IWSG 54: Wattpad and the Publishing Industry

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor | Ann V. Friend | JQ Rose | Elizabeth Seckman

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: 

How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

Answer: Pretty much like most writers. I couldn’t keep it in. Self expression kept flowing. Funny thing was, I thought everyone did this. I didn’t feel special or unique. It wasn’t until my sister told me it was hard for her to put her thoughts down that I woke up.

Not everyone does (or wants to do) what we do and that makes us special. And it brought us together and that’s something good too.

Now I have a question?

Any of you get involved with Wattpad? Any tips or suggestions would be very welcome around now.

What brought me to Wattpad?

As you know my publisher closed their doors. And for a long time I didn’t do anything about it. It could have been shock, or afraid of what to do next. Self publishing isn’t really for me and the returned work were all shorts. So there was that.

Then it occurred to me I could post them as free reads on Wattpad.

I’ve been given my rights by three different publishers

Great publishers—J Taylor Publishing, Roane Publishing, and Three Worlds Press—are all closed. It’s broken my confidence and my heart. They taught me the basics and I’m so grateful. It never occurred to me they’d not be around forever.

The industry is tough. Not much to add there.

Although I’ve posted on Wattpad, I wonder if I’ve got what it takes. (Submitting to agents is hard and full of rejections passes. It’s taking its toll.)

Any suggestions on how to encourage readers/followers on Wattpad, please share. I could use an ego boost today.


104 responses to “IWSG 54: Wattpad and the Publishing Industry

  1. I share this encouragement, times are different, I’m learning, if it’s not short and to the point, they won’t read it. We competing with videos and electronic quickness. Hang in there, someone, somewhere will have an interest. (smile) Blessings and enjoy your day!

  2. Hi,
    I’m on Wattpad but have to admit that I don’t use it. I started out using it but because of my own lack of initiative and getting out there and doing something with it, I let it slip. From what I’ve heard, it has good advantages. However, you have to work up building your audience. Another option that you may want to check out is Radish Publishing. I attended an online workshop with given my two of the main people at Radish through the Contemporary Romance Fiction writers and was very much impressed with the idea. The nice thing is that when you publish there you receive payment for your stories.

    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

  3. I am curious as to why you say that sefl-publishing isn’t for you.

    I assumed for years that I’d never self-publish my work. Until I did. I’m extremely glad now that I did. I’ve published six novels, a short story collection, two film review compilation, and more since then.

    Not that I’m currently rolling in dough, but at least my work is out there. And my first novel has been optioned by a local film producer.

    Even if you get a publisher, you still have to maintain an online presence and market your work. So, why not self-publish?

    Just a bit of food for thought. 🙂

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your publishers folding.

    Here’s what I know about Wattpad:
    9 Reasons Wattpad is Good for Your Writing
    How Wattpad Works

    I wrote these posts when I was actively using Wattpad. These days, though, I’m not as involved. I think it’s after the Fantasy Community lost one of their own and changed it to the High Fantasy Community that I just stopped using the platform regularly… Anyhow, I hope these posts help 🙂

    Ronel visiting on IWSG day: Lessons in Writing from Sewing

  5. Three closed publishers–good grief. It makes me want to stay Indie. Thanks for sharing that, Anna.

    I don’t use Wattpad but am following. I’d like to see what your readers say.

  6. I’ve read some things on Wattpad, but never used it as an author. Elizabeth Spann Craig has experimented with it and written some blog posts about it which might be useful – https://elizabethspanncraig.com/promo-tips/getting-work-look-wattpad/

    • Thanks Ellen. I figured why not. It does feel pretty good when someone reads and votes.

      But I’m seeing a trend of not sticking to it, so there is that. I’m hoping my stubbornness (my super power) will get me through. 🙂

  7. Good luck with Wattpad! Sometimes Wattpad will feature a book, which can help it get more reads. Though I’ve put a sampler up of my writing on Wattpad, I don’t do much else on it.

  8. Hi, visiting from IWSG group. Guess I’m trying to figure out the purpose of Wattpad. Honestly, I was not familiar with it until now. It may be good for many but it seems (to me) I spend a lot of time online just trying to get noticed, so it feels like another time waster. Just saying. If it’s exposure as a writer you want (in addition to online), why not seek a column in a local newspaper or published newsletter? People still like holding something in hand. I tried this with a small local newspaper and wrote garden columns all summer. I didn’t get paid, but people approached and thanked me for my gardening tidbits. I’m thinking that’s not bad exposure for a community of around 4000. Maybe they’ll consider buying my fiction or nonfiction (working on one) at some point.

  9. Hi, Ana,

    Sorry to hear of your publishers closing. That is tough, BUT you do have your rights back. SO many publishers who go out of business make it almost impossible for author’s to get back their rights.

    Not familiar with WATTPAD, but i’m sure you’ll figure it out with the other commenter’s help

  10. Angela Wooldridge

    I completely get your first comment about not realising that everyone’s brain works this way! (I find that encouraging – if everyone else thought like me, there’d be less impetus to put my work out there).

