90 days on Wattpad: the good, the bad, and the ambiguous

Three months ago I began a Wattpad marketing experiment with my first novel Baby Jane. Wattpad had approached me to feature Baby Jane on the site; at the time, inclusion in Featured meant your book was promised a slot in the top 20 for two weeks; after that you went into the general Featured pool, which was rotated at random. So what has happened in the intervening weeks?

Drop in Readership

During those first two weeks, the number of reads per day for Baby Jane ranged from a low of 800 to a high of 1900. After I was removed from the top 20, readership dropped off quickly: within a week I was averaging only 500 reads per day, then 300 after two weeks, then 200 after three weeks. Pretty soon I was down to 100 or 200 on most days. This has remained essentially constant.

Baby Jane has so far garnered 37,600 reads, give or take. I say that because Wattpad only display the total number of reads by the 100s. So you remain at 1000 reads until you reach or surpass 1100 reads, at which time your total is presented in decimal: 1.1K. It is the same system with votes. And although Wattpad give you voting details in your Demographics page, the numbers there never quite match your Notifications, so it’s only a ballpark, too.

Increase in Country Reach

Although the number of readers dropped after the first two weeks, I did continue to expand my territorial coverage. After two weeks I had readers in 100 countries; I added another 10 countries over the ensuing months, mostly in Africa and Eastern Europe.

But More Targeted Readership?

Despite the drop in total daily reads, I seem to be finding my audience. The percentage of my readers in the key English-language markets of the U.S., UK, Canada, South Africa, and Australia have all either increased or remained constant. The important U.S. market is now at 40% of my readership, up from 34%, which may bode well for my next book when I release it in a few months.

Also, my readers love Baby Jane. It has a vote percentage of 3.99% as compared to an average of 2.41%, and an increase over my own earlier 3.25%. That, too, may bode well for future projects.

When my next book is released, I will be posting the first few chapters on Wattpad. That will be the true test of the site’s value to me as a marketing tool. I will be reporting on that when the times arrives.

Changes to Featured

There have been significant changes to the Featured program on Wattpad; I discuss these in my next post.

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