news from the world of
- Naver buys 100% stake in self-publishing site Wattpad by Song Kyoung-Son
The big industry news of the last week has been the acquisition of Wattpad by way of a 100% stake. Wattpad, a self-publishing platform known primarily for producing short-form serial stories as well as fanfiction, has been a key actor in raising mainstream awareness of self-publishing, while simultaneously lessening the stigmas attached to indie works and teen writers. It has also worked in partnership with Penguin Random House to traditionally publish The Kissing Booth, which we wrote about here on the blog several times back in 2018, and afterward the company created Wattpad Books, which partners with Macmillan to publish other stories in book form. Wattpad has yet to go public, having acquired all of its financing through private investors. And now, according to Korea JoongAng Daily (in association with The New York Times), the Korean-based IT firm Naver has purchased a 100% stake in the company. Kyoung-Son’s article summarizes this event, and makes note of Naver’s next steps in getting “administrative approvals” in multiple countries, including Korea and the United States. For more information on this major development in global self-publishing, please read Kyoung-Son’s article in full.
- Taking back control by Angela Hughes
This fabulous article comes to us by way of The Bookseller, an industry news platform which has put out articles in support of self-publishing as well as traditional publishing over the course of its long history. (The website is part of a London-based company that claims to have been “the business magazine of the book industry since 1858.”) Angela McConnell-Hughes (AKA Angela Kay Austin) is a self-publishing author whose books have put her on USA TODAY‘s bestseller list, and whose voice has become a very welcome and much needed one within the industry as an advocate for diverse indie authors. We highly recommend reading the entirety of her article, but absolutely must amplify her hard-hitting conclusion:
McConnell-Hughes takes no prisoners in her article, and holds nothing back. By chronicling her own experience and honestly documenting some of the challenges facing indie authors, she comes across as an earnest and sincere advocate when she still thinks going indie is the best approach, at least for authors who find themselves unwelcome in traditionally published books, either by deliberate exclusion or the systemic advantages given to certain authors that we have talked about here on Self Publishing Advisor before. If you, like McConnell-Hughes, have grown used to reading books where characters “who looked like me weren’t represented,” you too might consider following in her footsteps and choose to self-publish. Whatever you choose, her article is worth a look!