Publishing Stories

Testing the Waters: Publishing Stories on Wattpad

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

The biggest reason why I decided to publish my works first on Wattpad was to discover whether I had enough talent to be more than just a ghostwriter. I don’t have the $400 my mother spent on an editor and I don’t have an agent. At this point in my life, these are two luxuries I really can’t afford to find out if I can make a go out of being an author. Publishing stories on Wattpad gives me the opportunity to see if people actually like my style or if there is something I need to improve. It’s a great way to “test the waters.”

My Most Recent Upload

At the moment, I have very few followers on Wattpad and my material hasn’t been burning across people’s displays. Last night, I was getting a bit depressed because I had higher hopes for this experiment. However, my wife made me realize something. My work has been available for about two weeks. Since no one really knows who I am, I can’t expect to be instantly popular. I know this, but my wife often needs to remind me.

Don’t Expect Instant Results when Publishing Stories

Considering the sheer number of work that is available on Wattpad, you can’t expect to become an instant sensation. When I try to search for my own material, it is often deep within the bowels of thousands of others. While this can be disheartening, you need to realize that it takes time to build an audience…especially if no one knows who you are.

Here is my most recent work:

At the time I am writing this post, VII isn’t as popular as I would like. What I need to keep in mind is that it’s only been available for about a week. Essentially, I am a new author writing a horror novella while competing with writers who have a great deal of talent. In reality, someone would have to search specific criteria to even see my work listed.

Does this mean I should give up and move on? Absolutely not. It just means that I need to be more patient and keep writing. It hasn’t even been a full month yet. If I keep publishing stories, eventually someone will read them. If all goes well, perhaps he or she will share the work on their own social media profiles. All it takes is that one perfect reader to get the ball rolling.

Unfinished Pieces

Originally, I thought it would be better to completely write an entire book before uploading. However, I read in many “success” articles that producing a piece section at a time can help build an audience. While I have yet to see that actually work, keep in mind that I am still new at this. In reality, it may be next year before I start to see any real results.

One thing I do need to point out is keeping your pieces updated. My wife gets frustrated when authors upload a story and don’t work on it for months at a time. In fact, she often unfollows people because of this. Personally, I try to have a new chapter up at least once a week. Mostly this is because that’s all the time I have to put into the process.

Engaging in Social Interaction

positive successMany people view Wattpad as a social media site first. Although it centers around authors, you need to realize how effective it is to join conversations and read works from other people. It takes more than just publishing stories for everyone to read. It’s all about engaging each other and finding inspiration. Case in point, I received a new follower on Sunday who seemed to have found me because I follow another author. If anything, it’s the prospect of curiosity that may drive people to check out your work.

Think of it this way, do you expect to become part of a conversation at a party if you sit in the corner and simply watch? While you may have a couple of people walk up to you out of curiosity, you’ll have more success by joining in the festivities. You can’t sit silent and expect people to notice you. Make some noise – but in a respectful way.

What if you don’t have the time?

Time is one of the things I have the most problems managing. Often I tell myself I really don’t have the time to read other works or engage in social media. In reality, I have plenty of time if I sacrifice various activities. For instance, I’ll spend a great deal of time watching Netflix during any given day. What’s worse is that I am often watching things I have seen repeatedly instead of experiencing a new activity.

It’s like cultivating a friendship. You need to invest time if you want to secure a friendly interaction other than being that guy or gal “in the corner.” It’s interacting with potential readers and fans that will help boost your own level of success while meeting new and interesting people. Being a literary hermit doesn’t pan out well, unless you’re an amazing author and have a great agent.
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You’ll Get Out of the Experience What You Put In

WorkFromHomeEffort is the driving force behind the success of any project. If you don’t make the effort to get yourself out there in the world, no one is going to notice you. This is especially true when you’re publishing stories in a very popular genre. It’s too easy to be buried among the many works of other authors. Writing a handful of stories and then being bummed out because no one is reading them is no way to spend your day. And yes, I am pointing at myself in this case.

Too many people are spoiled by instant gratification today. If it’s not “instant” this or “quick” that, no one wants to be a part of it. The sad truth is that many people who have potential to be something great give up because of a lack of instant riches and glory. Personally, I blame the Internet – but that’s a discussion for another time.

Instead of being faced with Fifty Shades of Failure, put effort into building yourself as an author. Too many people have great potential who wind up wasting it because of a lack of confidence. Explore what you can offer the world and believe you can do it. All it takes is the determination to become what it is you desire.

Michael Brockbank
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