[LINK] digital publishing

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Thu May 21 02:27:28 EST 2009


Hi all,

 www.scribd.com  .. 60 million readers .. 35 billion words 


Site Lets Writers Sell Digital Copies 

By BRAD STONE, Published: May 17, 2009 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/18/technology/start-ups/18download.html?em


SAN FRANCISCO — Turning itself into a kind of electronic vanity 
publisher, Scribd, an Internet start-up here, will introduce on Monday a 
way for anyone to upload a document to the Web, and charge for it. 

 http://www.scribd.com

The Scribd Web site is the most popular of several document-sharing sites 
that take a YouTube-like approach, to text, letting people upload sample 
chapters of books, whole research reports, homework, recipes and the 
like. 

Users can read documents on the site, embed them in other sites and share 
links over social networks and e-mail. 

In the new Scribd store, authors or publishers will be able to set their 
own price for their work and keep 80 percent of the revenue. 

They can also decide whether to encode their documents with security 
software that will prevent their texts from being downloaded or freely 
copied.

Authors can choose to publish their documents in unprotected PDFs, which 
would make them readable on the Amazon Kindle and most other mobile 
devices. Scribd also says it is readying an application for the iPhone 
from Apple and will introduce it next month.

Scribd hopes its more open and flexible system will give it a leg up on 
Amazon, which has become the largest player in the burgeoning market for 
e-books. Amazon sets the retail price for books in its Kindle store and 
keeps the majority of the revenue on some titles, which has publishers 
worried that Amazon is amassing too much control over the nascent market. 

Amazon also allows those books to be read only on its Kindle devices and 
in Kindle software on the iPhone.

“One reason publishers are excited to work with us is that they worry 
that publishing channels are contracting as Amazon and Google are gaining 
control over the e-book space,” said Jared Friedman, chief technology 
officer and a founder of Scribd. 

But Scribd also has some hurdles to overcome itself. Though large 
publishing firms like Random House have experimented with the site, they 
also express frustration that copies of some works have been uploaded to 
Scribd without permission. 

Trying to address the piracy problem, Scribd is building a database of 
copyrighted works and using it to filter its system. If a publisher 
participates in the Scribd store, its books will be added to that 
database, the company said.

So far, no major publishing houses have signed on to the store, though 
the company says it is talking to them. The independent publishers Lonely 
Planet, O’Reilly Media and Berrett-Koehler will add their entire catalogs.

The Scribd store will also give unpublished authors, or authors who are 
in a hurry, a well-trafficked Web forum on which to post their books, 
charge for them and see immediate results.

Kemble Scott, who has released a novel through a conventional publisher, 
said he would post his topical new political comedy, “The Sower,” to 
Scribd and charge $2 for it, partly because standard publishing is so 
slow. “If this is a book that is going to be interesting to people, now 
is the time that it fits into the national mood,” he said. 

--

Cheers,
Stephen


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