Trip Adler

Eugene G. Schwartz is editor at large for ForeWord Reviews, an industry observer and an occasional columnist for Book Business magazine. In an earlier career, he was in the printing business and held production management positions at Random House, Prentice-Hall/Goodyear and CRM Books/Psychology Today. A former PMA (IBPA) board member, he has headed his own publishing consultancy, Consortium House. He is also Co-Founder of Worthy Shorts Inc., a development stage online private press and publication service for professionals as well as an online back office publication service for publishers and associations. He is on the Publishing Business Conference and Expo Advisory Board.

The subscription eBooks service Scribd today announced that it has acquired Librify. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal is similar to the kinds of small deals Apple and Google make, where the deal is less about getting rid of a big competitor than it is acquiring some technology. In this case, the deal is about adding social sharing features.

"We value Librify's focus on the social reading experience and the great work they've already done within reading communities," Scribd CEO Trip Adler said.

Simon & Schuster, Inc., a global publishing leader, announced today that its backlist eBook titles are now being made available to consumers via the subscription services Oyster and Scribd. Both services offer flat-rate plans that allow consumers to read an unlimited number of eBooks, and today's announcement marks the first time that Simon & Schuster has offered its eBooks to consumers via this form of subscription service.

Ebook subscription service Scribd, which charges users $8.99 per month for unlimited access to a library of about 300,000 ebooks, plans to announce Tuesday that it's added about 1,000 books from reference publisher Wiley - including the well-known "For Dummies" series - to its offerings.

That 1,000 figure encompasses most of the under-$40 books in Wiley's catalog. More expensive titles, like $100-plus textbooks, aren't included.

E-book subscription service Scribd is looking to take on Amazon from within. The company launched a new app for the Kindle Fire on Wednesday that will provide an alternative to Amazon's e-book market.

Scribd was originally started as a document sharing service but added a book subscription service in October, which featured an agreement with publisher HarperCollins.

The company has positioned itself alongside other digital subscription offerings like Netflix and Spotify, and is competing directly with another book subscription startup, Oyster.

The latest company making a bid to bring the subscription model to the book world is one that may already be familiar to TechCrunch readers - social publishing service Scribd. Scribd first launched in 2007, offering users a platform for users to share documents and other written content. We use it ourselves as a way to upload and embed documents that are relevant to our stories. For Scribd, moving into the subscription books business doesn't seem like a huge leap, and several of the most important pieces are already in place.

Self-publishing and online services, e-books, and digital demand printing are joined into a new and powerful sector that is transforming the industry. For industry professionals whose career satisfactions and livelihoods are bonded to the future of the book, this new sector offers a wild ride and a venturesome future.

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