Popular Fantasy Trilogy White Stag to be Published by St. Martin’s Press

We’re thrilled to share that Wattpadder Kara Barbieri is the latest storyteller to have their work acquired by a major publisher! Twenty-year-old Kara – or Pandean as she’s known in the Wattpad community – has written the wildly popular White Stag trilogy, which some people have described as “Twilight meets Game of Thrones.” Wednesday Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, announced yesterday that they acquired the world rights to the trilogy and publication is planned for Fall 2018.

“I think I’m still in shock,” says Kara of the life-changing news. “I’ve been a writer for most of my life, and always wanted to be a published author. I can’t believe it’s finally happening, all because I shared my story on Wattpad.”

White Stag follows a seventeen-year-old girl who was captured from her village to live in the brutally beautiful Permafrost as a servant to Goblins. Outliving most, she finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover secrets to find the truth about who she is and the world that has become her home. The Permafrost Series has accumulated over 375,000 reads and Kara is currently serializing the second book in the series, Goblin King.

“White Stag is the story of someone who learns that being vulnerable doesn’t make you less strong. The main character goes through a series of traumatic events, but learns how to heal and overcome her past by letting people into her life,” explains Kara. “The story’s resonated with so many people, in so many different ways. And that’s exactly why I write – to reach others with my words.”

Kara joined Wattpad in October of last year and began sharing White Stag with the global community immediately. Soon after, the story became one of the most popular works in the Fantasy category. In fact, the Wattpad community has spent 6.5 times more hours reading White Stag than they have spent reading any of the other top 1000 fantasy stories on Wattpad! Like all popular writers on Wattpad, Kara regularly engages with readers on Wattpad and has even hosted a White Stag contest for die-hard fans.

If you just can’t wait to read White Stag in print, read it now on Wattpad and see for yourself why so many people around the world have fallen in love with Kara’s fantastical story.

For over a decade, Wattpad has inspired and connected people through stories. Along the way, we’ve changed the lives of people in the community, and Kara is the latest example. Congratulations, Kara – we’re so excited for you!

Meet the Wattpad Stars: Kelly Anne Blount

Photo of Kelly Anne BlountWe’re featuring some of the best horror writers on Wattpad to get you ready for Halloween! Today’s interview is with scream queen Kelly Anne Blount. Kelly joined Wattpad in 2014 thanks to fellow Wattpad Star April Baker.

“I never thought I would write horror [or] dark thriller books, but Apryl Baker inspired me to give Wattpad a try and write something new. My something new was Captured, a [young-adult] horror/thriller novel.”

Since then, Kelly’s breakout work Captured has gained 13 million  reads on Wattpad and is  available in print through Loewe Publishing House. Captured and Kelly’s follow-up Under have also been optioned for film.

In other words, Kelly’s time on Wattpad has been in itself quite thrilling. Here are her biggest tips for delivering scares and giving readers goosebumps:

Incorporate sensory details into your writing: You want your readers to feel like they are really there in the scene with your characters

Play on your deepest fears: Your fears will add authenticity to your writing

Read horror and dark thriller novels: Study writing techniques from your favourite authors and incorporate these techniques into your writing

Tension is everything: Don’t just go for the kill right away. Play with the scene and leave your readers wanting more!

While Kelly recommends reading horror to hone your craft, horror films are the last thing on her to-watch list: “Here’s a bombshell, I really struggle to watch scary movies! I can count the number of horror films I’ve watched over the past 10 years on one or two hands…People find it funny that I struggle to watch horror movies or read scary books, yet I write horror and dark thriller novels. I have come to the conclusion, thanks to the wisdom of friends and fans, that when I’m in control, I’m okay with writing terrifying content.”

When asked why she thought people were drawn to the horror thriller genre, Kelly had this to say: “I think everyone has a dark side and reading horror [or] thriller books allows them to explore that nefarious part of their mind. I [also] find that writing about terrifying events which could happen in real life tend to scare my readers the most.”

Kelly is currently reading Silence by fellow thriller writer Natasha Preston. You can follow her on Wattpad @kellyanneblount and purchase her works on Amazon, here.

