The Wattpad Experiment: Week 2

Last week’s stats: 15 reading, 2 stars, 9 comments, 0 sales

I have to admit: I feel kind of guilty. Due to the constraints of my day job and the editing I do in the evening, I’ve had very little time to do Wattpad justice.

As of today, I have 3 people who are either following me and/or reading my novel, The Revenant: A YA Paranormal Thriller with Zombies. I have been reading and commenting whenever I have the chance. I have seen some really good manuscripts that I am eager to continue reading, and some not so good. I am amazed at some of the professional-quality covers I’m seeing, too. I’m also blown away by the plucky initiative of Wattpad’s clientele. Kudos to each and every one of them for putting themselves out there and writing whatever strikes their fancy.

I finally managed to port the book over to Draft2Digital (still not done and Pronoun’s gone, so most of my books are no longer available as eBooks–did I mention I was suffering serious time crunches?) and upload the new cover to Amazon, but still can’t see the most recent paperback online. I’m Looking forward to the break between semesters to get this on Ingram-Spark, too.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

One is never enough

Given the rate at which others are posting, one chapter a week seems skimpy. I’ve been reading around about Wattpad. According to TechCrunch, Wattpad has over 60,000 monthly users, most of them teens (though the average age is 20) and female, which is the perfect demographic for my writing. Moving forward, I will upload two chapters week. I plan to do one on Saturday and one on Wednesday.

Wattpad is a form of social media

It took some work to build my followers on social media. Even now, some 3 years after I opened my Twitter and Facebook accounts, I only have a few hundred following me on Twitter and maybe about 100 Facebook likes on my author page, and only 80 people who receive my newsletter. To reiterate: it took 3 years to achieve that. Three years of advertising, liking, following, posting, experimenting, giving books away, and the like. Moving forward I need to engage on social media more frequently (maybe instead of religiously reading Flipboard every evening?).

Too much of a good thing

In addition to voting, reading, and following, authors can access discussion forums. The different forums are myriad, as are the threads. There are so many places to visit, it’s hard to know where to start. I’ve already begun to dabble, sticking my toe in to test the waters. I suppose, moving forward, I have to slowly move deeper in until I have established a foothold on the site. So far it seems as if there is a whole lot of random posts and not a lot of interaction

Moving forward

I am interested to see if uploading twice a week will make a difference. I will also continue with my experiment until the whole book has been uploaded and report back to you. If you use Wattpad, I want to hear your first impressions. What was the first thing you did on the site? How did you work your way into this massively incredible society?

Read The Revenant: A YA Thriller with Zombies on Wattpad at https://www.wattpad.com/story/134197850-the-revenant

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The Wattpad Experiment

For years, my friend, Mia Meade, has been encouraging me to try WattPad out. I’ll be honest–I tried it before I met her and had no success. But after talking to Mia and reading “How Authors Can Use Wattpad to Sell Books and Earn Money” by Linda Poitevin, I’ve decided to give it a go and blog about my experience.

 

The challenge was to figure out which story to use as a tester. I currently have three books in the works (The Carrington Pulitzer Revelation Chronicles Online Extended PlayPack–science fiction, young adult; Indoctrination–Book Two of The New Recruit; and Re-vamped (paranormal/supernatural), but they are in various stages of editing and won’t be ready to publish for a while yet.

In the end, I decided to re-issue The Revenant: A YA Paranormal Thriller with Zombies. The plan is to post a chapter a week as Poitevin suggests and to blog as I do. In the meantime, I will be reading other authors in my genre, add to my library, vote, and comment. I will also be posting to social media as I go. In addition, I will be reading a number of resources on how to use Wattpad for fun and profit and share what I learn with you.

The Revenant: A YA Paranormal Thriller with Zombies can be found on Wattpad at https://www.wattpad.com/story/134197850-the-revenant. This is a completed novel that can be purchased on Amazon, B & N, iBooks, and Kobo.

If you Wattpad, please look me up, vote for my book and follow me. I’m interested to connect with you, both here and on Wattpad. After you’ve read a chapter or two, come back and let me know what you think.

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ALICE wins 2017 Kindle Book Review Award for YA

The title says it all.

I Was, Am, Will Be Alice has won the 2017 Kindle Book Review Award for YA!

Thank you so much to Jeff Bennington from the Kindle Book Review and all of the panelists and prize-givers for this much-gilded feather in my writing cap.

Here’s my badge:

To celebrate, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice will remain on sale (for a limited time) for only $0.99! Here’s what the book looks like (beside the other winners):

Here it is in the list that follows, marking it as the winner:

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My Target Audience Epiphany

Check out any writing site and it will tell you how important it is for an author to build her mailing list. Mailing lists help you to get noticed and build a relationship with your readers which, in turn, helps sell books.

I’ve been trying to build my mailing list for my publishing company for a while now, without much luck. It wasn’t until I was organizing yet another Facebook ad that I had an epiphany–I was targeting the wrong people.

Knowing Your Audience

As a publisher, I mistakenly thought I wanted to market to authors. If I could get their attention, they’d see the books I was selling, read about my authors’ successes, visit them when they did their book signings, etc., and want to publish with me. The problem was that most authors I was targeting were self-published and had no need for a publisher.

I had to ask myself: as a publisher, what is my main goal? Signing authors was great, but no matter how many authors I signed, if no one bought my books, my company wouldn’t be very successful.

My ideal audience was composed of people who read English, fiction readers living in North America and maybe the UK. Their sex wasn’t an issue, but since Facebook tends toward an older audience, I needed to target adults, 18 years of age and older.

Offering Incentive

Many sources will tell you to offer people an incentive for subscribing to your email list. Plenty of authors offer free books as an incentive, so I put together a book documenting how I’d planned and executed my last blog tour, complete with links to actual sites I used and statistics for click-throughs vs. impressions vs. sales. It was the perfect incentive for authors.

After my epiphany, I decided to offer a free eBook, any eBook in my catalogue. To do this, I created a Google form on which subscribers could request a specific book or choose a genre and let me choose the book for them.

Results

I generally run my Facebook ads for a week with a budget of $5.00 per day. When targeting authors with my ads, I was lucky to have 10 leads per ad campaign. With the same run of $5.00 per day for a week when targeting readers, I found 62 leads!

The day after my campaign closed, I emailed everyone on my list of new leads with a link to the Google form. Only 5 people replied to ask for books, which was disappointing–eBooks cost nothing to give away, and once my audience had gotten a taste of the quality of my authors, I had hoped to sell more books.

My Newsletter

This month I sent my newsletter out to 62 more people than usual. Two people unsubscribed the next day, which was to be expected. Now, in addition to new books for sale, my newsletter includes a list of advance reader copies (ARCs) which readers can order for free, with the hope they’ll post a (hopefully positive) review when they’re done.  Out of the 82 people on my list (I had 20 people on my list before), 2 people requested ARCs.

A 2% response rate might not seem like a lot, but it’s a start. It’s more engagement than I had before, at any rate.

I’m building it and they are slowly coming.

Sign up for my mailing list to request one of this month’s ARC eBooks for free!

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