Scribd’s Improved Copyright Protection Systems Reaping Results for Smashwords Authors

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By Mark Coker

Scribd was founded about six years ago as a document upload service.  To their credit, they made the upload of multi-format documents and files ridiculously easy.

Today, their site hosts 50 million documents and books, receives thousands of new uploads every day, and is visited by 80 million monthly readers from over 100 different countries.

The downside of their ease-of-upload, however, is that many users – often enthusiastic readers who don’t understand or respect copyright – attempt to upload unauthorized, copyrighted works, including the ebooks of many Smashwords authors.  It’s the same challenge YouTube faces with unauthorized video uploads.

Following our announcement  in December that Smashwords would soon begin supplying ebooks to Scribd, both for retail sales and for inclusion in their subscription service, I heard from several Smashwords authors who were understandably upset to discover unauthorized versions of their books at Scribd.

Some questioned why we would partner with Scribd.  As I’ve shared with authors who have expressed concern, and as I’ll reiterate here, we wouldn’t have partnered with Scribd if we weren’t confident their heart was in the right place, and if we weren’t confident our relationship with Scribd would benefit all indie authors.

Scribd has 80 million readers, and we’ve got over 300,000 books.  We want to connect those readers’ eyeballs and wallets and purses with our books.  We want our authors to receive the full payment they deserve for their hard work.

Scribd wants the same thing. Scribd wants to do right by the indie author community because they know their business is dependent upon earning and deserving the trust and support of authors everywhere.

With Scribd’s enthusiastic blessing, I orchestrated a conference call in January for Scribd’s top executives with several concerned Smashwords authors. Scribd wanted to hear our authors’ concerns, and then after listening Scribd shared their plans to combat the unauthorized uploads.

At the end of the call, Scribd shared how they planned to release a major update to their copyright protection system in the next few weeks.

I’m pleased to report that Scribd is delivering. Scribd has made some impressive strides over the last few months toward eradicating unauthorized content.

Scribd has since renamed their copyright protection technology Book ID.  In a nutshell, here’s how it works:  BookID automatically scans all Smashwords-delivered books, and analyzes the text for semantic data such as word count, letter frequency, phrases, and other elements. BookID then creates a digital fingerprint of the authorized Smashwords book, and uses this fingerprint to automatically detect and remove unauthorized versions.  It proactively removes all files at Scribd that match the same fingerprint, and also uses this fingerprint to proactively block the upload of future unauthorized versions.

Simply by distributing to Scribd via Smashwords, our authors receive a measure of protective benefit from the BookID technology.

I want to share some hard numbers with you to illustrate the progress Scribd has made to respect and protect the copyright of Smashwords books.

As of January 9, the BookID had detected and removed 3,745 book files from Scribd representing 1,725 unique Smashwords books.

In March, Scribd released a new and improved version of BookID, as they promised they would during their call with the Smashwords authors.  The new BookID system has dramatically increased Scribd’s ability to detect unauthorized versions.

As of today, Scribd reports to me BookID has removed 47,858 unauthorized copies of 14,090 unique Smashwords books.

Although no automated scanning system will every be 100% accurate, I’m pleased by the progress and effort made by our friends at Scribd.  I’m pleased that every visitor to the Scribd home page is prompted to purchase a paid subscription to Scribd’s service, because this converts free readers to paid readers for the benefit of Smashwords authors.

Thanks to the support of Smashwords authors who now supply 225,000 titles to Scribd, it’s getting tougher for users to upload unauthorized content. With every new Smashwords title delivered, the cleanup continues.  The situation will improve further as Scribd enhances their BookID technology in the future.

Learn more about Scribd’s BookID technology at and learn more about Scribd’s commitment to protect your copyright at their new and improved Copyright Resource Center.

I’ll report more exciting Scribd news tomorrow regarding the impressive sales growth we’re seeing at Scribd, plus some other big news so stay tuned!
Smashwords Romance Authors Promoted at RT Booklovers in New Orleans
Posted: 11 May 2014 05:44 PM PDT

Hundreds of Smashwords authors are participating in an exclusive promotion this week at the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans.

Inside the goodie bags for each of the 2,000 attendees is a four gigabyte Smashwords thumb drive featuring 349 free romance ebooks from 349 Smashwords authors.

The promotion puts hundreds of Smashwords authors in the hands of the romance industry’s most influential participants.

Among the 2,000 RT Booklovers Convention attendees are readers, published authors (both indie and traditional), aspiring authors, bloggers, and more than 300 industry professionals including publishers, librarians, booksellers, book reviewers, literary agents and media.

