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Forbidden Snowflake
12-09-2014, 11:09 PM
http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/dec/08/amazon-wattpad-fanfic-retail


The internet shopping site has just launched its own social reading and writing platform, Kindle WriteOn, a move characterised by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian as “trying to eat [Wattpad’s] lunch”. WriteOn is currently in invite-only beta mode, but all you need for access is the online equivalent of a Masonic handshake – a code passed to you from someone on the inside.

Hapax Legomenon
12-09-2014, 11:14 PM
I don't like this, but right now I'm not able to fully articulate why.

Samsonet
12-09-2014, 11:16 PM
I don't know. Wattpad is pretty solid. This like trying to ursurp the Popular Girls by making your own clique. I don't think it's going to work.

WriterBN
12-10-2014, 02:01 AM
This sounds like a natural follow-on to Kindle Scout. Amazon probably has the muscle and the money to make anything work. It will probably become Wattpad for adults.

Filigree
12-10-2014, 06:06 AM
Nope. 'Wattpad for adults' is Archive of Our Own. I'll be watching*, but I'm not that interested in Amazon's foray yet.

*I've requested an invite, FYIW, so I can judge fairly between Amazon and AO3.

kuwisdelu
12-10-2014, 08:26 AM
*insert obligatory anti-Amazon comment here*

noranne
12-10-2014, 08:42 AM
Nope. 'Wattpad for adults' is Archive of Our Own. I'll be watching*, but I'm not that interested in Amazon's foray yet.

*I've requested an invite, FYIW, so I can judge fairly between Amazon and AO3.

Isn't Archive of Our Own for fanfic, though?

Wattpad has a lot of fanfic, but also lots of original fic.

Hapax Legomenon
12-10-2014, 09:19 AM
Isn't Archive of Our Own for fanfic, though?

Wattpad has a lot of fanfic, but also lots of original fic.

I think you can put original fic on AO3, but it tends not to get read. So I usually thought of Wattpad and AO3 mostly being original fic versus fanfic rather than an age division, even though you can put either on both.

I think maybe the reason it seems wrong to me is because Amazon is a bookseller/publisher. The point of those websites is the community and free content. While anyone can publish a book and give it away for free on Amazon, the relationship between writers and readers is still intended to be one with distance. On Ao3 and Wattpad, most readers are also writers (I think) and pretty much all the criticalness that goes along with a sale/review site like Amazon is nonexistent. Like I can yell and scream about how much I don't like how Amazon is taking over everything, but in this case it really does smell like cross-contamination. With any luck it'll turn out to be like google+.

Filigree
12-10-2014, 12:50 PM
Those are my concerns, too, Hapax. There are things Amazon does very well. So far, they haven't completely perverted Goodreads. They sell more copies of my books than any of the publishers' sites. Heck, I'm an Amazon Prime member.

But as an agented writer, I can pretty much predict my agent's reaction if I put up *any* more-commercial original fiction on the Amazon site. I know two former fan-fiction authors who removed all their works from AO3 once they snagged agents and publisher contracts. That may still happen to me, if I get a Big Five deal on an original fantasy mms. I hope not, because reader click-throughs from my AO3 fan fiction are an appreciable proportion of sales for my debut novel and antho stories.

MRavenell
12-11-2014, 07:12 AM
On Ao3 and Wattpad, most readers are also writers

Wattpad maintains that the 85%+(or some astonishingly high number) of its userbase is in fact readers with no published works, and that they access the site via the phone apps. This information comes from Wattpad itself, not users playing the parlor talk speculation game. I know that my handful of followers are almost entirely readers and not fellow writers.

The forums are not accessible through the app, so if you only go on Wattpad through the web app it sure looks like writers = readers and everyone shouting into the void for attention.

I have requested an invite to the Amazon product as well. Wattpad is filthy with fanfiction and wretched teenage garbage. I think the market is there for a more "adult" version of Wattpad. Figment is trying but can't quite seem to gain momentum.

JustSarah
12-11-2014, 07:23 AM
I'd be interesting in seeing how it pans out.

Now if smash words did, I might consider it. Emphasis on might. I prefer my first print.

I like places for Wattpad because while it's not professional publication in the trade sense of the word, it's sort of like getting together with friends on a Friday night, sharing stories at the bar drinking beer. And challenging each other to see if you can read it faster. More like the introverts poetry reading.

Great way to get to know your fans.

Liosse de Velishaf
12-11-2014, 11:37 PM
Wattpad maintains that the 85%+(or some astonishingly high number) of its userbase is in fact readers with no published works, and that they access the site via the phone apps. This information comes from Wattpad itself, not users playing the parlor talk speculation game. I know that my handful of followers are almost entirely readers and not fellow writers.

The forums are not accessible through the app, so if you only go on Wattpad through the web app it sure looks like writers = readers and everyone shouting into the void for attention.

I have requested an invite to the Amazon product as well. Wattpad is filthy with fanfiction and wretched teenage garbage. I think the market is there for a more "adult" version of Wattpad. Figment is trying but can't quite seem to gain momentum.

