The Big Thread On How To Get Reads (And Readers) - Wattpad, Tapas and More Coming Soon

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Coming soon: Royal Road

Disclaimer: This thread is not for advertising services, your story, or asking for reads. So please don’t do it. The links will be updated soon.

And now for the tips.




Wattpad

(This thread was originally by Scripturite, AWFraiser and other Wattpad writers)

Resources

A lot of this information and more can already be found in the Story Services category.

Book Clubs
Either work in pairs or work in groups. It differs how each book club is run, so find one that works for you . Some have three featured books every week, and you’ll critique one chapter of each book. Some pairs you up with another book club member, and you’ll do however many chapters is required.

WARNING: Some book clubs are better than others; Some clubs are generally read for reads and some are super in-depth and offer lots of feedback and critique. Ask around to figure out which offer honest critiques, and which are just read boosters.

Critiques
Do not ask for Critiques if you are not going to make any changes. Asking for critiques just to get reads while never intending to change the story at all, is frowned upon. Ask because you’re ready to do the work and receive the advice of your fellow writers.

Writing Buddies
Writing buddies offer in-depth one on one help with each other’s novels. Typically you get as much as you give, so keep that in mind if you plan on ghosting your buddy. (But don’t do that. That’s really shitty.)

Beta Readers
Completed novels can hire Beta Readers to provide whole novel help. Again, this is hit or miss with success but it never hurts to try. Hire as many as you can get, as the more eyes you get on a finished draft, the better.

Awards
Awards (there are currently no award advertising area - but use the search function, both here and on the main site, to find them)

Even if you don’t win, participating in small and large Awards Competitions can help get your book out in front of judges and other participants.

Guides

Offer Something of Your Own;
Do you have skill that others would “pay” you to perform? Do you make covers, trailers, draw, edit, or want to be a Beta Reader yourself?

You can offer any skill with the payment being to read and comment on your story. This is a great way of gaining reads, as you are essentially forcing people to check out your book in exchange for your services. that sounded bad but I swear it’s not

Just keep in mind how much effort this will be on your part, as you must provide the service and that is a time-consuming process.

Do not skimp or scam your customers just to gain reads like a lousy asshat

Even beta-reading and/or critiquing books in the same sub-genre as your books, gets your name out there. Other readers might see you in the comment section and want to check out your stuff. Don’t advertise your book or even think about sliding an ad in there when you’re critiquing other people’s books.

You can also try and venture outside of your own genre as that might broaden your horizon even more.

Sumbit to an “Offical Reading List”;
Official genre accounts where you can submit your story and get it added. These lists help readers find stories they like and might gain you some attention if you are added. Not all stories will be added.

Details for submitting your story is usually found on the profile somewhere.

Unofficial Community Profiles
There are also many Member run group and community profiles that offer reading lists with submission options. These can typically be found by searching your genre plus “community” or “group” and doing a little digging. This is good for niche authors or those looking for more variety.

Following official accounts and unofficial communities can help keep you updated on new contests.

Suggestions

Make Your Story Findable
Making your story as findable as possible helps more people, well, duh, find it!

Tags
Adding tags to your story can help those looking for stories like yours find them. Tags also now have the function of ranking, so there is no reason to be skimpy. We have the ability to add 25 - use all 25. Try and use popular and less popular tags. Avoid using very specific tags as the chances of someone searching for that tag is small.

Share Your Story Boards
There is one on each genre board. While generally not very successful, this is a way of sharing your story. Just keep in mind this isn’t very successful so don’t get super bummed when the reads don’t start pouring in after you post your story here. Go here #share-your-story to go to the SYS club.

#Make Your Story Desirable

Obviously, your story needs to look like a good story in order for people to want to read it. There are a good number of ways to achieve this easily, so don’t fret!

Update Regularly
If your book isn’t finished, updating on a regular schedule is highly suggested. Fridays and Saturdays are shown to be best and try scheduling your updates around your most popular demographic or area, so you aren’t updating when they are asleep.

Having a Good Cover
That cover you made in MS paint that is pixelated beyond belief is not helping. Also, do research in your genre. How do other book covers look? Get inspired and try to be as specific about your wishes to a cover maker as possible.

Having a Good Opening Blurb
There are a lot of resources for this on the #improve-your-writing club.

Reader Retention Practises
Even on a first draft, use good grammar, punctuation and sentence structure to increase your reader retention.

