Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Wattpad - Is It For You?

by Madelle Morgan

I'm posting Caught on Camera in serial form on Wattpad. My New Adult romantic comedy is in the "final draft before copy editing" stage. Every couple of weeks or so until it's published later this fall, I'll post another scene. 

I hope to gain feedback and followers who are excited about the story. Hopefully they'll tell their friends!

Are you on Wattpad? 

Wattpad is a social medial platform that enables anyone to read writer-posted work for free. Many of the writers on the site are pre-published. That is, they use Wattpad as a developmental program for works-in-progress. Some likely have no intention of formally publishing their fan fiction, poetry, and other creative work. For them, Wattpad is simply a place to share with a wide audience, and receive feedback with a view to improving their writing.

Why Should Readers Join Wattpad?

Readers actually don't need to be members of Wattpad in order to read the posted "parts". Unfortunately for readers, authors cannot keep the entire book available for free on Wattpad after it's for sale on the various retail platforms. Readers have a limited time or no opportunity to read the story's ending. So why sign up as a member, you may ask?

Wattpad members may:

  • follow an author, and thereby be notified when new scenes or "parts" are posted;
  • comment, helping to shape a story;
  • vote on books to support a favorite author and make her books more visible;
  • interact with authors; and last but not least,
  • discover books and new authors.

Why Should an Indie Author Join Yet Another Social Media Platform?

In this fiercely competitive market, self-published authors join Wattpad to attract fans. Increasingly, published authors are posting several chapters; i.e., they post more content than "look inside" type samples or first chapters available on retail sites. Readers have the opportunity to try many authors without spending a dime. Authors hope the free reads hook readers, and that they'll eventually buy the books on retail sites to find out what happens.

From wsj.com, "Wattpad has 40 million monthly users - almost 90% of whom are on mobile devices."

My newbie impression (I just joined Wattpad in August) is that promo on an author's other social media platforms such as Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc. drives traffic to an author's books on the Wattpad platform. If a work has few views or votes, it's difficult for a Wattpad member to discover. The more member votes and views, the higher the book's ranking and the greater the discoverability.

More About Marketing on Wattpad

I decided to join and post scenes from my upcoming novel thanks to romance author Linda Poitevin. I've been following her informative series of articles, blog posts and podcasts - The Great Wattpad Marketing Experiment. Scroll down on the page at this link to Linda's website to the Wattpad heading to read about Linda's experience and lessons learned.

Read parts of Linda's Ever After romance series on Wattpad, and note that she has had 4.1 million views of Gwynneth Ever After, which is awesome!

Compare that to fewer than 20 views of three parts of Caught on Camera on Wattpad. Well, we indie authors have to start somewhere! Check it out here. I'd love your comments and feedback.

Hope you enjoyed the summer!


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Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for the Wattpad information, Madelle.

Is "Gwyneth Ever After" for sale and has Linda seen lots of sales now. 4.1 million views is awesome but if they don't translate into sales, I'm not sure (for me) learning another social media platform is the best use of my time.

Right now I'm redoing my metadata on all 5 of my books and that is daunting but needed now that I've a better idea of what I need to do with that aspect of publishing.

Linda Poitevin said...

Hi, Judith...Yes, Gwynneth Ever After is for sale, as is its spin-off, Forever Grace. My Wattpad efforts most definitely translated into sales, and I shared some of my actual numbers in an article I wrote for RT Magazine's blog: http://www.rtbookreviews.com/blog/84320/how-authors-can-use-wattpad-sell-books-and-earn-money. I hope that answers your questions. :)