Linda Poitevin is a hybrid author who writes both supernatural and romance fiction. Ten months after she self-published her romance novel, she decided to also share it for free on Wattpad…and subsequently racked up 4 million views and 18.1K followers! In this episode, I talk to Linda about the advantages of sharing your work on Wattpad, and how to best leverage Wattpad in order to increase book sales and readership.
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Gwynneth Ever After on Amazon
Linda Poitevin – Kick-Ass Supernatural and Romantic Fiction (author website)
Timely KBoards thread on Wattpad (not mentioned in the interview, but worth checking out!)
Angela McConnell’s blog – Angela created the excellent show notes for this episode (except that part, Simon wrote that they were excellent 😉 ).
Traditional to Hybrid to Free
Linda Poitevin’s first book of romantic fiction was published by a small press in 2009, under the title “Fairy Tale for Gwynn.” She says the book ultimately didn’t do very well, and she later requested her rights back, which the publisher freely granted. In the meantime, she sold her supernatural thriller/dark urban fantasy series “The Grigori Legacy” — think “hot warrior angels” — to Ace Rock, which published the first three books of the series; “Sins of the Angels,” (9/27/11), “Sins of the Son,” (3/27/12), and “Sins of the Lost,” (10/15/13).
Having secured the rights back to her first book, Linda decided to self-publish it under a new title, “Gwynneth Ever After,” (6/18/13). Then in April of 2014, she decided to release the book serially, one chapter a week, on Wattpad, and blogged about her experience on her website. Over the course of nine weeks, she sold as many copies of her book on Amazon as she did in the previous 10 months. Further, she garnered 8,000 votes and 700 comments on Wattpad. Since then, her fiction on Wattpad has seen over 4 million views, and she now has over 18,000 followers on the platform.
Linda is currently working and sharing her latest work in progress, “Forever Grace,” and has plans to eventually write a fourth installment in “The Grigori Legacy.” She emphasizes that Wattpad is a social media platform, and that if an author wants to make a living writing books in this day and age, then social media of one platform or another is an essential component of building your business.
Wattpad is a popular social media platform designed to connect readers and writers. It allows writers to post their work for free, and it allows readers to comment, vote, offer feedback, and follow their favorite authors. The primary benefit that Wattpad has to offer, according to Linda, is the ability to attract more readers, provide a free read (a way to give back to your readers), and promote sales. She finds that a lot of her sales come from Wattpad readers who either don’t want to wait until the next installment in the book, or readers who simply love the story and wish to own their own copies. Wattpad has an easy-to-use interface that makes it simple to respond to and interact with readers.
Linda regularly leverages her Twitter and Facebook followings to build her brand both on Wattpad, as well as her own website. In fact, she stresses that everything an author does must point back to their main website. And while social media is important, authors should be smart about how they spend their efforts. To this respect, Linda has written several savvy articles on social media for writers.
Linda believes that blogging is still a viable and useful means for building an author platform. For fiction writers, she recommends they blog about the things that interest them. People like to follow interesting people, so be interesting! Blogging should be fun and easy; avoid making it a job. Blogging two to three times a week is plenty; even just once a week can keep an author’s website looking fresh. Avoid letting things get stale with infrequent postings.
- When you join Wattpad, DO respond to their Welcome email. Let them know who you are and what you’re doing. When Linda shared with Wattpad her blog series on her “Great Wattpad Experiment,” they responded by placing her book on the Featured Reads page, which increased her exposure greatly. So reach out and introduce yourself.
- DO respond to your readers’ comments and suggestions. Not only is it polite, but it makes your readers happy. Linda says she spends approximately one-half hour on the weekend catching up with Wattpad comments; time well spent.
- DO make sure your content is of high-quality, even if it is in the beta stage and/or in-progress. More and more experienced authors with large followings are joining Wattpad, and so while things aren’t necessarily becoming more competitive, according to Linda, readers definitely have a preference for authors who share clean, mostly error-free prose.
- Wattpad does not allow live links to Amazon, or other ebook e-tailers, so Linda recommends authors include a bi-link on their Wattpad profile that takes readers to a page on their personal website that includes links to all e-tailers where readers can easily find their books for purchase.
- The best day for posting on Wattpad, based on participant usage, seems to be on Fridays.
- Make sure you add a good look cover to your stories on Wattpad.
- If you want to be a “Featured Read” on Wattpad you will need to have posted a complete story.
- Do participate in social media using platforms that you enjoy. Linda prefers Twitter and Facebook herself, but recommends writers use whatever resonates with them.
- Post blog posts on your website. This is where readers come to find you. Show them you’re alive and well! Give them a reason to keep checking back, and build that subscriber list!
Any listeners out there who already have experience with Wattpad? Please share in the comments below.
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