Scribd Is Going To Start Selling E-Books

Posted May 18, 2009

Scribd, also known as the “YouTube of documents” that spun out of Y-Combinator is developing an e-commerce platform.  Scribd is doing this out of response to the irritation that some publishers have in discovering that their books have leaked in e-book format on Scribd.

Anyone can upload a PDF of Word document with almost no limits to Scribd.  You could have a 500 page book in Word document form and Scribd would still accept it as an upload.  Given the popularity of the Kindle and seeing that people are willing to pay for e-books, the e-commerce model makes sense to the company.

In this case the publishers will determine what prices they want to set for their e-books and let them keep 80% of what is earned.  The prices would even range from $1 for a simple novel to $5,000 for an in-depth market research report according to paidContent.

Scribd would introduce a store and will maintain a copyright database of protected works to ensure that no further leaks or pirated works hit the service.

The primary difference between the Kindle and Scribd’s new model is the novelty.  The Kindle is the epitome of physical books becoming obsolete.  Download a full PDF on your computer does not seem to have as much appeal as the Kindle.  But that is just my opinion.  What is yours?  Leave a comment.