In a joint press release issued today, Smashwords and Wattpad announced a partnership that will open up new publishing opportunities for thousands of indie authors around the world.
If you're not familiar with Wattpad, they operate one of the largest social networks for writers and readers. Writers at Wattpad upload free stories, serialized stories and works-in-progress, and readers comment. It's a great opportunity for authors to share their writing, gain feedback and build fan followings. I first mentioned them in the comments section of my post earlier this month on serialized ebooks.
Consider Wattpad as a smart complement to your overall publishing strategy. Unlike Smashwords, Wattpad doesn't sell books. But whereas Smashwords prohibits works-in-progress, Wattpad and their large community of readers welcome works-in-progress. Like Smashwords, they invite authors to publish free, complete stories as well.
Reach your Beta Readers at Wattpad
If you think about it, book authorship involves a multi-step process. You brainstorm, plan, conceptualize, start writing, stop writing, pull your hair out, start writing again, revise, remove more hair, revise, edit, edit, pray your hair grows back, and so on until you have a finished work.
If you don't involve test readers during the revision process, you're missing out on a golden opportunity to improve your work. I call these early readers your "beta readers."
When my wife and I were writing our novel, Boob Tube, we cherished our beta reader feedback. We'd complete a major rewrite, show it to beta readers, then revise again. The best beta readers are people you don't know, because they'll give you the most honest feedback. Our favorite feedback came from our most vocal critics - those who would identify flaws in our writing style, character development or storyline. With each beta reading round and revision, our book grew better and stronger.
If Wattpad was around when we wrote our book, we would have used them.
Use Wattpad to reach your beta readers and gain new fans. Once your story is finished and ready for prime time, bring it to Smashwords for publication and distribution. Then re-engage with the WattPad community as you develop your next book.
So, what's involved in this partnership? Smashwords and Wattpad have added cross-promotional integration between the two services. Wattpad writers can add a direct hyperlink to their Smashwords author page so fans at Wattpad can purchase their finished works as multi-format ebooks. Smashwords authors can post their works-in-progress, free books and serialized books at Wattpad to reach new readers. After you open your Wattpad account (Go to Wattpad.com), you can link your Wattpad page to your Smashwords page. Next, click to Edit Profile in your Smashwords Account tab to link your Smashwords author page to your new page at Wattpad. Got that? The cross links make it easy for your fans at both Smashwords and Wattpad to discover your full spectrum of work.
More coming between Smashwords and Wattpad. Stay tuned...