Wattpad has seen its stories come to life in a number of ways, whether it be TV shows, movies, or full-length novels. Now the Toronto-based startup is eliminating the middleman by launching their own publishing division.
Today, Wattpad announced the launch of Wattpad Books, a new direct publishing initiative that will bring stories on the platform to bookshelves around the world. Ashleigh Gardner, a deputy general manager at Wattpad Studios, will lead this new program. The first list for the new division will come in fall 2019 with six new titles, and Macmillan will be the official sales and distribution partner for Wattpad Books in the U.S., while Raincoast Books will distribute in Canada.
“We bring something completely unique to publishing: an engaged global community, the most diverse set of writers on the planet, and the technology to find every type of hit imaginable,” said Gardner. “Wattpad Books is more than a new division for us, it’s a validation and celebration of the creativity, interests, and world-building that happens on Wattpad every day.”
Wattpad Books will combine a human editorial process with the company’s established machine learning technology to determine what stories stand out among the 500 million-plus pieces on the platform. This means there will be a focus on hits from around the world, but there will also be hidden gems along the way. With this discovery process, Wattpad is hoping to bring their platform to a world beyond their dedicated user base.
The 2019 list for Wattpad Books features six titles with between 400,000 and 46 million reads. Wattpad has long found success in bringing stories on their platform to bigger audiences, having worked with huge names in the media world such as Netflix, NBC and Sony.