Publishing one chapter at a time, Todd racked up 1 billion reads online and gained avid fans worldwide. Last week, Paramount Pictures announced it had acquired screen rights, and this week, After was pubbed newly revised and expanded in a paperback from Gallery Books, part of a six-figure, multi-book deal with further print releases set for this November 18, December 30, and February 10, 2015.
Talking with Alexandra Alter, Todd told the New York Times that she began as a Wattpad reader, hooked on serialized fictional stories about British boy band One Direction. In 2013, she started writing her own fiction about a female college freshman who gets involved with a tattooed, lip-ringed, cute, tousled-haired guy named Harry Styles.
“I didn’t think anyone would read it.” … She updated “After” with a new chapter every day to meet readers’ demands and tapped out much of the book on her cellphone. She wrote for five hours a day and spent three hours trading messages with readers on Wattpad, Twitter and Instagram and drew on those comments to help her shape the story.
“The only way I know how to write is socially and getting immediate feedback on my phone,” she said.
Todd also told Alter that she receives threats daily from angry One Direction fans on Twitter and Tumblr, which explains why, as Alter reports, in the print After the romantic lead is no longer Harry Styles but Hardin Scott. We’ll know soon enough if After is as big in print for $16 as it is online at Wattpad, where it remains free.
In other Wattpad news, the site is currently hosting two contests. “Share your Yes moment,” cohosted with HarperCollins, is the call for the Yes Please by Amy Poehler Writing Contest. They want to hear about a moment when your life changed because of saying yes. The Yes Please prize pack includes a tweet shout-out from Amy’s Smart Girls. And, to celebrate Margaret Atwood’s Stone Mattress, fans are asked to write a piece of fanfiction inspired by her Freeze-Dried Groom on Wattpad. Atwood will choose and recognize the winning story.