The Marketplace for Books

In the pantheon of publishing, there are so many tools for authors and publishers. The ability to get noticed by a literary agent, or even a basic audience is one of the utmost goals of authors these days. It actually becomes a bit more difficult given the large number of options that authors across the globe are confronted with.

One of those tales of success is from Scribd author, Mary Yuhas, who has contributed her works — including select chapters of her memoir, Quit and be Quiet, about her growing up with a mother who had mental illness.

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“My chapters received well over 40,000 reads and convinced me there is a place for my book. I also published a short story about my father, which is included in the back of the book. It received over 1,000 reads in less than 24 hours − respectable by anyone’s standards,” Yuhas said in an article that appeared in the Harvard Square Edition.

Yuhas also found tremendous value in the Scribd community. With millions of publishers, readers and users, the Scribd community is a vast place to discover writers on virtually any subject. By publishing content, the users are able to discover written works and publications, share them with their Scribd community and even share them with the rest of the major social networks. By commenting and annotating publications, the users actually are able to engage in an entirely new layer of discussion about a whole plethora of topics.

For Yuhas, she was able to parlay the large amount of reads that were accumulated by her publications and chatper excerpts, and show them to literary agents. This posed a huge step forward for her writing career and was bolstered by the support of her community on Scribd – people who were willing to write in with support and ideas.

“So whether you are looking for an agent or writing an e-Book, posting a few chapters of your book online is a great way to get started. It’s free, and you’ll quickly see whether you are striking a chord with readers or if you need to go back and do some revising,” Yuhas said.

We did a short interview with Yuhas earlier today and have published it below with a link to an embed view of her chapter published to Scribd:

Q. How did you discover Scribd?

I was reading about a newly published author. Unfortunately, I can’t recall her name. She said she started out by publishing on Scribd so I took a look and liked what I saw.

Q. In your search for literary marketplaces or products, what other sites do you rely on using?

I’m not using any other sites. I am a freelance writer and have written for many publications such as the Sun-Sentinel, USA Today and China Daily USA among others so I am well published. I also have several blogs. All that said, writing a book is very different from writing an article for a magazine or newspaper. I knew I had a strong story (Quit and Be Quiet is my memoir of growing up with a severely mentally ill mother.) I just didn’t know if I was a strong enough writer to tell it or not. Scribd convinced me that I am.

Q. Do you still maintain contact with the Scribd community? Who were the contacts that made up your social circle on Scribd?

Absolutely! It’s been fun watching everyone’s progress and sharing their successes. Barbara Alfaro, Dan Essman, Rolando Garcia, Molly Greene, Claire Hennessy, Sunny Lockwood, Laura Novak, Robin Rule, Carla Sarett, Laura Zera and Rose (I don’t know Rose’s last name.) .

Q. Do you still use Scribd to further your literary work, or did it provide a springboard into other avenues or mediums for publishing?

I take a quick look at Scribd every day but not longer post on it It was a wonderful springboard. Recently, I’ve ventured into multimedia and have a new website – pardon my shameless promotion here – Baby Boomers – the first reality blog. That has opened a whole new media world. Because TV and the internet are quickly become one, I wanted to get into video and it is so much fun! But publishing my book is still my dream!

Q. What is your current opinion on the literary marketplace for sites like Scribd and Amazon? As an author, are your seeing places that accommodate your work?

I haven’t worked on them firsthand, but I have talked to others who do. I think most authors are thrilled to be able to get their work out there and equally appreciate getting get honest feedback. Almost all of the sites offer that. The unique thing about Scribd is we became a Scribd family. As the song goes, “Those were the days my friend…” and they were.

26 responses to “The Marketplace for Books

  1. Sounds interesting. I have been wondering about how to get readership though.

  2. @MmellM The first step is writing.the very best you can and then editing ad nauseum. I’m assuming you’ve published on Scribd or somewhere. Tweet it, put it on Facebook and just get it all over via social media. If you’ve not done your homework by building your social media contacts, work on that. Hope that helps!

  3. Mell – I hope to see some of your content or work published on Scribd. We can feature documents and hopefully that starts you on the path to getting readership and attention to your work. Cheers!

  4. Life and Other Turbulence

    Mary, great interview! I was using Scribd quite a bit when I first started writing (you contacted me about my piece titled ‘Charlie Sheen: Just Shut UP!’). Since I started my own quiet little blog, I’ve gotten away from posting to Scribd (which is pretty silly, but I guess I’m a shy enough writer that my one little quiet corner of cyberspace seemed overwhelming enough). But, just a few weeks ago I decided to upload an OpEd piece to Scribd (titled ‘Criminals and Cancer…They Have A Lot In Common’). The upload went fine, but it never appeared on my public profile page or on the ‘shelf’ of my Published Documents. It was only visible (to me) when I clicked on MY CONTENT. After a week or so, I simply removed it, since I wasn’t able to figure out where it would be visible to the readership at large. Any thoughts you can offer about why it never appeared in my ‘published documents’ would be much appreciated! My Scribd user name is AJewett.

    • I couldn’t agree more about giraetrics. I miss sitting with some of the elderly individuals I used to help and they would tell me stories for hours about the things that they witness when they were younger, and the lives that they lived up to the point that they needed care. I have always felt that the elderly know how to live their lives better than anyone, and they for sure never take it for granted! Sometimes the people taking care of them are not good people though, and it always breaks my heart to see someone talking badly to an elderly man or woman.I like how you made a switch from little tiny babies that have no real experience with life, to elderly men and women who have lived life to its fullest and still have more life to share with others. Such opposites!

  5. I remember Charlie Sheen: Just Shut UP! It was good and very apropos. Sorry, I don’t know how to help you with your tech problem. You can email Scribd though and get a ticket number and someone will get back to you. Good luck! I’d hope to see Criminals and Cancer – sounds interesting.

  6. You should be able to see your published items once they’ve finished uploading to the site. Simply click on the upper right corner of your screen, below your image icon and look for View Public Profile or My Content. Sometimes it takes a while for people to notice or read your content so try to remain patient. There’s a lot of great stuff to read around here. I sometimes get lots of hits on some of my published content and zilch on other portions of the same story. I am publishing my novel in serial format here because that is the best way to test an audience, I think. And the instant gratification of getting it up and out there doesn’t hurt either.

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