Joanna Penn from thecreativepenn.com interviews Ashleigh Gardner from wattpad at the end of todays post.
In August 19th, 2015 I signed up to wattpad. For those who do not know, it is a social networking website where you can share your stories (retaining the rights) and with some effort, patience and luck begin to attract an audience. Stories on wattpad are extremely accessible as there is an app for all the major smartphone and tablet vendors that allow people to manage their account, read, comment and vote on stories.
Following wattpad’s advice, I started splitting my long chapters into parts of around 2000 words. I needed to know if anyone in the world, other my one of my closest friends, would like the story. The advice you get is to post story parts a couple of times a week spread over as along a period as you can. Apparently Fridays are a good day as the visitor count goes up, and your work is just a bit more visible than usual. I cannot say I noticed much difference.
In the beginning, there was little or no response except from one or two other writers who would vote on my chapter parts as I voted on theirs. Tit for tat voting proves nothing to me about how readers are receiving my story. There is much advice about how to attract readers, some of it quite time-consuming and not effective in my experience. I found the best option was to follow followers of other fantasy writers, and then the odd one or two people started to read The General’s Legacy. At this time, I had around one-third of the story published, and these readers began voting on story parts within one to two days of me posting them. As I got into the final quarter of the story, I had a few more people on board avidly reading, voting and sometimes commenting on what was happening in the story. It became apparent that people were bonding with the characters. I suspect wattpad gives stories that start to receive attention a bit of a visibility boost to give a story a chance to make an impression. Within days of me completing the story on wattpad, I had six voting readers who had made it all the way to the end and left me some very complimentary comments. I’m excited – six people who used to be complete strangers loved the story and wanted more! A couple of them have agreed to post reviews for me on Amazon etc. once published.
Another author and reader has invited me to interview on his blog – I’m truly honored and will use that opportunity to reveal the professionally designed cover for The General’s Legacy Part One: Inheritance when I have it. Work is in progress on this right now.
I also have an invitation from wattpad to apply for The General’s Legacy to become a featured story in fantasy to help me grow my audience. So sometime soon The General’s Legacy will be listed with other independent and traditionally published authors including Brandon Sanderson.
I have also struck up relationships with a few authors on wattpad and we can provide mutual support for each other during the production of future works.
Anyone searching the internet for help in self-publishing books will inevitably encounter Joanna Penn from thecreativepenn.com sooner or later. Joanna also posts interviews with various people in the industry. Here is Joanna talking Ashleigh Gardner from wattpad.