The promotion builds upon a similar promotion we produced last year at the RWA conference in Atlanta which featured over 100 authors.

All registered authors for the RT Booklovers convention were offered the opportunity to be included in this drive.  The drive received heavy advance promotion by the conference organizers.  Filling out the drive are hundreds of popular Smashwords romance authors including several NY Times and USA Today bestsellers.

The promotion was offered free of charge to participating authors and publishers.  Each author received a dedicated folder featuring their book in multiple formats.  The drive includes a PDF that lists all participating authors and books, along with direct hyperlinks to each author’s Smashwords profile page so readers can check out the authors’ other books.  The drive also includes official conference and workshop materials and a free Smashwords publishing kit

This promotion is one of the many perks of working with Smashwords.  It’s our way of saying thank you for publishing and distributing with Smashwords!  We hope to do similar promotions in the future to support our authors.  If you’re on the conference planning committee for a large (500+ attendees) writers conference, drop us a line!

If you’re attending RT Booklovers, come say hello at my workshops and panels:
Wednesday, May 14 – 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Money, Money, Money — Facts & Figures For Financial Payoff
In this workshop, you’ll be the first to learn the results of the third annual Smashwords Survey, an RT Booklover’s exclusive.  Check out last year’s 2013 Smashwords survey here.  Next week I’ll post the new survey here at the blog.

Thursday, May 15 – 10:00am to 11:00am
How To Top The Charts With E-book Preorders
I’ll do a deep dive into preorders, the most significant new sales tool for romance authors. Learn strategies and best practices that will help you increase the discoverability, merchandising and sales of all your titles.

