Catering to a community of millions, Wattpad is all about getting writers and their stories online.
This article titled “How storytelling has made social networking interesting again” was written by James Bridle, for The Observer on Saturday 26th October 2013 23.04 UTC
Wattpad, an online community for writers, allows anyone to post an original story, upload a cover image, and share it across thousands of groups and followers. It is, put simply, YouTube for books, and it’s been quietly growing, on the web and on well-designed iOS and Android apps, since 2006.
Wattpad’s categories include everything from historical romance to sci-fi – with an unsurprising bent for internet-friendly genres such as fanfiction and the paranormal – and stories range from a couple of pages into the thousands. Last summer, they ran a poetry competition in collaboration with Margaret Atwood, and in August, they launched Wattpad Fan Funding, a kickstarter-like service for successful writers to raise money for editing, printing and book design. Most excitingly, Wattpad is truly international, grasping the borderless potential of networked literature like no print-based publisher has or really could. The top 15 countries people come to Wattpad from – all in the millions – include the Philippines, India, Holland, Germany, Spain and Saudi Arabia. And while each of these has their own flourishing language community on Wattpad, many read and write in English too. Lilian Carmine, a Portuguese speaker, English writer and Brazilian resident, was recently signed to a UK publisher after her story was read by millions online.