Hi, just thought I'd drop in and say hello. My name's Gavin and I'm on the lookout for SF and Fantasy writers, particularly in things like Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Clockpunk, Slipstream and other under-represented genres. I work for Wattpad as part of the the Content team and we really need some good writers to join the site. I also write SF, Steampunk, Fantasy and Horror, which is another reason I'm desperate to get more on there: I like reading too. To give you a bit of background...
I started on Wattpad as a rank amateur (very rank in some cases), and got so involved in the site and writing that I ended up getting a few short stories published, and subsequently joined the team in quick succession. Now while I appreciate that this sounds like the old Remington advert – I loved it so much, I bought the company! – the site does have a lot to offer writers of any level, but particularly those who have the skills to write a good story.
The goal of writers, to be exposed to readers (there are 12 million of them) who devour their every word, who hang on every crafted sentence, and heap praise on them every time they produce a new piece of work.
Exposure and feedback.
Even better. And that’s something that I’ve had constantly since I joined the site some two and a half years ago. That feedback has enabled me to go from someone guilty of serious comma abuse (I trained as an engineer, we tend to do stuff in bullet points) to a published writer, although I'm happy to admit that I still have a fair bit to learn.
So, at this point people are probably thinking What Pad? What the heck is he on about? How can it benefit me? or maybe even “I’m not a beginner, I’m already published…”
… and this is where exposure comes in again. Some of the writers on Wattpad have logged millions of reads on their work. Quite a few have logged tens of millions; that’s serious exposure. I myself have logged 1.7 million on one of my works and that’s on an historical fiction novel, which is not perhaps the most popular genre at the moment. It doesn’t stop there though, as some writers as young as 18 have been picked up by the likes of Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins for six figure sums. Yes, those are the success stories, but there have been more.
Wattpaders don’t just use the website, they use mobile devices too. The App is massively popular. Over 80% of Wattpadders use the site through their mobiles and read on the move. No books, no paper, just the small phone or similar mobile device that is glued to virtually every person in modern society. That's a lot of readers. The site has a great community element and is quite social, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that people like Cory Doctorow, David Moody, Margaret Atwood and Paulo Cuelho are active members who see and understand the value of the site and the exposure it brings.
So, why should you join? We can help expose you to millions of readers, allowing you to connect directly with your audience to cultivate a dedicated, engaged reader base.
To that end, I've written this little piece to see if anyone's interested in joining in. If you want to talk to me about it, you can post questions here for others to see and I'll answer them, or you can contact me at email@example.com. Cheers, Gav
Gavin, thanks for posting this interesting article. Your enthusiasm for the site shines through. I've always wondered, though, how those who achieve high exposure on Wattpad managed to do that on a site where everyone is clamoring for attention?
What are some of the techniques that have worked for the most successful members?
I'd say the best way to start is simply by having a well edited story with a good cover. You can also share your story in advertisement threads pinned to the top of the various genre clubs too. Personally though, the thing all writers on the site want to do is get Featured.
I have one story not Featured which has 80,000 reads, my Featured one of the same length has 1.7M. I've gained a lot from the site, and interacting with other writers gave my confidence and my writing a massive boost.
You can see the Featured works here - http://w.tt/WattpadFeatured
Also the new writers page is up now - http://www.wattpad.com/writers
Caitlin perhaps? If she's offered to Feature you, go for it, it'll have a great impact on your work.
It's similar with Steampunk but we limit most authors to one featured work normally.
I liked what you said in the article. Is your site about just posting stories though or is it a sort of pre-read on upcomming books?
I for myself ( trying to start to write a story ) would realy benefit with some feedback on what to improve.
This is for myself what I have so far and I know its still full of grammar mistakes and already I have an idea running in my head to improve it ( it now feels to much as it already ended ) but i had expected that there would be more feedback on this site.
You can post any form of literature you like. I've got poetry, short stories, drabbles, fanfiction, novella and novel type work on there.
Wattpad is great for feedback. There's even an Improve Your Writing club where you can ask questions and several people have written grammar help guides and similar style books. Wattpad is like any other socially oriented site though, you have to get involved. If you get in there and start talking, people will give back in spades.
Gavin, you mention Paulo Coelho is an active member, so I assume you take writings from languages other than english, am I correct?
ATM I am halfway through my 1st epic novel, a Steampunk space opera. (around 170,000 words so far), but it is being written in spanish, as I try to promote both sci-fi literature and steampunk among spanish readers. Thus, as a spanish-language writer, I wonder wattpad's view works written in my language, as well as the overall opportunities for spanish works within wattpad.
EDIT: after brwosing a lot through the site, I will surely give it a try.
I think the site currently supports over 20 languages. The majority of users are English speaking, but we have a massive Philipino community and the spanish and portuguese sectors are growing very quickly too.
Good luck on the site, look me up when you get there =]
This sounds interesting to me! I've got quite a few projects that I am working on at the moment.
Any questions, please feel free to ask. Cheers, Gav
Gavin is there a steampunk Wattpad group? I have been on Wattpad for awhile, and have a couple of works up, but haven't really got my head around how to engage over there yet :)
There's not a bespoke group, but there are many good punk writers on Wattpad. What you can do to engage a bit is start up conversations in the SF genre club. That's always a good way to find others who write similar material. What's your user ID over there?
Can you start your own group on Wattpad? Why not start a Steampunk one?