Tag Archives: Amanda June Hagarty

Why I Wattpad – Part IV

Why I Wattpad is a continuing series of blogposts about my first year on Wattpad. Here are Part I, Part II, Part III.

WP-A Cool Number-almost
Almost 123,456 reads on Chapter 1 – Part I

Success breeds success.  When Wattpad agreed to Feature ALL IS SILENCE it quickly became established as a ‘good/successful’ book. Because it was featured the statistics rose incredibly. [If you don’t wish to read the statistics skip ahead two paragraphs.] It hit to high-points of 12000+ reads one day, 633 votes on a different day.

Hitting 100,000 reads had been cool, but then reads really started racking up. While on vacation this summer I hit a 1,000,000 reads near the end of June and 50,000 votes not long after, then 4000 comments. ALL IS SILENCE passed Scott Westerfield on the Completed Science Fiction chart! 132,000 people have started it, 5145 have finished it. It spent 57 [non-consecutive] days at #1 on the HOT Science Fiction chart.

Wattpad #19-#20

Now it has an average of 175 reads a day, votes meander from a literal handful [4] to a few hundred, though hundreds is now less than half. It’s slowed down. I can now answer all the comments on all three of my uploads: ALL IS SILENCE [complete], TOILS AND SNARES [Excerpt. 6 of 15 chapters uploaded] and STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS [Excerpt. 12 of 35 chapters uploaded]. They’re all three in the SF Hot 300, though T&S doesn’t stay there. [More about that in the advice below.]

Is there still a benefit? Yes. Now, I have a small army of 3500 followers/fans. True, they are an army of cats so getting them organized and going in the same direction is practically impossible, but also unimportant. If I post a request for Beta Readers, I get a bunch of people who already like my stuff. If I offer a free download on another story, there is a bump. I was hoping for a significant bump for STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS that I can attribute to WATTPAD, but I haven’t figured out how to measure that yet.  I know that putting out a request for reviews on ALL IS SILENCE has worked. I would credit my Wattpad followers with about half of the last 30 reviews. That alone may be worth it.

But the real question is this… If I give away a book for free on Wattpad will the benefits out-way the costs? Many authors are concerned that they’ll lose money. Probably not. Most wattpadders are not part of the work-force and not likely to buy an ebook from Amazon. Yes, ALL IS SILENCE is available for sale on Amazon, too. It’s still doing fine there.

The primary benefit of Wattpad is building a fan-base. To do that you have to post regularly and interact with your fans, but it is very successful in this regard. The feedback from readers is nearly universally positive. I have only had about 3 interactions that I would consider negative and one of those was due to giving another author unwanted advice on how to request that an author read their book. I suggested that just sending the link was crass. [Still is. This might segue into the advice section. Yup.] I told him he should send a short 30 word blurb along with polite salutations and then the person he wants to read his book can take it or leave it.

ADVICE SECTION: First three came directly from my editor, Amanda June Hagarty. Glad she convinced me to give Wattpad a try.

  1. Upload smaller pieces two or three pages [I aim for about 1000-1200 words] at a time.
  2. Upload two or three times a week. Make the times consistent, put it in your calendar and then don’t miss it. If you’re writing as your posting this gives you a motivating deadline.
  3. Communicate with your fans. You don’t have to respond to every post/comment, but try to get a comment to each of the people who are sending you a comment stream. Those comments boost your story’s ranking.
  4. If a comment offends you, you can report it. I called out jerkish behavior on my books, but Wattpad will do it for you.
  5. Track your data. I used GoogleDocs. It can give you insight into changes you make and how they effect the outcome.
  6. Upload longer works. If you have a first book in a series, I heartily recommend uploading it in its entirety to Wattpad.
  7. As new chapters are uploaded the author should dedicate each section as they are uploaded. Dedicate it to another Wattpadder who has commented a lot recently. If you try to go back and do it later, like some authors have, it is an overwhelming job, but if you do it as part of the set-up when you’re adding the live link to your website, it is a very small amount of work.
  8. The sweet-spot for me, when I was uploading three times a week seemed to be about 9 pm P.S.T. I think it’s because the Wattpad counts may reset at midnight E.S.T., but I’m not certain. This was one of the last hunches I had and don’t have hard evidence.
  9. Once your story is complete, you can still get some boost, by editing your description and chapters. It will pop back into the system as ‘newer’ if not ‘new.
  10. Don’t send too many “To all my followers” posts. I try to send one every 2-3 weeks now, and try, try, try to not send more than a couple a week! People will get sick of you and start ignoring you. When you do send these posts, try to make them fun and offer the readers something like: “Sign up for my newsletter this week and read my new story for #FREE!”
  11. Have fun. Write on.

