Scribd with Everand review: the popular ebook and audiobook subscription service gets a revamp

Editor’s Note

• Original Scribd review date: February 2022
• Rebranded in November 2023
• Launch subscription price: $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$14.99
• Current price: $11.99 / £10.99 / AU$14.99

Updated: February 2024. Scribd, when it originally launched, was a subscription hub for ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, magazines, sheet music, various documents, slides and even the odd recipe. The platform has undergone a full overhaul, however, and has been broken into three different services. Everand is now the app for ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, magazines and sheet music. Scribd is exclusively for documents – so whitepapers, court filings, some scientific research, recipes, etc. All the presentations have been moved to SlideShare. The three platforms are still owned and run by Scribd Inc and you need only one subscription to access all three. The monthly subscription has gone up in the US and UK, but remains unchanged for Australia, and the extensive Everand library makes it worthwhile. In lieu of this overhaul, we’ve redone our original review, concentrating on Everand, but also touching upon Scribd and SlideShare too.

Sharmishta Sarkar

Scribd with Everand: One-minute review

Scribd began life as a document-sharing platform in 2007, but it grew from there to become an ebook and audiobook subscription service to rival Kindle Unlimited and Kobo Plus. In November 2023, however, the platform underwent a full overhaul, and parent company Scribd Inc separated the mainstream offerings like ebook and audiobooks from the documents and presentations that littered the service. The original Scribd has now been divided into three new platforms – Everand housing all the ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, podcasts and sheet music, Scribd is now the home for documents only (think whitepapers, court filings, etc), and all the presentations have moved to SlideShare.

The good news is that the one subscription gets you access to all three, and the price in some regions is still the same as before. For this review, I’ve concentrated on the mainstream Everand service, but it all works exactly as it did previously.

As before, there’s quite a decent library of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, podcasts and sheet music on Everand, with the app looking pretty much the same as the original Scribd. The only difference is some minor changes to the color schemes to differentiate between the three divisions of the old Scribd platform.

Compared to Kindle Unlimited and Kobo Plus, Everand has a more extensive selection of titles in its library but only if you take both ebooks and audiobooks into consideration. However, as with Scribd previously, there’s still more audiobooks than ebooks on the platform, although the number of titles has increased significantly compared to what I saw when I first reviewed it in 2022. 

The headline here is the addition of Originals on Everand – titles written exclusively for Scribd Inc by some well-known authors like Magaret Atwood and Stephen King.

While Kindle Unlimited offers magazines to its US subscribers, other markets aren’t able to access those, and Everand can fill the void. However, the number of magazines is limited compared to what you’ll find on Readly. And while podcasts are a great addition to Everand (something you won’t find on Kindle Unlimited or Kobo Plus), several are available for free on other platforms. Still, they add value to the subscription.

There’s no native ereader integration with the Everand app, but you can use it on a desktop or a handheld device like your phone or tablet – apps are available for Apple and Android users. Owners of Onyx Boox ereaders – which run on Android and give you access to the Google Play Store – can download it for use on e-ink slates like the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C or Onyx Boox Page.

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Scribd with Everand review: price and availability

  • More expensive than Kindle Unlimited in some markets
  • Monthly subscription of $11.99 / £10.99 / AU$14.99
  • 30-day free trial

A monthly subscription to any of Scribd Inc’s apps – Everand, Scribd or SlideShare – will cost you $11.99 / £10.99 / AU$14.99. That’s a touch more expensive than Kindle Unlimited in the US and UK, but costs the same in Australia. 

Signing up for only Everand gets you access to the other two, or vice versa, adding value to the subscription if you’re a student or researcher, but the variety in the Everand library alone makes it better value than either Kindle Unlimited or Kobo Plus, but this is only if you take full advantage of both ebooks and audiobooks.

That said, if you already use an Amazon Kindle or Kobo ereader, you might be better off with the ebook subscription service associated with your chosen brand if you want to read on the device.

You can subscribe to Everand from anywhere in the world – you’ll just have to pay the equivalent of the US pricing if your country doesn’t have an official version of the site or application. Plus there’s a 30-day free trial available to test the waters before you commit to paying for the service when you sign up via either Everand or Scribd. Strangely, SlideShare offers a 60-day free trial, which might be the better option to test the waters for longer.

Scribd with Everand review: Content library

  • Lots of audiobooks
  • Limited ebooks compared to audiobooks
  • Decent collection of magazines and podcasts

Like I mentioned at the start of this review, there’s a lot on Everand. As versatile as it looks on paper, the individual libraries of each type of content is limited, although I found far more titles I’d like to read and listen to on Everand than I did on Kindle Unlimited and Kobo Plus.

