Best Of The Web
“It took a less than an hour in 2013 for Anna Todd to change her life. The Army wife and part-time babysitter had spent a lot of time reading fan fiction, stories by amateur writers about existing fictional universes and real-life celebrities. So her erotic tale about Tessa and Hardin—a wholesome college freshman and a tattooed bad boy who is a thinly veiled stand-in for singer Harry Styles—came together quickly when she sat down to type the first chapter of After on her phone. Todd posted it to Wattpad, one of the world’s largest destinations for online reading and writing.
After has since been read more than 1.5 billion times on Wattpad. It’s now a bestselling book series, with 11 million copies sold after Wattpad brokered a mid-six-figure deal for Todd with Simon & Schuster. She fully credits Wattpad with getting her in the door. “If I had sent After to any publisher, there’s no way they would have even read it,” says Todd, 29. Wattpad got paid for its work, taking an estimated 15% of Todd’s book earnings–about what a typical literary agent would charge—and it’s also a co-producer of the After movie that began production in June. The lucrative evolution from Wattpad post to mainstream book to Hollywood movie is precisely what Wattpad wants to see more of.
“We had built the audience for the writers, the platform for them to share their stories,” says Wattpad cofounder Allen Lau, 50. “But we did have the idea, ‘Hey, we have millions of stories already. Perhaps we can expand that.’”
Canadian engineers Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen were inspired by their love for reading to found Wattpad, the largest writing platform outside of China, where Tencent’s China Literature reigns supreme.
Wattpad’s 65 million active users (most of them women under 30) spend 383 million hours a month on its site and its mobile apps, reading pieces like “Brave,” a yarn about the Harry Potter character Neville Longbottom, and “Taking Selfies and Overthrowing the Patriarchy With Kim Kardashian.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Now I’m starting to wonder how I can go at all. And I’m also wondering why more Muslims don’t question the powers that control our most sacred site—and how the Saudis have already twisted it to their own political and financial ends."
"It's going to be a letdown. Not only is it likely that the final report will not reveal that the president has been a KGB agent since the late '80s, as at least one mainstream liberal columnist fantasized."
"The JFNA GA may say they want to talk, but there are some parts of Israel which have the feeling that this American Jewish organization is not really interested in hearing what they have to say."
“What responsibility do you think young, famous women have today to be activists?” I asked Bateman. “Are you tempted to leverage your fame for political reasons?”
"For nearly 40 years, the GOP has relied on cutting taxes as an easy way to win votes, even when their plans—like the most recent package—benefit only the rich. "
"On its face, voting by phone makes sense. Nearly ninety-five per cent of American adults own mobile phones, and rely on them for all sorts of secure transactions."
"Allegations of sexual harassment brought down Bill Gothard, a leading figure of the Christian right. But his fall also revealed the diminished influence of fundamentalism in the Trump era."
"Literature — the top-shelf, award-winning stuff — is positively ectoplasmic these days, crawling with hauntings, haints and wraiths of every stripe and disposition."
"Kids have a habit of imitating their parents’ criminal behavior. It’s no wonder, then, that by one measure, 10 percent of families account for two-thirds of criminals."
"SFAH doesn’t make an argument for local or slow food per se, but that’s what we see. The dishes are simple, with few ingredients, made traditionally and with pleasure."
We think of archeological finds as being clues to the ancient past. In a new book from Ulrike Sommer, archeology's effects on present-day national narratives are excavated.
"That the highest God speaks for six days and then has to rest from fatigue at the seventh is a patent absurdity: ‘It is not fitting for the first God to be tired or to work with his hands or to give orders,’ he writes."