What do you want to _tell_ Wattpad Studio's Head of Publishing?


#1

Our first AMA with our GM of Publishing here tomorrow (!) at 1:00p EST–I want to know what you want to tell her.

One element of AMAs that I don’t like is how one-sided they are–and as we’re Wattpad and all about reciprocity and inclusivity, I want to open this thread for things you’d like to tell Ashleigh.

Some ideas for points to talk about: how you’d search for books on our platform if you were looking for ones to publish. Creative ideas around book promotion on Wattpad and how you’d like to be supported as someone who (possibly) wants to be published someday.

Also–for all of those who can’t be here live tomorrow, comment your questions and I’ll try to make sure she sees them! I’ll also be sending her this thread, of course.


#2

Could you please elaborate on what the GM of Publishing is responsible for, so that we can ensure our comments remain within her area?


#3

Good idea–I’ll try to summarize it but I’ll also double check to make sure I’m not leaving out any other parts of her job’s scope inside Studios. She’s our link to the publishing world. If you’re an author who has a published book with Wattpad, chances are high that she shopped the deal for you. Ashleigh also represents Wattpad’s writers as the future of the publishing industry at various book conferences around the world.

She’s data-driven around why and how she chooses stories from our platform, here are some talks of hers:



And a link to her Twitter: https://twitter.com/AshleighGardner

She sets our decisions around which stories we believe are worth pushing to larger audiences off-platform–weighing both content [how good is this story] and data [what’s unique about a story’s readers that makes us believe it has mass or strategic market appeal?]


#4

Do you want us to repost our questions from the other thread to here or do you just want us to keep this strictly us telling her how we might find books for publishing consideration?

I think one thing I’d do, not every day 'cause I’m sure it would explode with a bunch of “read me read me read me!” But once in a while, maybe twice a year, put out an open call for books in the industry insider club. I know we can apply to talent scouts at any time, but some of that is also a little open ended with “did I do it right?” since we don’t get a reply back. Which is completely understandable because there’s simply no time to reply given I’m sure there is a ton of people who submit. But maybe if there was the occasional thread where we could submit ourselves (or it could even be limited to people submitting someone else if that would be better. And of course limit it to one book per person and unpublished) then maybe the fact we see it there, in the face of Wattpad, could give some assurance that our story went through. Doesn’t mean they’ll read it, but that it’s there for them to look at and judge if it has potential.


#5

You can also repost those questions here, for organization’s sake. She’ll be seeing both threads either way.


#6

All righty then I’ll cut and paste. I’m still hoping I can sneak away to join, but it’s all dependent on how busy work is tomorrow.


Okay hopefully I can sneak away at work since Friday’s are usually slow, but I also don’t want to take advantage of the fact that I can get as many breaks as I can get so just in case I can’t, this post is reserved for me adding my questions as I think of them:

  • On average, how many books are submitted to the talent scouts regularly? And how often does Wattpad just randomly (if at all) go scout for stories themselves?

  • Is posting a rough draft on Wattpad more of a hindrance for someones chances to get noticed or do you take in account that many Wattpad users are just learning the craft of writing?

  • Is fan base a consideration at all? Or does someone with only 100 followers have just as much a chance at getting noticed as someone with thousands provided the story is good?


#7

5 posts were merged into an existing topic: Wattpad AMA - Wattpad and the Publishing Industry with Ashleigh Gardner


#8

This isn’t really a question for Ashleigh per se, but considering how writers are such a tiny percentage of the users of Wattpad, and then again how tiny the percentage of writers will be published, I’m would like to know how much focus in terms of budget, promotion and manpower Wattpad is putting into this publishing route, in comparison to site and app development?

Additionally, I’m interested to know if Studios and publishing is it’s own standalone department/company? ie,Does the rest of Wattpad fund it at present, or, if it is turning a profit, do those funds remain within studios or is it used to fund other parts of the business that are a loss (if there are any). Just asking out of pure curiosity, 'cos I’m nerdy like that :joy: Totes understand if you don’t answer it on privacy grounds or whatevs :heart:

At the moment, my understanding is that Wattpad feels it has a minefield of books and stories at it’s fingertips, that with the right data-mining algorithms and experienced readers, they can sift to the top content that has a good chance at being successfully represented to established publishing houses or production companies. So, instead of being a literary agent that waits for submissions, you find them yourself. Capitalising on this makes great business sense, since I’m guessing there’s more money in movies than in premium subscriptions and ad revenue. Am I correct in this assumption?

Now, I’m a company accountant, and I’m alllllllllllll for maximising profit, so don’t get me wrong, I’m totally on board with this venture. Totes am. Personally, I don’t care one bit about how you select the books, or what it takes to be selected in the Stars or Talent or whatever program, since I write as a hobby, not a career. I’m just a little concerned as to whether or not this will detract from the focus on the readers? I know the readers don’t really generate any income themselves, but they are our biggest ‘customer’. And when they are still unable to have decent search and filter functions, can’t arrange their private library and other basic tasks, I’m wondering if this is on Wattpad’s radar, and if there’s been any talk about what can be done to ensure that Readers are won’t get lost in the hype of Studios.

Again, I say all of this with no shade at all. I genuinely love Wattpad and want to promote it and see the site, and all the users singing praises all day long :tulip::tulip::tulip:


#11

I feel like maybe we should get the COO to answer these questions :joy:


#14

OMGosh that emoji is big!


#15

how did that happen? :joy:


#16

Actually, where is the AMA gonna take place? Has the thread been made if so, link? :smile:


#17

I just watched those two videos you had linked, last night. Really interesting. It makes sense that Wattpad with their data would better inerpret whether public numbers like total reads relate to current marketability.

IDK what I would ask though. I’m sure I’m on the fringes of Wattpad. There’s not a studio saying to HQ “we’re really looking for stories about polyamorous dhampir colonists on Mars” or “the mainstream is nostalgic for stories related to the Goth scene.” LOL.

Although what my brother told me about recent DC Comics continuity suggests some people go for cracky ideas like releasing shrunken planets into space without explaining how they then revolve or rotate about anything, or the universe (in the multiverse) having a wall that is leaking.

But in one video Ashleigh was saying that even the types of stories that are not the most popular ones have a place on Wattpad, which is nice.


#18

when the thread is live, please post the link here so everyone else can go onto it!


#19

It’s already over. You can read the questions and answers here

https://www.wattpadwriters.com/t/wattpad-ama-wattpad-and-the-publishing-industry-with-ashleigh-gardner/1033?u=prisim


#20

I have no idea!!! But if there’s a way to screw something up–I’ll be the one to find it! Hahaha.