“I did it instinctively and succeeded.” “It all started just for fun.”
These are the two sentences of the writers Anna Todd and Cristina Chiperi,
which, through two successful love stories, have managed to win over
thousands of readers.
The two have accomplished their greatest dream: to publish a book.
There are different emotions that unite them, but surely they would never
have imagined that this opportunity would have been brought about by the
most widespread book platform: Wattpad.
What is Wattpad
began as a simple free online e-book website, which allows amateur writers
to publish their own stories and avid readers to enter a world of
imagination through a cell phone.
The intention to bring everyone closer to reading in for free, however, has
recently been undermined by the presence of “coins” used to purchase a very
small number of books.
Populated by youth, Wattpad mainly attracts young women,
where as many as 85% of users are looking for love stories. If before the
advent of technology, the girls used to daydream in the pages of the famous
series Harmony, today they may get love stories for free through a
Youth are attracted not only by the free service (unless until a few months
ago), but also by the possibility of allowing their mind to travel in a
wide world. In fact, even if the love stories turn out to be the most
popular, Wattpad does not limit itself to this genre and
it lists the stories in as many as 23 main categories, without considering
that, with the use of simple hashtags, each user can search for the right
story. It goes without saying that you can find the libertine category too,
even younger readers, although “protected” by the warning “content for
The platform is considered a revolution for commercial publishers. At this
point, there are very few writers who send manuscripts to publishing
houses. The latter, in fact, search for potential authors on Wattpad and with them, find potential earnings.
The story of Anna Todd: a success by chance
Anna Todd was the first emerging writer of the site, contacted by Sperling
& Kupfer, an Italian publishing house, for the printing of her story.
Todd, born in 1989, lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband.
During the various missions of her husband in Iraq, she performed many odd
jobs, from selling make-up to customer support. Anna Todd has always been a
voracious reader and, thanks to this passion, she encountered the world of Wattpad. In fact, she explained:
“I started reading on Instagram, and then the girl I was following moved to
Wattpad where I read her and other stories for 4 months until I said to
myself:” Why don’t I do it myself? I didn’t start going on Wattpad because
I wanted to write. I did it instinctively and I succeeded. ”
And so it was that Todd saw her dream of publishing a book, After,
a fanfiction story about One Direction. The writer’s pen tells the
story of a sweet girl named Tessa and Hardin (physically inspired by Harry
Styles), a bad boy with the charm of dark features. The romance novel soon
became a series consisting of six books and a movie, released in theaters
A little inventiveness, a common story, but told in a simple and direct
way. The real secret that emerges from the Todd’s success lies in the
possibility allowed by Wattpad to have a close contact
with her readers. The continuous flow of her story came from the advice of
many readers. In fact, at one of her interviews, she said:
“If I sense that something does not please my readers, then I adjust the
shot a bit. For example, if some readers feel sorry for a character then
maybe I change the story. If I see that there is no reaction on their part
about something that I would like to try, I insist on that thing. ”
The story of Cristina Chiperi
The charismatic Cristina Chiperi, a young student who, at just 16 years
old, began playing around with the idea of her novel, My dilemma is you, a trilogy to date, which has a similar
relationship with Wattpad users. “I have been writing
since I was 8 years old, and I found Wattpad in second grade, through the
assistance of my classmates,” says the young woman in the
video in which she tells her story
. She also debuted with a romantic fanfiction. Cameron Dallas is the face
that inspired her to create the bad boy of the story, namely Cameron, who
soon will fall in love with the sweet and stubborn Christina.
Inventiveness certainly is a difficult element to exploit and perhaps in
this magical world of narrative, stories similar to each other attract
readers. Certainly, it was the case. If, in fact, the two novels have been
widely criticized for misspellings and their boring language, it was the
potential economic gains promised by their huge number of followers that
drove the publishers.
If the love stories are made with the stencil, the true and well written
ones can be counted on one hand. But cannot we find out out there hidden
stories of depth, with a style of writing and a creativity that amuses the
Wattpad: what future?
The novelty here is the close contact between writer and reader that Wattpad promotes. What better way to develop your writing?
We may say that Watpadd has actually become a social media, since
it allows you to exchange ideas and thoughts, enriched by the possibility
of having everything we find in a social network: a personal profile, a
board to share one’s emotions, a list of favorite books, and above all a
board to interact with your followers.
In short, Wattpad is not just a place where “stories come to life,” but it
has become a world that has embraced a category of individuals that are
ever more endangered species. Many will feel the nostalgia of the book
club, others will hate word of mouth that favors stories of questionable
grammar, others will still pursue their dream of becoming writers, but
everyone will recognize in Wattpad a real happening in the
publishing world and a revolutionary social network. We hope it does not
end up swallowed by web giants or distorted by excessive profit anxiety
once it has established itself on the net.