Reporting from RT Booklovers! Wattpad, writing series, and more

It has been a fabulous, busy first 24 hours at RT. I arrived last night too late to pick up my badge, but that was all right. Once I retrieved my box of giveaways and unpacked, I headed to the bar where I had nonstop fantastic conversations with smart women from about 8pm to well past midnight. Sarah Frantz and Rachel Haimowitz from Riptide Publishing, book bloggers like Jo from Wicked Lil Pixie Reviews, Stephanie from Book-A-Holic Anon, and Lynda “Fish with Sticks” (a knitting enthusiast as well as book lover), authors Jessica Freehly and L.A. Witt, and more.
Today after a lovely breakfast of berry-filled crepes with chocolate, courtesy of RT at the welcome session, I took in the presentation by Wattpad. The session was led by Wattpad staffer Ashleigh Gardner and bestselling author Anna Todd (whose One Direction fanfic grew into a huge international sensation on Wattpad and was bought by Simon & Schuster and now will be a movie from Paramount).
I thought I knew how to use Wattpad as a writer–I’ve been serializing Daron’s Guitar Chronicles there for a while. Turns out I didn’t know half of what I should have! For example:

  • 85% of Wattpad users are accessing on mobile devices
  • There’s a “quote art” feature! Select any text in the story while you read in the mobile app and you can instantly turn it into a “meme”-style graphic that can be sent directly from there to Instagram, Tumblr, or other places!
  • Over 100,000 new users join Wattpad EVERY DAY. This is happening organically. Wattpad does not advertise or recruit users.
  • Wattpad gives authors the ability to email directly to all their followers.
  • AFTER DARK — Wattpad launched a special app that just has the 18+ content of Wattpad. It’s all still on Wattpad too, but it’s a way for people looking for the spicy content to have it all at their fingertips.
    Ashleigh mentioned two tips in particular for writers who are using Wattpad:
    1. Pro writers should write fanfic for promo purposes. Write crossovers with your own characters, or write RPF (real person fiction) that’s topical to gain followers and attention. For example, people who were writing Rob Ford (mayor of Toronto) fanfic to explain how he got from the mayor’s office to smoking crack that day (since Ford’s own explanations seemed highly fictional…).
    2. Writers should include a Call to Action on EVERY CHAPTER posted. You can’t include a live link (bc that would just open the platform to spammers), but do add things like “follow me on Twitter” and include your Twitter handle. I’m definitely going to be adding my mailing list, too!
    Then after grabbing the buffet lunch in the bar (what a great idea for feeding people quickly) I went to the session on WRITING MULTIPLE SERIES.
    The panel included Sidney Bristol, Carrie Ann Ryan, Kennedy Layne, Lexi Blake, and Shayla Black. Here I am struggling to write two series simultaneously. These women are juggling five, six, seven series at a time! Some of them publish with New York, some are indie, and some do both. It was illuminating and encouraging to see that they’re doing it so successfully. A lot of the advice about writing multiple series was the same as the advice for writing a single series: be organized, keep book bible of all the notes and background information, try to keep the length similar from book to book within a series. It was inspiring to see how much they each do and how complex their series ideas are. It really makes me think yes, I can do this, and I know what I have to do to make the books really GOOD as well as on time.
    Next I am doing my stint in Club RT, then I will try to catch the “Post Gay” panel on queer characters, and tonight is the Wild West Rodeo party. I will not be riding the mechanical bull. I only do that when it’s a euphemism.
    The gigantic bar area at RT:
    The stuff I’m giving away in Club RT and at the FAN-Tastic Day Party:
    The fabulous women on the Writing Multiple Series panel:

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