Major Publishers Patner with Scribd
Random House, Simon & Schuster and several other publishers announced a wide-ranging partnership Wednesday with Scribd to begin to release an increased number of best sellers as free e-books — a major marketing push to harness the long tail of a literate social network that boasts some 50 million loyalists.The publishers have already been conducting trials for a few months, offering a few books (around 8-10) and some excerpts on a limited time basis. But this new partnership is a sign that they view the platform as much more than simply another testing ground, and that they plan to include a much greater flow of content which they hope will boost both print and e-book sales through e-book sharing and word of mouth on sites like Twitter.It’s less about creating a new revenue stream for e-books on Scribd and more about enhancing existing print and e-book channels by using the crowd as the new tastemaker.“When we’ve done these free books, we’ve seen a significant amount of people microblogging about that promotion and saying how much they enjoy the books, and basically that gets the author’s name and book title out there among many different people,” said Matt Schwartz, director of digital strategy for Random House Publishing Group.
“Its unique approach provides us with the desired flexibility to determine how our content is viewed and used on a case by case basis, and is proving to be an effective tool for creating excitement for our books,” said Ellie Hirschhorn, executive vice president and chief digital officer of Simon & Schuster.
Shwartz said along with the viral component, a major factor for Random House in choosing Scribd was its massive audience.
But it appears that the book publishers are also recognizing that online sharing and its social aspects can be a valuable marketing tool. “Word-of-mouth, recommendations, and ‘hand-selling’ are tried and true ways to increase sales, and Scribd makes all those things possible in an extremely cost-effective, online environment,” said Matt Schwartzof Random House Publishing Group.
Image Source: Aidan Jones