Update: My Wattpad Experience (…so far…)

Hello my darlings! So, as most as you know, I recently decided to give “Wattpad” a try again. For those of you who are not aware (and I’m sure most of you do, because you’re a well-informed lot) Wattpad is a website where anyone can go and share their writing. Other people can read it, comment, and “vote it up” if they like. It is utilized primarily by teenagers but there are plenty of people in their upper twenties and early thirties who have seemed to catch on to it, as well. I know quite a few authors, also, who frequent the website to post chapters or samples of their work as a way to lure potential readers in. 

I was not a Wattpad fan, at first. It’s far too easy to just stick some samples on there and then abandon them to drown. And that is exactly what an untended sample or work does, it sinks to the bottom of the pile never to be heard from again. Because of the site’s primary audience, I know a few who have deemed their work too “old” for the crowd. But is that necessarily true, or is it simple a case of poor networking? 

I’m not saying that if your story does not have 1,000,000 views on Wattpad you fail at all things marketing. Hell, Her Majesty’s Spider has been up there for almost two weeks and only has 36 views. But so far, the feedback I have received for it has been positive, and the Wattpad community has proven itself to be welcoming and friendly. 

Tonight, however, I think I discovered the key. The key is in the “clubs” of Wattpad (basically forums) that you can find underneath the ‘Community’ tab. I didn’t know they existed, but I was really bored and it was three in the morning when I went to explore. There I found quite a few forums – some dedicated to individual genres, some are for writing advice, others are for media (cover design, mostly). This is where the active community of Wattpad gathers to exchange ideas and real feedback. I have learned more about potential audiences in one night than I ever did researching it on Google. 

The best thing at least about the writing forum (that was where I spent the majority of my exploration) is that people go there for all sorts of things. Advice about character, plot, genre-specific information, structure, cover design, you name it. But then there are the fun threads, people asking about the most annoying trends they see in books, or the ‘talk as your character’ threads, or the ‘can we guess what your character looks like by just their name’ threads. Some people even offer editing services for each other, or TRANSLATION services (that was one that shocked me). 

My point is interaction. Building community and making connections – you could have the best chapter sample or novella in the world sitting on Wattpad – but even with the right keywords people will not know you exist unless they continue to see your username pop up again and again. Besides that, contributing to topics is fun and you get the chance to dole out some advice as well as do a little learning of your own. 

Advertising to the same group of people again and again has the same effect as bringing your newly published book to family Thanksgiving, is also what I’m saying. It will help you maintain an already established community, but it won’t help you broaden your horizons. 

More updates to come on Wattpad fun. I’ve downloaded the app for my phone and will probably never see sunlight again. 

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DRAMS – cover art – part 2

Another piece of cover art that I am considering. Again, your vote is what helps make the decision!! What do you think of this one, in comparison to the original? 

No, I haven’t slept. Why do you ask? 

MOREDRAMS

New Project, some strategy

Hello my lovelies! 

It’s been a few days, but in my defense I’ve been working diligently on my latest project. And I’m going to be actively updating this blog for a few weeks because I want to try a more organized strategy for its release. 

About this project: It’s under a new pen name, J.M. Morgan. Why? Because I like to try different things. (So far it’s just for this one book, I’m not changing my entire identity. It’s like A.N. Roquelaure or Anne Rampling). Because this book has a different feel and message from what I am used to writing, I feel like it deserves to be separated from my dark fantasy brand. 

Themes of the project: It focuses largely on social injustice, while also reading as a paranormal / kind of an urban fantasy novel. It also focuses on the morality of murder, issues of race, etc. It is meant to be, in some aspects, blatant and offensive. It is about two ghetto white boys who witness their Hispanic friend get harassed and shot by a cop. Then they do drugs, summon a demon on accident, and decide to exact their own justice by killing people who “deserve” to die, including the cop. And of course, because it’s me, there is an LGBT presence – the two main characters are gay. Other themes include grief (due to the loss of a child), separation from family, the sex trade as a business (such as with webcam performers), and suicide. It covers a lot of heavy, dark shit but there is also some dark comedy and levity between the lines. There is also a good deal of strong language (and I do mean “shit” and “fuck” is abundant). 

Length: I do not know yet how long it is going to be. I intend for it to be full novel length but it may fall a bit short, depending on how things go. 

Title: The standing title right now is “Drams”, a slang term for Dramamine, a drug that people abuse for a high but is used most often to alleviate sea sickness. 

What I would like from YOU: There are many ways I would like to get people excited about this book. Whether you end up loving it or absolutely HATING it I want to hear why. I want to know what chords were struck – I want the full experience from the reader. I don’t necessarily want to hear about how technically good / bad it is, or how well / poorly written (though if you wish to tell me, I always appreciate some criticism). So here are some things I want to do to prepare for its release, and I need YOUR help!! 

  • COMMENT here, MESSAGE me on Facebook, or EMAIL me if you are interested in receiving a review copy once the project is complete. I will send you a copy in any preferred format (.PDF, .MOBI, or .EPUB) in exchange for a review posted on Amazon / other vendors the week of its release. I will try to send out review copies at least 2-4 weeks in advance, depending on how the word count turns out. 
  • I don’t necessarily want paragraphs of professional quality reviews. I just want to know why you love / hate it, what parts made your gut twist, what parts made you laugh – that sort of thing. 
  • If you are interested in reading and potentially buying, but you don’t want to commit to a review, that’s fine, too! I will send you a SAMPLE of the book, and if you decide to BUY, then my goal is to get as many buyers as possible to make their purchase on the release day. So if possible, please make your purchase on the day it comes out! 
  • Start discussions about the project! Even if you haven’t read it yet, you know now the themes and ideas. I’d love to talk about them with you, whether as an official “interview” on your page or just in the comments section. I want to generate interest but I also just love talking about the content. This is something I am very, very excited about. 
  • Subscribe to my newsletter (if you were subscribed to my old one, that one is no longer in commission, so I have a new one) for an easier way to keep up with everything! 

I will also be working on promotional packages, freebies, etc to build up further excitement. If you have any more ideas or suggestions, comment, message, or email! 

You are all wonderful. I hope this really takes off – as you can see, I am very enthusiastic and optimistic about this project!!