Over the last few months, my interest in websites which allow users to publish their own stories, cost free and at their own pace has grown bigger, and almost into an addiction.
This addiction can be solely contributed to Wattpad. I am on Wattpad practically 24/7 thanks to the fact that my iPod receives automated emails everytime one of my favourite stories has been updated. Even when I do go out I am not without it, having stored my all-time favourite and current reads on my handheld device – both my phone and my iPod – (in case I run out of battery, obviously!)
I enjoy using Wattpad because of the sense of community that the site harbours and encourages. Getting your work recognised, creating a loyal and helpful fan-base and ultimately gaining new friends.
This website allows writers to gauge reaction to their stories and allows their confidence in their own abilities to grow. Not only is it a haven for writers, but for readers and budding publicists, illustrators and editors.
Today I came across this article online about the growth of Wattpad in the last five years, and it made me smile. I smiled because it made me realize just how important Wattpad has become to other people. When I started researching this kind of stuff last year I was skeptical as to whether there was enough power in such an industry to draw hard-core book lovers over to this new phenomenon! Now, I must say I cannot remember a time that I have actually read a proper book, with a cover and pages, and that new book smell. But I cannot say that I miss it thanks to the unlimited amount of talented authors that Wattpad has to offer.
We must look to websites like Wattpad, Booksie and FictionPress, as well as a host of others, that there really is too many to name of at this time, as the way of the future. For those of you skeptics that say they will never waiver from their faith in books I challenge you to find a reason not to accept ebooks and sites like this. Email is the new postal system, mp3s the new cassette or cd – depending on your generation.
Accepting ebooks, Wattpad or other sites like it does not mean turning your back on traditional methods of reading, it does not mean turning your back on the publishing industry, it is just another branch on a huge tree that leads you in the end to one ultimate goal – publishing your story, getting noticed, reading a great book. It is not meant to detract from the enjoyment of age old traditional, past-time that is reading just enhance the experience.