The power of Wattpad: find your readers and build your audience
My writing partner and her agent have been discussing the idea of posting prequels on Wattpad as a way to promote her novel.
What is a prequel?
A prequel is a teaser story that helps create an audience for a novel before its publication. Authors will repurpose scenes or backstory cut from the original manuscript and turn them into stand-alone short stories.
The idea is to use these stories to build a community of readers for your book by offering the content for free on social reading sites such as Wattpad.
What is Wattpad?
Wattpad is an online social reading community that boasts a monthly audience of over 10 million readers. And according to the site’s About page, “every minute Wattpad connects more than 10,000 readers with a new story.”
Wattpad offers more than 20 story genres, but the most popular are YA and Fantasy, making it the perfect target audience to build my reader platform.
One Wattpad success story is Brittany Geragotelis, who after a decade of rejection decided to publish her YA fantasy book, Life’s A Witch, for free on Wattpad. One year and nineteen million reads later, Simon and Schuster came knocking with a three book deal for six figures.
How it works
Wattpad is very user friendly. Authors create an account and in a few minutes they are ready to upload poetry, short stories and novels (completed or in parts).
The site’s Help Center offers a step-by-step guide on every topic including how to upload a story, add a cover, add a description and additional chapters, editing, story rankings, promotion etc.
For a full list of topics click here.
Wattpad Tips Roundup
After conducting research on other authors’ experiences I have compiled a list of tips to take into account when posting on Wattpad. I have also included below some links to blog posts I found helpful.
1. Connect to your audience: Engage readers by responding to their comments and interacting with questions and so forth. Wattpad is a social media website, and your audience will expect an interactive experience.
2. Serialize your content: Building an audience is more effective when authors post one chapter at a time. This will allow for reader engagement over longer period of time. Several authors agreed that it is best to post new chapters on a Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings for the most visibility.
3. Use the broadcast feature: Wattpad allows authors to broadcast messages to their readers. Authors can use this tool to tease upcoming chapters or sequels or promote the purchase of a completed book.
4. Communicate with your readers: Leave a note at the start or the beginning of the chapters to let them know when they should expect the next Chapter. Authors agree it is better to be consistent and release Chapters on the same day of the week at the same time.
5. More chapters, more reads: Wattpad’s reads are the number of times a story has been viewed. The more reads the more likely your story will get noticed. Every Chapter counts as a separate read, so the more Chapters your story had the more opportunities to collect reads.
6.Get those votes: Whilst reads are automatically tallied every time someone reads your post, votes take effort. Your readers have to manually click the vote button for the author to collect votes and rise in rankings. One author suggest adding a note at the bottom on each post along the lines of “If you liked this story, click on the vote button on the right of the screen.”
7. Get featured: Wattpad’s editorial team picks which stories they want to feature. To be considered the story must be completed and fully available on Wattpad. For more details click here.
8. The Wattys: These are Wattpad awards for best content, in three main categories: Original Fiction, PopFic, and FanFic. Winners are featured and one is selected for editorial development with the possibility of publication.
This is a list of blogs that I found helpful in compiling this post:
Do you have any Wattpad tips to share? Write them on the comments section below.