My post today is about Scribd.com. For those of you who either have never heard of Scribd or don’t know much about it, the easiest way to describe Scribd is: the written version of YouTube. It is a fabulous resource for writers of all types: fiction, non-fiction, memoir, scientific, students, journalists, publishers, recipes, government/politics, Resume/CVs and so on. Anything at all that is written.
I first heard about it a couple of years ago because Scribd is based in San Francisco and one of their directors came to my writing group to tell us all about it. The site attracts approximately 75 million readers every month. I joined up and I now have 455 followers, I’ve uploaded 19 documents and have amassed over 53,000 reads. The latest document I uploaded was my entry to the third Campaign Challenge “Babe” and it got “featured” (which I will explain in a minute) and in two days has had over 4,000 reads. Mind-boggling.
It is really easy to get a Scribd account. First off, it’s completely and utterly FREE and they don’t bombard you with spam email or advertisements. All you need to do is have a user name and password and you’re off. Uploading documents is really easy. Just click “Upload” and you are led through a series of easy to understand steps and your document is ready to read. This doc from Jed Diamond is very helpful.
I have found that .pdf is a good format to use, as most computers can read it and no-one can take your document and change it. If your document comes to the attention of the Scribd team and they think it is interesting or funny or topical they will ‘feature' it, which means it is prominent on everyone’s home page and also on the top of the Scribd home page. This helps tremendously with # of reads and accumulation of followers.
If I get enough interest in this post, I will happily do another one with more detailed information and tips on what has worked for me. One important tip I will give you now is: put an interesting picture on the first page. When I uploaded my entry for “Babe” I decided to use this photo of a gorgeous, scantily-clad beach babe and I am sure it's no coincidence that it has had so much attention and not, sadly, my exquisite writing! But hey, whatever works, right?
They also have a Scribd Store where you can sell your book or short stories or collection of poems (and I think they only take 20% commission). There are some really good, helpful documents, like Scribd 101, to lead you through and all their staff, whether marketing or technical, are really friendly and get back to you promptly.
The community of writers on Scribd is also phenomenal. I received so much support and encouragement when I first uploaded a chapter of my memoir that it motivated me to continue when I was ready to give up. It was also validation that my writing wasn’t a load of pants! People actually wanted to read what I was writing and found it funny and interesting! Yay!
I only started this blog in order to participate in Rachael’s fantastic Campaign and I have had the most amazing time. As a thank you to everyone who has followed me and commented, as soon as I reach 100 followers on this blog (yikes, still pinching myself that it's happened so quickly), I will randomly pick one follower and help them through a step-by-step tutorial of how to set up and work a Scribd account. I will introduce them to some key people and give them massive shout-outs on Scribd and Twitter (and here, of course).
Please let me know whether you are interested. If you have any questions about Scribd, I would be happy to answer them, either in the comments below or email me at: claire[dot]hennessy11[at]gmail[dot]com.