Thursday, June 20, 2013

How the Wattpad Thing's Going

In case you don't know, Wattpad is a site for people to blog their stories…sort of. You can use it like that, or you can post things all at once for free samples and all.

Now, there are some downsides. You can't monetize or advertise your stories on Wattpad, though you can theoretically get permission to do so. They seem pretty reasonable about that kind of thing—for example, self-publishers post links to where you can find the story for sale, if you want it, as a matter of course, and they (as of this writing) don't mind.

How do I know they don't mind? A Fistful of Fire has been featured there since 5/30 (as I mentioned in my June news post). I don't know how Wattpad determines what to feature (other than I went to them with a complete work and blurb and asked "Hey, are you interested in featuring this?"). You can recommend titles to be featured.

Hmm… *wanders off to recommend a title…*

This is the weird thing about Wattpad: I can't find the blog post wherein I first heard about the possibility of getting featured. I also can't find the e-mails I received from Wattpad staff about it. (I've lost them before, and I remember being puzzled about why they didn't show up when I searched. This time around, I've searched [again] through my e-mail. No dice.) ((Watch them be right in front of my face, once I do find them again, eh?))

I know it was a mention on David Gaughran's blog post that brought it to my attention. This couldn't have been it, though, because I made my initial contact a few months before that. Judging from the dates, it could have been this post.

Which would explain the "It is?" responses I get when I say it's possible to recommend your own titles to be featured on Wattpad. Because nobody's posted a walkthrough, that I can find.

But in any event, A Fistful of Fire got featured there at the end of last month. I sought featuring with the goal of reaching readers, and that's working. I might hit 21k reads by the time I hit "Publish" on this post. (Admittedly, each "chapter" counts as a separate read, but there are only 10 sections on that title there. So once I account for those who stop partway through or who come back to re-read something, I've probably gotten over 2k reads in the past month.

Wattpad seems to reconsider their "featured" list every two weeks or so, at which point they might leave you there or bump you down or off. I actually moved up on the list. (Per one of my friends who's been watching the featured listing longer than I have, Amanda Hocking has been on there for months.)

I'm also using the site to host my "First Draft Fridays", wherein I post at least a scene in a specific WiP every Friday until the first draft is completed. That's succeeding, too.

So Wattpad's working great for me.

That said, I can't unequivically recommend it, because there are reasons to not blog your novel. It can also be difficult to build traction on the site, unless you can get featured or have a fan base elsewhere.

But as for me, I'm pleased with how things are going over there.

What do you think of Wattpad? Do you have a method you prefer for your own writing to reach readers, or for you (as a reader) to reach writers? Do you have any opinions to share on the way I'm using Wattpad?


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