Today I have invited guest blogger, author Gaby Cabezut, to pop over and talk a little about Wattpad, a great place for writers and readers. Check out her experience with Wattpad below. Enjoy!
First of all, thank you, Justine, for inviting me to talk a little bit about the place where it all began for me, Wattpad.
What is Wattpad, though?
It’s a community where creative minds join together with one love in common–books.
The key word in the whole equation is the word community. Wattpad is a great place for readers looking for free stories, writers who are only starting, or established writers looking for a fan base. The best part is how those readers interact with you throughout your story. They can vote and comment and, let me tell you, those comments are like gold.
I’d like to tell you a little about my own story, so you can understand how Wattpad works. I found the app as I randomly searched for free books in the App Store about five years ago. I was bored out of my mind and to be honest, a bit short on cash, so when I saw that it was free, I didn’t think twice.
I downloaded the app and started to read one of the recommended stories. It was about a girl who falls in love with her teacher (who happened to be in a gang). It was so good, that I didn’t sleep for that night until I finished the book. Then, I followed the author and read the rest of her stories. Turns out that it was written by a 16-year-old girl, something that blew my mind because it was really well written.
I read different stories for about a year and a half, and I found myself itching to write my own, but I was scared that no one would read it. Besides, I’m a stay-at-home Mom and my first language is not English. That little fact, the one about my language, made me feel brave about posting my story. Writing in English was a sure way to assure that no one that knew me would read it.
My hands were shaking so bad when I clicked that “Publish” button. I didn’t expect anyone to read my story, and I was sure it had more than a gazillion mistakes. I was wrong, sort of. It did have errors, but I learned that as I read other stories, and voted and commented on them, people actually went to my own book and started to read it and give me comments.
I even wrote to a few popular authors, not asking them to read my story, but to give me advice about how to start on this. Out of the six I sent questions to, only one girl who had written an amazingly popular story about a girl and a quarterback answered me. She read my one chapter and sent me a few links on how to start writing and such.
One chapter turned into ten and those ten turned into thirty, and when I was about to finish that story, I started a new one, about this girl who meets a prince, because who hasn’t dreamt about meeting a real-life English prince?
I didn’t care if it was believable or not. I wrote it for me. I wrote it because I wanted to read a story like that.
And guess what? For some unknown reason, people started to read it like crazy. I didn’t realize how big or how fast everything was happening at the time, but my story started to rank on the what’s hot list, and every time I updated, I had over 30 comments. In one day.
It even ranked on the number one spot several times, and nobody in my real life knew I was doing this. I started a Facebook page and people started to show up there. As I was busy and I only wrote in my free time, it took me almost three years to finish the story, but every time I updated, people would be there for me. One day, when the book was almost finished, I got a message from a girl from the Philippines. She asked me if she could submit my story to her boss, and I didn’t know what to say, I mean, are you talking about getting it published? Me? A complete nobody? It seemed too good to be true, so I went along with it. Then, I got a message from someone on Wattpad. They wanted to talk to me.
Talk. To. Me.
Things sped up from there. I talked to Wattpad HQ a few times. Turns out that the Facebook girl I messaged with, was working with one of the biggest publishers in the Philippines. Wattpad knew about them, they even worked together.
It was time to come clean with my family.
I still remember my husband’s face when I told him that I’d found this app and I wrote a book and guess what? I’m getting an offer to publish it!
Two years have gone by since then. I’ve got a published book with Pop Fiction Books, I’m part of the Wattpad Stars and Wattpad Ambassadors programs and I have a new series getting published with Limitless Publishing (Book one, Hopelessly Imperfect is already out).
I’ve found the best friends a girl could ever ask for, and even though we don’t live in the same country, they’re really supportive and they understand me better than anyone. I’ve met absolutely talented people, best-selling authors willing to share their secrets with you, readers who have been touched by your stories, who thank you for letting them forget about their problems. We’re not competing against each other, we help each other.
It all happened because of Wattpad.
Now Wattpad is growing at an extremely fast pace. They have over 45 million readers each month. They’ve opened up Wattpad Studios, a partnership with TV and film studios ,and they just launched Wattpad Futures, video ads in between the chapters so the author can get paid and the app can stay free for everyone else.
I’ve met authors who are wary about the platform, and I always tell them that even Colleen Hoover has a profile there and she posted a new story that hasn’t been published. That’s how big it is.
Can people copy your stories? Well, that can happen even if you’re not on Wattpad.
Wattpad is about writing with your heart, building a strong base, getting your name out there.
I love writing and even though I don’t know what the future will bring for me, I know one thing:
I’ll always be on Wattpad.
It changed my life, it made my dreams come true and I’ll always be grateful. Plus, I’ve found a place to be myself and to meet wonderful people.
If you’d like to grow your fan-base, then you should definitely give Wattpad a chance.
Gaby Cabezut is sappy and sweet like a box of chocolates. She believes that we could all do with a bit of romance and magic in our lives. She loves to write romantic, emotional stories that will make you laugh, and sometimes cry. She’s evil and loves cliffhangers, too. Ask her readers. But she’s not that bad, she can sweeten your life with a batch of Nutella cupcakes or brownies.
Prince with Benefits: http://amzn.to/2b58Nk0
Hopelessly Imperfect: http://amzn.to/2bDIVYi
You can find her here:
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/gabrielacabezut