Does this sound familiar?
You spend hours upon hours blogging, Tweeting, posting on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest–where you’re successfully engaging with people who love your blog posts, Tweets, status updates, and images.
But you’re a fiction writer. You’re spending all this time on social media…and can’t help but wonder: How many of the people you’re reaching are actually the target audience for your fiction?
Now imagine spending time on a social media platform where most of the people you engage with are fiction readers–not just readers of blogs, Facebook posts, and Tweets. Sure, some of them are writers, too, but people are on this particular platform because they are readers, first and foremost. They’re not there to critique or do market research or learn the craft of writing. They’re just there to discover awesome stories by awesome authors.
They’re just there to discover awesome authors like you.
Social Media for Reaching Readers
I kinda wish I could tell you about this AWESOME social media platform that I was creating to help writers connect with readers. Unfortunately, I’m not that lucky.
Fortunately, I CAN offer the next best thing. Someone else thought up this amazing platform to connect people who love to read with people who love to write: Wattpad. Established in November, 2006, Wattpad now has about 35 million users, about 90% of whom participate primarily as readers. And it’s a unique social environment where writers of all levels post their work for readers to discover, enjoy, and share.
It’s easy to connect with other writers on social media. The real challenge is connecting with readers.
Who’s on Wattpad?
1. Best-Selling Authors
You may be surprised to see some familiar monikers on Wattpad…
Many published authors are using Wattpad as a way to reach broader audiences and interact with their readers.
Harlequin Romance and Wattpad co-hosted the So You Think You Can Write contest to search for talented writers of new adult romance. It was such a success that they reported:
Harlequin and Wattpad hosted the So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) contest to discover four talented romance writers. The community brought forth so much talent that Harlequin couldn’t pick just four winners; instead they picked six!”
3. Literary Agents
More than one book deal has arisen from Wattpad success. Wattpad’s communications manager, Nadia Khan, told the International Business Times:
There are many Wattpad writers who have landed a publishing deal after sharing their story on Wattpad. Conservatively, we estimate the number around 100. Examples: Beth Reekles (Random House), named one of Time magazine’s most influential teens in 2013; Abigail Gibbs (Harper Collins); Lillian Carmine (Harper Collins); Taran Matharu (Macmillan), a male writer in the fantasy genre; and Jordan Lynde (one book with Random House and one with Sourcebooks).”–in Barbara Herman’s 4/27/2015 article “What Is Wattpad? The ‘YouTube For Stories’ Is Transforming Book Publishing”
Getting Started on Wattpad
Getting started on Wattpad is as easy as creating a username and password or connecting your Facebook account. But don’t just sign up and start posting your story. Take some time to look around and see what the platform has to offer. Check out the types of comments that readers leave for writers–people aren’t usually critiquing the stories. They’re having conversations about what they think might happen next, or asking questions, or sharing an emotional response.
I’ll be back on Thursday to share 7 ways authors can rock Wattpad. (Hint: You have to remember that you’re on a social platform!) Meanwhile, if you’re curious, I’m using Wattpad to motivate myself to rewrite a story that’s been too long on my back burner–Waveborn, a paranormal tale of love and orcas. Come and check it out!
Your turn: Do you read or post stories on Wattpad? If so, what’s your experience? If not, would you? I’d love to hear from you!
Mac Wheeler says
Hmmm…you caught my interest. It rings in my head…off to research it again.
Cheryl Reif says
Nice to see you on Wattpad! Are you going to post something? It’s a unique experience!
Anna-Maria Crum says
Your book cover for Waveborn looks great!
Cheryl Reif says
I know, right? 😀 I must have an awesome book cover designer!
Colleen M. Story says
Thanks for this, Cheryl. I have a friend who’s experienced great success on WattPad while creating her self-published book, but didn’t realize it was for traditionally published authors as well. Will be watching for your tips!
Cheryl Reif says
Hi Colleen–thanks for comment! I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring Wattpad. It’s definitely not a quick road to success, but it IS a powerful way to connect with readers if you’re willing to put in some time and effort. I’ll definitely post those tips Thursday–and I’ll post an update on my Wattpad experience sometime down the road!
marsha cornelius says
I joined wattpad years ago, but never really understood how it worked. Thanks to your post, I am pursuing it again.
Cheryl Reif says
Yay! I’m so glad to hear it! What’s your Wattpad handle? I’d love to connect there, too.
Now I just have to stop writing *about* Wattpad and spend some time writing *for* Wattpad!