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Thread: [Display site] Wattpad

  1. #26
    Okay. Here's what I'd do.

    Take the story down. If you're revising it thoroughly, that's a defunct draft which has no value - few are going to want to read that then read the "proper" version. If you're not revising thoroughly, revise thoroughly anyway and see previous comment.

    The feedback you've received is immaterial from a Qing POV. Unless John Updike has been to your Wattpad and declared you marvellous, it's not going to matter. It's like saying your mum really loved it. The time when this would be wrong is if you were a massive success, like hundreds of thousands of marvellousness success. The kind of "mention this story and anybody who uses Wattpad knows it" success.

    If you want to keep it for yourself, I'd imagine you might be able to set the MS to "private" so nobody can read it, but the comments remain. That's a guess, I've never used Wattpad.


    ETA Or, as Solunar says, leave it as is and write something new.

  2. #27
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    @Solunar:
    I'm not that familiar with the whole story behind "Fifty Shades of Grey", I'm afraid. I've heard about it, of course. But wasn't pretty much everything changed and turned into some sort of Erotica in the end?

    @Theo81:
    Oh, trust me. There will be a lot of revising going on - no matter if I try going for a commercial publisher or end up doing the whole self-publishing thing.

    Yeah, about your guess: it doesn't work that way, unfortunately. When I delete a chapter of the story, the feedback gets deleted as well.

    And without trying to be too cocky: yes, my story is the kind of "mention this story and anybody who uses Wattpad knows it" success. It is one of the most popular stories on that site. It's not 'hundreds of thousands of marvellousness success' (although officially it has over one million reads; but that number is a fluke) - but still. It has collected more than 6,000 comments so far, I've got 2,500+ fans, it has been read almost 30,000 times and has inspired more than 140 readers to create their own High School bucket list. So. What now? Take it down or leave it?


    Still looking forward to hearing more thoughts! Thanks to anyone who has added their two cents so far.
    Last edited by SkyDancer; 04-16-2012 at 01:22 PM.

  3. #28
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyDancer View Post
    @Old Hack
    Thanks for your reply! I don't understand what you meant with "agents browsing wattpad", though. I do know that no agent would be looking on that or a similar website, hoping to find something good he can publish. Was that what you meant?
    I was attempting to address to this from your original post in this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyDancer View Post
    That's what I'm wondering about. Are times changing at the moment? I don't know if literary agents know about wattpad and if they do, what they think about it. Is there a chance for this particularly story of mine? Or is its somewhat popularity ruining any chances of having it commercially published?
    Thanks for your input. It sounds plausible to me. Only I've been also advised not to delete the whole story, maybe have the first chapter or two up, simply to have some proof of the feedback I've received. Any thoughts on that? Or in other words: why should I take it down completely?
    Because it's a first draft and it's not going to do you any favours having unrevised work available online; and it's not behind any passwords, which makes it even easier for it to be plagiarised.

  4. #29
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyDancer View Post
    And without trying to be too cocky: yes, my story is the kind of "mention this story and anybody who uses Wattpad knows it" success. It is one of the most popular stories on that site. It's not 'hundreds of thousands of marvellousness success' (although officially it has over one million reads; but that number is a fluke)
    My bold.

    I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but your story hasn't been read anything like a million times on Wattpad.

    Wattpad has a very odd and very unrealistic way of counting the number of times its pages have been read. If you'd looked at the thread about Wattpad in AW's BR&BC which I linked to upstream, you'd have read this brief exchange:

    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    Right, who knows anything about Wattpad? Other than what Google can turn up for me, of course. Is anyone using it? Have people had success they can attribute to it? It sort of looks like Yet Another Display Site, except this one seems to have a huge community (I'm seeing reader stats in the 10 million plus range, which I'm somewhat incredulous about.) Any information gratefully received.
    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    Be incredulous; they're counting every time a page is spidered as a reader.

    Note that a spider will in many cases make several passes over a page, indexing different kinds of data.
    I don't post this to upset you, and I hope you'll not be upset by it: but if you contact agents and tell them that your book has been read over a million times on Wattpad, you're not going to be able to prove those figures and might well end up making yourself look like a big banana--which could lose you a potential deal. Please be careful when you quote figures like those.

