Tag Archives: Publishers Weekly

Author Brittany Geragotelis: Six-figure Publishing Deal



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 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.
Wattpad’s Numbers
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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Marketing Tool: Galleys


What is a Galley or a Bound Galley?

Publishers provide free copies of new titles to booksellers, journalists and even celebrities as a marketing tool. They are normally distributed three and six months before the book is officially released to reviewers, magazines, and even libraries and book stores. These editions often lack the final dust jacket, formatting or binding of the finished product. Endorsements from celebrity readers or journalist will then be added to the final cover and to other promotional items.

A galley is simply a collection of unbound book pages. A bound galley is a galley that has been bound into book form. Bound galleys are generally produced after a manuscript has been typeset but before proofreading, and are used by publicists to send to book reviewers, distributors and book clubs that like to see a copy of the book three or four months before its official publication date.

How many bound galleys will I need and where to send them?
Around 30 copies to send to prepublication reviewers – or you can hand them out in person at the BEA in New York or the Frankfurt Book Fair.  If it’s not the type of book likely to be reviewed by major media, you may not need any at all.  Where you send bound galleys depends on the type and topic of the book you’re publishing. Send copies to major book clubs in your genre, to trade magazines in your topic area, and others who might influence sales.

Recipients of bound galleys might be:

Information essentials that need to be included:

  • Author and publication date
  • ISBN
  • publisher name and contact information
  • price
  • number of pages and of illustrations
  • trim size
  • distributor and contact
  • contact name and information for the publicist

Digital galleys are not intended as a replacement for the print galley. In many cases digital will supplement and promote print. But many publishers are already using digital galleys creatively in their marketing, publicity and sales efforts. It is only a matter of time until everyone will accept online galleys…

Time to take galleys online where they belong. 
It will save money and time, not to mention the environment, it will eliminate the fake ‘four month window’ during authors and publishers you have to sit on their books.  It might even generate advance buzz amongst readers. Traditional publishers can learn from savvy self-publishers on the internet.

Read more about this pre-publication tool.



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The Secret of Successful Authors


John Kremers "Self-Publishing Hall of Fame"

John Kremers "Self-Publishing Hall of Fame"

In his book “Self-Publishing Hall of Fame”   author John Kremer, THE book marketing expert, features such famous and successful authors as Margaret Atwood, Lord Byron, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoi, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, Rudyard Kipling, John Muir, Anais Nin, Marcel Proust, George Bernard Shaw, Gertrude Stein, Julia Cameron and Ken Harper.

He writes: “Self-publishing was once considered as bad as vanity publishing, but with so many self-published successes in the past few years, it is now possible to self-publish with respect. Publishers Weekly will now look at self-published books, something they would never have done five or ten years ago. “Gone are the days,” wrote Publishers Weekly rights columnist Paul Nathan, “when self-publishing was virtually synonymous with self-defeating.”

And now with the advent of print-on-demand publishing, it’s possible to self-publish books at little cost. POD publishing or self-publishing (Please Note: they are not the same thing!) are excellent ways to test the market for a book, establish that market, and even build the market to such an extent that an author can sell the reprint rights to a much larger book publisher for a very good advance. Indeed, many larger book publishers now scour the shelves and the Internet for self-published and POD books that could fit their publishing program. Self publishing has become respectable again.” Check out these authors above and some of their titles here:

  • Walden
  • War and Peace
  • The Lazy Person’s Guide to Success
  • How I Retired at 26
  • Life’s Greatest Lessons
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Old Farmer’s Almanac
  • The Elements of Style
  • Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream
  • The Cliffhanger
  • Don Juan
  • The Artist’s Way
  • One of Ours
  • Wall Street Money Machine
  • What to Do When You’re Expecting
  • Spartacus
  • Eat First—You Don’t Know What They’ll Give You
  • Work Your Way Around the World
  • A Time to Kill
  • Give Me My Father’s Body: The Story of Minik, the New York Eskimo
  • The Sun Also Rises
  • M*A*S*H
  • 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth
  • Ulysses
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  • The Raven

Why hunt for a publisher if you can self-publish? Marketing tips galore are found on John Kremers website.




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