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gingerwoman
09-04-2013, 02:10 AM
Why do people post their work up on those places like wattpad? I don't get it.

Ken
09-04-2013, 02:42 AM
... if they could get their stuff pub'd with Random House,
or one of the other biggies, I'm sure many would do that instead.
;-)
Bottomline. Writing is difficult.
Wattpad is the best some can do.
And that is fine. Just completing a story others enjoy is
an accomplishment and something to feel good and proud about.
Of course there are other reasons as well for opting for wattpad and the like.

gingerwoman
09-04-2013, 04:06 AM
Well I'm reading that these things actually get people readers I guess I didn't get it when people first started giving books away for free but that makes people money too. I guess this is the new thing. All the teens are doing it. It's pretty irrelevant to me anyway since what I currently write is too explicit for such things but it is interesting.

aimeestates
09-04-2013, 04:22 AM
I suppose if the writing is good it could direct a reader to go looking for more work from an author. It could be used as a marketing tool of sorts...

Filigree
09-04-2013, 04:36 AM
I write way too adult for Wattpad, even my mainstream work. But I do post fan fiction on a couple of sites, just for fun. I've never made a secret of it, and fan readers can easily find my original stuff. I've even had a few sales that route. I'd never post original work for free.

Medievalist
09-04-2013, 04:48 AM
It's not a new thing; the underlying assumption is that publishers/editors/agents will go looking for things to publish, and that they'll go to a display site.

This is not, alas, accurate in general. Most have all they can do to keep up with the flood of submissions.

You might read what Writer Beware and Old Hack have to say about Yet Another Display Site:

http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/services/#Manuscript

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/01/victoria-strauss-more-dubious-writers.html

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2012/02/publishers-desk-display-or-misplay.html

http://howpublishingreallyworks.com/?p=1174

veinglory
09-04-2013, 05:10 AM
I have posted work on places like fanfiction and erotica display sites. I am not delusional or a terrible writer. I sometimes just write for a small community like a fandom or fetish, and all I want to do is share that work with people who will appreciate it.

Cyia
09-04-2013, 05:27 AM
Experimentation.

Testing the waters for feedback when you don't have anyone you trust to be honest.

Fun.

The desire to have someone, somewhere read and hopefully enjoy a story you never intend to publish.

And, on occasion, the desire to create an audience and hopefully garner enough views and readers to make the book a stand out smash.

Etc, etc, etc...

Medievalist
09-04-2013, 05:28 AM
I have posted work on places like fanfiction and erotica display sites. I am not delusional or a terrible writer. I sometimes just write for a small community like a fandom or fetish, and all I want to do is share that work with people who will appreciate it.

Those are almost more communities than display sites though. The goal is to share with readers, not publishers.

James D. Macdonald
09-04-2013, 05:44 AM
Display sites are great if your major goal is to avoid getting rejected.

Tromboli
09-04-2013, 05:57 AM
How would it work if someone posted a story related to (but not directly from) another original story? Like, they don't keep copyright for posting, do they? This might sound like a stupid question, just a random thought of how someone could use the site to their advantage.

DancingMaenid
09-04-2013, 06:47 AM
I'm not really familiar with display sites like Wattpad, but some people just want to have fun and put their stuff out there. I don't really anticipate or plan to make money off of my writing, so it's something I'd consider if I thought it was the best way to promote my stuff and have it read.

I post fanfic and erotica on free sites.

veinglory
09-04-2013, 06:51 AM
Those are almost more communities than display sites though. The goal is to share with readers, not publishers.

They are all communities, some pretend to be something else as well, and some don't. Wattpad, Deviant art, Literotica etc. In my experience most people are not there because they expect to be "discovered". Sometimes people just do thing for fun. Even if they also write material for publication.

Tromboli
09-04-2013, 06:54 AM
Holy cow, all the Harry Style fan fics. (I've been browsing out of curiosity) I also noticed that most of the covers are better than a lot of selfpubbed covers (but also many are unusable pics, some with celebrities and such that I'm sure they don't have permission for.)

UndergoingMitosis
09-04-2013, 07:29 AM
I'm not really familiar with display sites like Wattpad, but some people just want to have fun and put their stuff out there.

