How data-driven writing platforms can make you a better author

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Are you struggling with finding data-driven insights and new alpha and beta readers for your current writing project?

It’s no secret: I use platforms like Inkitt and Wattpad to help me with my first drafts. I use these as research—quantitative and qualitative—to help guide me with writing my first draft via demographics, reader behavior, reactions, and more… for every single chapter. Plus, it helps authors to gain a few beta readers who turn into lifelong fans. 🥰✍️

Ten reasons why data-driven writing platforms improve your stories

1. Discover if you’re going in the right direction.

Firstly, I don’t promote my first drafts unless I feel there’s a reason to celebrate. A reason is usually a good sign that my writing is going in the right direction, eg. if the platform’s curators handpick the story to feature on a seasonal campaign, home page, or official genre profile featuring their view of ‘the best’ (eg. Romance, Undiscovered Authors, Good Girls Read Bad, etc…). This indicates someone – or maybe a few people – behind the scenes, usually an editor, liked the story and felt it was worth featuring. Plus, these campaigns help drive traffic to your story. More traffic, more readers – more potential loyal followers.👍

There are also opportunities to become an ambassador. It requires work and dedication, but you also get access to writers’ resources that help you in your journey. I was a Wattpad ambassador a few years ago and hung that cape when I had too much to juggle. It was a fun experience, and I enjoyed being part of the ambassador team.


2. You can gain life-long followers and fans

The draft story helps to gain a few readers who discover your story on the platform. I don’t need a sea of readers. A small group to sample my stories is enough. Often, they stick around for the next story, and the one after, etc. When I pull a story down for editing, and a year later announce that the story’s back with a different title, fully edited, published, etc, a few will buy it on Amazon and leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads, or both. A few will follow on social media, my newsletter, bookfunnel, etc. I love that readers find entertainment and satisfaction with my stories, and I want to make them happy. ❤️❤️

3. You own your work completely. You can delete your draft anytime, and it’ll never be seen again.

I own every right to my draft, so when I hit delete, it’s gone. Gone forever from the writing platform. Having said that, there are shady story stealers out there, but platforms usually have a trust and security team – Inkitt is already sending out forms to authors behind the scenes to fill out if their stories have been nabbed, and they usually do something about it. I had a draft story stolen once on Wattpad, and it was being sold. Furious, I hired a DMCA takedown legal team who sorted out the mess and the story was removed from the thief’s website, never to be seen again. Since then, the story thief disappeared completely. Their online ‘bookshop’, which no doubt stole other stories, is gone. It vanished. I’m constantly checking on my WIP, but keeping a low profile reduces risk. Plus, I have the DMCA takedown team’s contact ready (hopefully, I won’t need them).

4. Gain alpha and beta readers who give genuine feedback.

This is gold. You don’t find them. They find you. They read the story willingly. They stop reading when it doesn’t suit them, and sometimes they’ll tell you why. It helps to reroute the plot and fix the holes… They’ll tell you when you’re doing great, and they may even leave a long review, telling all the good points, points for improvements, and/or why they fell in love with your story. There are some pretty poignant comments sometimes that just get to your heart.

Some of the feedback can be harsh, but it’s the same with feedback from agents and publishers. What a great way to learn to deal with rejection!

5. The statistics.

This is my favorite part, as I’m data-driven with my draft writing projects. (My secret’s out now :))

First, there are quantitative stats.

I see which chapters get the most reactions and binge rates – which chapters readers re-read (yes, platforms like Inkitt give you the stats for your stories), and the comments they make: a few really wild comments are great; they show which chapters are taking them on a rollercoaster ride, while others are deep and insightful.

Here’s an example who’s reading my WIP:

Source: Inkitt

And a little about the chapters readers are binging on…

Source: Wattpad

Then, there are qualitative stats.

In my current writing project, Damian’s Seduction, my readers tell me which awful character to kill off, and when to ease on the drama and bring more action. It’s no surprise the *steamiest chapters* or chapters with high drama and twists get the highest votes, likes, reactions, etc.

6. Author-to-author support, maybe a writing soulmate?

Platforms like Inkitt and Wattpad are also a great way to meet a few other authors and give each other support. Your author friends will give you constructive feedback as they read your story, and will appreciate you doing the same for their story.

Though these platforms have changed their business models over the years to being a ‘readers’ platform’ mostly, less on being a ‘writers’ platform’ (due to an overflow of writers), they still can connect ‘writing soulmates’. I’m a lone wolf with my writing projects, but that may change…

Photo by Asya Cusima:

7. Become stronger against trolls, monsters, and psychos.

You have to be mentally strong to venture on the author’s path. Seriously. These platforms are a training ground to help you be wary of or learn to deal with the sharks, monsters, witches, and goblins in the book world/writing community/readers’ community. Everything from batshit crazy psycho fans (yes, I had an anxiety attack once from an incident – thank God it was only once, I cannot imagine what it must be like for a better-known author), to aggressive wheelers and dealers who send spam. And shady deals from ‘book buyers’ and fake publishers.

8. Help battle negative feedback

Image by Victoria from Pixabay

As an author, you need to develop thicker skin against criticism (not constructive feedback) and any major blows to your writing. That all happened early on, and believe me, there were days I wanted to throw the towel and call it a day. Get over it. Get over yourself. It’s honestly not worth crying about or shouting on social media (A pet peeve of mine is authors who complain on social media and turn social into a bloody battlefield).

Remember, every ‘great’ book got its serve – from The Great Gatsby to the more popular stories like Twilight.

9. Help introverted authors get out of their shell.

I started writing for personal reasons (including long-term chronic pain) and to escape from the ‘noise’ of everything around me. Writing to me is what a knitted jumper is for knitters, a painting for artists, and a piano song for musicians.

In today’s world, introverted hermit authors like myself (YES! I was a hermit crab in a past life 😅) learn to somehow show an extroverted side. It’s like squeezing blood out of stone sometimes…

Thankfully, with the help of my friends (you know who you are ❤️❤️) and publishers, I made a few milestones.

10. The writing tools are extremely user-friendly!

I struggle to start writing from scratch on a Word document. I’ve tried writing tools online, but nothing worked. My mind was a blank canvas, like the page I stared at on the screen. For hours, even days, or weeks. Writer’s block is not a joke.

So, I turned to a flipbook-style tool on Inkitt and Wattpad because while I have a plot drafted (my analytical, organized side), I’m a pantser (my creative side), and this is the key to getting my creative juices flowing.

Did you know…?

Writing is a form of therapy. It can help relieve emotional stress, according to Positive Psychology. Reading is great, too! I’m as much a reader as an author, and my bookcases are overflowing. To house guests, it looks like a jumbled mess. To me, it’s my world of worlds.

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