Monday, May 12, 2014

Scribd Features 18 Smashwords Authors in Exclusive Merchandising Promotion

Scribd today launched an exclusive front-page merchandising promotion titled “Popular Indie Authors” featuring 18 Smashwords authors.

Congrats to featured authors Kristen Ashley, Brian S. Pratt, Quinn Loftis, F.S. Michaels, Jean Sasson, E.P.  Lenderking, Daniel Alick, John Locke, Amy Miles, Morgan Rice, JD Nixon, Rebecca Ethington, Shayne Parkinson, Julie Kenner, John Rember, Jaden Skye, Chris Dolley and Rachel Astor. 

The featured authors represent a diverse cross-section of genres and categories, including fantasy, biography, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, YA romance, and dystopian SciFi.

This curated row of books will rotate among other curated and automatically generated suggested-reading rows for Scribd subscribers.  The promotion runs at least two weeks. View the titles here - or log into your Scribd subscription to view the promotion.

In the last two months, as promised in our original Scribd announcement in December, all Smashwords authors with books opted into our Scribd distribution channel as of early January received a free one-year subscription to Scribd valued at $100.  The activation links were sent out via email, and the last batch went out last week.  If you haven’t activated your account, please do so now before the offer expires (and if you never received the email, check your spam filters). Scribd has kindly extended the original deadline for activation until June 1.

The Smashwords catalog went live at Scribd on February 28, 2014, the last day of the month.  The first full month’s sales (March) exceeded my expectations.  It was the largest first-month sales for any new Smashwords retail partner in the last five years.  I know our friends at Scribd were equally pleased by the popularity of Smashwords titles.

April results were even more impressive, showing a month-over-month sequential gain of 60%.  Although the sales volume at Scribd hasn't reached the level of iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and the Smashwords store, they're off to a strong start by any measure.

Their April results alone represent nearly triple the recent combined sales of Sony and Diesel, two Smashwords retailers that exited the ebook business in March, and already represent 1/3 our Kobo sales. I’m excited to see where Scribd can take this over the next few years.

Scribd is on track to become a major contributor to the bottom lines of indie authors, and like big fishes in small pond, Smashwords authors are there first, reaching new readers, and building platform advantage that will reap dividends for years to come.  If you don't have all your Smashwords titles opted in to Scribd, you're missing out.  Visit your Smashwords Dashboard's Channel Manager screen to make sure all your Premium Catalog titles are opted in.

I think history will show that the new breed of subscription ebook services like Scribd will grow the number of readers who are enjoying and consuming ebooks.  They'll expand the reading audience and help authors reach readers that aren't shopping at conventional retail channels where books are purchased one at a time. The two models for ebook consumption are complementary. With subscription ebook services, readers surf books effortlessly, as if visiting a massive online library, and once they hit a percentage threshold of pages read for an individual title, it triggers a full sale.

As I mentioned in the original announcement of our distribution relationship with Scribd, Scribd has repositioned their entire business around the ebook subscription model.  The site is visited by 80 million readers each month. Scribd is working to funnel all these readers into their paid subscription service.  They want to sell books for our authors!

Thank you Scribd for this great promotion, and congratulations to these fine Smashwords authors!

Can't Get Enough of Ebook Subscriptions?

If you want to learn more about the business model of the subscription ebook services, and how these services might shape the future of reading, here are three opportunities to learn more:

1.  The Smashwords Blog.  Check out my two part blog series starting with my post, Examining the Business Model of Ebook Subscription Services.

2.  Attend a panel.  At BEA in New York on May 29 (happy birthday to me), I'm participating on a panel that will explore all aspects of the ebook subscription model titled, A Substantial Difference: How Subscription Affects the Form and Value of Content.  The panel is moderated by the awesome Peter Brantley.  The panel will be part of BISG's Making Information Pay conference hosted at BEA.

3.  The Great Debate.  And for those of you who can't get enough of the subscription model (or you hate it or you love it or just want to learn more), on June 11 at Noon Eastern I'm participating in a webinar debate about subscription ebook services produced by Digital Book World.  The debate is modeled after the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate series on NPR.  This will be interesting.  The proposition is, “The success of ebook subscription services will be good for publishers, authors and readers.”  Arguing in favor of this proposition will be the team of Andrew Weinstein of Scribd and yours truly (woo hoo!).  Our formidable opponents, who will argue against the proposition, are Gareth Cuddy, an ebook distributor, and Jonathan Blum a super-smart journalist for who will probably cut us to pieces with his wit, charm and oratory skill. The debate is moderated by Jeremy Greenfield, editorial director for Digital Book World.  The debate is won or lost based on the number of listeners we convert to our side of the argument.  They will poll viewers before the debate and ask them if they agree or disagree.  At the end of the debate, they poll viewers again to see which side changed the most minds.  This means that if 98% of viewers agree with the proposition at the beginning, and 97% percent agree at the end, we lose.  It'll be all in good fun!!  Register for this free event at and learn more at Digital Book World.


Unknown said...

Any idea when we might see the data posted to our sales report?

adan said...

What a great promo! Big congrats to the indie artists Scribd chose from Smashwords - speaks greatly of the partnership, and, hopefully, my own future ;-)

And I must echo Brian's question, about when might we see our sales data?

And, will we be seeing the partial and full reads data with it?

Oh, and really nice to see the info on the subscription panel and debate coming up. That sounds like fun!

Thanks Mark!

adan said...

ps -

Have registered for "The Great Debate" June 11th; I really like Jeremy Greenfield, follow his posts on Forbes; should be interesting!

Anonymous said...

I had a reader visit my blog this week and thank me for writing a post about the Scribd service. From her comment, I believe Scribd has a happy customer there.

Heaven knows, I'm enjoying my subscription, too. So thank you, Scribd and Smashwords.

Lorna Penfold said...

Hi Mark, my book is published through Smashwords, to Scribd, and I dont know how to activate my free subscription! Any idea?

swappster said...

SW is doing some great stuff!

When will smashwords books go to GOOGLE PLAY?

That would be a fantastic addition to smashword's partner portfolio!


swappster said...

SW is doing some great stuff!

When will smashwords books go to GOOGLE PLAY?

That would be a fantastic addition to smashword's partner portfolio!


K.C. Taylor said...


Google Play doesn't adhere to the prices we want to set. Authors who are going direct there actually have to set the price above the price they want so Google's automatic discounting doesn't bump the price below the price at Amazon. So I don't know if SW could get them to agree to the fixed prices we have at other retailers.

Valerie said...

tried every which way to get the 3rd book in Shayne Parkinson's Sentence of Marriage series, & all I could access thru your website was book 1. how do I get the 3rd book thru your website?