#SurviveTheCabin: Interview with New York Times Bestseller Natasha Preston

“For months, Summer is trapped in a cellar with the man who took her – and three other girls: Rose, Poppy, and Violet. His perfect, pure flowers. His family.

But flowers can’t survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out…”

This chilling description for The Cellar was posted to Wattpad by Natasha Preston in 2010. Since then, Natasha has sold over 240,000 copies of the print edition to get The Cellar on New York Times bestseller list. She’s even published a sequel titled The Cabin.

As part of our Halloween interview series, we connected with Natasha to get her thoughts on the greatest fear for new writers, getting started:

“At first, I had no intention of writing but after about two months I decided to give it a try,” says Natasha of her start on Wattpad. “When I started writing The Cellar I had no idea where it would go other than a pretty vague outline of the plot. I wrote a chapter and uploaded it as soon as it was finished. Each time a notification came through from Wattpad I would rush to see what my readers had said about the chapter.”

As engagement on her story increased, what started as a part-time hobby grew into a career. Today, fans of The Cellar’s print edition  still engage with the story on Wattpad. “I’ve noticed that since The Cellar was published I’ve had quite a few people coming to read the first draft version to see what changes I’d made.”

Natasha’s follow-up work The Cabin was inspired by Wattpad’s monthly #JustWriteIt challenge, a monthly prompt that encourages writers to hone their skills across a variety of genres. “The Cabin was written specifically for Wattpad’s Whodunit prompt! It was originally called Covert. My editor at Sourcebooks and I went through many rewrites and edits to shape it into the version published today.”

While trying your hand at a challenge like Wattpad’s #JustWriteIt may seem scary, Natasha advises that people just take the leap: “[Just] do it! If I hadn’t found Wattpad I would probably still be working a part-time admin job, unaware that there is a career I want. One thing I’ve learned is that there’s a book out there for everyone. If you’re worried that no one will like your work, I assure you someone will.”

We couldn’t agree more. Horror on Wattpad spans everything from creature features to technothrillers. And don’t forget, scary stories are always better with an audience. It’s why writing on Wattpad makes a difference. “I’d just like to say a massive thank you to Wattpad for being awesome…and finally a MASSIVE thank you to every person who has read, voted, or commented on my work on Wattpad.”

Lessons from New York Times Bestselling Author Natasha Preston

Engaged audiences give authors and publishers a major advantage. Natasha Preston, New York Times bestselling writer of The Cellar, understands this better than most.

Natasha and her publisher Sourcebooks have sold over 240,000 copies of The Cellar over the span of 30 months. They’ve accomplished this despite the fact that an unedited edition of The Cellar currently exists on Wattpad for free. For Natasha, Wattpad serves as a powerful engagement tool and a forum where fans can connect with her and each other.

Thanks to her passionate fans on Wattpad and strategic promotion from her publisher, Natasha maintains an 11 week run on the NYT young adult paperback bestseller list.

The Power of Community-Based Storytelling

Natasha is one of three Wattpad writers, including Taran Matharu and Anna Todd, who have placed works on the New York Times bestsellers list. They’ve achieved this while keeping the majority of their works available on Wattpad for free.

While free is typically perceived as costly to publishers, the social nature of Wattpad stories provides an invaluable benefit for people trying to market their work. These benefits include:

An Engaged Fan Base: Through comments, updates, and interactions with other fans, Wattpad stories provide a community forum for people to connect over the stories they love.

Like any community, it’s more likely to stay together if its meeting place, in this case a Wattpad story, stays intact. The internet moves fast. If a story is taken down during the works transition to print, its audience might move on.

Instead of taking something from the fan base, support the community by leaving the story online while they wait for new material. In the end, fans are more likely to support the print edition of a work if they feel connected to its creator and responsible for its success. It’s this social aspect that can convert fans to purchasers.

Strength in Numbers: Natasha posted The Cellar in 2010. By the time Natasha was published by Sourcebooks in 2014, her story had amassed a giant fan base on Wattpad.