"Filthy"? Well, I suppose non-commercial creativity could be considered filthy by some measure.



Anyway, I'm not sure calling it "adult" is accurate. More like more commercially-oriented, considering it's Amazon.

MRavenell
12-12-2014, 02:01 AM
"Filthy"? Well, I suppose non-commercial creativity could be considered filthy by some measure.


Sorry, when I said "filthy" I meant the adverb, like "filthy rich", not actually dirty or soiled.

"to an extreme and often disgusting extent."

Liosse de Velishaf
12-12-2014, 04:36 AM
Sorry, when I said "filthy" I meant the adverb, like "filthy rich", not actually dirty or soiled.

"to an extreme and often disgusting extent."


My mistake.

nealraisman
12-12-2014, 05:21 AM
This is too bad because Amazon is just trying to swallow up everything it can to control as much as it can.

Filigree
12-12-2014, 05:48 AM
That's what I'm afraid of, in this instance. Having seen some of Amazon's other ventures in publishing, I'm not sure if the potential page views are worth the potential hassle. Archive of Our Own is stubbornly non-profit - they'll bounce you for even mentioning commercial projects. But I love the community over there.

Filigree
12-13-2014, 08:13 AM
I've set up a tentative beta account on WriteOn, but haven't posted anything yet. I wandered through the fan fiction section and cringed. Can't say more without trampling on RYFW, but it's very like the lower levels of Wattpad. And that was with Adult Filters *off*.

I'll look around some more, to see if that was just a glitch.

MRavenell
12-13-2014, 08:38 AM
I got my beta key as well today and posted 2 pieces.

I think it's a natural extension of Amazon's Kindle/e-pub market. They have their little kickstarter clone, now they have a little incubator.

Strictly my opinion but I really do think there's enough space for more than Wattpad, and I think Amazon has the best chance of getting a slice of the pie.

Filigree
12-13-2014, 10:39 AM
You may be right. I've tried to browse through Wattpad, and multiple tries convinced me the site was not for me. I'm figuring out now what I want to post on Amazon's version. Especially since once I do, it's published and part of Amazon (for some reason I don't believe the fine print about how easy it will be to remove).

MRavenell
12-13-2014, 11:54 AM
You may be right. I've tried to browse through Wattpad, and multiple tries convinced me the site was not for me. I'm figuring out now what I want to post on Amazon's version. Especially since once I do, it's published and part of Amazon (for some reason I don't believe the fine print about how easy it will be to remove).

I agree that getting into bed with Amazon (or really, ANY site like this) has to be done with a certain grain of salt.

I don't believe, however, ANY site actually "removes" your work. The Amazon TOS state "in backup form". I think that's probably more truthful than other TOS, which state (in general) it may take a while for stuff to be removed from their system.

Depending on how long any given site maintains its backups, it can take a long time for stuff to actually be purged from a system. It's possible there are periodic backups that are not purged at all. And if we want to be really tinfoil hat, nothing deleted off disc is really ever deleted- there's a reason drives get shredded. I can absolutely assure you that nobody goes and digs up all the backups from the previous 30, 60, 90, whatever is in glacial storage etc, spools them up and updates stuff with deletions.

And of course, there are things like the internet archive- even if it's deleted, it may never be fully removed.

So basically, anything I put out on the internet I presume will be there... forever.

Jamesaritchie
12-13-2014, 03:45 PM
Amazon is the biggest threat there is to writers, and to readers, that exists, or ever will exist. It's an evil business, but millions are willing to hand Amazon their souls just for a few sales, or some cheap buys, not knowing or caring what this really means to the future. Amazon is a black hole, eating competition, sucking in anything and everything that gets near it, including all those who think they're benefiting.

Filigree
12-13-2014, 08:23 PM
Agreed. I'm only doing it because 25 years in the commercial art business taught me how to leverage contacts and deals with soulless, slimy sharks who are only out for profit. Can I win in the long run against a giant like Amazon? Nope. Can I borrow some wind from their sails? Maybe. Am I joining WriteOn - or any of my other writing and art sites - purely for the community and camaraderie? Heck no. I have ulterior motives, too. So far, over ten years of doing so, most of my predictions have been right.

cmhbob
12-13-2014, 10:41 PM
I really want to explore it, I think. I've got my mind set on releasing one story to Wattpad next year, and I'm wondering if I can also release it to WriteOn. Any indication if that's going to be allowable?

JustSarah
12-13-2014, 11:34 PM
I like the format of such websites, though I wonder why Amazon. Of course most of the others I've found are like android phone only. Unless you get the keyboard, it's practically impossible to type on.

Deepthought
12-14-2014, 12:21 AM
I requested, and got in. For me, the main issue so far is that there isn't much of a community there. I wonder if working at it might take advantage of some kind of early-mover thing and then popularity could improve down the road? I haven't posted anything on there yet.
It seems more "serious" than Wattpad for most part. I'm leery about their terms and conditions as well. Don't they take a huge chunk out of the money made? Or is that Scout? I'm not posting my work there yet because of that. Perhaps it is just best for unknown authors, who might switch over the traditional way after they get out there. I don't really know what to think.

