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Wattpad launches data-driven publishing division

In the US, online storytelling platform Wattpad is launching a publishing division called Wattpad Books.

Producing both print and ebooks, Wattpad Books will launch its list in September 2019 with six YA ‘international hits’ on Wattpad—stories that have collectively accumulated more than 100 million reading minutes in 2018. Following their publication, the stories will remain on the Wattpad platform, with writers paid advances and royalties as per industry standard.

According to Wattpad Books, the division will ‘leverage billions of daily insights from Wattpad’s global community of 70 million booklovers … to identify the trends, voices, and stories that are the future of publishing.’

Whereas traditional publishing is based on individual editors’ tastes, Wattpad’s technology will scan and analyse the hundreds of millions of stories on the app to find themes or elements that might determine a story’s commercial success,’ reported the New York Times. ‘Wattpad will combine this “data driven” approach with human editors’ critical eye.’

Ashleigh Gardner, who will lead the company’s publishing division, told the New York Times that Wattpad Books also aims to address the lack of representation in the publishing industry. ‘It is a bit of a monoculture, and editors who have similar backgrounds in some of the biggest cities in the world decide what the entire book-buying public should be reading.’

She added in a statement: ‘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.’

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, Wattpad partnered with Hachette in 2017 to produce audiobooks, and in 2016 the company launched Wattpad Studios to partner with entertainment companies to develop film and media projects based on the website’s content.



Category: International news