Did I miss anything? Is any of my advice skewed or no longer valid? I’ve been treading water for the most part, though this last two weeks I’ve been trying to get Straight Into Darkness up the SF charts. Highest ranking so far is #9! Let me know. ~ Rob

 

3W: Weird Wiki Request, Winning on Wattpad & Writer Worries…

WIKIPEDIA: This is a weird request for me. As I ready myself to release my second novel, I feel like I should have wikipedia entry, so people can find me and I believe it also gives an air of respectability! Since the first novel has one some awards, has decent sales, and the newer works are also getting good press, I think it is time. I know I could write it myself, but that feels even more weird than asking for someone else to do it! If you are a wikipedia editor, know one or would like to become one, I’d like to invite you to practice on me! 😉 Thanks.

WATTPAD: Today, ALL IS SILENCE is #21, STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS is #17, and TOILS AND SNARES is #72! I miss being #1, but happy with the staying power… Come read it for free if you can’t afford to buy it or you live in the Philippines! 😉 Seriously, 17% of my 108,000+ Wattpad readers are from the Philippines!wp05232015

There have been a few burps and hiccoughs as they adjust their algorithms. At times ALL IS SILENCE has disappeared from the charts while having some of the best numbers ever. I think it’s impacted the number of new reads and followers, but since I’ve gotten 2300+ followers and they are helping me out, I can’t complain much!

I put a request for reviews on Wattpad and within a few days I had five new reviews! This alone is probably worth the price of the time I’ve spent. On the bittersweet side, I am getting so many questions and comments [40-60 a day] that I can’t even begin to think about answering them all. I used to answer each one, but now, if I did, I would get no fiction written and that would kind of make answering the fan questions sort of moot!

WRITER WORRIES: This week I put STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS up on Amazon as a presale. [Please don’t buy it yet! If you want to know why, read this post: PLEASE DON”T BUY MY NOVEL.] That means I have 76 days to finish it. It is by far more challenging than the first novel was: hree major plot-lines/point of view characters and no road trips! I’ve got the Second Novel Omnipresent Blues as Mindy McGinnis calls them.

In addition to writing the novel, I need to continue to maintain my web presence: this blog, my personal blog, twitter, facebook, Google+ and more. I’m hoping to have a bit more time next year to focus on the writing, but we’ll see if my day job agrees to help!

Thanks for reading, please check out the newest page on the website. R U There?, a page to send Lizzie messages and get responses… Thanks Amanda J. Hagarty, excellent editor, writer and media maven!

Too Much To Say Today…

Okay. Too much to do, too much to say. So. Short bullet-like sentences. As if my story is building to a climax…

Wattpad Right Now! [DATA OVERLOAD WARNING]: ALL IS SILENCE is at 504,471 reads! So many people read it yesterday [11513 reads] that I forgot to upload the next section. 71,396 individuals have read chapter 1. 17,554 [24.59%] have continued on to the next chapter. 13,499 of them read the entire first chapter! 7K+ read 3 ch. 5K+ read 12 ch. 3+ have read 24 chapters. 1000 people have read everything I’ve uploaded so far. About 800 individuals read it every day. I have nearly 1200 followers. 18,877 votes. 1786 comments.

More WATTPAD. Next Monday, 6pm, Mar 23, 2015 at the Upstart Crows Writers Association Meeting at the WECU Building, 511 E Holly S, +Amanda June Hagarty and I will share our experience as successful Wattpad authors. All welcome. First meeting is free! Bring snacks and drinks to share.STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS-c4-fronteaser

Cover art is practically finished for Straight Into Darkness. I’ll give you a bit more on Sunday. I’m back into writing, rewriting and editing on the first draft. I plan to have the second draft off to the editor by the end of Spring Break, April 10th.

