Scribd’s Algorithm & Editors Pick the Perfect Read For You
4.5.16 Literature & Books

Scribd’s Algorithm & Editors Pick the Perfect Read For You

By: Lindsey Carman

The Breakdown: Scribd, the world’s largest unlimited e-book subscription service, handpicks the best read for you with intuitive algorithms, a dedicated team of editors and a library of more than 1 million titles — all for just $8.99 a month.

Becoming the world’s first open publishing platform and most affordable e-book subscription service took labor and love, but Scribd makes it look easy.

The e-retailer grew into one of the most popular e-book subscription services in just two years and leads the book world in innovation.

A photo of Scribd's logo

Scribd has more than 1 million books to choose from!

With more than 17 million hours of reading time clocked since its inception, Scribd’s e-book subscription service offers voracious readers the opportunity to explore new worlds from more than 1 million options. It’s a digital library heaven where every bookworm’s dream comes true.

From an array of genres to algorithmic (and human) recommendations, Scribd revolutionizes the social e-book reading experience for more than 80 million readers worldwide. Scribd’s “unparalleled” subscription service leads the way in e-book innovation and social reading experiences.

Personalized Picks Just For You

Scribd’s success isn’t only due to having access to a plethora of books, audio books or comics, and it isn’t even the affordable price tag. The subscription service’s special algorithms — combined with a dedicated team of editors — recommends the best books, personalized to every reader.

Scribd’s Recommendations: Editor Curated & Algorithmic

In today’s tech world, it’s easy to create an average algorithm that selects mediocre picks for readers, but the Scribd team incorporates editorial tagging and curation that exceeds any competitor’s suggestions. Behind every recommendation is an editor’s top pick for the reader.

Scribd’s team of editors spends hours reading and reviewing new releases, top sellers and just about every other type of book out there. When readers view the latest book recommendations, they can be rest assured that a dedicated editor poured countless hours reviewing that book just for them.

A photo of Scribd's books

Between editor’s picks and algorithmic recommendations, Scribd selects the perfect reads for you.

“We take a pretty unique approach to recommendations here at Scribd, and it’s something that we’re really proud of,” said Lyndsey Besser, Scribd’s PR manager.

Weekend Reads, #FridayReads — and Beyond

Apart from in-house editors and intuitive algorithms, Scribd also suggests books through its weekly email newsletter called Weekend Reads, which sends readers three book recommendations that are personalized by the editorial team. Users can either download those books or reply that those recommendations don’t interest them. The folks at Scribd are happy to suggest different books if you’re unsatisfied with the ones you received.

Scribd’s blog also publishes weekly posts with the hashtag “#FridayReads” that recommend more books for interested readers. Three editors write an in-depth description about their picks of the week and give readers the opportunity to download the book and start reading right away.

It’s easy to see the Scribd team is constantly brainstorming new ways to find the best books for you.

Once the YouTube of Documents; Now the Netflix of Books

A series of epiphanies inspired Scribd’s development. Co-founder Trip Adler wanted to help his father, a surgeon, publish a medical paper and was frustrated that there wasn’t an easy-to-use platform to do so.

In 2007, Adler created a self-publishing platform where medical papers, theses, court cases, sheet music and any other documents could be easily accessed and shared. With more than 60 million documents, the platform became quite successful and eventually grew into Scribd.

Adler’s E-Book Vision for Scribd

Adler’s ambition drove the San Francisco-based company to partner with the best publishers, including HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, Macmillan and Houghton Mifflin, and create the ultimate digital library.

A photo of Trip Adler

Trip Adler, the co-founder of Scribd

Then another great idea occurred: Scribd should offer an unlimited e-book subscription membership for avid e-readers.

When the subscription service launched in October 2013, Scribd had thousands of readers sign up immediately.

“We really want to give readers a destination for all their reading under one roof, whatever the genre might be,” Besser said.

Since then, Scribd has seen an average subscription growth of 30 percent each month and plans on teaming up with the best in the e-book world. With the recent acquisition of Librify, a destination for books clubs and literature junkies, Scribd brings new social sharing capabilities, such as inviting friends to read a book with you or checking out their reading progress, to its platform.

The e-book powerhouse continuously sets the bar high for giving readers the social reading experience they’ve been wanting on their e-readers.

Peruse, Download, Devour — Repeat

For only $8.99 a month, Scribd is the ultimate e-reader’s destination to explore new worlds and genres. If you’re not sold on signing up just yet, the subscription service allows interested readers to use Scribd — free — for 14 days.

Scribd Books

From categories like fantasy to young adult, there’s a perfect pick for every reader.

Available on the App Store, Google Play, Kindle Fire and much more, members can download as many e-books as they want. Readers can also download audio books (some even narrated by Grammy-award winners) to listen to on their work commute or road trip across the country. Those beloved comic books readers once loved as kids and haven’t read in a couple of decades, such as Marvel Universe and manga, are available on Scribd, too.

Scribd’s Categories: The New Way to Explore E-Books

With the ability to sync books across all their devices, users can discover categories such as “Happiness & Self-Help”, “Arts & Ideas” and “Biography & Memoir” wherever they go. Scribd’s book categorization system breaks down books even further within the category, such as highlighting what’s trending and bestselling. Readers can peruse and get lost in the special categorized recommendations on Scribd.

On top of the already available smorgasbord of books, audio books, and comics, Scribd continues to add even more as new publishers hand-shake agreements. That’s more stories waiting for you — the reader — to devour.

“Literally new books are hitting the site daily,” Besser said.

You’ll never run out of new exciting reads with your Scribd membership.

A Global Subscription Service on the Rise

So what does the future look like for Scribd?

The subscription service will remain focused on its top priority: a copious amount of content. From acquiring new social reading technologies to partnering with big and local publishers alike, readers can expect the best of the e-book world on Scribd.

Already used in 194 countries, Scribd continues to expand globally and localize e-book copies in a variety of languages. Reading a book in Boston should have the same high-quality experience as reading in Hong Kong, so the Scribd team makes sure every global reader has a flawless experience.

“As we continue to grow internationally, the biggest area for opportunity is working with more local publishers in each of those markets.” Besser said.

A photo of Scribd's audio books

Read (or listen) to your favorite books anywhere in the world.

The e-book powerhouse will also keep innovating its platform, creating even better experiences for the reader and expanding its categorized collections. Whether readers are on the go or planted on their cozy couch, they can get lost in a new world wherever they are.

“We love helping people find their next best book,” Besser said.

And for readers, it’s exciting to anticipate what Scribd has up their (e-book) sleeve next.

For more information on Scribd’s e-book subscription membership or open publishing platform, please visit