23 Comments

Much Ado About Wattpad – Is It Your Ticket to Success?

Wattpad - Your Ticket to Writing Success?

So, if you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve joined the website Wattpad.  I did this as an outlet for my fluff writing (writing I’m doing for fun and not for profit) and to… I’d like to think… get my name out in front of potential readers.  Why?  Haven’t you heard? Let me ask you, do you know these names?

Brittany Geragotelis, Anna Todd, Beth Reekles?

If you don’t yet, you probably will soon.  All of them are writers who started out on Wattpad and all of them were picked up by major publishing houses.  One of them recently was signed for a six figure deal that (I’ve heard it said – not confirmed on my part) also includes a movie deal on the horizon.

But is Wattpad really that big of a deal?  Are those of us who are just finding out about it, already late to the party?  Is it’s popularity on the down-swing and thus not the linchpin to launching your dream career as an author?

Well, let’s talk about what I’ve learned in my first days on Wattpad and whether or not you should be using it and what for.

Wattpad is a website (and mobile app) where you can publish you writing for others to read for free.  You can also find a lot of GREAT stories there to read in your spare time (if you have any.) My biggest caution to you is this – soooo many stories, so little time!

Wattpad has a very high young-person demographic and so there is a fair amount of fan fiction on the site and a wide variety of writing skill levels.  This leads to a lot of frustration by users who (whenever given the chance and sometimes in all caps) will let you know about how the quality of writing on the site has “slid over the last few years” as well as how it’s become over-run with “One Direction Fangirls.”  

Side Note:  I have to wonder how many of these dissenting voices are people who joined Wattpad in it’s infancy, when they themselves were just teens and now (as they are reaching their mid-twenties) their tastes & skill levels are evolving beyond such things?  Who can say.

I’ve seen a lot of people suggesting that Wattpad is no longer the edgy writer’s website that it once was and now is riddled with, not only rabid-boy-band-fangirls, but also an unending deluge of people seeking an easy path to becoming the next Geragotelis, Todd, or Reekles.

So, with all of that said, is Wattpad worth REALLY your time?

My two cents:  Three (that I know of), out of the, presumably millions of people using Wattpad, have achieved the dream.  Many more have built respectable fan bases out of their readers on Wattpad; people which are willing to pay amazon prices for their indie books… and good for them!  However, as with all things in life, there is no one or simple answer and I doubt that the vast majority of writers on Wattpad will ever see direct dollar signs for the work they share.  The chances of having a major publisher pick you up from Wattpad are (in all honestly) probably pretty slim.  So, it’s probably not something you want to bet the farm on.

However, Wattpad is a great tool for other things… I can see where it might help you get exposure, find fans, and give you a wonderful place to practice your craft with instant feedback from readers and other writers.  There are some great advice articles out there about how to get seen on Wattpad and how to build a following.  I can safely say that I’m not an overnight success there, but my follower numbers are growing and I’m just writing and engaging those who I meet in the clubs (social areas of the site based on book genres.)  I wouldn’t say I’ve dedicated a huge amount of time to it.

Like your blog, twitter, facebook, g+ and all the other marketing tools you use… I suggest that you respect Wattpad and other sites like it.  If you have time to use it, GREAT!  However, if you’re hoping that it’s going to be your magic carpet ride to success – I fear you may be in for some disappointment.

Don’t let that stop you from writing there – just have realistic expectations.  Oh and if you ARE on Wattpad… drop by my page.  Follow me and I’ll follow you back.  I’m happy to look at and comment on your story if you do the same for me.  After all, it’s how we authors can support each other and encourage growth in our craft even if this part of the process doesn’t bring home a six-figure book deal.

I’ll see you there!

23 comments on “Much Ado About Wattpad – Is It Your Ticket to Success?

  1. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    Newly joined Author DeAnna’s discoveries so far 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I closed my account. For me, I thought Goodreads was a much better use of my time. But that’s only one opinion. I know others who’ve become Wattpad superstars. With Goodreads you can form real relationships with readers who have similar interests and then show them your work on the site– they have a section there too. I guess what I’m saying is, Goodreads is more target oriented, IMO. Many writers love Wattpad, though. It’s definitely a personal choice. Knock ’em dead!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, and I think that’s the thing. It’s possible in a month I’ll have decided that it isn’t worth the time I’m putting into it. However, I do enjoy the immediacy of feedback I get on stories at Wattpad.

