Submitting to the wattys? Be aware..

I just want to make sure that people know what rights to their personal information they are giving up when entering the wattys. This is written in the official rules pdf that you check you read when you enter, but is not included in the 2019 Watty Awards book published by the wattys profile, which is what I think most people actually read.

When you enter, you are giving wattpad the right to use and publish your personal info in any way. Here is a screenshot of the relevant clause in the offical rules.

Again, this IS NOT acknowledged in the book published by the wattys profile. The closest they come is this, which is significantly less broad.

I am not trying to convince anyone not to enter the wattys. If you are comfortable with these clauses, I think that’s great. I am just posting because I think a lot of people skip reading through the pdf and this was not communicated well in the book on the wattys. Personally, as someone who wants to use a pen name and keep my writing life and my personal life separate, this might make me pass on the wattys.

Whoa… thanks for letting me know! Even though I’m not in the Wattys this year. I can’t believe they would cut that stuff out! I mean, it would make sense but still…

Hi there, this clause refers to you granting Wattpad the ability to promote your work as part of the Wattys — meaning, your Wattpad username. We would never reveal personal information like your real name without permission (nor do we have access to it without you providing it to us). Hope this clarifies things!

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Thank you so much! I was very worried once I had read this. Perhaps the wording could be updated to reflect that information. This is a legally binding document, after all.

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Many people make two Facebook/Twitter/etc accounts, one for personal, family matters, and another as an author promoting their book. It would be the second type of account which they would want access to the link not the account itself. Plus, if you’re smart, you give out a PO Box for an address, not your actual home. It’s “for advertising and promotional purposes,” which should be your goal as well, getting more professional (one hopes, lol) assistance from Wattpad.

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My primary employer does not allow secondary social media accounts for any reason. Considering they pay the bills, I follow their guidelines.

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Thank you for clarifying. This is kind of what I expected. But, I would also like to see the wording updated. If it’s only for using usernames to promote the wattys, I don’t know why I have to agree to let Wattpad use my location (city and state) and biographical info. I understand that’s not the intent of the clause, but the way it is written feeels intrusive.

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How can they even get our address unless we give it to them? I don’t remember including it in the sign up info. They don’t have my real name either. What they don’t have, they can’t use.

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Thank goodness. I was worried for a moment.

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It’s good to be aware that if you ever decide to actually publish your story for sale pretty much anywhere, you will have to provide your real name and information. Once money is involved, you have to get into legal name territory.

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What if someone uses or has a penname though?

You can use a pen name on the book, but your publisher will have your real name and info. Most governments want to slap some tax on that money so they need legal real name records. It’s like having a job - they have to have all your pertinents to pay you.

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So you can remain anonymous and not have your actual real name exposed or anything like that? On the book if it were published through Wattpad?

Sounds like it from Samantha’s earlier reply.

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You mean if you publish? Presumably you can keep your real identity from being known. For the TV series Castle they actually real life published the books that were said to have been written by the character played by Nathan Fillion. They were actual books and they quoted from those books in the TV show. They were published, printed and sold under the name Richard Castle. They were actually written by someone else.

A number of authors have published under pen names - the public usually eventually discover who they are, but in theory yes, you can publish without revealing your real name to the readers / purchasers of your story.

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Thank you!

Hmm this is interesting. Thanks for the clarification though.

I am aware of that. I’m not planning to publish for money. But if one did really want to protect their real name for reasons, they could do it by filing a doing business as document and then could use a pen name legally. It would be a lot of hoops to jump through though…

But when you file a DBA, you have to publish the filing in a local newspaper for 14 days, so they’ll know who your are anyway. It can be easily searched today.

I haven’t heard that before… maybe it’s state specific. Either, way I won’t be doing it lol