For the past year, I've been thinking about and researching Wattpad. I've heard of people having success there, but I've been in this business long enough to know that for every wildly successful author out there, there are about 10,000 others who haven't achieved the same results.
I had a few of misgivings about Wattpad.
- There are thousands and thousands of stories available which means it's yet another platform where competition is fierce.
- It's free. I work very hard on writing and editing my novels, and I feel my time has value. No one would give away a house they built themselves, and we're talking about a similar number of hours invested.
- If the novel didn't do well, I ran the risk of never getting it traditionally published because it would be available online for free, which technically means it was previously published.
However, I have this manuscript that I wrote during the 72-Hour Novel Contest (yes, you have 72 hours to write an entire novel). The Typhon Project is a YA Sci-fi apocalyptic read that is complete at 35,000 words, qualifying it as a novella, not a novel. I loved the story, so I'd considered weaving in some subplots to beef it up but, after a lot of thought, came to the conclusion that the story was best served at its present length.
As I considered trying out Wattpad, I thought of The Typhon Project, a manuscript that I would probably never pursue traditional publication for because of its length. I wanted to share that story and since it was just going to languish on my computer anyway, I decided that Wattpad might be an excellent way for me to get it in front of readers, especially since the platform is hugely popular with teen audiences.
So, I designed a cover and posted the first couple chapters. I've committed to posting a chapter per week until it is complete. This experiment is well underway, and I'm excited to see how it turns out. If you're curious, you can find it here: The Typhon Project
Since I'm still learning this new platform, I'd love tips from the OA community. If you have any tips or best practices to share with a Wattpad newbie, please post them in the comments below. Thanks!
Melinda Friesen specializes in writing teen fiction. Her first novel, Enslavement, has been nominated for a Sunburst Award as well as a Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Snow Willow Award.