Be Grateful
Follow up Comments by thanking the reader or asking a question about the comment.

Follow up Votes and Follows by Thanking the reader on their own profile.

This could sometimes increase the amount of feedback, as the reader sees you want to hear more from them. And could help them finish your book sooner, as they feel appreciated as a reader.

The more active you are, the more people want to comment. No one wants to just comment into a void. So be loud!

The Boards and How to Use Them to Get Reads!

There are many ways to use the boards that could help you get reads, BUT, the most important thing is, do not self-promote on boards ! By doing so you will only earn the scorn of those around you and ensure fewer people will check out your books since they are so annoyed with you. Seriously, it’s just bad form.

Never under any circumstances post a direct link to your book. Even if you are trying to be helpful by providing an example or even if someone says “link me to your book”, you cannot do this. This is a direct breach of the guidelines and will result in your comment getting either edited or removed.

How to “self-promote” properly on Wattpad Boards
Be a presence on your genres’ boards, related boards, and the IYW board.

The best thing to take part in is boards asking you to participate with something from your book. “Get your title rated” “Get your cover rated” “Get your blurb rated” Etc etc.

There are also critique threads in pretty much all genres. Use the search function to scope them out and remember to follow the rules of the thread.

Not only does this help you improve whatever is being rated and connect with other authors, someone might come along and think your blurb sounds super cool and decide to check out your book. I myself have gotten several readers through that method.

Be active and helpful , either on the IYW Board or Genre Boards, by participating in discussions and by helping answer questions. Sometimes, to show their appreciation, the one asking the question will check out your book and read or vote on it. Sometimes they might follow you.

Again, this rarely happens, so don’t try being helpful only expecting some kind of payment like an asshat . But if you are bored and want something to do, being an active helpful member of the boards could help you in the long run.

Join the Wattys

This year’s Wattys is different from all the others - you have to submit a form. You’ll find it in your story settings if your story is elligible. The tag doesn’t matter this time.

DON’T SUBMIT UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO BE JUDGED

Patience.

This is the step that is the most overlooked. Rome wasn’t built in one day and neither will your fanbase. It’s about honing people in, making them stay, interacting and continue to be active. This will take time. It’s rare to actually pass 1k reads on your first story within your first year. So be patient. Follow the steps in this guide and keep doing it. One week of doing all of this will not get you 100k reads with a snap of a finger.


Tapas

(This thread was inspired by KRWright’s comments. And support of @ValKayRee )

Chapter Length

Chapters should be between 800-1300 words for peak engagement on the site. This may mean cutting scenes short, splitting chapters etc. Ideally, write with Tapas in mind. Tapas readers like things short and sweet.

Cliffhangers

Cliffhangers. Write them.

Popular Genres

Romance is a huge seller. Fantasy is the most popular genre on the site, followed by BL.

Make your work visually appealing

Tapas is a visual website far more than other novels platforms are. Your cover/thumbnail/banner matters. Illustration does better than photographs for covers, people do better than typography.

The importance of Author’s Note

Make sure that you write an authors note – and if you have a patreon link it everywhere (banner, ad, in the authors note, EVERYWHERE GUYS).

Don’t start new books

Don’t start new books unless you have to. Just don’t. Keep people coming back to the same page and call it a new ‘season’ of the book.

Be careful, once something is published there is no way to change the order of it. You cannot insert something earlier without going through and editing EVERYTHING after it to match. So ensure that anything you publish is what you want there forever.

Also, the editor removes italics. It’s annoying. There’s no consistent workaround.

There is a way to insert images into chapters. You need to use firefox. If you google ‘tapas novel firefox insert images’ or something similar it’ll give you a step by step.

Employ Multimedia Experience

Just like the good old days of Myspace, there’s an autoplay for music that will play for desktop readers. Use it. I get so many comments from people who enjoy the music I’ve put to the chapters. Not only does it help setting the mood you want, Tapas readers are MUCH more media focused than other platforms. They want that multimedia experience and Tapas allows you to give them that so do it.

Tag All Chapters

You can tag individual chapters which will help with SEO discoverability so do that if you want.

Promote your book - Forums, Social Media and Engagement with Readers

Engage with the Tapas forums and build connections with fellow writers. Market yourself.

Social media is also useful if you have a big following.

