Learn my tricks to maximize your experience with the Scribd app. Get unlimited access to books and audiobooks at one flat rate and how this reading app works.
In 2013, I got the opportunity to work with a new eBook and audiobook membership service called Scribd.
What I didn’t expect was that I would convert into one of their most loyal customers who has been a paid member ever since.
A Scribd subscription is BY FAR one of the best book and audiobook subscriptions for your money and is my most used subscription. However, there is a reason I continue to stay with them, and it isn’t just because they have great books (even though that is the most significant part).
Today I want to talk about why I think this is TRULY the best audiobook service for readers and how I make the most of my membership EVERY MONTH.
I want to explore your biggest burning questions like if authors get paid, what the significant differences are between this kind of access versus Kindle Unlimited membership and some particular things that *I* use this membership for (that might be helpful to you too).
Even if you have been a subscriber for years, today’s tutorial will also offer some hidden benefits to membership.
Let’s get every dollar out of your experience with today’s tutorial.
How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life
Scribd (it sounds like RIBBED) is, basically, the Netflix membership for book lovers.
For one monthly fee (currently $11.99 per month), you can have access to their entire catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, sheet music, and uploaded documents.
I want to clarify that this is a digital lending library, much like our experience with online tv streaming services.
You do not own the materials.
You own membership to stream the books you want to read or listen to in their membership catalog.
As long as you are a member, you can stream these materials.
At this time, Scribd offers these notable items (plus rotating perks)-
- Over TWO MILLION audiobooks and ebooks in one app (they work with 5 of the biggest publishing houses).
- Unlimited sheet music and documents (They have over 70,000+ pieces of sheet music available. This catalog includes the classics and contemporary artists).
- Unlimited access to podcasts, magazines, and news (including Time Magazine, The Atlantic, Cook’s Illustrated, & Newsweek).
- Rotating Membership Perks (more details below on some of my past favorite bonuses).
The monthly subscription includes fiction, nonfiction books (like cookbooks), young adult books, and children’s books.
So your entire family can benefit from this service, all with the cost of just one membership.
How to Find and Add Books to Your Library
Well, the BEST place to check would be the Book Gang Podcast (stream wherever you get podcasts) since it celebrates under-the-radar books, debuts, and backlist selections.
Scribd makes it easier too by offering recommendations based on other books you are reading or have on your library list, much like your experience with other online book purchases.
You can add books by searching the specific title or browse the incredibly curated selections from Scribd’s editors.
These editors’ picks are where I start when I need a little guidance on book selection.
Bookmark the books that you want to save in your library.
Once you decide what you might like to add to your library, you open up the book and read or listen to it.
Now let’s talk about those hidden features on the app and some of those faqs.
The Best Hidden Scribd Features and Frequently Asked Questions
What Device Can I Read My Scribd Books Through?
These books are available across many ebook reading devices, including iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire tablet, Android & the Barnes & Noble Nook tablet.
At this time, the Kindle Paperwhite is not a supported device.
Is it Unlimited? Sort of!
Regarding reading, there’s no limit on the number of books or audiobooks you can read or listen to each month.
You may sometimes notice that a title you have saved indicates it will be “Available Soon.”
Once your subscription renews for the next month, your library will refresh, and you’ll be able to select from the entire library.
The reason for this is because they can “adjust availability” of books based on contracts with these publishing houses.
In their defense, they claim it is to pay authors fairly based on the contract distribution terms.
It can be frustrating so if there is a book you are, particularly excited to read that month, prioritize it just in case it becomes unavailable until the next month.
I would say that this is my only issue with this platform.
How Do I Download Content When I’m Traveling?
To store content on your device for offline reading, tap on the cover of the book you wish to save, and you’ll be dropped into the book’s summary page.
To download the book, tap the “Download” button on the summary page.
Again, it is up to each publisher what they want to make available to its users. Some publishers disable downloading for specific titles, and the ‘Download’ option won’t be shown for those titles.
You’ll still be able to enjoy them on Scribd, but they won’t be directly downloadable.
Do Authors Get Paid When You Read on Scribd?
As I hinted earilier, Scribd does pay authors for their work.
I am quoting them directly when I share this statement, “Scribd has deals with our authors and publishing partners concerning payment for all membership content.
Basically, every time you read a premium title or listen to an audiobook, we pay the author the full price of their work!
Revenue that Scribd earns from monthly membership fees is paid to the original publishers or authors every time you read their work on Scribd.”
What is the Difference Between Scribd and Kindle Unlimited?
Scribd is a better value and they offer a completely different catalog.
Kindle Unlimited is a library of (primarily) self-published authors.
On the other hand, Scribd works with five big publishing houses- Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, & Macmillan.
The catalog is updated so well that I can often secure my new release books the week they come out.
I find with Scribd that their audiobook selection is more robust though than their book selection.
What is the Difference Between Scribd and Audible?
The most significant difference between these two is the pricing.
Scribd is an unlimited service, while Audible offers a single credit for $14.95 a month.
Audible may offer a more extensive selection but comes at a higher price.
You can read about their different plan offerings for more specific pricing.
What Are Some of My Favorite Hidden Features on Scribd?
Although I wouldn’t consider this first element to be “hidden,” I want to remind you that access to ebooks means you have access to cookbooks and books on health.
If you are on a specific diet or diagnosed with a health condition, this resource is INVALUABLE for your family.
When my daughter played guitar, we used the catalog of sheet music for her lessons.
My kids also have benefitted from my membership when assigned summer literature. (Be sure to read how to enable parental controls if you share your account as a family).
I also want to discuss two lesser-known features you might have missed with your membership.
Let’s start with your Member Perks!
Scribd keeps a rotating catalog of member bonuses through various partnerships that, in the past, have included NYT subscriber bundles and Pandora Premium memberships.
Check this page for the included perks for this month.
Another fun feature is that Scribd offers a sleep timer on audiobooks. So if you want to listen to a book to fall asleep, try using this feature!
Just click the icon in the upper left-hand corner, and you can select any chapter immediately!
Select the moon icon on the lower right side of the audio page to use the Sleep Timer. The menu will appear, and select the length of time you wish for the book to play. The playback will automatically turn off once the timer counts down to zero.
Try Scribd for FREE for 60 Days with my Referral Code
This referral code doesn’t give you a 30-day trial- it provides you SIXTY days of reading to try the platform. Activate it HERE.
Sound off: What has been your experience with Scribd? Do you have any other questions about this platform?
Looking for more great reading resources? Don’t miss these posts!