Scribd Presents More Opportunities for Publishers With E-Commerce Channel Launch
San Francisco-based Scribd, a social publishing site, announced this week that it will begin to monetize its document-sharing capability. With the beta launch of its Scribd Store (www.Scribd.com/store), users are now able to upload and sell their written works. Previously, access to all material on Scribd had been free.
Sellers utilizing the Scribd Store will receive 80 percent of the revenue, with Scribd pocketing the remaining 20 percent. The seller sets the price of a document, or may choose an automatic pricing option that generates a rate based on a cost-sales analysis of similar items in the Scribd Store. The minimum price for documents sold on Scribd is $1.
Currently, the Scribd Store is only open to buyers and sellers in the United States, with international launches to follow, the company reports. Documents purchased on Scribd may be read on Scribd.com, downloaded to a PC, printed, or made accessible through Web-enabled mobile phones. According to Scribd, it will soon launch an iPhone application.
Opportunities for Book Publishers
In March, Scribd announced partnerships with several major book publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster and Berrett-Koehler. At the time, many publishers were using the site as a marketing tool. As an example, Scribd Content and Marketing Manager Kathleen Fitzgerald cites Random House author Tess Gerritsen. When Gerritsen was releasing a new book, Random House uploaded a backlist title of Gerritsen's to give the author increased exposure. "[Gerritsen] benefitted greatly from that," says Fitzgerald. "She attracted an entirely new and young audience. … She got huge exposure."
Now, with the launch of the Scribd Store, publishers are also using the site to generate income. Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet, for example, is selling standalone city chapters of its country guides on the site for those travelers who are only interested in a particular city rather than an entire country.