  5. #30
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    Ah, okay, that's what you were referring to. Thanks for clearing that up for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    My bold.

    I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but your story hasn't been read anything like a million times on Wattpad.

    Wattpad has a very odd and very unrealistic way of counting the number of times its pages have been read. If you'd looked at the thread about Wattpad in AW's BR&BC which I linked to upstream, you'd have read this brief exchange:
    Yes, I do know that. That's why I said "but that number is a fluke". No bubble that needs bursting.

    So don't be afraid, you didn't upset me in any kind of way. I'm not sure yet what I would mention in a query letter should I decide to go look for a literary agent, but I'm thinking that the number of supporters ("fans") might be the best way to go. But hey, I'll worry about it should I go down that road.

    Thanks for your insight and help so far, I really appreciate it!

  6. #31
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    The best thing from this is that you have had a lot of people tell that they love your story. This is very valuable when the rejections start rolling in and you may start to think 'I must be crazy trying to get somewhere with this'.
    Behind the smile, there's danger and a promise to be told.

  7. #32
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyDancer View Post
    I'm not sure yet what I would mention in a query letter should I decide to go look for a literary agent, but I'm thinking that the number of supporters ("fans") might be the best way to go. But hey, I'll worry about it should I go down that road.
    I wouldn't mention the number of Wattpad supporters in an intial query, but it might be worth mentioning if you get to the point of being in talks with a prospective agent.

    The reason I wouldn't mention it up front is that some agents might decide that you've tapped out your potential audience via Wattpad. Or they might not have a clue what Wattpad is and think you're saying it to 'big' yourself up. After all, display sites don't exactly leave a great impression on agents.

    However, if you've had 6,000 real-live individuals comment favorably on your work, that's a pretty impressive number. So once you get to the 'in talks' phase, it might be worth mentioning because it shows that your work has been viewed favorably by a truly meaningful number of people.

    OTOH, by the time you're in talks with an agent, they're impressed with your manuscript, and the Wattpad response to an earlier draft might well be irrelevant.
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  8. #33
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    One of the things you DON'T want to do in a query is to tell a potential agent that the manuscript is posted on a display site. Why? Well, because it's diluting your potential sale audience and an agent wouldn't know by how much. Let them love the book on its own standing & then tell the agent about the help & support you've received at the site once they've offered to represent it.

    You'll definitely want to remove the ms. from the site once you're represented since publishers will want first rights to the novel. "First rights" is a contractual concept, rather than a copyrght issue, and it's a very subjective concept. Some editors won't care about a small (relatively) display site, while to others it could be a deal breaker.

    But speaking of copyright, are you certain the site doesn't have any claims to your novel? Have you read the terms & conditions of the site and fully understand them? If so, cool. If you haven't, you need to, and specifically look for words like "grant" or "license" which have specific meanings in copyright law.

    Good luck! Hope it works out for you.
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  9. #34
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    @waylander: True!

    @Terie:
    As I said before, I haven't really thought this far yet, since I'm still in the "should I even bother and try to get that story commercially published"-stage. Hence this thread.

    You mentioned some very valid points, so thanks for that! Any suggestions how/if I should mention wattpad support at all in the initial query? Or, scratch that. Should I come to this decision, I'll tackle that particular question separately in another thread (maybe query hell).

    @Cathy C:
    So you are saying I shouldn't mention it at all? Hm. But wouldn't that be something agents would be very upset about when I don't tell them that THIS story (even if it only was the first, unedited draft) was already available online?

    I want to be honest about that. Besides, one Google search for its title, and they will know about it anyway.

    So, just to make sure that I understand you correctly: you suggest not mentioning that the story is posted on a display site, but keeping it up on there until (if ever) I'm going to be represented? Or did I get this wrong?

    As for your question regarding terms and conditions: yes, I have read the terms and conditions fully.

    "For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your User Submissions."

    The only thing I have given wattpad the permission to is to display my work on their site. And once I delete it, it's gone on there, except for this:

    "You understand and agree, however, that Wattpad.com may retain, but not display, distribute, or perform, server copies of User Submissions that have been removed or deleted."

