Yesterday, Scribd announced the launch of Scribd Originals, exclusive content from bestselling authors including Roxane Gay, Hilton Als, Peter Heller, Mark Seal, Paul Theroux and Garrett Graff, among others. In addition, Scribd Originals will include “experimental works” from different genres. Scribd describes these works as falling somewhere between magazines and full-length books, so there isn’t a traditional marketplace for them. However, Scribd believes these works are ideal for ebooks, audiobooks and, of course, their unlimited subscription service.
The originals may be extensions of existing work produced by a particular author or it may be entirely new content. Scribd says authors have the freedom to experiment with stories they want to expand upon or transform into new formats like full-length books or TV or movie scripts.
The first original is Mueller’s War by Garrett Graff, an ebook and audiobook that offer an inside look at the special counsel who investigated President Donald Trump’s involvement with Russian and a possible conspiracy.
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“We’re expanding the limits of what a reading subscription service can be and thinking creatively about the limitless possibilities of a digital reading experience,” said Scribd CEO Trip Adler in a news release. “Working with authors and giving them the freedom to tell stories in new and interesting ways is a natural next step for Scribd. We want to help authors engage with more readers by producing binge-worthy Originals that fit readers’ interests and can often be read in one sitting.”
“Scribd has a unique history of working closely with publishers,” Adler added. “Through the Scribd Originals program, our goal is to deepen these relationships by championing the short-story space and helping publishers maintain momentum for authors while they’re between major releases.”
Scribd said the new Originals content program will work directly with authors and publishers to attract readers outside the normal cycle of a traditional book release. This will allow authors to experiment with different formats to see what resonates with readers. Also, with Scribd’s personalized recommendations, readers may discover content they didn’t otherwise know was available. The recommendations are derived from a reader’s stated interest, books previously read and favorite books and authors.
These new originals will not cost subscribers anything extra. They are included in the unlimited* Scribd membership which is $8.99 a month after a free 30-day trial. Subscribers get access to magazines, ebooks, audiobooks and documents, incuding new Scribd Originals.
The launch of Scribd Originals was timed perfectly to coincide with the release of the Mueller report. Interest in Mueller alone has the potential to attract an entirely new audience all by itself. New forms of content, sneak peeks and non-traditional forms of content may attract a new generation of readers too, who want to see evolution in their reading materials. Throw in some glossy magazines and audiobooks, and Scribd has quite a product to offer members. Originals just sweeten the pot.