Today, over 17 million reads and almost 150,000 comments give Natasha and her publisher great insight into the passages, characters, and plot points that matter most to fans. Through the data available to partners of Wattpad Studios, editors and content creators gain a better understanding of what makes a story great.

Exponential Growth: Every second of the day, someone new joins the Wattpad community. That’s a new potential fan to attract to the Wattpad edition of a published story. Recently Natasha’s much-anticipated follow-up title The Cabin became available for purchase.

For publishers that work with Wattpad Studios, continued placement, curation, and algorithmic promotion to similar readers helps accelerate growth and potential market for  both The Cellar and The Cabin.

For Wattpad, connecting storytellers with exciting opportunities is critical. Like Natasha’s most passionate fans, we’re proud of the work she’s done and what she’s been able to accomplish.

We want to connect the publishers of the world with more of our top writers. When we collaborate with publishers like Sourcebooks and storytellers like Natasha Preston we move closer to reaching our vision of helping billions of people find entertainment, connections, and inspiration from Wattpad stories.

When Natasha joined Wattpad in 2010, she worked various jobs in administration. Since then, her career as a writer has taken off. Thanks to the power of community-based storytelling, Natasha and her publisher Sourcebooks are reaping the rewards of social-connectivity.

Hone Your Craft With the Wattpad Stars and Skillshare

The Wattpad Stars are masters of storytelling for online audiences and they’re eager to share their insights with new writers!

Last year, we launched our first collaboration with Skillshare and a Wattpad Star. The talented Rebecca Sky crafted this class on writing for online engagement and the results were fantastic. Since then, we’ve produced two classes and have one more on the way.

Check out Ninya Tippett’s class on finding your creative voice, here.

Photo of Ninya Tippett

If you’re hoping to get into character, Lindsey Summers has put together this helpful class on crafting an in-depth character study.

Photo of Lindsey Summers

If you’ve tackled these three courses and are still hungry for more tips, Ali Novak and Skillshare designed this class to teach you how to edit and complete a manuscript.

Wattpad connects writers with a total monthly audience of over 45 million people. We estimate that about 90% of that audience are readers. That provides a huge opportunity for writers of all levels who want to reach one of the most engaged audiences on the internet.

If you’d like to find out how some of our best writers connect with that audience, check out any of the classes above. You can also find helpful tips on our writer’s page.

Meet The Spring Girls: Anna Todd Reimagines Little Women for 2016

Wattpad phenomenon Anna Todd, the New York Times and international Bestselling author, is set to inject some modern flavour to Louisa May Alcott’s classic, Little Women.

Exclusively announced in Entertainment Weekly, Anna Todd’s modern retelling, The Spring Girls, pays homage to Alcott’s classic work by moving the work’s timeline from the Civil War era to today.

Anna’s love for classic authors first wove its way into her Wattpad story, After. In the work, her character Tessa is enamoured with stories like Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. By just mentioning the works in her story, Anna was able to drive a flood of new readers to the public domain works on Wattpad.

That level of excitement from fans is something Anna has in common with Alcott. The immediate success of Little Women in 1868 prompted Alcott’s publisher to commission her for a sequel. Both works were completed and published in a period of seven months to deal with demand from fans.

Publisher Gallery Books is set to release The Spring Girls in the fall of 2017. The revitalized work will reintroduce Anna’s fans and lovers of Alcott’s classic characters to the new and reimagined March Girls. For updates on the work, follow Anna Todd on Wattpad.

The Mysterious World of Wattpad

On Wattpad, people love to get to the bottom of a good mystery. Since January, people have spent over 250 million minutes reading stories in Wattpad’s Mystery / Thriller category. To keep the global Wattpad community guessing, we invited 127 of Smashwords’ most riveting mystery makers to take part in #MysteryMay.

#MysteryMay uncovered some intriguing stories. After the launch of Wattpad’s official Mystery profile, our content sleuths revealed a world of sub-genres. Thanks to Wattpad’s content experts, mystery lovers can find legal thrillers, paranormal mysteries and everything in between on the profile. Those with their hands in the cookie jar may also be excited by a unique genre on Wattpad, culinary mysteries anyone?

