Writing Community Sites
From the metrics, it is obvious that Wattpad gets much more traffic. Wattpad gets over 650,000 visitors a day compared to FictionPress’s 16,000 to Figment’s 5000.
My general impression of each of the sites:
- Wattpad is mainly a social media network where you try to gain followers.
- FictionPress is not quite as user friendly and has an outdated look.
- Figment does seem to be geared more towards the writing than the following. I have just joined this one so I don’t have much experience with it yet.
Now, why would I want to post my chapters on these sites? Well, I am not posting the finished work, they are drafts. Also, I am pretty much certain that I will be self-publishing so I can do whatever the hell I want. And as a debut author with no readership, I need to go to where the readers are. So I post a chapter a week to see what response I get.
At first glance Wattpad seems to be the better bet. However, it is hard to get noticed or even read on Wattpad. In order for that to happen, you need to ‘follow’ other writers and comment on their work. Even if you make the effort, you might get a follow back and a read. It helps if you have a kickass cover because, I hate to admit it, book covers sell books, or in this case, gains you readers.
The books shown prominently on Wattpad have millions of views. Yes, millions. And these authors have hundreds of thousands of followers. With 200 million stories uploaded, how do you stand out if you are just starting. It is difficult.
Because of its setup, FictionPress is less focused on covers, ‘follows’ and popularity. If you do not have a professionally made cover ready, you do not need to compete with the flashy pretty covers since the covers do not figure as prominently on the site. The quality of the book blurb tends to attract the readers on FictionPress, rather than the cover.
FictionPress was a lot more popular five years ago. Now the forums are like the empty halls of high school after the last bell. From what I understand, Wattpad had siphoned off the writers from here and FanFiction. But there are still writers and readers on there. They do not appear very good at tooting their own horn, as I couldn’t find any data about how many stories had been uploaded to their site.
Having just joined Figment, I’m not entire certain what my experience will be there. The covers are displayed prominently and to see the book blurb you need to click on the cover. I think my lack of professional cover will play a factor.
What I found most interesting with Figment is that the top sites that link in are randomhouse.com, randomhousekids.com and penguingroup.com. See here where it says ‘Top sites linking in’ for what I mean. Now I just need to figure out what ‘top sites linking in’ means. If anyone can tell me, please do.
I joined Wattpad 18 days ago. No fancy cover to post, actually it is quite ugly. I’ve had 65 views and 12 ‘likes’. I have 6 followers but those are the ones that I’m following. I’ve done some interaction but not much. I think I only have 1 unsolicited follower.
After joining FictionPress for 14 days, 105 views by 52 visitors with 2 ‘likes’ and 3 following without my initiating any of the interactions. I do reply to reviews and comments but I do not go on the site to read other work unless I’ve been asked (which I have).
As for Figment, I will need to provide an update at a later time to let you know how that is going.
I am also curious to see what happens when I post my professional cover of my book on the sites (which is expected in June) to see if that changes the readership numbers. Being an engineer, I love data!
How about you? Have you had any experience with these sites? Did it increase your readership?