  11. I’m so sorry 3 of your publishers closed. That’s terrible. At least you got your rights back and can do something with those stories.

  12. Sorry I can’t help on Wattpadd. And yes, writing is not for everyone. I enjoy it, even if it just becomes for me.

  13. I’ve heard of Wattpad, but I don’t know anything about it so all I can offer here is encouragement and good luck. 🙂

  14. Sorry about all your publishers closing. It is a tough industry. I have read some work on wattpad, but I have no help to offer. Good luck.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  15. Been on Wattpad a few years but only started being more in the last year or so. A good way to build an audience is to participate in the forums, in particular in the communities of the genre you write in. And reading and commenting on other stories. Wattpad also have a lot of contests which might help boost your readership as well. Heard about Radish so that could be another place you might want to check out. Or now that you have your rights back, try self-publishing one or two of your works, combine all your shorts into a collection, on Amazon Kindle.

    • I’m still figuring out the genre communities and comment when I find a forum that I’m interested in.

      I can’t seem to find any communities that focus on mystery writing–not yet anyway.

      • How about starting one, a thread focused on mystery writing. Like Toni Morrison said (with some substitutions: book for community, read for focus on, write for create) “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

  16. I’m on Wattpad, but I don’t know how to get followers yet either. You’re about the only person who’s reading my stuff, so I’m obviously not the person to ask. But I’ll keep chipping away at it and see what happens.

  17. Sorry, I am no help with Wattpad. I joined but never used it. And I feel guilty for NOT reading folks’ writings. I’m hearing about Medium now. But again, I haven’t taken the time to use it. I understand you can post your blog to it. Juneta does. You have a big following on this blog, so you can re-purpose the blog to build your audience with Medium. So then, why not self pub? If a publisher picks you up, you still have to market because they have invested in you. You owe them to market your book so they can make the money back. So either way, marketing is your responsibility and even more so when the publisher is depending on you. Put a few short stories together and pub them. It’s fun.
    JQ Rose

  18. I haven’t yet explored WattPad. I plan to self-pub some of my smaller bits in an anthology. If it sells only twenty copies, hey–I’ll have learned about the process. Chiming in with the others above–sounds like time to give self-pub a try.

  19. I’m afraid I’m no help in WattPad department. I played with it, but didn’t like it, so I stopped. Good luck with whatever new avenues you try. I understand how tricky this business can be.

  20. I’ve heard good and bad things about Wattpad. Like with most things, you have to hit the right audience at the right time for things to take off. But I’ve also heard about issue with stolen work so it is a gamble. Self publishing isn’t easy. I hate marketing so I understand your struggle there. I hope you find a new home for your stories.

  21. I only have experience reading on Wattpad, not publishing to it. Sorry. I hope you find it to be a good path for you!

  22. I remember getting books from some of the publishers you mentioned. It is always so sad when you see publishing agencies close. Good luck with all your writing Anna!

  23. I’m sorry to read about your publisher closing their door. I’m confident you will find some place new for your writing very soon. On the plus side, you’ve climbed that mountain before and you know what the path to success looks like. Best of luck going forward.

  24. I’m on Wattpad, but I’ve never posted anything there. Not yet. I know there are some great Wattpad podcasts. I would suggest googling that. Maybe you can download some to your phone for while you’re cleaning, etc. 🙂 http://www.raimeygallant.com

  25. I can’t help you much with Wattpad since I don’t use it, but I can wish you all the luck with whichever path you take. And trust Ronel and Raimey to have excellent links stuffed full of useful information about Wattpad. Haha, I love those two!

  26. You’re right. We sometimes take what we do as something most can do. Creating short stories and novels isn’t something that flows easily from everyone.

    Not a user of Wattpad, so can’t be of assistance, but loooks like you’re getting plenty of feedback.

  27. Its hard to see great publishers walking away from the industry. I know I panicked too. I wish I could help you with some great advice With wattpad. I am sure the group will give you many amazing new tips 🙂

  28. I have been struggling with the same question: how to attract readers to my wattpad stories. So far, I haven’t found the answer. Some of my stories are doing better than others. It might be the genre. Or the tags.

    • Yeah, I fiddled with my description to keep it under 35 words, and tweaked my tags. I’m doing better than zero have one follower I don’t know from Adam. So improvement…

      But Ken has 80 reads and has posted only five chapters. Don’t tell him, but he is doing awesome. 🙂

  29. Publishing is HARD!
    I’ve never been on Wattpad so I’m afraid I can’t help you out there. I hope you gets lots of ideas from others though!

  30. Rebecca Douglass

    I can’t help you re: Wattpad. I’ve never used it, and don’t even really know what it is (oh, no! Another thing for me to be insecure about!). I do hear you about not having what it takes for marketing your own works. Neither do I, though I went ahead and self-published anyway.

