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Kerry McShane

on 28 December 2014

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Transcript of Wattpad

A case of Disintermediation or Diffintermediation?
A negative or a positive impact upon the value chain?
Devaluing or Liberating the publishing industry?
Is the presence and influence of Wattpad...
Disruption & Disintermediation:


by Alec, Kerry, Paula, Sarah and Sophia
An Introduction to Wattpad
The Pros of Wattpad
The Cons of Wattpad
A few final thoughts
Can publishers compete with Wattpad?
'Online music, film and book vendors have transformed customer expectations in the cultural industries, by offering an infinite warehouse of goods with which no bricks-and-mortar establishment can hope to compete' (Squires & Murray).
Wattpad has +75,000,000 stories and counting
Unlimited content
Can traditional publishers compete with nearly 10,000 new stories a day?
How can publishers use Wattpad to their advantage?
Can Wattpad compete with publishers?
My Life with the Walter Boys
by Ali Novak
Traditional publishers = Professional product
Wattpad = Amateur product
Traditional VS. Wattpad
Financial risks should their shareholders cease to invest otherwise large sums of money into the company
Wattpad's intellectual and literary reputation : negative?
Anonymity of many debut authors fighting to be noticed on Wattpad - the issue of standing out from the crowd
Lack of good publicity and advertising, particularly in the UK
Girls' Guide to Getting it Together
by Amber Lindley
Promotion without Publishers
'...[M]odels of co-promotion can be seen in the ways readers work alongside authors, publishers and retailers in the social media promotion of books, by sharing, re-tweeting and re-posting information.' (Squires & Murray).
Instant access to online content as soon as it's published by the author
Readers can easily access content from all technological devices
Cheap prices mean Wattpad products are highly affordable to the majority of consumers
Helps to cultivate a global interest in literature and reading
Strong community presence - secure and established environment for authors to publish and readers to access online content
Avid readers will generally prefer to pay for a quality product rather than sift through hundreds of mediocre titles to find one for free.
'The slush pile has been moved online, with authors posting their work on [...] Wattpad.' (Clark & Phillips)
Published authors : fraternising with the enemy?
Disruption and Disintermediation
Wattpad's Niche
Established in 2006 by Allen Lau & Ivan Yuen
Instant access to free reading, as well as paid content
Based in Toronto, Canada
Wattpad's Objectives
Dan Brown
Low investment — no third-party expenses (editors, design, etc)
Accessible and free — all you need is a electronic device
Expansion of reading habits and community
Smartphones will be soon available to everyone
Content in ca. 50 languages to expand their market
$46 million in 2014
Risky source

"We want to spread the written word to billions of people. That's our mission." (Publisher's Weekly)
'. . . wanted to create a new online ecosystem to connect writers and readers' and 'deliver a means of reading on the go using mobile technology'. (Publisher's Weekly)
'. . . Smartphones ". . . will be affordable enough for mass consumption across the globe." And, he says, Wattpad is preparing to capture that new segment of international online readers: "We are putting a lot more focus on mobile. We want to make sure the mobile reading and writing experience is top-notch.' (Publisher's Weekly)
World's largest community of readers and writers
Embraces all platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone
Margaret Atwood
'Digital technologies of the twenty-first century have made [a] significant disruption [t0] the communications circuit' (Murray & Squires).
Cutting out the middle man, i.e. the publisher?
Online platform
Strong YA focus
Allen Lau, CEO:
What is Wattpad's role in the self-publishing communication circuit?
Lau: 'A lot of people believe that on the internet we are going to get rid of all the middle men. I don’t think so. [...] for digital or for internet companies that role is changing. We are no longer the gatekeeper. We are the facilitator. We want to remove and reduce the friction between content creation and content consumption.' (AnnBrocklehurst.com)
Fan Base Project (crowdfunding)
Tara Sampson aka Mercy Rose
Bonus Chapters
Large, strong community
Reliable income
Murray, Padmini Ray, and Claire Squires, 'The digital publishing communications circuit',
Book 2.0
, 3 (2013), pp.3-23
Clark, Giles, and Angus Phillips,
Inside Book Publishing
, 5th ed. (London: Routledge, 2014)
Bello, Grace, 'Wattpad revolutionizes online storytelling', in
Publisher's Weekly
, Vol.259, Issue 52 (December 24th 2012)
Eyre, Charlotte,'YA Authors Give Wattpad a Cautious Thumbs-Up', in
The Bookseller,
Issue 5636 (September 5th 2014)
Brocklehurst, Ann, 'Wattpad, What Pad, WTF Padd???!!!', on
AnneBrocklehurst.com <http://www.annrbrocklehurst.com/2013/03/wattpad-what-pad-wtf-pad.html>
(March 27th 2013)
Atwood, Margaret, 'Margaret Atwood: Why Wattpad Works', in
The Guardian <http://www.annrbrocklehurst.com/2013/03/wattpad-what-pad-wtf-pad.html>
(6th July 2012)
Anderson, Kent, 'A New Word: "Diffintermediation", on
The Scholarly Kitchen <http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2009/09/24/a-new-word-diffintermediation/>
(24th September 2009)
Smith, Kelvin,
The Publishing Business : From p-books to e-books
(Lausanne: Ava Publishing, 2012)
Brown, David Mark, 'What the Wattpad? Making Money from 'Free', on
,<http://davidmarkbrownwrites.com/what-the-wattpad-making-money-from-free-2/> (July 27th 2011)
Keenan, Edward, 'E-reading company Wattpad almost doubles staff in 2011, plans to add 9 more next year', in
Yonge Street <http://www.yongestreetmedia.ca/innovationnews/wattpad1130.aspx>
(November 30th 2011)
Full transcript