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ALLi Insights: Reaching Readers through Wattpad Video and Podcast

ALLi Insights Generic LogoIn this month’s How-to for Authors, Orna Ross chatted with mystery writer Elizabeth Spann Craig to discover how she’s using Wattpad to expand her reader demographic. If you’re looking for an uncomplicated and free way of reaching more readers, Wattpad could be the option you’re looking for.

What is Wattpad?

Wattpad is a place to discover and share stories: a social platform that connects people through words. It is a community that spans borders, interests, languages. With Wattpad, anyone can read or write on any device: phone, tablet, or computer. via Wattpad About Page

Wattpad Logo Spread Your Word ALLi Insights Q&A

Wattpad Insights for Indie Authors

This month’s ALLi Insights event was full of information and inspiration about why and how you can leverage your existing content to reach a broader audience.

Here’s 10 Wattpad Insights to whet your appetite:

  1. Wattpad users are very mobile savvy and skew towards a younger demographic.
  2. Authors don’t have to write serially, they just need to publish serially.
  3. The Wattpad mobile app for free, and a Wattpad account is also free.
  4. Set a consistent publishing schedule for your chapter releases.
  5. If you already have a free book, it makes sense to leverage it on Wattpad. Use it as a funnel to your other books.
  6. At the end of each Wattpad chapter you can add an author call to action (e.g. sign up to the author’s mailing list, or letting your readers know where to buy the book if they can’t wait for the next installment).
  7. A demographics tab gives you insights into the age demographics of your readers and their geographic location.
  8. Authors can add images or a video to each chapter to increase engagement.
  9. It’ll take about 4-6 chapters to get some audience traction.
  10. Wattpad increases your opportunity of reaching your share of the 40 Million global readers.

Listen to or watch the entire ALLi Insights event to put these informational nuggets into context, and pick up more book marketing ideas from Elizabeth about how to reach more readers using Wattpad.

ALLi Insights YouTube Video

ALLi Insights SoundCloud Podcast

Elizabeth Spann Craig Bio

Elizabeth Spann Craig Mystery Writer ALLi Insights WattpadElizabeth Spann Craig is a Mystery Writer who writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink independently. She blogs at ElizabethSpannCraig.com/blog.

She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine Writers Knowledge Base (which is a search engine for writers). Elizabeth makes her home in North Carolina with her husband and two teenage children.

Orna Ross Bio

Orna Ross Author ProfileOrna Ross launched the Alliance of Independent Authors at the London Book Fair in 2012. Her work for ALLi has seen her named as one of The Bookseller’s “100 top people in publishing”.

She also publishes poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and is greatly excited by the democratising, empowering potential of author-publishing.

Connect with Orna on Twitter @OrnaRoss

Catch up on Past Events

If you missed our any of our past events you can watch the video or listen to the audio in the Round-up articles on this blog:


Joining ALLi

Interested in Joining ALLi? Besides being able to submit questions to this monthly Q&A, there are lots of other benefits to being an ALLi Member. Click this banner, to find out more.

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7 Responses to ALLi Insights: Reaching Readers through Wattpad Video and Podcast

  1. Sam November 12, 2015 at 6:49 am #

    This is a good topic of discussion and while Wattpad has benefits for all authors, not just indies, I think Elizabeth is painting too rosy a picture of what Wattpad COULD do rather than what Wattpad is likely to actually provide an author.

    It’s true that books aimed at 13-24 will do best, YA or romance will do great. Most Wattpad readers are female, so that helps. If her books find the sliver over 30 and some teens as well, that’s also great, since they would probably not have heard of her otherwise.

    In the videos, Elizabeth Craig says she put her book up and some readers said they bought her book and that it helps her sales. The question is, how much does it help, and could you have done something else and gotten more sales elsewhere? It’s chicken and the egg argument I know, but it’s still a fair question. It’s the same idea behind supporting online piracy, because some pirates might end up buying your next book. The question is whether you’re okay with it and if it in fact does boost sales.

    Second, Wattpad is poor in my view at supporting indie authors. They could remedy this by building in a platform that allows sales like Pinterest and actually allowing promotions, but they don’t do much to encourage sales, thus leaving the writer to hope their audience loves their book so much they buy it on Amazon or elsewhere (unless you write so others can read your work for free, in which case this argument doesn’t matter). Yes, I could stick in a website call to action. But realistically, how many people will actually leave Wattpad to sign up for your site’s emails? Especially from a smartphone? Unless you’re a superstar, likely not many. Anecdotally, I posted this question about Wattpad on Goodreads and checked out other indie author blogs- roughly two-thirds said Wattpad has a negligable, if any, impact on total sales.

    Third, the reality is this: The odds of gaining significant views there is almost zero, much like YouTube. It doesn’t matter how many chapters you serialize or how talented an author you are- there are about 3-4 million people writing anything from 1D fan-fic to Percy Jackson fan-fic in between big-name authors and indies like us. it is absolutely possible to get noticed, especially if Wattpad makes you the featured author. IF. It’s just not as simple as serializing and chatting all day with other Wattpadders. The open secret is that to draw readers, you have to give Wattpad a lot of your time and energy. So yes, authors willing and able to put in 2-3 hours a day or more to socialize on the platform, give feedback, and ask for reads stand a better chance than authors who don’t. But how many authors really have the time to basically reply to every comment there? or check out dozens upon dozens of other people’s writing to offer feedback? If you write in your spare time between a job, or jobs, and you have children, and you have other social media pages, and other responsibilities and chores to do, how much time will you honestly give to Wattpad in order to boost your view count?

    Having rambled, I agree Wattpad has benefits, and some authors will benefit from the serialization/free chapter samples/ short stories and reach new theoretical customers. I just think Alli needs to present an alternative argument to this point before your viewers and readers get the idea that doing what Elizabeth did will somehow boost their own stories.

    • Orna Ross November 18, 2015 at 5:42 am #

      Thank you for your long and thoughtful reply, Sam. I completely agree that all social platforms take time and energy and yes, getting featured on the platform seems to be key to success to the writers we’ve seen do well there. Apologies if that didn’t come across clearly enough in the interview.

  2. Gordon A. Long October 30, 2015 at 5:57 am #

    Thanks for the article. I knew about Wattpad, but like everyone else, I thought I had to write a serial in order to participate. I found the YouTube video interview with Elizabeth Spann Craig invaluable. I put my first chapter up immediately!

    • Orna Ross November 18, 2015 at 5:42 am #

      Good for you gordon, let’s us know how it goes.

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