  31. Heh, I was on my way here when we bump into each other on Wattpad. *snickers, yeah you know what I’ve been doing*

    Meant to post last night but pooped out. I have not accomplished near what I wanted to today or made as many IWSG stops as I normally do. *distracted, lol* Headache, that won’t leave too, so…

    Your Wattpad page looks good. Followed 😉

  32. Sorry to hear about your publishers closing. I don’t do Wattpad, so I can’t give you any advice.

  33. I haven’t participated on Wattpad as an author, but I do know it’s where a lot of young people go to read and connect. My own daughter is a HUGE Wattpad reader. @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

  34. Cathrina Constantine

    It’s sad about so many publishers closing their doors! I started on Wattpad many years ago. I wonder if I’m still on there?? I have seen many writer’s that have stories on Wattpad and encourage people on Facebook to check them out.

  35. So unfortunate about these traditional publishing houses closing. I have no experience with Whatpad and don’t even know or understand what it is. Sorry, Anna.

    You have a way with words. Like the answer to this month’s question. So succinct and well-said; well-written. And, it always makes sense. To the point that I think: “Why didn’t I write something like that this month?” Anyway, I hope that helps with your ego boost. 🙂

  36. The closing of those publishers means new opportunities for you, not less. You got your rights back which means you can send your babies out again, or publish them yourself 🙂

  37. I’m so glad to hear you got your rights back, though. There’s at least that. Wow, yeah it is hard out there. However, I wanted to say that I’ve heard only good things about Wattpad, Ana, so go for it. What have you got to lose? 🙂

  38. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog.
    Glad you got your rights back. That’s key.
    I tried Wattpad but didn’t have the dedication to post consistent content and build a following. If I gave up my blog I could have focused on that, but I wasn’t willing to do that. Still, I’ve seen other authors manage both and do well. I wish I could tell you how they do it, but I don’t have a clue.
    Still, it’s a great platform worth checking into. It could be just the place for you to shine.

    • Thanks for the shine comment.

      I’ve been busy with Wattpad, and my latest WIP. I’m reviewing old stories and revising them to post on Wattpad and I’m also pushing forward on my latest incomplete story. So happy. Busy. Busy.

  39. I was signed in May and they closed their doors in August. Luckily I am signed again. Do not allow the folding of a publisher to break you. It had nothing to do with your writing. It’s a business and this is part of it.

    On to the next one. That is the attitude you must have. You got this.

  40. Victoria Marie Lees

    Be brave, Anna. You can do this. I’m sorry to say I don’t know anything about wattpad. Good luck with everything!

  41. I’ve considered Wattpad, but I don’t think I have the time to keep up with it.

  42. I’m not trying to be bossy, okay yes I am. 🙂 You need to try self-pub. I know writers who do this and make a good buck. Whether you go traditional or epub, you have to market yourself so either way there is that. Try it!!! You might be surprised at your results.

    I really hate that traditional publishers are closing down. Can you imagine a book store or library without books. It could happen.


  43. I’m afraid I don’t have Wattpad info, but one of my horror author friends swears by it, and has done well via Wattpad. It’s worth a try! I hope you got some great tips above! Good luck figuring everything out.

  44. I understand your realization. I have talked to a few different people who have told me that they wish they could write. Even journaling, which is second nature to me, is something that many people have a hard time with. We, as writers, are special!

  45. I sympathize with you about the closing of your publishers. I’ve had two do so in the past. Self publishing can be intimidating, but it’s worth it. I’m afraid I know next to nothing about Wattpad except there are a lot of great authors using it. Good luck with everything!

  46. I have a dormant Wattpad account but know nothing about the site.
    It’s worth looking into, if you’re so inclined and you have the time to spend navigating Wattpad and getting involved with the activities/authors.
    Good luck with your Wattpad adventure! 😊

  47. I’ve never used Wattpad, so I’m no help. I really liked your White Lightning book. I read it on vacation in Hawaii! So, keep writing and searching out a good home for your work. It’s there. Small presses are great people to work for. My hope is to complete a novel and go that route.

  48. Oh wow! I love your IWSG POV – being creative and wanting (or having) to express it makes us special. ❤ ❤ ❤

  49. I had no idea three of your publishers closed. You have my sympathies. It’s so heartbreaking when this happens, especially when you’ve gotten to know the people who are losing their jobs. It took me a while to get over Samhain.

    From what I know of Wattpad (and others have way more experience than me, so I hope they’ve chimed in), it’s really hard to get noticed there now, as it’s become oversaturated like everything else.

    As for agents, it was really, really difficult for me to go that route again, as my last experience was not positive, to put it mildly. But I found my agent (or rather, she found me) via a Twitter pitch contest, of all things. (Not the IWSG one, but the same idea.) And so far, she’s been fabulous. I’m so glad I gave her a chance.

    So, hang in there. All this is to say you never know when things are going to turn around in your favour again.

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