Some Tips For WattPad Users

I’ve been using WattPad for the past couple of weeks, and I thought that an article about it would be fun to write. Also, I found out this blog doesn’t have an article on WattPad yet, so I thought I’d break the ground and do a piece on it.

Throughout this article, I will try to give some sound advice on using WattPad and possibly getting some success through it. If any WattPad users have any additional tips they would like to…well, add in, please let us know. I’ll do a follow-up article with your words of wisdom.

So, first things first: What is WattPad? WattPad is a website where writers can upload and share stories with the public. It’s been in operation since 2006 and it’s been nicknamed the YouTube of storytelling. Writers can upload stories, gain feedback, create covers, and enter contests with their short stories or novels.

What sort of work is published on WattPad? Just about anything is published on WattPad. Novels, novellas, short stories, poems, non-fiction pieces, of all types and genres. Science fiction, fantasy, and YA stories tend to be the most popular, with horror and romance in a close second. There’s also a sizable amount of erotic fiction on the site, though I haven’t personally browsed that in any great detail. And technically erotica isn’t allowed on the website, but I won’t tell if you won’t.

Is it possible to get success through WattPad? Depends on what you mean by success. It is possible to spread your work to other writers and readers, maybe get feedback, and learn something from other writers by both reading and being read. And it is also possible to get the success that every author only dreams about (there’s an example of that in a recent issue of TIME magazine), but like anything in fiction, that is very hard to achieve and what can cause it is very difficult to predict.

How do you spread your work through WattPad? Tags and categorizing your work is very important, because it allows people with similar interests to search out and find your stories (and on that note, make sure to also rate your short stories appropriately. At the very least, an R-rating might deter some nine-year-old from reading a wildly inappropriate story). Also, networking with other authors, commenting on their stories, and even recommending works to authors you make friends with can be very helpful.

What are some ways to keep your readers interested in your work? Besides having interesting work, there are a couple of ways. One is to post frequently new stories or updates. Another is to post a novel on the site, but to do it in serial form. Posting new chapters on a regular basis keeps our readership up and it keeps them wanting to know more (especially if you end every chapter on a cliffhanger).

Should one copyright their work before posting? Well, that depends. Copyrights cost money and take time to process, so if you don’t mind waiting and shelling out money for the fees, then by all means get copyrights. At the very least, you should get copyrights for novels or for works you plan to sell in the future, and do it before you post it on WattPad.

I should also mention that WattPad allows users to post whether a story is copyrighted or not, so take advantage of that when you post a story. It could be seriously helpful.

If you publish a story on WattPad, can you put it on your resume as a publication? Again, that depends. This is a website where anyone can upload a story, so whether or not you want to include uploading stories onto an author’s YouTube on your resume is up to you. Some authors are comfortable, some aren’t. I know a few of both. If you are comfortable with it though, then only do it for stories that you’ve never published before in any way, shape, or form. And if you’re shopping for a publisher, definitely don’t do it!

What are these contests through WattPad you mentioned earlier? Wattpad holds a number of contests throughout the year. Most are small, but there are some big ones, including the Wattys, which are held once a year, and the Attys, which are for poetry and were started by author Margaret Atwood (yeah, she’s on the site. How cool is that?). The contests are open to all users with a WattPad account and who follow the rules of those contests.

If you are a regular WattPad user and have any other tips you’d like to mention, then please let us know. If I get enough tips, I’ll do a follow-up article on the subject with your tips in it.

16 thoughts on “Some Tips For WattPad Users

  1. Elke Feuer January 17, 2014 / 8:27 am

    I haven’t been on Wattpad that long myself, about four months, but to be honest I haven’t utilized it. I plan to with my next book, so thanks for these tips!

  2. laurieboris January 17, 2014 / 9:54 am

    I’ve been using Wattpad for about as long as you have, Rami. Since it might be a while until I publish my next book, I’m testing it out with a few short stories that are a little edgier than my usual work. Thank you for the tips!

    • rami ungar the writer January 17, 2014 / 11:43 am

      You’re welcome. Good luck with your short stories. I hope they do well on WattPad.

  3. authorlaurasteele January 17, 2014 / 11:51 am

    Rami, no offense, but that’s some really wrong information that you put out there. You don’t have to “get” a copyright, nor does it cost anything. You have the copyright from the moment you create something. REGISTERING a copyright is something you have to pay for, but that’s a separate issue.

  4. Harliqueen January 24, 2014 / 6:33 am

    Thanks for posting this, never even heard of Wattpad 🙂

    • rami ungar the writer January 24, 2014 / 8:37 am

      You’re welcome. I hope you decide to check it out and enjoy it.

  5. Ruth Ann Nordin January 26, 2014 / 8:30 pm

    I wanted to get to this sooner but have been busy with a couple of giveaways.

    I have heard of Wattpad and had thought about doing it a couple years ago when a couple of books got stolen. I used to post 500 words a day of one of my books that I was writing at the time on a blog and I had great exposure because of it. I think Wattpad works the same way, except it’d probably be easier to get noticed since people are over there looking for new stories to read. With a blog, you have to hope they find you.

    If I were starting out, I would use Wattpad. It’s great for feedback,networking, and finding a potential audience. it sounds like a good tool.

    Having had my books stolen and having to seek out the help of a copyright lawyer when I had trouble with Amazon taking the stolen book down, I would like to offer some advice, which people can take or leave as they want. 😀 The first thing I’d do is keep a record of all my posts to prove when I made them. This could be screen shots, print outs of the page, the link to my page, etc. That way you can show that you had the work in process up there before someone stole the work (if the work does get stolen). Another thing I’d do is edit the stuff as soon as possible and publish it right before I finish the story on Wattpad. I’d be fine with starting the story but I’d intentionally delay posts so that I’m writing the story quicker than I’m writing it. That way the story is finished on Wattpad as soon as it’s published. You can get stolen books removed easier from Amazon if you already have it published in your dashboard. As soon as I published the book, I’d register the copyright. It’s true that you are protected under copyright law as soon as you write something, but I like having the protection of registering my copyright. It’s like having insurance. You hope you never need it but it’s nice to have, just in case. I understand the laws are different outside the United States, so my advice is specifically to the United States authors.

    Thanks for discussing Wattpad, Rami! It’s nice to see something new on this blog. 😀

    • rami ungar the writer January 26, 2014 / 9:46 pm

      Thanks for commenting Ruth. You have a very great voice of experience, and I value what we learn from you. Keep writing and posting.

  6. Ruth Ann Nordin January 26, 2014 / 8:34 pm

    “I’d be fine with starting the story but I’d intentionally delay posts so that I’m writing the story quicker than I’m writing it.”

    I meant to say that I’d start the story on Wattpad but go offline and work on it so I’m actually further along in the story. For example, on Wattpad, I’d be posting chapter five, but in my Word program, I’d already be on chapter eight. That way I’m ahead of what other people (and potential thieves) are able to get to. This will mean that I’d finish the book and have it ready to publish by the time I’m posting the final scene on Wattpad.

    Sorry for the confusion.

      • Ruth Ann Nordin January 27, 2014 / 9:09 am

        LOL It is. And that is intentional. I hate assuming someone is going to steal my work, but after having gone through it twice (once on my name and second on a pen name), I had to figure out something to protect myself.

        • rami ungar the writer January 27, 2014 / 12:43 pm

          I can see how such a situation can make one weary. I hope it never happens to me.

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