A question about publishers and followings


#1

So, after stalking quite a few threads in this category, I saw a few things in common and got curious.

I’ve noticed that a lot of writers have come to WP to gain a following and show publishers that their work has an audience. That being said, what exactly does that mean?

I’m 16 and - though I may dream of it on the side - my first and main goal is NOT to be an author as my only career. I love writing and I may try to pursue it on the side someday - I’ve had a few short stories published here and there already - but it’s not my main goal. That being said, if I was pursuing it, I’d probably want to use my real name and I use a sort of pen name on Wattpad. Again, this isn’t about my actual career path, but rather something that made me curious.

If I had a following under a pen name on Wattpad, would that be enough to convince publishers that my work would have an audience under my real name?

Just curious and I’m looking forward to everyone’s thoughts on this!

EDIT: To clarify, my question is "if an author has a following under a pen name, would that following still be viable to talk about when trying to publish under their real name?"


#2

I don’t know a lot about this personally, but I found a wonderful article on Pinterest a couple days ago that I feel like explains a lot of the whole “from platform to book deal” thing quite well.

(The title might seem as though it doesn’t talk about it, but the title only summarizes a small part of the article, not the whole thing.)


#3

Ok, thank you for the input! :blush:


#4

Wattpad popularity and hardtype publication have only a serendipitous relationship. Even If an author wants to see if his work is glomed onto by fourteen year old to nineteen year old girls, they wouldn’t. Because in so doing , they loose first rights of publication. (the rights most publishers are buying. Reprint payments are pittances.) That theory is like depending on being struck by lightening, only with worse odds.

Expect that industry editors and there professional staffs well know the market and are capable of pretty much knowing their jobs, and the consumers they serve.


#5

Plenty of people use the point of a current WP following to promote the fact that their OTHER books can sell though. That’s what I’m asking about, haha, and I’m sorry if it that wasn’t clear :blush:


#6

Your best hope is to well groom your work, and send it to the publisher or agent of your choice. There is no secret, or royal road to publication.


#7

I think if your following was in double-digit thousands, it might snag an agent/editor’s attention, especially if you’re trying to publish in genres that cater to the same audience that dominates Wattpad, but otherwise I don’t think it counts for much.


#8

Lol, like I said in my first post, I was only asking if “having an audience” in that sense actually does anything and if it would work in the case that I mentioned above! Not talking about a “royal road to publication” :wink: Thanks for the input though!


#9

Ah, I agree. But, in the case I mentioned, do you think the audience still snags the attention of the publisher? If, hypothetically, an author did have a following of 10K or higher under a pen name, would that author be able to show they might have an audience under their real name?

It got me thinking! :blush:


#10

I’m no expert in this, but one thing agents and publishers ask is, “Do you have a platform?”

I think most of the marketing today rests on the shoulders of the author so they want to know that.


#11

So, like I asked, do you think the platform would still count if it’s under a pen name and the author wants to publish under their real name or vice versa? Would that make it count as invalid? It’s something I’m curious about!


#12

In which case the answer is probably not. No offense intended, I haven’t read your work.


#13

Lol, I made it specifically clear that I wasn’t talking about my own work, just curious about what would happen if that was the case :blush:

Plenty of people say and think it does make an impact, but it’s good to get another opinion! Can I ask why you think that? :blush:


#14

I think that it would be worth mentioning in a query if an author had those numbers, especially if the author is pitching YA. However, what gives me pause when trying to think of Wattpad numbers as representative of a platform is that so many of those followers won’t pay for the author’s work. And the social media aspect of the site means that some of those followers don’t even read the work posted for free.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think those kind of follower numbers might be helpful in getting a foot in the door of traditional publishing in some cases, but beyond that they’re less likely to matter.


#15

Oh, yeah. I don’t believe most people get signed solely by number of followers. I only wanted to know if, say, the account was under a pen name and the author wanted to publish under their real name or vice versa, would those numbers still be valid?


#16

Yeah, I think so! Unless the author were writing in a completely different genre from the work completed under the pen name.


#17

Ok, thanks for the input! I was wondering how that stuff would work and such, so I wanted to get some thoughts on the matter! :blush:


#18

Reading publisher site requirements and advice. While hope springs eternal, by platform, publishers infer your outlets for advertising work they may choose to distribute. These are all nice perks, but have nothing to do with their assessment of a submitted work. which is graded on its own merit, the audience they serve, their theme (if any) as a publication, their budget, the season of the year, and sheer luck of the draw. If publication ready, and you don’t have one, they might suggest you start a blog, etc, but none of that gets you through the slush pile, onto an associates desk for critical reading, or passed to marketing for evaluation or onto the final evaluation committee. Guess Im saying the social lions here shouldn’t hold their breath over much. Outlets like Publish America , so on just get scam write-ups from Predators and Editors, A true publishing house will never ask to “Share” advertising costs, any of that. A book isn’t worth their time if they feel it would not be profitable to make a print run of. and these are large quantities.


#19

Reading those, most suggest to already have a social media presence and such - at least, they have when I’ve read them. Of course, as you said, if your work is shit then they’re not going to take it, no matter how many followers you have on instagram or something of the sort, but most things I’ve read and people that have spoken out about the subject have said that having a presence already can definitely help. Could you link some of the sites that says it doesn’t? I’m curious to read more about that since I’ve read so much saying the opposite! :blush:


#20

I think so. I believe what they’re looking at is how savvy you are in today’s social media arena.

Now if they’re looking for a ready-made target audience, keeping your pen name and real name separate would be a problem. But if they’re only looking at your ability to market yourself, I don’t know if that makes a difference.

But, as I said, I don’t know much about it so I’m probably telling you more than I know. :slight_smile: