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.