It might be coincidence that there’s a lot of Wattpad stuff to report this week, but I think there are a few reasons for this sudden attention. I think everyone is still looking for the next big thing… there’s always a lot of bad news in the publishing world, and yet there are odd success stories like these. Everyone wants the next Goodreads — an independent, accessible, and (yes) exploitable community of passionate readers.
Wattpad appears to have the unenviable position of boasting strong numbers and supporters.
Wattpad can keep growing as long as readers/writers get read and the community improves. Their latest move to reorganize the interactive “club” structure seems to be an attempt to improve the social component of the site, particularly the quality of interaction. They’ve reduced the number of groups and tried to promote association by “genre.” So far, so good. I’m definitely in favor of this change at least so far. We’ll see if the changes (for the better) can be maintained.
Teen author Beth Reek’s online hit novel The Kissing Booth is released in paperback
Beth Reek is one of Wattpad’s home grown success stories. She’s gotten quite a bit of press in her native UK for her accomplishment. She represents a real Wattpad success story — where someone from the community ends up finding many reads and votes and then draws attention from the publishing world. Glad that she’s able to parlay her digital success into print success. Her family also just sounds fantastic.
However, I’m not all too sure that stories like this will continue to be made. Wattpad has aggressively begun pushing books from “the outside” that were previously published onto the community. My feeling is that Wattpad and the traditional publishing world are going to be courting the readers at Wattpad on an increasing level, particularly since the acquisition of Goodreads by Amazon.
That said, I’m not sure if Wattpad features actually result in sales for books (unless they’re part of a series), so it’ll be interesting for me to see if any authors report sales bumps after being promoted on Wattpad.
Wattpad has made some other interesting news as of late:
- Partnering with Amanda Hocking to host a book club designed around the Watersong series . I think this is the first new author to really try hard to work with the fans and I commend her efforts. I hope she’s able to establish a good precedent.
- Continuing to draw attention fromn venture capital circles, with headlines like “still not monetizing!”
- Posting impressive reader engagement statistics: People Spend Three Billion Minutes a Month on Wattpad, and Still It Refuses to Monetize
- Getting shoutouts in relation to the James Patternson brouhaha on Digital Book World
Author, Margaret Atwood, continues to blaze trails
In this piece, Atwood hits on the truth (For her) about online publishing: I’m encouraged by all this online activity,” Atwood said, calling it an incubator in which writers and readers can find new paths to one another.
For me this is exactly the point of embracing the internet as a reading medium. It is a “something else” for those who write who want to be read or storytellers who want to be heard. What I respect is that Ms. Atwood’s purpose isn’t financial but artistic.
Followup: WordPress move
I wanted to just affirm that online-novel.com is going to stay at https://theonlinenovel.wordpress.com for the foreseeable future. So far wordpress.com has been kind in sending new followers every other day. Given that my objective is to grow awareness of the entire serial fiction/ webfiction/ online novel platform, it seems that so long as wordpress.com continues to funnel new viewers, there’s no reason to go back to blogspot.