I saw your recent post on a reader's three book deal, and how it was better for her to shelve a manuscript rather than posting it on her blog. Would Wattpad hold this same weight? I put my rejected manuscripts on there after six months in the trenches, but I've never mentioned them in a query letter. When you type in my name, my Wattpad stories are one of the first results (I am a featured author). Your 2015 and 2018 posts have answered another one of my questions, but is this a red flag for agents? How would I explain this in a query letter?
Yes it's a red flag.
A big one.
A lot of editors don't want things that have been previously published.
You need hundreds of thousands of Wattpad "reads" to get any real interest in republishing something.
You explain just as you have here: "I published this on Wattpad and I'm now a featured author."
Under zero circumstances do you "forget" to mention this.
A publishing contract requires you to warrant that the material being licensed to the publisher is not previously published.
Yes, that can be negotiated but the time for that is NOT when you're at contract.
The time for that is when your agent is talking to prospective editors.