Monday, September 17, 2012

Manic Monday: Do You Wattpad?

What the heck is a Wattpad?! Is it social media? Is it a place to share your writing? Is it a place to read new and often truly unique stories and poems that you won't find anywhere else?

Yes, yes and yes.

With almost 2 million registered users worldwide, and over 7 million unique visitors each month, this app is a robust and busy place.

You may have noticed my Wattpad buttons on the right side of my blog. If you haven't, scroll down now and check it out. You can see my current stats and if you click through, you can start enjoying Wattpad.
But wait! Don't go yet. I want to share with you a few things I've learned about Wattpad, and some of my thoughts about it.

First, Wattpad is social. And like with all things social, it's about give and get. You can't just go upload your brilliantly written short story on Wattpad, do nothing else, and expect to have hundreds of thousands of reads and votes. To get started, peruse the stories already there in your favorite genre. If you like something that you read, fan the author, leave them a comment, vote for them and otherwise be a good apple. Plan to spend some time with this. Get to know some people and their work. Don't expect everyone to automatically "fan you" back. Some will. Some won't. That's okay. Fan people whose work you genuinely enjoyed; start conversation with people that you truly would like to get to know better. Dance your happy butterfly dance and be the little social bee, but in a sincere way. You'll build up a base of friends and fans.

Nokia: Kids Don’t Want iPhone or Android Anymore
"Hey, check out the amazing story that Natalie Wright just posted!"
Second, teens are the prime users of Wattpad - for now. That doesn't mean that there are no adult readers hanging out there - there are. But Wattpad has thus far attracted a young crowd of readers and writers. If you write stories for teens, Wattpad can be a great place to attract readers - get to know them - and get direct feedback from your target audience. It's also fun to see what they are writing and to cheer them on. I've read some truly unique stories written by promising young writers. They need polish and experience. But they're writing imaginative stuff, fueled by their real-life experience and unfettered by constraints of  "the rules".

So far, all of the comments that I've received have been constructive critiques or positive comments. No nastiness or ugliness.

I want you to look at my Wattpad button on the right side again. How many views for Emily's House? When I wrote this post, it was close to 300,000. That's a lot, isn't it?!

How'd I get so many views? Because Emily's House is currently a "Featured Selection" on Wattpad. How did it get featured status? It wasn't anything I did. Wattpad contacted me, based on a recommendation by a reader. When Emily's House went to featured status, it had a little over 3,000 reads. It went from 3,000 to close to 300,000 in less than three weeks.

That's a lot of exposure to potential readers. Some read a bit and move on. But others get engaged by the story and add it to their libraries, fan me, vote, etc.

If you're a writer, especially if you write for teens and young adults, I recommend that you check Wattpad out. Post an excerpt of a story, or some of your poetry or short stories. Hang out and engage. Who knows, you just may find some devoted and loyal fans.

If you enjoy reading, then what are you waiting for?! Click my button, hop on over to Wattpad, and start enjoying Emily's House :-)

Do you Wattpad? If you do, share your thoughts on it with me here. Do you like it? Have any problems or beefs with it?

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