For those considering their own Wattpad experiment, it is important to know there have been changes to the Featured program. On June 26, Wattpad changed their website and these changes had both positive and negative consequences for the Featured program, as illustrated by Baby Jane.
Whereas Featured used to be its own section searchable by genre, the genres are now sections of Discover, and Featured is a subsection of each genre. But it is the second subsection, after What’s Hot, so it is those books that come up first.
The second change is that one’s book is no longer guaranteed to be in the top 20, nor is your book relegated to the back 21+ afterwards: Baby Jane has regularly been seen on the landing page of Mystery/Thriller Featured; at this very moment it is fourth line down.
What this means for the new Featured authors is less guaranteed exposure, and, as my own experience suggested, those initial two weeks make a huge difference in readership.
And despite now often being found on the first page, I have not noticed any change to the number of daily reads: Baby Jane continues to experience the same 100–200 reads per day as it did when I was relegated to the 21+ position and before the program was changed. I attribute this to Featured being relegated to second place after What’s Hot. (This past week has seen some spikes up to 500 reads per day; not sure what accounts for that.)
Keyword and Hashtag Searches
Another change is the inclusion of your books’ keywords in the Discover genre list. Wattpad now convert the keywords you set for your books into hashtags and add them to your Discover window. This means you can quickly see which books come up using those same hashtags/keywords.
However, there is a difference between the user searching for your keyword and those same keywords converted into hashtags.
For example, if I search for the keyword metaphysical the system returns books with metaphysical in the title; if I search for #metaphysical I get those books whose authors inputted that tag in their book information.
What’s important here is to know to add your keywords properly so they are converted into the right hashtags. On Wattpad, hashtags cannot contain spaces or underscores, so if, like with Baby Jane, you need to add Native American for example, the keyword must be inputted as nativeamerican. If you try Native_American it won’t work. And Wattpad does not recognize capital letters, so if you add NativeAmerican Wattpad changes it to nativeamerican.