The View From The Beach
Mark Williams At Large
I’m in the process of revamping my Wattpad presence, thanks to local improvements with my net access, and it can’t come a moment too soon. I plan to put ALL my titles on Wattpad in full, available free to read. And no, I don’t think it will cannibalize sales.
In group discussions on Facebook and elsewhere I’ve recommended Wattpad and have watched all but speechless as eager authors jumped on board, built up a pretty impressive following, and then started complaining because they weren’t seeing tons more sales.
Using Wattpad to generate short-term sales is to totally misunderstand the nature of the beast.
That’s not to say Wattpad cannot generate short-term sales, but approaching Wattpad with that aim is a recipe for disappointment and missed opportunities.
Wattpad is by far the biggest and best global vehicle for discovery and building an international fanbase, and it’s about to get a whole lot bigger and better.
Currently Wattpad is seeing about 45 million users each month, but founder Allen Lau is talking quite confidently about hitting one billion users within ten years. (LINK) http://publishingperspectives.com/2015/07/will-wattpad-attract-a-billion-users-ceo-says-easy/
But what’s far more exciting is that Wattpad is looking at getting into licensing on a large scale as a means of monetizing the site for investors.(LINK)
If you’ve not been taking Wattpad seriously up until now, then this should be the incentive you need to start.
Back in 2012 Wattpad made deadlines when it got a big deal with Harper Collins for Wattpad author Abigale Gibb’s The Dark Heroine.
That was followed by Anna Todd getting a cool half a million bucks from Simon & Schuster for After.
Incidentally, keeping in with the Latin American theme of previous posts, Anna Todd was at the Buenos Aries Book Fair this spring, and was overwhelmed with readers wanting signed copies. Spanish is one of the key languages used on Wattpad, and Todd built up a big readership across the region through Wattpad that paid dividends when her book was published there.
Wattpad went on to get Todd a film deal for the book with Paramount.
More recently Wattpad has worked with Twentieth Century Fox, and is currently syndicating Wattpad content for publication in magazines like Cosmopolitan.
Across Asia and Latin America Wattpad has been helping popular authors get publishing deals. In the Philippines – one of my key countries global indies need to be looking at – Wattpad is getting authors publishing deals by the hundreds.
In fact in the Philippines Wattpad is so popular it even has its own TV show,. Romance writers here would do well to check out out Wattpad Presents. (LINK)
Given the practical problems we in the west face getting contacts with publishers, let alone TV producers, in such places this presents a fantastic opportunity for the future as Wattpad gears up its licensing model.
Lau is saying similar deals are in the way in Europe. Notably France, Italy and Germany.
This is just the beginning for Wattpad, and of course where Wattpad leads others will follow. Not least the other free-reading sites, but also other media.
Right now we are talking about global reach for books, films, magazines, TV, etc, such as was quite simply unthinkable five years ago. Imagine what the next five years will bring…
This is why I always talk about a global New Renaissance, not just an ebook revolution.
What we are seeing unfold right now is quite unprecedented in human history. We are just at the beginning of an exciting new journey that goes way beyond publishing an e book on Amazon or B&N.
It’s incredible to watch, and even more incredible to be part of.
But just how much we help shape the New Renaissance, or how far we let is pass us by, is down to us.
Will you be part of it?