The fellows at Scribd stopped their busy schedules and answered my pleas. Hoozah! The problem isn’t solved, but I know someone is there… and hoping they don’t just dump me like a hot potato. (Hey, it’s happened before.) So this is my impression so far on Scribd.com as a marketing/distribution resource for authors.
1. It used to be you’d go there and find a lot of copyrighted material in places it didn’t belong They’ve cleaned that up with a vengeance and made their website a lot more streamlined. I can’t say if it’s easier to explore than before, but it’s nicer to look at.
2. They now cater to big publishers – a plus for the avid reader and mainstream lover – so that the featured slots are full of books by the big guys. I stopped and looked at one or two: they were all samples. If you want to buy them you’re taken to an external link. For people shopping for that next book, this can be both good and bad – good for the big guys. Bad for the little guy who may not be noticed due to the reader being taken away from Scribd or just couldn’t see anything past the big guy ads.
3. Scribd allows independent authors to sell their books on their site. This is good good good. They pay you either by Paypal or by check. (I personally prefer the check.) And I have noticed since uploading Black Wolf, Silver Fox there are quite a few reads on it. If nothing else, it’s excellent exposure. No complaints there.
4. When you upload your book, you have the option to apply for it to be featured on the front page. This is wonderful. The downside is I can’t find any way to apply for it after you’ve finalized your information and moved on. So either you take the chance and apply right then or you never do, best I can tell.
So weighing the pros and cons, I’d say if you can get your email confirmed Scribd is an excellent resource and urge you to check it out. And if you can’t get your email confirmed, you can always do like the big guys and upload a sample that will take your reader to an external link.
Now me: I prefer to give my reader the option to purchase the whole book right then and there. Samples that lead people away, in my mind, just aren’t very kosher and should be avoided when the situation is correct for it.
Moving along in my marketing journey….