Wattpad or Traditional Publishing. Both?


I have a question.

If I publish a story to Wattpad, can I still seek to publish it through an agent and publisher or self publishing?


It all depends on where you want to branch out to. If you self publish, then it wouldn’t be an issue since you’re managing the publishing yourself through a distributor.

If you try to go through an agent or third party or traditional publisher, you’ll need to check their submission conditions. Some don’t mind if you already have the story on an online platform and with a fanbase.

Most traditional places do, since they see it on a first world rights level. Also, not a lot of places take unsolicited manuscripts.

It’s matter of doing some research on various places and options you’re interested in.


Yes. Most agents and publishers consider posting on Wattpad to be for the purposes of critique. The fact you see deals being signed for Wattpad stories shows that it’s a non issue.


Should the answer perhaps be yes? What you say is correct, but the response might be a bit misleading.


Yes. You still own the copyright to your story and can license it to any publisher you like.

Self-publishing platforms could care less where you’ve already posted the story, so if you want to turn a Wattpad story into an ebook on Kindle Direct Publishing, go ahead.

As for traditional publishing, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but your book deal may require you to take down the story from Wattpad and any other platforms ahead of its release on more traditional formats. At least, that’s what happened to me when a traditional publisher picked up my self-published book.


Self-publish all the way. Traditional publishing won’t amount to much in the long run so long as they have total control over things from the word go.

I mean you can go ahead and waste months or years querying to no effect like I did, but the industry will never publish you for the very same reasons they did me 20 years ago.

At least with self-publishing you have that all too real chance of getting your books out: Providing you do everything right from the start.

It won’t be easy, it won’t be cheap, but it will be worth it in the end.

The only difference between trad and indie publishing is with indie, you get to call the shots. And you don’t have to abide by the same rules and limitations set forth by the industry.

I’ve been spending the past few hours doing self-edits on my massive Starchild novel that I’m aiming to publish sometime in 2020.

308,608 words. 714 pages. I’m not waiting around for the industry to publish this massive novel. I’m doing it myself because I can. And because I don’t have to listen to other people’s doom and gloom scenarios over how the so-called “market” won’t be able to handle such a book–once it’s published as an e-book.

Or what I’m going to be asking for the novel in itself in terms of price. (It won’t be $2.99 or $4.99.)

But the industry would have killed the book, or butchered it into a shadow of its former self.

And since I invested a quarter century into that novel, I’m not going to let them do it. So I’m doing it myself.


300k isn’t one fantasy novel, it’s a trilogy of them. And trilogies are popular! Did you ever queue your manuscripts as that?


I agree, @SchuylerThorpe you’d do very well in splitting them up into three novels and attempting to go the traditional way. As long as you don’t sign anything binding once they explain what they can do, and what you can’t do – than you could back out of it.


I have self-published and I am traditionally published. The book that I won the 2016 Watty for was picked up after I query a lot. Most agents and publishers didn’t want a story that was already out there so my query letter changed from the responses I received.

I guess if you want to really traditionally publish and don’t have a giant fan base on Wattpad I would be careful what you put up if your intentions are to get an agent.

Self-publishing you keep all control of everything. All choices are yours. But with Traditional publishing they will at times override your creative thought processes. I think it’s an individual perspective on what you should do. But know this, if you want an agent and your story is already up on Wattpad you will get solid NO’s from the majority of them.


Yes, you can (and that’s what @AWExley meant).

There are a fair number of people who have moved to traditional publishing from here, and super agent Janet Reid posted about it recently and said it’s mostly a non-issue. She said what could be an issue is if you post here and have low reads. Low reads, like low sales, just aren’t a selling point. “Hey, I posted on Wattpad and no one wanted to read it – but will you give me lots of money for it?” Yeah… no.

Self publishing after Wattpad is a total non-issue. It’s your book. You can do whatever you want if you’re the publisher. You’ll find lots of self pubbed people on here!


Not all publishers butcher a novel. My first one wasn’t touched at all in terms of changing its content. The second wasn’t really changed at all either with the exception of making one aspect of my character more clear.

And I was the one who accepted my book cover and approved the final proof copy, etc. Nothing happened without my approval, so I still retained control essentially.

I think some authors get far too concerned by what they think happens that they don’t even want to try to find a publisher.


Also, they didn’t ask whether indie or trad was better, they simply asked if you could trad publish a book that was already published on Wattpad prior to the book being proposed for trad publishing.

I get that you always like to swoop in and talk about how amazing you believe your indie career will go and how trad publishing is evil, but that wasn’t the question the OP - or anything else - was asking :woman_shrugging:


Fixed it. My coffee hadn’t kicked in! Lol



I know the feeling only too well …


Thank you to everyone! This really helped me :slight_smile:


No. This was a sci-fi novel I did 23 years ago–which I finally finished in 2001. As much as everyone here wants me to, I’m not in the habit of breaking up my novels for the sake of conformity. They are all getting published in one go. Just like my 175,000 word Codename: Velocity novel.

Like I told someone before in a different thread: Digital publishing has virtually no limits. I’ve seen technical guides out there that are 10 or 20 times larger than some of my own work. And they get published in the same formats as everyone else.

And they are completely downloadable too.

So unless you actually believe your Kindle will break from trying to download any of my massive books…? Go back and keep printing out your tiny 60,000 word novels.


With two exceptions. If you go into the KDP Select program, you must be exclusive to Amazon for the time you’re in the program. So it can’t be up on wattpad or anywhere else.

Also, if you self-publish in KDP, I believe you can only have a percentage of the story available for free (if the novel is not free on KDP). I think it’s up to 10%. Or maybe that’s the Select program. Read the Terms and Conditions carefully.


No, no, no, no…NO. I am not going traditional anymore. I already went that route for ten years. Had 681 rejections because of it. #2 didn’t even net me one reply from the industry 5 years ago. I decided then to pursue indie publishing.

If the industry doesn’t want what I have to offer in all its naked glory, refuses to compromise or at least be a little flexible in their acquisitions, then I’m not going to spend the remainder of my days pursuing a wild goose chase with them.

I’m moving on.

I’m going indie. I’m publishing all those books people say are “unpublishable” and I’m going to have fun making all of you freak out and lose your shit over nothing–and listen to all the doomsday scenarios people like you have laid out because I want to do something different for a change.

Just like you’re doing right now.


They butchered one of Piers Anthony’s books.

I know my stuff better than anyone else here. I know what I’m doing. The trouble is, many of you keep insisting that I follow the same rules of publishing when you know damned well I’m going indie.

Indie means I get to do whatever I want with my books. That included price controls as well. And you can’t do nothing about it. That’s what I want above all else: Control. Absolute. 100%. My books. My rules. Not yours. Not the industry’s. Nobody’s.

Because doing it the other way didn’t get me anywhere. And I followed everything to the letter just like everyone else.

Time to move on and try something else that isn’t restricted by the Big 5.


You’re coming off as pretty harsh here. Bigger books aren’t better books…