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
"Like many Western analyses of the Middle East, they reduce Iraq’s complex internal conflicts to catchall explainers of ‘sectarianism’ and ‘tribalism’ – presuming that some groups of people are intrinsically primed for antagonism."
" he's a loser in the precise sense that his singular accomplishment in American public life has been to lose a Senate race to the stupendously unpopular Republican Ted Cruz."
"While applauding the social impetus, Israelis are divided in opinions on an American-based initiative and question its grammatical integrity."
A look at the networks that churn out nonstop, formulaic Christmas movies; the actors who star in all of them; and the fans who can't stop watching.
"The Department of Homeland Security wants to use credit scores to determine immigration cases. That sets a dangerous precedent."
"Traffic. Congestion. Pollution. Hours-long commutes. What if you could leave it all behind and trade it in for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient personal copter—all without a pilot’s license?"
"“But Qutb saw something else. The dancers in front of him were tragic lost souls. They believed they were free, but in reality they were trapped by their own selfish and greedy desires.”"
Cliches can be used as a political tool. "Prefabricated language helps everybody from prime ministers to CEOs disguise what they really want to say."
"Santa is nothing but stress for families who don’t believe in him. Trying to keep other kids from finding out the truth can cause a holiday-season-long headache."
"Umami is hard to describe in words. In the New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield defines it as “that deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms..."
"The designer babies have thus been called the “future-we-should-not-want” for each new reproductive technology or intervention. But the babies never came and are nowhere close. I am not surprised."
"Thousands of secular Israelis became newly observant and joined Haredi communities in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, their children and grandchildren are searching for a place of their own."