Sourcebooks and Wattpad: Building Community Together
Monday, September 26, 2016
By Claire Kirch (for Publishers Weekly) --
Three years after entering into an innovative partnership with Wattpad that allows writers to circumvent the slush pile by submitting queries to Sourcebooks via hashtag on the social media writing platform, executives at the Chicagoland company report that the collaboration has exceeded their expectations. It’s been so successful, in fact, that Sourcebooks is expanding beyond the YA fiction genre and collaborating with Wattpad to acquire and promote romance authors as well.
Toronto-based Wattpad, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, boasts 45 million members to date who read and/or write 300+ million original stories in 50+ languages. About 90% of Wattpad’s members are between the ages of 13 and 30, and 90% of them access Wattpad via mobile devices, providing feedback to writers throughout the creative process.
Stating that Wattpad does not enter into many partnerships with other organizations – although publishers and agents have long sought entrée – Ashleigh Gardner, head of partnerships at Wattpad Studios, echoed the sentiments expressed by Sourcebooks’ executives concerning the relationship between the two companies. "Sourcebooks has been fantastic to work with," Gardner said, noting that the arrangement has demonstrated that Wattpad writers can succeed on their merits in the marketplace, beyond a closeknit community of readers. Wattpad members will "follow their favorite writers everywhere," she said….
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