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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Future of My Books on Wattpad


I am a terrible salesperson and it's never really bothered me. Now that I'm taking the indie publishing route, apparently I have to start doing the sales thing. I've read all kinds of advice on how to market books, and I've been going about it sort of haphazardly. I am trying a particular marketing strategy in the pricing of my books, although I'm not sure I'll stick to it.

Books 1 to 4 in the Wynter Wild series have been, or will be, uploaded first to Wattpad. I chose that platform because it's huge, it allows for immediate interaction with readers, which I love, and it's free to use for everyone. Wattpad has a young-skewing audience, many of whom don't (and probably won't ever) pay for ebooks, so it's been more of a testing ground to discover readers' reactions.

I always intended to release Little Sister Song as a free ebook to generate some interest in the series, and I've also released book 2 Out of Tune for free as well.

So now I need to formulate a marketing strategy for the remaining books (7.5 of which are written).
I've been writing these books for two years but I can't call it a career when there's no money involved. I just released book 3 (Rhythm & Rhyme) for $2.99, although you can still read it on Wattpad for free, and I'll begin uploading book 4 on 13th April, and later this year sell it on Amazon as well. If I decide to enroll any of these books in Kindle Unlimited, I'll have to remove them from Wattpad (and all other retailers) for 90 days minimum, but I'll give plenty of warning.

My thinking at the moment is to put book 5 on Wattpad, but after that I may switch to ebook format. Two reasons:

1. If people like the series enough to continue, I'm hoping they'll pay a few dollars every few months for the next in the series (otherwise I have to get a regular job, guys, which means a lot less time to write); and

2. Books 6-10 are frankly not suitable for a young audience. You're supposed to be 13 years old to use Wattpad, and an author can mark books as "Mature" to restrict them to 18+, but of course this is an unenforceable guideline.

I consider my books suitable for 16+ and not specifically because of sexual content, but because of adult themes that I'd be uncomfortable giving to, for example, my own 13-year-old niece to read. I also doubt she'd be as interested in those books, to be honest. The Wynter Wild series never was a "high school teen drama" even if the first few books have aspects of that genre.

I do believe most young readers can self-censor effectively, and "if it gets weird for you, that’s when you stop" as Jesse put it. But the fact is my books weren't written as YA fiction, while Wattpad is, for now, a mostly YA audience.

So, that's my thinking today... It may change tomorrow. Book 5 (as currently written) does end on a fairly satisfactory note for each of the main characters, so if readers don't want to pay to go any further with the series I think that's a good place to stop.






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