In 2011, Beth Reeks a 15-year old Welsh schoolgirl decided to write a teenage romantic novel. So after finishing her homework, she would stay up all night writing her novel. Then she chose a “route to market” which was unique. Rather than hiring a literary agent to find a publisher, she posted three chapters of her boy-meets-girl novel, The Kissing Booth, on Wattpad (an online story sharing platform). As comments poured in, Reeks turned to social media – she started a Tumblr blog and a Twitter account to promote her book.
By the time she was 16, Reeks had garnered 19 million “reads” even though her book has not yet published (in the traditional sense). Then, by the time Reeks went to college, her work had been turned into a e-book, then a paperback and this year Netflix released it as a film.
The internet has disrupted traditional publishing. Today, anybody can self-publish on platforms like Lulu, Smashwords and Kindle Direct. If the public then takes to their work then big book and film deals await the really skilful authors. The rest have the self-satisfaction of knowing that there work was made available to the wider world.
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