Authors have long been relying on the Wattpad community to help refine their stories before formally publishing them, and now Kobo is drawing on that connection.
The ebook retailer has launched a new section of its ebookstore focused solely on ebooks originally published on the social reading site. It currently features twenty titles, with prices ranging from free to $11.59.
The ebooks are not, as one site erroneously reported, published by Wattpad nor are they exclusive to Kobo. All of the titles I checked were also available in the Kindle Store, and some had been published by the authors as far back as 2013, 2012, or 2011.
EM Tippetts' Nobody's Damsel, for example, was published by the author in 2013, and Dale Meyer's Vampire in Denial was published in 2011. And then there's My Life with the Walter Boys, a teen title which was published by Sourcebooks in March 2014.
It's not clear why Kobo pulled together all these ebooks; they cover a diverse range of genres, including romance, SF, fantasy, YA/teen, and aside from professional-quality covers (seriously, I've seen Big Five books that had uglier covers) the books have nothing in common other than they were originally published to Wattpad.
I'm not sure that's a good enough reason to pull together the disparate titles, but we really won't know what's going on until I hear back from Kobo and Wattpad.