In the latest example of Wattpad teaming with trade publishers, the online writing community is entering into a multifaceted partnership with Sourcebooks to both publish Wattpad writers through the Sourcebooks Fire YA imprint, and market Sourcebook authors on the site. The partnership will initially promote the forthcoming novels of two Wattpad-turned-Sourcebooks authors—Ali Novak and Natasha Preston—who are soliciting support on Wattpad’s new Fan Funding platform.
The new partnership is one of the broadest and most far reaching agreements Wattpad has entered into with a traditional publishing house. Over the last year Wattpad, which attracts more than 16 million visitors every month, has become a magnet for publishers and literary agents looking for new writers as well as using the site as a marketing platform. “We’re sharing,” said Wattpad communications manager Nazia Khan about the new partnership, “Sourcebooks has come to us to tap into our writers and into our readers.”
Khan said that Sourcebooks will select Wattpad authors writing for the Young Adult category to publish through the Sourcebooks Fire YA imprint and plans to use Watpad’s new Fan Funding platform to encourage Wattpad members to support their favorite Wattpad authors. Wattpad material acquired by Sourcebooks will remain on Wattpad in its original form, though the books will be edited (with new chapters and other added material) and produced by Sourcebooks for general bookstore distribution.
Sourcebooks has acquired Novak’s YA romance novel, My Life with the Walter Boys (with more than 22 million reads on Wattpad), and the mystery thriller The Cellar by Natasha Preston (with more than 6 million reads on Wattpad). Both titles have launched Fan Funding campaigns (Sourcebooks is using the Fan Funding efforts to drive pre-orders of the books) that encourage fans to contribute to the jacket design of the books, name characters and more. Sourcebooks will also become the sponsor of the Watty Awards, Wattpads annual awards presentation to top Wattpad writers. Khan said that Sourcebooks will get the opportunity to publish the Watty winners and “work with the contest finalists and explore opportunities for publishing and other offline promotion.”
In addition, Sourcebooks will use the site to market its own, non-Wattpad authors, including such writers as Miranda Kenneally, Zoraida Cordova and C.J. Lyons, among others, who will make their new stories available to read for free on Wattpad. The goal, Khan said, is to help Sourcebooks author build their own fan bases on Wattpad. “We're really excited about this partnership and hope to announce more like this in the near future,” Kahn said.
CEO and publisher of Sourcebooks Dominique Raccah called Wattpad a “a remarkably innovative organization,” and said, “We are incredibly excited about bringing Wattpad writers into the Sourcebooks family and providing new opportunities for our existing authors to engage with new audiences. This partnership is all about helping connect talented authors with readers.”