Scribd has just launched an author advisory council with a bunch of popular authors.Gretchen Rubin Tim Ferriss, and Walter Isaacson will develop curated reading lists and will participate in select events. One of the most important aspects about the Advisory Council is that these authors will keep Scribd up to date on the important trends in the publishing industry and help Scribd stay relevant.
Scribd has faced a firestorm over the course of the past few years. The company used to offer an unlimited audiobook, comic, ebook and magazine system for a low monthly fee. In order to stay profitable Scribd decided to scale back on the most consumed content, which was romance/erotica and comics. The big problem with the unlimited model is that publishers want to be paid for the full amount of the book’s purchase price if a customer reads a certain number of pages. This is why Entitle, Oyster and others exited the business, the unlimited model simply doesn’t work.
In order to stay in business Scribd decided to alter their business model and give out credits every month to paid subscribers. These credits can be redeemed for a few audiobooks and e-books a month. There is a bunch of other benefits too, some of the editors choice content does not charge users a credit and members can still access an unlimited amount of sheet music and magazines.
Will Isaacson or Ferris convince people to pay Scribd a monthly fee so they can access their reading lists and download the e-books? Are these guys enough of a draw that they could bring in new business? I somehow doubt they will promote Scribd on Twitter or their Facebook Pages on a regular basis to promote Scribd. It is a proven fact that Kindle Unlimited has the vast majority of users and it is critically important that Scribd continue to be a solid #2 in North America. Maybe these authors will help Scribd chart their business plans for the future.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.