smashwords books in scribdI received an email from Smashwords over the weekend informing me that books are being uploaded into Scribd. They all should be available by mid-week. Sadly, mine aren’t available yet, but the placeholder is there, so I’m sure they will be there soon.

There’s a direct link to Smashwords books if you want to take a look at the selection.

If you are an indie author and are concerned about piracy on Scribd, I’d strongly suggest you start distributing your books to Scribd using Smashwords. Here’s why (from the email):

One of the advantages of distributing through Smashwords to Scribd is that you’ll be able to take advantage of their digital fingerprinting system.  Their digital fingerprinting system scans the text of your Smashwords ebook and uses that as the authorized reference version.  If anyone tries to upload an unauthorized version of your book to Scribd, Scribd’s fingerprinting system will attempt to automatically block the unauthorized upload.  Scribd also uses the system to automate the removal of unauthorized versions that have previously been uploaded to Scribd.

If you’re not an indie author, I’d talk to your publisher about Scribd. It sounds like the easiest way to avoid piracy on the site is to have your book in their system.

If you signed up to distribute your books through Scribd when the announcement came out last year, you should be getting your free 1 year subscription soon. According to the email, they should be sent on or about March 5. You’ll also receive instructions on how to set up your author page on the site. I’m happy about this. My Christmas gift subscription runs out later this month. Of course, I’d continue to renew it. The service is definitely worth it. But hey? One year free? Not going to turn that down!


    • @Victor, they never said it was foolproof, and neither did I. Read my earlier article (linked to in this one). In it I acknowledge that Scribd has said it’s not a perfect system. That said, it’s certainly better than no system at all, and an author has no chance of the fingerprinting system picking up their book(s) if they aren’t in the system at all.

  1. How about this one:
    1. Scribd: Come to us, we have fingerprinting bla-bla-bla.
    2. Author (and publisher): Sure, hell yeah!
    3. Author (and publisher), later on: Oh, wait. It’s just bogus, bulls**t PR.
    4. Scribd: Hey, we never said it’s perfect.

    Scribd has an imperfect system, that allows huuuuuuuuge amounts of illegitimate uploads from users. You see how easy it is to build up a user base that way? The “Internet way”.

    Later on you can figure out how you can become a ligitimate business. Money first.

    The only way they fight (for now) is by gathering new users (eg. authors and publishers) and let them do the hunt.

    Bingo. Profit.

  2. Hey, Victor. Two problems with what you’re saying:

    1. If Scribd’s automated takedown system fails, you can always file a complaint yourself. They explain how here:
    2. If you’re so afraid of piracy, tell Smashwords to keep your books out of Scribd, it’s just a checkbox away. I’ll be happy to have less competition.

    Oh wait, are you even on Smashwords? Or Scribd? Are you even a creator? Or maybe you’re just a completely honest consumer of media who never pirated a thing.

    No, seriously.