Watt’s wrong with Wattpad – or is it just me?

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Like thousands of others, I write novels and ‘self-pub’ them on kindle and try to sell them.  A long while ago I also started a couple of my own blogs of short stories, initially hoping they’d act as a way of publicising my novels.

Needless to say like so many things in life it didn’t work out that way.  Some people read the stories but it led to no improved sales of the novels.

The point was though, I found I liked doing it, so continued.  It was enjoyable getting an idea for a short story, putting it out, and although there was never any prospect of earning any money, it was nice to think of people all over the world  reading them, and enjoying them.

A few people read the stories, and then my kind friend Darcia Helle (@DarciaHelle) told me about ‘Readwave’, a website for short stories.  I put my stories on there, and it was great.  Hundreds of people all over the world read them, some commented, and when I put on a new story within minutes I had many readers, some had hundreds of reads, some had over a thousand.  Readwave asked me to read other people stories, it was nice.

Then Readwave ended, just like that.  So I tried Wattpad.

And guess what?

I’m lucky if I get half a dozen readers.  I get more readers just off my own blog generally than from Wattpad.  Yet some of the Wattpad stories get thousands of reads.

So am I doing something wrong?

First let me tell you, I’m a technophobe. I hate learning processes, doing downloads, putting in passwords and generally messing about clicking, clacking and delving all over the place on sites and the far reaches of the Internet.  So it’s quite possible there’s some protocol or process I ought to do that I’m not doing, but I can’t see what it is.

The format seems much the same as Readwave, they seem to have thousands of writers, yet it seems like a strange confusing muddle to me.  A fellow short story writer on Readwave, who is absolutely superlative story teller, is also on Wattpad, and even he doesn’t seem to have many readers, and on readwave he was certainly a star, in my opinion, deservedly so.

So, presumably, I’m not on my own.

Oddly, Wattpad seems to have the facility for letting you do a story and then adding to the same story in parts progressively.  What for?  Surely if you do that, it’s a novel, not a short story.  Surely a short story, even if it’s in a series with the same characters, is complete on its own?

So am I doing something wrong?

Is Watttpad working for you?

And if there’s another site like Readwave that works for you, please let me know about it.

Wattpad isn’t doing it for me.

I only wish it was.

 

 

 

 

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54 thoughts on “Watt’s wrong with Wattpad – or is it just me?

      1. Thanks Geoffrey.
        I may never get published, but I try to have fun in the effort (In my formative years in the 1960s I was heavily influenced by Alfred E Neuman of MAD magazine….one of the 20th centuries foremost thinkers)
        Nice to be knowing you.
        Best wishes
        Roger

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  1. Hello Roger, good to meet you too. We are of an age I think, I loved MAD magazine, can’t remember much about it, just the title, all I remember was the stories were exciting and I loved them. All the best and now following your blog

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  2. Geoff, I’m sorry it’s not working out for you. I heard good things about it but that was a few years ago, and I haven’t actually tried it myself. Could it be that it’s just saturated with writers now? Maybe there are more writers than readers using the site.

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    1. Could be that Heather, yes. Maybe it’s geared more towards long stories with episodes you add onto. Or maybe I’m doing something wrong and someone will put me right.

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  3. Hi Geoffrey, I was so sad when ‘ReadWave’ lowered the curtain on their website. I have heard of Wattpad, but only because I know one other blogger who uses it. I’m seeing her at the Bloggers Bash at the end of next week so I’ll ask her about it and will let you know what she says. I’ve never used it so I can’t help I’m afraid and, since Readwave, I’ve never tried anywhere else to publish my short stories.
    Please do let me know if you come across anything like ReadWave.
    Best wishes,
    Hugh

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    1. Thanks Hugh, absolutely, Readwave was wonderful for me it really worked and I cannot help but feel I’m doing something wrong with Wattpad, as it seems to be successful. Would love to hear what your friend thinks. Bobby Stevenson, a brill writer I knew on Readwave mentioned Cowlap, I think he called it, but I never followed it up – I’ll see if I can remember it. Good to chat to you after our chats via tweets etc

      All best

      Geoff

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I use Watt pad and it’s never done anything for me. From what I can gather, it’s very young, and certainly types and genres of stories seem really popular. You have to work it like a social media sites, though, be following people, read and comment and interact a lot etc. None of which I do. I just don’t think it’s the right place for me. I know of one blogger who has had massive success there on Watt pad.

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    1. Hello Ali I think we must be two of a kind then, because all the interaction etc isn;t me either. Maybe Wattpad is good for some people, not for others. BTW am reading and enjoying your books Geoff

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      1. Hi Geoff, I really like the idea of Wattpad but I just don’t think it’s for me either. I think it needs a lot of time investing in it, which I don’t have right now. 😨 You’re reading my books??? Why does that always make me feel nervous, even now? Lol! Thanks Geoff, I really appreciate it, I hope you enjoy them. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Me too Ali, great minds think alike. Hugh has mentioned another one (in the comments) so maybe that’s worth looking at. I know what you mean about someone reading your books, but no need to be nervous, I promise!

