Agents' thoughts on querying work posted previously on Wattpad


#21

That’s good to hear. Thanks for sharing!


#22

Hey y’all, thought I’d share this since we’re on the topic:

@EchoeOtto @charlottemallory @lhansenauthor @SarahWeaver6 @Literarybeast @BridgesTunnels @Blayde @XimeraGrey


#23

I would beg the question about series books. If one book in a series did really well on WP, then you can use that as leverage by saying, “Look 65465132135 people read the first book in my series, and are eagerly waiting for the next installment. If the first and second books become published, you have 6543513 readers willing to throw money down on the second, third, forth, etc, plus any new readers that only look for real tangible books.”

Of course, this is the only scenario I can think of that pokes holes in that statement.


#24

Since this relates, I asked two Wattpad related questions on Twitter when PS Lit had an ask hour.

My first question:

Generally, how do agents feel about a writer having previously posted an older draft of something they are querying on a serialization site (such as Wattpad or Tapas)?

Answer:

Second question:

Is it usually okay if a writer has made a different project available on sites like Wattpad but is querying something new? Would the old project deter their chances?

Answer:


#25

Thanks, this is an excellent post!

Edit: Oh additionally, I didn’t ask her, but I’m working on a blog that is half memoir half science fiction (one of those weird cases where it could be either, as its a memoir of a programmer). I figured something like that might not sell real well anyway.:stuck_out_tongue:

Also I had been in a similar situation with having one book I wanted to query, being prequel to a wattpad book. I ended up deciding the entirety of the series was the same book, so I’m putting my efforts to querying a book that hasn’t been on wattpad.


#26

Awesome! Thank you. It’s really great to amass all of this in one place.

I think I will continue to post things here on this topic as I come across them, and I encourage anyone else to do the same. I’m going to change the name of this thread to reflect that it’s about this topic in general, not one instance of this.

On that note, here is a blog post from 2018 by Janet Reid on this topic:


#27

Thanks for sharing. My unprofessional opinion here: I think what’s going on here is that publishers and agents by that extension are highly subjective. Some will reject you for putting online some will not. So she isn’t wrong but she also isn’t totally right. Janet Reid’s advice contradicts this quite a bit. Also the fact that white stag by Pandean actually got sold while having an earlier draft that still exists on wattpad to this day. Sure, wattpad is partnered with Macmillan, but they definitely no control over what they actually acquire . Also Chasing Red by Isabelle Ronin(published by source books) is another book that is in the same situation. We can still read the early draft for free on wattpad.

I do think Victoria rightly emphasized on publishers and not agents being the ones to quickly hit the reject button (which would obviously influence agents) because to be fair publishers would think “this work is for free, why would anyone buy it afterward?” and its a good question. The kicker here is that its a double edged sword. If you have a fanbase like that of chasing red or white stag (where publishers really feel people will buy) they will most likely acquire your work. Just take a look at Caroline Calloway. (seriously look her up) Just for her Instagram “stories” she was offered a 500k deal because as it had a huge number of followers. Bottom line, if you can guarantee sales it will always get the edge, though getting there is hard and a risk.


#28

Here is another opinion that I don’t agree with, but I’m sharing because I think this should be a place for open discussion.

@charlottemallory asked @MichaelJSullivan a question on this topic and you can find both her question and his answer here:


#29

I love Kurestin she really gives good information and cares for her authors (not saying others don’t I just know of her better than others.)


#30

That one seems so redundant. Yeah, you have to remove your work from Wattpad if you get an agent and/or a publisher. Who doesn’t know this?

It’s kind of like telling everyone that water is wet.


#31

I like your optimism and your ‘go-getter’ attitude, and i wish there wasn’t a but. However, there’s a big but.

But you’re talking about people who are breaking out of the gate with huge success stories. 95% of what is published traditionally (especially by debut authors) are not huge success stories. They’re just good books. Simple, good, honest books. Not best sellers.

I want to say unequivocally that I am not saying that it’s impossible to traditionally publish a book previously posted on Wattpad. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that posting on Wattpad makes it harder. Agents get hundreds of queries in their inbox every week, and a book that’s been previously posted on Wattpad is legitimately going to turn a big chunk of them off.

And making something that’s already REALLY hard even harder… well, that’s just a choice people should make consciously with all the facts. It’s not a decision to take lightly with a book you may have spent years working on.


#32

To play devil’s advocate, though they’re not the devil, I could imagine myself stating the obvious in one possible context:

Perhaps it’s to emphasize something:

The water is wet. Or The Water is wet. I’m not sure if that’s what she meant in this context though.

As someone who can be a little … odd sometimes.


#33

Huh?


#34

Sorry just trying to think of why the obvious might have been stated.


#35

No one has stated that water is wet. I used it as an analogy for telling everyone something probably just about everyone already knows.

Like: “If you get picked up by an agent and/or publisher, you’ll have to remove your work from Wattpad and other sites.”

It adds just as much to any discussion as “water is wet”, “the colour red is red”, “the sky is blue”, “cars are for driving” etc. etc.

Which was my issue with the agent who tweeted about it. It seemed redundant to say that.


#36

I think it’s important to note, though, that WHITE STAG and CHASING RED are both represented by Wattpad / Wattpad Studios in the Stars program.


#37

Represented by Wattpad?


#38

Wattpad acts as their agent.


#39

That sure adds a whole other level of complexity. Almost like trying to jump from agent to agent in a way.


#40

Not really. They have one person who works at Wattpad who handles their stuff - just like having an agent at an agency, I reckon.