When ebook subscription-based reading was a new concept over four years ago, the idea seemed to intrigue readers while failing to entice publishers. With major concerns over piracy and compensation, a number of different companies developed models that were intended to address those issues while still keeping all-you-can-eat book consumption inexpensive enough for customers to invest in it.
One of the initial flaws with subscriptions was that even the most innovative publishers who came on board with an attitude of experimentation were not willing to put their front list titles up for grabs. For a typical monthly fee of around $10, readers could choose all they wanted from a narrow pool of unheard of titles and authors. This obviously led to a sluggish adoption on the part of readers.
Now, one of the models is not only winning over paying subscribers due to the wealth of content, but is also establishing a strong support from publishers who are willing to invest their bestselling content. Scribd, who has inked deals with a number of publishers and established a very forward-thinking partnership with Smashwords to include indie authors’ works, announced that Wiley will be posting its bestselling and DIY manual-improving line of For Dummies books to the subscription catalog.
“Subscription e-books are a perfect fit for educational and instructional books. When learning a skill or teaching yourself something new, what could be more convenient than having all the information you need, right in your pocket?” said Trip Adler, CEO and co-founder of Scribd, in a press release. “Scribd provides a great value by giving readers unlimited access to the most popular titles for one monthly price. The prospect of what this means for our readers is incredibly exciting.”
“We are excited to make our books available through Scribd’s e-book subscription service with their international audience of 80 million users across all devices,” continued Peter Balis, Vice President, Business Development, Global Digital Books, with Wiley. “With Scribd, we look forward to reaching a whole new audience for Wiley titles and our authors.”
The manuals, which can easily cost in the neighborhood of$30 or more when bought in print, largely due to the field of experts brought on board to write them, are enough of a savings to foot the monthly Scribd subscription all on their own. The ability to have access to unlimited reference content that has been vetted and rewritten for mass audiences is invaluable. Add this new content to the catalog of works from over 900 publishers in many different languages, and it begins to explain why this round of subscription reading may finally take hold.