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Let’s start with ebooks. While there’s a lot here to keep you occupied for a very long time, you could be disappointed if you’re looking for something specific. A couple of missing examples I found were David Graeber’s The Dawn of Everything and Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy. Fans of Brandon Sanderson, though, will be glad to know that several of his other titles are available on Everand, including his “secret project” books from his Kickstarter campaign.

What’s interesting about Everand, though, are the original titles. Started in 2019, the Scribd Originals program (called so they came into being before Everand was launched as a separate platform) was a way for authors to reach new audiences, but these are written exclusively by some well known writers like Magaret Atwood, Stephen King, Paul Theroux and Simon Winchester. Most of these are short stories or essays, and several are in audiobook format, but there are some very interesting titles amongst the Scribd Originals, none of which you’ll find anywhere else.

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

The number of audiobooks on Everand is much more impressive than its ebook collection, just as it was when it was still called Scribd. Some titles that don’t have the ebook versions on Scribd can be found in audiobook format instead. For example, Neil Price’s Children of Ash and Elm and Mary Beard’s SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome are only available as audiobooks. Another example of the deficit of ebook titles is Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series – all 10 are available as audiobooks but none as an ebook. It’s the same with Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries too – the first seven are available in audiobook format only. 

Some of these missing ebook titles used to be available as user-uploaded documents in PDF format – likely from questionable sources – on the original platform, but those are no longer on Everand, having moved to the new Scribd.

When it comes to magazines and newspapers, you’re not going to get as extensive a collection as on Readly, but there are some very good options on Everand, like Time, Marie Claire and National Geographic. There are some obvious big names missing too, like Reader’s Digest and Cosmopolitan, although you can find a few individual articles from the missing mags. Despite the missing titles, the magazine stand does cover several genres including news and current affairs, tech, and lifestyle, with the News Rack including access to The Guardian, NPR, The Independent and Futurity. Some of TechRadar’s sister magazines can be found on Everand, including Kiplinger, Digital Camera World, Classic Rock, T3 and APC.

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

There’s a pretty decent collection of podcasts across several genres as well, like Grounded with Louis Theroux, Day X, Revisionist History and Criminal. Practically every one I searched for, I found on Everand, however they’re also available for free on Apple and Google Podcast services.

I’m not certain what sheet music is doing on Everand – I think it should be on Scribd with other documents – but if you’re a keen musician, you could strike gold and that alone might be worth the subscription cost for you. There’s a lot of sheet music, from Disney songs to Broadway, Mozart to Frank Sinatra, even Beyonce, Adele and Taylor Swift.

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Scribd content library

With all the mainstream items now on Everand, Scribd has gone back to being what it started out as – a repository of user-uploaded content, specifically documents like whitepapers, some research papers, court filings and the like. 

The documents are categorized into several genres, including wellness, technology, business, religion and politics, and their usefulness will depend on what precisely you’re after. Each document can be rated by the user with a thumbs up or a thumbs down, and this becomes important when you’re looking for authenticity on a platform that can have some dodgy content from questionable sources.

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Most of the content on the new Scribd document platform, however, is good and could be useful depending on the subject. I found books on metabolism that were interesting, plus something on modern sewer designs that I never thought would hold me attention for longer than a minute. There are textbooks and test papers, even court filings against Donald Trump.

And, as I’ve already mentioned, you don’t pay extra to access Scribd – it’s included in the Everand subscription. Any document you save via Scribd is added to a common saved list that’s accessible via any of the three apps, but if you select a document via the Everand app, you will be redirected to the Scribd app. So if you do use all the Scribd Inc apps, you will need to download them all on your preferred device. If you only use the web browser option, then they open in a new tab.

SlideShare content library

As with Scribd, SlideShare is also niche, now home to the presentations that were previously uploaded to the original Scribd platform. There are a wide range of slide shows and decks to choose from, including business templates, guides to social media platforms, case studies in education and a heck of a lot more.

You can download an entire presentation if you need it offline, or you can choose specific slides from a deck to download. The uploader’s username is displayed against each presentation, plus the number of slides in each, how many views they’ve had and how long they’ve been available on SlideShare.

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

The presentations aren’t editable, although it might be possible to find the odd template that might allow you to do so after downloading for offline access.

