I have had an account on Wattpad since November. If you are not familiar with Wattpad, it is an app/website where you can upload stories and books (chapter by chapter) to be read for free by members who are looking for some reading material. Wattpad has millions of members all over the world. The majority of the members are readers, so it is a great place to find a new audience for your work.
My goals after joining Wattpad were to find new readers, connect with readers in a more personal way, and to give myself a kick in the pants to write more regularly. I think I succeeded on all 3 goals.
About a month ago, I joined the 'Romance' page on Wattpad. The site runs various genre pages to encourage writer/reader participation and to give writers a chance to compete in various contests. After I joined the Romance page, I found out about a writing contest sponsored by Kensington Books called "The Write Affair." They were looking for writers to enter who had completed romance novels on Wattpad. The prize was a book contract with Kensington.
I had just finished posting the entirety of my romance, ACAPULCO NIGHTS, so I decided to enter. The first round of the contest was to paste a link to the first chapter of my book. Readers would read the entries and vote on the ones they liked the best. After about 2 or 3 weeks of voting, the top 10 entries would move into the 'final' round. The final round would be judged by 3 people from Kensington and then, in April, a winner would be announced.
I was a little unsure about how my book would place in such a contest because ACAPULCO NIGHTS is not a straightforward, traditional romance. However, my thought was the contest might give my writing more exposure and more reads.
Early last week, the top 10 were announced. My book was not one of them. I was not surprised. I chalked it up to a marketing opportunity and moved on. A few days later, I got notice from The Write Affair that the editor of the page had picked 4 additional entries to be in the final judging, and my book was one of them!
I was very surprised. There were 74 entries, and my little book made the cut. Yay! My expectation is that I won't win...I just don't think my book is what they are looking for. But who knows? Also, it is still a marketing opportunity for me, because the book is still being promoted on Wattpad as a finalist in the contest.
I'll let you know what ends up happening. Meanwhile, if you want to read the book while it is available for free on Wattpad, here is the link:
Wish me luck!
UPDATE (April 15, 2015): Kensington Books chose the winner, and it was not me. However, please check out the winning entry: Strawberry Wine by Monrosey. Congratulations to Monrosey on the win. It was such a fun contest, and I was flattered to be included in the list of finalists. It just keeps me wanting to write more!