Authors + Content + Readers = Wattpad

Ever heard of Wattpad? Listen up! My guest Kimberley Grabas is sharing the scoop about this reader-centric social media platform that could mean free promo and lots of sales for self-published authors. “More than 500 writers have published pieces that have been read more than a million times.” ~ Wattpad

As every self-published author knows, the road to ‘getting known’ is a bumpy one, often filled with unexpected twists and sheer drop-offs at the next turn.

Wouldn’t a straight, paved and well-lit highway be a gift?

Enter Wattpad

Wattpad iconOver 10 million readers visit Wattpad every month, spending over 2 billion minutes reading, voting, sharing and commenting on their favourite stories.

Writers sharing their work on Wattpad have the ability to connect and engage with these readers, testing new projects, soliciting feedback and expanding their promotional reach.

Billed as “the world’s largest community for readers and writers to discover and share their stories,” Toronto-based Wattpad presents an incredible opportunity for writers to forge a fan base before they are even published.

Ready to trade your off-road vehicle for a sporty convertible?

But What Exactly is Wattpad?

Founded in 2006, Wattpad is a unique social media platform that optimizes digital storytelling by supporting direct and interactive communication between authors and their fans.

Content is made easily accessible through Wattpad’s website, mobile site or with Wattpad apps. This gives readers the ability to choose from millions of stories to read – for free! – on their computer, tablet or phone.

Writers can post their current projects and readers can comment, note their impressions, ask questions, vote for their favourites and share the author’s work – introducing new readers to the work and expanding awareness.

The marketing potential is tremendous, as stories with the most votes and comments are also promoted and featured by Wattpad, which can ultimately lead to hundreds of thousands of additional readers for an author’s published piece.

How Wattpad Works

Registration is free for both readers and writers, and only takes a few seconds to sign up. You can post any amount of material (in parts), and because you retain the rights to your work, you can also remove it when, or if, you choose.

You gain readers with each posting, and if those readers become ‘fans,’ they will receive an email update each time you post a new part to your story.

A book’s ranking is linked to the number of votes, the number of comments, and the number of reads – the higher the rank, the easier it is to find on Wattpad.

Readers will find everything from novellas and fan fiction to full length novels. And although many genres are represented, YA is the stand-out, as the Wattpad demographics (although expanding rapidly) are skewed toward a younger, female readership.

How to Make Sharing on Wattpad Work for You

Adding and sharing your work on Wattpad is simple. But, although it’s easy to get started, the real work comes from spending the time it takes to develop a strong connection with your readers.

Like everything else you do to build a platform and increase visibility, your goal is to produce amazing content, and then pursue every opportunity to interact with, engage, entertain and otherwise fascinate your audience.

Here are 5 easy steps to getting started on Wattpad:

  1. Go to www. and choose ‘Join Now’ to create a free user profile.
  2. Set up your user (author) profile. Include a profile picture, add a page background, include your social media links, your website URL and an author bio in the ‘About Me’ section. (You can even link your Wattpad page to your Smashwords page to make it easier for your fans to discover all of your work).
  3. Book (project) setup:
    • Click ‘Create” and add the title and a description (similar to back cover blurb, so make it matter).
    • Choose the genre/category carefully, as this is very significant for discovery (you are allowed two). The more popular the category, the more competition; less popular, less competition.
    • Tags, like keywords, also aid readers in finding your book, so include them.
    • Select copyright protection and your rating. Under advanced options you can add your YouTube book trailer link, include additional photos, or add an external link to your author blog or book website.
  4. Add cover art. You can add cover art by using Wattpad’s cover creation tool or upload your own. There are even cover art forums with people willing to provide this service. Remember, people will judge a book by its cover, so make it count.
  5. Add chapter heading and chapter content. Wattpad allows you to add additional tags for each chapter (one more way for readers to find you). You can also update the copyright and even share the chapter on Facebook if you wish.

Best practices for getting discovered and captivating your audience on Wattpad:

Be professional: Whether you are a published author or writing the first sentence of your first book, proceed like a professional. Be friendly and helpful, respond quickly to comments and feedback, ensure your bio is engaging and your author profile section is as complete and up to date as possible. And although it is expected and understood that much of the literary compositions you are sharing are ‘works in progress,’ edited work will stand out. So weigh the pros and cons of spending a little more time on your manuscript before it’s shared. People are much more likely to respond favourably if they can see your commitment.

Get connected: There are hundreds of thousands of readers on Wattpad waiting to read your work. Getting featured will lead to massive exposure, so set that as one of your goals. Network and collaborate by finding artists that will create original artwork for your book, consider using editors offering their services, collaborate with other writers and encourage your readers to promote your work.

Socialize: In order to develop a relationship with your readers, there has to be some back and forth. Interact with your readers and other writers on Wattpad by responding (promptly) to comments from readers and leaving thoughtful, useful comments for others. Join clubs, be interactive and helpful, and encourage follows so that your ‘fans’ can be notified via email of your new updates.

