Feb 152013
 

So I joined Wattpad. Um, what is Wattpad, you may ask. You mean aside from that thing Margaret Atwood was tweeting about last year that made no sense to me? Good question!

It's where readers get free stories to read yes, free! and writers get to post their new, unpublished or published stuff for feedback, constructive feedback, not the usual lame “good book”! Not that I'm complaining about “good book”; it's just that when you’re looking for what works and what doesn't in your story, you need more. Some writers use Wattpad to crowdsource their stories. But that’s not my thing at all. I write my own stuff, and that's how I like it.

As a reader, Wattpad is easy. You download their app after briefly getting acquainted with their website. The app has all the discovery and reading features of the website plus a much-better display of the stories. You can read anything for free and without logging in. But if you want to vote for your favourite books and/or comment on the stories of writers you'd like to support, then you need to login. You can do that through Facebook or create a new login.

For writers, Wattpad is friggin’ obtuse. Luckily, there are friendly Wattpadians who welcome you and guide you to helpful resources like Wattpad for Dummies. In fact, Wattpad is so bad at even offering basic guidelines on how to publish a story or explain how their tags work (single words only, I just discovered), that there is a whole plethora of user-created guides. Google for them. Don't bother trying to search within Wattpad. Very inefficient.

To create a story, you must login. For once I was smart and decided to get acquainted with the writer side of Wattpad by publishing my short story collection first, a collection already available for sale and one that is easy for me to copy and paste into Wattpad’s Create A Story page and then publish for public consumption — once I got past Wattpad’s insistence I wasn't writing in English.

When that happened, I saw in the community forums that others had had the same problem. But unlike other sites, no one from Wattpad seems to monitor the forums, and so the poor person’s question about what to do went unanswered. I emailed support who replied the following Monday. Meanwhile, I’d logged out, fed up.

Apparently, that’s what it took to make Wattpad behave. Log out. Log back in. Voilà, I am writing in English. Over a week later, I became comfortable with the way Wattpad works, and in about a week, I’ll begin uploading the book I wanted to join Wattpad for in the first place. I need feedback on my novel Aban's Accension because though Beta Readers have opined on it and I’ve revised it, I’m still not sure about it. Look for it soon on my Wattpad profile page and post your comments! Meanwhile, head on over to my Wattpad page and read and vote and comment on Eleven Shorts +1. I post a new story from the collection every day.

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  • Maria

    Hi Shireen! Maria from Wattpad here. I’m sorry to hear about your frustrations. We’re always looking for ways to make our product easier to use and more intuitive for our users, so your feedback is valuable to us. In the meantime, if anything else comes up that I can help you out with, please drop me a note. We’re happy to have you on board and want you to get the most out of your experience as possible!

  • Thank you Maria, I’ll do that!

  • Thank you Maria, I’ll do that!

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