karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

YouTube for books? Only if YouTube sold movies

I just watched a video and read an article on Business Week. Both were about Scribd, a fairly new website that started with the idea that the web was a great way to share documents. The article calls it “YouTube for books.” In some ways it is, because anyone can post documents there— research papers, recipe collections, stories, books excerpts, and whole books.

Like YouTube, Scribd has to monitor content to be sure no one has posted someone else's copyrighted work, but most often it's the author who has posted the work. What's drawn Business Week's attention is that Scribd has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster< to sell books through the site. This is a big leap for Scribd, and direct competition for Amazon, because Scribd is offering publishers a lot more control over how the book is sold, including setting the price.

I think it's a good thing that Amazon has some competition, but I hope this doesn't persuade publishers that the way to sell ebooks is to keep the price the same as the print version. Publishers may hate the $9.99 rule, but I'll tell you, it's one of the main reasons the Kindle has sold so well, and ebooks have done so well.

Tags: amazon, e-books, ebooks, scribd

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