Blog Tour: Paper Hearts by Ali Novak (Guest Post & Giveaway!)

Today, I have the amazing opportunity to be part of the blog tour for Ali Novak's Paper Hearts, the second book in the the Heartbreakers Chronicles Series. Ali will be discussing the differences between Wattpad and traditional publishing! As someone who doesn't know much about Wattpad, I found this incredibly interesting, and I hope you guys do too! And stay tuned until the end of the post - there's a giveaway for ONE paperback copy (US only!)!


When I was fifteen years old I wrote my first full-length novel, My Life with the Walter Boys. I was so proud of the accomplishment that I wanted to share my story with the world. But the thought of publishing my book never crossed my mind, because what publishing house would pick up the rough draft manuscript of a teenager? So I did what any millennial would do and googled how to share it. That’s how I discovered Wattpad.

I know a lot of you are probably wondering… what the heck is Wattpad? Let me explain. Wattpad is the world’s largest online reading and writing community. To date, there are more than 375 million stories uploaded to the website/app, all of which can be read for free. Yes, you read that correctly—375 million stories for FREE! And on average, there are sixty million monthly users who spend fifteen billion minutes per month using the app. That’s a whole lot of reading!

After working up the courage, I made an account and decided to unleash my story onto the dark, magical place that is the internet. I started posting My Life with the Walter Boys to the website in 2010, and that decision single-handedly changed my life. My story became an instant hit, and since then, it’s been read more than sixty-five million times. It was this success that grabbed the attention of my now publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, and in 2014, a heavily edited, revised version of the story was published.

Oftentimes, when people learn that I got my start on Wattpad, they ask me what it’s like transitioning from writing on app for fun to writing under contract as a job. The distinctions are endless, but here are the top two difference between writing a book on and off Wattpad:

1. First and foremost, writing on Wattpad is a social activity.

There are so many ways for readers to interact with me as the author: they can send me a private message, chat with me in the forums (which are called the clubs), and leave a note for me on my message board. But the most important way a reader can communicate with an author on Wattpad is by posting a comment on my story. Not only can readers comment on each chapter, they can comment on individual paragraphs and sentences. The first chapter of my story The Heartbreak Chronicles, which is only two thousand words of content, has over ten thousand comments.

As an author, I find this interaction invaluable. When I don’t want to write or am suffering from writer’s block, I turn to my readers comments for motivation. All it takes is reading a few supportive comments to inspire me again. Also, readers on Wattpad influence my stories. Although I map out my novels before I start writing, my outlines are never set in stone. The reason for this is because Wattpad readers are like detectives—they love trying to figure out what will happen later in the story. If one of my readers guesses my climax or plot twist before it happens, I scrap the idea to keep the story surprising.

In comparison, writing a book offline and under contract is a very solitary experience. Sure, you can ask your editor and authors friends for feedback, but it’s not the same as getting the opinion of 300 thousand readers.

2. The second main difference between writing a book online versus offline is that Wattpad stories are serialized.

The formula for a successful traditional novel doesn’t always translate to Wattpad stories. I often compare writing on Wattpad to writing for a suspenseful TV show. Each chapter I post has to have a cliffhanger in order to keep readers coming back for more. Although this creates unnecessary drama, which would be frowned upon in a traditional book, Wattpad readers love it!

Additionally, Wattpad stories tend to have higher chapters counts with less content per chapter, typically around two thousand words. For example, the Wattpad version of my story The Heartbreakers has forty-seven chapters plus and epilogue. On the other hand, the published version has twenty-four chapters plus an epilogue even though both stories are roughly the same word count. There are two reasons for this. First, the more chapters you post, the more reads you gain. Higher read counts leads to more visibility for your story. Second, readers expect content on a regular basis. It’s a lot easier to put out a two thousand word chapter every week versus a five thousand word one, which is the average length of the chapters in my published novels.

Of course, these are only two of the main differences between writing a book online versus off. To discover more, you’ll have to check out Wattpad yourself!


About Paper Hearts
“I’m sorry,” he said, slowly untying the ribbon that held his mask in place. “It’s just—I didn’t want you to think of me any differently.”

Somehow I kept my mouth from falling open. I knew his face, but my mind couldn’t accept that he was the person looking down at me.

“My real name is Alec.”

Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she’s had the full weight of her mother’s expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college.

Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned—like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he’d flirt with her. And she certainly never thought he’d turn out to be a member of the world-famous Heartbreakers band, Alec.

Then Felicity uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she, Alec, and her two best friends are off on a road trip to find Felicity’s missing sister. And she’s about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be.

About the Author: 
Ali Novak writes contemporary young adult romance and is a recent graduate of the University of Madison Wisconsin's creative writing program. She wrote her first full length novel, My Life with the Walter Boys, at the age of fifteen. Since posting the story online, it has received more than 33 million reads and is now published by Sourcebooks Fire.

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Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire, I have one paperback copy of Paper Hearts up for grabs. In order to enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below! 

US mailing Addresses Only!

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  1. I LOVE Wattpad! It does take a lot of courage to put your work out there for everyone to see. I was a member for a couple of years before I posted anything, and when I did share the first few chapters of my WIP, I thought I was going to have a heart attack!! But I love how it's a social experience and you get awesome feedback before you take the plunge and publish it. Awesome post, and I'm looking forward to Paper Hearts! I love that title.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer! I didn't know much about Wattpad until recently but this post really opened up my eyes to it. It's cool how it offers so much feedback and constructive criticism. Hope you love Paper Hearts when you read it! :)

  2. Thank you for the chance! Be blessed :)

  3. Blog tours are so much fun! Congrats on being a part of one :-) Hope to read many more from you.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! Hope you enjoy future posts - there's some good giveaways coming up soon!

  4. I love books with "unexpected turns"! They are so unexpected!

  5. Very informative! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wow, I didn't realize Ali wrote her first version of My Life with the Walter Boys at 15! I really love that book, so that's just incredible. Also, I feel like Wattpad is such a great forum for writers. I know some of my favorite authors post on Wattpad still, and use it to share little snippets from their book worlds. Such a great interview, thanks for sharing!!


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