Publishing: Building Audience With Wattpad Syndication
This is a deeper dive just into Wattpad. I’ve distilled their recommended articles to pull the key startup actions you should be taking on that platform.
It has its idiosyncrasies, but the point is finding your audience(s) and letting them find you.
Why Master Wattpad?
Promotion is getting in front of someone else’s audience and inviting them to join yours.
Wattpad has a huge (if mostly young, female) audience.
This is one of the four social media horsemen for Avid Readers.
Putting your links to invite them to your other books (books2read.com links) helps them join yours.
Putting in links to your giveaway page on Instafreebie helps them become a subscriber.
Remember: Set an egg timer and stick to that amount of time daily. You’ve got other work to do. This is just one of your promotional activities for the day.
Five Tips On How To Get More Readers On Wattpad
(From a YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAIUgO-wewZjAltw7OBFTql84Ma9dj9fv )
There’s no one way to do it there’s no magic formula. What worked for other people might not work for me, what works for me might not work for you.
Number 1: Write and upload as much and as readily as possible
When it comes to writing on Wattpad and getting followers and reads consistency and persistence is key
Where I do it is I write my story before I start uploading that way I know that I will always have a chapter to upload until the story’s done.
It helps to have an upload schedule that you set for yourself and that way your readers will know when to expect your next chapter
For example, with Before It Fades the third book in the Ether series, I uploaded a chapter every weekday so every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I uploaded a chapter.
With Awakened. I’m only updating every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. How you do it is up to you. Some people update once a week some people update twice a week. It really is up to you and what you’re comfortable with
Whatever schedule you set for yourself remember to stick to it.
Number 2: Make sure you have a good cover, a good title, and a good description
Good cover with good design good colors that are bold and make it stand out on Wattpad and clear lettering.
All those things are good to have.
Like titles that are short and sweet and catchy as: “They Rise While We Fall”, “Before A Fade”.
Short, sweet, catchy, and align with your description.
Your description is your selling point.
The book is what you make people decide whether or not they’re going to read your book.
For me personally if I see a good cover and title and what and I click through read the description.
If there’s just one sentence there, that doesn’t tell me anything about the story all the characters or why I should read it, so I’m not going to read it.
Description is your hook. It’s what will capture the reader’s attention and make them go to chapter 1.
I like to end every chapter with a cliffhanger. In fact it’s one of the things that I’m kind of known for now. Why do I do is to make it exciting. It kind of torches the reader a little bit, but it’s exciting as well for them
It means the readers will come back next time there’s a new chapter. For you just want to know what will happen next as I left them hanging.
Number 3: Choose the Right Category and Keyword
Make sure you choose the right category and keywords for each story.
For example Awakened is a paranormal romance.
I don’t think there’s any “paranormal romance” category. I could have put it in romance. But romance is one of the most popular categories on all of Wattpad. I think it’s second underneath fan fiction.
I had put Awakened in the romance category it would just get bogged down by the millions of other stories.
Paranormal on the other hand is a smaller category which means I have a better chance of getting a higher ranking so I put Awakened in the paranormal category instead of the right one.
Number 4: Make Friends
Wattpad is such an amazing community filled with readers and writers from all over the world and frankly if you’re not using it to make friends and make connections and talk to people I kind of think you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Because there’s so many awesome people there.
Read other people’s stories. leave genuine supportive comments on other people’s stories without even mentioning your story, and just being good to people.
Tip Number 5: Write What You Love
Write what you want to read and don’t ever ever ever give up if it’s something that you love to do.
I said this in my last video and I’ll probably say it thousand times – because you love it.
Engaging on Wattpad
When to Post, Where, How
Most agree that Friday am (EST) is an absolute must time to publish. While you could publish also on Tues or Wed, Wattpad resets your “rating” stats every time you re-post between their calculation dates.
Once a week should be fine – and concentrate on the long game.
Specify your schedule in the book blurb and on your profile.
Short chapters = more chapters = more engagements, reads, and votes.
The average chapter on Wattpad is between 1K and 3K.
You can split your existing book in the middle of an action (before the result is known, or when it’s worst for the main character) or at a major change for a character or shift in setting to create a cliffhanger.
Wattpad has 22 genres, and tracks hashtags as well.
You’ll get more data about each book on the website than the app (Plus the app has some really annoying video ads that you can’t turn off until they load.) Meanwhile, you can stop and make notes or look something else up on a desktop browser. (You can’t copy/paste anything from Wattpad. Just the way it is.)