This.

Thinking about this question makes me a little nostalgic for my fan fiction days. It's nice to have people read your stuff, follow it, and like it. When you're not asking anyone to pay for your writing, it's a low pressure situation. I never felt stressed about fanfiction--it was purely something I did in my free time, exactly when I felt like it and never when I didn't.

Now I'm doing this whole "let's write a book and maybe hopefully people will someday want to pay for it" thing. It's rewarding, definitely, but I have now officially stressed about writing. It's a very different experience. I understand the appeal of the more low pressure approach that something like Wattpad can offer writers.

ETA: I know some people are much more serious about their fanfiction than I ever was--and that's good too. Just for me, this is what I would find appealing about something like Wattpad.

Kevin Nelson
09-04-2013, 11:13 AM
I've posted a few stories on Wattpad that I wrote just for fun, after I decided they were very unlikely to be published professionally. With the market for short fiction being what it is, there isn't much opening for stories that have only niche appeal. This way, at least I get to share my work with a few people who may appreciate it.

By the way, does anyone know what's up with how Wattpad counts page views? I used to think it gave a reasonably accurate count of how many people looked at your stories. But now I've been told the numbers are way off because of page visits by bots and spiders. Is there any way to find out what's really going on? I'd like to think that a few hundred real people have in fact read my stories.

Ken
09-04-2013, 02:39 PM
It's pretty irrelevant to me anyway since what I currently write is too explicit for such things...

... in an ideal world that wouldn't make a difference.
Perhaps one day.
:-)

Torgo
09-04-2013, 02:56 PM
By the way, does anyone know what's up with how Wattpad counts page views? I used to think it gave a reasonably accurate count of how many people looked at your stories. But now I've been told the numbers are way off because of page visits by bots and spiders. Is there any way to find out what's really going on? I'd like to think that a few hundred real people have in fact read my stories.

No idea, but the 'reads' stat is incredibly misleading. Tens of millions of reads? Not a chance. They certainly count every view of every chapter every time, so you probably have to divide the overall stat by the number of chapters.

What I do is look at the numbers of comments (and votes, to a lesser extent) per chapter. Comment numbers aren't uniques - people may well comment more than once - but I figure if you divide them by three or four you get a baseline.

More generally: I would echo the comments about display sites above, with some exceptions.

No, publishers don't routinely trawl display sites. We have enough to be getting on with, and the quality on most of them is identical to slush (often lower.) Any website which is trying to 'revolutionise publishing' by 'ranking the slushpile' etc is going to be useless. If I ever want to read a novel that has about a 1% chance of being of any interest, there are ten under my desk in brown envelopes at any one time.

That's why display sites have been coming and going for so long that we have the phrase 'YADS'. They have all singularly failed to revolutionise publishing. For a long time the only one with any staying power was Authonomy, and that was because it had a formal link with HarperCollins, and thus people could feel there was a genuine chance their book might get read by someone other than another member.

Here's the thing, though: recently, you will have seen top-rated Wattpad authors get publishing deals with at least three of the Big Five. Wattpad is interesting to me and to others in that it's not really geared towards publishing. The demographic is overwhelmingly young, female, and distributed all over the world (especially the US, UK and Philippines.) It's teenagers, basically, and as such of interest primarily to people in children's books.

These aren't people hoping to get noticed - they're just telling each other stories. It's why Wattpad has a split between original fiction and fan-fiction (One Direction, primarily.) A publishing-focused site like Authonomy wouldn't host the latter, and a fanfic site wouldn't host the former.

The paradox is I wouldn't discount Wattpad as a path to publication, but only so long as you aren't actually trying to get published. The people who have been successful tend to have been focused on pleasing their peers on the site rather than building a portfolio of work to sell. It's also, of course, going to be almost exclusively YA/NA.

(All this applies to a lesser extent to Movellas - similar in a lot of ways, but on a smaller scale.)

Parametric
09-04-2013, 03:06 PM
Just for fun. That's all. Not everything in writing is about getting a trade publishing contract.

LOTLOF
09-04-2013, 03:18 PM
I posted a whole lot of stories on fanfiction.net. I wasn't trying to get published. I was doing it because I loved writing and wanted people to read my stories.