Have a Plan: Building your authority and influence as a writer takes time, so don’t anticipate that a fan base will materialize instantly. Consider whether you will add multiple projects in progress or only one at a time. Strategize your timing for a series. You may want to add the first book of a series to Wattpad several weeks in advance of the release of book two on Amazon. Or, you may want to pull a book from Wattpad and publish it elsewhere. Another option may be to post the first few chapters, and let readers know where to buy the book.

Experiment: A huge advantage to developing engagement with your readers – and even other writers – is the ability to gain feedback and insights regarding your work as you write it. This gives you a great opportunity to test new ideas and find what resonates with your readers, or even learn if your characters or story line is compelling.

Be predictable: Although you don’t want your plot to be predictable, you do want your readers to look forward to your postings, so be consistent. By updating regularly, you hook readers into coming back for more. Another upside to being predictable? You will be motivated to complete the writing that you know your fans are eagerly anticipating. (Deadlines, anyone?)

Is Wattpad for You?

For an aspiring writer or self-published author with limited budget, time and resources, Wattpad provides a bounty of possibilities.

Key takeaways:

  • Wattpad is free for writers and readers.
  • Young Adult, Romance, and Fan Fiction are extremely popular genres on Wattpad (approximately 40% of user base is under 18), so if you write in those areas, the pool of potential beta readers would be massive. The drawback? There is a lot of competition in those genres. Therefore, those authors writing in other genres may have a smaller body of potential readers, but considerably less competition for those eyeballs (big fish in a smaller pond).
  • Great work stands out; the more time and effort you put in, the greater the impact.
  • You can use feedback to tweak and refine your work, as well as gauge reader engagement of your manuscript in stages.
  • Hook your readers with the first scenes or the first book in a series.
  • Every reader you connect with is a potential book buyer or future fan.

What do you think? Will Wattpad make the road to visibility easier for the self-published author? For you in particular?

Kimberley GrabasAbout the Author of the article: Kimberley Grabas is a writer and the founder of, where she provides writers with the resources, tools and inspiration they need to build their platform, engage their fans and sell more books. Connect with Kimberley on Twitter (@writerplatform),  Facebook, and Google+

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39 Responses to Authors + Content + Readers = Wattpad

  1. Charles Ray June 10, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    An interesting site. I might have to give it a try.

  2. Alison DeLuca June 10, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Great article! I’ve used Wattpad quite a bit to interact with a lot o very talented and friendly writers. I’ve noticed a few things:

    Using the site as a purely marketing effort doesn’t work. Spam is spam – as Kimberley points out, interaction is key.

    Also, posting twenty chapters at a time is like a heavy “info dump” – it’s better to post one chapter a day, and make certain each piece ends with a cliffhanger or twist to keep people reading.

    Again, fantastic insight into a very intriguing new literary site.

    • Molly Greene June 10, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      Hey Allie! Thanks for the feedback. The same seems to be true for all the social media platforms writers use: Becoming an active part of the community brings the best payoff. Thanks so much!

    • Kimberley Grabas June 10, 2013 at 7:53 am #

      Thanks for your added insights, Alison!

      There is no way around it: social media does actually require us to be social… 🙂

      Friendly, interesting, intriguing – all work much better than being obnoxious and spammy. Book sales and authority come after you’ve done the hard work of gaining the trust of your readers.

      Good tip too, on the cliffhanger endings – keep your readers wanting more!

      Thanks, Alison!

  3. Thom Reece June 10, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Excellent and very helpful article. Is non-fiction something that will fly on Wattpad?

    • Kimberley Grabas June 10, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      Hi Thom,

      Non-fiction hasn’t taken hold in the same way as fiction has on Wattpad, primarily due to the younger demographic. That said, there is still a lot of potential for non-fiction writers as the platform continues to grow and evolve.

      60% of readers on Wattpad are over the age of 18, so if you’re sharing quality work and following the suggestions above, there is still great potential for your non-fiction work to stand out and attract an audience.

  4. Molly Greene June 10, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    Kim, thank you so much for this comprehensive look at Wattpad. I think all self-published authors will agree that there is SO much to learn, it’s difficult to decide where to put our time and focus. Reading articles like this helps narrow things down. Well done and thanks again!

    • Kimberley Grabas June 10, 2013 at 8:22 am #

      Thanks for the opportunity to share this info with your readers, Molly!

      It IS difficult to know where to invest your limited time and resources as a writer, and unfortunately there is no ‘one’ way that works for everybody.

      Hope this article makes the decision making process a bit easier for your readers!

  5. B. Patterson June 10, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    I joined Wattpad a few months ago. I totally agree with everything you wrote. As someone who writes in the Young Adult genre, I’ve seem more benefits in the short term from using Wattpad than I have on other sites on Twitter.

    The part about being social is essential. On Wattpad, I joined a small “critiquing group” of about 8 Wattpaders and that got me most of my initial votes. Afterwards, I noticed other people I had never met before were able to locate my story.

    • Molly Greene June 10, 2013 at 9:17 am #

      Great advice, thanks so much!

