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How One Author is Using Scribd to Find Readers by Jane Friedman

How One Author is Using Scribd to Find Readers by Jane Friedman



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Published by Hyla Molander
Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest interviews Scribd user, Hyla Molander, about her memoir, Drop Dead Life, and Hyla's incredible Scribd experience.
Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest interviews Scribd user, Hyla Molander, about her memoir, Drop Dead Life, and Hyla's incredible Scribd experience.

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Published by: Hyla Molander on Jul 28, 2010
Copyright:Public Domain


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How One Author is UsingScribd to Find Readersby Jane Friedman
 Photo of Scribd User, Hyla Molander
Originally Posted by Jane Friedmanat Writer’s Digest.com
I recently met Hyla Molander at the
,where she told me about her memoir,
, which she is promoting on her own using Scribd. Molander began work on her memoir after the sudden death of her husband at the age of 29.Hyla has generously answered some of my questions about her experience using
Before you posted your memoir onScribd, tell us about your effortsto traditionally publish your work (assuming that you did?).
Before posting on Scribd only three months ago, I hadn’t consideredanything other than traditional publishing as an option for my memoir,
. If I had focused my attention more on the actualwriting of my manuscript, though, rather than the writing of queries toendless literary agents, my book would be ready for print right now.As it is, I’ve written over 400 pages, but since
Drop Dead Life
isnonfiction, I’d hoped to get an advance and a publishing house editor tohelp me as I reshaped the writing into what will be a 280-pagemanuscript.Lucky for me, I had a successfully published friend who believed in mywriting so much that she suggested her high-profile New York literaryagent have a look at it. I was beyond excited. It didn’t even matter thatthe agent only requested a marketing plan and five-page writingsample.Several friends helped me with my marketing plan, which is a dauntingtask to complete if you’ve never put one together before. I knowauthors who spend weeks just trying to summarize their books in one
page.But the agent turned it away, without any feedback on the writingsample. He did, however, manage to mention that I was not ahousehold name.That was my first rejection. It probably took another month for me towrite anything else again. I’m a mother of four young children—ages 2,7, 8, and 12—so you can imagine the effort it takes to stay up all nightand write, even without the rejections.
Who else has seen it, encouraged it, rejected it, or stomped on it?How much had you revised it?
I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason, so I startedworkshopping bits of 
Drop Dead Life
within a year of Erik’s death, as away to make meaning out of something unfathomable. From very earlyon, I hoped to use my journey to inspire authenticity in others.The feedback I received in three different online workshops helped pullthe words out of me, but I wasn’t ready to try to sell my book yet. Lifehadn’t given me the ending.This past February, I went to the
in San Diego—a conference I highly recommend for writers.I spent weeks preparing advanced submissions and query letters for thethree different literary agents and one editor with whom I scheduled tomeet there.When it came time for my SCWC Advanced Submission Critiques, allthree scheduled agents raved about my manuscript, declaring thingslike “People need to be inspired by stories like yours” or “You’ll begreat at speaking engagements” and “Loved the sex and humor.” I

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P.D. Callahan liked this
Robert Dee liked this
Hyla Molander added this note
Almost done with my Scribd book! Can't wait to share my secrets...
Mariko added this note
It's sad that a reason for being turned down is that you aren't a celebrity. In my experience, the most amazing, interesting and heartfelt stories are from regular people who live life. So glad you are on Scribd!!! PS You are a celebrity to me :)
Hyla Molander added this note
Honored to speak via phone tomorrow on the National Association for Memoir Writers Day-Long Tele-summit about making meaning with memoir and--you guessed it--my AWESOME Scribd experience. Yes, I LOVE Scribd!
Prem Rao liked this
Hyla Molander liked this

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