View Full Version : Goodreads considers Wattpad a publishing platform?

03-12-2015, 03:53 AM
So a friend of mine is about to sign with a major publisher. In her excitement, she started up a Goodreads Author page. To her surprise, she already had a story listed under her name. A story she put on Wattpad years ago and has since been removed.

She tried deleting the story and got into a fight with a GR librarian who told her they consider Wattpad a published platform and they will not remove the story. She emailed another librarian who told her the same thing. Even if you're the sole creator of the work, you have no say about it on Goodreads.

This story has never been published. It was only five pages long and on Wattpad for a short period of time. It doesn't have an ISBN number. She does not want it attached to her name.

Anyone know what she can do?

03-12-2015, 04:05 AM
I don't understand from your post if the story is visible on Goodreads or not. You say it has been removed, but then you say she tried to delete it and could not? It's been removed from Wattpad but is still available on Goodreads?

If the story has been removed and is there "in name only" it might not be such a problem, because the work itself is invisible, right?

Beyond that, it looks like this is a situation that needs the skills of a lawyer which I am not.

03-12-2015, 04:08 AM
Posting it on Wattpad is actually publishing it, I'm pretty sure. But can she make herself a separate author (with the same name) on GR. It can't be the first time authors have had the same name, as far as a reader is concerned, and since the story is not actually available, it's not like they can go, "Oh, she pubbed this too? Let's go read it."

Hapax Legomenon
03-12-2015, 04:40 AM
Yes, Wattpad is a publishing platform. Technically anywhere public online is, but Wattpad has some legitimacy because some big names like Margaret Atwood like it, and a lot of people self-pub stuff they post on there.

Fanfiction writers have taken down previous work that's well-known before signing on with a big publisher and everyone knows. Hell, it might even be inspiring to other writers to see that she published before on Wattpad. Unless it was a really controversial/infamous work or has like a really racist title or something, she could just leave it be.

03-12-2015, 07:04 AM
Goodreads is a cataloguing site. The policy is that if something has been out there it should stay on the site. I haven't been very active after Amazon bought them, but I know that before that happened there was several self-published authors who wanted previous covers removed and that was against policy.
I don't think there is anything your friend can do. Except changing the name she publishes under. And as mentioned above, unless it is a story that she really do not want to be associated with, I can't see the point of that.

Becky Black
03-12-2015, 02:27 PM
What should be in the database is a tricky issue on Goodreads at the moment. "Books" are obvious. Paper books, ebooks, audiobooks can all be on there. They don't have to be currently available to buy new. You can create an entry for an out of print book on there. Then there are borderline things - short stories or essays for example. Before ebooks you'd only really get them in an anthology or collection and that would be the "book". But now it's easy to publish them individually as an ebook. So individual entries for them go on there even if they are only a few pages.

Recently entries about stories published online - including fanfics are going up on the site. (There's a rule that they must be finished ones, not still in progress.) They have reviews like anything else in the catalog. Some people find this problematic - especially for the fanfics.

It's very much still in flux. Your friend probably can't force Goodreads to remove the entry, without going to court over it. The story itself isn't on there, so it's not a case of copyright violation. It doesn't matter that it's no longer available. It existed and was published on Wattpad for enough time for some people to read it.

If she used the same name as she will be using for her upcoming book then the two are going to be together on Goodreads. If the names are different they should two different authors on Goodreads though. Nobody has put any of my fanfics on there yet as far as I know, but if they do I wouldn't expect them them to show up on my author profile, because this pen name is not the name they were published with. No more so than J.D. Robb books are on Nora Roberts' author profile.