Myrealana
09-04-2013, 03:27 PM
You know, there are people who don't write for money, and writers who do write for money, but occasionally just want to put something out for the heck of it.

Not everything is about getting a publishing deal. Sometimes, writing is just for the sheer joy of putting words on the page and having others enjoy them.

Rina Evans
09-04-2013, 03:32 PM
Fun, pleasure, gratification, sharing. There's a level of enjoyment when you get those likes and kudos and comments from people who liked your writing. It's right there and makes you feel good.

shaldna
09-04-2013, 04:10 PM
Why do people post their work up on those places like wattpad? I don't get it.

They do it for the same reason that people post fanfiction, or share work on their blogs - interaction, gratification, reaching new readers and sharing something they love and are proud of.

Not everyone who writes does it for the same reasons. Some people don't care about getting published or making money. Some people write for the pure love of it and just want to share it with other people.

Cyia
09-04-2013, 04:51 PM
No idea, but the 'reads' stat is incredibly misleading. Tens of millions of reads? Not a chance. They certainly count every view of every chapter every time, so you probably have to divide the overall stat by the number of chapters.


It's the same counting program used by a lot of fanfic sites.

1 story, 20 chapters.

^ with one reader, you get 20 views, however, if that one reader decides that they want to read it again, then you've got 40.

If 10 people decide they like the story enough to read twice, then you've got 400 views.

But, say you're reading a story and stop at chapter 17 because you have to go do something else. If you don't pick back up at 17, but start at 1 and page through to get back to your place, that's another 17 "reads."

If you page back from chapter 9 to chapter 5 to double check on something that's confusing, and then page back to 9 to keep reading, that's another 8 views.

To put it in perspective, I had fanfics rack up over 1,000,000 views in less than a month, but the site also tracked readers, not just views. That was a *seriously* inflated read count. 30 times, or more the number of views compared to the number of readers.

Most sites like that don't cache, so I'm not sure if the bot reads actually matter, but if they do, you'd have to add them to the total, too.

(The "average" (in quotes, not literal, just from experience) reader / comment baseline on major sites, with a well written fic is usually around 10 readers per unique comment.)

Kevin Nelson
09-04-2013, 06:31 PM
No idea, but the 'reads' stat is incredibly misleading. Tens of millions of reads? Not a chance. They certainly count every view of every chapter every time, so you probably have to divide the overall stat by the number of chapters.

What I do is look at the numbers of comments (and votes, to a lesser extent) per chapter. Comment numbers aren't uniques - people may well comment more than once - but I figure if you divide them by three or four you get a baseline.

Thanks for the answer...I guess it really is hard to say about this sort of thing. People can comment multiple times, people can read without commenting, spiders and bots can come in, etc. etc.

My stories appear to be in no danger of having millions of page views listed, though at the rate they're going they might reach a few thousand. I'll have to be content just knowing some people have read them.



These aren't people hoping to get noticed - they're just telling each other stories. It's why Wattpad has a split between original fiction and fan-fiction (One Direction, primarily.)

You're not kidding. It seems like every tenth story there is Harry Styles fan-fic. Is "fan-fic" even the right word? When I saw all those stories, at first I thought Harry Styles was a character in some TV series or book series that I'd never heard of before. Then I found out he was a real person. Shouldn't there be a different word for that sort of "fan-fic"?

Parametric
09-04-2013, 06:34 PM
You're not kidding. It seems like every tenth story there is Harry Styles fan-fic. Is "fan-fic" even the right word? When I saw all those stories, at first I thought Harry Styles was a character in some TV series or book series that I'd never heard of before. Then I found out he was a real person. Shouldn't there be a different word for that sort of "fan-fic"?

There is a word: RPF - real person (fan)fiction.

Shadow_Ferret
09-04-2013, 07:02 PM
I never heard of these. People post their writing for all the world to see.for.free?

I don't get that.

veinglory
09-04-2013, 07:26 PM
It has already been explained in this thread. Some people do it for fun. It is all part of different people being... different.

bearilou
09-04-2013, 07:45 PM
I won't lie, I've toyed with the idea of using something like that. Mainly for grins and giggles, to write, unfettered and unconcerned with getting published and making money.