    But since they are not allowed to display or distribute those server copies, I'm fine with that.

    If the terms and agreements weren't like this, I don't think that aforementioned author BrittTheBookSlayer would have been able to get a deal for her witch series with Simon & Schuster.

    So as far as I see it, it pretty much depends on how potential editors define "first rights". Which brings me back to my initial question. Judging from the wonderful response so far, nothing is set in stone and pretty much a gamble with a story that has already been previously published.

    Okay. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, especially since there are different opinions on how much or when I would have to delete the first draft.

    There doesn't happen to be an agent around on here, is there? If so, your insight is more than welcome!

  10. #35
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Wattpad's terms and conditions are here.

    SkyDancer, when you quote anyone else's work here in future please link back to the original. Thanks.

    I've asked a couple of agents what they think of Wattpad, and what they'd think of your work being there: they both said that they weren't aware of Wattpad and its success there would not be likely to influence their decisions when considering your work; that if they took you on it would be on the basis of your work and not Wattpad, but that your success there might provide a useful hook to hang some publicity onto, much as was the case with the author discussed above; and that they'd far rather your work wasn't up on the site once you started querying them, for the various reasons already discussed.

    And one of them told me that she'd rather writers spent time perfecting their writing and producing a really strong book than spending their time online building a following if that following was unlikely to translate into a real fanbase once their books were published--as is perhaps the case with Wattpad.

  11. #36
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link, Old Hack.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4. GENERAL USE OF THE WEBSITE. A.
    You agree not to distribute in any medium any part of the Website, including but not limited to User Submissions (defined below), without Wattpad.com's prior written authorization
    Quote Originally Posted by 6. USER SUBMISSIONS AND CONDUCT. C.
    However, by submitting User Submissions to Wattpad.com, you hereby grant Wattpad.com a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the Wattpad.com Website and its affiliates.
    And . . . there goes your copyright. You just granted Wattpad not only the right to use, reproduce and distribute the User Submission, they may also transfer that right to someone else until the submission is removed or deleted. Read more about copyright licensing here and do spend some quality time over at the U.S. Copyright Office's Frequently asked questions page

    That's why I was asking. At least it's non-exclusive, but it's still a real problem for as long as it appears online.

    If there are links to it through Google, I would at least limit the amount of it that appears on the site. A chapter or two will give people a sense of the book and you can always ask that people contact you directly through a special email address (that you set up just for the purpose) for the full ms. Then you at least have a way to track potential infringers later and people can still come back online to give the book a thumbs up or down.

    There doesn't happen to be an agent around on here, is there? If so, your insight is more than welcome!
    Yes, there are a number of agents who frequent here, but they don't necessarily appear under their own names. I'm not one of them, but there's no way to know if any of the others who have already responded are.


    JMHO, of course.
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    Cathy Clamp
    USA Today bestselling author
    FORBIDDEN, coming 8/15!
    My Website
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    "[Shapeshifter] fans are about to hit the jackpot as Clamp returns to re-energize
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    "A struggling community under attack, compelling action, characters struggling
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  12. #37
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I've merged a thread about Wattpad from Ask The Agent into this pre-existing one in BR&BC. Just in case anyone's confused about how they ended up in here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    Wattpad's terms and conditions are here.

    SkyDancer, when you quote anyone else's work here in future please link back to the original. Thanks.

    Will do. Thanks for including the link!


    I've asked a couple of agents what they think of Wattpad, and what they'd think of your work being there: they both said that they weren't aware of Wattpad and its success there would not be likely to influence their decisions when considering your work; that if they took you on it would be on the basis of your work and not Wattpad, but that your success there might provide a useful hook to hang some publicity onto, much as was the case with the author discussed above; and that they'd far rather your work wasn't up on the site once you started querying them, for the various reasons already discussed.

    And one of them told me that she'd rather writers spent time perfecting their writing and producing a really strong book than spending their time online building a following if that following was unlikely to translate into a real fanbase once their books were published--as is perhaps the case with Wattpad.
    Thank you so much for this! This is really helpful. I appreciate your efforts, Old Hack.

