What the heck is Wattpad?
Until last summer I would have asked the same question. The only reason I found out was because I entered my historical romance, The Sons Of Gregor MacLeod, into a Harlequin contest that chose Wattpad as its platform.
At first I grumbled. I didn’t want to learn something new. I had kids, a husband, an old cat…how could I take the time to learn how Wattpad worked? Especially when I just wanted to write…by myself…in my jammies…wearing my ear plugs. Often in the dark in my kids’ room at night.
Kind of my own sensory deprivation tank where I could live in my head.
Well, Wattpad took me and my stories out of that tank and thrust us INTO THE WORLD.
A social platform.
Wattpad offers a place for writers to upload their books, and then anyone from around the world with internet access can read, vote, and comment on your story—good or bad.
At first, my stomach churned just thinking about it. But then I got used to the uncertainty, to being thrust out of my comfort zone, to my book baby being released into the world—and amazing things happened.
I kept my book up on Wattpad after the contest ended, and the votes kept trickling in—and not from friends and family trying to get me a publishing deal. No, these votes were from strangers…who read my book…and liked it.
But I still didn’t see Wattpad as a vehicle for getting my writing out there. Boy was I wrong.
Commence the Wild Ride.
In December I received an email from Jennifer Dibble, the Romance Specialist at Wattpad, asking if Wattpad could feature The Sons Of Gregor MacLeod. The book was being considered by a publisher at the time, so I asked if she’d consider a different manuscript.
She agreed, and on April 5th, 2016 my contemporary romance, The Fabrizio Bride, the first book in my Sizzling, Sexy, Santa Barbara series I’ve since self-published, went up on Wattpad’s Romance Feature page.
It’s been almost four months, and so far the two books have garnered about 700,000 page views, 20,000 stars, over 1,000 comments, and readers on every continent except Antarctica (although I hear those penguins love romance!).
And there’s more. Wattpad also chose The Fabrizio Bride to be featured on Cosmopolitan.com, leading to even more readers.
But let’s not forget about my historical romance The Sons Of Gregor MacLeod that started this journey: Wattpad also facilitated the sale of the series (5 books!) to Sourcebooks, an established New York publisher. Turns out forward-thinking publishers have heard of Wattpad, too, and they’re looking for material.
I became the second Wattpad acquisition by my editor. They’re planning to keep the first book in the series up on Wattpad even when it goes to print.
Strap on your jet pack.
So now when someone asks you, what the heck is Wattpad? You can say it’s a Wild Ride—at least, it has been for me. And I’ll continue to hang on for as long as I can and go wherever it takes me—with the occasional stop to refuel in my sensory deprivation tank. 😉