TOILS AND SNARES is selling well, I think. And my suspicion that 1/4 of the readers would go on to buy ALL IS SILENCE  seems to be an accurate guess! If you want to Read and Review Toils and Snare for free. Send me an e-mail. This offer will continue until I have 10+ reviews on Amazon.

Amazon has ALL IS SILENCE on sale for $3.82 cents. Not sure how that happened, but happy that they’re promoting it and I still get full ‘royalties’ from them. Be one of the first 50 to Review it on Amazon and get a 1 in 50 chance of winning a limited edition 1 of 50 signed hardcover copy of ALL IS SILENCE! Currently there are 29 reviews. So 21 slots left!

I’ve decided to forgo going to Norwescon this year. I’m a bit conned out and still have Worldcon in Spokane coming up this August. Besides, I need the writing time to finish  Straight Into Darkness.
My magical realism, women’s fiction, short story JUST DESERT will be free this weekend and next. I have two other short stories in the hopper to release on Kindle once I finish the draft of the next novel: both are speculative fiction on the science side. Expect those end of April and May.
PLEASE sign up for my newsletter if you want to be on the list to Beta read Straight Into Darkness. Now, back to writing.

Why I Wattpad – Part II

WattPadWorldMap-AiS
Countries of the world my fiction has reached through Wattpad. Click to enlarge.

Why I Wattpad is a continuing series of blogposts about my first year on Wattpad. Here are Part I, Part III, and Part IV

As I approach half a million reads on Wattpad, I am writing this blog in order to make some sense of its effect on my recent and future sales. I want to begin by thanking my friend, fellow writer and editor, Amanda June Hagarty. She convinced me to give Wattpad a try and gave me some very sage advice.

  1. Upload smaller pieces two or three pages at a time.
  2. Upload two or three times a week.
  3. Communicate with your fans.

Has it worked? Well, several Wattpad readers have informed me that they bought copies of my book so they could finish it without waiting for the weekly serialization. But, despite the fact that Wattpad has led to only a few sales, my purpose with giving away ALL IS SILENCE serially was to build a fan-base. How well that has worked will take many more months to know. You’ll have to stay tuned.

I have been uploading three times a week, about a 1,000 words at a time totalling a chapter a week since August 10, 2014. I was building a readership and climbing the science fiction chart with 130K reads when Wattpad picked ALL IS SILENCE as a Featured story, January 12th. (They had contacted me about featuring it a few months earlier.). After getting featured it Wattpad#1againW501followtook me 1 week to get to #1 on Science Fiction. I’ve hovered between #1 and #5 ever since. In the next 3 weeks I went from 138 followers to over 500. By early March, I had added another 500+ followers. It took four and a half months to get my first 100,000 reads and less than a month to get my second 100,000 and only 15 days to get my third.

Almost 70,000 people have read the first section of the first chapter of ALL IS SILENCE. 24% of them continued on to the next section. 80% of those read the next section and after that there is only an average 2-5% drop in total reads over each section. About 1000 people read each new section within 48 hours of the time I upload it. Of course, my book with its 17 year-old female protagonist, and Apocalyptic Fiction genre, hits Wattpad’s biggest reader demographic. 60% of my readers are age 13-25, 50% are female, 18% undisclosed gender, 32% male

STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS-Title onlyI will continue uploading until ALL IS SILENCE is complete online. Then I will post the first four or five chapters of the sequel, STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS. At that point in early May, I expect to have 1500-2500 followers. In order to continue reading for free they will need join my newsletter mailing list and agree to do a read and review of the Advanced Reader e-Copy. Or they will need to wait until STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS is released and buy it then. I plan on giving a special price to Wattpad readers who wish to buy a signed copy of either novel in print. So, by the end of the summer I may be able to tell whether the sales data supports all the energy I’ve put in.

But sales is truly secondary here. I will tell you that the positive vibes from readers who are currently reading your work is invigorating. I get lots of comments and votes, too many now to respond to completely. I’m still trying to read all of them, but some days I can’t even do that. I had nearly 100 reads waiting for me after one busy work day. One kid who told me reading my book helped him get through his super stressful finals… Yeah. Wattpad is cool. And I do hope to come out of this with people who will read my books in the future, tell their friends and write reviews. Maybe even find most of my 1000 true fans!

