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I seem to be having trouble finding any readers. I have my work in progress on Wattpad right now, but I only have 527 reads.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong with my promotion.

I post my story on Wattpad (as stated above). But I also try to send a link to as many people in my contact list as possible, and tell them to share it with all of their friends.

That strategy seemed to work for a while, until people started thinking I was being too pushy about it, and soon stopped being interested in my updates and became very sour towards my efforts.

I'd like to know if there are any other social platforms I can promote my work from, and what your success rate is with it.

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This is my reader engagement: not very impressive.

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    Hi Aspen, I removed your link, because a post with nothing but a link to your own work is generally considered spam. See if you can edit your post to have more usable information and a less open-ended question. – Chris Sunami Apr 29 at 19:42
  • @ChrisSunami thank you. I wasn't aware that I was spamming – Aspen the Artist and Author Apr 29 at 19:42
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    @ChrisSunami Alright! Thank you for correcting me and steering me to the right direction for this question! – Aspen the Artist and Author Apr 29 at 19:52
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    Twitter, facebook, patreon, youtube channels... But all of it requires good stories... ? – DPT Apr 29 at 21:41
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    "I also try to send a link to as many people in my contact list as possible, and tell them to share it with all of their friends [...] people started thinking I was being too pushy about it, and soon stopped being interested [...] and became very sour" I'm not all that surprised. To me, those tactics would smell "spam" and/or "multi-level marketing", which is not what you want to be associated with if you hope to gain any kind of significant readership through word-of-mouth. If you did that to me and I knew you, I'd ask you to stop, and if you persist, I'd start treating those mails as spam. – a CVn Apr 30 at 12:08
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There are dozens of different paths and strategies to gaining a readership. Listing all of them would take some serious doing, but I can give you some easy examples.

  • Get published by a major house. The path here is: Finish an entire novel; polish it as much as you can on your own and with beta-reader feedback; find an agent; find a publisher. Being published gets you readers because your book is in bookstores, because you've got the publisher's marketing, because you start tapping into other publicity-generators, like conventions or interviews.

  • Self-publish frequently and inexpensively. One route to self-publishing success is to write a series of fun, entertaining pieces, which are relatively inexpensive (you control the price!) and might each be fairly short. In this way, you build up a backlist of books and stories; readers find you when they're bargain-hunting in your area or genre, and are drawn in by the low price (and, hopefully, some good initial reviews). Then they want to keep reading, because the books are fun and the price is low!

  • Invest in social media. A lot of authors build up their "brand" on social media -- by doing stuff on blogs, Twitter, podcasts. People come across them on their everyday internet browsing; and the ones who key onto that particular author will (hopefully) go on and check out their books. This takes a lot of work and attention that isn't directly on your fiction-writing, but it's doing your own marketing, and reaching out to potential readers basically wherever they are. Note that this kind of activity isn't just saying "read my book; buy my stuff" -- because almost no random internet browser will be interested in an author who has nothing to say but "read my book."

In all these cases, you're figuring out what kind of audience you're marketing to -- bookstore-visitors; review-readers; Amazon-browsers; social-media-followers -- and figure out what's required to get their attention.

Here's the major thing for your particular case, though: Right now, you're not offering a lot. I'm sorry if that's hard to hear, but: right now, you have a single 4-year WIP. That's not a lot to appeal to readers, whatever your audience -- the readership for stories that aren't finished yet is vanishingly small. Reaching them (and standing out from another million WIPs on Wattpad) is extremely difficult.

This is not any sort of insult to your writing -- quite the opposite. Your writing can be fantastic, and you still won't have an audience for an online WIP. It's worth thinking about what kind of audience you'd like to draw, and why you even want a lot of readers when your book isn't even finished yet -- that might point you in new directions.

Hope this helps, and all the best :)

  • Thank you for the feedback. I'll work on the draft more. (Basically what I'm getting from this is that I need to finish the work before worrying about readers?) – Aspen the Artist and Author Apr 30 at 16:03
  • @AspentheArtistandAuthor: I'd recommend that, yes. There are ways to go the other way around -- develop a fanbase at the same time that you're writing. But that's really hard to do -- it's basically a whole 'nother skillset and time-sink, and you need something besides "I'm writing a book!" to talk about and hold people's attention. Some people are amazing at that, are bubbling and social and fascinating -- but if that's not where your at, it wouldn't be my go-to recommendation :) – Standback Apr 30 at 18:26
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It looks like you're looking for readers of your works in progress. My instinct with that was never to use the shotgun method. I've always just sent my drafts to one or two trusted readers. That might work for you if you're looking for feedback on drafts.

(Even then I temper their feedback based on my own instincts. A teacher of mine had three readers. One of them gave feedback that he negated. If this reader hated the piece, he figured it was pretty good; if they loved it, he had some work to do.)

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