Author Taps Kickstarter, Scribd to Promote Book

A preview of the cover of Hyla Molander's upcoming book; "Drop Dead Life." For the past few years -- almost since the beginning, author and writer Hyla Molander has been utilizing the features and power of Scribd.

Over the past few weeks, we've discussed the often difficult and tumultuous world of digital publishing. While the proliferation of mobile devices has led to near non-stop access in an increasingly connected culture, there are now more options than ever for authors. While that is a boon for writers, it also means that self-publishers are confronted with a challenged around ensuring that books and publications receive the audience and traction necessary.

Last week, Molander tipped us off to an experiment that she is employing in hopes of hitting the mark on marketing and publicity for her upcoming book. She is using her Scribd community and an intriguing experiment that looks to capitalize on sharing her works from Scribd onto Kickstarter in an effort fundraiser the rest of her book.

To our knowledge, this is the first time a Scribd author has attempted this, but the ability to share and link to the Scribd content via Kickstarter makes it a uniquely compelling way to market a book.

Molander first discovered the possibilities of Scribd four years ago when she was an author looking to share her deeply personal memoir about dealing with the death of her husband at the age of 29.

"I kept hearing about 'platform,'" Molander said. "And three different agents, all of whom had expressed interest in helping me find a house to publish my memoir, pounded that word into my head even more. For those who don’t know what platform means—because I certainly didn’t—platform means that you have a proven audience of people who will want to read your book. Sadly, if you don’t have a large platform, most traditional publishing houses won’t even consider you."

Despite taking a three-year hiatus from writing while focusing on other family and literary pursuits, Molander returned to the platform to discover that her original published excerpt continues to live a wildly popular life in the annals of Scribd creative writers and memoirs along with the much-needed impetus to continue her writing.

"Even now, as I am returning from a three-year writing hiatus, I see that my excerpt has been read 29,000 times on Scribd and it gives me the courage to finally publish my book," Molander said.

Of all the many aspects of independent publishing, the eyeballs that are captured by your work is one of the most important -- yet also one of the toughest.

"It is still extremely important to produce a high quality book, which means hiring an editor (or multiple editors), paying for book cover design, layout, and having a phenomenal marketing plan," Molander said.

Which explains the interesting component of her emerging Kickstarter campaign. It also leverages Molander's incredibly rich and storied history with Scribd. Currently, she has registered over 216,000 reads and has built a profile on the power of 2,640 followers.

Authors thrive on having others comment and offer input for their work. That advice and community is often the one piece that helps drive a project or a stubborn writing assignment to completion.

"Unless you are only writing your book for yourself or your family, people need to know that you exist. Start writing for blogs, submit to magazines, and definitely upload short documents onto Scribd -- preferably with a cover that will attract the attention of readers. And don’t forget to share those blog posts, magazine articles, and Scribd documents all on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Linkedin. The exchanges you will have with your readers will only deepen your writing and spark ideas for more content that others will want to read," Molander said.

Currently, Molander has published a version of her memoir which is featured on Scribd's homepage and is also accessible via her Kickstarter campaign.

You can also read the excerpt in its entirety, embedded below. Tomorrow, we will share some more personal aspects of this writing project from our interview in a separate blog post.