Monday, August 26, 2013


A couple months ago, a woman in Writers Group at the Dietrich mentioned a story-sharing website called Wattpad so I checked it out. It's part social media, part writers-seeking-an-audience. Some confident writers use it to connect with readers and gain a following. Some have seen their stories there read over 200,000 times, garnishing tens of thousands of 'votes.'
New writers often use the site to get feedback from real readers on their work. And it offers something to readers as well. The anonymity provided by the internet might give a reader space to offer constructive feedback instead of a more saccharine "that's a nice story."

That same woman from Writers Group mentioned an acquaintance who posted the first couple chapters of her book a few pages at a time on Wattpad. In a few months, she gained about 7000 'followers' of her story. She self-published it and had thousands of immediate sales. Her audience was ready-made and the initial burst of sales was enough to put her on the best-seller list for a time. Was the story really that good? I couldn't say. But her marketing plan was awesome. She essentially used crowdsourcing not to develop the product but to develop the readership, to create a platform. That's exactly what happens on American Idol, The Voice, and a dozen other reality shows. Why not in stories?

If you want to see some of my stories on Wattpad, I'm jeanne42.

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