Since PW published a story about Brittany Geragotelis’s novel Life’s a Witch and the millions of readers she attracted on the online writing community of Wattpad, the self-published author has been overwhelmed with inquiries from publishers, foreign rights agents and TV and film producers. Previously unrepresented, Geragotelis has now signed with a literary agent and a foreign rights agent and is sorting through an avalanche of proposals and related offers for Life’s a Witch and other projects.
When Geragotelis isn’t moonlighting writing novels, she’s the managing editor of American Cheerleader magazine. But her dream has always been to be a published YA author and over the last six years she’s written six unpublished novels and published her most recent work, Life’s a Witch, as a series on Wattpad. The book is a work of supernatural fiction and tells the story of a contemporary teen witch heroine who is descended from a witch executed at the Salem Witch Trials. Gerogatelis self-published Life’s a Witch through Amazon CreateSpace and the book is available in paperback and as an e-book via Amazon and also through B&N’s Nook devices.
In addition to her devotion to writing and a focus on the teen fiction market—Gerogatelis works with teen girls through her job at American Cheerleader—she also maintains a lively social media presence on YouTube, a blog (Brittany the Book Slayer), as well as on Facebook—she even has a book trailer. Nevertheless, despite all this and the impressive popularity of Life’s a Witch—the book attracted more than 13 million readers on Wattpad—Gerogatelis still couldn’t attract a publisher.
That changed after PW Daily published a story about her failure to find a traditional publisher in early December. Geragotelis said since the story was published she’s been swamped by offers of all kinds: “It’s been a whirlwind. Everything has exceeded all my expectations,” she told PW during a follow-up interview. The aspiring novelist has now signed with Kevan Lyon of the Marsol Lyon Literary Agency and she has also signed with Taryn Fagerness Agency to handle foreign rights for Life’s a Witch.
Immediately following the publication of her story, she says she was “flooded” with interest from around the world. “In the first three days after the story I got e-mails and calls at work from France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia and the U.K,” she said. “I never even thought about foreign rights. I was flooded with calls from scouts and publishers from countries I wasn’t even aware of.” She had to draft her boyfriend to help field the calls.
Her new agent, Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, Geragotelis said, “specializes in teen lit and works with self-published authors and is focused on helping her authors create a career.” At this point, the author and her new team are sorting through a variety of offers. She’s been been approached to create a graphic novel spinoff of LAW, there are inquiries about TV/film rights to the book, a “big” publisher is looking at her unpublished novels, and she’s been offered a “new project, unlike anything else I’ve done,” which she is considering.
She has also just finished serializing a new novel, Fate Unloaded, on Wattpad and is now serializing one of her unpublished novels on the online writing community. In addition she’s started writing a sequel to Life’s a Witch. Geragotelis was also among several writers recruited by Nina Lassam, Wattpad director of marketing and publisher relations, to write the backstory of a new interactive mobile app called Totally Amp’d, a nine-episode live-action series aimed at kids 8-14 that tells story of five teens recruited to become a musical supergroup. Using the app, kids can interact with the narrative, overcome obstacles, remix the music, design outfits, and more.
Geragotelis told PW that “all of this has been scary in an exciting way,” and she’s “trying to say yes to everything.” Geragotelis said it's like a dream come true. “I have not been getting a lot of sleep but these are luxury problems. I’m in this for the long haul so I’m looking at all the offers and trying to create a brand. It’s really exciting.”
PW will continue to follow Geragotelis and provide updates on her progress.