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.

 

Dysprosium : SciFi Convention

dysprosiumDysprosium was the 66th annual UK SciFi Convention, held at Easter 2015.

(Yes, I’m still playing “catch-up”.)

Overview

Weird and wacky, thoughtful and intelligent, and a Real Ale bar permanently packed-out with hobbits. Well, not real hobbits, but hairy folk wearing homespun and sandals. (For my non-UK readers, Real Ales are traditional beers produced by smaller breweries with love and care and no artificial additives.) The Bar seems to be a popular recurring feature of these conventions.

Differences

This was my first “big” scifi convention. I’d attended Luxcon a week earlier (see post): the difference was remarkable. Most Luxembourg attendees lived locally and needed no hotel accommodation. UK attendees were from a wider catchment area so most needed hotel rooms. As a result, the age profiles were radically different. LuxCon folk were predominantly young adults, with a greater cosplay tendency: the UK folk were generally older, more likely to have spreading waistlines, receding hairlines and greater disposable income (to afford the travel and hotels).

I’d say there was more pop-scifi in Luxembourg, and more fantasy in the UK.

Workshops and Beyond

I submitted different pieces of writing to three writing workshops. Due to the number of attendees, time constraints prevented full analysis of the submissions, but each presenter team provided follow-up:-

  • Elsewhen Press – critique session
    • submitted : a short story, “Homo sapiens inferior
    • follow-up : Elsewhen invited attendees to submit a story after the convention for a full critique
  • Terry Edge and Kim Horwood – improving writing and achieving goals
    • submitted : the first chapter of my far future novel-in-progress, “Succession!
    • follow-up : Terry and Kim sat with me between other sessions for valuable informal chats
  • Donna Scott (editor and chair of the British Science Fiction Association) – critique session
    • submitted : the first page of my noir novel-in-progress, “Private Vices
    • follow-up : Donna edited the entire submission after the convention and sent me her comments

Thank you to them all.

Conclusions

Between the Real Ale and the wonderful attendees I met, the excellent session presenters and the great folk running the workshops, I had a great time and learned so much. Already looking forward to next Easter’s Convention, “Mancunicon” (in Manchester, UK).

Afternote : Only a few people ignored the “No Bare Feet” notices. I do hope they enjoyed their pedal fungal infection transfers.

 

Popularity

A_Alexa_internet_logoGreat news! According to the reputable Alexa ranking system today, my blog was the 814th most accessed site from Luxembourg. So out of the teemingly uncountable* domains on the planet, a few sites like Amazon and YouTube are more popular. (Okay, those two and 811 mega-corporations and a few porn sites.) Continue reading

Anthologies and Contests #2

250px-Quill_(PSF)Last time, I praised the opportunities for unpublished writers offered by submitting to Anthologies and Contests.

So where do you start in your search for Anthologies and Contests seeking submissions? Continue reading

How To Spot A Winner

 

© Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

© Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

Last time, I considered “Failing To Spot A Winner” in the entertainment industry. Now, let’s look at the reverse of the coin.

How To Spot “Potential Success”

Continue reading

Failing To Spot A Winner

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Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

The traditional publishing industry does not exactly have 100% record of identifying books carrying the stamp of massive popularity and commercial success. Consider this list of best-sellers from various genres and their initial rejection totals (source: “How Stuff Works“): Continue reading

Writers Write, Right?

Dreamstimefree

Dreamstimefree

My blog has been a little quiet these past weeks, as I’ve been catching up on some writing.

I have seen a few independent writers recently close down their blogging activities on the grounds that they wanted to spend more time with their work-in-progress novels.

Writers write, right?

Well, yes, but… Continue reading

Twitterback

twitter logo

In a recent post I considered the social network etiquette – the “netiquette” – of Following-back, particularly in Twitter. I’ve now reached that wonderful “critical point” where my Following grows daily without any “marketing effort”.

I do know that this is due to the weight of numbers already Following me, rather than a sudden, global appreciation of my scant published works. However…   Continue reading