Why I Wattpad – Part III 

February, a 28 day Slater…

My 48th birthday was February 15th. I feel very blessed this month, a year after releasing my first novel. Hoping that saying something out loud doesn’t ruin it… I have sold a piece of writing for everyday of this month. Yes. 28 sales. Split between pre-sales on Toils and Snares, All Is Silence in print and in all three major e-book markets, two copies of Just Desert and one copy of the Outward Bound Collection. That doesn’t come close to matching the first few months All Is Silence the first few months after release, but sales had fallen significantly after the summerMy total for January was 14. December was about half of that.

Funny thing is there has been no significant up-tick. Has all the promotion I have been doing for the past 18 months finally started to pay off? Am I reaching critical mass? I could learn to live with this steadiness, especially considering I will have a new novella out the day after tomorrow and a new short story in March on Kindle format: Another Kind of Ignorance. Planning on releasing a short story a month until Straight Into Darkness comes out this summer.

A few of those sales can be attributed to my activity on Wattpad. Tonight I hit 400,000 reads, Over 62,000 people have sampled my novel. Several thousand are working their way through it serially with a fairly passionate core of about 1000 readers who makes comments, complaints and compliments. Not coincidentally, if the trend continues, I will have 1000 Followers on Wattpad by March 1st.

I started uploading the first draft of Toils and Snares to Wattpad in early December. I uploaded the first four chapters in two parts each over 8 weeks. Then, I updated it with the second draft. Tonight I finished uploading the final draft and have Chapter 5 — Part I, the last section I will upload for free. It would be interesting to know how many of the folks who read All Is Silence and/or Toils and Snares on Wattpad purchase Toils and Snares on Amazon. I wish I had a good way to track those numbers.

Thanks so much to all the folks who gave me feedback on Toils & Snares, especially, Elena, Donald, Jesikah, Amanda, Dave, Peter, Katie, Nichole, Pam, Shann, Kole, and my Mom & Dad. I’m afraid the one thing I forgot in the pre-sale upload was an acknowledgement and thanks page. So, once it goes live, I will update that to reflect the support of you wonderful people. Since I will need to do an update anyway, I would love to hear about any typos anyone may find in the story.

Next week I will start revealing some of the rough drafts of cover art for Straight Into Darkness. I will say the cover, designed by Pintado, the same artist behind All Is Silence has created another awesome cover that captures the bleaker, colder feelings. Let’s just say it’s a little blue.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. I hope you’ll follow me Straight Into Darkness. I promise there will be a light at the end of the tunnel that is not an oncoming train.

Coming to the end of 2014! Thanks and more…

Looking forward to 2015 as we wrap up 2014!

What’s to come? 2014 was amazing for me as an author. It was everything I hoped for, if not everything I dreamed of. Where is that contract for the foreign rights, and the option on the screenplay? 😉

indiereadernextpicsSeriously, I hit some top ten lists, got reviewed by Don Sakers for Analog magazine, won an award, rubbed elbows literarily with Veronica Roth and Scott Westerfield and literally with Hugh Howey, who complimented my pagination! In addition to Hugh, I met Matt de la Pena, Corinne Duyvis and Mark Leslie. I sold more than half of my first printing, plus a whole lot more e-copies. I’ve exchanged e-mails with Mindy McGinnis and been retweeted by Neil Gaiman himself!

I wrote more than 100,000 words of new Dystopian-compactfiction by the 1st of December, setting a new record. I am sending out a newsletter tomorrow with information on how to get beta-reader copies of my Deserted Lands novella, TOILS AND SNARES. I’m filling in the gaps in the ALL IS SILENCE sequel STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS.

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Readers of ALL IS SILENCE on Wattpad. Darker blue is more reads! No one is reading me in Mongolia. Neither upper nor lower.

