Wattpad’s Social Reading & Writing Social Network Goes Crowd Funded

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Who doesn’t like a good story? Wattpad certainly does. Wattpad is an interesting social network – colloquially billed as the YouTube for ebooks – where readers and writers can find a comfortable home together. And now, it can also be called, the Kickstarter for ebooks.

Wattpad bills itself as the world’s largest community for discovering and sharing stories. Readers, take note – you can find stories in progress and lend a hand in development by posting comments. Writers, check out this  community-based approach to honing your product and finding an audience.  Readers  collect stories into reading lists, and are able to vote for favorites, share stories and comment on them, right alongside their friends and other writers. Writers can submit their work and tap the over 16 million monthly readers. From there, they can win fans, get instant feedback and even publish work serially from their desktop or mobile application.  The site advises that more than 500 writers have published pieces on the site – along with the 16 million monthly visitors, these are numbers that the traditional publishing world has to be noticing. Published and unsigned authors are creating on Wattpad side by side. I love the fact that Wattpad is attempting to break down the artificial barriers between reader and writer that the traditional publishing world has worked to hard to maintain.

The most read stories are featured on a daily what’s hot list. There is also a featured stories list – curated by a Wattpad editorial review board. The site also hosts a number of writing contests, with the largest known as the Watty Awards in the categories of “popular”, “on the rise” and “undiscovered”.  Anyone with an account on the site can enter their work. Margaret Atwood has teamed up with Wattpad to host another contest – the Attys – which is for poetry, in the categories of “enthusiast” or “competitor.”

You can join Wattpad for free and you can sign in with your Facebook credentials or create your own sign-in. The mobile app is available on iOS and Android.  Seems a decent option for voracious digital readers on the go. Interestingly, though, Wattpad’s community demographic is overwhelmingly women.

Wattpad has just announced a new feature which should be even more compelling for authors – a Kickstarter like crowd funding platform called “Fan Funding.” Because Wattpad started as a social network rather than a crowdfunding site, many authors already have a fan base willing to chip in. Fan Funding projects run for 30 days and members pledge towards the goal. The story that is funded will  always be  available for free on the Wattpad platform, while it also may be shopped elsewhere in more traditional markets. Projects can range from fiction, to poetry to even movie scripts.

I am always excited to see new avenues for creators to share their work and get right to the audience without the traditional hurdles. Wattpads social reading and writing platform can now garner users the opportunity to create and share, as well as invest in that creative process. Go Wattpad!

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The Intersection of Art & Law

This is so brilliant, it made my Friday. If a picture is worth a thousand words and you are limited to only 5 pages to get your complicated point across to the U.S. District Court, why not set your argument in the context of a “graphic novelette”? That is exactly what amicus Bob Kohn did when filing his brief U.S. v. Apple, Inc., et al. The font is even the correct 12 point size. Next time my company asks me to comment on whether we should file an Amicus Brief, I am so going to make a mock up! As my friend who pointed this out to me said, “if this starts a trend, you may be extremely well-positioned …” I may have to see about teaching an art course to law students. Hat tip to Eric Diamond, via the abajournal.com.

MetaSearch For eBooks

Search engine fun day continues with this cool metasearch engine for eBooks called Addall. Addall searches over 30 sites for great stuff to e-read. Filter by author, title, keyword or ISBN. Results show in table form, with the elements of the table also serving as filtering tools. Both free and paid books are included, but you can sort by that trait as well. You also can narrow by book format (Kindle, HTML, PDF) and can exclude terms. Did you get a new Kindle or other eReader for Christmas? Then this search engine’ s for YOU!

Hat tip to ResearchBuzz

FREE On-Line Business Resources!

Did I say FREE? I most certainly did! PCWorld has a list of 19 free Web resources for real, honest-to-goodness business applications that you would otherwise have to, well, PAY for. To give a sense of the goodness of the goodies, there are suggestions for maknig FREE long distance calls, send and receive FREE faxes, videoconference for FREE, make FREE conference calls, use FREE directory assistance, automatically transcribe voice notes for FREE, turned scanned docs into text for FREE, get FREE copies of e-classics, send FREE text messages, store large files in the cloud for FREE, and download FREE mp-3s. The services highlighted in the article include: Talkster; Qipit,  eFax Free and FaxZero;  TokBox; Rondee; Google 411; reQall; OCR Terminal; Project Gutenberg; txtDrop and Krypton; Drop.io; and, for the free mp3s, try Amazon, Rhapsody, Elbows, RCRD LBL, Stereogum and Internet Archive.

Check them out! And please feel free to post your own favorite FREE resources in the comments! I love me some FREE.