A question about publishers and followings


Probably not, for two reasons. First, because it DOESN’T have an audience under your real name. It has it under your pen name. When an author writes under more than one name, they end up having to build each audience from scratch.

Second, publishers know that Wattpad readers don’t convert well to paid readers. So even if you had a sizeable readership and were planning to use the same name, it’s not a huge selling point. You’d have to have a really, really, REALLY big readership for it to influence their decision.


I’m just looking for other peoples’ thoughts on it out of sheer curiosity, so don’t worry about it! It’s not like I’m taking what you say and then going off and trying to make a career based on it! Thanks for the input :blush:


But does Wattpad show that? Wattpad readers don’t convert to paid readers, and being active here isn’t the same as being active on other, non-writing platforms.


As someone else has said, I heard it’s more about marketing or seeing if your work appeals to people. Like, most people that have used something of the sort and shared their experiences have said it’s more about a publisher seeing that your work has the potential to reach an audience than the work in itself - since most I’ve read about have submitted works that they don’t post on WP or another site like it.

But thanks for the input! :blush:


You can say that about basically any social media site though. When things are not free, people are less likely to do it. Social media isn’t about every follower paying to read the book, it’s about being able to market it and having it interest people! If you have a BIG following and one in every 20 followers buys a book from solely one site, that can still be a pretty big market PLUS it shows that the author can market themselves. It’s why, to even have something like social media presence be a factor in something like that, it has to be pretty big! :blush:


I said they are considered nice perks. I see nothing in publishers requirements that specify you must have a platform.


It’s not a requirement, per say, but most suggest having a presence before submitting any work and/or publishers have said for an author to get one if they don’t have one. I’ve heard that it can make a difference. It’s what I’ve read, at least. You said that, from the same type of sources, it says that it doesn’t make a difference. It’s why I asked you to give me some sources so that I could read up on it! It’s always good to read up on both sides of something :blush:


I misunderstood the OP. I was addressing “having an audience,” not a wattpad audience.


I disagree. When I looked at the submission requirements for publishers and agents, they wanted to know that.


Any social media is going to be like Wattpad followers though. Only a small percentage of followers from any site will convert into buyers of a product you need to pay for, but - for a lot of things, not just writing - having a presence comes highly recommended in this day and age! Like you said, it’s more about seeing that the author can market themselves and that their writing might have a chance of catching an audience - it’s more like a small nudge in the area of “will this book do well once it’s out there?” in the positive direction is how I think of it :blush: It’s not an exact science, but just look at things like Fifty Shades or After! They’re not that great book-wise but they had HUGE followings and so they got signed! Sometimes a big following even trumps quality, sadly…


Sure, but 1 in 20 is a HUGE percentage. I believe Wattpad-to-paid is less than 1%.

Social media is, overall, a LOUSY system for marketing. As it should be. It’s called “social media,” not “buy my stuff media.” No one is going to listen to a sales pitch. They will, however, support their friends. Social means make friends, not customers.


Like I said, ANY social media will be like that, but a strong social media presence has been shown to improve sales, which is why a lot of publishers recommend having them or why things like Fifty Shades or After - which are, admittedly, not that great in the sense of the writing quality - got signed! They had HUGE following and that trumped quality and brought in a lot of money! There’s no denying that a big presence makes for a better selling book - that’s marketing - and that wasn’t even the question :joy:



@LightenTheShadows Found an article that you might like! It doesn’t directly answer your question about pen names, but it does talk about making the jump from Wattpad to traditional publishing, and what an agent/editor is likely to care about. It’s from Janet Reid’s excellent blog, so solid industry source I’d say.

One thing worth noting is that when she talks about follower counts that might make a difference, she mentioned accounts that have massive numbers. North of six figures, she says.


I have to highly disagree with this. For people with truly BIG social media presences, they don’t know even a fifth of their followers and have not interacted with them. The people following them aren’t supporting their “friend”, they found something about the person that they liked and decided to follow them! So, yeah, that may be the case with smaller presences but for big presences I certainly do not think that’s the case…

Not saying it makes customers out of everyone, but they’re certainly not mostly friends.


Ok, thank you! :blush:


Wattpad is different.

I built a following with my short stories. Way before sites like wattpad, there was Yahoo Groups. I built a Yahoo Groups following where I announce my stories and novels. I believe that’s how I get sales for my novels.

The same isn’t true for my wattpad followers. They didn’t turn into sales for my one YA novel.

So both story sites offered free stories, but the wattpad followers didn’t turn into buying customers while the other site’s followers (not teens) did.


I think it is rather up to you to cite publishers that require authors to have a platform prior to submitting a manuscript. In terms of Wattpad, I dont know as I would cite Wattpad as a credit in the queries I make, but that’s your choice. My opinion is it won’t make much of a difference, and not a positive one in every case.


You’re right, they don’t – but they have made themselves valuable to the people following them. What are they doing that has made them valuable. I’ll bet you money it isn’t “Buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff.” They’re posting interesting content of some kind.

The vast majority of those people with huge followings are celebrities who had those fans before social media. There are some people who got famous on social media and eventually figured out how to profit from it, but the popularity came first and wasn’t product related.


I think this is the actual problem though, not Wattpad. It’s that a lot of people on here are TEENS with no available income. Most teens, like myself, only buy physical books or trad published stuff on amazon that are more dependably a good read - or FREE Wattpad stuff. It’s more about the teen demographic in general than WP as a site. Plus, it’s not the only social media presence that’s mainly teens. The same can be said about instagram and plenty of people have gotten good results from that! It all depends on how big your following is :woman_shrugging:

I’d say you’d have to be over 10K followers on WP to consider that you could even get a small chunk of them to cross over and pay. A lot of people don’t have that.

Like, I don’t mean to offend, but you have quite a bit less than 1K followers at the moment. With that low of a follower count, I would expect VERY few people to pick up your book if you published. The follower count has to be a lot higher than that for even 100 people to go off and buy your work, honestly.

But, again, that wasn’t even the question I had :joy:


As you said, some people got famous ON social media. Their popularity did not come first.

I think what you’re misunderstanding is how marketing with social media works. It’s not “buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff”. People with a big following USE that big following to promote their own products and those they are endorsing. There are accounts with huge followings that solely post about their products and do really well, but with people it’s more about slipping it in here and there than posting firmly about it in every picture. I don’t mean to offend, but are you on much social media? I’ve had a very difference experience with it than you seem to have had, lol.

But, still, this was never my question :joy: