One Billion Reader Views on Wattpad = Publishing and Movie Deal

wattpadJust like the redheaded girl from science class, Wattpad often goes unnoticed, and is usually underestimated. Wattpad is a site where authors can post stories or segments of their stories and readers can read them and interact with the author. Currently it’s one of the top one thousand most viewed websites in the U.S. and is in the top fifteen hundred worldwide (according to Alexa). Those are exceptionally impressive rankings. The site boasts thirty-five million readers, and because Wattpad is mobile-friendly, most readers are reading on their portable devices. Although Young Adult releases seem to be their most popular categories, there is serious traffic in all genres.

It’s simple and free to upload your work to Wattpad.  No royalties are paid as it’s a free site for readers too. Recently some very exciting developments have taken place in Wattpad-Land. While many of us run Kindle Countdown Deals and look for the next promotional site that’s going to help us achieve momentary glory (and a few sales) at the top of the Amazon pile, some authors have found a different way of advancing their careers. Although none of us has time to devote to yet another site where we might interact with readers, you may want to check out Wattpad once you hear some of these success stories.

Last year, Wattpad signed an agreement with a company in the Philippines to publish Filipino stories. This led to the creation of a television series. Wattpad Presents showcases stories that were originally released on Wattpad. Several other TV programs and miniseries have also been produced in the Philippines that originated from work uploaded to the site. Some of these shows are doing very well, so chances are this will lead to more adaptations and hopefully not just from the Philippines.

Goodreads is a site that helps expose our work to readers, but the line where authors interact with readers is a bit blurry sometimes due to their rules. With Wattpad it’s fairly straightforward. They allow readers and authors to participate in discussions about the author’s work, and readers can even vote on what they’ve read. Many authors have released their work and garnered hundreds of thousands of Wattpad followers in their community. The trick is to turn those followers into loyal readers who will help advance their careers. This has happened, and often in unconventional ways. Dianne Greenlay, author of the Quintspinner series of novels, attracted the attention of a Hollywood agent due to her Wattpad exposure. Negotiations are continuing as she hopes to bring her series to the big screen. Without the 800,000 views of her work and the support of her Wattpad followers, this opportunity may never have happened.

Twenty-five year-old Anna Todd took it one step further. Anna didn’t think she was a writer, but she knew she could tell a story. Utilizing Wattpad, she wrote a serialized adventure that involved her favorite rock star. Anna’s story has been viewed over one billion times by Wattpaders. Yes, one billion views. From this exposure she attracted interest from the traditional publishing community. After a bidding war, Simon and Schuster swooped her up and signed her to a contract. Anna’s books are now available and are doing quite well. Oh, and Paramount has purchased the rights to After, the book that was originally released on Wattpad.

Both Anna and Dianne’s books were serialized in chapters, or groups of chapters, and released over a period of time. Readers stayed tuned in. They requested to be alerted when new material was published and participated in discussions in the author’s community. Anna was unpublished at the time, but Dianne’s books were available on Amazon, and continued to sell even though segments were available for free.

As authors, especially self-employed, self-published authors, it’s important that we concentrate not only on exposure, but also on developing a following. Wattpad can be one of the most efficient ways of connecting with readers and expanding our support base. We often talk about having a game plan in order to reach that next level of success. You may want to incorporate Wattpad into your game plan. It’s not only a method of connecting with and receiving input from readers, it might even lead to an opportunity that we never could have imagined. Just ask Anna Todd or Dianne Greenlay. Or, go check out the redheaded girl from science class and see how she’s doing today. I bet you’ll be surprised.

Author: Martin Crosbie

Martin Crosbie is the administrator of and writer of seven published novels. His self-publishing journey has been mentioned in Publisher’s Weekly, Forbes Online Magazine, and Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. You can learn more about Martin on his Amazon author page.

35 thoughts on “One Billion Reader Views on Wattpad = Publishing and Movie Deal”

    1. I dabbled with Wattpad ages ago, but found it to be mainly teens writing for teens. And not much life in the more mature or “harder” Scifi areas. But a lot of fantasy – a lot of fantasy. Is it really worth another look?

        1. Another sci-fi person! -waves hello-
          The YA demographic and mobile devices seem to go hand in hand. But while neither of us write /for/ that market segment, perhaps we need to be introduced to it. After all, they’ll get older one day too. 🙂

  1. I’ve read that Wattpad owns the rights to what is submitted and posted on their site. Is that true?

    1. From the Wattpad TOS: “For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your User Submissions. However, by submitting User Submissions to, you hereby grant a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the Website. You also hereby grant each user of the Website a non-exclusive license to access your User Submissions through the Website. You understand and agree, however, that may retain, but not display, distribute, or perform, server copies of User Submissions that have been removed or deleted.”

      My concern is loss of control of my material once it hits this kind of site. I might have the copyright, but will it really protect me from plagiarism and other abuses?

  2. Great article about Wattpad, Martin and I’m grateful for your mention of my novel series. In the two years that I have been a part of the Wattpad community, I have come to realize that it does have a large percentage of YA writers and readers, but more and more, agents looking for YA and sci-fi projects are hunting through the stories found there, and more and more authors are being offered both traditional publishing deals and representation for film/TV.

    Best of all, as you point out, it’s free, and I have found it to be a great way to not only introduce my writing to my intended target group (YA readers) but it’s also given me hundreds of enthusiastic mini-reviews that I can quote in marketing materials, as readers usually leave a comment on each chapter that they have enjoyed, and almost always they send me a comment about their enjoyment of the stories when they have finished the last chapter. For me, it’s been a pretty easy way to gather hundreds of complimentary comments on my writing, and my TV/film agent uses a selection of those in her pitches on my behalf.

  3. I got frustrated with Wattpad when I was putting up chapters of one of my already-published books. They kept sequestering them ’til I could prove I owned the copyright — which makes sense from their perspective, but it was playing havoc with the regular posting schedule I was trying to get into there. Clearly I need to think about giving it another go. Thanks for the reminder, Martin!

  4. Great article, Martin. I’ve used Wattpad a little, but I really need to get back into. There are just so many things to try and stay on top of and I find it a little overwhelming at times. It’s really hard to prioritize.

    1. I agree. I’ve used Wattpad a bit but then I forget about it for a while. I’ve found when I post my blogs on there it gets me a few more views. That might be a good way to get back into it.

  5. Discovered Wattpad from an IU post. Am using it to publish my YA sci-fi, Servo. Get a fair amount of traffic each week when I post an excerpt. Hoping for more!

  6. Thanks for this, Martin. I’ll try and check it out but …I’m a little confused as to how /much/ you’re meant to post on Wattpad. If you start posting excerpts from your book[s] are you then supposed to post the whole lot?
    And what of serials? Can you just post, say, part 1 only, or do you then have to follow through with the rest until the end?

    I guess I’m asking if this is a kind of permafree arrangement?

    1. I’ve posted first chapters only, A.C. I haven’t seen the amount of views that Dianne has but you never know whether they searched out more of my work. As far as I know there’s no obligation to post the entire work.
      Having said that, I don’t think I’d leave a cliffhanger with a buy-link.

  7. Another author Louis Shalako I know on Facebook was using Wattpad for writing one of his novels “The Mysterious Case of Betty Blue” a while back, so I thought I would try it. I figured it wasn’t for me, but I thought I would play around with it and see what use I could squeeze from it.

    I dabbled with a few things on there. Some I have on there aren’t that great, a few are and got attention. For on, “To End All War” was a reaction against something in the news and was very popular for a while as an anti-war short-short story and is now my most widely read.

    Then I started writing an experimental (I tried a few experiments on there), a horror novel, “The Unwritten”. I wanted to write something I’d never read before. It takes place in three different universes, one where a guy wakes to amnesia and torture in the backwoods by a clan woman and her family, one with scientists in their universe who are crossing over into the first one and the final takes place literally in Hell, as an entity from there crosses over. It is still ongoing. That one seemed to be somewhat popular.

    During that time, I was contacted by a production company requesting a screenplay adaptation of mine (“Sealed in Lies”) a spy romance. Asked if I had any others, I submitted summaries of finished projects and ones I was planning on writing. They were interested in a biopic from when I was 18 acting as a bodyguard for a woman who witnessed a murder by the local mob (true story) in 1974. Armed, I stayed with her for a week till she got out of town. They liked it and asked for more, so I drew up a short treatment. They liked it again saying it reminded him of “A Place Beyond The Pines”, and said if I write it they’d like to see it. So earlier this year when I got the request, while having my IT day job, I wrote it in 19 days. They are currently reviewing it toward making a decision on both screenplay.

    Point of mentioning this?
    I decided I would keep a journal detailing the experience and that piece is now on Wattpad called, “Writing of Teenage Bodyguard -A Screenplay”. It is as yet unfinished until they make their decision.

    Wattpad can be used for various things.

    I probably won’t write another novel length story after I finish “The Unwritten”, but it is useful if you figure out what works best for you on there and I like to try things I haven’t done yet. Sometimes the seemingly most useless things have paid off very well for me in the most unexpected ways.


      1. Oh, AND (sorry, rough day I guess), I did’t mean I wouldn’t ever write another novel length story… (see, Death of Heaven). I meant, not writing one on Wattpad again. But I do have other uses for Wattpad now. 🙂

  8. Congratulations, JZ! Your experience is proof that not only are agents looking through Wattpad but also production companies. Best wishes on your continued successes!

    1. Full disclosure and sorry for the misunderstanding. The exec producer actually contacted me from my screenplays long listed for years on But all the rest is true.
      Sorry I didn’t make that clear! 🙂
      Thing is, I try getting out there everywhere in case I get noticed by just that one person who can change things for me.

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