[Publishing Advice] An intro to this updated version
I have an account on Wattpad (MinaVE) and it’s somewhat popular, but not exactly for my fiction. In 2014 I started posting advice for writers (mostly publishing-related) over there, and in Tagalog/English. I always try to be on the side of authors throughout this publishing journey, and over the years even though I’ve worn many hats in this industry, I am still primarily an author, and will help fellow authors.
The Wattpad “advice column” is me speaking very casually, responding as fast as I can to questions I get on Wattpad and social media. There’s always lots to talk about, and I’ve posted over 80 chapters by now. Periodically I think about updating the advice and putting it somewhere, and I think my website is a good place for it. Still accessible, will be more search-engine friendly, and going over this with fresh eyes could mean better advice or just more relevant today, in 2022.
Do Filipino authors need advice really? They did, they do. Here’s my post about the popularity of the advice column in 2014. And here are the recent stats as of today:
Over 447K+ page views!
Currently the largest age group reading it are 18 to 25 year olds, who are probably thinking of publishing their stories or have been approached by a publisher already. Over 90% of my readers are located in the Philippines.
There are so many Filipino authors. And every year I check the stats, it’s the 18 to 25 year olds who are there looking for publishing advice. New authors are joining the creative community every single year, and this is just the stats from one online community. I know Filipino creators are present and thriving in other platforms too. It’s amazing really.
I started my advice column with a warning. Part 1: Do you want your book in bookstores? Plus Copyright. It used to be the dream for many young authors to see their books in bookstores, and they ended up signing over/selling copyright to their books in exchange. By interacting with Bebang Siy and FILCOLS (Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society)*, I learned that we did not have to give up copyright just to be published. We can sign contracts with publishers, and still keep copyright. We don’t have to agree to “shared copyright” either.
Of course each contract offer and case could be different, but the advice was directed to Wattpad authors, whose stories were often popular due to the support the author got from the reader community there. I would still say the same thing today: if you the author and the community of readers made the story popular, protect your copyright! Offering to print books and place them in bookstores is simply a publisher’s job, one that becomes so much easier when they offer to print a story that is popular already. If you did most of the work, from the writing to the promotion/marketing to reader outreach, at the very least copyright should stay yours. AND they should offer to do more for you, actually. (More on that in a future post.)
*In 2019 I became a member of FILCOLS and am currently in its board. I’ve also done panels and info campaigns supporting authors and advocating for copyright education for NBDB, IPO Philippines, and Wattpad HQ.
I want to review each post from my advice column and add updated commentary. Possibly because I’m really enjoying blogging again, and also because I do want to go back and see which parts are no longer relevant and should be changed. This will be a series! If you would like to support this and want more of it, you can buy me a buko pie.
Tags: publishing advice