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What’s With Wattpad?

I heard a few good things about Wattpad during 2014.

Wikipedia (December 20, 2016) says…

Wattpad is an online storytelling community where users post written works such as articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems, either through the website or the mobile app…

As of April 2014: [Yes, 2014]

  • 85% of its traffic and usage comes from mobile devices,
  • the site has 35 million unique visitors per month,
  • there are over 100,000 story uploads per day,
  • there have been over two million writers.

… According to the profiles visible on the site, many of these authors are teenagers.”

I took a look and found it full of YA, Romance and Undead Fantasy (not my genres), mostly written by teens. Still, I thought I’d give it a try and uploaded some short stories (horror, hard scifi…) to test the waters. I had a reasonable readership response, but few Likes or comments. Okay (shrug), I’m not Rowling or Atwood or Howey (yet). I’m not going to get swarms of eager readers seeking out every word I electronically utter (yet).

Persevering, I tried a novel.

In 2015, I started uploading chapters of my slowly developing “paranormal noir” novel. It’s actually more noir than paranormal but I write stories, not anally specific sub-sub-genres, so that’s the closest category I can claim for it. I call it “Bogart. With a ghost. Maybe.

Strange results

I had very few readers. Okay, weak promotion by me, no sex, wrong genre, bad writing, no monsters, no sex, overly mature themes (not “adult”), no sex… Lots of reasons for low readership. (Definition: “Adult themes” means lots of sex.)

But here’s the rub:

  • more people read chapter five than chapters three or four, and
  • chapter one was the least read (at the time)
Baffling!

I pressed on and submitted a few more chapters. The reader numbers continued to be inconsistent. I received one comment and one Like. (Thank you both.)

Seriously deterred, a few months ago I uploaded chapter one of my novel “Faces of Janus” to pre-announce its arrival on the market.

I received a couple more comments and Likes across my entire set of works. Nothing special, no interest.

I gave up and stopped checking my account.

Surprise, but still Strange

As I started to write this post, I checked the readership figures to post those oddly distorted early results.

Hmm… While I was busy ignoring my Wattpad account, I’d collected a growing readership for the short stories as well as for the novel chapters. But the readership pattern is still strangely skewed. Here’s the stats…

 

Can anyone make any sense of that readership pattern? Because I can’t.

Perhaps Wattpad is a platform for any aspiring authors reading this. But I’m not convinced it’s right for me.

 

4 comments on “What’s With Wattpad?

    • Thanks for your kind words, Beverly.

      There ARE some good stories (by other people), but they’re swamped by a mass of other stuff. Let’s do a Christmassy “goodwill to all men” thing and just say I don’t think it’s for me. I had hoped for feedback and critiques from people I could recruit as beta readers, but despite the massive readership I will have to look elsewhere. After all, a writer’s life is about overcoming obstacles, especially in the early days, before Hollywood comes knocking 😉 (I used to think it was about writing, silly me.)

  1. I tend to agree. It seemed okay when Red Room (which was a mature writers’ group) was taken over by Wattpad, but lately it’s been a lot of barely intelligible gibberish from teens that I do not understand.

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