Okay, authors, be ready to watch events unfold without getting your hopes up too high…at least not yet. Author-reader consumption platform Wattpad is beta testing a new feature that can be a game changer if it proves to be both sustainable and expandable, one that stands to open up an entirely new marketplace for readers to buy authors’ works.
According to a new report by Publishing Perspectives’ Porter Anderson, Wattpad Next is testing a new payment feature in four markets (no, the US is not in those markets at this time) that will let readers buy “coins” and spend them to read certain authors’ content. These new stories are being commissioned specifically for this beta test by a hand selected group of authors.
Readers, don’t panic! This does not signify a shift from reading great free content to a pay-per-view model (gosh, let’s hope this article ages well). Rather, some authors may be able to monetize their works, which is what the test is all about.
Wattpad has been at the forefront of digital reading since its launch, and has adapted and innovated to a changing readership. Wattpad Studios, for example, has worked closely to bring authors’ works to the screen, and the company brought on Deanna McFadden last month as the Publishing Director for Wattpad Studios to meet the needs of authors. In this monetization beta test, all of the authors will be equally compensated by Wattpad for their involvement, regardless of how readers respond in terms of buying coins to read their stories.