Writing Wednesdays: How I got Published – Beth Reekles I know a… – via authorbethreekles on Tumblr

Writing Wednesdays: How I got Published – Beth Reekles


I know a lot of you will already be familiar with my writing
journey – how I went from Wattpad to published author. But for those of you who
don’t know, let me tell you the tale…

Once upon a time, there was a mousy sort of girl who hid
away in her bedroom with a laptop, like all. The. Time. Spoiler alert: I’m the
mousy girl.

Honestly, my parents assumed I was on Facebook, when I was
on my laptop. Or I’d call up a document/Internet page so it looked like I was
doing homework. Or, I’d just slam my laptop shut. They didn’t really question
it too much because they trusted I wasn’t doing anything ~wrong~.

I wrote a lot in secret. And I only started sharing that
when I found out about Wattpad. And for those of you unfamiliar with Wattpad,
it’s a story-sharing platform, free, where you can share and post writing.

It took me a while to work up the courage to post anything
on Wattpad. But, I did. And in April 2010, I started posting The Kissing Booth
on Wattpad. It got an okay response, so I carried on posting it.

It got an amazing response, in the end. Gradual, and
exponential. I couldn’t believe when I was getting thousands of reads, let
alone the millions I ended up with.

So The Kissing Booth was published on Wattpad from 2010 for
a while. It’s popularity on the site got it noticed by an editor at Random
House (now Penguin Random House).

Her name was Lauren. She messaged me privately on Wattpad to
explain where she worked and to say they were interested in publishing my book.
She gave me an email address to get in touch.

Side note: this was a totally unconventional way of getting
published. It hardly ever happens. See my Writing Wednesday post on Traditional
Publishing: a how-to for more on that.

And honestly? It was almost purely by chance I saw that
message.

I’m not even kidding – with school being so busy (I was 17,
doing A-Levels at this time) I didn’t read all of the messages and comments I
was getting on Wattpad. I just happened to click on this one, and I paid
attention because it didn’t start ‘OMG’, so I figured it had to be serious.

Anyway, I digress: after totally freaking out, I sent Lauren
an email. We had a couple of phone calls, and the next week, my dad and I went
to visit them in London, where they gave me a ton of free books and a
three-book contract.

I didn’t have a literary agent at this time, and I was also
under the impression at the time that the agent was only really a middle man
whose purpose in life was to get you the book deal and take some money. (This
is just so not true. Check out my Writing Wednesday post on what literary
agents actually do here.)

I didn’t really need a literary agent, particularly, either.
My dad had worked with contracts before, and it all seemed reasonable. Plus, it
was a great (no: THE BEST EVER) opportunity.

And, you know, they’d already given me a load of free books
to take home.

After a little back-and-forth, and checking that I wouldn’t
be on any deadlines with the publishers because I was still in school, we
signed (I was a minor at the time, so my dad had to sign too) and that was
that.

Almost.

Usually, it takes eighteen months between signing a contract
and the book being published.

The Kissing Booth came out as an ebook six weeks later.

And, to give you a little summary of what’s happened since
then: The Kissing Booth was then published as a paperback in April 2013,
followed by Rolling Dice in 2013 and Out of Tune in 2014. In the summer of
2014, I decided to get a literary agent, and signed with Clare Wallace at
Darley Anderson. Shortly after that,
I was commissioned to write a short story for the Quick Reads program, and my
short story for that, Cwtch Me If You Can, was published in March 2015. Now,
I’m writing more stuff, and focusing on my blog and social media over the summer.

You can find out more about all of my published books and Wattpad stories here, and find my books on Amazon here.

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