Hey, everyone! It wasn’t my intention to post this topic today, but another writer and I have been discussing this recently.
To give you some background, and some of you may already know this, I learned a few weeks ago that stories posted on Wattpad are considered self-published by sites like Goodreads. You may be asking, “Aka, why is this important?”
Well, I’ll tell you. Some writers on Wattpad, mostly the popular ones, have been getting Goodreads reviews on their books. The issue here is, the stories they posted are first drafts, not finalized products. When we think of Goodreads, we think of a place to review published and finalized self-published books, not first drafts online.
Since the stories posted to Wattpad are free, we’re wondering if it’s right that readers are leaving detailed reviews on unedited work. The “where should we draw the line?” question comes from the fact these stories are free. It is right that readers are posting detailed reviews and rating on books that are still in progress? Giving feedback on Wattpad is fine, but should that also apply to Goodreads? To explain further, I mean that some writers may not want early draft reviews posted to Goodreads, as they still have time to edit and fix their work. Not only that, but the reviews may hinder the writer from posting their work in the future.
Also, Goodreads has confirmed they won’t remove detailed reviews for first draft Wattpad books, as they are self-published to Wattpad. So, even if you, as the writer, request these reviews to be removed, they won’t do. In short, “completed Wattpad books are considered self-published. The same also applies to other websites like Fictionpress.”
However, posting work online as become even more complex with Wattpad’s ads revenue program and websites like Radish. With the revenue program, readers click on ads in Wattpad’s popular stories, thus providing money for the writer. And with Radish, readers are actually PAYING for the story (for those who follow me, I covered this in another post.) On Wattpad, even if the readers aren’t spending their own money, they are providing money to the writers by watching the ads.
My writer friend feels that if a reader paid for the story through Radish (or other sites like Tapas and Kindle, of course, they have a right to post the review on Goodreads.)
For myself, I have mixed feelings about this. It’s a known thing in the internet world that if you post your work online, you’re opening yourself up to this – getting bad reviews, people stealing your work, and losing first publishing rights.
Also, since this mostly happens to popular writers online, it’s to be expected. Honestly, you can’t get 1M+ reads and think you’ll get away unscathed. Some think the number of reads shouldn’t matter, but what do you think?
I do know this has happened to lesser known writers online, too, but not as much. In the end, it’s a moral argument. I’ll be honest about my feelings, though, when you post your work online, anything can happen. Some Wattpad writers and other writers on different websites feel readers are entitled, and I do agree with this.
We can’t stop readers from posting reviews on our stories, free, first drafts, or not, but what do you all feel about this?