Lessons from New York Times Bestselling Author Natasha Preston

Engaged audiences give authors and publishers a major advantage. Natasha Preston, New York Times bestselling writer of The Cellar, understands this better than most. Natasha and her publisher Sourcebooks have sold over 240,000 copies of The Cellar over the span of 30 months. They’ve accomplished this despite the fact that an unedited edition of The Cellar currently exists on Wattpad for free. For Natasha, Wattpad serves as a powerful engagement tool and a forum where fans can connect with her and each other.

Thanks to her passionate fans on Wattpad and strategic promotion from her publisher, Natasha maintains an 11 week run on the NYT young adult paperback bestseller list.

The Power of Community-Based Storytelling

Natasha joins several Wattpad writers, including Taran Matharu and Anna Todd, who have placed works on the New York Times bestsellers list. They’ve achieved this while keeping the majority of their works available on Wattpad for free.

While free is typically perceived as costly to publishers, the social nature of Wattpad stories provides an invaluable benefit for people trying to market their work. These benefits include:

An Engaged Fan Base: Through comments, updates, and interactions with other fans, Wattpad stories provide a community forum for people to connect over the stories they love.

Like any community, it’s more likely to stay together if its meeting place, in this case a Wattpad story, stays intact. The internet moves fast. If a story is taken down during the works transition to print, its audience might move on.

Instead of taking something from the fan base, support the community by leaving the story online while they wait for new material. In the end, fans are more likely to support the print edition of a work if they feel connected to its creator and responsible for its success. It’s this social aspect that can convert fans to purchasers.

Strength in Numbers: Natasha posted The Cellar in 2010. By the time Natasha was published by Sourcebooks in 2014, her story had amassed a giant fan base on Wattpad.

Today, over 17 million reads and almost 150,000 comments give Natasha and her publisher great insight into the passages, characters, and plot points that matter most to fans. Through the data available to partners of Wattpad Studios, editors and content creators gain a better understanding of what makes a story great.

Exponential Growth: Every second of the day, someone new joins the Wattpad community. That’s a new potential fan to attract to the Wattpad edition of a published story. Recently Natasha’s much-anticipated follow-up title The Cabin became available for purchase.

For publishers that work with Wattpad Studios, continued placement, curation, and algorithmic promotion to similar readers helps accelerate growth and potential market for  both The Cellar and The Cabin.

For Wattpad, connecting storytellers with exciting opportunities is critical. Like Natasha’s most passionate fans, we’re proud of the work she’s done and what she’s been able to accomplish.

We want to connect the publishers of the world with more of our top writers. When we collaborate with publishers like Sourcebooks and storytellers like Natasha Preston we move closer to reaching our vision of helping billions of people find entertainment, connections, and inspiration from Wattpad stories.

When Natasha joined Wattpad in 2010, she worked various jobs in administration. Since then, her career as a writer has taken off. Thanks to the power of community-based storytelling, Natasha and her publisher Sourcebooks are reaping the rewards of social-connectivity.