The story doesn’t end there, though. Here’s the twist: #MysteryMay might be over, but the stories keep coming! Every month, 45 million people around the world use Wattpad to find  next favorite read. Mystery writers (and writers of any genre, for that matter), can get noticed by serializing their stories on the platform.

If you’d like to reach the people searching for a riveting mystery, we recommend adding Wattpad story tags like #mysterymay, #hard-boiled, #whodunit, and #cozymystery to your work. Unable to solve a case of writer’s block? No problem! You can follow regular writing prompts from Wattpad, here.

You never know what you’re going to find when you explore the mysterious side of Wattpad. If you’re looking for a clue to get started, however, we invite you to check out the great stories from Smashwords in mystery and detective or thriller and suspense.

Meet the Wattpad Stars: Shaun Allan

photo of writer Shaun AllanNow that Wattpad has gone hollywood, we thought it would be a good idea to shine the spotlight on some of our brightest stars. These writers are the engine of Wattpad Studios, but more importantly, they’re passionate members of our global community.

This week we interviewed Shaun Allan, a horror-thriller writer who joined Wattpad in 2011. Since then, he’s shared 23 works, gained 18,000 followers, and accumulated over 810,000 reads across all his stories! Like many new members of the Wattpad community, Shaun joined to promote sales of his books and increase the visibility of his writing.

After discovering the excerpt of his story, Sin, the Wattpad team asked him to share the full story serially and invited him into the writers program, a precursor on the road toward being a Wattpad Star.

“At first, I wasn’t sure about serializing the full book. I didn’t want that to hurt book sales by letting the whole story be available for free. But there was something about Wattpad. I liked how it worked. I liked that it was a community.”

It was that communal, social-nature on Wattpad that hooked Shaun. For the first time, he was able to interact with readers: “I was meeting new people and the reach was far greater…it’s a much more fulfilling experience, and is, in fact, addictive. Wattpad is like walking into a vast library where all the people reading your books are sitting there in comfy seats, chatting to you about your work.  And there’s no uptight librarian telling you to SSHHH!

After his first feature on Wattpad, things really started to take off. “I was blown away by the response,” said Shaun, “When one of my stories hits the top ten in its category, such as Mr. Composure reaching number one and Suffer the Little Children climbing to number three in the Horror category, it doesn’t just make my day, it makes my week.

The momentum carried forward for Shaun. After an explosion in followers and read counts, he was invited to join the Wattpad Stars program. “It was an evening and I think I’d just finished dinner…I was genuinely pleased but definitely didn’t grasp what was to come...I didn’t realize, at the time, how amazing the Stars experience would be.”

Today, Shaun has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Universal Pictures and DC Comics’ Vertigo Imprint. “I can still remember, so clearly, when I received that email. I had to read it over and over. I was stunned. The initial email, asking if I’d care to join the campaign, was almost casual.  When I saw what was being asked, it was like Christmas but a hundred times better.  I was going to write for Universal!”

Despite all his success, Shaun still finds the time to interact on Wattpad. He’s currently reading When the Black-Eyed Children Knock by Ben Sobieck and offers up this advice to new writers: “Don’t let those around you tell you you’re wasting your time. Write. If the words are there, put them down. The more you write, the better you will get. Enjoy it, and write for yourself.”

Like any good story, Shaun’s includes a bit of luck and a great deal of foresight. “About 20 years ago now, I ran an online magazine which received submissions from all over the world and was invited to take part in a debate on Sky TV between myself and someone from the agent Curtis Brown about online versus traditional publishing.  I said that online and digital publishing would take off.  They said no way. People will always want a physical book. Maybe that’s the case, but Wattpad has proved me right…With Wattpad and the support from both them and the readers, I feel the worlds I create, though they’re often very dark, are a kind of light in themselves.  They’ve made people laugh, shudder and smile all within the space of a few words. I think that’s pretty cool.”

Stay tuned for more instalments of this on-going series. If you’re a brand looking work with these Stars or an entertainment studio hoping to partner with Wattpad Studios to find your next hit story, you can get in touch with us through business[at]wattpad.com

Comedy Spotlight: Humor writer Andrew Shaffer on how Wattpad helps his comedy writing

There are people who claim they don’t suffer fools gladly. We think those people are probably lying.