I've moved from fanfiction for the most part, and write a lot of little bits and asides that normally wouldn't see the light of day because it isn't something I want to mold into something bigger. One of these display sites would scratch that itch.

Possibly even to further my SOOPER SEKRIT short story self publishing adventure.

However, I'm a skin-flint and wouldn't pay to do it. I know just enough to make myself dangerous in operating a live journal or wordpress. I'll open up a blog for it before I pay-to-display.

Medievalist
09-04-2013, 08:10 PM
However, I'm a skin-flint and wouldn't pay to do it. I know just enough to make myself dangerous in operating a live journal or wordpress. I'll open up a blog for it before I pay-to-display.

I think it would be way more fun to create a blog for a small group of like-minded individuals who want to have some fun while writing than to go to a large site for thousands.

veinglory
09-04-2013, 08:15 PM
I see no reason to assume all display communities are bad and full of [derogatory term] people any more than all blogs or forums are (or indeed all publishers or all self-publishing or zines or pretty much anything). People do stuff for reasons based on their wants and needs. Sometimes just during a stage of their development and sometimes lifelong.

Calle Jay
09-04-2013, 08:27 PM
I posted tons of stuff on fanfic.net when my mother was fighting cancer, and I was living with her. Life was a bit too stressful for 'serious' original fiction (went through a year of block until she was fully recovered), but I still had the need/drive to write something/anything as an outlet. FF.net was definitely a big stress release for me. I had no thought of 'seeking publication' from fanfiction. It was just something to do for me that no one else had control over.

And honestly? During that year of fanfiction, I learned more than the previous three in a BA in Fiction program in college. I learned to finish a story (struggled with endings), learned pacing, foreshadowing, keeping 'in' character, suspense (I wrote CSI, NCIS, and Criminal Minds FF) and because of reviews...a very thick skin! There were a lot of benefits to FF that people might not think about.

benbradley
09-04-2013, 08:32 PM
I never heard of these. People post their writing for all the world to see.for.free?

I don't get that.
You didn't see the big thread(s) on Authonomy when it first came out? That one was a "big deal" because it was connected to a Major Publisher and they were promoting it as an alternative way to get commercially published.

Medievalist
09-04-2013, 08:39 PM
I see no reason to assume all display communities are bad and full of [derogatory term] people any more than all blogs or forums are (or indeed all publishers or all self-publishing or zines or pretty much anything).

I don't see anyone doing that in this thread. I do see a distinction being made between sites that charge and those that don't (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8409515&postcount=29).

That strikes me as a reasonable distinction to make.

I also think it's reasonable to point out that those sites that specifically set themselves up as an entré to agents or trade publishers are less than likely to work as such.

Filigree
09-05-2013, 12:09 AM
Just so. I would never send work to any place that made me pay. Learned that no-no in the art world.

But a ten year hiatus away from original fiction, when I was too stressed out by commercial art to do anything but mess around with fan fiction, taught me so much. I'm grateful to the people who liked my work and told me why. I'm even more grateful to the critics who ripped me and told me why. I learned from it all. I'm a better writer for it. Maybe I could have accomplished more, in a shorter time, if I'd gone to Clarion or Viable Paradise - but the funds and time off were never there.

Medievalist
09-05-2013, 05:15 AM
Some of the beta-ing on fan-fic sites in absolutely incredible.

And so are some of the comment threads.

Also, I know at least five trade published SF/F writers and one mystery writer who write fan fic on a regular basis.

There's something freeing about fan fic for a lot of writers, in that you are both "free" and by the 'ship or universe. It often makes writing fun again.

DancingMaenid
09-05-2013, 06:12 AM
I wouldn't use a site that made me pay, either. Especially since there are alternatives that are probably just as good (I'm not that familiar with Wattpad, so I don't know what the benefits of it are).

