Tuesday, January 11, 2011

They like me, they really like me!

by Brittany Geragotelis

Hey all!

So, these past few weeks have been absolutely crazy! I moved in with a boy, and spent an obscene amount of money (for me) on new furniture to get our place looking like a combination of both of us. I've been dealing with some changes at work and have been teaching cheerleading classes to kids at a youth center. But one of the biggest things that's come up in the new year is that I'm now officially publishing the stuff I write!

photo credit: Gallery Books/Tori Spelling
I know I've mentioned it a few times now, but Wattpad.com has truly changed my writing life. When I was approached by the people at this online writing community, I wasn't sure how me publishing my stuff for free was going to help me to reach my ultimate goal of being a published author. In fact, I'd received advice from several published authors (including my favorite author of all time) that a writer should never give away their work for free. However, after contacting several published authors who also post on Wattpad, and asking them about their experiences, I started to look at the site in a different way.

It was explained to me that by having your stuff up on a site where there are millions of unique viewers a month, I'm able to create an audience for myself. And having a loyal audience of fans is instrumental to your success as an author. First of all, publishing companies aren't going to be willing to take a chance on you if they don't think you're going to be able to give them a large base of people who will run out and buy your book. And even if you're lucky enough to get your first book published, you need to be able to keep your fans coming back for every book thereafter. And creating that connection with a reader where they're willing to buy and read anything you write just because you wrote it....that's writing GOLD. So far, after only a week and a half and three chapters posted, I've already had 4,500+ people read my stuff!

But beyond that, I think the most profoundly incredible aspect to publishing my latest book, Life's a Witch, on the site has been the response I've received from fans. Seriously, in a world (publishing) that's been mostly filled with rejection (okay, that's not entirely true; I've had a lot of positive feedback along the way too, but ultimately it always ended in rejection), hearing what actual readers think has reinvigorated my writing life. I never would have thought that in a place where everyone's hoping to stand out among each other, that people would be such champions of other writer's work. But it's true. I've received so many glowing, beautiful, thoughtful comments on my chapters--some from other writers and some from readers--and it's made my heart soar. Everyone on there really wants you to succeed.

photo credit: Meg Cabot
And that got me thinking: Why haven't I done this before?!?! I have SIX other books sitting around collecting space in my computer, all of which are worth reading, but no one's enjoying them. What's the point of being a writer and putting such a large amount of time into creating these works of fiction for no one to read them? I think I may have had my priorities in the wrong place; instead of thinking that a publishing company is the end-all to my story, really, I should have been focusing on getting my stuff out to people to read however I can. It's mostly my ego that wants the hardcopy publishing deal with Harper Collin's Childrens anyway (Not that that wouldn't make me flip out, either).

So, for now, I'm officially a Wattpaddy! Take a look at some of the amazing comments I've received so far and then go read my book here and leave some of your own!


"I must say you have a great skill of writing. It was truly believable and you def know about the salem witch trials, since I was watching a movie about that, and the scenes were playing in my head. I think you have great potential and a big hit on an original story!" —LucyLovely

"Wow, that was an amazing first chapter. I'm already dying for more. Your writing is amazing and I love how you've done some research on the subject cuz it makes it even more fascinating... I can't wait to see where this story goes, so i hope you keep writing it. I haven't seen any other books on here like yours so it's good to see something new. Oh, and I love how even though it was in third person it felt like I was experiencing all those things too—just as informative as first person—so again I love your writing style. Now off to read the next chapter!" —Eva2010

"This reminds me of Gossip Girl except less rude and the 'queen bee' is smart and nice cool. Can't wait for your upload Saturday!" —Cheese_is_Good



Anonymous said...

Is that really you with Tori Spelling when you were a baby?

Brittany said...

OMG! I wish! How cool would that be? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Tori!