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Do you Wattpad? 5 tips from a Wattpad writer

I’ve been looking for someone using Wattpad to write a guest post for us for awhile, and when Natalie Wright quietly revealed her expertise with this social network for writers and readers when she took my e-course last month, I thought, “Bingo!” I asked, she agreed. Natalie is the author of the young adult paranormal fantasy series, The Akasha Chronicles. Book 1, Emily’s House, was published  in 2011; Book 2, Emily’s Trialwas published in 2012; and the final installment, Emily’s Heart, will launch in the fall of 2013. You can find Natalie online, and on FacebookYouTubePinterest and of course, Wattpad.

Do you Wattpad? 5 tips from a Wattpad writer

By Natalie Wright

“Tips about Wattpad? What the heck is a Wattpad?” you ask.

For those of you unfamiliar with Wattpad, it’s a social media site dedicated solely to writers and readers. Anyone can post his or her work on Wattpad. Readers can fan the writer, place the writer’s story or poem into their library, comment directly on each chapter if they wish, and interact with the writer through messaging.

With over two million registered users worldwide, and over seven million unique visitors each month, Wattpad may seem like a social media must for writers. But is it?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

Experience-based tips

I’ve been using Wattpad, both as a reader and writer, for over a year now. Here I’ll share five tips I’ve learned from my experience with Wattpad:

1. Users of the site are predominately teenagers and young adults. If you write for teens, then Wattpad is a fantastic place to spend some of your social media time. My observation is that the stories that garner the most reads and votes include vampires, witches, science fiction, fantasy, comedy and teen angst. If you write literary fiction (for example), I don’t think that Wattpad would be a useful site to become involved in.

2. Wattpad is social. You can post a brilliant story on Wattpad, but if you don’t take the time to interact with others, it will receive very little or no attention. To get started, peruse the stories in your favorite genre. If you like something that you read, fan the author, leave a comment, vote and otherwise be a good apple. Most Wattpad users will reciprocate, generating attention to your title.

My first novel, Emily’s House, had about 3000 reads when I was approached by Wattpad to highlight Emily’s House as a “Featured Selection”. That was last July. Emily’s House has now had over 850,00 reads on Wattpad. In order to become a featured selection, someone must recommend your story to Wattpad or it needs to have enough votes and activity to catch the attention of Wattpad curators (one of my readers recommended it to Wattpad for featured status). If your goal is to build a fan base, then try to get your story “featured” status to boost reads.

3. Wattpad is a good place to spread the word, but not a great place to garner sales. My Wattpad readers occasionally ask where they can buy my books. But for every reader that asks to purchase, I get a comment along the lines of “Hey, why isn’t all of Book 2 posted?” Many Wattpad users are teenagers and international. They don’t have the ability to freely order. My experience is that lots of reads and votes on Wattpad will not necessarily translate into sales. If you write books for adults, you may experience more of a sales increase than teen fiction writers.

4. If you’re still reading this after I just told you that Wattpad wouldn’t help your sales, then you may be wondering why the heck anyone would bother with it. Good question. Answer? Free market research. Wattpad is an excellent place to obtain feedback on your works in progress. Wattpad users are, for the most part, kind people who leave either positive comments or constructive feedback. If you write for a teen audience or an adult science fiction or fantasy audience, you’ll find millions of potential readers on Wattpad. And, don’t forget to read their stories. What better way to get an idea of what teen readers want to read? Read what they write.

5. If you’re interested in obtaining a traditional publishing contract and you write for the teen or young adult audience, building a fan base on Wattpad may help you land a publishing contract. Everyone talks about platform. What is a platform if not a group of readers interested in your work? If you use Wattpad wisely and consistently, you may build a group of devoted fans. Publishers have offered lucrative publishing contracts to Wattpad writers based on their loyal following. See this story about Brittany Geragotelis, aka BrittTheBookSlayer, who got a three-book deal with a traditional publisher once her story, Life’s a Witch, reached 19,000,000 reads on Wattpad. If traditional publishing remains the Holy Grail, then Wattpad may be a new path that writers can take to achieve it.

 Do you Wattpad? If you do, share your thoughts on it with us here. And you can view my Wattpad profile here.

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  1. Epic insight. As a young adult fiction author under the name of Bob Kat, your article really hit home.

    My co-writer, my husband Bob, and I are always looking to stay connected with a very valuable generation, demanding readers and downright interesting people, Today’s teens and young adults.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write about this generation of readers.

    1. Thanks, Kathy. “Epic” is the perfect word. I’m so glad you found Natalie’s post helpful. She’s great!


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