Saturday, 3 October 2015

35 Day Blog Challenge - Day 21: Wattpad

Wattpad is the one platform where authors can find their feet. It allows you to post stories, or chapters of stories for readers to enjoy. All uploads are free and will remain that way. Many authors post their chapters here to get a feel for what their readers do and don't like.

This is not a bad approach as long as you remember a few things:

  • Wattpad is a showcase of your writing, not a scratchpad for ideas still to go somewhere. Make sure your story or chapter is finished, edited and edited again before uploading or make visible for your readers. Bad spelling or grammar or stupid plot mistakes are not the way to convince your readers, your followers, that you are a writer.
  • With every new story you upload, you have to add a cover image. Since this website is not a website for publication or distribution of books, the cover image does not have to be very big. But beware of low resolution or pixelated images. Do the design as if for a real book and your readers will feel the respect you are putting towards them with a professional product.
  • Your profile needs to be professional and creative. Just because it is not a publication website, doesn't mean you can treat it with disdain. Take yourself seriously as a writer, and your readers will do the same.
From a personal perspective: I use Wattpad to upload flash fiction or short stories that I have usually written for competitions. Flash fiction is an ideal way to showcase your writing. For competitions, you are restricted in word count and often you have to tell a whole story with a beginning, middle and ending in less than 1000 words. This style has to be tight and does not allow for wasted words, and yet a story cannot exist without the elements of characterization, conflict and some kind of resolution. Challenging writing at its best. And a great way to show your skills and storytelling abilities.

I don't like the idea of posting one or chapters of a book and then my readers have to go somewhere else to buy the rest of the book if they like it. Some people do, but that is a personal choice.
As an author platform, Wattpad is under utilised in many aspects. If blogging about 'topics' does not appeal to you, or you prefer to write stories for your blog instead, why not also use Wattpad as well? Start a new series of flash fiction stories. They take mere minutes to read, which will appeal to a wide professional audience constantly pressed for time, and build your fan base from there.
If people like your stories, they will find your books at the booksellers' websites.

See you tomorrow!

If you want to see what the other participants are blogging about, you can find their blogs here. Why not pop on over and share their posts on your favourite platform?