I love this new invention, Wattpad. Wattpad is an e-book community where unpublished, budding authors can publish and share their work. They have launched a mobile e-book reader, which is an application available for free download and can be used on more than 1000 mobile devices including Blackberry, iPhone, Android, LG and Sony Ericsson.
It is currently featured on the front page of the Nokia Ovi Store and has over 3.5m downloads; making it the most popular mobile e-book application.
“Our mobile application supports virtually all Nokia models since we first started in late 2006,” said Allen Lau, co-founder of Wattpad, Toronto. “The availability on the Nokia Ovi Store will allow us to extend our reach through this new channel.”
Wattpad users can publish whatever they write from romance novels, fan-fiction, to essays and poetry. The content available via the e-book reader is also available on the community website and is accessible to all users.
Almost all the marketing for Wattpad is through word of mouth. “Writers who publish their novels, poetry, short stories etc. on wattpad.com have all the incentives to tell their friends and families,” Mr. Lau said. “We make sure our users can very easily recommend good reads on our Web site or mobile applications via Facebook, Twitter and email and etcetera. Every time they do that, we gain a new user.”
“Although Wattpad is already the most popular mobile e-book applications with 3.5 million cumulative downloads, there are still many people who have never heard of Wattpad,” Mr. Lau said.
Wattpad targets young users to do the marketing, mainly the 15-24 demographic. “Our users are quite young,” Mr. Laud said. “They use their mobile phones more than their PCs. As such, mobile has always been a key part of our strategy. Additionally, it is very important since having our app in as many app stores as possible will help us to market Wattpad very effectively.”
The application is mainly supported by ad networks such as Videoegg, Tribal Fusion, Admob and Quattro Wireless.
With the advent of applications like Wattpad, more and more readers are moving towards e-books, this may result in less books printed each year.
“Wattpad’s mission since day one is to revolutionize the way people publish and read written work,” Mr. Lau said. “We have decided from early on to focus on ePublishing and eReading. Although we believe print will still exist for a long long time, the high growth area is in digital.”