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  6. I haven’t tried Wattpad but what I’ve heard it’s popular with fantasy and sci if readers and I believe the readership can be quite youthful. I have heard of people building up quite a following by releasing each chapter of a novel over a period of time and creating a buzz behind it, then the readers buy whatever else that author has to offer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it’s true what another said, which is simply that, like all other areas of book-marketing, Wattpad is now swamped. However, people DO get lots of views, so you could try these ideas:
    1. When you tweet a story, don’t tweet it from your blog, tweet the Wattpad version, with hashtag #Wattpad, and the #genre of the story. Then, people will read it via Wattpad, not via your blog. Most sites work like search engines; the more something is viewed, the more visible it becomes.
    2. Lose the idea that blog posts or short stories on other sites will sell your books; they may do after a while, but it takes time.
    3. Think of Wattpad as any other social networking site, and do just that: network. Read other people’s stories, comment on them, etc, and whatever else it is people do on Wattpad! And make sure you tag your stories in sections that are not already overloaded.
    4. Network with the people on Twitter who post stories on Wattpad. Find out more about what they do; observe!
    4. What Georgia said, above! My friend Gemma Lawrence (fantastic histfic writer, @TudorTweep on Twitter) was extremely popular on Wattpad; she used to serialise longer stories as well as writing short ones. She now just writes novels, and they sell very well, but she had to build up a following first, and she is an exceptionally good writer.
    5. Once you’ve done all those things, keep doing them. It takes time to build a following, anywhere.

    ps, I worked all them out just from sitting here thinking about it, I have no inside knowledge about the site and have only ever used it fleetingly – it’s just common sense really, so I hope all that helps!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Terry, yes that all makes sense. I’ll have a good think, and thanks for mentioning Gemma Lawrence, I’ll look at her books, I like some histfic. Am reading ‘A Respectable Trade’ by Phillipa Gregory, all about slave trade, pretty shocking and suprising it is too

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      1. She’s writing a 5 part series about Anne Boleyn, the first one, La Petite Boulain, is out, it’s brilliant. About her early life. She’s also written 2 about Elizabeth I, The Bastard Princess is the first one, about her young years, and The Heretic Heir is about the bit between Henry’s death and when she becomes queen. They’re all fabulous.

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  8. That’s my favourite period of history, thanks I’ll definitely get one of those to start. Was always fascinated by Ann Boleyn, her sister, mum and father. Seeing Hever Castle in Kent brings her life alive quite a bit too. If you ever get down south it’s really worth a visit, though now fairly commercialised, was also the home of Lady Astor in 19th C.

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    1. Hello Aishwarya

      Thanks so much for telling me about wordkrowd. I put 2 of my stories on there and they’ve had about 30 views each, just since last night!

      Really kind of you to suggest it, and thanks again.

      I’ll look for your stories on there too

      Geoff

      Liked by 2 people

      1. oh sorry for the late reply been very busy
        Give me your username link of workrowd so that I could check yours.
        I recently joined it and wrote few quotes and didn’t write anything else.
        I’ll be reading yours if you send me the link of your stories.
        I will give good feedback about your stories.

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  9. Reblogged this on Anders Kermod and commented:
    I’m reblogging this piece by Geoffrey West. He originally posted it about 6 months ago but I just came across it today. I, too, have had difficulty making an impression on Wattpad. I think this is in part because certain genres are more in demand there: romance, YA, dystopian SF, paranormal, fantasy etc. I did find that I got two readers/followers by posting a link to one of my short stories on a Club/Forum page. Two followers isn’t a lot but it might be a start, so I recommend that Geoffrey does the same. I’ll put a link to the relevant page in the comments below.

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    1. Thanks Anders. Yes, certainly vampires etc seem to be in demand there, which is not my thing. It’s well worth trying what you suggest. Good luck with all you’re doing, and I’ll take a look at your stories, then at least you’ll have 3 followers!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I was on Wattpad for three years before I finally woke up and realized what a waste of time it is. They say to interact with people, follow others. and read their stories. Well, mostly you are interacting with teens that have dumb conversations, mostly, and reading poorly written stories.

    I’d rather spend my time working on my craft.

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    1. Thanks yes I agree. What is depressing is that Readwave, for me, was marvellous, so nice and so many people read my stories and I got to like other writers’ stuff on there. Wattpad, to me, makes no sense at all, but it obviously works for others

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      1. It’s always tough to lose a website that works for you. I haven’t been able to find a website that works for me. And yeah, for some people Wattpad works. It didn’t do anything for me at all, and I got tired of wasting my time there. I found most of the users negative and once some writers got popular, they became stuck up.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s not you. I write on Wattpad and I just got 1.1k reads on a novel I’d been writing for nine months. There are genres that capture more readership then say, short stories or poetry. I’ve come across some really horribly written stories with millions of views, likes, and comments. It boggles my mind. If you’re not writing in a popular genre, you most likely won’t attain the readership you desire. Even knowing this truth, I still use Wattpad. I have to make my presence know other places other than my personal blog.

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  12. We’re sorry to hear that. We’ve created a site for all unheard writers like you, we will be pleased to see you. Go check it out.
    We are sorry again.
    Thank you.

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    1. No it’s probably my fault, as I said, something I’m doing wrong – I didn’t mean to cast any aspersions on Wattpad, just my confusion about what I must be doing wrong, when others seem to like it

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  13. Hello! I set up an account on Wattpad a while ago and published a couple of short stories, but Like you said, I got more readers on my blog. Then again, it’s been a while since I’ve even been on there to check. I think in order for it to work you have to invest a lot of time and energy and I just don’t have the time right now.

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    1. Hello Vashti, yes, same for me as I explained. The thing I don;t understand is, when Readwave seemed to work so well, why is Wattpad so different? I think there are other similar sites around. Anyway thanks for looking at my blog and I’ll go and take a look at yours. good to meet you

      Like

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