The Wall Street Journal reports
that Simon & Schuster has cut a deal with Scribd
, a popular ebook website. 5,000 Simon Schuster titles are now available on the site including books by Stephen King and Mary Higgins Clark. The ebooks will sell for $9.99. Simon & Schuster was attracted to Scribd's large audience and anti-piracty measures.
The Simon & Schuster titles sold on the Scribd site can be read on a computer and saved as Adobe Acrobat files but can't be printed. The company says those Acrobat files can be read on Sony Corp.'s e-book Reader, but not on Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle e-book reader, which uses a different format. Scribd plans to soon release software that will enable the Scribd-purchased books to be read on Apple Inc.'s iPhone.
The publisher will set each book's retail price, a key factor at a time when many in the book industry are concerned about Amazon's practice of pricing its Kindle-formatted best-sellers at only $9.99. Simon & Schuster typically prices its e-books at parity with latest print list price. It will offer Scribd customers a discount of 20%.
"It means new revenue on the sales side and lets us experiment with various pricing models," said Ellie Hirschhorn, chief digital officer at Simon & Schuster. "They [Scribd] have a large audience, which is important to us, and they've made an effort to install anti-piracy measures."
Several thousand Simon & Schuster titles that haven't yet been published as e-books will be available for preview on Scribd via a search-and-browse option.
Simon & Schuster's titles can be purchased and downloaded from Scribd as an Adobe Acrobat file. This file cannot be printed. The Scribd website claims 60 million monthly visitors.
Scribd has had problems with authors. In April, J.K Rowling launched a fight
against Scribd when copies of her books appeared on the site without her permission. However, lately the site seems to winning over publishers. Some media outlets are calling Scribd the "YouTube of ebooks." More articles can be about the Scribd site can be found here