Would it shock you to know that I was the only teenager who didn’t have a Wattpad account? Or how about that I finally looked up what fanfiction was in my twenties?
Let’s be honest for a second here. Most authors I’ve spoken to have said that their writing journey either started out with poetry or by posting various works of fanfiction on online writing platforms such as Wattpad, Inkitt, Goodnovel, etc. That’s not a comprehensive list, but you get the point.
These platforms give writers a space to express themselves through the written word. You can pretty much post whatever you want as long as it adheres to community guidelines. Places like Wattpad and Inkitt have been giving indie authors a voice for years and are constantly finding innovative ways to make their platforms better.
This post is based on my experience with Wattpad and Inkitt. I still write on my Inkitt account even though I pulled my works off Wattpad (more on this later.) These platforms help writers place their works in front of the masses. While not every book receives a spotlight, they’re free for everyone to read and enjoy. Here are some pros and cons of using these free writing platforms for your stories:
- Free and easy to use.
- Automatically publishes work in front of thousands and even millions of people.
- Ego boost for the mind and soul. Everyone loves to see people reading, liking, commenting, and reviewing their work!
- Author encouragement from other writers.
- An opportunity to make writer friends and support each other.
- Writer’s lifts and genuine feedback/reviews.
- A chance to be published (with participating platforms.)
- Free marketing and advertisement for your books if you decide to publish in the future.
- Free contests you can enter with your story.
- A chance to earn money.
- Spam from writing scams and other websites trying to sell you on a different platform.
- Possibility of being plagiarized if your stories are receiving a lot of attention.
- Algorithms that choose the most popular stories to feature – not exactly the best written.
- Contests based on popularity versus someone actually reading the stories. It makes it hard for the writer starting out if you don’t have a large following.
- “Fluff” reviews that don’t have a lot of feedback or none at all.
- Sometimes, these platforms require you to give them the rights to your book if you want to start earning money on their site – read the fine print!
As you can see, I do believe the pros outweigh the cons when joining a writing platform. I’ve met some very kind and interesting people on Inkitt who have helped me grow as a writer. If you’re not sure what platform to use, figure out what your ultimate goal is. Are you writing because you want people to read your story? Are you writing because you’re looking for feedback to improve? Once you know this, it’ll help you narrow down what’s the best place for you.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun with it!