I’ve been using wattpad for over 3 years now, I’ve written a book on there, published two short stories and am in the middle of my second book ‘Animal’. Here’s why I love wattpad.
1. Find an audience
This is numero uno. The first time I saw my first story on wattpad had ‘1 read’ I was out of this world excited. Before that it had been a real effort to get even my best friends to read my work plus they weren’t the exact person I wrote the book for – I write for younger people but until wattpad I didn’t really have many I could ask. With wattpad I have literally thousands, including nearly 8000 followers. I’ve now had over 800,000 reads and I receive messages, likes, comments and new followers every day. There are young people from across the globe writing to me to say how much they enjoy my writing and that alone is a glorious, brilliant thing.
2. Instills discipline
I have learned this through experience – wattpad readers need to be satiated regularly. They are not content for a one off – they want to receive regular updates or else they get super demanding or wander off. So I now religiously write a new chapter every single Monday, without fail come sun, rain or shine. This has meant at times writing the chapter at some ungodly hour through half closed eyes. However it means that no matter how tired or busy I am – I have to get to that computer and spend those hours writing. This is great and I can hardly even imagine now how people get out manuscripts without this constant pressure. As the weeks go by it begins to add up and a few months down the line, hey presto – you have a book.
3. Know your audience
I find that its not just about having an audience, its about knowing them. I talk directly to my readers – I know what other books they read, what music they like, even what their deepest darkest thoughts and feelings are in some cases. I care about and respect the people that read my work and that helps me to write the kind of stories that they genuinely want to read.
4. Gauge success
There is a great new tool on wattpad called ‘stats’ which allows the writer to see the statistics of every update – this means the likes, reads, comments are all available to see and it is incredibly insightful. I can see which types of scenes get more likes and which ones don’t. This helps. No one ever really tells a writer what to write. They decide and yet, knowing the work hits some sort of emotional button on the other side is certainly important for me, I like to know what my readers are enjoying.
5. Gain credibilty
I recently dipped my toe into the world of ‘proper’ publishing by submitting a manuscript of another book I wrote which isn’t published on wattpad. Through the conversations I’ve had with agents and publishers it has shown that they are seriously interested in digital presence. From what I can tell they look at the numbers in terms of followers and hits and they use that as some kind of proof that you are actually good, or at least appreciated by your ‘target audience’. I don’t really think in these terms whilst using wattpad – its more about connecting with readers but it has to be said that the incredible ‘platform’ one can build up on there does seem to give a boost to the offering.