… is good enough for me.
Wattpad — for those of you who haven’t heard of it — is a free app for smartphones and similar devices that allows writers and readers to share their work, comment on stories and poetry by other Wattpad members, and follow writers they like.
I first downloaded it months ago, but never really explored it. Then in June I saw a news item about the fact that Margaret Atwood was posting her new poetry collection on Wattpad.
I tweet about books and literature on a semi-regular basis, so I tweeted this tidbit of news. The Wattpad staff saw the tweet, checked me out, and invited me to join their Writer Partner Program.
I decided to give it a try.
After all, Atwood is on there. So is doctor-cum-Giller-Prize-winner Vincent Lam. I could be in worse company.
I posted my novel Luck and Death at the Edge of the World and beginning today (August 31), Luck and Death is a featured book on Wattpad.
What’s that you say — why give one of my books away?
Reason One: New Readers
Like any writer, I want to expand the number of people who read my books and Wattpad is one way to reach new readers.
The app has 8 million unique visits per month — nothing to look down your nose at. With any luck a few of those users will like Luck and Death and continue on to other books of mine, whether it’s the Gat Burroughs Series or my standalone fiction.
Reason Two: The Commercial Edition Has Exclusive Bonus Material
It’s permanent (the Wattpad version won’t stay up forever) and you don’t need a web-enabled device to read it (the Wattpad version can’t be downloaded).
Best of all, though, I’ve just released a second edition that includes an awesome new section, The Facts in the Fiction.
For people who enjoy DVD extras and “making of” stories, this is a behind-the-scenes look at the factual background behind some of the elements in the fictional story, including:
- the 1920s celebrity home that served as the model for Max’s mansion at Cloud City
- current work in robotics behind the Dogware, including nanorobotics, swarm robotics, and the military application of robots
- the scary reality behind the emerging infectious diseases that cause sudden quarantines in 23rd century Los Angeles
- the real science that may one day permit the uploading of a human consciousness into an artificial body
- the historic computer genius behind the fictional AI in Luck and Death, and
- the lowdown on why meditation is catching on with many atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and science-minded folks.
The Facts in the Fiction is also crammed with links to web pages, PDF documents, and videos, so if you’re reading Luck and Death on a web-enabled device, you can click through to get more details on any point that interests you.
Reason Three: I Enjoy It
I like participating in Wattpad. Not everything is to my taste, but I’ve found some really good material, like:
- Cabaret, which is poetry by Tshegofatso Seboni
- Toucannuí: Gringo in Brazil Stories, non-fiction by awesome comic book creator Dan Goldman, who writes and draws the Red Light Properties series, which I never would have found except for his presence on Wattpad, and
- The Edge of Darkness, indie science fiction from Lissa Bilyk — I’ve only started this one, but it looks promising.
So there you have it. It’s an experiment — give it some time and we’ll see how it works out.