Rating Your Book
Mature rating: If your story would be R or NC-17 rated as a movie, you need to rate it as Mature.
The F bomb used more than once in a chapter, or multiple uses of other profanity
Description of sexual intercourse, whether body parts are mentioned or not.
Certain topics, suicide, eating disorders, self-harm, or race. (Most of what passes for “top stories” in today’s so-called “news.”)
Everyone: If you could tell it to a 13 year old. You can only imply sex, refer to self-harm, or include non-graphic violence.
Violation responses by Wattpad include:
Rating it mature without notice.
Making certain chapters “private” so only you can read them.
Making the whole story private.
Deleting your story.
Deletions can occur for these:
Sex with a minor under 16
Non-consensual sex (rape)
Sexual role-play or messaging
Illegal sex acts, bestiality, necrophilia
In short, keep it cozy.
Note: Just as “G” rated stories gain more audience than R or others, Cozy stories can find more readers overall. Yes, there are tons of explicit romances out there with six-pack ab covers. But I’ve found on Instafreebie that the cozy stories can go just about everywhere and will get as many claims as anything else there. Cozy romances can go into Romance and even Erotic genres, but the reverse is not true. (LGBT? Same type of boat – a smaller audience, less places to go.)
Why engage on Wattpad?
You need followers to rise on the lists with reads, votes, comments.
These come from engaged readers you develop relationships with – by following and helping them.
You’re limited to 1000 followers. Try to keep this below 800 so you can use the rest for book clubs, contests, and reader requests.
A nasty tactic is to follow you just so you follow them – and then they unfollow you in a week or so.
Same old scenes – like social media anywhere:
Don’t fret about unfollowere – probably those gray hats above.
Watch their follower amounts – if they have more than 900, forget them. If they have way more followers than following, forget them.
If a reader doesn’t speak or publish in your language, forget them.
People you should follow:
Anyone who adds your book to a public reading list
People who have engaged with you in writing through votes and comments (obviously not trolls)
People who you have developed a good relationship with.
Adjust your tags – keeping two browser windows open, look up the trending tags and put the appropriate ones in your book from the Hot List and Trending tags. You have 20 tag available to use for any one book. Your tags affect when your book is recommended to others (who have just read a book with similar tags.)
Adjust your blurbs – Open the highest ranked story that is similar to yours. Read the blurb and first chapter to make sure it’s a good fit. Dissect their blurb to figure out why it’s compelling. See what is in chapter one that makes you want to turn to chapter two. Take notes and update your blurb later
(Actually, this is a continuing study. And you’ll also want to study good copywriting books – with a grain of salt. Eugene Schwartz is probably the most sensible, if you can find his book [LINK]
You want engaged followers. She mentions several approaches to finding these. The key ones you want (checking their profile) are readers only, but comment a lot – probably closest to your avid reader ideal.
A great point is to never diss a book which is popular (or at all.) Be supportive at all times.
A Short Handle on Blurbs
Master the elevator speech.
A blurb is longer than that, but is closer to the 34-second producer hook.
Mainly: character(s) in a setting with a problem.
Not a plot synopsis with spoilers. Should end in a cliff hanger (an interrupted change or development in character, setting, or action.)
No spelling errors, grammatically acceptable.
Probably won’t have dialog.
How to Find Your Audience on Wattpad in 11 Ways
(Based on 11 Ways to Wattpad Like a Pro – https://www.wattpad.com/439502543-11-ways-to-wattpad-like-a-pro-a-note-on-wattpad)
Demographics and Special Notes
The demographics may not be in your favor if you just want to take a book and publish it to Wattpad:
60+ million users
400+ million story uploads (lots of competition for those eyeballs.)
90% of activity is on mobile (stories here don’t read like regular books)
Majority of users are female, aged between 13-24.
Wattpad is different (especially) than traditional books – A cross between publishing, entertainment, and social apps.
Not all books on Wattpad find their audience – lots of stuff to choose from. High volume reads doesn’t mean success. Low volume reads doesn’t mean failure.
1. Create an Engaging Cover
Needs to be similar, but more arresting/attractive than the others in your genre.
Big type, big image, able to be clearly understood in a thumbnail view.
Use Canva – keep it simple.
2. Story Blurb: Hook the Reader
Master the Tag line.
Formula: A Character in a Setting With a Problem – and leave the reader hanging off a cliff at the end of every chapter.
Blurbs aren’t a plot summary. Not boring. An obvious tease and invitation to adventure.