April Fools’ Day is a 24-hour window where it’s socially acceptable to test the limits of our own comedic tomfoolery – and shed light on those who spread laughter the rest of the year, too.

Since humor is one of the most searched for categories on Wattpad, we spoke with Andrew Shaffer – a comedy writer who uses Wattpad to showcase and beta test his own writing, as well as to supplement his existing social media presence.

We wanted some tips and insight into how he uses Wattpad as a comedy writer specifically – and possibly to get some ammo for our own humor writing arsenals.

“I was already a published author with two nonfiction books, and one novel [Goodreads Choice Awards-nominated parody, Fifty Shames of Earl Grey],” says Shaffer, who joined Wattpad in 2013.

“But I saw a different readership on Wattpad from the one I could reach with paperbacks or ebooks—an international audience, reading stories from around the world.”

Shaffer initially began by posting some previously published material, just to test the waters. Soon, he found himself posting fanfic for Sherlock and Guardians of the Galaxy.

He discovered what an increasing number of already-published authors have found with Wattpad – a platform for stories that otherwise wouldn’t have found an audience, and a way to test reactions to new story ideas.

Shaffer will be the first to tell you that to deliver laughs through fiction is not an easy task. “It’s often difficult to know if I’ve written something funny until someone else reads it,” he says. “Like a stand-up comedian, an author needs to test out funny material to see if it works.”

Which is why he sends some of his work to beta readers, some to his editor, and, other times, tries some of his bits out on social media (including Wattpad).

“I’m currently serializing a rough draft of a parody [Catsby: A Novel] on Wattpad to get a feel for what works, and what I need to revisit on my next draft,” says Shaffer. “Feedback is essential for comedy writing. The more eyes on it, the better.”

Like many comedy writers, Shaffer finds that humor can be a great way to spark conversation about otherwise more serious topics.

“Nobody likes to be lectured to,” he says. “Especially with important issues, it’s very easy to get heavy-handed. If you have a point to make, humor helps the medicine go down. Comedy is the cherry flavoring.”

We wanted to know if Shaffer had any tips for crafting a solid punchline… possibly for our own personal research, but also for science.

“I think it’s fairly easy to write a good punchline,” Shaffer tells us. “People who aren’t writers do it all the time on Twitter, for instance. However, it’s more difficult to craft a good punchline that works within the context of a story. Does it fit the tone of the story? Does it ring true for the characters you’ve created?”

“The other thing about punchlines,” he reminds us, “is you need to throw out the first couple you think of. Don’t take the most obvious route—go in a different direction. The bigger the left turn, the funnier the punchline.”

Definitely some noteworthy intel.

As for what Shaffer finds most useful about Wattpad specifically, he points to the ability to serialize his work, and connect with readers through comments as he posts.

“When you’re writing a novel, you might spend a year or more alone with these characters in your head,” he explains. “But if you’re serializing something, and readers can comment directly on the work-in-progress, the writing process takes on an entirely new dynamic. It’s both fun and scary to hear from readers as a work is in progress! Wattpad has the ability to radically alter the drafting process.”

Shaffer, of course, is not the only comedy writer who’s found success on Wattpad. Kevin Fanning, for example, has garnered a huge following thanks to his hilariously creative writing, as well as YouTuber Grace Helbig. Because ultimately, comedic prose can take many forms.

“Humor can be sweet or it can be snarky,” Shaffer reminds us. “The only thing that really matters for me, though, is, ‘Is it funny?’”

For more comedy and tomfoolery, check out Andrew’s writing, the humor category on Wattpad, or write your own story.

The 10 Reasons Indie Authors Should Write on Wattpad

If you’re an indie author you know all too well the work that’s required to create, edit, market and sell your work. Chances are you have a good system for how to promote yourself, but if you’re like most, you’re always looking for opportunities to reach a wider audience.

That’s where Wattpad comes in. We have a global audience and are a dream for serious indie authors who are looking for exposure, feedback and validation. Not only that, but Wattpad can also help provide you with a platform in which to promote your books.