Do not do anything you would not do on WP - basically promoting in works, maybe on walls could be fine but be careful there, spamming is still against guidelines.

How to schedule your uploads

Play around with a set time either morning or evening and consistently stick to it using the post scheduler.

For the first month, try to update DAILY. If you can’t manage a month 10 days or 2 weeks will do. You need your work appearing on the fresh lists and the popular lists as much as possible during launch. After that, you can slow down and the subs you gained will carry you.

The less you upload per week, the more invisible you’ll become. Anything less than 3 updates a week, and you might not even grow. (But this can also work in your favour – a chapter that is 3000 on other platforms can be uploaded on your once a week schedule there, at the same time Tapas can have the first two parts of the chapter early with the finale launching simultaneously as a way to drive traffic from one profile to the other, but still keep your patreons happy that they have the content of the other chapters and the ending first).

The end of the week is better than the beginning of the week for numbers. Site traffic picks up on Thursday and tails off on Monday to repeat again. More creators upload at the end of the week but it can also mean that you struggle to be seen.

Consistency Trumps Quality

If you’ve got nothing to upload because of writer’s block, throw up something else instead. Fan art or a Q+A announcement or ANYTHING really. Don’t do it ALL THE TIME, but you aren’t going to be penalised from doing that but you will be penalised if you don’t post anything for a long time.

Do NOT do bulk uploads.

Categorise Accurately
It’s most important to accurately categorise your work. If it’s more romance than fantasy, then put it in romance, but if it’s more fantasy than romance, then put it in Fantasy. Accurate categorisation will pull in the most readers.

Use Thumbnails
Each episode/chapter can have it’s own thumbnail. Using it wisely can attract more readers to that particular chapter.

Mature Ratings
Mature ratings are based on chapters instead of a whole story.


Royal Road

(This thread was inspired by the community feedback of members at Wackywriters)

Popular Genre
Isekai, video games, LitRPG, and GameLit.

Chapter Length

Longer chapters tend to gain better reviews from readers.

Plot-driven

Character-driven stories take longer to find the audience. Cliffhangers retain readers.

User Base

Mostly caters to a target audience of young straight males, with a high percentage of gamers. Romance, psychological dramas, coming of age, and sexuality oriented dramas might not find a favorable audience. Relatively small and selective, but supportive.

It’s not unheard of to get 0.5 ratings either from disgruntled readers or other authors. Don’t lose hearts!

Rating System

Consistency triumphs over quality. Regular updates after the initial 25 points will promote the book.

Features

  • Follow authors
  • Comment on chapters
  • Review books
  • Link Patreon
  • Ratings, Polls, Author’s Note
  • Reputation of Authors
  • Schedule updates
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props for putting this up! it’s huge!

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Now…I’ll make the how not to. kidding

But that is beautiful.

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Hoping to get out all the important information haha x

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Val could you make a new header? :revolving_hearts: it might be an issue if this ends up identical to the other one.

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A new…header for what though? :eyes:
sorry, it’s 1am and I had 3hours of sleep the previous night. Mushy brain

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The ‘How to Get Reads’ gif banner on top lol

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Ahhh sure! Any ideas? I use 4 different editing apps so I can dabble with designs.
And…that is a GIF?

Does this really apply since the wattpad forum is technically dead? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Yes, because we’re advocating for writers across all sites - Tapas, Inkitt, etc.:slight_smile:

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Fair enough. :dog2:

If I read this right…took 3 mins or so. I can try making more if you want.


Edit: wait, why is it cut off? Brb…maybe.
Edit edit: lmao, I’m tired…

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I hope this is more relevant. As and when we get insider tips for the other platforms, we can update the same here.

i think a big factor in getting reads depends on your interaction with others in forums, actually. through talking and communicating, you will make several friends and those are the people you can trust and go to for help :)) so it’s not just about promoting yourself, but about making trustworthy relationships with other writers/readers

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Take your time :revolving_hearts:
Tomorrow works as well.

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I got it…forgot to adjust from 100%. Did you have other ideas?

I agree. Unless you are super lucky with tags or win the Wattys, the most effective way to build readership is to communicate with fellow writer. That’s why I was extremely disappointed when they shut down the forum ugh.

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same here, but now we have this forum!! :DD

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Weren’t we all…

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Oooo can I help with the Tapas one?

Also maybe we should find more of the more used ones and try to get them up :smiley:
I know Royal Road is kinda big??

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