    • Kimberley Grabas June 10, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      That’s awesome! And, yes, sometimes the biggest advantages come from connecting with a few like-minded individuals that help promote your work by ‘tipping the scales’ and get the momentum rolling.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  6. Stacey June 10, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    I heard about Wattpad only a few days ago via, and have been looking into it, and now here’s a full post on your blog giving me all the details!

    Thanks, Kimberley and thanks, Molly!

    • Kimberley Grabas June 10, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      Your welcome, Stacey!

      Love when a plan all comes together! 🙂

  7. Gary Korisko June 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Good stuff, Kimberly! I had never heard of Wattpad before this post. A great description and resource. Thanks very much!

    • Kimberley Grabas June 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

      You bet, Gary! I appreciate you taking the time to go through the article and leave a comment. Glad you found it useful!

  8. karen June 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Thanks kimberly for the info on Wattpad. Glad there is potential for non fiction. Love your website. Great information there too.

    • Kimberley Grabas June 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      My pleasure, Karen! Hope you can apply the info to your work and your writer platform.

      And thanks for the compliments on my site; I really appreciate it!

  9. Lisa Orchard June 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    Hello Kimberley,

    Great post. I have a question though. Would we be able to list our published work on this site as well?

    • Kimberley Grabas June 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      Good question, Lisa! I’m not an expert on this, but I believe as long as you still retain the digital rights to your work, then you can choose to use Wattpad however you see fit.

      If you are published through a traditional publisher, then it would depend on your contract and whether you or the publisher holds the digital rights.

      You will also need to consider such things as enrolment in the Kindle Select Program. This gives Amazon exclusive digital rights for 90 days, in which case your work would have to be removed from Wattpad during that period.

      Hope that helps!

      • Lisa Orchard June 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

        Thanks so much for your informative answer Kimberly! I will be contacting my publisher and getting her okay before I put any of my published work on there. 🙂 Thanks again for your timely response!

        • Kimberley Grabas June 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

          No problem, Lisa! Hope it works out for you!

  10. Maranna June 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Thanks so much Kimberley. Wattpad is new to me. Yikes, I need 49 hours in the day!!! Off to check your website now.:)

    • Kimberley Grabas June 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      Hopefully I’ve reduced the learning curve a bit, Maranna! 🙂 (But don’t we all need a few extra hours in the day!)

      See you over at!

  11. Mike Bundrant June 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Looks like another great resource for writers. I didn’t know of Wattpad, so I will check it out. I am thinking of writing a parable, so this could be a nice fit, however I don’t know if the demographics will match. Hmm. Thanks again!

    • Molly Greene June 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      Good luck on Wattpad, Mike!

    • Kimberley Grabas June 14, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      It’s a good idea just to check it out, Mike. A parable could work well, depending on the audience you are trying to reach.

      Remember, things are changing quickly over at Wattpad, so it may be beneficial to get into an area early while there is less competition. 🙂

  12. Fiona Ingram June 16, 2013 at 6:13 am #

    I find Wattpad very slow. I know nothing can ever be instantaneous but I posted my historical romance books, and my middle grade books. Of course I received many more reads on the romance section, but it is not an overnight thing. I will reserve judgement on Wattpad and keep in mind the huge success enjoyed by many authors on this site. Paul Coelho is on the site so it must be worth it.

    • Kimberley Grabas June 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

      Thanks for your comment and feedback, Fiona!

      Unfortunately, nothing about developing a readership or building a platform is quick. It takes time, consistency and considerable effort to develop the trust and interest of an audience.

      And not every social media network or marketing strategy will work for every author, which tends to add to the complexity of building your fan base!

      Keep at it, Fiona, but keep an eye on your return on investment. If after you’ve been putting in consistent effort you still feel like you’re spinning your wheels, then it might be time to consider researching a different platform that might be a better ‘fit’.

      Good luck! 🙂

  13. marianney June 21, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    Hi Kimberly,
    I had never heard of Wattpad before either, so thanks for sharing this resource. I am not a writer but I do love to read!

    • Kimberley Grabas June 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

      Well you’re still in the right place, Marianne! Millions of free stories to read; you might even stumble upon your new favourite author… 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

  14. Jason Kong June 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Molly: Check out your www. link in step 1 of your “Here are 5 easy steps to getting started on Wattpad:” section.

    I think the link is broken. 🙂

    • Molly Greene June 27, 2013 at 10:38 am #

      Fixed! Thanks so much for lett ing me know, I appreciate it!

  15. Yaswant Nihar March 4, 2014 at 11:03 pm #


    Just wanted to ask this, If at all my book gains reader’s attention, how can that help me in getting the readers to buy my books through any of the E-publishing websites when people are interested in free reads?

    • Molly Greene March 5, 2014 at 9:22 am #

      If they like what they read for free on Wattpad, chances are good they’ll seek out and purchase your other titles.

  16. PrettyDoesome January 6, 2015 at 1:20 am #

    Great article, I will definitely give it a try! How does it work in terms of copyrights? Can anyone just copy your work from it and use it as theirs?

    Thank you!