Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What can Wattpad do for you?

I first heard about Wattpad early last year through a writers' email list I'm on. Wattpad is a site for writers, both professional and amateur. Anyone can post stories on the site, finished or ongoing. Other users read the stories, vote on their favorites, and comment with encouragement or feedback. There are also groups targeted toward genres or interests.

Some other writers had had great success with getting their works out to readers through Wattpad. I checked out the site and it looked intriguing, but I didn't get around to posting anything on the site until October. Surfacing, the first book of my Swans Landing series, was floundering (pun intended, it's a mermaid book!) a bit on Amazon and other ebook stores. I just couldn't seem to get much traction for the series, although sales had picked up a little since I released the second book. I wanted a way to get the book out to the target audience: teen girls who read paranormal romance. Wattpad's biggest group of users? Teen girls who read paranormal romance.

So I figured it was worth a shot and started posting chapters from Surfacing on the site. I posted two or three a week, but the book still wasn't getting many reads and had no comments. Then one of the staff members at Wattpad saw the book and read the chapters I had posted. She emailed me with an invitation to write a guest post on the Wattpad blog and become a Wattpad Featured Author. In exchange for this free advertisement of my story, I'd agree to keep Surfacing on Wattpad for at least six months. I was already posting the story there and I wasn't getting much interest on my own, so I decided to go for it.

My guest post went live on December 19, and I have been amazed and pleased with the response. Surfacing now has over 200,000 reads on the site and over 2,500 votes. I love all the comments from the readers, and many of them have said they will be or have already purchased the second book in the series for their ereaders. There is no way for me to definitively state how many sales have resulted from Wattpad, but I have seen an increase in sales of Submerging since my guest post went up.

If you're looking to get your book out in front of an audience of avid readers, consider Wattpad, especially if you write for teens. Series books are great for Wattpad because you can post the first one on the site and then tell readers where to find the rest of the series. Many of them are willing to buy the next books just to find out what happens to the characters. This is a site dedicated to storytelling, and the users want great stories to read.

The drawback is, of course, that you're giving away something for free. Some authors aren't comfortable with that and I completely understand. It was one of the things that kept me from posting on Wattpad for a long time. If you don't want to post novels on the site, you could do short stories instead. I think that short stories based on your novels are a great way to introduce Wattpad readers to your writing and your characters, and possibly intrigue them enough to buy the books.

Are you on Wattpad? Have you considered using it in your writing? Or for the readers, do you read the stories on Wattpad? If you'd like to read Surfacing on Wattpad, click here!


  1. I'm not on Wattpad, but this post has made me start thinking seriously about it - since I write paranormal fiction for teen girls! Thank you, I'm going to go check it out now.

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