I opened a Wattpad account several years ago with the idea that it was another social platform on which to showcase my books. Many authors use Wattpad to gain new readers who will, hopefully, turn into paying readers. It seemed like a good idea and I did, in fact, get a lot of "reads" on my books posted there.
While I cannot say whether or not any of those readers shelled out the $2.99 for my other books, I have noticed something interesting:
Wattpad is the only place where you can participate in line-by-line interaction with an author. I constantly get comments on my work there, right down to individual lines. This is helpful for editing purposes and finding out what clicks with your readers, but there is a much deeper purpose--dare I say a calling?--for the Christian writer.
I have non-fiction books on Wattpad as well. One is entitled the science of God. It began as a replacement for my blog. About once a week I'd post my thoughts on the relationships between science and God. With my engineering background, I had a lot to say on the subject. And I enjoyed sharing those with who I assumed were young readers who shared my beliefs.
And then the comments came.
Astoundingly to me, a good number of my readers are non-believers or outright atheists. I am happy to report that the comments thus far have been non-confrontational and respectful. But many have been challenging. It occured to me that these commenters were seeking real truth. From me. And I did my best to answer their questions, praying that the Holy Spirit would take over and guide these young souls toward salvation.
After this experience--and it is ongoing--I've come to realize that this may very well be my calling. Not just writing, but interactive writing. As far as I know, Wattpad is the only major reading platform where this is possible. No, I don't get paid there. But aren't we building up our reward in Heaven?
Here's something else I've discovered about Wattpad: most of the readers I gather there won't go to Amazon to buy a book. They love the huge free library at Wattpad and engaging with the authors.
My friends, I ask you...is this a field ripe for the harvest? I believe so. And we can use both fiction and non-fiction to spread the truth. And actually respond to readers who have questions. Readers who are not going to go through the trouble of emailing an author.
While Wattpad may not fit into your publishing dreams, it may very well fit into your calling as a Christian. Check it out if you haven't yet. And get involved with your readers, don't just post and leave.
In my future posts here, I'll talk more about how to use Wattpad, but specifically for the purpose of sharing the Good News.
To me, the knowledge that I've planted a few seeds is all the payment I need.
His Young Adult books are also available on Amazon.