Author Guest Post

The Wonderful World of Wattpad: From Unknown Author to Audiobook Deal

June 27, 2017
Jenny Rosen
Wattpad Star

Last week, we mentioned how excited we were that Riveted recently joined Wattpad. We kicked off our new profile with a serialization of Blake Nelson’s Girl and we’ve got a LOT more great reads in store for Wattpad for the rest of the year so definitely don’t miss out!

Our Wattpad profile’s been growing quickly AND we’re already making new friends! We recently had the pleasure of connecting with Jenny Rosen, a Wattpad Star who’s debut contemporary YA novel Cheater, Faker, Troublemaker now has over ten million reads AND was recently selected by the Hachette Book Group and Hachette Audio to be released as an audiobook as part of a new partnership between Wattpad and Hachette! Jenny told us a little more about her rise to Wattpad stardom and about two of the audiobooks that recently released as part of the new Wattpad/Hachette program:


Dear Nobody,

Yes, you, with the smartphone glued to your hands and the worldwide web at your fingertips. Ever heard of Wattpad? The magical place that turns the catch phrase orange is the new black into orange is the new book? Well, if you haven’t, I’ll let you in on the digital reading and writing world’s best kept secret.

For us Wattpadders in the know, the first rule of Wattpad is—you talk about Wattpad.

Obsessively.

Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished this article, you’ll understand why.

Five years ago, I was an unknown, unpublished, author walking around with a hobby and a ghost of a dream in my back pocket. Today, thanks to a little orange app, over 14 million readers, and the wonderful team at Wattpad HQ, my debut YA series, CHEATER, FAKER, TROUBLEMAKER has been published as an audiobook by Hachette Book Group.

So, how did this happen? Let’s go back to the beginning.

It’s the summer of 2011. I’m sitting in Los Angeles trying to figure out what to do with a head full of stories and no place to put them. Back then, I wrote for fun—usually typing up little teen romances to make up for my lack of love life at the time. I’d regularly sit down at Starbucks with a Chai latte in one hand and my iPhone in the other hashing out pages of angsty love stories for no one but my best friend, my mom, and sister to read.

Was I aiming to be a professional author at the time? No way.

It wasn’t even an afterthought.

I just liked writing.

A lot.

My relationship with books started out a lot like modern relationships do, slowly and filled with non-commitment.

And then I fell in love with it. Hard.

Coming up with stories went from being a back-burner hobby to a full on passion, but even at my most motivated moments, I had trouble finishing the arcs I’d started.

Why?

Well, procrastination is the easy answer, but it’s not the full truth. I couldn’t fully commit to writing because I hadn’t found a real audience to share it with. Parents’ and friends’ opinions were great, but after a certain point, I wanted feedback from people who didn’t know me. People who didn’t feel the need to sugarcoat their opinions. I wanted to know if my work was headed in the right direction or if I was spitting out YA nonsense by the paragraph.

So, I started looking for a place where I could find my audience and get their feedback at the drop of a dime.

And that’s when Wattpad came along.

I stumbled upon this gem on Google and found a community that changed my entire career. The interface was simple: create a free account, design your profile, and upload a story. Three easy steps to get your work out in front of millions (yes, I mean millions) of eager, dedicated readers whose feedback and support could take your story from zero to hero with a click of a button.

Five years ago, I clicked that button and uploaded my first novel ever, THE RUNAWAYS. Within about two weeks of publishing, it shot up to the #1 spot on the highly coveted “What’s Hot List” out of hundreds of thousands of stories in its genre. A little over a year and a half later, THE RUNAWAYS surpassed well over 2 million hits, was a featured novel on Wattpad, and a finalist in Hot Key Books Young Writer’s Prize Competition.

The success of my first book on Wattpad caught the attention of the wonderful people over at Wattpad HQ and ultimately led to me being asked to sign onto the Wattpad Stars program. This program has helped foster the careers of Wattpad juggernauts like Anna Todd, A.V Geiger, and Rebecca Sky, so I was over the moon to have the opportunity to participate.

Shortly after joining the Wattpad Stars program, I began writing my first YA Contemporary novel, CHEATER, FAKER, TROUBLEMAKER, which now has over 10 million hits on Wattpad and was published as an audiobook by Hachette Book Group in May of 2017.

Do I have an agent?

No.

Did I query the book?

No.

So how did this audiobook deal happen?

A lot of hard work, dedication, and a little bit of magic from the Wattpad Stars talent managers working behind the scenes.

At the start of the year, I was asked to submit my manuscript for CHEATER, FAKER, TROUBLEMAKER to Wattpad to be considered for a top-secret project that had something to do with audiobooks. I’m all about books being turned into other forms of media, so I cleaned up my manuscript with my developmental editor and bestie Kristen Maglonzo and sent it off to Wattpad.

About a month later, I got an extremely exciting email saying that my book was one of the first two chosen to kick off Wattpad and Hachette Book Group’s new partnership dedicated to adapting Wattpad stories into audiobooks. Last month, CHEATER, FAKER, TROUBLEMAKER was published alongside fellow Wattpad Star, Sandra Grayson’s, BONES OF THE DEMON KING.

Both Sandra and I were lucky enough to have a cast of experienced Hollywood voice and film/television actors (Eric Vale, Christine Lakin, and Aaron Landon) to narrate our stories thanks to this incredible audiobook partnership.

Hachette and Wattpad plan to release fifty audiobooks from Wattpad authors throughout the year, so keep an eye out for even more exciting audiobooks emerging from the Wattpad world. So, now that you know about the wonderful world of Wattpad, I’ll leave you with this:

The first rule of Wattpad: talk about Wattpad.

Obsessively.

—Jenny


CheaterFaker

Read Cheater, Faker, Troublemaker on Wattpad

Audiobook edition available now on Audible and iTunes


Bones

Read Bones of the Demon King on Wattpad

Audiobook edition available now on Audible and iTunes


 

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