Wattpad Books mixes data DNA with human curation to pick diverse choice for inaugural publishing list

Wattpad is setting up its first direct publishing division Wattpad Books, with the first six titles being published in the autumn this year, promising new and diverse voices from around the world.

The new publishing operation aims to combine data insights using Wattpad’s Story DNA Machine Learning technology with human editorial expertise to identify and publish stand-out stories from the total of over 565 million story uploads on Wattpad.

Ashleigh Gardner, Deputy General Manager at Wattpad Studios, Publishing, says, ‘We bring something completely unique to publishing — an engaged global community, the most diverse set of writers on the planet, and the technology to find every type of hit imaginable. Wattpad Books is more than a new division for us, it’s a validation and celebration of the creativity, interests, and world-building that happens on Wattpad every day.”

Wattpad Books titles will be available in leading retailers across North America. Macmillan will be the official sales and distribution partner for Wattpad Books in the US and Raincoast Books will distribute in Canada.

Wattpad has worked with publishing partners around the world to turn hundreds of Wattpad stories into best-selling books. Wattpad Books will continue to work with international publishing partners. To date, nearly 1,000 Wattpad stories have been turned into books and adapted for TV, film, and digital projects.

Wattpad Books’ 2019 launch list features six young adult titles, spanning fantasy, romance, mystery, and other genres, collectively accumulating more than 100 million reading minutes in 2018. It looks like a pretty strong list to me when you consider the books have between them had a total of over 93 million reads on the Wattpad website.

In advice to prospective writers, Wattpad says all six titles on the inaugural list were found through a mix of data and curation from the Wattpad Books team, with special consideration for stories written by diverse authors. It adds that hey wrote imaginative and interesting fiction across a variety of sub-genres while developing relationships with their fans and the Wattpad community as a whole.

The list will feature:

  • The QB Bad Boy & Me by Tay Marley

Dallas Bryan has her sights set on a dance scholarship to CalArts, and nothing — or no one — is going to get in the way of her plans to escape Castle Rock, Colorado… until the star quarterback from the football team crashes (literally) into her life. Drayton Lahey, the bad-boy QB from football royalty, is completely wrong for Dallas — at least, that’s what she tells herself. Still, the longer Dallas tells herself she doesn’t need Dray, the quicker she realizes it might be time to forget what she needs and go after what she wants.

  • More than 26.3 million reads
  • Available August 20, 2019

  • Trapeze by Leigh Ansell

A tragic accident compels 17-year-old trapeze artist Corey Ryder to leave her aunt’s circus behind. Forced to stand still when she’s used to flying high, Corey will have to find her place living with the mother she’s never met within the bubble that is Sherwood, California, as an unlikely friendship sparks between her and local golden boy Luke Everett.

  • More than 2.5 million reads
  • Available September 10, 2019

  • What Happened That Night by Deanna Cameron

Clara Porterfield has always been in love with neighborhood golden boy Griffin Tomlin, so why did her older sister, Emily, kill him? No one can understand except for Clara, who blames herself for revealing a secret she swore she would never tell.

  • More than 1 million reads
  • Available September 17, 2019

  • Cupid’s Match by Lauren Palphreyman

In a world where everyone has their perfect match, 17-year-old Lila Black learns that not only are cupids real, but that her match is the banished god of love, Cupid himself. As arrows fly and myths become real, Cupid and Lila must resist one another or risk waking one very angry goddess.

  • More than 46.4 million reads
  • Available October 1, 2019

  • Saving Everest by Sky Chase

High school senior Everest has it all, he’s a popular athlete from one of the wealthiest families in town. But inside, he’s suffering — both depressed and suicidal — and looking for a way out. Back at school after an attempt to end his life, and now in therapy, Everest meets Beverly, a quiet, shy student open in so many ways he didn’t expect. Friends first, they soon discover that true love, tenderness, and acceptance can change both of their lives forever.

  • More than 17.2 million reads
  • Available October 8, 2019

  • I’m a Gay Wizard by V S Santoni

When gay angsty teen Johnny and his goth best friend, trans girl Alison, perform a vengeance spell against a group of bullies, they suddenly find themselves whisked away to the Marduk Institute, a school for wayward wizards. While there, they’ll battle the demons that show up in real life — and the ones you create yourself — to find love and acceptance. And unicorns.

  • More than 404,000 reads
  • Available October 29, 2019

Wattpad sees a year of growing diversity in stories