If you're looking for a writing community that's part social media, part reading and writing, then Wattpad is the network for you.
Of the more than 90 million readers and writers using Wattpad, the majority are between 18 and 30 years old and located in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom. In the Philippines, Wattpad is the number one app driving physical bookselling and bestseller lists.
In this Wattpad Review, we'll look at what it is, how to use it as a reader and writer, pricing, along with a few pros and cons.
- What is Wattpad?
- How to Get Started
- How to Find Stories
- How to Write & Publish Stories on Wattpad
- Interacting with the Community
- How to Get Noticed
- Pros, Cons, Overall Rating
What is Wattpad?
Wattpad is a free service designed to connect readers with authors, available on desktop and as a mobile app.
Readers can access millions of ebooks in every conceivable genre, with more added every day.
In addition to reading books, users can:
- Add books to their reading list
- Follow their favorite writers
- Receive notifications whenever favorite authors publish something new
- Private message other Wattpad users
- Create their own books and publish them
While it's a great place to discover new writing and interact with others, it's also perfect for research. Many people look to this platform to discover upcoming authors, book trends, and what readers are looking for.
How to get started on Wattpad
To start using Wattpad, the first thing you need to do is create an account. You can use email, or log in with your Facebook, Instagram or Google account.
Next, you must verify your account. In my experience, the verification email took some time to arrive, but eventually it did. If you don't receive it in a few days, try having the system resend the verification email and also make sure to check your spam folder.
If you do not verify your account, you will still be able to use Wattpad but certain features will be unavailable, such as the community, awards, and contests.
Once your Wattpad account is up and running, you can update your profile, browse books and connect with other writers and readers.
How to find stories to read
Wattpad is intuitive and simple to navigate. When you're logged in, your home page will feature Top Picks as well as many other topical categories, such as Editor's Picks, Ad-Free Picks, and New & Hot.
For deeper searching, tap or click on the “Browse” link in the navigation bar and look at titles based on genre or Wattpad Picks. There is also a search bar if you want to find a specific author, title or keyword.
The Wattpad ecosystem relies on tags and keywords, so as long as authors are labeling their work appropriately, then you will discover it in your search.
Once you find a title you want to read, you can start right away, or click on the “+” button to add it to your library or reading list. You can locate your library and reading list by clicking or tapping on your profile and navigating to the title you want to read. Select the cover to start reading.
While Wattpad is free and there are millions of titles available, there is a category called “Paid Stories.” Wattpad says this allows readers to thank writers by supporting them financially through Coins, which can be purchased through the mobile app.
Readers can purchase any amount of coins, and then use them to unlock paid stories (either individual chapters or an entire book) on either the mobile app or web. Authors set their Coin rate so the cost will vary from book to book. In order to offer Paid Stories, authors must be invited into the program by Wattpad.
How to write and publish stories on Wattpad
If you want to write or publish your stories (or novel) on the platform, click or tap on the “Write” link in the top navigation and then on “Create a Story.”
- Related: How to Start Writing A Novel
The software will prompt you to start with your cover, title, description, main characters, category, tags, audience, language and rating. However, if you're not quite ready with this information, you can skip forward and come back to it later.
Next, you start typing. Wattpad allows you to add multimedia such as images and videos to make your work as interactive as you'd like.
Once you're finished writing you can save your work, leaving it a draft, or else publish it for the larger community to see.
You don't need to finish writing your book all at once, and you can publish a partially-finished story and continue adding to it.
When your story is published, readers have the chance to discover your book through the tagging and keywords, but they also can interact with your story by leaving comments throughout! You'll notice this when browsing books as a reader, over to the right of the words you'll see comment bubbles and when you click into them, you can read the community's comments and discussion.
When Wattpad readers are really moved by a story or character, they've been known to create art, videos and more, leaving them in the comments for the community to see. Readers are encouraged to leave comments right on a sentence or paragraph and vote on the work. The more kind words, suggestions and ideas, the better.
Interacting with the Wattpad community
In addition to chatting with others while you're reading by leaving comments, there is also a “Community” section in the navigation bar with links to the Watty Awards, Community Happenings and The Ambassador Program.
The Watty Awards is an annual writing contest, where authors are invited to submit their completed works in one of 11 categories and nine languages.
Community Happenings are where the clubs and forums live in Wattpad, offering a chance for learning more about the community and socializing. This area allows you to promote your writing and connect with others.
The Ambassador Program is for people who are active on Wattpad and want to become more involved. Potential ambassadors must apply and go through training before joining one of four teams: content, engagement, data, and outreach.
If you're curious just how big Wattpad is, at the time of this article, in July 2022, Wattpad social following numbers were:
- Twitter: 1M Followers
- Facebook: 8.2M Followers
- TikTok: 1.3M Followers
- Instagram: 2.2M Followers
- Wattpad Platform: 90M Followers
…and these numbers are growing every day!
How to get noticed on Wattpad
With millions of users worldwide, Wattpad is a busy place and getting your book noticed can be a challenge.
The good news is, only 10 percent of Wattpad users are active authors. The rest are readers! So the best way to stand out is by being a good literary citizen. Follow the general best practices and learn the Wattpad culture and etiquette.
Start by following people who are interested in the kind of writing you do, and join different clubs in your genre as a reader. Read books and engage with them on Wattpad, and make sure to use tags people are searching for on the platform when you publish. As you become more familiar with Wattpad, you'll notice many of the tags and keywords mirror speech rather than industry terms. Pay attention and use those when you publish your books on Wattpad.
By the way, you are not required to publish full-length novels. You can write short stories, or partial stories or whatever you want. You can use it for practice, for fun, for networking, or all of the above! Wattpad is what you make it and you'll appreciate the community support and feedback you receive along the way.
The best ways to get noticed on Wattpad:
- Leave kind and helpful comments on top-ranking stories
- Engage with the community! Vote, make an effort to engage new readers, and stay in touch with current readers
- Join discussions in popular forums in your genre
- Create a great cover that will get noticed
- Add relevant tags and keywords
- Apply to have your story featured on Wattpad—it's free and makes your book visible to the larger community, but it's competitive so you may have to keep trying
Although there are stories of writers receiving book deals out of their Wattpad success, most authors treat Wattpad as a place to build a fan base for their writing. You're free to add calls to action at the end of your chapters and in your bio, you can serialize your writing and you can even link to your website or sales pages in the metadata.
Wattpad is free to use, as long as you're ok with having ads displayed constantly.
If you become a serial user of Wattpad, it may make sense to pay for one of their premium models. With premium, you won't see any ads, you can read stories online and offline, you access Wattpad coins to unlock paid stories, and you can even customize your theme colors.
Premium is a mere $4.99 per month. Premium Plus is only $7.49 per month and allows you to unlock 2 paid stories per month (much like an Audible subscription).
Pros, Cons, Overall Rating
|Free (or very low cost for premium)||Not always finished / polished books|
|Very engaged community||So large it can be tough to get noticed|
|Easy to create stories||Coin program can be confusing at first|
|Great for discovering upcoming authors, books, and trends|
Overall, we give Wattpad a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating. It's one of the best social platforms for readers and writers alike.
There are many smart ways to use Wattpad, whether as a reader, an author, an agent, or an editor. If you're ready to connect with readers and engage in an excited and authentic community, this may be the perfect fit for you and your work.
If you're looking to learn how to write and publish your first book, this free resource will help.