Wattpad has now become less popular

What influence does Wattpad have on your writing behavior?

Jeanette: Wattpad doesn't influence me in my brainstorming. Since I upload the stories to the platform while they are being created - that is, by chapters - it may well happen that one of the reader's comments helps with the brainstorming or changes the existing ideas. It also influences me in the sense that through the reactions of the readers I notice which parts work well and which scenes leave questions unanswered. In the second case, I revise the scenes in question again and ask the critics to reassess them. Basically, Wattpad enables me to exchange ideas with the reader while the story is being created and also gives the reader the opportunity to influence the course of the story or the development of the scene during this process. Since I belong to the group “Planster”, i.e. those authors who write without a fixed plot, this method is perfectly suitable for me and the constant feedback from diligent readers also keeps the motivation.

Joseph: In any case, I am much more thorough when writing and add chapters more quickly because you know that there are people waiting for the next few pages. Depending on how seriously you take it yourself, there is a little pressure behind, but personally I can really use it

Did you finish the story beforehand?

Jeanette: No. There are certainly works of mine on Wattpad that were finished before I even knew about the platform. But as I write, I upload my new works chapter by chapter so that the reader can see live, so to speak, how quickly or slowly a story is developing.

Joseph: I don't really prescribe, as soon as I've finished a chapter, I upload it to WP right away. Of course, it has the disadvantage that at some point you don't like the old plot anymore. But when you pull back chapters or entire stories and announce that, people actually always understand.

How is Wattpad affecting your sales?

Jeanette: Since my number of followers on Wattpad is not yet very high (but I have only been registered there since April) it does not have a very noticeable impact on my sales. However, I know that colleagues with high numbers of followers also have significantly higher sales and that these are demonstrably from watt paddlers.

Joseph: The future will show how this will affect sales, I'm not ready yet. But I've never seen it have negative consequences either. Of course there are publishers who don't like pre-publications, but that's another topic. Basically, I think Wattpad has more advantages than disadvantages as an advertising space.

How is Wattpad affecting your reviews?

Jeanette: Kind of like on sales. But here, too, I would like to refer to my colleagues with a high number of followers who openly ask for reviews in their works on Wattpad (or their reading samples), as it is unfortunately often difficult to motivate readers to write a review these days . It is probably easier for many to express their displeasure with a book (i.e. to give a bad review) than in the opposite case. I don't want to deny anyone's opinion, I am generally happy about every review, whether positive or negative, because for me this means that the reader has dealt with my work.

Joseph: The reviews on Wattpad itself are a great help because the people are pretty honest there and it seldom happens that you work against other authors. I've also received reviews with constructive criticism that helped me improve the book.

How do you build your community at Wattpad?

Jeanette: By exchanging ideas with other authors there. This can take the form of praise and criticism of their work (and here I have to say, the vast majority of the authors on Wattpad are incredibly grateful for tips, myself included), or during and during conversations on blogs from other Wattpadders. The Wattpad Germany Facebook group also gives you the opportunity to exchange ideas with other members of the community. In addition, it is of course advisable to remain objective and friendly even in the event of criticism. Of course, this is not always easy, but if you deal objectively with criticism, even these readers will come back. So far I can only say that the criticism I have received on the platform has always been constructive and I am always happy to receive comments in this direction.

Joseph: Wattpad range works through sharing, you write a lot, read a lot from others and exchange ideas. The real ranking and the range of Wattpad is pretty opaque and meanwhile there are quite a few conspiracy theories about how they would calculate it. That's why you shouldn't make yourself so dependent on it. But if you really want to build a large community, then the best thing to do is to put other books on the reading lists and participate in the annual Wattpad Awards.

Are you referring to Wattpad from other social media platforms?

Jeanette: Rare. It actually brings more if you are active on Wattpad yourself. Also or especially as a reader. If you read the works of other authors, like them and make a comment here and there about things that you like (or don't), that automatically leads to more visibility. I keep noticing it myself. If I actively comment there, my readership increases rapidly. I can count the times I've advertised on social media platforms on one hand and, in my opinion, have brought little or nothing.

