On Monday I published the first part of my new lesbian BDSM novella/could become a novel, “Bound By Law”. You can read it for free here. I’ve also mirrored this first part onto the Wattpad reading app in the hope that some new readers might discover me and my work.
I’ve even created a cover image before I’ve written the story, just so that it would entice people to try my work. For free, I might add, as all the fiction on Wattpad is available for free.
The only trouble is, even I found it difficult to actually “discover” the story after I’d posted it. I tried browsing the category it had been put into. No luck. I tried looking through some of the tags I’d added. Still nothing. In desperation, I tried searching for the actual title. Nada.
Like most sites, Wattpad filters “mature” content so that it’s not accessible to minors. Which is fine. Unlike most sites, however, Wattpad’s mature content is automatically hidden from users who haven’t set their date of birth to indicate that they’re over 18 (and, slightly bizarrely, automatically shown to those over 18, whether they want it or not). Such content doesn’t show up in searches, isn’t included when browsing and is basically suppressed and censored like a backroom porno in a seedy 1920’s bar.
Which would still be fine.
Except Wattpad doesn’t ever prompt users to set their date of birth. It doesn’t suggest that they should. I’m guessing most users never have. It isn’t even a setting on the user’s profile page, which might have encouraged some people to include it, but instead hidden within a separate settings page that most people likely don’t ever bother to access.
All this means that my story has about as much chance of being “discovered” on Wattpad as it would if I wrote it out by hand, shoved it in a bottle and dropped it in the ocean.
So, what’s the solution? Well, first, I’d suggest that if you’re using Wattpad and you want access to the naughty, the kinky, the gory or the edgy tales that are available, go to your settings page and enter your date of birth. Otherwise, you’re potentially missing out on the best stuff. Second, I’m going to write a “clean” lesbian short that can be allowed out into the public areas of the app without making anyone on Wattpad’s management blush. Hopefully, this will draw people in to maybe have a look at my other work.
And if that doesn’t have the desired effect, I’ll pull the story from Wattpad and chalk it up to experience.