Joining Wattpad’s Paid Stories Program

2019 has been a significant year in my writing career. I completed my tenth full-length novel, I was commissioned by the American TV network SHOWTIME to write a short fanfiction story, and I joined Wattpad’s Paid Stories program.

Although I in no way want to devalue the opportunities presented to me in previous years, 2019 feels like an important step forwards in terms of progressing towards my ultimate goal of earning a living through writing. That is mostly down to Wattpad’s Paid Stories program, which has enabled me to transition from sharing my work for free, to earning money from the stories I post—all while remaining on the same platform with the same fanbase.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the program, it’s an initiative that Wattpad recently introduced in order to give readers the chance to support writers financially.

So, how does it work?

Chapters can be unlocked one at a time using coins or, alternatively, the whole book can be unlocked in one go for a discounted rate. Coins are bought through the reader’s Apple or Google Play account, but users can also earn them for free by watching adverts or benefit from a reduced price if they’re subscribed to the premium version of Wattpad.

And what do readers think about the Paid Stories program?

It’s no secret that Wattpad is primarily known for offering free books and, naturally, there has been some backlash from readers who don’t like the concept of paying writers. There are only a few hundred stories in the program, so over 99.9% of books on Wattpad are still free and readers therefore have millions to choose from if they either do not wish to pay or are unable to do so.

On the whole, readers are supportive. In my case, I’d been posting fiction online for free since 2011, but more and more readers had been asking if there was any way for them to buy my books so that they could show support financially. It made me realise that some people actually would be willing to pay for my writing, even if they’re used to getting it at no cost.

That turned out to be truer than I anticipated, and I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at the level of support I’ve received since joining the program. The number of people reading the book has been increasing at a much higher rate, and some users have even told me that they’ve spent money on it despite having already read the story when it was free.

Hearing that someone wants to re-read your book even though they know how it ends is deeply flattering in itself, but to pay to do that is a compliment on a whole other level.

Like a lot of passionate creators, I would love to be able to make a living from my hobby. Joining the Paid Stories program has brought me a step closer to making that a reality, and I’m excited to see where it leads.

You can read Behind Office Doors here.

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Tessa Lovatt is a British author who’s been sharing her stories online since 2011. Her world has revolved around books for as long as she can remember, and that love of words extended into university, where she studied languages. 55,000 readers follow Tessa on Wattpad, the social storytelling platform, and her books have accumulated over 25 million reads.

2 thoughts on “Joining Wattpad’s Paid Stories Program

  1. Well, I can definitely understand why authors do that. I am a German writer and just finished my first book and it already has 122k views and I love getting a lot of comments and feedback to get better and better.
    BUT I think I’ll never join the Paid Stories Program because I joined the Wattpad community to read other stories for free and to see how other people are dealing with their writings and critics. Then I decided to post my own story just to see wether I’d finally get one finished. Getting comments like “I’d pay for this story, it is so good!” are amazing, but I feel like I’d betray my readers if I let them suddenly pay for my stories on a platform that used to be free reading material to get to know people that just think like you. I came to Wattpad not for getting money one day, but for constructive Feedback.
    I think Wattpad should’ve put ads in the stories of authors who wants get paid with that, and the readers still have free access to the good stories.
    I do not read as much as before the Paid Stories Program because all the stories that seem to be written very well (storyline and Grammar) are asking for coins, and I don’t have a lot of possibilities to gain enough for all the stories.
    And I don’t want to pay for a whole package, because then I could just go to my local bookstore.

    I just think that Wattpad should’ve create the Program as one that pays the authors as well as let the readers read the good stories still for free.

    Like

    1. Congratulations on finishing your first book! I think one of the great things about Wattpad is that it can be used in different ways, depending on the writer’s goals. Some writers would only ever post their work for free, either as a hobby or to get feedback from readers. Other writers (like me) started off posting for free but have ambitions to write full-time, which means content needs to be monetised. Only two of my stories are Paid, so my readers can still access the majority of my work for free, but those who wish to support me financially can do so as well.

      There did used to be an ad program within Wattpad, where writers got paid if readers watched ads, but it didn’t work out. Readers found ways to skip the ads and the money gained was minimal.

      I can assure you, however, that there are still plenty of good books with strong plots and grammar available for free on Wattpad. Paid Stories make up such a tiny percentage of the millions of books on the site, so I’m sure you’re still able to find something you’d enjoy reading for free.

      Thanks so much for your comment and leaving your thoughts!

      Like

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