Online self-publishing platform Wattpad is launching its first direct publishing division that will release the first of six planned YA titles in August. Leading Wattpad Books is Ashleigh Gardner, deputy GM of Wattpad Studios and Publishing, with Wattpad Studios publishing director Deanna McFadden managing operations.
Any books published under the new division will be available in leading retailers across North America, through distribution partnerships Wattpad has with Macmillan in the US and Raincoast Books in Canada.
The new division plans to leverage the company’s human editorial resources and its Story DNA machine learning technology to identify and publish stories that stand out from the 565 million-plus titles that are uploaded on its platform. Wattpad Books will also use audience data, along with global reading trends, to find international hits on the platform and some hidden gems to publish.
Its first YA six offerings will span fantasy, romance, mystery and more. Titles include: The QB Bad Boy & Me by Tay Marley (26.3 million reads), available on August 20; Trapeze by Leigh Ansell (2.5 million reads), on September 10; What Happened That Night by Deanna Cameron (one million reads), on September 17; Cupid’s Match by Lauren Palphreyman (46.4 million reads), on October 1; Saving Everest by Sky Chase (17.2 million reads), on October 8; and I’m a Gay Wizard by V.S. Santoni (400,000 reads), on October 29.
Wattpad has a global audience of more than 70 million and has been able to spin off several of its original titles into TV series, including The Kissing Booth, produced by Komixx (Toby’s Travelling Circus and Wanda and the Alien) and commissioned by Netflix. US Streamer Hulu also ordered 10 episodes of supernatural thriller Light as a Feather, which was produced by Wattpad, AwesomenessTV and Grammnet Productions last year.