As of tonight ALL IS SILENCE has had 91,000 reads on WattPad–over 1000 folks have read the first 12 chapters. AiS averages about 150 unique readers each day, 27% of which are in the Phillipines! It hit #2 behind Scott Westerfield’s UGLIES back when Wattpad allowed each work to be listed in two categories. Now that it’s only listed in Science Fiction it has gotten as high as #13. Maybe tomorrow it will break into the top 10! Thanks to Amanda Hagarty for all the advice and support. And to everyone else who has been so amazing this year:

  • The readers. The readers. The readers.
  • My beta readers, my family, my students, my friends… [many of you fit more than one of these categories.]
  • Brendan, Sam, Christina, Paul, Rachel and everyone else at Village Books
  • Don Sakers and Analog
  • Kiffer Brown and Chanticleer Reviews
  • Bellingham Writer’s Group and Cozy Corner Coffee and Books for hosting it and selling my book, too!
  • The Hoquiam Timberland Regional Library
  • Harbor Drug in my hometown.
  • Mark Leslie and the crew at Kobo Writing Life
  • Whatcom Community Library System
  • Bellingham Public Libraries
  • My editors, proofreaders
  • Upstart Crows and the Whatcom Writers & Publishers
  • Pintado for an amazing cover
  • Damian Vines for amazing author photos
  • The Heinlein Forum on Facebook
  • All the writers who inspired and inspire me
  • And everyone else I forgot!

THANKS FOR THE AMAZING YEAR. See you in 2015!

Please Pubslush with me…

SiD pubslush kobo

Pubslushing… A kick-start for Writers!

About six months ago I entered a random drawing from the Kobo Writing Life blog for a Pubslush Writing crowd-funding support Giveaway. As with so many other times that I’ve tossed a hat in the ring, I won one of the second prizes–Bronze level support for a Pubslush Campaign.

I had not seriously considered doing any sort of crowd-funding kick-start or other funding model. But then I got to thinking… What if I ran it like a pre-sale? Folks could buy existing or future books from me at a reasonable level rather than essentially donating to a company that might not be successful. I wanted to provide less of a gamble for people willing to invest in me.

All_Is_Silence_coverThe next step was thinking of what would I try to fund? I was very happy with how book one, All Is Silence, turned out. I loved the cover art created by Pintado. I loved the editing by Amanda J. Hagarty. But what I really missed was being able to pay these folks and the line-editors later in the process, more of what they really deserved.

So I created award levels that would provide a level of value similar to the investment of my supporters. For example, for $5 supporters will receive an ebook copy of the new novel Straight Into Darkness [retail $6.99]. For $20 supporters will receive a Signed Paperback copy of All Is Silence & All Is Silence T-Shirt [retail $21.99].

Please pass the word, let your friends know about this opportunity to get stuff from me for near the regular price and it will help me fund other artists and editors who will help me produce an even better book the the first!

Thanks for coming along for the ride. Please come fan the Pubslush campaign even if you can’t afford to pledge anything. And many thanks to the wonderful folks at Kobo Writing Life and Pubslush!

Why I WattPad – Part I

Why I Wattpad is a continuing series of blogposts about my first year on Wattpad. Here are Part II, Part III, and Part IV

Have to shout out to my editor/writing friend/marketing maven, Amanda June Hagarty! She convinced me to give Wattpad a try. Check out her Middle-grade Speculative story, Little Lacey, she’s got 34 chapters ready to read.

As of this evening, All Is Silence had 32,222 reads, ranked #2 behind Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies in SF/Teen category, #50 in SF, #583 in Teen, Averaging 9%+ read-through rate from the first part of the story to the second. I also have 2 verified sales due to WattPad and probably a few more. The most exciting thing is, for every chapter I upload, another 100 people read through. At this rate I may hit 100,000 reads by the end of November, 200K by New Years and a million by May! Thousands of readers will have completed All Is Silence when my next book comes out. And I get some great feedback and fun comments directly from the readers.

WattPad may not bring everyone success, but I’m onboard. I’m also reading some really great authors: Margaret Atwood–Oryx & CrakeMark Leslie–the Kobo Writing Author Service’s guy and a smashing writer, and Scott Westerfeld. It’s a great platform to build an audience, most especially if you are writing anything that appeals to teen readers. Come check it out. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Can’t Make it to WorldCon Sale and more marketing thoughts…

This post is really about marketing experiments. If you’re not interested in marketing and haven’t bought All Is Silence and would like it on ebook, go here. In paperback or hardcover go here. Now back to the topic: marketing! In Three Parts.

