Guest Post: Wattpad
How Indie Authors Can Leverage Wattpad
The writing journey is long and unpredictable. Whether you’re just starting out or already knee-deep in your career, the exciting peaks and frustrating valleys are all too familiar to indie authors. You know the work involved in not only telling a story but bringing that story to life, both online and in print. As authorpreneurs, you understand the business of books – how to hustle, how to market, how to sell. But how do you know if you’re doing it right – if you’re maximizing your potential, reaching enough readers, taking the right path?
Wattpad, as a home for 80 million readers and writers, is the platform that can help you answer those questions in real-time. You get instant feedback on your story – whether you’ve plotted it long ago or are writing it on the fly as it comes to you. In a world where readers outnumber writers 26:1, you can truly build a following for not only your stories but you as an author. You can even collaborate (or commiserate) with like-minded writers throughout the process in our Community forums.
But it isn’t always top of mind for indie authors and we know why. While we’ve always had a mix of hobbyist and professional writers (with thousands of stories from Wattpad being published over the years), we understand what might have fuelled misconceptions. For a long time, there wasn’t a way for writers to make money on Wattpad and the path to a successful writing career was unclear. Today, readers can pay for the content they love, we have not only a publishing division but also a studio, and while we’ve retained the teenage userbase we owe so much to, we’ve broadened our appeal to become a home for every kind of story and writer.
For writers interested in earning from their craft Wattpad has many options and is working hard at building more. The Wattpad Paid Stories program, for example, lets readers support writers directly by buying stories in part or whole so they can earn money for their work. Then, there’s Wattpad Books, which publishes the stories our readers have told us they love. And last but not least, Wattpad Studios takes stories to the next level by adapting them into film or television shows – like Hulu’s Light as a Feather or After – the top-performing indie film of the year.
So, how should you get started? Here are some ideas:
- Leverage existing stories to find a new generation of readers. By sharing a book from your deep backlist, you’ll reach readers you haven’t before.
- Post your first book in a series. Serializing chapter-by-chapter is a great way to introduce new readers to your worlds, and drive sales for subsequent books. You can also time it with a new release to create buzz.
- Post exclusive content to Wattpad. When you invite existing fans to check out your exclusive Wattpad content, you bump up your story’s ranking and increase the odds of appearing on tag pages – which gets you even more exposure. Plus, it makes your audience feel special.
- Crowdsource new content. Working on something brand new? Dabbling in a genre you don’t normally write? Experimenting with a fun idea you’ve had brewing for a while? When you post a story as you write, you give fans a sneak peek into the creative process, and allow them to make suggestions along the way. It’s also a great way to build buzz early on in the life cycle of a new work or series.
While navigating your way through a new platform can be daunting, Wattpad has a positive community to lean on that will help you find your footing. Looking for your people? Check out the forums and engage with other writers on the same path as you. Wondering how to boost your visibility? Make yourself part of the community by participating in events like writing challenges, online discussions, or book clubs. Needing a refresher on some writing fundamentals? Visit Writers 101 for resources to sharpen your skills and optimize your story.
It’s important to remember that success on Wattpad looks different for every writer and depends on the writer’s individual goals. Ultimately, though, your Wattpad experience is shaped by what you put into it. The more you engage with the community and write your heart out, the more successful you’ll become. Happy writing!
Wattpad takes everything you love about storytelling and turns it into a social, on-the-go experience. The result is a one-of-a-kind adventure in creation and discovery. Today, the global Wattpad community is made up of more than 65 million people. We’re proudly based in Toronto, Canada, but Wattpad stories transcend borders, interests, and language.