Why you should write on Wattpad:

1. You can reach a global audience of millions of readers
There’s nothing worse than writing a great book and then struggling to find readers. Other social networks aren’t wired for long-form reading like Wattpad. Our community of over 40 million people are hungry for great stories and spend 13 billion minutes per month on Wattpad. On Wattpad, readers make up 90% of our community. This means that for every one writer there are ten readers. This is great news for you!

2. Your work in progress is warmly welcomed
On Wattpad you don’t have to have a finished manuscript to post and share your work. And in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Serialization is what works best on Wattpad. Think of your work like a television show, with a new episode airing every week. The audience loves to be there beside you as your story unfolds.  Releasing your work one chapter at a time provides you with continual enthusiastic feedback  as you work on finishing your book alongside a growing audience who is there with you for the ride.

3. You can write or edit your work on the go, whenever inspiration strikes
Wattpad is designed for mobile with 90% of the community logging in from their mobile phones; both readers and writers. One of the most advantageous benefits of using Wattpad is that you can read, write, or edit your work from wherever you are – even offline. You don’t have to be tethered to your computer. You can be sitting in a doctor’s office, on a train, or standing in a line while you read, edit and refine your work, or write a new chapter.

4. You retain rights to your work always and forever
On Wattpad, you retain all rights to your work and are protected by copyright law in areas such as distribution, performance and creation of your work. When you post your story on Wattpad, we automatically insert into the file the date of publish on that story for you. We take copyright very seriously and always want our authors to feel protected. Our goal is to support writers and enable author success.

5. You can use Wattpad for free, forever
You will never be charged a fee to use Wattpad. Our commitment now and forever is that Wattpad will always be free to use. This is one of many reasons why we are able to attract such a large user base. Access to free content is what makes the community so desireable, but authors have also found that this access has helped promote book sales too! Win-win for authors and audiences.

6. You can make money and build your career
Writers who invest in the Wattpad community and build a decent following are invited to apply to our Wattpad Stars program. This program provides opportunities to writers to write fun branded content and get paid to do it. Our Wattpad Stars receive many paid opportunities and continue to build their audiences while attracting the interest of publishers, brands, the media, or agents who regularly peruse our site. Additionally, we provide Wattpad Stars with exciting non-paid perks like speaking opportunities at conferences and media interviews. Sharing your latest crowdfunding campaign or linking to sites where fans can buy your book is easy on Wattpad.

7. You will receive enthusiastic feedback from readers
Wattpad is an extremely positive community. When you post your work on Wattpad you will find that the audience is genuinely interested, helpful, and emotive about your work. You will receive enthusiastic feedback and comments that can be insightful to the development of your work. You will find that your fellow writers are very supportive of your career and when you are just getting started Wattpad ambassadors are always available to provide you with help when you need it.

8. You will be inspired by the great work of others
On Wattpad 24 hours worth of reading material is posted every minute of the day. So there is never a shortage of great stories to read. By regularly perusing the hot and featured lists, you will see what is gaining traction on Wattpad and what most people enjoy. The Wattys (Wattpad’s annual digital writing contest) is also a great place to browse for crowd favourites if you’re looking for new stories to read or research. Trending stories on Wattpad can provide tons of inspiration for you as you build your audience and credibility.

9. You can get discovered by agents and publishers
You don’t have to be a Wattpad Star to get noticed by publishers and agents. In fact Harlequin hosts their super popular So You Think You Can Write annual romance contest on Wattpad and provides valuable feedback to romance authors and a 2-book publishing deal to the grand prize winner. There are many contests hosted on Wattpad that provide high visibility opportunities for talented writers to become noticed and discover new readers who appreciate your work.  

10. You can access audience analytics
We know that our writers are numbers-obsessed, so we launched audience analytics to help authors see their stats in an interesting way. You can identify which country your readers are from what time of day you get the most comments, which chapters get the most votes, comments and more! Having this level of insight into who your readers are will help you better understand them and have a meaningful relationship that makes you a better author all around.

If you are interested in joining Wattpad, growing your audience, or becoming a Wattpad Star, head over to our writers site to learn more.