Joseph: I actually even have a link to Wattpad in my private Fb profile. A few friends of mine then created an account there too. But otherwise it doesn't matter, because most readers also find out about the WP
Find a Facebook group.

Which genre is Wattpad suitable for?

Jeanette: In terms of genre, everything can be found there, but just like on the book market, there are of course different target groups. At the beginning (April 2018) I felt that fantasy would resonate most there, but to my surprise it was and still is my historical novel. But that may also be due to the fact that the fantasy area is very well developed there and it's easy to get lost in the multitude of works. In my experience, readers can actually be found for every genre.

Joseph: WP is actually suitable for every target group, but the protection of minors applies, which is why extreme content such as at FESTA Verlag and unambiguous pornography are not permitted.
For everything else, there is still the mark as adult content. The most popular stories there are still FanFictions to this day, as the medium emerged from them, but the trend is slowly declining and closer to the broad field of fantasy / youth literature / romance / sci-fi / thriller. There are even a few comics.

What do you think is the difference between Sweek and Wattpad?

Jeanette: I haven't been with Sweek long (less than a month) and at the moment I have to admit that the current competitions there (I hope this is the cause) doesn't make the platform really attractive. Not because the focus is on the competitions, these are actually a great opportunity for new authors. It's more about the fact that there are always some authors who try to circumvent the competition rules in order to "beg" for likes. This means that you have private messages asking for a like in your mailbox every day. In the long run this is actually very exhausting. In terms of its structure, each of the platforms has its pros and cons. I like the fact that Wattpad gives me the opportunity to leave or receive a comment for each paragraph. This helps me to find the right place in case of criticism instead of going through the text over and over again. On the other hand, I think it is better with Wattpad that you can vote once for a book instead of for each chapter individually. In my opinion, this is clearer. In terms of the visibility of the individual works, on the other hand, I think Wattpad is better. The division and search function is simply better developed there and you have more of a chance to make your work visible, even without a massive number of likes. Sweek is currently on the rise in terms of the opportunity for young authors to come into contact with German publishers, but as far as I know, Wattpad is slowly following behind. So you see, both platforms have things that are amazingly great and some that aren't that appealing.

Joseph: Unfortunately, I don't know Sweek at all.

What target group can you find there?

Jeanette: I have actually come into contact with readers of all ages on Wattpad. Accordingly, every target group is actually present. Of course, my youth fantasy novel has a completely different fan base than my historical novel, but both genres have diligent readers. It is the same with the authors on Wattpad. There, too, you will find different age and interest groups. At this point I would like to say positively that the age of the individual authors rarely plays a role. You try to support each other and to help you get better. The members also encourage each other again and again. And it doesn't matter how old someone is. There are of course exceptions; if it weren't for that, the whole thing would be unrealistic. But the majority of users are actually keen to exchange ideas, to help, to support and to stand aside with constructive criticism. There are cover designers who, in return for a mention, offer to create a cover or a book trailer for the user or even set works to music as an audio book. There are evaluation books in which individual users rate the history of the others upon request, there are even those users who offer "proofreading" or at least correction of the texts. And I think this is something that you can rarely find on other platforms of this kind. Namely the will to create something together. This also includes the German Wattpad team, which is always in touch with the authors on the platform and is also at their side with advice and action, accepts and forwards suggestions for improvement (to the team in Canada), and always comes up with new things to inspire users. In addition to the Wattys every year, the German platform now also has the so-called Wattpad Talent Scouts, whose goal is "to discover outstanding stories and content on Wattpad and to promote relationships with the talented authors who stand behind these stories." (Quote from the Wattpad Talent Scouts FAQ).

Joseph: The target group starts more with the younger 12+ and then goes up to around 35-40 on average. I would estimate that the most active group is between 18-30 years old. And in the international area you can often find professional and one or the other bestselling author and illustrator, because Schuster & Schuster also offers publishing contracts in the American area.

Could Wattpad be something for you as a writer?

Then try it out and be happy to connect with it

Jeanette (https://www.wattpad.com/user/Avery_Goodwin) and

Joseph (https://www.wattpad.com/user/UnderBlueStars).