Friday, May 16, 2014 – 11:15am to 12:15pm
Digital DIY: The Pros & Cons of Digital Self-Publishing
I’m on a panel moderated by the amazing Sylvia Day.  Other panelists include Lindsey Faber (Samhain), Kristen Proby, Karin Tabke (aka Karin Harlow) and Stephanie Tyler.  Join us as we discuss the benefits and pitfalls of self publishing.
Friday, May 16, 2014 – 1:30pm to 2:30pm
I’m a Self-Published Bestseller. Here’s How I Did It
I’m joining Smashwords mega-bestseller Kristen Ashley to discuss everything you need to know about self-publishing – from formatting, pricing and cover design to growing your fan base. You’ll also hear Kristen’s self-publishing journey – from deciding to self-publish to quitting her day job to negotiating a publishing contract.
Below is a complete list of all participating authors and their featured books, alpha-sorted by author first name (Download the PDF with hyperlinks of featured romance authors here).  Congrats everyone, and thanks for participating!  Thanks also to Carol Stacy, JoCarol Jones and the entire team at RT Booklovers for supporting this fun and important promotion.  And thanks to Jim, Aaron and Angela on the Smashwords team for managing this massive project.
Author – Book Title
Adam Kunz – Two Little Lies
Addison Moore – Beautiful Oblivion
Adriana Hunter – Captive Heart
Adrianna Dane – Delicious Sinn
Alanna Coca – Fine Print
Alannah Lynne – Savin’ Me
Alexia Purdy – Keep Breathing
Alice Gaines – The Sixth Lover
Allie K. Adams – Rescue Me
Alyssa Kress – The Heart Heist
Alyssa Rose Ivy – The Hazards of Skinny Dipping
Amanda Jason – Lucky Number Four
Amanda McIntyre – Rugged Hearts
Amanda Still – Echoes of the Storm
Amber Kell – Mate Hunt
Amelia James – Secret Storm
Amy Miles – Captivate
Amy Mullen – A Stormy Knight
Amy Jarecki – Captured by the Pirate Laird
Andrea Parnell – Devil Moon
Angela Verdininus – The Lawson Boys: Marty
Angela White – The Change: Episode one
Angharad Jones – Mirabelle
Angie Fox – The Accidental Demon Slayer
Ann Somerville – A Fluffy Tale
Anna Katmore – Neverland
Anne Marie Novark – The Doctor Wears A Stetson
Anne Marie Beck – Tropical Escape
Annie Nicholas – Bait
Arabella Quinn – Rock Me – Crazy
Arianne Richmonde – A Taste of Pearl
Ariella Moon – Spell Check
Aris Whittier – Secrets
Ashleigh Raine – Acting on Impulse
Ashley Rhodes – Submitting to Him
Asrai Devin – Second Chance Romance
Autumn Dawn – The Charmer
Ava Stone – My Favorite Major
Barbara Freethy – On A Night Like This
Barry Eisler – Paris is a Bitch
Becca Jameson – Completed
Belinda Boring – Loving Liberty
Beth Williamson – The Circle Eight: Caleb
Bethany Lopez – 8 Weeks
Bianca Sommerland – Game Misconduct
Bianca D’Arc – Tales of the Were: Rocky
Bianca Giovanni – First Dance
Brei Betzold – Painted Lines
Brenda Rothert – Bound
Brenda K. Davies – Awakened
Bronwen Evans – To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield
C. Shell – Anonymously Yours
C.G. Powell – Spell Checked
C.J. Duggan – The Boys of Summer
Cali MacKay – The Highlander’s Hope
Calle J. Brookes – Hunting
Callie Hart – Deviant
Camilla Chafer – Armed and Fabulous
Candice Hern – A Proper Companion
Cari Hislop – The Invisible Husband
Carly Fall – The Light Within Me
Caroline Hanson – Love Is Darkness
Caroline Clemmons – The Most Unsuitable Wife
Caryn Moya Block – Alpha’s Mate
Casey McMillin – You’re Dangerous
Cassandra Carr – Public Affairs
Cat Johnson – Cinderella Liberty
Catherine Gayle – On the Fly
Catherine Bybee – Embracing the Wolf
Cathryn Fox – Torn Between Two Brothers
Cecilia Tan – Daron’s Guitar Chronicles: Volume Two
Chanda Hahn – The Iron Butterfly
Charlene Wilson – The Transformation of Anna
Chautona Havig – Past Forward Volume 1
Cherise Sinclair – Club Shadowlands
Cheryl Douglas – Strike Out
Christi Corbett – Along the Way Hone
Christie Rich – Five
Christina Pilz – Fagin’s Boy
Christina Thatcher – The Bequest
Christine MacKenzie – Run Rosie Run
Christine Kersey – Over You
Christine M. Butler – Shadows of the Ancients
Cindy C. Bennett – Immortal Mine
CJ Roberts – Captive in the Dark
CJ Archer – The Wrong Girl
Claudia Hall Christian – The Denver Cereal
Claudy Conn – Hungry Moon-Quicksilver
Connie Shelton – Sweet Masterpiece
Cora Seton – The Cowboy’s E-Mail Order Bride
Cyndi Friberg – Royal Obsession
Cyndi Tefft – Between
Cynthia Wicklund – In the Garden of Disgrace
Dani Collins – Hustled to the Altar
