Covers and Description

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"Never judge a book by its cover."

While this is everyone's favourite saying, the only thing it pretty much no longer applies to is books. Everyone judges books by their covers and the blurb on the back. If those two things interest them enough, only then will they check out the first couple pages, and if those too are interesting, they will read the book. But it all starts with a cover and a description!

Obviously this is generalized advice any writer should take to heart. But why is it important on Wattpad?

There are a few answers to this:

1) There are no automatic covers. When you make a new story, the cover will be your profile picture blurred out with the title written on top. Not only does this not look good, but it is usually an indication to readers that you do not care about this work enough to invest in making a cover for it. Since so many works on Wattpad are created and abandoned, finding ones with no cover is a quick way to eliminate a potential book. This is especially prevalent on mobile devices, as we once again call back to the fact that around 85% of all activity is on the app. The app displays works almost exlusively by their cover and nothing else. That is all a reader is reviewing when deciding to even glance at your description so make sure your cover has something on it!

2) Descriptions are critical to almost all readers...but are often left blank. There are a shocking number of blank descriptions on Wattpad, which may come from a bit of a misconception. The description is not automatically drawn from the first chapter of a work. It has to be filled out by the writer by going to the "more info" page, through "create" and then "manage," or through "Edit Story Details" on the app. Descriptions help give the reader an idea as to what the story could be about. When a mobile reader finds a work, they tap its cover and are then brought to a story description page which offers them a chance to add it to their library or read it, but it doesn't show them any portion of the actual story. If yours is empty, you may be losing readers who are frustrated by a lack of description!

3) You need to seperate yourself from the rest. A common tip that works all around, but on Wattpad, you'll want to be especially wary of it. The sheer volume of content on Wattpad is astonishing! At the time of writing this, there are roughly 75 million total uploads to Wattpad, just over double the amount of total active users, and only about 10% of the population of Wattpad writes. Once you have gotten past the mind-bogglingly high amount of stories that is, you'll hopefully want to run off to your work to make sure you don't have a stock image as a cover with a generic description. On Wattpad you are competing with hundreds of thousands of other stories at any given moment, and if your cover is a google image search of a celebrity plus words, you may be losing that battle more times than you win it. If your description says something like "A troubled girl struggles through high school before the boy of her dreams appears" you may again be failing to attract readers. Keep in mind that you aren't alone on Wattpad. You're very not alone.

Make sure you've got a description to pull people in, in the right section of your book, with a cover to compliment your incredible writing. As always, if you are unsure if you've got the description right, or want to see how the cover appears to others, use the app to check your work, not the website.

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