The second site I decided to join as an Author is Wattpad.
For those who are t familiar with Wattpad, it’s a global platform of 65 million+ users. Yes 65M+
Users get the ability to read and write and engage with other users, but importantly, since it is a community, and not a “public” site, the author can keep full copyright control of their work, or not, as they choose. (Some never had the rights in the first place)
Some Legal Implications…
*please note I’m not a lawyer*
What does all this mean? Well for a bit of brief legalese, anything which is “published” on an external or public platform like a website, magazine, anthology, or e-book hosting site etc. is considered to be “published.”
Once I hit “publish” on this post, it will be pretty much the same as if I had put this post in a book, formatted it on velum and then published it as an e-book. It also opens me up to any legal issues I may have gotten myself into in writing it, as well as limiting the “salability” of it.
I could be sued for something in the post, or if my post were a book or a short story, it would be considered to be “previously published.” This can be a barrier to future publication by another publisher because they want “first rights.” If you “published” anywhere, say bye-bye to the “first rights” in that language. You are keeping them.
Now if anyone has any corrections on this please go ahead and let me know. I am not a lawyer and this is all based on my research and understanding.
Back to Wattpad…
Because Wattpad isn’t “published” it means that fanfiction is everywhere! So if you like reading and writing stories about Harry Potter that aren’t by Rowling, this is the place to do it.
It is a fabulous place for putting up your drafts and seeing what people think!
If your goal, like mine, is to become a bestselling author, and I mean really bestselling, not just the little amazon flag, then this is a good site for giving your novels a dry run.
** Edited to add on 8.28.2018 to the previous paragraph. I have learned since writing this that many publishers (read big 5) are not necessarily interested in publishing Wattpad content. Unless you have thousands of followers who you can use as a carrot for a publisher, it may make your books less interesting to them. However, Wattpad is working with publishers to get over this hurdle. Be aware that if you traditionally publish your works on Wattpad, you’ll likely be required to remove said content as part of your contract.
What are the great parts of Wattpad? READERS!!!
There are a lot of different people with different levels of experience here. You can find anything from a 13 year old who somehow has thousands of reads on their poorly-written book, to established authors, editors, graphic designers, and agents.
If you want hard-core, brutal critiques of your work, you can get this. If you want a whole lot of yes-men telling you how lovely and amazing your work is, they’re here too. If you’re writing a novel about Bollywood romance and you’re thinking of publishing internationally, there are plenty of readers from the all ends of the earth who can let you know if it would be up their alley.
I read an interview with Margaret Atwood, who suggested she has a secret account to test out things she is working on and see how they do.
There really is something for everyone.
There is a catch…
If you want to get reads, follows, votes, found as a diamond in the ruff…
Here are some tips to get you going:
Ask not what Wattpad can do for you, ask what you can do for Wattpad.
No not really, but in a way yes because…
Participation. Is. Key.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is not a “build it and they will come” scenario. I joined two months ago and I currently have almost 50 followers (no idea if this is good or not for two months but I’m quite proud of this and I’ll take anyone who wants to come along for the ride!)
[Come find me at @HM_Braverman]
They didn’t just appear out of thin air though. Except my first follower, to whom I will be forever grateful. Yes I did put my stuff (am continuing to put my stuff) out there, but I also took the time to find, read, vote and comment on other people’s work.
And thank you!
Nobody wants a negative Nancy all the time (sorry to all the Nancys out there). Be kind, And if you critique, be HELPFUL. And no that doesn’t mean generally stating a story isn’t working. Give specific advice which can make the story better if followed.
No need to be stingy with your votes.
I will often forget to vote if I’m really enjoying reading something, which seems like it should be the opposite way, and then kick myself. I just want to get to the next chapter so badly!
You can choose to follow who you want. No you don’t have to follow your followers, but TBH if you’re new and you don’t have 500+ followers then unless you REALLY REALLY don’t jive with someone who has followed you (I have one or two), following them back is the polite thing to do.
Take Good Advice Seriously!
If someone who actually sounds like they know what they’re talking about gives you advice about changing a word here, or reformatting for easier online viewing etc., DO IT!
By all means, check them out, look at their work and judge if their advice seems credible. Most likely it will be, because those who actually stop to give you advice probably are legit. And most definitely, if you’ve asked for your work to be reviewed by someone and they tell you to edit something, PLEASE DO IT!
If you have asked for their advice and review explicitly, you better be ready to take it.
Engage In Contests!
This is a great way to get your work out there, do quick and fun writing exercises, get better at your craft, learn some graphic design, etc.
Its so fun!
…And also distracting…
If I put all of the words I’ve written for various Wattpad contests over the last two months into my novel – Sara’s Book| Book One: The Watcher Chronicles – I probably would have a finished first draft by now. 😳
Shameless Plug 👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆
I’m convinced (might be deluding myself) it would not be as good as it will be for the work I’ve been doing in the other contests.
Well most of these things have specific word count requirements. That is 200/500/1000/3000 etc word limits. A fun one I’m doing right now has multiple “rounds” and each one you have to write EXACTLY the amount of words specified.
Imagine having a story prompt that requires 500 words exactly. Then writing your story, which turns out to be 1800+ words.
Now cut out 1300 words and keep the same story…
Sound difficult? It is…… worth it!
“No unnecessary words,” as William Strunk says in Elements of Style.
No unnecessary words!
The man was very adamant about this. And for good reason.
Come on in the water’s fine.
So if you want to work on your craft, from anything from book cover design to poetry to full length novels and maybe some mixed-media in there, Wattpad is a great place for you.
If you decide to test your toes, come find me at @HM_Braverman and follow me!
Definitely make sure to let me know if you came because of this post because that would be a really surefire way for me to follow you back. I’ll probably do it anyway since I’m polite. Unless I have 500+ followers 😂😉.
Then I’ll need a direct message. 👌
Don’t forget to vote and comment! 😉😂😘🍻🍸🤷🏻♀️Please and thank you.
Photo credits to Wattpad.
Don’t hesitate to ask or comment if you want, or have, clarifications on anything you read in my posts.
* For my next few posts I’m going to try and do an in-depth look at the different podcasts I’ve been listening to and why they’re helpful. I’ve touched on them before but they each deserve their own posts.