An ever popular choice for indie authors (and traditional authors and publishers) over the last few years has been to post scenes, chapters and even entire books on free content sharing sites and writing communities like Wattpad, FictionPress, and others to reach a larger audience. Midnight Publishing wants to discuss how this idea came about, whether it can help or hinder your writing career, and where you can submit your own work.
Where Did These Writing Communities Come From?
Originally, fan fiction forums began around the expansion of the internet in the late 90s. Fanfiction.net was one such site and encouraged previously unpublished writers to share their own takes on popular books, movies and TV shows (copyright issues sometimes arose; see this Wikipedia page for more detail). “Fifty Shades of Grey” was originally a fan fiction tale based in the “Twilight” universe, and with a few character name changes and a traditional publisher’s backing, it has now become the highest selling book series in history.
Want to know what the top three best-selling genres in history are? See Midnight Publishing’s blog post here!
How Do Writing Communities Work?
In 2006, Wattpad was launched and has become one of the most popular places to post original, never-before-published fiction as its written, uploading it chapter by chapter, as well as entire books (with the author’s or publisher’s permission). Another large site is FictionPress, the sister site to FanFiction.net, which has 21 different genres to submit to including Action, Manga, Western, Young Adult and Thriller.
Keep in mind that with these communities, authors are NOT being paid for their work. Readers are accessing the material for free.
The Pros of Posting Your Work Online as You Write It:
- If you’re a new writer who wants to build an author platform, utilizing writing communities like these is a great way to meet readers and potential fans, especially for addictive genres like New Adult and Romance. You can build a dedicated fan base even before you’ve actually published a book in its entirety!
- One of the main facets of these writing communities is that users can “follow” or subscribe to other users, and can also comment on chapters as they are uploaded. It’s incredibly interactive, and can introduce you to possible beta readers and new fans (especially younger users).
- You might be “discovered.” There are several contests such as the annual “Watty Awards” that can give previously undiscovered writers a chance at serious recognition. Also, several Wattpad and FictionPress users have posted stories that grew so popular that they were approached for a traditional publishing deal, like 17-year-old Beth Reekles for her YA book, “The Kissing Booth.”
Midnight Publishing is a Phoenix-based editing and ghostwriting company, which means that we have lots of experience finding inspiration in Arizona. Here are some of our favorite places to visit to find inspiration as we write.
The Cons of Posting Your Work Online as You Write It:
- Because you may be posting your work as it’s written (and you’re not being paid for it), editing might not be a part of the program. Posting unedited work that could be riddled with plot holes, grammatical errors and other issues might not be something you’re comfortable doing, especially if you’re a new writer.
- Copyright factors should be kept in mind, especially if you’re writing something that includes famous individuals, books or pop culture references (One Direction is one of the most frequently written about and highly rated topics on Wattpad). Be sure to understand the rules regarding what you can say about these references, and also ensuring that you add a copyright notice to your own work. Though copyright is attributed to your work the moment it’s written—regardless of legal documentation with the U.S. Copyright Office—it’s still important to protect yourself whenever posting your writing anywhere.For more great info about this topic, check out this post on The Creative Penn.
When you’re ready for Midnight Publishing to edit your work before publishing to Wattpad, Amazon, or anywhere else, we are here for you.We offer free samples of your first 1,000 words, so Contact us today! Happy Holidays you’re your friends at Midnight Publishing—the best editing and ghostwriting company in Phoenix!