In the intro, I mention that I have “lost the plot” with Delirium, and also the news that the Top 10 books on Amazon.de Kindle list right now are self-published. I'm excited about that as I have two books out in German this year – Pentecost and Desecration.
The podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors.
Ashleigh Gardner is the Head of Content at Wattpad.com, the world's largest platform for discovering, reading and sharing stories.
- Wattpad has 24 million users, the majority are readers, with only 10% authors. It's not a publishing platform, more of a social network. Average session length is 30 mins, and 85% read via mobile devices. Serialization is a huge part of the platform, so you post chapters or new parts of the story. All the followers get push notifications to their phone when new parts are added, plus you can also email followers.
- Writers across their careers are writing on Wattpad. Established traditionally published authors like Margaret Atwood, as well as aspiring writers who are just expressing themselves. There have been book deals out of Wattpad, e.g. Beth Reekles, 17 year old who got a 3 book deal off her Wattpad success.
- It is a very popular site for teens 13-18, but 35% of the site is 18-30. If you write YA or New Adult, you should be on Wattpad! Romance and sci-fi communities are very large. Without the gatekeepers, new trends and genres are also emerging. Urban fiction is a flourishing example. Fan fiction is hugely popular e.g. anything with One Direction 🙂
- Wattpad also has a global growth. US, Canada, UK are the largest market but in terms of saturation, the Philippines stands apart. Wattpad is the #1 app and it is driving the physical bookselling bestseller lists. The first movie is being released based on a story written on Wattpad. In terms of data, publishers are talking to Wattpad about trends and upcoming authors.
- There are a lot of works in progress on Wattpad. It's not about critiquing grammar or typos. It's more about the story, the characters and the emotion and you get a lot of feedback in comments from readers who get super-involved in the story. Readers will create art for your books, videos and share as well as comment. They get really excited and involved in the story!-
- How does Wattpad sell books? It's about building a fan-base for your writing, as opposed to your tweets or blog posts. Always include a call to action at the end of chapters as well as in your bio. Use the serialization to advertise your book at the end and you can also link to a sales page in the metadata so readers can click through to buy if they can't wait for any more chapters. It's great for the first book in a series, and if you have something on permafree then why not post at Wattpad as well. I have ‘Pentecost‘ and ‘One Day In Budapest‘ available now with over 250,000 reads between them.
- To start using Wattpad, treat it like any other social network. Follow some people, learn how the etiquette works and the culture of the site. Search for users based on keywords, and follow writers who write similar works, as well as following people who like that kind of work. You can also join clubs in your genre, but join the communities as a reader. Use tags that people actually use in language as opposed to industry e.g. teen love as opposed to juvenile fiction. Consider using it for writing practice, and writing for fun, rather than only for finished works.
You can also contact Ashleigh's team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have any questions on Wattpad? Or do you already use Wattpad and can share your experience and tips? Please leave a comment or question below.