Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New routes to publishing don't mean easier

The face of publishing is changing with writers' communities and self publishing giving authors direct access to readers and giving readers the opportunity to influence what gets into mainstream publishing.

When I first joined Inkpop, I had a feeling it was going to part of something new and exciting. And it was. Leigh Fallon and Wendy Higgins both were discovered via Inkpop.

Wattpad, Figment (who bought Inkpop from HarperCollins) and Movella are sites that I've dabbled on. I'm not overly active on them anymore as my day-job, writing, internship with Entangled and blogging all take priority of these sites. But they can be a lot of fun and a great way to meet writers.

Wattpad has produced Brittany Geragotelis, who had a huge following on the site, self published and then scored a three-book, six-figure deal.

Movella has produced Emily Baker, a member who wrote a One Direction fan fiction that was spotted by Penguin. The publisher then commissioned her to update the story for publication.

We all know Amanda Hocking started in self publishing and then got snavelled up by a publisher.  E.L.James started out with fan fiction that she shared online.

One thing I've noticed with all of these writers is that they all worked really, really hard. Like super hard. On the writing/fan fiction communities you have to work really hard to get readers and develop a following. On Inkpop I had the most popular Australian story, but that involved about 1,000 people reading it. That's nothing compared to Brittany who had 13 million reads.

Amanda Hocking work extremely hard  and she talks about how self publishing isn't easy on her blog. Leigh, Wendy, Brittany and Emily all worked hard on their respective writing sites to gain followers. Site like this can involve a lot of time reading other people's work and giving feedback on it as well as promoting yourself.

Basically, there is no easy path in the publishing industry. You need to write a story people want to read, write it well and then get it out there. It's hard work, but it can be done if you've got the right stuff and are willing to work hard.

So I have some questions for you:

Have you tried any writing community sites that you would recommend?

And if you're interested in getting published, what path are you thinking about taking.

P.S. For those of you looking for an agent, I'm one of the coaches for Pitch Wars and I'm interested in seeing YA and NA pitches.


  1. I have a twilight fanfiction on fanfiction.net. When I was updating, it would get at least 4,000 hits a month. It's hard to keep writing fanfic when your other writing is taking precedent. I still get adds and reviews, and if I wrote another one, all my current followers with be sent notifications. I have linked my blog to my profile. I have no idea if it brought me new followers.

  2. I wouldn't use Figment. It's mostly full of angsty teenagers who are more interested in socializing about sex and drugs rather than actually writing. The only way to get reads is to do some major promoting but even then people will only "Heart" your story than actually reading it. I had a really bad experience with Figment and I have a lot of friends who were actuall bullied via that website because the kids on there are just so awful. I don't recommend using it, but I do know a few people who have one just to have one. I don't think it's a place for serious writers, but that's just me. Everyone has different opinions about it.

  3. Arianna - personally I haven't used Figment much at all. I found Inkpop was fantastic for getting feedback and mixing with more serious writers, but unfortunately it doesn't exist anymore. Maybe try Movella or Wattpad then.