THE WILD RIDE OF WATTPAD

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.

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My son and Max the cat—who is now chasing butterflies over the Rainbow Bridge.

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.

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My Wattpad banner, featuring my self-pub book covers.

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.

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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!).

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Blue indicates the countries reading The Fabrizio Bride. The darker the blue, the higher the number of reads.

And there’s more. Wattpad also chose The Fabrizio Bride to be featured on Cosmopolitan.com, leading to even more readers.

Submit2Sourcebooks.

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. 😉

 

 

2 thoughts on “THE WILD RIDE OF WATTPAD

  1. Congratulations on your stories garnering readers and which eventually landed you the call! Really loved hearing about it at the RWA meeting and reading these two blogs here!
    I’ve recently decided it was time to post to wattpad – more because I just want these writing projects to not simply ‘collect dust’ but for the characters to at least be read, for the stories to be enjoyed. I feel like I’m doing something wrong on there. I do not know how to ‘spread’ the word well enough it seems. I have tweeted it with different hashtags but the views don’t seem to change at all – how do I gain interest within wattpad? Any tips would be amazing 🙂

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  2. Hi Amanda,

    The biggest way to get your manuscript noticed on Wattpad is to get onto one of their ‘lists’—at least this is what happened for me. I got onto their Feature List for romance and my views skyrocketed. If you click on ‘discover’ at the top left, then click on ‘romance’, you’ll come to three buttons: ‘featured’, ‘hot’, and ‘rising’. I’m not sure how to get onto the hot list, but the feature list was amazing for me. The thing is you have to be chosen for it.

    Here’s a link to the page for a feature request: https://support.wattpad.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=60074#formAnchor

    If you’re chosen and people start reading your work, they often put you on their own individual lists on their pages, which also helps. But be prepared for some pretty heartless reviews! I’m sure half the readers are teenagers. But I’ve also had some absolutely beautiful reviews. I actually found the negative reviews helped me to revise my story. I was better able to pinpoint places that people en masse didn’t like—especially as my book The Fabrizio Bride is an older manuscript I keep going back to revise. I’m due for another revision soon—I’ve noticed a common thing people are complaining about now and I AGREE! LOL.

    Hope that helps! I have a few other ideas we can talk about in person when I see you next, too.

    Take care,

    Alyson

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