Does being popular on here matter with publishing?

Aside from Wattpad books, would my story still be able to get published via a traditional publisher? With me still sending it out of course

Do you mean like a judgement of quality or ownership of your content? On wattpad you still own your story and can do whatever you please.

As far as quality, don’t use your popularity as judgement. There are many hidden gems on wattpad that are very quality works and are underappreciated.

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Some agents, editors, and publishers care if it was already on Wattpad and some do not. Do what you think is best for you.

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I think it really depends on the publisher.

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Some writers have submitted a really good book to an agent or publisher and mentioned at the end of the query letter, “By the way, this book has had 10 million reads on Wattpad.” It might have nudged the scales in their favour.

On the other hand, some people couldn’t write their way out of a paper bag but have somehow accumulated 10 million reads for an unpublishable piece of crap.

So the answer is a definite “maybe”. Being popular here might help to get you over the line, but not if you can’t write, or haven’t written something that the agent or publisher thinks they can sell.

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Adding to that, I mention my Watties, the fact I’m in Paid and a Star. that should count for something even if I don’t have gazillions of reads. But the principle is sound, success in any form can help. It won’t get you out of the paper bag, if the writing is unsound, though.
Love that expression!

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Actually that’s what could get you into trouble. They’ve called you out as awesome… but you don’t have a lot of readers. They’ve PAID you… but you don’t have a lot of readers. Those are MASSIVE red flags for publishers.

How has your luck been with getting published given that? Just out of curiosity, this would be good sample info for the topic at hand

Here is an article from Janet Reed which I found quite helpful:

I only queried a few times and once, I did mention that I’m a WP Star with almost 100K followers and combined views of 6M plus. They ended up asking for the full, but if it was my chapter samples they liked or my WP success, I couldn’t tell you.

I only just started querying the latest novel. Not much feedback so far, other than a couple of form rejections à la “Not a good fit at this time”. It doesn’t make a BIG difference I would say. I had a chat with my editor (yes, I did get a trad contract before) and she said to mention it by all means, it would be more positive than negative even if I do not get the big reads. Anybody halfway clued up knows the platform is a) attracting younger readers (not my target audience) b) heavy on a certain type of romance (not my genre/subject matter).

Yes, there might be publishers who don’t like the fact I don’t have gazillions of reads, but there also seem to be some level-headed people around. It just takes one… From the responses I have so far, the industry is highly subjective. Somebody likes your writing, you have a chance with an agent. You write a popular trope in a popular genre (e.g. my witch cozies), you might get snapped up.

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good input, thanks!

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That’s awesome to hear!

You write witch cozies? Oooh, I love!

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I do and I will make a big noise when it eventually gets scheduled for publishing. They are great, they really are but they move sooooooooo slowly.

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There seems to be a diversity of opinions. Some self-published and trad published authors say “it does no harm” to query a work posted on WP; some agents - e.g. Janet Reed - say the same. Some, like @XimeraGrey, say “it does no good”. The majority opinion (I’ve been counting) is “mostly harmless”.

The edge cases (it can help if you have millions of reads; it can hurt is you have no reads) mean that, as in so many situations in life, with exposure, there’s always some risk. The pragmatists say, “just take it down before you query and don’t mention it.” Janet Reed says, do mention it but it doesn’t matter.

Some say, “only put early draft work on WP, never your best.” Others say “always represent yourself with your best - that’s the way to build a brand and get reads” Realists say, “Look at the derivative, misspelled, grammatically-challenged word-froth that gets 20 million reads and sometimes a Watty , to heck with polish; leave that to the editor.”

Nope, I didn’t say that. I said it depends on your situation.

  • If you have been posting the work serially from the first draft, I see no problem with the first draft being here on Wattpad. You can even clean it up. But I would query a revised, deeply polished work that is a later, better version than what is here.

  • If, like the original poster, you have complete, revised, polished work that is NOT on WP that you want to query, then do not post it here. You have NOTHING to gain by doing so.

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