    I'm so glad I've discovered this forum!

    @Cathy C:
    And thanks for your advice! Now I know what my options are and what I would have to do should I decide to give it a go.

    If I do, I'll definitely let you AWers know.

  14. #39
    Time Traveler mfarraday's Avatar
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    Wattpad?

    Does anyone here have experience with websites like Wattpad? Does it cater to the indie/unpublished writer, which is my impression? Would you post your own work there? Good for exposure?

    There is another site too, called ireadwriteandrate.com, which I am wondering about.

    Thanks for any feedback,

    M.

  15. #40
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    The thread in BR&BC on Wattpad is here.

    There doesn't seem to be a thread on the other site in BR&BC yet.
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  16. #41
    Time Traveler mfarraday's Avatar
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    thanks!

  17. #42
    Time Traveler mfarraday's Avatar
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    Very interesting thread, thanks for all the info! will be lurking. I was thinking of using Wattpad, now I'm not so sure.

  18. #43
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Wattpad is a display site; I can't find anything for the other site you mention, but from the name it looks like that's a display site too.

    Display sites very rarely help writers achieve anything. You might like to go to our Bewares section and search there for "display site" (use the advanced search option, and limit your search to just thread titles or you'll get overwhelmed): you'll find many such sites discussed, but few if any stories of successes which have come about as a result of using those sites.

    Here's a link to the various places on my blog where I've discussed them; here's Writer Beware on the subject; and here's the SFWA take on display sites.

  19. #44
    Time Traveler mfarraday's Avatar
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    I appreciate the perspective. Thank you! I will try to be better informed.

  20. #45
    practical experience, FTW mercs's Avatar
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    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I signed up and put two samples on there. It says I get 50+ readers per day (impossible, but the thread linked above explains that). Don't expect anything from it, but surely no worse than google search, twitter etc. It's free, it takes a few minutes to sort out and there has been a few folk that have got lucky off the back of it. Surely no more foolish than buying a lottery ticket, just hold the same expectations of it coming off!

  21. #46
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Merging the Wattpad thread from Self Publishing with this thread from BR&BC... done!

    Mercs, I haven't heard of anyone "getting lucky" as a direct result of putting their work up on Wattpad. People have found representation with work which they put up there, but I'm pretty sure they submitted that work in the usual way and its presence on Wattpad had nothing to do with their success, but you're welcome to prove me wrong if you know better.

  22. #47
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin aa1888's Avatar
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    Between wattpad or self publish (merged into existing thread in BR&BC)

    HI

    I would like to ask if publishing on wattpad will be a better alternative then self publishing.

    I have this feeling that wattpad creates this following for you before you start to offer book for sales.

    But it also has negative aspects of such a path. Any advice on publishing on wattpad will be great.

    Not sure if right Forum section :P.

    Thanks

  23. #48
    A little girl with a big heart. <3 AlaskaEverfall's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Pines View Post
    I was searching for contest to enter and I stumbled across this site call Wattpad?

    So far I haven't seen anything negative about it, so I was wondering if anyone here had an account and would like to share their experience (positive/negative) about it.

    Thank you in advance.
    I'm a regular user on Wattpad. Yet, I still feel disgusted at some of the things that are "popular."
    Wattpad's the fastest way to get a fan-base, let me tell you. A huge amount of self-publishers are using it to promote their books --and believe me, it works!
    But never use it for reading.
    Use it for writing/promoting, and it'll all be good.

  24. #49
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I don't see the advantage of using Wattpad over self publishing unless you want to be able to boast of high numbers of page-views; but remember that many of those page-views come from bots and are meaningless if it's a readership you're after.

  25. #50
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I get a more committed readership off Archive Of Our Own, which takes both fanfiction and original work (though I've never posted my original work there.) I've never been spammed by bots off that site, and I keep a dedicated email address just for it.

    Bear in mind, though - out of several hundred readers who've left kudos or comments on my fanfiction over the years, only a couple have bought my original fiction. That may change if my agent gets a Japanese translation going, but I'm certainly not counting on any display site to help my career.

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