I received a Wattpad press release announcing their Pride list for June 2020. I was curious. Wattpad has been in India for a while. A curated list like this was fascinating. What was truly astounding were the number of followers each writer had on Wattpad. While reading the stories it also became clear that the level of engagement of the readers with the author was very high such as 153k reads! Sometimes based on the feedback received in real time the writers were developing stronger voices. At other times the frequency of their updates also improved. So I posed a few questions to Wattpad. Here is an edited version of the interview with Devashish Sharma, India Country Manager at Wattpad:
Why did Wattpad decide to curate this specific list?
Wattpad is known all over the world as a safe space for LGBTQIAP+ readers and writers to find stories by writers in the community, and Wattpad readers spend millions of minutes each year reading stories from the LGBTQIAP+ community.
We know the importance of representation for diverse identities, which is why we are proud to support diverse writers and movements to increase LGBTQIAP+ representation all year. In recent years, we’ve seen the Wattpad community rally to support and elevate every type of love and romance, as well as ensure LGBTQIAP+ perspectives are represented in every genre.
Q1. What is the principle of selection for curation — Is it based on the number of interactions with readers or an internal editorial assessment in terms of quality of writing?
Our content experts curated this list to elevate and celebrate some of the incredible LGBTQIAP+ voices from the Indian Wattpad Community. You can find other amazing LGBTQIAP+ stories and writers on the Wattpad LGBTQIAP+ Pride Profile. These stories and others from around the world, were selected by looking at a mix of criteria, including popularity, overall reads or reading time, quality, creativity, or stories and writers our content experts love.
Q2. How do authors find their readers on Wattpad?
The best way for writers to find readers on Wattpad is to join the community, connect with other writers, and share their work!
Q3. These stories begin slowly but seem to develop a life of their own as the readers’ comments begin to pour in. Does the Wattpad team at any point offer editorial assistance as well?
We offer a variety of educational resources for writers on Wattpad. The Wattpad Writers Portal is a popular destination for writers who want to improve their craft. For some writers in our Wattpad Stars Program or Paid Stories authors, we also offer individual editorial guidance for certain stories.
For authors published by Wattpad Books, we work closely with each writer to professionally edited their books before they land on bookshelves all over the world.
Q4. Who curates these lists?
The content experts on our Content and Creative Development Team
Q5. Is this the first time that WattPad has created such a list in India? If so, why now?
We have been curating such lists from Indian writers for a while now, however this is the first time we are sharing it outside of the platform.
Q6. How do I match the writers mentioned in the press release with their WattPad names on the site? It is impossible to tell who is who. It is also curious that the writers allowed you to use their real names rather than their WattPad handles. How did that come about?
We respect the privacy of every writer on Wattpad. Before sharing a writer’s work we consult with them to determine their comfort participating in our marketing activities, and only proceed if they consent to promoting their stories to a wider audience off of Wattpad. We also determine if they would prefer their real name, a pen name, or their Wattpad handle.
26 June 2020