scribd and harlequinRomance readers take note. Harlequin just signed a one-year exclusive subscription deal with Scribd. From the release:

Scribd will be the exclusive subscription partner for 15,000 titles from Harlequin’s extensive backlist. Titles from a variety of Harlequin imprints, including Harlequin Series Romance, HQN Books, MIRA Books and Carina Press, will be available through Scribd’s US $8.99 monthly subscription service and accessible on iPhone, iPad, Android devices, Kindle Fire, NOOK Tablet and web browsers.

This is a great deal for romance readers, some of whom read multiple books in a day. But is it good for Scribd?

First let’s talk about that exclusivity deal. This is obviously very good for Scribd. Services like this live and die based on their content, and having an exclusive deal with a publisher like Harlequin is fabulous for them. Romance readers are very comfortable with ereading and are a logical market for a subscription service. Many romance readers are also loyal to publishers, and knowing that their favorite authors are exclusively available on Scribd could be a deciding factor for many.

However, romance fans tend to be fast readers, some of whom read multiple books in a day. That’s far in excess of what the monthly fee would cover. I asked the folks at Scribd about that, and here’s what Andrew Weinstein, VP of Content Acquisition. said in response:

“Romance readers are certainly our most voracious, regularly landing romance as the top genre on Scribd. While some may read more than the $8.99 they’re paying, they’re also some of our biggest advocates, and that has its benefits. They love our service, devour the content and more importantly, spread the word about Scribd to friends and family.”

Will romance readers as evangelists offset their ability to consume massive amounts of content? Let’s hope so because, for readers, Scribd just keeps on getting better and better.


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