This was going to be my mostly final wrap up on Wattpad, but I haven’t gotten all the data I need for that wrap up. Since I have recently been sort of slapped in the face by an obvious Wattpad rule that I should have known, as well as, discovered some really cool benefits, I will do Part III today. When I have been on Wattpad a year, August 10, 2015, I will do a retrospective and let you know… That will probably be Why I Wattpad – Part IV.
How much should one be allowed to complain about a service that is not costing them a dime? Also a side-question to be addressed later. Do you own your own digital landscape or are you leasing? Or squatting? Or freeloading? Wattpad is more like bartering your digital acreage. You share your writing for free. In return, if you are good enough to gain a following, Wattpad helps you build that following. It’s about DISCOVERABILITY. (Click the link for a series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch all about Discoverability.)
About three weeks ago, ALL IS SILENCE, complete on Wattpad for a couple months and charting great numbers daily. Each day I had an average number of individual section reads of 5,000+, 300+ votes and 22 new followers! Those numbers quickly dropped to 3,500 reads, 250 votes and 6 new followers! That last one hurt the most. I was frustrated. I blamed Wattpad. My story actually dropped off the charts despite still showing really good numbers. Had they changed the algorithm? Was something darker at work? Had I made the Wattpad masters angry?
It took me a while to figure out why my high charting book fell off. The answer was obvious once I accidentally fixed it. I had stopped interacting with people about ALL IS SILENCE on Wattpad. I had been so focused on finishing its sequel STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS, that I literally stopped answering almost all the comments. Now, I had been unable to keep up with them, yes. But I was actually choosing to ignore those comments. Then one day, I had a few extra minutes and no brain power left to write. So I answered half a dozen comments and got a few replies back. Then next day, things kicked back up a little. DOH! I did it again. I updated the FAQs page. Even better.
Now, my numbers are not up to what they were. I may have curtailed the steady rise and bought myself a lower rise over run because of my inattention, but I am getting back the mojo. Since I started paying a little attention everyday to ALL IS SILENCE, I have had four more days when I have been at #1! I had feared my chances there were over.
So the followup question is… why do I care? People don’t pay me to read my novel on Wattpad. Wattpad gets the advertising revenue. But they also host one of the easiest to use places to interact directly with readers/fans. A month or so ago, I had my first real test of the viability of the following I’ve built on Wattpad. I had hit a long stretch of flat-line in terms of new reviews on Amazon. So I had a bright idea in early March. Why not invite my Wattpad readers to submit reviews and offer a random drawing for the first 50 people who leave reviews on Amazon? The winner will receive a signed, hard-cover copy of ALL IS SILENCE shipped anywhere in the world.
My last review had been posted by a fellow author in late January. Then nada! I had gained 27 reviews, most by family and friends in the year since publication.So I posted to my followers, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and explained my giveaway plan. I think I had about 1,100 followers then. In the next two and a half months I gained 22 reviews. I also gained some reviews on TOILS AND SNARES this way. When I hit 25 reviews of TOILS AND SNARES I will do a random draw for a signed paperback copy of ALL IS SILENCE. There are currently seven reviews. If you want to read and review TOILS AND SNARES for FREE, send me an e-mail at email@example.com and tell me what electronic form you would like to read it in and I will send you a copy. The catch is you have to give me an honest review if you finish it. Not a bad deal, eh? [author’s note: T&S currently has 12 reviews, so you can still get it for FREE for a limited time.]
So, that’s Why I Wattpad. As Kris Rusch says, this would have been a shorter post if I’d had more time… But I wanted to share with those who might benefit.
Let me know in the comments if you have any brilliant Wattpad marketing ideas! Or tell what hasn’t worked. Thanks.
Why I Wattpad – Part IV.