I know I’m a little late to the party, but recently I had a wonderful experience posting the first novel in my YA fantasy series, The Society of Imaginary Friends, on Wattpad. It’s been so rewarding that I recommend that any self-published YA author upload a book on this site. Did I make money? No. Did I connect with hundreds of grateful fans who were thrilled with my story? Yes!
Wattpad is a site where authors, many of whom are new writers, post their books one chapter at a time for free (my book’s page is here, if you’re curious). Readers can vote if they liked a chapter, and can comment on every chapter. There is a great app so that you can read on your phone, tablet or computer. Also, because all of the books on Wattpad are free, there are a lot of young, avid readers yearning for good YA fiction to read.
For me, this was an opportunity to connect with the readers whom I had written my series for. Many, if not most, of the people who have downloaded my series on Amazon are in their late teens or are adults. On Wattpad, the majority of the readers of my story are 13-18, my intended audience, and they responded warmly to my novel. Their positive energy has reinvigorated my writing, and is at least as rewarding as any paid sale of my books that I’ve received.
If you want to connect to a devoted YA readership, definitely publish at least one of your novels on Wattpad. Below are some tips to make the most out of your experience.
Once your full book is posted, make it a Featured listing. (This is free.)
When I began posting chapters of my book on Wattpad, I had very few readers. Even when I posted it on the Wattpad boards for “young adult” and “fantasy” and read and commented on other authors’ books, my story was relatively unknown. That’s when I discovered that Wattpad will promote your book as a “featured” story for free once most or all of the chapters of your book are published. Once I was featured, I had a couple thousand readers a day for the first week, and after that continued to have hundreds of new readers checking out my story for weeks afterward.
Reply to all comments on your book.
One of the best parts of Wattpad is that it is a chance to hear what your audience thinks of your writing. The readers on this site are vocal, which I loved. I received valuable feedback about what characters were resonating with my audience, and when the plot was getting slow. Most of the comments were very positive, and it brightened my day to read them.
Check your book’s engagement and demographic stats.
Wattpad tracks a lot of helpful metrics about who is reading your book. Demographic information including the gender, age and geographic location of your readership is very telling. You can quickly assess if your cover and blurb are drawing the audience you are targeting. Wattpad also tracks how many votes and comments each chapter received. This is helpful to see if certain chapters receive more or less attention, and help you identify where readers are losing interest, or where their interest is piqued.
Bask in the sunshine of your fans adoration.
Best of all, all that positive energy directed at me from my new, enthusiastic Wattpad fans put a fire under me to keep writing. Self-publishing can be a long, lonely road, and knowing that readers are devouring my work and begging for more, even if they can’t pay for it, made all that work feel worthwhile.
Do you have any additional tips for success on Wattpad? If so, please share!
I’m on Wattpad as well (actually it’s my 2nd time using the site). One thing I noticed was that I was able to get more readers when I joined a few communities and participated in the discussions. Through advertising my YA books in Wattpad groups from Google+ and Goodreads. And entering Wattpad contests.
This is great advice and I’ll give it a try this weekend. Thank you!
I’ve been wondering about how to utilize Wattpad myself. I am really happy to hear it is working out for you!
I think it would work well for your book too, Allie! Romance is another very popular category.
Wattpad recommended your book to me for some reason, which is how I found out about your blog.
Wattpad works mainly if one writes in the genre that makes up most of the readership, Teen Fiction and/or (adult) Romance. I can easily see how a story which is in a less popular genre, like horror, would fail. So while I do agree that Wattpad is a solid place to get a little feedback and make some friends, I don’t see it as some sort of great place where lots of reads correlates to how great a novel is. I also wish I got more feedback than votes.
That’s good advice – thanks for sharing. I’ll come check out your book on Wattpad! 🙂
Conjurors- you need to visit dkohn671 to see the first one, “Jason Riley, Cyber Celebrity”. Book 2 will be up later this month, or (most likely) early October. Shhh…don’t tell anyone it’s me writing under a pen name 😉
Thanks for the blogpost! I’m going to go to Wattpad right now!
Send me a note through Wattpad and I’ll come check out your story. 🙂