Sunday, April 28, 2013

FAQ: How do I get more reads?

This one is probably the most overused question on Wattpad. It's something almost every known writer on the site has seen at least once. In the spirit of "Telling the truth" as i've stated in a previous blog post, I'll tell you exactly how i feel when I read these things. Also keep in mind most of the people that have asked me this question have only been on the site less than 3 months and/or they have only recently uploaded a story. I'm here to break the news to all of you...writing is hard work. One of the most important traits you should learn throughout your writing journey is patience.

Patience to write the perfect scene, to pace a story the right way, have your characters develop perfectly and most importantly to have a coherent plot. This definitely isn't something that will magically come. Whether you are a prodigy or merely write on the side, this craft does not come without its challenges, so be prepared for them.

During the start of my adventure on Wattpad I had absolutely no reads. YES, you read that reads. I posted the first chapter to Dragon Heir and even after a few days...nada. I felt absolutely horrible. I was thinking to myself "Does no one like it? I kept looking at the 'popular' writers on the site and continued asking myself how?

What are these people doing that I'm not? As I moved onto my second chapter, I received a slow trickle of readers that actually took the time to comment on my first chapter. I was so excited that even my eyes were smiling. By the time I wrote my third chapter I began not thinking about becoming 'popular'. I began just doing what I first intended to do, write. No longer did I let the constraints of 'how' stop me from writing this story. I had a few fans that continued to read the story, but Dragon Heir didn't actually grow until it reached about chapter 14 where all of a sudden it boomed.

Suddenly 1,000 reads

turned into 100,000! It was absolutely mind boggling how such a simple story made its way onto the "What's hot" list.

Now Dragon Heir is over a million reads and is even close to 2 million. It has also been #1 in both Adventure and Fantasy not only once, but twice and even stayed first on adventure for quite some time.

All this of this took work. I didn't get 'popular' overnight, nor did I make that my goal. The point of staring at my computer screen and creating this world filled with my characters for hours on end was not to watch the numbers grow, but instead to see my story flourish.

At this point I thought to myself, "I did it."

But how? Easy, I just wrote. I didn't do anything but write a compelling story that readers soaked up. Not only did I write this story, but I also interacted with my readers. Every time there was a new comment, I would immediately reply with an answer or a personal thank you. To this day I have commented on every single comment (Save a few I accidentally look over) on every chapter since the beginning of Dragon Heir up until my where I am now on my second book as well as my short story.

Before, when I got merely a fans a week, I would go on their profiles and thank them(comment) for becoming a fan. As much as possible I immersed myself into having personal connections with each and every single comment, fan and/or vote. I would remember the readers who would comment on every chapter and thank them for their support. It makes a reader feel involved in more than your story when you do this. They feel like you are not just this figure on the site, but are also a friend. You have to remember that no matter how 'popular' you get, these you were once these new writers.

All this may seem unorthodox, but I assure you it was exactly what I did...or rather didn't do that placed my story where it is now. I was also not the only person on the site that has done the exact same thing.  Paragor, who you may know from popular books such as 'Psych Investigations' and 'Questing Sucks' has recently told me, "I didn't advertise. Literally all I did was write."

Not all authors have the same approach, but most have similar tactics. To read how DistantDreamer, SallySlater, MeganLockhart and Prisim were able to acquire 6 figure reads and how Tetras, an upcoming writer on the site was able to reach over 20k reads:

So, in the end, no matter how popular or unnoticed your story is just do what you wanted to do in the first place, WRITE.

No comments:

Post a Comment