Wattpad adds Stats Feature
For those who run their own sites and use WordPress or Google to collect data on visits/readers/comments, the news that Wattpad has added a Stats feature is not particularly scintillating. However, for a community like Wattpad whereby the author had to manually track their own information, this seems to be an interesting and hopefully useful tool in some respect.
It’s a fairly simple tool, easily found on the author “Works” management area .
What it basically reveals is a simple graph of reads, comments, and votes (by sections/chapters). You can turn off any of the items in case you don’t care to look at specific metrics.
The statistic visual only provides a snapshot at time of viewing. Therefore, as an analytic tool it’s fairly crude. While you can see interesting things like reader drop off (or as the optimist would call it “retention”), you have no time-based data to suggest how your story performance varies over stages of completion. For those authors who want to know the impact of your updates over time or completion itself in finding readers, you are still going to have to do a lot of manual data mining of your own. (Example spreadsheet here.)
I have yet to see any open calls for feedback, though, so I’m unclear exactly how Wattpad plans to learn /modify/ improve this feature. Hopefully Wattpad will actually try to solicit feedback and also assure authors that something like this will stay on site. For now, I think I’ll continue to collect data manually on my own :).
Jukepop Serials: Anthology and Partnerships
Jukepop has made several interesting moves this past week. The first is the decision to print an anthology of its works and sell through their site. This blog post paints the anthology as something to gift in the holiday season but leaves it ambiguous as to exactly what else it could be used for. Some inferences/observations from the blog post would include that this is essentially a print sampler to prod somewhat more print-bound readers to the website.
But I would hazard, based on my own experiences selling at conventions, that its ability to be more than that is constrained. Whether we like it or not, serials have a real problem meeting the need of those who like instant gratification (via a complete work) or who are trained to only read complete works.
This anthology does not consist of short stories but of excerpts from some fairly extensive serials. This is awfully hard to market to impulse buyers, particularly at 16.09 a copy — which is at par with many high-end softcover complete works. At this price point, people generally don’t experiment with creative buys.
Even more mystifying is that the ordering fulfillment is being handled by the McNally store in NYC. For those that know that store (as I have walked through a few times), the print on demand machine has a decent location in the front half of the store. Sometimes the sample books available to buy are laid out on a table or shelf near the Espresso machine. The quality is okay — although not necessarily better or worse than what you can get through Createspace and Lulu. A sales might be made at store from someone who is not being directly marketed at to buy the anthology. However, McNally’s has no other print outlets or distribution channels from what I understand. Createspace and Lulu books are linked to internet sales much more easily and Createspace books can be listed on Amazon directly.
Bottom-line-up-front: The in-store benefit and the organic sales life of this print anthology is limited and the other print-on-demand options are arguably more attractive.
However, I know sometimes partnerships can evolve over time. And there might be a silver lining to all this if a number of things start to happen. A year ago, Espresso and Kodak talked about partnering to push the POD machines into various retail stores. It would appear from an update that appeared in Publisher’s Weekly this month that Espresso and Kodak remain committed to pushing books into drugstores. If this anthology joins the Espressnet catalog, stores that have Espresso electronic book machines might be able to print books such as this anthology. The current network, however, is still fairly small and appears to be fairly academic. The benefits may eventually appear but not for some time if drug store customers are willing/able/ and knowledgeable about this anthology and other books in the Espressnet catalog.
A less mystifying move is today’s announcement regarding the Jukepop partnership with “She Writes.“ More or less , members of the site “She Writes” are being encouraged to serialize /submit serials to Jukepop Serials with a contest. It appears that the authors still have to undergo the same editorial process and possibly compete in the same voting pool. However, these authors will be competing for a community-specific prize of their own. I think it’s a good, shrewd way to bring some new works into the Jukepop pipeline, particular ones that target women. This also seems to me to be a good partnership in ways that Wattpad cannot deliver — specifically engaging writers and readers who are older.
As an unapologetic “chick fic reader” I’ll be very interested to see what appears in the “She Writes” section of Jukepop Serials over the coming months.
In any case, best of luck to the “She Writes” joining the fray as SERIALIZERS. If you find your way here, hope you will have fun perusing some of the resources this site links to. And as always, you’re free to contact the contributors to this blog with your questions.