Scribd app now available for Kindle Fire: “all you can read” for $8.99 a month
Scribd is a one of a couple of big “subsers” (subscription services) for e-books.
You can subscribe to it, and for $8.99 a month, read as much as you want from a decent selection of books (including many well-known ones).
I was sent an e-mail about the now available app, although I’d heard about it as well.
I just tested subscribing to it, both from that e-mail on my Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) and going from scratch on my Significant Other’s KFHDX7.
Let me first commend them on making this easy.
On my SO’s device, I just searched for “Scribd” in Silk (I’m going strictly onboard with that device for test).
It found it,and as soon as I got to the site, there was a link to install the app.
Note that you’ll find the apk (what you need to install it) by clicking on the menu in Silk, and going to Downloads. You also have to have allowed the installation of apps from unknown sources, but it will help you with that if needed.
I signed up (I already had a Scribd account, because I read some government documents and such there). I did need to put in a credit card, although you get one month free. All in all, though, this was a pretty easy process.
You can search with the magnifying glass in your top right, or browse with the menu (three horizontal lines) in your top left.
Both worked reasonably well.
When you find a book, you can read it online, store it on your device, or add it to your library.
The reader is pretty basic. You can increase the font size, and change the background color and font.
Tapping an open book gave a nice navigation window, to jump by chapters.
There is no text-to-speech (at least, I can’t find any…I’ve written to them asking). That’s something that I would miss personally, but the program isn’t blocking it…it just doesn’t have that feature. That’s a very different thing for me from a publisher blocking the access.
Update: further demonstrating their professionalism, I got a response back from Scribd. It reads in part:
“We currently do not support text-to-speech, I’m sorry. We’re still small and we’re working our way towards such features, but right now we don’t have that capability and there’s no current release date for that feature either.
Let me know if there’s anything else I can answer for you or if you’re having any other issues.”
Outside of text-to-speech, let’s just accept that this is a decent reading app for now.
The obvious question for most people is going to be, “Does it have books I want to read?”
Well, I think the answer is going to be yes, for most folks…certainly, probably worth $8.99 if you read tradpubbed (traditionally published books).
Here’s a quick look at some of their most popular books:
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- Good Omens by Neil Gaiman
- Wicked by Gregory Maguire
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman
- Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
- Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Gee, the top ten is dominated by Neil Gaiman! That suggests to me that either Gaiman has promoted this, or we are only seeing early adopters so far (who may be more techy and science fiction oriented).
Let me skip around a bit:
- A Prayer for Own Meany by John Irving
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
- A Tree Grown in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
- A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman
- Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
- The first three Miss Marple novels in a bundle by Agatha Christie
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
- Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
Well, well, well…definitely some books in there I have read or would recommend.
Adding more books each month will also matter to people. It looks like 16 books were added in the past three days.
I’ll be interested to get feedback from my SO on this, who may be a bit more of a mainstream reader.
I will also say that their “similar to” sections do actually look useful for me.
I also checked to see if we could use on multiple devices. Scribd says,
“You may read commercial content using up to 3 different browsers or computers in any 24-hour period. If you use our Android or iOS apps, you can save content on up to 6 devices for offline reading.”
Works for me.
This is simple: Amazon will likely need to do a subser for adults this year, or they will start feeling the impact of this from Kindle Fire users.
If you have a Fire, I would say, go ahead and try the free month. Remember to cancel if you don’t want to continue. You can do that right from the device, easily…use the Menu, then go to Settings. Again, this all looks very professional: I can see the next bill date and amount and which plan I have, right there. If you do try it, let me know what you think by commenting on this post.
Here’s the link directly to where you can subscribe, just to make it easy:
Hey, Amazon! I have to admit that I feel sort of funny linking to a direct competitor like this, but I have to keep my readers informed of the options. The ball is in your court: I’m looking for you to return it with your spin on it…and dominate Scribd with superior features (including TTS, of course). ;)
Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle.
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.