Jeff Seymour - Author of Fantasy, Literary Fiction, & c.: The Grand Experiment: My First Week(ish) on Wattpad

Mailing List

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Grand Experiment: My First Week(ish) on Wattpad

So The Grand Experiment has ticked on into its second week now, and I thought it might be a good time for a little progress report. Quick rundown of the stats so far:

On Wattpad, I have posted two chapters of Soulwoven. They have received 80 reads, 1 vote (Still unclear what exactly the voting is for. Investigation to follow), and 5 comments, several of which are from me responding to other comments. I also have three fans, only one of whom I know in real life.

Book Country I gave up on before even starting, because I disliked their Terms of Service.

Authonomy I have not yet posted anything on, because you can't post anything less than 10,000 words in length there, and that's still several chapters of Soulwoven away.

So I've been spending most of my experiment time on Wattpad, exploring the site and trying to get to know the community a bit. There are a lot of people on there, including a rather astonishing number of teenage girls. In my head, I've broken the community into several groups. To wit:

The writers---the people who write and post stories on Wattpad. I think the age skews a little older in this group.

The readers---people who read lots of stories, but don't have any of their own posted.

The socialites---this group skews younger and seems to be on the site mostly to connect and chat with other people.

Wattpad's social scene revolves around its forums (called "clubs"). I poked around a bit on the clubs last week, started a couple discussion threads and participated in a couple of others. None of them really got any traction. The lion's share of my reads have come either immediately after posting a chapter, when my book floats to the top of Wattpad's "What's New" lists in its various categories, or in the day or so following a thread I started in Wattpad's Writers Club about craft elements in Soulwoven.

All things considered, I feel pretty good about my results. My cover, while I like it, is far from eye-grabbing. I have still barely interacted with the community at all, and when you see Soulwoven on Wattpad's search listings, it reads "2 parts, 6 pages" because of how Wattpad breaks things down. Not exactly impressive. It looks half-finished and amateur.

But over time I expect my plan to post one chapter a week to bear fruit, because it makes the most of those What's New lists. The craft thread I started in the Writers Club, which I intend to keep updating, may draw in more people over time in as well. And I've been posting and updating my status and fiddling with the tools Wattpad gives me for communicating with my fans.

I think of everything I'm doing on the site at this point as laying a fire. I'm putting the infrastructure in place that will be necessary to take advantage of my story blowing up if and when it happens. In the meantime, I'm enjoying myself immensely, because I'm actually, honest-to-God connecting with the people I want to read my book. And some of them, at least, like it.

And that's a very gratifying feeling.

No comments:

Post a Comment