Darcee Tana – Advertising for Love
Darlene A. Halliday – Something Missing
David M. Wind – The Cured
Debra Diaz – Shadow of Dawn
Dee Davis – The Promise
Desiree Holt – Collision Course
Devyn Dawson – Sapphire, A Werewolf Love Story
Diana Fraser – The PA’s Revenge
Donna McDonald – Carved in Stone
Doug Welch – Sail Beyond Tomorrow
DW Cee – Indelible Love – Emily’s Story
E Kelly – One Heart ~ Two Souls
E.L. Todd – Only For You
Eden Bradley – Sanctuary
Elena Dillon – Breathe
Elena Aitken – Unexpected Gifts
Elise Marion – The Third Son
Eliza Knight – The Highlander’s Reward
Elizabeth Reyes – Abel
Elizabeth Hunter – The Scribe
Elizabeth Schulte – Easy Bake Coven
Elizabeth Bevarly – The Ring on Her Finger
Elizabeth Kelly – Red Moon
Elizabeth Kolodziej – Vampyre Kisses
Ella Ardent – The Best Man
Emily Evans – The Accidental Movie Star
Emily Cantore – My Billionaire Boss (The Complete Series)
Emily Hemmer – The Break-Up Psychic
Emma Daniels – Ocean of Fire
Emma Jay – At the Cowboy’s Mercy
Erica Stevens – Captured
Eva Pohler – The Gatekeeper’s Sons
Evangeline Anderson – Claimed
Frances Rose – Halo
Gemma Halliday – Spying in High Heels
Ginger Voight – Enticed
GJ Walker-Smith – Saving Wishes
Gretchen Galway – This Time Next Door
H.O. Charles – City of Blaze
Heather Wardell – Go Small or Go Home
Heather Gunter – Changing Tunes
Heather Gray – Just Dessert
Hildie McQueen – A Different Shade of Blue
HP Mallory – Better Off Dead
Isabel Keats – Algo más que vecinos
Isabelle Rae – When Summer Ends
J.C. Isabella – Chasing McCree
J.C. Daniels – Blade Song
J.E. Taylor – Night Hawk
J.M. Snyder – Just the Three of Us
J.R. Rain – Moon Dance
Jack Erickson – A Streak Across the Sky
Jae  – Something in the Wine
Jami Alden – Blame It On Your Heart
Jana Leigh – Boots, Chaps, and Cowboy Hats
Jane Charles – His Christmas Match
Janet Miller – Promises to Keep
Jasmine Haynes – Somebody’s Lover
Jayna Vixen – Satin and Steel
JD Nixon – Heller
Jeanette Battista – Long Black Veil
Jeffe Kennedy – Petals and Thorns
Jemma Jones – Priceless Desire, The Billionaire Seduction
Jenna Bennett – Island Getaway
Jenna Elizabeth Johnson – Lorehnin – A Novel of the Otherworld
Jennifer Malone Wright – The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter The Complete Collection
Jennifer Bray-Weber – Bring Me the Horizon
Jennifer Comeaux – Life on the Edge
Jennifer Probst – Play Me
Jennifer Saints – Wild Irish Ride
Jesi Lea Ryan – Arcadia’s Gift
Jessica Freely – Unlawful: Book 1
Jill Sanders – Finding Pride
JoAnne Kenrick – Sweet Irish Kiss
Joely Sue Burkhart – The Rose of Shanhasson
John Ling – Fallen Angel
Joni Hahn – Agent I1 – Tristan
Jordan Summers – Phantom Warriors 2 – Saber-tooth
Jordan Castillo Price – Turbulence 1: Into the Bermuda Triangle
Jordan Hawk – Widdershins
Jordan Deen – The Crescent
Josephine Myles – Tailor Made
Josh Lanyon – Perfect Day
Julie Ortolon – Almost Perfect
Julie Prestsater – Against the Wall
Julie Johnstone – Bargaining With A Rake
Justine Elvira – Changing His Game
K Matthew – A Month with Werewolves
K.E. Saxon – Highland Vengeance
K.F. Breene – Into the Darkness
Kacey Hammell – 69 Mustang
Kahlen Aymes – Angel After Dark, The After Dark Series, #1
Kait Nolan – Genesis
Kallysten  – Bodyguards
Karen Erickson – Indulgent Pleasures
Karen Stivali – Meant To Be
Kate Angell – Squeeze Play
Kate Kelly – In Plain Sight
Kate Pearce – Educating Elizabeth
Kate Hewitt – The Other Side of the Bridge
Kathryn Shay – Someone To Believe In
Katy Madison – Lord Coleraine’s Scandalous Offer
Kelly Mooney – A Long Goodbye
Kelly McClymer – The Fairy Tale Bride
Kelly Martin – BIG is Beautiful
Kirsten Osbourne – Mail Order Mama
Kirsty Moseley – Nothing Left to Lose
Kitty French – Knight and Play
Kris Pearson – Christmas Holiday Husband
Kristine Kathryn Rusch – The Death of Davy Moss
Kym Grosso – Kade’s Dark Embrace
L.M. Trio – The Game Changer
Lacey Weatherford – Tell Me Why
Lacy Williams – First Kisses
Lara Adrian – A Touch of Midnight
Laura Briggs – The Wedding Caper
Laura Harner – Highland Shift
Lauren Blakely – First Night
Lee Strauss – Sun & Moon
Lexi Blake – Steal the Light
Lila Dubois – Elemental Pleasure
Lili Saint Germain – Seven Sons
Lily Graison – A Willow Creek Christmas
Lily Zante – The Proposal
Lindsay Buroker – Balanced on the Blade’s Edge
Lindsay Delagair – Untouchable
Linnea Sinclair – The Down Home Zombie Blues
