Teen writing community Figment gets $1 million in funding


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The community writing and reading site Figment, which is focused on teens, got $1 million in angel funding, Paid Content reports. Figment was co-founded by Dana Goodyear and former New Yorker managing editor Jacob Lewis.

Goodyear, now based in L.A., was inspired to found Figment by the Japanese teen literary community she wrote about in the New Yorker in 2008.


Paid Content reports:

The site came out of beta in December, and now has 35,000 members sharing over 75,000 pieces of writing. One to two thousand new members sign up each week, and the site adds between 500 and 600 pieces of new content every day. Ten percent of members access the site primarily through their phones. Teenagers are a prime target for publishers’ marketing efforts because they spend so much time online and are particularly open to contests and social-networking campaigns.... Lewis wouldn’t disclose the identity of its new investor, but said most of the money will go to develop new sales, distribution and marketing models. At the end of this month, Figment will launch a writing contest judged by novelist Paolo Coelho, whose novel The Alchemist sold 65 million copies worldwide. Coelho will post the winning story on his blog.

In addition to its forays into the new frontiers of publishing -- community-composed stories, writing and reading on cellphones -- Figment will try its hand at more traditional publishing with the young adult book ‘Dream School’ by Blake Nelson.


Festival of Books 2010: New media and publishing, starring Wil Wheaton, Dana Goodyear and Pablo Defendini

Bookweek: Mark Doty and Dana Goodyear at ALOUD

-- Carolyn Kellogg