As writers continue to see amazing feedback on their stories, many literary agents and publishing houses are taking notice of the works shared on Wattpad. This guide is to help you do research if you are approached by someone through Wattpad.
We always encourage writers to do the necessary research when contacted by someone claiming to be an agent, editor or publisher. Ask to speak with previous and current clients and be sure to read everything extremely carefully before you sign anything.
Tips on researching a publisher or agent
- Check-in Wattpad’s Industry Insiders Club. Post your inquiry and knowledgeable Wattpad community members can help advise about legitimate publishing houses, how to source an agent and other industry relevant questions.
- Many Wattpad authors who have gotten professional publishing deals, like Anna Todd (@Imaginator1D) and Natasha Preston (@NatashaPreston) have worked out deals that allow them to keep the full work on Wattpad. There are benefits to keeping a full work on Wattpad, even when a book deal has been reached, so be sure to discuss this with any possible publishers. If you need help, please contact a Wattpad employee who can help explain to publishers why they should be keeping your work up on Wattpad.
- Do an Internet search of the publishing house/agency and see if it returns any results that may look suspicious.
- Visit the official site of the publishing house or literary agent. Most professional literary agents and all publishing houses should have websites that writers can visit and browse.
- Look to see if the agent/house has any affiliations or partnerships with major companies (ie. Amazon). If they do, call or email the partners and ask if they feel confident recommending the company.
- Be wary if a literary agent asks for any money upfront or offers an incentive such as advanced royalties or the promise to become “rich” if you give them your works.
- Make sure you fully understand an agent or publishing house’s process and their terms of the agreement. This includes, but is not limited to, copyrights, distribution rights, etc. If necessary, seek legal advice. Always read the fine print so you are aware of what rights you may retain and what you are giving to a publisher.
- Never be afraid of asking too many questions. If the publisher is credible and genuinely interested in working with you, they should have no problem fielding all of your questions.
- If you are approached by someone whose vision does not align with your own or who is making you an offer that seems unjust, do not feel pressured to sign anything. Understand that there are a number of publishers and agents using Wattpad to source new talent. Do not sell yourself short.
- Do not hesitate to contact us if you are unsure of the credibility of a publishing agent or house. We can confirm if they are legitimate and work with you (and your publisher or agent) on marketing your Wattpad story to your readers.