Storytelling platform Wattpad is introducing a new creative program for writers that can earn them up to $25,000 in compensation. The company is also launching a new metric called “Engaged Readers,” to help writers gauge reader interest in their stories, and Wattpad Creator Portala new site for writers to get tips and tricks to improve their content for the platform.
After introducing its Paid Stories project in 2019, Wattpad has paid out over $3 million to writers on the platform to date. With its new creator program, it plans to pay out $2.6 million to writers this year alone.
There are strict guidelines to be eligible for the payment program. Writers must have written a complete story (50,000 words or more) and they must have published at least one story chapter in the last three months.
Writings must also have at least one story in eligible genres such as general fiction, romance, vampire, action, teen fiction and horror, with a minimum number of engaged readers for this genre. Criteria for engaged readers range from 9,000 for general fiction to 100 for horror. While authors can tag the genres of their stories themselves, a team of experts verifies these tags for the new program so that the story can be categorized as one of the eligible genres.
The company counts an engaged reader as someone who has spent more than five minutes on a story in the past 365 days. Wattpad also has other metrics like Total Reads, which measures the number of all-time non-unique reads on a story, and Unique Reads, which is a unique user’s daily reading or viewing over 30 days.
Wattpad isn’t the first platform to try this kind of metric for paid creators. In 2019, Medium introduced a similar strategy by measuring how long an article is read and paying editors accordingly.
The company tested the Engaged Readers feature with a few writers to gauge which type of readers among its 94 million monthly active users are reading stories longer. He claims that users spend over 23 million minutes on the platform reading various stories, so this new feature will give him more insight into where readers are spending more time.
“As web novels continue to grow in popularity around the world, we’ll continue to create new tools for writers to do their best work, grow their fandoms, and ultimately earn more money through to their stories. Engaging Readers is the first step in a number of new initiatives we are planning for 2022 and beyond. We are helping grow the global market for web novels alongside our authors, creating more opportunities for writers to grow their fandoms and monetize their work, the company said in a statement.
Wattpad president Jeanne Lam told TechCrunch that when you compare this to traditional publishing, a bookstore can tell you how many copies are sold, but they can’t tell you if the buyer has read that book. .
“The engaged readers feature gives writers a new metric to really understand how people are interacting with their stories over the past year,” she said.
The Wattpad Creators program is currently rolling out to English-speaking writers, with the Filipino and Spanish markets coming next. The society aims to include up to 3,000 writers in the program this year.
Lam clarified that all writers included in the program will receive editorial support, coaching for marketing and audience building, access to special writing tools and partnership discounts, as well. so many opportunities to work with brands. Wattpad also wants to give writers more insight into what kind of stories and plots work well on the platform. However, not all writers will earn stipends and there are different tiers to reach the $25,000 figure.
“We are building an economy of creators, for authors, and investing in diverse writers around the world. And one of the things we know to be true is how much our creators want to thrive on Wattpad. One of the most valuable things we can do, therefore, is to support them with a significant investment throughout their writing journey, which we can be proud of with this program we are launching,” said Lam.
She mentioned that even if a writer is not eligible for the program, they can learn about different opportunities and techniques to improve their writing through the new Wattpad creator portal.
Along with this, to make its platform more appealing to readers, Wattpad will launch exclusive stories from some renowned writers. These writers include romance author Tamara Lush, who wrote Conduct and Accident; Jessica Cunsolo, author of With me series – which has over a billion plays on the platform with a TV series adaptation on the way; Kate Marchant, author of the novel and the next film produced by Robbie Amell Float; Sondi Warner, fantasy novelist To park with over 260,000 readings; and Claudia Tan, author of perfect addictionanother novel being converted into a feature film by Wattpad Webtoon Studios.
The company claims to have converted 1,500 stories on the platform into different types of movies and published books.
Last year, Medium revamped its creator program with referral bonuses, in addition to relying on the time a reader spent on the story. Other rival platforms like Ghost, Scribdand Sub-stack focus on the number of paying subscribers to distribute the money among writers after taking a cut. Facebook also launched a new platform last year to support freelance writers called Bulletin.
However, Wattpad wants to stand out by supporting web-based authors with multiple ways to earn money: paid stories, brand partnership, potential book and movie deals, and now, a new creator program.