Do I need an editor for my Wattpad book?
Wattpad is a hive of creativity, with over 60 million users spending 15 billion minutes every month reading, writing, and interacting on the platform. Hundreds of writers see massive success with their Wattpad books, many (like myself) receiving millions of hits on their work, and plenty have scored publishing deals through simply getting noticed on Wattpad. If you're an aspiring author and you haven't already joined the completely free Wattpad community, it's time to wake up and create an account. And if you're a writer already publishing on Wattpad—whether you've got tens or millions of readers—it's time to ask yourself, Are you putting your best work out there?
Will you be impressed by your Wattpad books in 5 years' time...or even tomorrow?
I've worked with many Wattpad writers who admit they sometimes overlook crucial spelling mistakes or errors when they first publish a chapter of their Wattpad novel, and they're grateful for the support of my pay-per-chapter editing service to remove those silly errors that creep in before the rest of the world has chance to notice. There's no shame in making a mistake here and there—we're writers, we tire ourselves out working to tight deadlines, and occasionally we're too stretched for time to give a thorough edit before publishing. I'm guilty of it myself. I was sixteen when I started writing on Wattpad, and despite having been a writer most of my life, my knowledge of grammar and my control over my writing was nowhere close to what it is now, six years later.
However, if I could turn back the clock and pay closer attention to the nitty-gritty details of my writing before publishing it to all those hundreds of thousands of eyes...? I totally would. And I now understand that I definitely should have looked further afield for help with editing my Wattpad books, because at the time my knowledge wasn't advanced enough to understand how to use a hyphen correctly, or how to punctuate dialogue, and I would have been ignorant to those mistakes even if I'd gone through and given my writing the most thorough edit I was capable of.
This is true of every writer. We simply don't know what we don't know when it comes to editing. We can all slog over our manuscripts for hours trying to make them perfect, but even the most meticulous of us are limited by the information our brains have or haven't learned yet.
But let's cut ourselves some slack; writing is an art that improves with practice. Nobody starts their journey with the expertise necessary to make a plot run smoothly and keep the words neat and tidy too. Over the years, I've come to terms with the fact my older Wattpad books are just evidence of my writing development—that was how I used to write, and this is how I write now. It can be satisfying to see the difference...but mostly it's just embarrassing. I often wonder how many readers I've turned away with the inattention to detail in my earlier Wattpad books, and how much larger my audience might be now if I'd just taken the time to invest in some help.
Editing after you publish on Wattpad could negatively impact your story comments
Once you've hit 'Publish' on a Wattpad chapter, it's sometimes easier said than done to go back and correct any errors you might come across afterward, or that your readers might point out for you.
There is, of course, a well-known glitch in the Wattpad system that crops up occasionally and prevents writers from saving any edits they try to make after publishing a chapter. Is it karma for being careless enough to post a chapter with a mistake in it? We may never know. But if you encounter the glitch, you'd better hope it rights itself before your readers catch up...
But the most important thing to consider before you edit an already-published chapter is that you might lose your comments in the process.
The Wattpad inline commenting feature is a neat little tool that enables readers to highlight sections of your story and comment directly on that particular word, sentence, or phrase. It's a great feature for boosting your story engagement. Rather than posting just one summary comment after reading, readers are now encouraged to comment multiple times on each chapter...and many take advantage of this feature a lot. (Yes, that would be why so many Wattpad comments seem incredibly strange out of context...)
So, if your readers have already commented heavily on a line, phrase, or sentence that has an annoying error in it, be prepared to lose those comments when you go back in to edit the error out of your Wattpad book. You'll still retain all your other comments, of course, but in situations where chapters require heavy editing after you've hit 'Publish', you could cost yourself a lot of valuable comments that won't be replaced.
If you're serious about getting on the Featured list, your writing needs to be flawless
Okay, so "flawless" is perhaps too strong a word. Wattpad doesn't discriminate against stories with the occasional spelling mistake or error (I should know—my Wattpad book 'The Popularity Debt' was on the Featured list for 4 years, and I'll be the first to admit that it was riddled with clumsy errors) but you should pay attention to the fact there are literally hundreds of thousands of other stories similar to yours on Wattpad, and you've got to be considerably better than most of these to grab the attention of the Wattpad staff.
The Featured list is a fantastic opportunity to get your work noticed by a much larger audience in a very short span of time. During my first week on the Featured list in 2013, I jumped from 10,000 readers to 150,000—and that figure just kept on growing. With that level of exposure, you've got a much greater chance of getting your story trending on Wattpad, and a higher chance that your follower count will grow as readers stumble across your profile, too.
The process for making it onto the Wattpad Featured list changed in 2017. Stories are now Featured for shorter lengths of time, which means there's much more opportunity to get your work on the list. There is no way of 'requesting' to be on the list—you simply have to be good enough to get noticed by the Wattpad Content Relations team, who spend their time sourcing quality content from each genre to Feature on Wattpad. Needless to say, you want your writing to be the best it possibly can be to increase your chances of getting noticed by the Wattpad team.
First drafts don't have to be bad
The fate of your Wattpad future lies very much in your hands. Nobody is going to force you to hire an editor, but I know from experience that your future self will probably thank you for taking the initiative to improve your writing before broadcasting it to the world. When a Wattpad book gains success, it often arrives in overwhelming droves. Prepare yourself for the attention. Always assume that someone with the power to publish your book is watching...and never assume that there isn't a better writer out there. The hard truth is that there are probably hundreds writing in your genre alone.
My unique pay-per-chapter editing service is designed specifically to help writers of serialised fiction on platforms like Wattpad who want a low-cost, low-pressure editing option. Instead of paying a large upfront sum and delivering a full manuscript, my pay-per-chapter service allows you to pay in instalments as you write your novel. There is no obligation to continue working with me if you decide that you no longer need or want to, and you have the option to "pause" your editing schedule when life gets in the way. Turnaround is fast (usually within just a couple of days) and I always prioritise where possible to meet your upload schedule.
For more information about pay-per-chapter editing, please click here, or get in touch by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.