NOT have any agreement with Scribd to use them. Truly appalling.

Bobby Coggins said...

You people should not try to identify works in the public domain as belonging to you. I have received a series of false positives on documents that are in the public domain that you are apparently claiming as your own. The latest was the "BOUMEDIENE v. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES" Supreme Court case opinion that I uploaded to my Scribd Account. How is it that you people are claiming ownership of this document? I am growing very tired of having documents that are in the public domain forcibly removed from my website because someone else has claimed ownership. Is there some sort of legal action that I can take against you for this? These actions make "Smashwords" a dirty word and ruins your reputation with me.

Nothing-Werks said...

Hi, I'm not clear if I have to do something (I haven't yet) to get my book listed on Scribd? When I got this email, I checked the Scribd website and found my Smashwords published book already there???

Is this normal? How did my book get on Scribd without my permission, or am I missing something?

Thanks.....

C. Pedley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C. Pedley said...

But first I will learn that Scribd is what I am talking about instead of "Scripd". Thanks a lot for the great help! You deserve a raise in pay.

adan said...

Mark, I think this has been a huge problem for many of us.

The good growing-pains news is, Scirbd's Smashwords author help is superb!

Maybe an inverse scribd@smashwords.com url would be handy ;-)

Thanks Mark

adan said...

I should clarify, I'm speaking of books pulled due to the IDcontent checks.

And I should add, as per Digital Reader, http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2014/04/02/scribd-has-a-youtube-problem/#.Uz33Usfsv5I this is not a Scribd / Smashwords isolated problem.

Plus I've heard reports from other authors about other distributors having the same problems.

I lost links from over a dozen blog posts, and a widely distributed press release, so I'm not just standing by watching. And I'm still finding books needing replacing.

But, for me, this is stumble steps in something I've felt will be very valuable for me (and am seeing some of that evidence already.)

So with that, I wish us ALL the best! ;-)

Eric said...

teaBity WASI don't recall reading about Scribd in December, and I certainly have not given my permission for my books to appear on there, but having read your e-mail, I find that ALL my books are there, and accessible in the 'read all' button, for anyone who has signed on to Scribd.
How do I get them removed from the list, without my signing in? And how much will membership of Scribd cost me, after the free year?

Tremayne Curtis said...

I'm very happy claiming my Scribd $100 subscription offer. God knows i am so happy with Smashwords.

Stephen L. Nowland said...

I'll give it a go, but I'm rather disturbed by the talk of rampant piracy on their site. I'll be keeping a very close eye on the site.

Brian Springer said...

All my books are showing up as "purchase only" which means they are not part of the subscription plan. This seems to defeat the purpose of beind on scribd, does it not?

Mark Coker said...

@Brian - if your Smashwords-distributed books are not appearing correctly at Scribd, please contact the Smashwords support team by clicking the "support" link from any Smashwords page.

@stephen - Scribd is working hard to eliminate unauthorized file uploads (see my December 21 update above). This relationship with Smashwords is evidence of that commitment. All Smashwords titles are being "fingerprinted" to be used as the authorized reference editions. It's a tough job they're undertaking, because although thousands of unauthorized versions have been automatically removed as a result of this relationship (good!), there have also been some accidental removals (false positives, not good) of authorized versions. I think you'll see them get better over time as they tweak and iterate.

Holly Jahangiri said...

I did not "opt in." My book was "opted in" without any action on my part.

I was alerted to this when Scribd sent me a notice that they were removing a short story that I had posted on Scribd prior to including it in the anthology I published here. While I applaud their diligence in noticing, they missed another story similarly situated, and they removed the EARLIER content - not the anthology that might net them some revenues. I find this disingenuous, at best.

I have unpublished the anthology from Smashwords, and I have deleted ALL content from Scribd. If you are still able to read anything of mine, on either site, we have a problem.

Holly Jahangiri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holly Jahangiri said...

P.S. There was no "one year free subscription," either.