Scribd has ramped up its audiobook offerings with the creation of Scribd Audio, and has announced a number of new titles that are now available on the subscription service.
To lead the launch list, Scribd partnered with Tony and Grammy Award–winning actor, rapper, and producer Daveed Diggs and Emmy Award–winning writer, creator, producer, and actor Lena Waithe to produce an audiobook performance of Natasha Marin’s Black Imagination, originally published by McSweeney’s in February. Greg Voynow, who is heading up Scribd Audio, said Black Imagination is reflective of the type of audiobook program Scribd is looking to build—a list that will look for diverse voices and will also work with independent publishers for content.
Scribd described Black Imagination as a collection of testimonies, stories, and poetry from individuals across the Black community in response to two questions and a call to action: What is your origin story? How do you heal yourself? Imagine a world where you are loved, safe, and valued. The audio includes performances by Diggs and Waithe, who were selected by Marin and Scribd, the company said, because of “their strong command of voice and ability to portray the diverse perspectives in the book.”
Black Imagination, which will be available exclusively on Scribd for a limited time, is one of about 40 audiobook titles now available on the platform, Voynow said. The company is working with Counterpoint Press, Unnamed Press, Akashic, Europa Editions, Other Press, Coffee House Press, Mango Publishing, Rare Bird Books, North Star Editions, and Falstaff Books to choose individual titles for the audio program.
Other titles now available include Dressed for a Dance in the Snow: Women's Voices from the Gulag by Monika Zgustova (Other Press); The Bone Rattler by Eliot Pattison (Counterpoint Press); Hysteria by Jessica Gross (Unnamed Press); Djinn City by Saad Z. Hossain (Unnamed Press); The Fire in His Wake by Spencer Wolf (McSweeney’s); The Committee by Sterling Watson (Akashic); On Account of Race: The Supreme Court, White Supremacy, and the Ravaging of African American Voting Rights by Lawrence Goldstone (Counterpoint Press); and My Favorite Girlfriend was a French Bulldog by Legna Rodríguez Iglesias (McSweeney’s).
“We are proud of the diversity of this list and will be looking for more new voices to add” to Scribd Audio,” Voynow told PW. He added that Scribd will continue to scale up Scribd Audio, but said the company has not settled on a particular number of audiobooks it intends to produce annually. Scribd Audio titles are all available as part Scribd’s $9.99 monthly subscription fee.