• Amanda Clemmer

Publishing Wide: Wattpad



With Amazon’s Kindle Vella starting up a renewed interest among many authors to write and produce books as serial publications, writers who want to go wide aren’t left with as many options for a fiction serial as they might be with a standard ebook. Wattpad is an established serial publishing hub with a large community, contacts from all over the publishing world, and constant chances to get excited new eyes on your story.

Serial Publishing

Serial publishing goes back at least two hundred years, and is often a favorite way to read or write novels and release them to a broad audience. Instead of committing to an entire book, authors only need to commit to one chapter at a time, winning readers while still in the process of drafting. This takes a lot of stress that comes with the silence of writing and not knowing how readers will react to a recent scene until after the book releases.

These days, serial publishing has taken on a new life on the Internet, with both traditional and self-published authors releasing new books one chapter at a time through an online press. The option is a fresh take for authors who want a new experience and an effective way to foster a more direct relationship with readers.

What is Wattpad?

Wattpad is a serial self-publishing service. Readers can find and support writers they like, and writers can vie for popular contest prizes, readers, or contracts with big-name publishers. While Wattpad typically attracts younger writers and is seen as an untamed underbelly of self-publishing, several writers have used it to substantially increase their base and become established for full-time careers while bonding with a dynamic fan base.

What does it offer?

Wattpad is still one of the only large serial self-publishers in the field. They boast a large community of readers and writers, engaging activities, and a chance to move on to either traditional or independent publishing in the future. One perk is that Wattpad itself claims none of your rights and no exclusivity, making it a perfect fit for authors who want to go wide or who are still uncertain about the publishing path they want to take.

Is Wattpad right for you?

For self-published authors, Wattpad has one major downside: it has no guaranteed payment option. It is possible for popular books to become monetized or to win prizes through your writing, but you can’t become a full-time author simply by planting serials on Wattpad and watching them grow. This might be a deal-breaker for some authors, but the audience that you get might be worth it.

Another facet of Wattpad is its high energy, high activity atmosphere. Its emphasis on attracting younger readers and writers gives Wattpad a strong and sometimes abrasive personality. It’s easy to feel lost navigating the platform or overwhelmed at all the books yours will compete with, and some authors aren’t a good fit. The best way to find out where you stand is to take a look for yourself, scrolling through options as a reader and trying out a few competing stories. You should know very quickly whether yours is a good fit.

In the end…

Wattpad’s unique culture, format and activities make it an easy standout in the online publishing crowd. Its enhanced flexibility but limited payment options make it an effective choice for writers who are getting started or want to try something different, but might not be satisfying for someone already established in a genre.

Are you a Wattpad aficionado? Please share your experiences or link your Wattpad favorites in the comments section below, or join my community for authors on Facebook at the button below for more great publishing discussion.



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