A Literary Agent's View on Wattpad & Traditional Publishing



Wait a second? Correct me if I’m wrong. They DO NOT want a book previously posted on Wattpad? :flushed:


Janet didn’t say that. She says it doesn’t MATTER if it has been posted on Wattpad.


An author starts out with different rights. When he writes the story/novel he owns the copyright. He usually doesn’t relinquish the copyright.

When the author signs a contract to publish his book, he gives certain rights to the publisher. The right to publish it in print. Another right to publish it in audio. Foreign rights, etc. And hopefully the contract has reversion rights so that under certain conditions the author gets his rights back.

Then there’s something called First Rights (First Serial Rights for magazines). The author doesn’t sell that right. It goes away once the story/novel is published. Where it’s important is when the publisher wants to be the first to publish the work. They want to know if the story/novel has ever been published before. Magazines typically demand First Rights. From what Janet says, novel publishers and literary agents are more flexible nowadays. With magazines, the First Serial Rights are geographic. So you might have a North America First Serial Right which I believe is the U.S. and Canada. I read that if it’s an online magazine geography doesn’t come into play because everyone has worldwide access to it.

The question is whether the author loses First Rights when they post the story on wattpad. From what I’ve read, unless you’re publishing a new version with major revisions, the First Rights are gone.

NOW — don’t panic. If it’s a short story that you want to submit to a magazine, that could be a problem, but we’re typically talking about novels here. It seems literary agents and publishers don’t care about First Rights like magazines do. So it should not be a problem if your novel is first posted on wattpad. Of course if it is, they might want to know how many reads it got.

But read the submission guidelines. If it states First Rights are required, you have to be up front with them and tell them it was posted on wattpad.


Which is exactly why there’s the argument that posting on Wattpad doesn’t burn first rights. The unedited first drafts posted here likely bear little resemblance to what is eventually sent to publishers.


Yip. Which is what I was trying to say, when I said agents consider work posted here as being for critique.

I don’t think there is any resolution here. Some people have their view and others have a differing view. Ultimately, it’s what an agent/publisher thinks that matters.


Didn’t I say correct me if I was wrong. I swear, some of y’all don’t know how to talk to people or are always so highly offensive.

I don’t get it, but whatever.

Janet said that, okay.


I was just correcting you like you asked. Sorry if you are misreading my tone. I’m not offended or upset. You seem to have a hair trigger, though. Geez.


No I’m not. I have Outlander coming on in an hour, and for that, I am really happy right now.

Enjoy your evening, toodles.


bump -

Wattpad Launches Wattpad Books, a New Publishing Division to Bring Diverse, Data-Backed Stories to Book-Lovers Everywhere