I've been struggling to gain traction on my patreon account. So, I reached out to one of the many facebook writing groups I joined and asked what I can do to improve my process.
Her suggestion? Wattpad.
For those of you who don't know, Wattpad is basically a free writing site. Authors create stories that people can read, comment on, and vote for. Think of it like a fan fiction site, only a lot of the material on there is original.
That's not to say you can't write fan fiction though.
Authors can build an audience there by providing free writing. It's an opportunity for you to meet other writers, modify and improve your writing, find beta readers, enter contests, etc.
Some people do have qualms about writing for "free," and I completely respect that. You work really hard on your book. Why should you just give it away?
The thing is, if you're interested in Indie publishing, Wattpad seems like a great way to get people interested in what you do. You can post things on the site, and if you decide you want to publish it, you can always leave a teaser chapter up for people and take the rest off. Just make sure you warn your readers, otherwise they may feel a little misguided.
Also, Wattpad has plans to introduce Wattpad Future where authors can insert ads between their chapters, and that will provide them revenue. It's still in the beta testing period right now, but I hope it gets opened up to everyone soon. What a great way to support a writer without having to drop a dime!
I've only been on the site for about a week, but I have about 33 followers, and I've posted two stories. It gives me the opportunity to write little tales running around in my head and get feedback. I also get to play around with covers (like the Gossamer one above).
Keep in mind, though, that you have to work towards getting a following. You not only have to post material, you have to interact with the readers and other writers as well. As I get more used to Wattpad, I'll write informational blog posts about it for anyone who is interested. You can seriously find just about anything on the website, so if you're looking for good stories to read, take a look!
And feel free to follow me here: https://www.wattpad.com/user/erincasey09