But I have no problem putting my stuff out there for free, especially if I can find an audience for it. I love writing fanfic, and I might post some of my original stuff online if I feel like there's some interest in it. My main concern about posting stuff is that people won't be interested. With fanfic, you can usually trust that there will be an audience for it and that they'll know where to find your work if you post it.

gingerwoman
09-05-2013, 11:21 AM
I see no reason to assume all display communities are bad and full of [derogatory term] people any more than all blogs or forums are (or indeed all publishers or all self-publishing or zines or pretty much anything). People do stuff for reasons based on their wants and needs. Sometimes just during a stage of their development and sometimes lifelong.
I tend to imagine this "wattpad" is nothing but teens. Would I be wrong?

Filigree
09-05-2013, 11:08 PM
I haven't looked in a year or so, but the majority of writing 'voices' appeared to be very young. Wattpad currently makes a big push for 'name' authors like Atwood and Sanderson, probably to counter the too-youthful and inexperienced perception of its majority of authors.

I don't care about age; I care about craft. I treat Wattpad like I do fan fiction sites like Archive of Our Own. I'll browse favorite fandoms or recommendations, but the second I see awkward writing, I drop that story and move on.

Torgo
09-05-2013, 11:15 PM
I tend to imagine this "wattpad" is nothing but teens. Would I be wrong?

It's basically teens and Margaret Attwood.

Filigree
09-06-2013, 01:24 AM
I know of several subsidy-published authors who have put up snippets of their work on Wattpad, to possibly drive some more sales of their books.

gingerwoman
09-06-2013, 04:46 AM
It's basically teens and Margaret Attwood.
Whaaaaa?

Kevin Nelson
09-06-2013, 08:13 AM
There is a word: RPF - real person (fan)fiction.

That makes it sound like a type of fan-fiction, though. I'm not sure if it should be considered fan-fiction at all.

Kevin Nelson
09-06-2013, 08:14 AM
I tend to imagine this "wattpad" is nothing but teens. Would I be wrong?

I've posted some things there, and I'm no teen. But yes, it does seem to be at least 85% teens.

Samsonet
09-06-2013, 09:07 AM
That makes it sound like a type of fan-fiction, though. I'm not sure if it should be considered fan-fiction at all.

But it is?

People who write fanfic about fictional characters tend to stay away from it, but the people who write RPF describe it as fanfic.

DancingMaenid
09-06-2013, 10:01 AM
That makes it sound like a type of fan-fiction, though. I'm not sure if it should be considered fan-fiction at all.

If it's a type of fanfic, then how could it not be considered fanfic? It's fiction fans write about something that they're a fan of.

Parametric
09-06-2013, 02:04 PM
That makes it sound like a type of fan-fiction, though. I'm not sure if it should be considered fan-fiction at all.

It's a fan activity by fans in their fandoms. Can't get much more fannish. :)

Torgo
09-06-2013, 02:14 PM
That makes it sound like a type of fan-fiction, though. I'm not sure if it should be considered fan-fiction at all.

A Jerusalem Artichoke isn't from Jerusalem and it isn't an artichoke, but it's what it's called.

Kevin Nelson
09-06-2013, 03:35 PM
A Jerusalem Artichoke isn't from Jerusalem and it isn't an artichoke, but it's what it's called.

I guess that will have to be the last word. Personally, I can't help but think that real-person fan-fic is different enough from other fan-fic that it ought to be in its own category. (For one thing, it would raise entirely different legal issues if you tried to publish it commercially.) But I bow before established usage.

Dermit
09-06-2013, 06:41 PM
Speaking as someone who's been mucking about with Wattpad for around a year, I can tell you the main reason I bother with the site: it's fun.

It's not going to make you rich and it's not going to make you a better writer, but there is something really enjoyable about seeing others enthusiastic about your work, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than a site like Wattpad. It makes the effort of writing the next chapter (which, for me, is often a chore on the particular novel I'm posting on there) worth it, and I tend to feed off their enthusiasm and use it to fuel my own. They get to read for free and I get to feel good about making progress on a story I'd otherwise given up on. Fair trade, I figure.

Plenty of negatives about the place, though. Constructive criticism isn't a thing, it's all mindless platitudes and OMG WTF U R SO GOOD, so all the feedback you get has to be taken with a hefty heaping of salt. Also, as others have mentioned, the userbase is extremely young compared to a site like this one. It might give you unrealistic expectations on how your work will be received among more discerning palates.