MRavenell
12-14-2014, 01:06 AM
Don't they take a huge chunk out of the money made? Or is that Scout? I'm not posting my work there yet because of that. Perhaps it is just best for unknown authors, who might switch over the traditional way after they get out there. I don't really know what to think.

No, if you read the TOS it specifically states Amazon can't sell it, and you can remove it at any time, you retail all rights except the standard issue license you grant to Amazon needed to provide the service (which you grant to any other similar service) The service is free. It's a direct Wattpad competitor. Presumably they will make their money when the books get pulled and placed for sale. You are obviously giving up your first publication rights, but if you don't care about those then it's moot.

You MAY be thinking of Tablo.

I don't understand why people think Amazon is so slimy and the "worst thing to happen to writers"- that's a huge, broad stroke. Could I get an education on this position? Or is it the usual "self-publishing is lame, the only legitimate authors are the ones who go through the traditional publishing route" stigma?

Filigree
12-14-2014, 02:20 AM
I think there's definitely a quality issue, but it's not limited to for-profit self-published works on Amazon. There are more people writing and publishing, so there's going to be more crap across all platforms, whether free or paid. Factor in how easy basic self-pub is now, and there are even fewer barriers to instant posting.

I don't mind, really - it takes me two paragraphs or less to know if something is worth my attention.

Amazon is bad because few forward-thinking writers believe Amazon will keep their fairly generous self-pub royalties once the company has killed off most competition. Amazon is also big enough and well-founded enough that most lawsuits against them might be un-winnable by that competition or angry authors.

JustSarah
12-14-2014, 04:43 AM
Is there a way to find out their terms of service without being a member?

As to the above, it's what was mentioned above why I wouldn't even choose Amazon to begin with. To much of a mega-corp to me. Mono whatever, it's a large company eating competition.

Though I'm curious about it attracting more serious writers.

MRavenell
12-14-2014, 06:35 AM
There is not, but here is the relevant section. Emphasis mine.




STORIES YOU POST
Once you have posted your story, including any cover art and other related content, Amazon may make your story, cover art and other related content, including any revisions, available in connection with the Write On Services through any Amazon website, device, application or other property. You grant Amazon and Amazon’s sublicensees, the right to use your name, and any biographical information and photographs you provide, worldwide for any purpose in connection with your participation in Write On. You may remove your story from Write On using the removal tools provided in the Write On Services. After you remove your story, copies of it and any related content may remain in backup copies on our servers. You are not granting any other rights to your story, cover art and other related content to Amazon or any other party.

With respect to any story, including any cover art and other related content, you submit to the Write On Services, you represent and warrant to Amazon that: you have the right to make that content available on the Write On Services; your story, including any cover art and other related content, complies with all Write On community and content guidelines; and your story, including any cover art and other related content, will not contain any content that is illegal, obscene, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, infringing of intellectual property rights, or otherwise injurious to third parties.

You will indemnify Amazon for all claims resulting from stories, including any cover art and other related content, you submit. Amazon takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any stories, cover art and other related content, posted on Write On.

NickieAsher
12-16-2014, 05:13 AM
How does one get an invitation? Anyone want to pass the key?

Bartholomew
12-16-2014, 05:38 AM
I spent some time looking at Wattpad, and I guess I don't understand how it's different from YADS.

Samsonet
12-16-2014, 06:24 AM
Wattpad is YADS, but it's one of the more popular ones. You know how some sites claim that people get discovered off of them? On wattpad they actually do.

Bartholomew
12-16-2014, 06:54 AM
Are there difficulties with selling first rights when using it?

Samsonet
12-16-2014, 07:20 AM
I suppose so, but I haven't come across anyone who's had trouble with it.

Bartholomew
12-16-2014, 07:27 AM
Paradigm shift while I was away. Got it!

PEBKAC
12-19-2014, 01:26 AM
There is not, but here is the relevant section. Emphasis mine.

There is another part that is concerning to me:

"If you do post content or submit material other than a story, including any cover art and other related content, you are making that content and material freely available for use by any other Write On user. You also grant Amazon a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media."

Is this saying that cover art and other related content is part of "other than a story" or included as part of the story?

PEBKAC
12-19-2014, 01:27 AM
How does one get an invitation? Anyone want to pass the key?

You can request an access code from their site. Just go to the site and click "request an access code." It took a couple of days before I got an invite.

Filigree
12-19-2014, 07:39 AM
So...no need to do more than a cursory cover, then. I'm still having trouble finding content I want to upload. I don't want to repeat stories from other display sites, if I even can. I'll have to look at Amazon's terms again. When I look at older work, I separate it by 'ugh, that's too horrible to see daylight' or 'there are still few paying markets that haven't rejected it, why post it for free?'