I have several books that I’ve been working on that I plan to get published the traditional way: query, query, query for an agent. Hopefully get published. One is already immersed in that process. But two things happened that expanded my horizon: I decided to write a fan fiction novel, and I discovered Wattpad.
Now, how did these two things open up opportunities for me? I mean, after all, the books you post on that site are given away for free. And you generally can’t publish fan fiction for money.
Well, I’ve been hearing good things about Wattpad and thought it might be a good platform for getting some of my work out there for people to read. In fact, I’ve heard it can be a very useful site to help kickstart an author’s career. But I haven’t posted anything on Wattpad yet, and my gut tells me my first attempt might be fraught with mistakes that can hurt its ability to succeed. I kept thinking the first novel I post should be a test, so that if I don’t get all the Wattpaddy things right, I can learn from it and not feel bad for having wasted a perfectly good novel.
But I can’t write a novel I don’t love. I want everything I write to succeed. So, I needed to write something I love that I can’t get published for some reason. But what?
Then I saw the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and I got inspired. I saw how JK Rowling’s Wizarding World is so much larger than Harry Potter and Hogwarts and ideas suddenly came to me. I wanted to write a novel in that world.
So, now I have a wonderful novel whose story and characters are completely my own, even though they live in someone else’s world. It’s fantastic, and I want the world to read it and enjoy it. And yet I can’t publish it for sale.
I can, however, publish it on Wattpad.
It’s like the two were meant for each other, and I’m embracing that relationship wholeheartedly. I’ve contracted an artist to do the cover art. I’m editing the book to make it as perfect as possible. I’m researching everything I can about how to make your novel successful on Wattpad, so that the readers can enjoy the book without any frustrations. Although this book is never likely to get picked up by a publisher, I still want it to be as successful as it can.
I can’t wait! I’ll still plug away trying to get some of my novels published the traditional way, but I now plan to embrace Wattpad as one of my valid publishing options.