      I’d love to hear more about your experiences on Goodreads Sue. I’ve heard some horror stories about that place and it would be nice to hear someone’s positive experiences. Have you blogged about the topic?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am on Wattpad and I’ve dedicated some time to it, though it didn’t give me much. I find the level of the stories pretty low (at least what I’ve read, I might have been unlucky ;-)), the level of the crits too. Some friends use it not for feedback, but for exposure, and I think maybe that’s a more effective way to use it.

    I read a social examination of the site in a book, which is unfortunately (for you ;-)) in Italian, a book examining not only Wattpad, but many online platforms for publishing stories, both for free and for money, including KDP. Very intersting read, if a bit depressing.

    If I may say, it always surprises me that people seeks this kind of sites because one or two writers have been picked by publishers from those sites. If you do the mathematics, you’ll know the numbers and percentages are so slim, the reality is that’s extremely ulikely it will happen to you. And on the other hand, I think these people were successful because 1. they had a wider strategy that also involved these sites, so it’s incorrect to say they were picked because they were, say, on Wattpad, or 2. it was a matter of sheer luck… which in the business of writing and publishing is a very important factor, if you ask me 😉

    Would I suggest to try it? Why not, especially if you enjoy it. But as you said, DeAnna, don’t expect to much out of it.
    Personally, I prefer to invest my time in something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And that’s it right there. You just don’t know if it will work so you need to do it for more reasons than marketing alone (in my opinion) … it’s not an end all solution is my point. It can be part of the marketing plan for you as an author, but it’s going to be the very rare person who hits publishing gold from wattpad alone.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wattpad, to do or not to do? I’ve been mulling that one over a while, and still seem hesitant. I don’t write for younger audiences, so the population doesn’t interest me, and I’m slowly finding other ways for gaining critiques of my work. But something in me wonders, under different times and circumstances, if it still wouldn’t be a fun place to try out.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thanks for this DeAnna. I keep a log of all the websites for writers that I’ve tried. At one point, I noted “??? Unsure how this works, difficult to figure out” next to Wattpad. Since then, I’ve seen a couple of things that illuminate it more. I still have not tried publishing anything because I have so many other projects that need my attention.

    I was considering publishing a YA I wrote some time ago. Possibly chapter-by-chapter. I’ve heard that this can be a good strategy. Since I don’t have other immediate plans for the novel, I thought it might be a good way to gain a few readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And it can be a good way for you to keep your motivation and ideas flowing! I love the feeling of knowing a reader is anticipating my next post. I use to get that from play-by-post role-playing and RPG blogging. I think Wattpad is very similar (at least how I’m using it.)

      Thanks for taking a moment to comment and I wish you the best!

      Like

  6. Reblogged this on Books and More and commented:
    I have been neglecting my Wattpad page as of late and everytime I think of it I feel so much guilt 😦 I really need to pay more attention to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t let it make you feel guilty hon. Guilt never helped anyone.
      If you want to go back and be active, do so! I just followed you and we can support each other there. Best wishes to you and thank you for commenting here and reblogging!

      Like

  7. Reblogged this on Phoenix Rainez and commented:
    I started out on wattpad and still going strong. Have fabulous readers who are so supportive with their votes and comments. Met my beta reader and a fantastic editor there too. Have since connected with wonderful authors who have several books published on Amazon and all have been tremendously helpful with my journey into self publishing my first novel in December 2014.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Scarlet Darkwood you’ll never know what its like on wattpad till you try. YES There are some not so great stories on there but there are also some amazing stories and alot of great advicecand helpful tips written especially to help other novice writers.
    I found writing on wattpad gave me the encouragement to publish on Amazon and with the fantastic support of other self published authors on Amazon who wrote their original stories on wattpad and now have rewritten them to publish to a wider public audience.
    You won’t know till you try if its for you, so why not give it a bash.
    Find me on wattpad @phoenixrainez and I’ll support you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So what do you think about Deviant Art? I’ve considered posting stories there or Wattpad, but still thinking about it. The problem is, I’m a little long in the tooth, but most of my story ideas would I believe, appeal to a younger audience. I have posted a couple of stories on WordPress. Do you think I’m better off just sticking with Twitter and WordPress? The truth is, one can spend so much time on social media…no actual writing happens. :/

    Like

  10. Interesting information. Thanks, Deanna. 🙂

    Like

  11. …” Wattpad is no longer the edgy writer’s website…” So what is the edgy writers’ website?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly I don’t know. I suppose being a “late-comer” to Wattpad means I’m showing my age. My statement was made, however, based on input from younger writers on wattpad who insist the site is going downhill and is no longer what it use to be.

      Trust me, if I figure out something better, I’ll definitely blog about it. 😀

      Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment though!

      Like

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