Never a dull day around here as an independent author! So, about six months ago, maybe, I decided to finally take the plunge and put my books on Scribd. The lovely people at Draft2Digital made publishing to Scribd easy, one click of a button, and I knew that if I published my books on Scribd, it would also help shield my books from being pirated on Scribd. You see, before Scribd was a book subscription program, it was a file sharing system and a harbor for book pirates, and they promised that if you put your books in their subscription program, that it would help them keep your books from being pirated.
Okay, fine. I hated their stance on pirating, but I was willing to give their subscription service a try as an author. Let me be clear. I am not a Scribd reader/user. I prefer to just buy my books on Amazon, and I haven’t even tried the Kindle Unlimited service as a reader. But the basic idea is that readers pay a flat-fee to Scribd to read however many books they want per month. Services like this only make money if (1) readers don’t read their fair share or (2) they get plenty of capital venture funding.
Turns out that romance readers, voracious as they are, were reading Scribd out of house and home. (Please know I use “voracious” in a light and sarcastic way because I AM one of those “can’t get enough” readers). In direct response, INSTEAD OF DOING SOMETHING SMART like raising the fee readers pay or consider cutting royalties to authors a few percent, Scribd decided to cut 80-90% of their romance catalog.
I am disappointed in this decision to say the least. There is nothing dumber than alienating a large part of your subscriber base (romance readers) and penalizing romance writers. We are a feisty bunch, and I doubt this will go over well for Scribd. It is probably the beginning of the end for them.
Wednesday morning, all of my books were on Scribd. By lunch time, only my two Kami No Sekai short stories and REMOVED were left. They kept REMOVED because IT IS FREE. That’s right. They are keeping all the free books because they don’t have to pay those authors, BUT they gain money from the reader.
I decided that if they aren’t going to keep the rest of the series listed so I can make money from my work, then I am not going to help them stay afloat.
I apologize to any readers I found via Scribd. I know there were a few of you, and I hope you’re able to continue reading my work from one of the other vendors (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and All Romance eBooks) who gladly carry all romance books.
If you are a Scribd user and you’re unhappy about this situation, please contact them and let them know that you want your romance titles back!