To remove a story from WP you're querying or keep it up?

Well, what’s been that I can only describe as an amazing journey, I’ve just about finished writing a full length Young Adult Fantasy story. I’ve already done heavy edits for 29 out of the 32 chapters that will be posted.

Here’s the question: I’ve made it known to my readers that I plan to remove the story after a certain number of days (most likely a week) from WP once I’ve finished posting chapters. This is to give them time to finish reading the story. The story will be around 95,000 words when all said and done.

It’s my understanding there are both pros and cons to leaving a story up on WP that one would be querying, but I guess I’m just trying to get a general opinion as to if I should really take it down before querying it. Or if leaving it up could actually help my chances to get traditionally published.

Thanks in advance. :slight_smile:

I don’t think it really matters if you leave it on Wattpad or not. Having your works on Wattpad will only really help you if you have a large number of reads, votes etc. I wouldn’t even mentioning Wattpad while querying if that’s not the case.

The benefit of you having your story up on Wattpad is that it might help you build a following. Just something to consider :slight_smile:

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It depends. Some agents are super against it even having been on Wattpad prior to publishing, so they won’t care if you take it down or leave it up - they’ll flat out just reject it.

If the story has over 100k reads, leave it up and mention it in your query. If it has won a Watty, same thing. These are good markers for the agents who don’t mind handling content that has been e-pubbed. They also know that the story will likely change massively from when it’s picked up until it’s published, so it won’t matter if an earlier draft has been available elsewhere. But mentioning that it had a big audience or won something like a Watty is a good thing to gauge attention, and to say “Hey! A lot of people liked this!”

If it doesn’t have over 100k reads or has won a Watty, don’t even mention in your initial query that it’s on Wattpad. You can also leave it up. If an agent picks it up, you can mention you have a draft of it on Wattpad and they’ll figure out if it’s better to remove it or leave it up.

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Sadly, I have never experienced such joy XD

I don’t plan to mention WP unless they ask about my other writing. In which case, my other and not so serious attempt at writing a full story has about 50,000 reads compared to my current story at around 12,000 reads.

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Yeah. That’s also what I was thinking. I would really hate to take it down because of how much blood and sweat I’ve put into writing it. Still, I do have about a week or so before I choose to make a final decision.

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I wouldn’t take it down then! Your agent will always let you know if you need to take it down.

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The way I look at it, such an agent doesn’t deserve to represent the book anyway, because they’re not living in the 21st century. Wattpad and sites like are part of how writers learn their craft these days. If they expect you to take the book down before they’ll consider it, they’re asking you to give up something that has value to you (the book’s place on Wattpad) before they offer you something of value in return (representation).

Even if the agent thinks there are good reasons for taking the book down, it’s not their decision. Before you have a publishing deal, you control the distribution of the book. After you have a publishing deal, the publisher controls the distribution.

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Yeah I completely agree. I find it archaic and frankly moronic. Why woulf you not want an author with an established audience? Or at least a wide reach? Do they hate money?

Don’t know about distribution rights - I think it depends on the contract

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Not voicing an opinion here, but just to mention: some other published authors in this forum have recommended to take it down and change the title before querying, unless it is super-popular. Otherwise, agents may dislike to see it up on WP, and will note that it is not super-popular.

What is ‘super-popular’? Some authors have mentioned > 1 million reads as being enough to justify leaving it up and mentioning.

The good news (according to some authors who’ve commented before), is that for novels, few agents and no publishers regard ‘posted on WP’ as ‘previously published’. The misguided ones worry incorrectly that a free version cannibalizes potential sales. Others know that isn’t true, but they may read too much into ‘reads and votes’. It’s different if you plan to query magazines about a short story. Posting on WP burns ‘first rights’ from their point of view.

Consensus view (I’ve been counting): posting on WP is mostly harmless, but if you aren’t eager to brag about your WP reads, best to take it down before querying.

Myself, I’m inclined to believe that once you’ve posted on WP, whether you take it down or not makes little difference. An agent will always be able to find out on Google that it was up on WP at one time.

A practical consideration: if you do ‘take it down’, you have the option to temporarily ‘unpublish’ it - that way, it won’t lose its reads and votes. It will be automatically removed from reading lists, though.

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Distribution rights would be covered by your contract with the publisher. It’s the publisher’s decision as to whether to leave your book on Wattpad. The agent negotiates the contract on your behalf, so they can certainly say to the publisher that they want the book taken down (or left up), if they think that would benefit you. But for the agent to say that they know what the other party in the negotiations wants, before the negotiations have started or even before they have another party to negotiate with, seems irresponsible and arrogant.

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Yep. That was going to be the plan so I wouldn’t lose the progress it’s made.

This confuses me since wattpad counts chapters read as reads. A 32-chapter story with 100K reads is just over 3,000 readers (assuming each reader read the entire story). Is that really a lot?

I think? It shows there’s some interest. I’ve read several agents mention that either 100k or 1 million is the sweet spot for mentioning the read counts.

I think it also just sounds like a lot. Like one hundred thousand reads/views.

I expect it varies by genre. 100K isn’t a lot in the popular genres here. But it’s fabulous in some of the less popular ones.

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That’s actually a good point.

This. WP used to (I think there are some changes) be super popular for romances and fanfic. But genre that are massively successful off WP - like mysteries - stand little chance.
So, the overall results are a bit skewed. But to support what has been said before - a WP published first version that has gained some traction (or even a Watty) is definitely something worth mentioning. And if the agent pooh-poohs that - well, life moves on they had better take this site a bit more seriously. My publisher had no stress whatsover, they appreciated the fact that I got feedback and networked with other writers. That too is a great plus for WP.
And my publisher… :heart:

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Thanks. I’m thinking I’m going to end up leaving the current version with basic edits up on WP for the near future while keeping the draft with more heavy edits saved for agents.

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As someone who has been querying a MS that was still on wattpad ( a draft) until recently? I can say it has not stopped me from getting full requests. Even a full from a tor editor. Take that info as you will. I dont have an agent yet, but i certainly made it past the initial screening and yes, I did mention wattpad. Honestly? I think they just dont care much either way. Its only the more oldschool agents who might care but if they do? taking it down wont matter, they would still reject. What you are planning sounds right to me

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Its just that standard knowledge among agents has given that number. the truth? most agents know nothing about wattpad and the numbers are pretty meaningless to them. They might care. They might not. If they DO care and reject cause of that? You prob just wont hear back tbh. I have asked this question to SO many agents now at conferences and read so many things online… its ALL subjective. Incredibly subjective. But idk i personally would only want an agent who understood the value of wattpad readership

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