What is Wattpad?
Wattpad is a COMPLETELY FREE reader’s platform where authors can post their serialized stories. Wattpad has over 40 Million Readers. I ❤ Wattpad.
Wattpad can be an excellent marketing tool if you know how to use it. Today, I’m going to talk about how you can use Wattpad to market your book and market yourself as an author.
In May of 2015, my niece asked me to post one of my stories on Wattpad so she could read it. I had never heard of Wattpad before, and I had never published my books anywhere. I had no idea what I was doing, but she wanted to read my stuff so I obliged. I threw together a book cover, wrote a book blurb, and slapped chapter 1 of The Bed She Made on my new Wattpad author profile.
Something crazy happened. People other than my niece started finding the story, liking it, and commenting on it. In a month it had around 10,000 reads. Less than a year later, it has over a MILLION reads and won a Wattpad award in 2015 for Best New Adult Romance.
But I would be lying if I said it just all happened because I’m a brilliant writer and wrote the best story ever. Pshhh…I was in online marketing first, people. 🙂 Before I tell you How to Succeed at Wattpad, let me give you crash course on what Wattpad can do for you as an author and what it CANNOT do for you.
What Wattpad Can do for You
- Wattpad can increase your visibility. Visibility and brand recognition is essential for new authors, especially self-published authors. You want people to start seeing your name and knowing who you are and what you do. You want them to be familiar with your book covers and associate them with greatness. Wattpad can help you do that on a global scale—for free.
When initially publishing The Martian, self-publishing king Andy Weir said, he would have given the book away for free if he could have. Amazon would only let him give it away for $.99, but his mindset was brilliant. Fast forward a couple of years and we can see just how well the tactic worked for him.
Wattpad gives you another platform to give your book away for free. To get it in front of people. To have it noticed. One of the biggest challenges you will face as a self-published author is proving to the world that you can write. The best way to do that is give your initial work away as often as you can.
- Wattpad can give you immediate feedback. The coolest thing about Wattpad, in my opinion, is the ability to get instant feedback from your readers about what they liked and didn’t like, typos, and general marketability of a story. Wattpad readers LOVE TO COMMENT.But more than just the comments feature, the analytics of Wattpad are awesome. There is a graph that actually tells you the percentage of your readers who finished each chapter. I was able to tell that I was losing readers in chapter 25. It was boring. I rewrote it before I published it. No other writing platform gives you that kind of insight. It has other cool features like showing you age, gender, and location in the world. (The map is COOL.)
- Wattpad is a supportive community. I’ve met so many wonderful author friends on Wattpad. They supported me in the early days of publishing and they still support me today! We network, share ideas, provide feedback, and help promote each other. It’s awesome. The best place to make these new friends is in the Wattpad forums.
What Wattpad Cannot do for You
- Wattpad will not immediately bring you sales. The majority of Wattpad users are young people or people who like to read for free. You need to accept that. Now, there are a lot of buyers on there as well, but you will never see a huge jump in sales just because you have a million reads on Wattpad. Dismiss that from your mind right now. This is about visibility. This is about creating buzz. This is about making a name for yourself.
- Wattpad will not make you famous. Sure, there are books with hundreds of millions of reads, but THIS IS NOT TYPICAL. NOT EVEN CLOSE. And for those Wattpad superstars, they’ve dedicated themselves to Wattpad in a way that’s more of a lifestyle than a hobby. You can find some of them over on Twitter. Just search the hashtag #Wattpad4. There are an amazing bunch of writers over there!
- Wattpad will (most likely) not get you a traditional publishing deal by pure LUCK. There are agents and publishers on Wattpad scouring for the next great writer, but they probably aren’t magically going to stumble onto your book. My friend Juliet Lyons just signed a book deal with Sourcebooks because she tagged her story with a hashtag (#submit2sourcebooks) they search for. She knew this and did it purposefully. If you’re interested in finding out about the Sourcebooks submissions on Wattpad, here’s the link: www.wattpad.com/user/Sourcebooks. Harlequin and other big publishers also do contests that you can find on the Wattpad Contest page.
I’ve got to send another shout out about a book full of Wattpad stories that has been picked up by Simon & Schuster. IMAGINES hits stores tomorrow!
UP NEXT : How to Use Wattpad to Build Your Author Platform. Learn how I got over 9K followers in less than a year and over a million reads on Wattpad with my very first book. Get the #1 piece of advice from some of the superstars of Wattpad!
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