Some of you here might know me, but others might not. A year ago, I was a nobody. In other words, just a college student with huge debts to pay and not much to look forward to in everyday life.
But then, as I had yet another ‘amazing’ book idea, I decided to write it for real that time. I did some research, and as I didn’t exactly want to go through the whole process of traditional publishing, I landed on the free writing website called Wattpad.
Until then, everything I heard about the site was negative (sexualized fanfiction, badly written stories with unoriginal plotlines, etc.), but looking at the page itself, I somehow decided to give it a go.
I published a few chapters every week but gave up after a month. Two months later, I tried it with a different story and decided that I would actually complete it this time around.
I decided to publish a chapter every week and I almost followed that schedule perfectly. Twenty-two weeks later (thirty-one chapters) my book was completed and I amassed a total of 3.1 million reads.
By then, I decided that I didn’t want to stop there, so I used Amazon’s self-publishing service, KDP, and got my book ready to be published. I used the same cover as I used on the site, and I clicked the publish button.
I removed the last few chapters of the book from Wattpad, leaving the readers on a cliffhanger and told them that the only way to find out what happens at the end was to buy the book itself.
I didn’t exactly expect it to work, but I was pleasantly surprised when at the end of the month, Amazon sent me a big check (for my standards at the time) and I even made it to a few bestselling lists, showing my book to an even wider audience.
I did the same thing for my second book — which I published two weeks ago — and the results were even better. Before I even finished the story on Wattpad, it had 5.7 million views and the sales were a lot bigger than the ones with my first book.
With the money I got from the two books, I paid off my loans and I’m hoping to get even better results after I start my next book in two-four weeks.
I also have extremely dedicated fans and amazing supporters now, which means more than anything to me. I publish under a pen name, meaning that people don’t think of a Wattpad writer if they google me (because if I’m being real, Wattpad writers are almost always bashed).
My biggest achievements were magazines asking for interviews (I rejected them due to the point I made before about the society towards Wattpad writers), winning a few awards on the site and my books making it to quite a few bestselling lists.
Hopefully, the next goal is the Amazon bestsellers list.