I recently joined the writers/readers sharing site Wattpad
on the recommendation in Joan Curtis’ article 7 Tips to Help Writers Gain Attention in the World of Fiction posted on the writer’s blog Live Write Thrive. I had never even heard of Wattpad before. Turns out it is Google’s version of Amazon’s Write On, a readers/writers sharing site for Kindle. Since every one says I need to raise my web profile, I figured I would give Wattpad a whirl. The first thing I noticed was that the site seems to cater to younger readers and writers of YA or NA lit. Then I found out that Margaret Atwood is a member. She posted a wonderful, adult, short story from her new collection and ran a contest related to it. Hummmmm.
This started me wondering how sharing sites fit in with literary magazine sites. Anyone can put everything, good or bad, up on a sharing site. Lit mags have editors to reject pieces that don’t fit their standards and criteria. This gives a story published on a site such as Atticus Review more cache, even though there is no payment involved. One of the purposes of sharing sites is to expose new writers to publishers and agents that, supposedly, cruise the sites looking for new talent. This, of course, is one of the perks associated with lit mags. The advice given at conferences and on agent blogs is to get your work in these lit mags to build your credentials – otherwise known as platforms. Sharing sites do not count when building platforms.
So is it worth ‘publishing’ your story or novel, or pieces of your story or novel, on a sharing site? I question whether putting a piece up on Wattpad would disqualify it from being published later in a lit mag or contest. The Wattpad site says that it can be; I wonder what a lit mag such as Atticus would say.
I suppose that Wattpad would tell me that none of this is the point of their site. Their business model is to bring readers and writers together – period. They have had remarkable success so far with 30 million readers world-wide. And you don’t have to have an e-reader!
I’m interested enough to be considering which piece to put up on Wattpad.
What do you think about Wattpad and sharing sites like it? Are you on one?
Let me know.