Two months ago, I joined Wattpad and began putting up my contemporary romance novel as a free serial read. I deemed this my Great Wattpad Marketing Experiment, and my primary goal was to increase my fan base by introducing more people to my writing. In a May update, I gave you numbers with regard to how many times the book had been read on the platform (27,037), the story’s ranking there (#10 in romance), and the number of reader votes it had received (816). Fast-forward an additional four weeks to today, and I have an update on those numbers for you, along with actual sales data that I think you’ll find more than just a little interesting.
First, the book’s Wattpad rankings: As of the time of this post, the story has reached #1 on the romance list, has been read 290,771 times, and has received 7,679 votes and 861 comments. I’ve also had 771 people follow me on the platform so they receive emails whenever I add a chapter (giving me a whole new email list of interested readers, a side-benefit I hadn’t anticipated).
In addition, the book has risen from its rather forlorn 1.3 million-something place in Amazon’s rankings to the much more satisfactory 15-30k range, where it has remained for the last four weeks.
And now, the sales data. I’ve included numbers here from Kindle, Kobo, and iBooks (sales on Nook have been negligible and I have yet to meet the minimum required to even qualify for payment, so I didn’t bother with those).
|June 2013 (book published) — April 1, 2014 (10 months)||244||18||42||314|
|April 1 (Wattpad debut April 26) — June 20, 2014 (9 weeks)||243||23||133||399|
In short, I sold more copies of Gwynneth Ever After in 9 weeks than I did in the previous 10 months — and that included the book’s launch promotion. To say that I was blown away by this data would be an enormous understatement…I actually think the only word that applies here is gobsmacked. Of course, the question now is: can these results be duplicated?
While I don’t know for certain, I suspect it’s do-able. I don’t have another completed novel to put up myself at this point, but I’ve just begun a serial release of Sins of the Warrior, the fourth book in the Grigori Legacy, in its beta version. It will be difficult to judge results with that one, but I’m hoping to draw new interest to the overall series (I’ll have to wait for my next reporting period to see numbers). In the meantime, if you would like to try a Wattpad marketing experiment for yourself, here are a few tips to help you get started:
- First, you need to be ready and willing to give your book away for free. Understand that there are no guarantees that you’ll make any sales at all, and be okay with that (much like you would be with doing a free Kindle promotion).
- Serialize a novel that you’ve already completed and self-published. Quality is your friend here, so make sure you’ve had it edited and proofread. In general, I think people are more willing to pay for a book that’s free of grammar and spelling errors as opposed to just waiting for the next installment. At the end of each new chapter, be sure to include buy links (they won’t be live, but they can be cut-and-pasted) for the book. My end-of-chapter message reads like this:
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you’re enjoying Gwyn & Gareth’s story. Look for a new chapter to be uploaded each Friday morning! Feel free to check out my urban fantasy stories on Wattpad as well…I have excerpts from my three published Grigori Legacy novels, plus a complete short prequel called An Archangel’s Defiance. Can’t wait for more of Gwyn & Gareth? I’ve got you covered! 😉 GWYNNETH EVER AFTER is available in its entirety for just $2.99 on Kindle (https://amzn.to/RaYV8c), Kobo (https://bit.ly/PFSkl0), Nook (https://bit.ly/1h2achk), and iBooks (https://bit.ly/1nQPLJ9). NOTE: If you have any issues with the above buy links, you can go through the links on my website at www.lindapoitevin.com.
- I personally think it’s best to have the book up for sale on all digital platforms (Kindle, Kobo, Nook & iBooks). If you look back at the table above, you’ll note the significant increase in iBooks sales…I suspect this is an indication of the number of people who are accessing Wattpad on iPads and iPhones. And yes, I know you can download a Kindle app for those, but why chance missing out on an impulse buy, right? 😉
- Understand that your current online presence will play a significant role in your Wattpad success. As I mentioned in my May update, it stands to reason that an author who already has an established online presence will generate more interest (at least initially) than someone who’s just starting out. Be prepared to promote your Wattpad presence on your other channels — tweet links when you put up a new chapter, post occasional reminders on your Facebook page, etc.
- Also be prepared to interact with your Wattpad readers. Remember, you’re building a community there just as you would do on Twitter or Facebook, so make time to respond to comments, answer questions, and so on. And before you roll your eyes and groan about one more social media chore, I have to tell you that I’ve really enjoyed this interaction — it’s been fun (and rewarding!) to see readers’ reactions to the story as it unfolds, and to know what passages grip them most.
So there you have it, fellow authors…everything I’ve learned about Wattpad in my very short time there. I hope you find the information useful, and I wish you every success with your own Wattpad marketing ventures! Questions or comments? I’d love to hear them and promise a response. And I’d also love to know if these tips have been helpful to you!
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P.P.S. To find out more about writing on Wattpad, check out their Writers’ Page.
P.P.P.S. For more social media tips, check out other posts in my Social Media Monday series…and subscribe to the blog (via the big red box in the side bar) for future updates.