Scribd gets even better with influx of audio books from Penguin Random House


Scribd has come a long ways since its early days as just a document sharing site. They were one of the first subscription-based book services, though initially their selection was a bit sparse. Over the years they've shored that up nicely, and they've added audio books and comics, too.

Yesterday they announced (as reported by The Verge) a deal with Penguin Random House that brings 9,000 of the publisher's audiobook titles to the service, bringing the total number of audiobooks available to more than 45,000 titles.

So to recap, $8.99/month gets you unlimited access to books, audiobooks and comics. If you're going to be offline for a while you can download and store up to 20 pieces of content for later consumption.

I initially signed up for Scribd for the comics back in February and I'm still subscribed, and yes I'm a fan. There are arguably better services to get your books from, to get your audiobooks from, and to get your comics from, but getting all three for $9/month is a hard deal to beat.

The one caveat I have is that they still aren't as big as some other services so there are still gaps in their coverage. For instance since Game of Thrones is hot right now (thanks to the HBO TV series) I went looking to find the books on Scribd. I could find the audiobook versions (part of the most recent deal it seems) but not the standard ebook versions. To be a happy Scribd customer you have to be willing to roll with odd situations like that. If you're a person who has specific titles in mind Scribd might not be as useful to you as it is to those of us who're just looking for something interesting to read or listen to. If you're not sure if the service will be a good fit for you, there is a month long free trial that you can take advantage of.

I also want to mention my experience with Scribd's support team. I was reading a comic series and a few issues were missing from the service, so I contacted support. I dealt with an individual support person who took my concern seriously, assured me that the missing issues were an oversight and that she would contact me when they were available on the service. And she made good on that promise a week or so later when the gaps were filled. Sometimes it's nice to deal with a service that is small enough to still be able to interact with you person-to-person rather than throwing you and your problem into a support system that may or may not ultimately be helpful.

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