The readcount is also bonkers: pageviews on individual chapters, meaning if my novel has 30 chapters, one reader can give me 30 reads. Very misleading and I wished they'd do unique pageviews instead, but then I suppose the "omg 20 million reads!" shock value would disappear.

One last thing I find noteworthy: they're toying with the idea of Fan Funding.

http://www.wattpad.com/fanfunding

Basically an insite kickstarter-like program with tiered rewards (a copy of the finished work, user inserts into the story, that kind of junk). They currently have a pilot program going, with a few of the site's more prominent writers giving it a go. Haven't paid much attention to it, but I did notice that one of the authors had already met their monthly goal, which was something like $5,000. Not really sure how I feel about the whole idea, but it IS interesting.

Medievalist
09-06-2013, 07:53 PM
Speaking as someone who's been mucking about with Wattpad for around a year, I can tell you the main reason I bother with the site: it's fun.

That strikes me as a worthy thing all on its own.

bearilou
09-06-2013, 08:37 PM
That strikes me as a worthy thing all on its own.

couldn't agree more.

I have to remind myself from time to time that this is supposed to be fun. Writing is fun. Creating is fun. When it turns to being all about making the monies and allowing that to overshadow everything else I do...it is no longer fun.

Rina Evans
09-06-2013, 09:38 PM
Does anyone use fictionpress.com instead of wattpad? What's your experience like? It's basically fanfiction.net for original fiction (same general layout, I suppose the same company runs it.

Samsonet
09-06-2013, 10:28 PM
Does anyone use fictionpress.com instead of wattpad? What's your experience like? It's basically fanfiction.net for original fiction (same general layout, I suppose the same company runs it.

I used to use it (now I'm on figment though) and it was pretty good. People there are serious about writing and helping each other out.

Filigree
09-06-2013, 11:41 PM
I've never used fictionpress. The most accessible site for my fan work is Archive of Our Own, which has a user base of all ages. I stick around there because of loyalty to the parent org, whose mission statement I tend to follow. There's no money whatsoever in it for me, but I do enjoy the near-instant feedback.

I'll try not to wander OT here, but I remember Carey's comment on fan fiction - and support that, too. Writing someone else's character too far out-of-character has always seemed wrong to me, unless the story reveals a good reason for it.

That and Real Person Fic are quick ways to make me ditch a story, on any display site.

LOTLOF
09-07-2013, 01:22 AM
Does anyone use fictionpress.com instead of wattpad? What's your experience like? It's basically fanfiction.net for original fiction (same general layout, I suppose the same company runs it.

I used it for a few of my original stories. It's fine, but it didn't get that much traffic and the reviews tended to be a bit sparse. It was easy enough to use though and, except for porn, you were pretty much free to post whatever you liked.

leela_e
09-07-2013, 05:31 PM
Maybe they want to share their work :)

gingerwoman
09-09-2013, 04:08 PM
It's basically teens and Margaret Attwood.
Wow you weren't kidding she really is there, and she's my favourite author. I guess she thinks it's good promotion. I just joined up.

Filigree
09-10-2013, 12:20 AM
Let us know how it goes for you. I'd wander back, but none of my best writing is 'clean' enough for Wattpad. If it's not sex, it's violence.

Sunflowerrei
09-10-2013, 03:46 AM
I guess that will have to be the last word. Personally, I can't help but think that real-person fan-fic is different enough from other fan-fic that it ought to be in its own category. (For one thing, it would raise entirely different legal issues if you tried to publish it commercially.) But I bow before established usage.

But most fanfic writers don't try to publish their fics commercially. I used write Real Person Fic--never posted it anywhere, just sent it around to my friends who were often characters in the fic. Basically, you take someone you're a fan of, maybe a few known facts about their life or their persona, and you write a story. I can see how it can be creepy. I once read a RPF where an actor was turned into a psychopathic serial killer in the fic.

My cousin posts her fics on fanfiction.net. She gets some super detailed reviews on there.

gingerwoman
09-10-2013, 09:36 AM
Let us know how it goes for you. I'd wander back, but none of my best writing is 'clean' enough for Wattpad. If it's not sex, it's violence.
None of mine is clean enough either, but I may post a non sex scene from one of my erotic books. lol