1. So. Do sales help? I’ve marked All Is Silence down temporarily in part to support other writers and on the off chance that I might sell a few copies. It’s currently $3.99 here. It will stay on sale until the 20th. The weird thing? And this happened the last time I marked it down as well… I had no sales. Not a one. No bump. Like I said… Weird. Yet. At the regular price of $6.99? It sells a few each week. At $4.99 it sells a few each week. I’ll continue to explore.

2. Does exposure help? Last Sunday after literally [not figuratively] six months of self-debate, I uploaded the first section of the first chapter of All Is Silence onto WattPad. What convinced me? More like who. Amanda J. Hagarty, Mark Leslie and Margaret Atwood. Amanda has been gently proselytizing WattPad for months. Mark Leslie got me on the site to read Evasion. And Margaret? Her novel Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1) is up on WattPad as well as available for sale everywhere else. So, I’m planning on putting up sections of chapters a few times a week with one chapter per week. It will finish about the time Deserted Lands book two: Straight Into Darkness comes out next March or April. It’s got a few more fixes than the final print version and it will remain free and readable through WattPad’s interface. Will it have an effect on sales? Mailing List? Fans? Who knows. Maybe I should put a how did you hear about question on the newsletter sign-up.

2. Does Kindle Select Help? Over the last year, I have sold half a dozen copies of my debut Fiction/Poetry collection Outward Bound. I probably purchased at least two of those copies myself. It cost me far more to create and upload it only figuring cover art, formatting, fees [BookBaby special $29! The same services they do for FREE now!} and not including writing time. Most of the stories and poems are a decade or more old and most have been sold and appeared in print. The goal was to create an ebook and get it up on all the platforms and perhaps get some exposure in the process. It was mostly a warm-up for All Is Silence. In that, it was successful. I made errors doing it so I could make new errors the next time.

A few weeks ago I decided to pull Outward Bound from all markets and try Kindle Select and see if I could use this collection as a marketing tool. I reordered the ebook so that the forward became an afterward thereby letting folks read a complete story, a poem, and part of a third piece, the title story. I also added more ‘bonus’ materials: a teaser for the Deserted Lands novella: Toils and Snares that I plan to release in the fall. So, if you are currently on Kindle Unlimited you can read it for free. I’ll also do some sales, I think, especially as I get close to other releases. And we’ll see. Does it get some traction with marketing? Does it lead people to buying the novella, signing up for the newsletter? We’ll see.

Now, back to writing the next books.

 

 

Digital Book Day/Guest Post/Word Counts/Steampunk Festival

Welcome, all new visitors and everyone who took part in Digital Book Day. Thanks to CJ Lyons for all the hard work and the wear and tear on the servers. Thanks to all you readers out there who find new books, review them and tell your friends about them.

Today I have a guest post up on Selah J Tay-Song’s blog about creating a fictional near future world. Though blogging and guest posting may cut into the fiction writing time, it is fun and it forces me to reflect on my methods. I’ve written 16,000 words of non-fiction this year and 30,000 of fiction. Only 152,500 to go! I am pounding out the words for the next novella and the Toils & Snares novella at a steady if slow pace of 676 words a day for the last 27 days. Hoping to pump it up this week with some extended writing time.

SEVEN more days until the hardcover and paperback go back to pre-ALA prices. So, if you’ve been thinking about ordering a signed copy, now is the time to do it.

Saturday I’ll be appearing at the Fairhaven Steampunk Festival sponsored by the Bellingham Steampunk Society and Village Books. I’ll be reading parts of Memories of Light, the Bellingham Herald’s serial science fiction story I got to co-write last summer. In addition I will be participating in a panel: Steampunk Community of Writers Networking and Discussion Opportunity. Come join a variety of local authors, including Amanda Hagarty, Karina Cooper, Rob Slater and Rachel McCausland. I’m not very steam-punky yet, but am interested in writing it when my schedule is less blocked. I have always had a soft spot for Dickens and the Victorian age. 

Until next week.  Write on… Read on…