How is Wattpad
What you should know about Wattpad
Wattpad has meanwhile established itself in the online reader market. With 16.9 million visitors per month worldwide and an average of 30 minutes reading time per visit, this is obviously a very successful model for reaching readers. Nevertheless, some of them will not yet know exactly what it is actually about. Therefore, I would like to briefly introduce this reading and writing platform here.
Wattpad at a glance
Wattpad is known as the Youtube of Writing because it makes it easy for authors to share their work with the world. Publishing on the platform is more like posting on social media than classic publishing.
Authors can upload either the finished or the working version of their books and offer them to readers for reading. It is not possible to upload a book as a single file, it can only be done chapter by chapter. Wattpad is completely free for all of its users, which means that authors actually offer their works for reading for free, with no option to sell them on the website.
How does it work?
Wattpad is aimed at anyone interested in books, readers and authors alike. Setting up an account only takes a few minutes and is just a matter of creating a username, uploading a picture, and some information about yourself.
When authors publish a chapter on the website, they can also add keywords, images and videos. There's also the option to add an external link to your book under the Advanced tab, although experience shows readers won't click on it (I don't know why, but they just don't).
Uploading content to Wattpad
However, you can (and should) add external links to your book on your profile page, as well as to any comments you post on your book or chapter. For example, if a reader asks where they can read more of your work, you can post the link in your reply and point it to your Amazon page or author's website.
Ultimately, Wattpad is a social media site and should be treated as such. In other words, if you are willing to take a systematic approach, there are certain advantages that are available to you.
Let's look at this in a little more detail.
An interested audience
People who sign up for Wattpad are clearly interested in books, and that's why there are millions of dedicated readers looking for their next good read. But before you log on to Wattpad immediately, remember: Wattpad is a social media platform and as such the golden rule applies that you should always interact with the people who read and, if necessary, comment on texts you upload. If someone left a comment, make sure you respond to their comment (as soon as possible). Take the time to look at your reader's profile so that you can be more personal with their comments.
The time it takes to get to know your audience is sure to be worth it, as this will encourage reader loyalty. It will also help you better understand your readership, which in turn will help you better tailor your marketing activities outside of Wattpad to that target audience.
Serialization, if done correctly, can create reader loyalty, and Wattpad is well aware of this. You need to share your content chapter by chapter, which in turn encourages continuous interaction with readers. Loyal readers can register as a »fan« and receive email notifications when their favorite author writes something new. Dedicated fans may also be inclined to follow your writing beyond the confines of Wattpad.
However, you should publish chapters regularly, otherwise the readers will lose interest. Consistency and continuity are critical to the success of serialization, so it's best not to join Wattpad if you don't have a finished book (if only in its first draft) to share. The readers want to be able to read a story once it has started to the end. That means you have to be ready to give away your entire book for free. Posting just a chapter or two of your book won't generate interest and end up irritating readers.
When posting on Wattpad, timing is very important. Experience has shown that chapters published on a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning have the greatest visibility.
Wattpad is all about interaction and so the website actively encourages dialogue between authors and readers. Readers are allowed to rate and comment on what they read, giving the writers an opportunity to refine their work or try new ideas for characters or story development.
Wattpad readers are very willing to provide comments and feedback on what they have read. This can be seen in the fact that around 5 million new comments are published every month. It goes without saying that the quality of the comments varies from pointless to constructive.
Receiving reader comments and feedback is definitely one of the main benefits of the website, but author-reader interaction can go a step further. Authors also have the option to send messages to their readers.
Imagine such a ›program‹ comparable to a tweet or a Facebook status update that is published on your Wattpad homepage and sent to your fans. This is a very useful feature as authors can create teasers, external links to their books, and even reader surveys to get more detailed information about their readership.
The broadcast function is extremely useful, but should also be used with caution, as too many "programs" can annoy your readers and make them feel like spam.
Of course, it should not be forgotten here that as an author you can also get to know other authors via Wattpad. You can become a reader and read and comment on the stories of other authors. Many reject this as a waste of time, but everyone has to decide for themselves.
Wattpad has its own crowdfunding platform called "Fan Funding". »Fan Funding« is based on the same principles as any other crowdfunding campaign, as authors appeal to their fans to donate money in order to be able to publish their book. You can offer incentives (e.g. t-shirts, signed copies, e-books, etc.) for donations, and the campaigns have a duration of 30 days.
Perhaps the greatest specialty of »Fan Funding« is that all books participating in the program are still freely readable for Wattpad users. In other words, readers can read the book before deciding whether to donate or not, which means donations are more likely to come from people who enjoy your writing.
Since »Fan Funding« is still in the testing phase, I don't want to comment on the success. However, I would like to say that »Fan Funding« fits in well with the Wattpad system because the site has an established reader base and of course many Wattpad authors have existing relationships with their readers.
Although Wattpad has over 20 genres listed on the site, science fiction, young adult, and fantasy books are without a doubt the most popular genres. A large part of this trend is due to the fact that the majority of Wattpad users are teens and twenties who are more interested in these genres.
So if you are a fantasy, YA, or science fiction writer, this will be music to your ears. However, if you write historical novels, for example, the response to your work may be less than you expect.
Getting honest feedback from real readers is an invaluable part of the writing process, and because of this, Wattpad can be a useful tool for writers. Here you can connect with your readership in your genre and gain a deeper insight into the respective target audience.
As with all social media, however, there is no guarantee of success or increased sales. In my opinion, Wattpad could be suitable as a ›marketing platform‹ for authors who write in their preferred genres and in the best case already have several books in a series, the first part of which they would like to offer for free in order to win fans who then may also want to read the other volumes of the series, which are subject to a fee, and purchase them outside of Wattpad That this works, however, is mere speculation and is not based on personal experience.
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