I often get questions about Wattpad. From readers – what is it? From authors – do you like it? So I decided to share my experience with Wattpad and some of my thoughts here.
I’ve been writing books for a little over two years. I’d heard of Wattpad but figured it was just a place for aspiring writers to get feedback on their work. And while that’s an awesome premise, I didn’t think it was for me. But I found out at an author conference in Feb. that I was all kinds of wrong.
Wattpad is ninety percent readers and ten percent authors, I heard a Wattpad spokesperson say on a panel. And even the authors on Wattpad are readers, so unlike other forms of social media, everyone there loves books. That got my attention. Then she mentioned an app Wattpad has for erotic content called After Dark. I downloaded it on my phone during the session and was blown away by the number of views some of the books there had.
Convinced that there’s definitely something to this Wattpad thing, I went back to my hotel room, started a Wattpad account and posted the first section of my novella Healing Touch. I slowly gained followers over the next six weeks. My goal was to one day have 1,000 Wattpad followers.
But Brenda, aren’t those followers just teenage girls in other countries who will never buy your books?
You know, naysayer, I bet some of them are. But in my experience, a lot aren’t. I often get messages from Wattpad readers asking where they can buy my books after reading my work on Wattpad.
Wattpad is episodic. Authors post works one installment at a time, and for me each installment is one chapter. I love pressing publish on a new installment and seeing my Wattpad readers clicking on it and commenting within minutes.
Readers can comment on a book as they are reading. I get to find out exactly which lines readers think are funniest and sexiest. When I write something I want my readers to roll their eyes over, I get to find out if they do.
Wattpad is a most unexpected source of writing inspiration for me. Here are just a few of the comments I’ve gotten on my profile:
You have no idea how excited I get when you upload! You’re an amazing author! Love your books.
I love both of your books. Killian is my favorite plz update. Sorry if that sounded pushy.
Are Killian and Healing Touch your only books? Because if you have any other books elsewhere of love to read them!! You’re an amazing author!
I absolutely love this book. When a book is good u talk to yourself when you get to a good part and I just did that. SO PLEASE FINISH THE BOOK. #HEALINGTOUCHISAWESOME
Writing is a solitary profession. When I’m behind on sleep and up against a deadline, it’s way too easy to convince myself my work is crap on a cracker. Wattpad lifts me up every time I open the app. My readers there are positive and engaged and excited. They get my quick voice and sense of humor.
My advice to authors who want to use Wattpad is not to think it’s a quick and easy marketing site. You can’t drop off an excerpt and some buy links and expect to grow a devoted following. Post entire works there. Only post polished, edited work. Interact with readers there and listen to the feedback they give.
And for readers, if you like to try out new authors, Wattpad is a great place for it. I didn’t think I liked the episodic format, but I’m hooked. Am I giving my books away for free? Sure, some, but definitely not all. I was sold long ago on the power of a free loss leader as a marketing tool, so it’s nothing new to me. And what I get back from my Wattpad readers in writing motivation makes it completely worth it to me.
So now, when people ask me Why Wattpad?, my first question is Why not?