In a former blog post we wrote about Brittany Geragotelis’ six-figure-deal offer from Simon&Schuster, which she received after being “discovered” on Wattpad by millions of their readers, who downloaded chapter after chapter of Life’s a Bitch. Canadian-based Wattpad.com, founded in 2007, was initially providing a mobile platform for public domain works from Project Gutenberg. Within two years, the Wattpad app had been downloaded 5 million times. Writers post work in chapters, which tend to be short, to make them suitable mobile.
Wikipedia explains: As of April 2014:
- 85 percent of its traffic and usage comes from mobile devices
- 3 million stories total, with 250,000 new stories added every month
- 1.3 Million registered users
- Over 16,9 Million unique visitors per month
- Users spend an average of an hour a day on Wattpad
The most frequently voted stories (every day) appear on the “What’s Hot List”. These stats change daily, due to reads and votes by other users. According to the profiles visible on the site, many of
these authors are young adults.
Featured Story List and Contests
Wattpad also has a Featured Story list, which promotes content reviewed and approved by staff and an editorial review board. Many of these featured stories are written by self-published and
professional writers from different genres.
Wattpad holds several smaller contests a year and one major one. The large annual contest is called “The Watty Awards”. Contests are open to anyone who has a Wattpad account.
During the summer of 2012, Wattpad in collaboration with Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet/novelist/literary critic, held the “Attys”; the first major poetry contest offering a chance to poets on Wattpad to compete against each other in one of two categories, either as an “Enthusiast” or a “Competitor”.
What is the Real Benefit?
With 16.9 million unique global visitors per month and an average of 30 minutes spent reading per visit, it’s easy to understand why it’s getting a lot of attention. Authors can upload either the completed or working version of their books for readers to read. It is not possible to upload a book as one single file, it has to be done on a chapter-by-chapter basis.
Wattpad is entirely free for all of its users which means that authors are actually giving their work away for free – no sales on the Wattpad site! However if your readers ask you, send them a list with links to all your sales pages.
Wattpad is a Social Media Site
Bronwyn Hemus gives this advice: “You have a captive audience. People who sign up to Wattpad are clearly interested in books, there are millions of engaged readers looking for their next great read. The golden rule applies: Always actively engage with people who are reading your chapters. If someone has left a comment, make sure that you respond to their comment as soon as you can. Take the time to look at your reader’s profile so that you can engage with them on a personal level. Wattpad readers certainly seem very willing to engage with an author and provide feedback as a startling 5 million new comments are posted every month. If you want to breed reader loyalty, spending a bit of time getting to know your audience will go a long way to increasing sales. It will also help you better understand your readership which in turn will help you focus your marketing efforts outside of the site.”
Serialization Keeps Readers Interested
Her second great advice: “You have to release your content on a chapter-by-chapter basis which in turn encourages continuous engagement with readers. Loyal readers can register themselves as a “fan” and as such, will receive email alerts whenever their favorite author posts something new. Consistency is crucial to the success of serialization so it is best not to join Wattpad if you don’t have
a completed book (even if only in the first draft) to share.
Readers like knowing that once they’ve invested in a book, they will be able to read the story to the end. And: Chapters that are posted on a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning have the most visibility.
Dianne Greenlay wrote in Selfpublishing Advice:
Although Wattpad has a high proportion of YA users, it includes readers and writers of every age and genre, including the much-acclaimed Margaret Atwood. Several writers on Wattpad have caught the eye of literary agents and received offers based on the number of “reads” that their writing has accumulated.
Read more how Wattpad is useful to writers:
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