how to use wattpad to sell books
Updated: Oct 24
Wattpad is a social storytelling platform where millions of readers log in to read serial fiction.
The majority of content on Wattpad is posted by authors for free, and a lot of writers use Wattpad as a way of testing out first drafts, growing a platform, and ultimately as a stepping stone before publishing / monetizing something.
There are various opinions on whether or not it's a good idea to post something on Wattpad if you want to traditionally publish, and I won't go into those here. But, presuming that you are indie publishing, or have secured a publishing deal, here are some pointers for how to use Wattpad to sell your book to readers!
On Platform Promotion
1. Think of Wattpad as a form of social media
One of my biggest tips is quite vague, but important! Wattpad is a form of social media. Like with any other social media, one post isn’t going to be enough to draw attention to whatever it is you’re trying to promote.
Not everyone checks Wattpad everyday. Not all your readers are following you. People are constantly joining (and leaving) the platform. Etc.
In marketing it’s said that a consumer has to be confronted with something seven times before they’ll consider buying it. So even if a reader does see your one post, it’s fairly unlikely that they’ll be instantly stirred into action.
Like with social media, if you want to use Wattpad to sell your book, I’d recommend having a proper marketing strategy for the platform (just like you might with another form of social media).
2. Include your buy links in your bio
My second tip is super simple, but it always surprises me how many authors don’t do this! Include your buy links in your Wattpad bio! This helps to create awareness around your book. And it makes it easy for people to buy it.
If I stumble upon an author who I think sounds interesting, and I find out they have a published book but there’s no link in their bio – realistically I’m not going to spend time searching for it. People are lazy. Make it easy for them!
You can check out my Wattpad bio here.
3. Utilize author notes
Whether you’re keeping the draft of your book up on Wattpad, or publishing a sample - post an author note on launch day to let readers know they can purchase the book. Think of it almost like sending out a newsletter. Everyone who has that book in their library is going to get a notification when you post it. It’s also going to remain there, so past launch day new readers (and re-readers) know that they can choose to purchase it.
Do you have any other books / short stories on Wattpad? You might also consider talking about your published book(s) there, too. I always introduce myself at the start of every book I write, and write an author note at the end. In these posts I’ll promote any paid / published fiction I have to offer.
Lastly, I like to include notes at the end of chapters when I’m serially updating a book. In these notes I’ll post the odd advert to one of my published / monetized books. Brands pay Wattpad to advertise within the chapters of our books! So it makes sense that we should post the odd advert, too!
Here's an example of an 'advert' from one of my serial fiction stories:
4. Utilize announcements
You’ll want to post some announcements from your profile to promote your book.
Some will be direct calls to action – where you’ll directly tell people to go buy your book (like on launch day, or when there’s an offer). You can also include more passive calls to action. By this I mean making the focus of the post something else, but including a mention of your book and the buy link at the end.
In all my announcements I like to include the equivalent of an email signature at the bottom of the post. I’ll sign off, then choose 3 links to list at the bottom – to my published book, social media, Goodreads etc. – so that anyone checking out the announcement can easily follow them.
Pro-tip: try to make the first sentence of any announcement you're making interesting / varied. That's all a reader will see in their notifications. If it's boring, they're probably not going to check out the whole announcement!
Off platform promotion
Not all the people who read your book on Wattpad are going to buy it. But that doesn’t mean those people don’t want to support you. A lot of readers on Wattpad will be excited about your book publishing news – whether they decide to buy the book or not - and will be willing to help you create buzz around it.
This is a huge advantage for you as an author. You can utilize the platform you have built to help you promote your book in the following ways:
1. Utilize your Wattpad comments
Authors pay companies to get them reviews prior to a book launch! If you have comments on your Wattpad book, then you essentially have some reviews, pre-launch, for free. Use them. Create some marketing graphics, share on social media, use them to create some buzz.
2. Ask your Wattpad readers to review/rate/ add your book to Goodreads
Just because not all your readers are going to buy your book, it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to support you. Ask them to add your book to Goodreads, or to share a rating / review. This helps make your book more visible, and good reviews can generate sales!
3. Create the feeling of fandom
Creating the feeling of fandom around your book is fun for everyone involved, and it makes other people want to be part of the group too!
Even if you don’t have many readers, you can create a feeling of fandom by running polls on social media, talking to readers, sharing quotes, sharing comments, creating aesthetics, sharing bonus content, and creating a community feeling around your book and the people who have read it. Basically, make it fun!
I wrote some fun things you can do on Instagram in this post.
These are my top tips for utilizing Wattpad to sell books! Do you have any to add? Have you published a book you originally shared on Wattpad? How did it go? Let me know in the comments!
LAUREN PALPHREYMAN is a writer based in London. She is best known for her supernatural teen romance series, Cupid's Match, which has accumulated over 60 million hits online and was published by Wattpad Books / Penguin Random House, October 2019. Her new book, Devils Inc. comes out Friday 13th November 2020. Find her on Instagram @LaurenPalphreyman and on Twitter @LEPalphreyman.
Add her new book, Devils Inc., to your Goodreads here