How to Get More Readers on Wattpad in 2021
A lot has changed in the Wattpad world. Here's how you can attract the right readers for your book.
1. Get a Good Cover Designer
Whether they should or not, readers are going to judge your book by its cover. Unless you're a professional graphic designer, a DIY cover will make your book look amateurish. Instead of trying it yourself, you can request free cover designs through Wattpad "cover shops" or buy one for cheap on places like Fiverr or Etsy. Your cover is the first part of your book that people will interact with, so it needs to be high quality.
2. Post Consistently and Often
Post a new chapter at least once a week (we recommend 2-3x per week) and post on a schedule. For instance, if you post twice a week on Wednesday and Thursday, put that in your story description and stick to your own deadlines. If you don't write that quickly, that's fine, just build up enough chapters in advance and post as you go. If you abandon your story for several weeks, or worse—months—you will lose readers and ruin your momentum.
3. Write a Description That Accurately Describes Your Book
Some books will use excerpts in place of a description. Other books will use vague, mysterious language like "she meets an unexpected person and everything changes". Do not do this. Your description should have your big story keywords. If it's a vampire story, you need to use the word "vampire". Authors get so concerned about giving away too much of their plot that they don't cover the important themes of their story. No one will pick up your book in the first place if they can't figure out what kind of book it is.
4. Choose Your Tags Wisely
Pick tags in multiple categories and avoid any tags that basically mean the same thing. Consider the Who/What/Where/When of your story and try to come up with several tags for each. For example, The Kissing Booth might use # badboy (who), # forbiddenlove (what), # highschool (where), and # contemporary (when). You'll also want to have a mix of broad, popular tags (like # romance) and smaller, niche tags (like # entrepreneur). We recommend the metadata chapter of The Road to Wattys and the tags chapter of Secrets to Getting More Reads for more details on choosing tags.
5. Check Your Spelling
If you write in Wattpad app (which we recommend against to avoid losing your data), start writing in a notepad on your phone instead so spellcheck can help you, then you can copy your work to post it and it will be saved somewhere else in case of Wattpad issues. We recommend installing Grammarly or something similar on your computer and checking your chapters there before you post.
6. Talk to Your Readers
When a reader adds your book to their reading list or votes on a few chapters, pop over to their profile and say thank you. If a reader comments on your book, reply to them. Your readers are supporting you, so they deserve a bit of your attention. You don't have to reply to every comment (that could actually get bothersome to your readers) but let them know you're here and participating.
7. Engage with Other Books in Your Genre
Are you reading your competitors' books? If not, you should be! Support other writers and build community by reading other books in your genre. Being well-read will not only educate you on what is popular but also introduce you to authors and fellow readers who enjoy your genre. Don't use this as an opportunity to plug your book—just be an enthusiastic member of the community. Leave lots of comments and vote on books you enjoy. Visibility is half the battle.
8. Try a High-Concept Title
Have you ever seen the movie Snakes on a Plane? Maybe, maybe not. But do you know what it's about? Of course you do! That's exactly what a "high-concept title" is—a title that tells you in a straightforward way what the story is about. Wattpad titles like My Mate is the Vampire King or Married to the Devil's Son do well, in part, because they draw you into their premise right away. Choosing a title like this will help readers catch on to your story idea right away. You may like your title as-is, but a high-concept title will give you more reach.
9. Finish Your Book and Mark It Completed
I can't stress this one enough, do not give up on writing your book before it's finished. So many writers get discouraged when they haven't gotten any reads, but that's a big mistake. Most Wattpad readers won't even read a story until it's completed. Don't expect many (or any) reads until you've finished your story and then check that "Complete" box.
10. You Can't Just Do One or Two Things
The truth is, it's difficult to find popularity on Wattpad. Just doing a couple of things on this list won't get you much readership. You have to commit to doing most of them to really see results. Marking your book complete will help get it seen. Your title, cover, tags, and description will entice people to read your story. Good spelling and strong reader engagement will keep readers sticking around. You need most—if not all—of these factors to create a popular story with staying power.
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Have these tips helped you? Share your story in the comments...