3. Regular Updates
Post the first few chapters to hook them into the story.
Then once a week minimum after that (Fri am.)
Every time you update, it boosts your ranking algorithm.
Updating frequently helps ensure the reader doesn’t forget you.
You build your reader base one reader at a time.
4. Start Off at a Dead Run
Readers want to get into the story immediately – you have to transport them in a few sentences to get them into the chapter, in a few chapters to get them into the book.
Macbeth starts with three witches and a mystical prediction, the next chapter has an appearance of his father’s ghost talking to the main character on a high parapet in a foggy night. They get to some other regular human interaction in Chapter 3…
5. Hang Your Reader Off A Cliff
…at every chapter end. Write serials.
6. Write To Leverage Wattpad
Write for Mobile – short chapters, short paragraphs (if they work for your story.)
Insert multimedia (GIF’s?) and images if they contribute.
Write serial, use cliffhangers, add plot twists, bait more hooks.
Get more reads with more and shorter chapters.
Watch trends and adjust tags (or write the next one just for what’s trending…)
7. Interact – Support
Read, leave supportive comments – all openhandedly. Mention your own books rarely.
Visit clubs through the app to talk with other authors.
Be a supporter and booster at all times, to everyone.
8. When You’re Ready – Join a Contest
See on the web version of Wattpad “Community” > “Writing Contests”
Entrants tend to check out (and read) other entrant’s works.
See above. 20 tags, use the ones appropriate to your book that are trending. Keep these updated weekly. (Like when you post the next chapter.)
10. Categorize Tactically, but Accurately
Big categories (romance, teen) have a lot of competition.
Smaller categories have fewer readers, but easier to get into their top 100, which will give you more discovery.
Most books fit in at least two categories.
Make sure it’s in a correct category or those fewer readers won’t.
11. Write the Best You Can, Then Write Some More
The top books have been up there for awhile.
The best advice it to take (or write) a whole book that fits the demographics or Wattpad. Write it as a serial, cliffhangers at each chapter end. As necessary, tweak the chapters so they work – but don’t rewrite, just revise.
Then drip your book out as above. And have the next one ready to start when the first is finished.
This is a long view. You’re building audience. And telling them where they can get the book (and your other free books) if they can’t wait for the story to finish.
Free readers go to free subscribers, become paying fans.
Or that’s the general idea…
Summary of Strategies for Wattpad (An Outsider’s Digest)
1. Start with a completed work. Doesn’t matter how long it is.
Revise it so that it will serialize. Means you may want the chapters to end at different points, right in the middle of some change. You might want to write in some plot-twists – but actually, it’s better if you just make notes of how to improve the next one.
Wattpad has a different public than most – a narrower one. Mostly young and female, mobile users. Like to read in serials.
The upside of this is that there is also a big market for this type of book outside Wattpad as well. For all the major genres out there, there is also a YA version.
So consider that you can get an audience and transfer them to a buying one.
The reason for starting with a completed, published book is to be able to get your readers to either opt-in as a subscriber, or buy your completed book. This is done through the author notes before and after your chapter post.
You send them to Instafreebie for more giveaways by this author (where they are encouraged to subscribe) and to your books2read links where they can buy the version they want (and you can have more granular data about purchases.
Obviously, you want to make these Wattpad author-note links shortened by Bitly so you can track their popularity.
Post the first few chapters at a rate of about three a week – until you get the reader hooked – probably the first act, or well into it. Then post only once per week. Friday am or at least before it turns into Saturday. Be clear in your author profile about when your next installment will be posted.
2. Invest only a set amount of time on Wattpad (or any social media) daily.
While you want to encourage comments and votes, followers, you have other work you need to do. This is just one of the Four Avid Reader Horsemen. You have three others to attend to, as well as writing and publishing even more books.
Set a wind-up egg timer and use it. Quit when it dings. Period.
3. Optimize your Cover, Blurb, Category, and Tags for every book.
See above. Tweak this as needed for each chapter you add weekly.
4. Get your next book ready – or post another under a different pen name.
That’s a key point. Change your profile to your publishing imprint, and tag each book with that pen name. And put the author’s name as part of the book title. Then you can publish simultaneously as the chapters are organized by book, not submitter.
Of course, don’t be pretentious in your comments. You don’t have to keep your pen names secret. They only really exist to keep your genres separate. People can understand that.
The point is to find your audience and let them find you. Concentrate on providing the best reader experience. Then they’ll want to stay on your lines and find out your latest releases.
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