Question about Wattpad Studios

I was curious if anyone knows – or, alternatively, if anyone knows of any trade-paper articles discussing this - how much an author can expect to make if by some great luck a story gets optioned by Wattpad Studios to become a movie or streaming series?

This assume Wattpad operates in a similar manner to regular Hollywood prodcos/studios. I assume, perhaps, the first step is an option. Then, it may go into development before expiration. After that, on day-one filming, does any more money change hands? Is there backend available? Before being optioned for filmed-entertainment, does it have to be published as a book? How exactly were the deals for Light/Feather and, I want to say, a movie called After? (May have the latter wrong, not sure if that is a Wattpad thing or not.) I wonder if the value for the authors mostly resulted from exposure that led to a lot of sales from literary sequels to the primary work (I hope not, I hope those writers did very well).

Obviously being on Wattpad is like buying a bunch of lottery tickets, using your time as currency instead of money. I most likely don’t need to know any of this. But I’m having fun with at least being as serious as I can about getting optioned such that I am curious about it…and the more info one has, the better off one is, no matter what.

Thank you for reading…

I believe that wholly depends on the contract.

Some authors have sold their intellectual property (aka their story) for millions.

The author of the Witcher books sold his story for pennies when he was approached by the Polish video game company. He also wanted money up front and didn’t want any cuts of the profits, because he didn’t believe they’d earn anything. Which is lol because it’s massively successful and the creators are rich. The author is not. A film is also coming out which is based on the games - not the books. So the author gets nothing.

And then there’s JK Rowling who is not just massively rich from the Harry Potter books - but also the films. And the merch. And everything else involving the Harry Potter franchise.


I know nothing of the specifics of Wattpad Studios, but I know enough about the movie business to avoid most of the obvious mistakes in discussions about it. In theory, everything is negotiable. In practice, if you ask for more than is customary, unless you’re at or near J K Rowling’s level of fame and box office potential, the studio will call your bluff and walk away. They’re not usually short of books they could adapt.

The going rate for an option is in the low tens of thousands of dollars, or possibly more if it’s something really popular or something the studio is keen to make.

If the film goes into production, the going rate is a one-off payment to the author of 1% of the film’s overall budget. The author can sometimes get a share of revenue if the budget is large or the author is influential. (I take it you know enough about Hollywood to ask for a percentage of the gross revenue, not net revenue or profits. Thanks to accounting tricks, no Hollywood movie ever makes a profit.)

I don’t know if the story would have to be published as a book before Hollywood got interested. The author just needs to bring something to the table that the studio thinks will help them to sell tickets. That something might be “this story is really popular on Wattpad” or it might not be.


Freak timing of history. She sold rights to print, and kept the ebooks, audio, and everything else. At the time, the publisher just wasn’t that interested in those newfangled things. Not where the money was.


Oh god yeah. Now publishers wants all the rights, because there’s big money in it.


I don’t think it’s customary for publishers to try to gain film rights. Film rights usually stay with the author, barring special circumstances. If I were offered a publishing deal that included film rights, I’d have some experts determine what the budget of the film might be (authors usually get 3-5% of the budget) and go from there, so the publishing company wouldn’t really benefit. They’d end up paying me what the studious or production companies would.

I used to believe all authors get a chunk of a film’s profits, but that’s not true for most (unless you’re King). They get the purchase fee and that’s it.

I honestly don’t know. I’ve just heard that publishers definitely want audio rights today. Might be a factless rumour?

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Oh, you’re right. I had to edit because I wasn’t specific to film. They do ask for all rights to the book/story itself, as far as I know.

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Depends on the contract. If they ask for All Rights, and those are stupidly granted, then they will get the film rights. If they think the book has potential to be a film, they may still want the film rights, because those can be quite lucrative.

I, personally, wouldn’t let a book publisher have them. That’s my money, not theirs!

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