STAGE THREE: CREATE AN ONLINE PRESENCE - JOIN WRITING BASED WEBSITES
There are a few websites I joined right off the bat after deciding that I wanted to pursue self-publishing. The first one was Goodreads, and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it was one of the smartest decisions in my career. Goodreads is one of the best websites for aspiring writers. You can see what your friends are reading, make recommendations, share your own works, and the best thing about the site? The groups you can join once you are a member.
They have a beta reading group, a reviews group, promotions group, etc. These are going to be some of your best assets as a writer and a great way to engage with others on the same path as you. One of my favorite parts about Goodreads is that I can upload my cover, blurb, links, etc. and others can rate my story on a scale from 1-5 stars. It is a great resource for staying relevant as an indie author and for keeping in touch with others on the same journey.
The second site I joined was Wattpad. Yes, this site right here. I have only had my books posted on Wattpad for a little over ten months and in that time frame what I have been able to accomplish is near impossible. In that short time frame I was able to garner over 40k reads on my most popular book, with three others over 12k, one over 7k, one almost at 4k, and one barely over 1k reads. It was not easy, but it was not impossible either. I currently have a little over 700 followers on the site.
I hear people say all the time that they are never able to get substantial feedback from Wattpad users and that having their work up there was useless. I disagree wholeheartedly. I have been able to get some incredible and invaluable critiques as well as wonderful feedback on the direction of my stories. Although, it hasn’t been proven that being on a website like Wattpad equates to monetary compensation—I have been able to receive reviews on my story on not only GR and Amazon from my followers, but some even went as far to purchase it simply to support me.
I enjoy this resource as it is an amazing platform to connect with readers who enjoy what you are putting out there and someday they might turn into your biggest fans which will eventually equate to sales.
I like to write all of my first drafts on WP to feel out my readers; see if they are connecting to the story or the characters. You do not have to do this by any means, it has just been my preference.
A few other websites similar to Wattpad you may want to think about joining are Figment & Scribophile. If you have a lot of time on your hands to read and critique others works—these websites could really benefit you. They are not as user friendly as Wattpad, however, having the biggest online presence is probably in your best interest. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but I will say, Figment is fun because as you engage more with the site you win cute, fun badges that speak to your involvement on the site.