If you don’t know what Wattpad is, it’s a system that allows virtually anyone to publish almost any genre of work for free. Although Wattpad doesn’t pay its authors like a publishing house does, there are still a wide range of benefits for using it as a new writer. In fact, it’s where I am going to publish my first novel as soon as it’s done. Why go through the trouble if I’m not getting paid? Because of what it can offer.
Why Should You Use Wattpad as a New Author?
Not everyone can jump into a publishing house and become an instant New York Time’s Best Seller. It takes a great deal of work and effort on your behalf to succeed. That is one of the things I love about Wattpad. It can help you flex your literary muscles and discover whether you have a career as an author or not. Here are eight of the most engaging benefits I have found of this publishing system.
1. Anything Goes
One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was write fan-fiction regarding the games and movies I love. When I was a teenager, I tried very hard to get published by TSR, now Wizards of the Coast, for my stories regarding the Dungeons and Dragons realm of Ravenloft. Alas, I was never published. With Wattpad, I can write any fan-fiction I want. In fact, nearly every genre of story telling is available for virtually anyone to read. I believe this is because there is no money to be made from the content. This avoids legal issues that arise from working on copyrighted material.
2. Contests Galore
Wattpad offers a wide range of contests covering different aspects. For example, I am currently looking at a contest centered around fan-fiction and changing how a character would react in different situations. One of the examples on the site is what would happen if Voldemort, the villain from Harry Potter, would have taken over.
The owners of the website have to be careful when it comes to prizes in such contests. Otherwise, there may be copyright infringement lawsuits. However, the public recognition of winning may be ideal if you’re an aspiring new author. The more you get your name out to the public, the more recognizable you become when you submit a novel for publication at a paying publishing house. In essence, the contests can be one hell of a bonus to marketing yourself as a writer.
If you really want to impress the masses, enter your piece in the “Wattys.” It’s a grand award platform that anyone can enter. This annual contest closes August 31st of each year. It may be too late for me this year, but perhaps I’ll enter something in for the 8th Annual Watty Award.
3. Educational Platforms
Another endearing feature of Wattpad is the educational platforms it provides for young writers. In the “Community” section of the website, you can find an area dedicated to “Writers.” This section includes information about how to write on the system as well as tips regarding how to get the most out of the system.
Learning how to become a Wattpad star could open your world up to a variety of things. For instance, one writer was commissioned by a major film production company to share information about an upcoming movie. By delving more into how Wattpad can influence your life, you may go beyond the simple aspect of publishing a good story you once wrote decades ago. You may just find yourself writing scripts for a major partner.
4. The Social Element
The primary reason why I want to publish work on Wattpad is because of the social element. Essentially, people give you reviews and critiques regarding your work. However, this means you’ll need to develop a thick skin – especially if you’re proud of your writing. I want to know if my style would be accepted by a large audience or if I need to focus on being a ghostwriter for the rest of my life.
The system is visited by more than 40 million people each month. Coincidentally, my wife is one of them. This means you can market yourself to a very large group of people. It’s these connections that may prove to be the most fruitful as you never know who will be reading your publication. Perhaps some CEO at a major company likes the way you write and decides to contact you directly for lucrative opportunities. The reality is, you just never know.
Personally, I want people to critique my work and give me insights as to how I can improve. I’m constantly worrying about not being good enough, and something like Wattpad can help me realize the truth.
5. Easy Marketing of Your Abilities
One of the more difficult aspects to making your way as a new author is social coverage. People need to know who you are if you expect to sell them your book. Wattpad helps you deliver some of that information to the masses quite easily. Not only will your published story gather attention if you set it up wisely, but your profile can be shared as well. For instance, here is my profile. I know it’s a bit lacking at the moment, but I am working on finishing my first publication.
When it comes to any form of success online, it’s all about getting your name in as many places as possible. Each of your uploads can be shared by others on major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and even embedded on your website. For instance, here is my son’s first attempt at writing:
6. Mobile Apps Available
Like all things on the Internet, no platform would be complete without a mobile app to go with it. This means you’re not isolated to readers who strictly use computer systems such as myself. My wife reads a great deal of Wattpad content from her Samsung Galaxy. Although you don’t have control over marketing this platform for mobile devices, it’s nice to know that your story could be in the pocket of millions of people around the world.
If you use a responsive WordPress design for your blog, you can embed your novels directly on your site and have everything optimized for mobile technology without coding or making severe changes to either platform. Essentially, you copy and paste the code provided from Wattpad and place it directly into your WordPress “Text” editor. That’s all I did to embed my son’s novel above.
7. Developed to Help Authors
The entire platform of Wattpad has a feel that the organization is focused on helping writers succeed. It’s not like other systems where you need to pay for memberships or subscribe to annual fees to unlock some “Premium” account. Everything from the well-designed submission platform to the extensive resources available throughout the site and YouTube seem more like your success is their number one concern.
I think that, in general, is the absolute reason why I like the website so much. It offers information more like a friend would. The majority of the users are friendly, engaging and I feel more welcome. It’s like putting on an old comfortable shirt.
8. Easy to Use
Wattpad is an incredibly easy system to use when publishing your work. You can upload your own cover, add tags and control almost every aspect of promoting your work. As long as you follow the guidelines, such as no pornographic material, you can quickly have your story or novel published within minutes.
If you’re not completely finished writing, not to worry. There are a lot of authors who upload their work chapter at a time. Some will even go so far as to state a certain number of “likes” is needed before the next part is uploaded. This can be a great marketing method to generate interest in your story, but it can really upset avid readers who want to explore your work even further. Just ask my wife…she gets pretty upset when authors take longer than a few months to update their stories.
Success is Limited By Effort
I can attest that a lack of effort will deliver a lack of success. I’m kind of kicking myself in the rear for not starting this sooner. I could have made much more out of myself if I would have started as soon as I found this system. But alas, I was comfortable being a freelance ghostwriter.
Using Wattpad has potential to give you the praise you seek for your work. It has potential to boost your confidence while getting your name out there in the world. Test the waters a bit and publish a story today on Wattpad. You never know where it might take you in the world.