All stories (whether serialized or complete) go through several phases before being selected for any opportunity.
First is a scouting phase, where the content is identified through any of our scouting channels like pitching or data performance. Content then enters into pre-development. A member of our scouting team will reach out to express interest. The scout will usually also request any edits that they feel would make the story more likely to be accepted for opportunity, and the author can choose how they feel about the changes and whether they want to implement them.
This means that authors who are pitching stories should have a clear idea early on whether or not there is interest in the story and what changes they may need to make for the scout to move the story forward if it is not rejected. The author can still decide not to follow the recommendations and write their story their way on Wattpad. If it goes on to become a major success in data it may still be eligible for opportunities at that time. Declining to make changes doesn’t close the door forever, but it does reduce the likelihood of opportunity at that time.
Once the scout has worked with the author and feels the content has the best chance at an opportunity, they will bring it to a scouting board, where the entire scouting team comes together to do a final review of the content they’re putting together for opportunities to take to the Content Board.
It is important to note that the advice from a scout and the changes they have made to this point are not a guarantee of success. They are working to give a story the highest possible odds of success on the platform but a story may still be declined for an opportunity, or it may not do well upon launch. The beauty—and frustration—of working in art is its fickle nature. We can use our expertise to position your story for the best possible chance at success, but ultimately we can't predict for certain how readers will respond—sometimes luck plays a huge role.
Verticals & Content Needs
Whenever content is evaluated, it is checked against the criteria outlined in each of our verticals. The vast majority of content selected for an opportunity will fit into one of these verticals.
Once a story has been scouted and assessed, if we are interested in moving forward, the story will be brought to the Content Board. Wattpad’s Content Board is a committee of decision makers who will decide if that story is the right fit, both for the overall program and for a particular vertical, based on a number of factors.
If the committee decides not to publish a story, the writer will be given the reason.
If the committee decides to publish a story, the writer will be assigned an editor and a launch date at least three months in advance. During this three-month period, the writer will be expected to edit their existing chapters and work with their editor to produce five new chapters for launch.
In total, a story must have a minimum of fifteen chapters ready at the time of launch. The first ten chapters will be simultaneously published on the launch date, while the next five will be serialized once per week in the month following (with a small buffer to accommodate for the fact that any given month may have, for example, five Thursdays).
If an existing story has more than ten chapters already published (for example, thirty chapters), the writer has two options:
- First, they may choose to draft all but the first ten chapters of the story and prepare those additional twenty chapters as the first four months of serialization (five ready for the launch date, and five per month after that).
- Second, they may choose to prepare more than ten chapters for launch, for instance, editing all thirty existing chapters and writing five new chapters for serialization.
- Each month in a serialized opportunity, a writer is responsible for delivering a minimum of five new chapters to their editor, or revising a minimum of five chapters to prepare for launch.
- Each month, writers will deliver new chapters to their editor on the 1st of the month by 5pm ET.
- Any writer currently in a serialized opportunity will be given the opportunity to adjust their monthly deliveries to the minimum of five chapters per month (serialized once per week). At the same time, all writers currently in a serialized opportunity must begin delivering new chapters to their editor on the 1st of each month as noted above.
Working With An Editor
To support this model of serialized content at scale, writers can expect to work with their assigned editor in two distinct stages: Phase A and Phase B.
Editorial Phase A
Timeline: Begins at initial outreach and runs to a first editorial delivery date for the launch
You will have the chance to connect with your editor in real time for an introductory call. After that, your editor will establish a weekly touchpoint where they will make sure you’re on track for delivery, as well as skim-read new chapters and support your writing by identifying recurring issues or errors in the text. If you will be writing a new season of your series, your editor will also need to approve your outline.
Once the story has launched, writers will move on to the second phase.
Editorial Phase B
Timeline: Begins at first editorial delivery date for launch and runs to the end of the story/series
After launching, you will have regular contact with your editor on a monthly basis. Editors will continue to make sure you are on track for delivery and can review sample chapters or scenes as needed. If you will be writing a new season of your series, your editor will also need to approve your outline.