Interestingly, when viewing SlideShare on a web browser, it gives you the option of signing up to all three apps to get a 60-day free trail, which doesn’t seem to be available via the other two. So if you really are keen to try Everand, it might be a good option to sign up via SlideShare.

Scribd with Everand review: user experience

  • Mobile apps are easy to use
  • Clunky browser interface
  • Formatting issues on some ebooks

Everand, Scribd and SlideShare can be used on a desktop browser, on a phone or a tablet, with apps available for both Apple and Android operating systems. Signing up is easy and there’s a 30-day free trial for you to road test the service before you need to cough up the monthly fee (60 days if you sign up via SlideShare).

Apps for all three on any platform are identical, so I’ll stick to Everand for the sake of this review. Using the app on mobile or tablet is quite easy and intuitive, with browsing the library made easy thanks to sections for different genres and categories. The different content types are neatly arranged on the top of the app and there’s even curated lists for anyone keen to find a new story to get lost in. 

When you find something you want to read or listen to, you just have to save it by tapping on the bookmark icon. You can even download items for offline reading or listening and, in theory, there’s no limit to how many you can download at a time. I didn’t go beyond downloading five items at a time, but I have seen some users complain that Scribd Inc throttles how much you can download in one go.

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Audiobook quality – based on the titles I listened to – is great, but if your device goes to sleep due to inactivity, the narration will stop unless you use the app’s sleep timer functionality (the crescent moon icon). Audiobooks require the screen to be on at all times for it to work nonstop.

Ebook quality, for the most part, is great but I did find some that had formatting issues – not the kind you’d expect from a page trying to automatically adjust to screen sizes. I found a number of them with just one word on a line or large chunks of empty space after a paragraph (with the next one starting on the subsequent page).

Note that the Everand app itself doesn’t have a dark mode option, but if your device settings is selected for dark mode, then all content will appear on a black background with white text.

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Reading magazines is a mixed-bag experience – none of the covers can be viewed full-screen and you can only read one article at a time, no scrolling through the whole issue here. That said, each article is nicely formatted, with any accompanying imagery placed very well to avoid weird line and page breaks, no matter what screen size you’re viewing it on.

The browser experience, however, isn’t as great as on mobile or tablet. The interface is easy to navigate, yes, but it’s just too clunky to be a smooth experience. That said, we reckon most users would prefer to read (or listen) on a handheld device, so the online interface shouldn’t really be too much of an issue.

(Image credit: Scribd)

The one drawback that could be a deal breaker for some potential subscribers is the lack of ereader support. If you already own a Kindle, then Amazon’s ebook/audiobook subscription service will be a lot more convenient for you. It’s a similar case with Kobo users – where Kobo Plus is available, that would seem like a better option. 

However, as I’ve mentioned earlier, Onyx Boox ereaders with access to the Google Play Store will be able to open the Android version of the Everand app so you can read (or listen) on an ereader. Scribd Inc will probably have to go through licensing red tape to partner with some of the best ereader brands out there, but if that can be wrangled, then Everand might have a fighting chance to compete with Kindle Unlimited in terms of popularity.

Should I subscribe to Scribd with Everand?

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Whether you should subscribe to Everand (or Scribd and SlideShare) is not an easy question to answer. If you’re an avid reader and don’t already subscribe to an ebook/audiobook subscription service, then Everand might be worth considering, particularly if you primarily do your digital reading on a phone or tablet. Considering you get access to a very diverse range of content types could just make that subscription price worth it.

In fact, it’s great for audiobook lovers who don’t already have an Audible subscription (which is cheaper in some markets but more expensive in others), considering there’s more audio titles than ebooks. 

Having access to magazines and podcasts on the same platform is great too, but Readly has a better magazine collection (if that is your area of interest), and the podcasts can be found on other platforms for free, so it’s up to you to decide if they add value to your subscription cost.

If ebooks and audiobooks are your main goals, then at the time of writing, Kindle Unlimited has an extensive library of ebooks and offers you the convenience of reading on a Kindle device or on the Kindle app. You’ll also need to remember Everand won’t get new releases on its platform on day one.

Unlike any other subscription service of this kind, however, your Everand membership gets you some exclusive content in the form of the Scribd Originals, but there aren’t too many of these, but it’s possible this might grow. And if you take into account both ebooks and audiobooks, then the Everand library is arguably the best, but only if you enjoy both reading and listening to stories.

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[First reviewed February 2022]

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Scribd with Everand review: the popular ebook and audiobook subscription service gets a revamp:

Editor’s Note• Original Scribd review date: February 2022• Rebranded in November 2023• Launch subsc…