Since I know a number of my readers are other authors (and publishers) who follow this blog looking for tips on book marketing and sales, and a decent number of you have asked me about my Wattpad experiences, I thought I’d do a quick post on what I’ve discovered. I do want to toss out a quick apology in advance for the rambling nature of this post. It’s just a few quick brain-farts I wanted to toss out.
A lot of author websites have talked about how great the site is and how a writer can build a solid following on it. I’d played around with the site in the past, posting sample chapters of my novels. My latest novella, The Kabul Incident, was selected as a featured story on Wattpad this month and it’s generated a pretty decent amount of traffic so far — somewhere near 9000 reads in a few weeks. It’s also had quite a few positive votes (Wattpad’s version of Facebook “likes”) and a lot of reader comments.
That added exposure and readership, unfortunately, has resulted in no boost in either sales or traffic anywhere off of Wattpad. Even on Wattpad, the readership didn’t seem to translate to any of my other stories (even those specifically related to The Kabul Incident).
What I take from the experience is that the Wattpad audience seems to be one interested in reading free material only (I received a number of comments saying they loved the samples chapters but would only read on Wattpad), but they aren’t a buying audience. The readership also tends to be younger (teens) and middle aged females for the most part. Since teens aren’t a major target for me, my work may just not have been compatible.
Since I haven’t been exceedingly active on the site in terms of regularly updating (I post chapters in the month or two leading up to a new release), that may be another contributing factor. Same for not posting full material (outside of the full novella for The Kabul Incident). There’s a good chance that updating on a regular basis and putting out full works may be necessary to build an audience on Wattpad.
Anyway, that’s my Wattpad report and experience. Might be worth playing around with, depending upon your audience and your willingness to post full work. For me, I’ll still post preview chapters, but I’m not sure it’s really worth time beyond that.
I hope that helps! Oh, and before I forget, my new novel, MAN WITH THE IRON HEART, comes out November 24, 2014. It’s an occult/paranormal action-adventure tale set in the midst of World War 2. Fans of things like Hellboy, Indiana Jones, Supernatural, or Inglourious Basterds will get an absolute kick out of it. It is available for pre-order RIGHT NOW, so head over to Amazon and check it out!
-Mat Nastos, Super Genius