A super agent's opinion about publishing on Wattpad


Here you go, folks:

TL;DR: You’re fine!






Thanks! I love that this one particularly mentions Tapas as well.

@DaisyDoesNothing thanks for the tag!


Janet Reid is tops in her field. Thanks for sharing.


I agree – I love her!


Great share, really lovely to see =]


Ah, dang. I just made a topic about this and didn’t see that you beat me to it. I was actually the one that emailed Janet Reid those questions. I’m glad she answered!

A Literary Agent's View on Wattpad & Traditional Publishing

I think she was specifically talking about your low numbers.

The biggest problem here is not that you're on Wattpad et al. It's that your readership numbers aren't high enough to be a selling point.


Yeah, I interpreted it like Blayde. Low numbers could hurt, but just putting things up? Nah. And low numbers can be erased by pulling it down.


Ah, no, I meant that not having first rights anymore will hurt you. Janet Reid doesn’t explicitly say it, but many publishers/agents are less likely to pick up reprint rights.

I don’t think low numbers are an issue because everybody’s got to start somewhere. I got the impression that the only time having work online matters is if you have nothing at all or if you happen to be very successful.


More for magazines than novels.


You’re right; it’s probably a bigger deal for magazines. The ones I’ve looked at have usually explicitly stated that they’ll only accept first rights, or offer a lower rate for reprints. It seems to be a difference of, like, $0.16 – $0.10 per word for first prints vs. $0.08 – $0.04 per word for reprints. Similarly, I’ve also read that reprint rights for novels = a smaller advance.


Magazines, short stories, and contests. If Janet thought it was a big deal for novels, she would be saying not to post. She doesn’t say anything close to that.


Also true. It doesn’t have be binary; being less likely to get published with a reprint doesn’t mean it’s impossible or even nearly impossible. However, even if it’s not “a big deal,” in my opinion, it’s still good to be informed.

Edit: @XimeraGrey I see you commented on the blog post asking Ms. Reid to clarify whether posting counts as first rights. I hope she answers because I still kinda hope I was mistaken!


First of all, you need to look at literary publishers sites and see what they are offering contracts for. Namely, first publication rights. Its not simply that after publicly posting work, and giving up those lucrative first rights for nothing, you can expect to only be paid a pittance for reprint rights. Reprint contracts are usually offered to writers work that is exiting current contract, or seminal works by popular authors,collections, retrospectives or informative articles. Rare as publication offers are, non-traditionally published, or publicly posted work all but shuts itself out of the traditional market. The exceptions are very rare fish indeed. Powerball lottery winner rare. If a publisher can google your actual text work,prior to an offer, you have circularly filed it. If you expose it after it is contracted, you are sued for rights infringement. Publishers have little interest in paying for work available for view for free. What they can do is vett work from the pool of thousands of solicited, unpublished manuscripts, assuring they are offering something fresh to readers. That is what their submission process are set up to primarily do. There are exceptions, but you really do not want to bank on your chances of being a winged pig in this tough, already highly competitive market.


I agree; that’s why I personally prefer to be cautious.

This is probably one of the many reasons why Ms. Reid and other agents have often said it’s important to be up front about everything.


You might be surprised how difficult it is to remove anything publicly shared on the internet, especially when it comes to what’s been cached in search engines. I’ve personally dealt with this at work. A client asked us to remove an interview with them from one of our websites, but getting the article un-search-indexed was almost impossible.


I’ve submitted work to many sites, and many of them, who are either low paying, or non-paying, at least have the courtesy of warning submitters that they are, paid or not, giving up their ability to remarket the work as new,(first rights) and recommend seeking normal publication first, if that is the goal for the material. People interested in such a publication avenue would be well advised to read fully the submission requirements section of publishers, which they all fully disclose online. Ignorance is NOT bliss.


So I have a question:

What if you agreed to take it down, maybe just have the first 3 chapters up, and they got to print the edited manuscript?

OR does it not matter and the story has to reach a certain level of notoriety first?