No, that’s not why I’m on Wattpad. Though, that does give it a gold star in my book. I happen to like Canada. A lot. (Did you know the X-files was filmed there and not the US?) It isn’t perfect, but I’m a fan anyway. Yah, I know. I live in the US. Fate is cruel.
Anyway, this is a post about why I’m on Wattpad.
It has a lot to do with marketing and selling books, of course. I’ll get to that in a moment. But out of all the possible sites where you can publish stories (for free), what I like about Wattpad has a lot to do with the platform. Stories are central. Not marketing stories or talking about stories, but honest-t0-goodness tales! Sure, you can find ‘communities’ and post messages, but when you look at the site, what you find are lots and lots of writing. It’s lovely!
Another nifty feature of that story-centric platform is that it is designed to feature building stories. By this I mean, you can add ‘parts’ to a WIP or shared novel. You can dole out chapters as easily as write a novel part by part, receiving feedback and editing as you go. That last part scares me a bit. Would a potential fan really want to see how raw writing can be? The comments say yes, surprisingly! It is part of what makes Wattpad tick.
So why do it anyway? Why post WIP or novels for free?
Well, you could think of the site as one giant portal to hundreds of beta readers. That should get you thinking if you are an author as well. Build a fan base, get reader buy-in and input as you go, and hopefully they will be rooting for you when you hit the publish button. I haven’t tried this route yet, but I’m hoping too this winter. Of course, I will probably do some editing before…but then I’ll be editing while writing. It will be an experiment and I haven’t figured out how it will work yet. Will I share the whole story as it unfolds? Just a part? Will I write ahead, edit, and then post bits at a time? I’m not sure yet. I’ll let you know when I start and how it goes!
But I am currently sharing Born of Water on Wattpad, chapter by chapter. I’m up to Chapter 14 now, updating once a week. Yup, I’m giving away bits of a novel you’d have to pay for on-line.
Why not? You get free samples on all the major ebookstores. It is the first book in a trilogy too. I want to expose people to it! Though I admit, I won’t be giving away the whole thing. Conveniently, there is a bit of a cliffhanger about half way through. What a perfect place to stop! But I might come back and give out more at some point. It is hard to say. Once this is no longer my only published series, I may be more willing to let book 1 go for free in its entirety!
And that last bit is really what my marketing plan has come to be about. It isn’t Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogging, and all that. Not really. From what I’ve seen and read, the best way to sell books is to write them. A lot of them. The best way to build a fan base is to publish something as often as possible. Even works-in-progress.
Gee, isn’t that what Wattpad is for?