Remember the blog post about Wattpad I wrote in January? This Canadian book “forum” Wattpad has experienced explosive growth since its inception and has become the world’s most popular destination to upload and read e-books.
MacLeans Magazine now wrote about Wattpad: “Could Wattpad be the ‘killer app’ for aspiring writers? On Wattpad, anyone can write and get feedback—just ask Margaret Atwood”.
They explained that Brittany Geragotelis was an aspiring author who had written six novels – all of them had been rejected by publishers. She worked as an editor at American Cheerleader magazine. In October of 2010, a digital venture from Toronto called Wattpad, asked her if she would promote the company in the magazine. She was a “big book nerd” and Wattpad—an interactive online forum where anyone can upload their own writing, and readers can read, comment on, and even contribute—was compelling. With nothing to lose, she wrote a novel and gave it away, one chapter at a time, for six months.
Within a week, the first chapter of “Life’s a Witch” had been read a couple of thousand times. By the time she finished writing and uploading the entire book, it had been read six million times. Half a year and 19 million reads later, Brittany Geragotelis had a new literary agent and a six-figure deal from Simon & Schuster.
Wattpad has now 24 million visitors who spend about 2.2 billion minutes on the site each month and 6.5 million “stories”— in 24 different languages—have been uploaded. Recently bestseller author Margaret Atwood joint and published three new poems, Thriller Suite, on Wattpad. Wattpad received more than US$17 million venture capital, some of that from Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang according to a MacLeans magazine article. Have a look at this YouTube video to learn more about Wattpad in an interview with Ashleigh Gardner, who is the Head of Content at Wattpad.com the world’s largest platform for discovering, reading and sharing stories. Wattpad has 24 million users, the majority are readers, with only 10% authors. It’s not a publishing platform, more of a social network.
Average session length is 30 mins, and 85% read via mobile devices. Serialization is a huge part of the platform, so you post chapters or new parts of the story. All the followers get push notifications to their phone when new parts are added, plus you can also email followers. Writers across their careers are writing on Wattpad. Established traditionally published authors, such as Margaret Atwood, as well as aspiring writers who are just expressing themselves. There have been book deals out of Wattpad, e.g. Beth Reekles, 17 year old who got a 3 book deal off her Wattpad success. It is a very popular site for teens 13-18, but 35% of the site is 18-30. If you write YA, Young Adult or New Adult, you should be on Wattpad! Romance and Sci-Fi communities are very large too. Urban fiction is a flourishing example.
Calvin Reid from Publishers Weekly wrote: “YA Author with Huge Wattpad Fan Base Tries Self-Publishing” and “Swamped by Offers, Self-Pubbed YA Author Gets Agent and More”.
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