Lisa Renee Jones – Tall, Dark, and Deadly 3 book box set
Liz Fielding – A Point of Pride
Lola Drake – Wrong Time for Love
Lori Crawford – Royal Opposites
Lori Ryan – Legal Ease
Lucinda Brant – Salt Bride
Lynn Hubbard – Run Into The Wind
M Malone – One More Day: The Alexanders, Book 1
Maggie Shayne – Texas Homecoming
Mandy Rosko – The Princess’ Dragon Lord
Maree Anderson – Freaks of Greenfield High
Marie Kelly – Blackmailing the Billionaire
Marie Hall – A Moment
Marisa Chenery – Wild Craving
Marsha Canham – The Pride of Lions
May McGoldrick – Borrowed Dreams
Megan Hart – Driven
Megan Bryce – Some Like It Perfect
Melanie Nilles – At the Water’s Edge
Melanie Jackson – Belle
Melissa Pearl – Betwixt
Melissa Haag – Hope(less)
Melody Grace – Untouched
Meredith Bond – Air: Merlin’s Chalice
Merry Farmer – In Your Arms
Mia Dymond – Leather, Lace and Rock-n-Roll
MJ Fredrick – Waltz Back to Texas
Monica Burns – Love’s Revenge
Morgan Rayne – A Different Kind of Fairy Tale
Nancy Straight – Blood Debt
Nashoda Rose – Tear Asunder
Natasha Preston – Silence
Neneh Gordon – Black Girls and Bad Boys – Stealing Loretta
Nicky Charles – Bonded
Nicola Claire – A Flare Of Heat
Nicola Marsh – Before
Nicole MacDonald – The Arrival
Nicolette Pierce – The Big Blind
Niki Savage – Lily’s Reprieve
Nikita Rae – Winter
Nikki Sex – Carmen’s New York Romance Trilogy
Nikki Jefford – Entangled
Norah Wilson – Guarding Suzannah
Olivia Hardin – Sweet Magic Song
Olivia Brynn – Falling Star
Opal Carew – Taken by Storm
P.O. Dixon – Pride and Sensuality
Patti Larsen – Exit Stage Left
Peggy Webb – Phantom of Riverside Park
Penelope Fletcher – Bedevil
Quinn Loftis – Prince of Wolves
R.E. Butler – Mate of Her Heart
R.G. Alexander – Big Bad John
R.L. Mathewson – Playing for Keeps
Rachel Higginson – Starbright
Rachel Van Dyken – Fall – A Seaside Novel
Rachel Brookes – Just Breathe
Raja Sharma – Nothing is Romantic Now
Randi Alexander – Cowboy Jackpot: Christmas
Rhian Cahill – All Of You
Rita Hestand – Stand By Me
Robert Lubrican – Any Soldier
Roz Lee – Inside Heat
Rucy Ban – Wear You Down
Ruth Cardello – Maid for the Billionaire
Ruth Ann Nordin – The Earl’s Scandalous Wife
S. Walden – Good
S.C. Stephens – Collision Course
S.H. Kolee – Of Love & Regret
Sabrina York – Rebound
Sahara Kelly – Falling
Sally Berneathy – Ghost of Summer
Samantha Towle – First Bitten
Samantha Young – Into the Deep
Sandra Marton – Emily: Sex & Sensibility
Sandra S. Kerns – The Butterfly Connection
Sara York – Pray the Gay Away
Sarah Woodbury – Daughter of Time
Sarah Mayberry – Satsifaction
SaraLynn Hoyt – Dangerous Heart
Sarra Cannon – The Moment We Began
SE Culpepper – Lost Won
Selena Kitt – Temptation
Sharon Cramer – The Execution
Sharon Gerlach – The Secret Dreams of Sarah-Jane Quinn
Shelli Stevens – The Billionaire’s Baby Bargain
Sherry Sirna – Forever Young
Shoshanna Evers – Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining)
Sky Corgan – Damaged
Sloan McBride – Dangerous Heat
Stacey Wallace Benefiel – Crossing
Stephanie Hudson – Afterlife Saga
Stephanie Julian – An Indecent Proposition Part I
Stephen Leather – Private Dancer
Susan Stephens – Hunter (Once Upon A Time)
Suzy Turner – Forever Fredless
Sylvia McDaniel – Wronged
Sylvia Hubbard – Wicked Chances
T Gephart – A Twist of Fate
T. Lynne Tolles – Blood of a Werewolf
T.A. Grey – The Loneliest Alpha
Tallulah Grace – Cliffs of Starsdale
Tammy Falkner – Tall, Tatted and Tempting
Tara Brown – For Love or Money
Tara Shuler – Shelter
Tawdra Kandle – The Posse
Tawny Taylor – Boxed Set – My Alpha Billionaire
Terri Brisbin – A Love Through Time
Terry Spear – Huntress for Hire
Tess Oliver – Paradise
The Abbotts – Girl on an Ice Floe
Theresa Marguerite Hewitt – Two Weeks With a SEAL
Tiffany King – Unlikely Allies
Tiffany Reisz – Felt Tips: Office-Supply Erotica
Tori Minard – Darkness Awakened (Dark Empire #2)
Tracy Falbe – Union of Renegades
Tracy Ellen – A Date with Fate
V.J. Chambers – Slow Burn
Vera Roberts – The Nanny
Vianka Van Bokkem – Vampire Crown Princesses & Princes
Victoria Danann – My Familiar Stranger
Victoria DuBois – The Adventures of Tiffany (Masquerade Ball)
Viola Grace – Knowing
Virginia Wade – Lily
Virginia Henley – Master of Paradise
Vivi Andrews – Spinning Gold
Vivi Dumas – Sweet Revenge
Yamila Abraham – A God to Rule Her

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