Simon & Schuster has announced that it has entered into a deal with Scribd, the surging online “social publishing company,” that claims some 60 million readers a month, to sell books. Starting immediately, readers will have access to a Simon & Schuster “storefront” in the recently launched Scribd Store, a special section of the Web site where users can browse and purchase S&S titles. At launch, nearly 5,000 Simon & Schuster e-book titles will be available on Scribd for purchase in Adobe’s PDF and ePub formats and readable on, both on desktops and on various mobile devices. Titles include bestselling books from authors such as Stephen King, Dan Brown, Mary Higgins Clark, Chelsea Handler and Steve Martin. In addition, Simon & Schuster will make thousands of print titles available for preview with links to purchase from the Simon & Schuster Web site.

The deal represents a major boost for Scribd, as publishers have seemed to get past initial piracy concerns with remarkable quickness, and begun to partner with the site to put book content alongside user-generated texts. Such visibility, suggested S&S spokesperson Adam Rothberg, could benefit publishers and authors. With such high traffic, Scribd is “an excellent venue for distribution to a large population that has already demonstrated a willingness to read online,” Rothberg told PW.

As for those piracy concerns, S&S noted that works in the Scribd Store are also added to Scribd’s Copyright Management System, a technology that compares uploaded works to work in its existing database and blocks the upload of unauthorized works. In addition, publishers have the ability to determine how works are read—and can set protection levels to allow for “read only on,” to “download” or “download with DRM.” Initially, Rothberg noted, S&S will set its protections to most standards for e-books: it mostly will not allow printing or copying, but that could change on a title-by-title basis.

Pricing is also flexible and can be set by the publisher—in start contrast to’s $9.95 Kindle prices that have been much-criticized by publishers. In general e-book pricing at S&S is for the digital list price to mirror the list price of most recent print editions, Rothberg says. “At Scribd we’ll offer a 20% off that,” he added. “But we really like the fact that on Scribd we have the ability to be flexible, so if we want to experiment with other pricing models it’s easily done.”