Ask any aspiring author longing to get published what he or she considers to be some of their biggest headaches and you can bet that high on the list is the problem of how to get discovered – whether by publishers or readers. ‘Discoverability’ is now one of the hottest buzzwords in the world of publishing. As some experts have noted, ‘Discoverability is king’.
Yet as tough as it is to engage readers and capture their interest, the great irony is that never before has it been so easy for writers to get their work published, thanks to the advent of digital publishing and the proliferation of self-publishing platforms like Createspace, Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
And now there is ReadWave, one of the latest self-publishing innovations spawned from the new revolution in publishing. It’s a platform for sharing stories and articles and discovering new writers, providing them with digital tools designed to make discovering excellent stories (and talented authors) easier, more exciting and efficient.
Writers can use ReadWave to publish their stories online and display them on the website, and via the ReadWave Facebook App and Reading Widget. They can also use it to get feedback from readers and build a following. The site is integrated with Facebook and other social networks and is equipped with a mobile reader called a StreamReader, which makes it much easier for writers to share their work, plus it helps them get more exposure.
The stories are organized by genres and because they are the short format, that make makes it easy for readers to find the best ones from up-and-coming writers, and those that suit their taste, on all mobile devices.
The site’s core services (uploading, reading and sharing) are free and, according to ReadWave, “always will be.” ReadWave is now home to tens of thousands of stories, which overall are read over 200,000 times each month.
Every story uploaded onto the site is read by the ReadWave editorial team, and they carefully select the best ones for the site’s homepage. This is to ensure that readers only see the best quality stories. With ReadWave, your story can also be embedded on other blogs and websites.
You can also upload your novel by uploading each chapter as a separate story. ReadWave says it is building a feature that will allow writers to group their chapters together into a single ebook.
ReadWave is working on developing a tool that will allow writers to see detailed statistics on whom their readers are, where they’re from and what part of the ebook they’re reading. Another of its goals is to provide a book-taste graph for each reader to provide them with book recommendations.
Writers retain full copyright ownership of their work and you’re free to submit your manuscript to publishers and agents.
Touting itself as the “Youtube of stories,” ReadWave has now launched a new hub dedicated to weekly writing challenges. These weekly challenges are designed to inspire writers with writing prompts, and to motivate them to sit down and write at least once a week.
As the ReadWave team explains, “Some days inspiration comes easy, but every serious writer knows that more often than not you have to work at it. From now on we’re going to be setting a writing challenge every week to help you find inspiration, to encourage you to sit down and write at least once a week, and to keep you trying new challenges and improving your craft.”
The first ReadWave challenge asks; if you could be born in any year, past, present or future, what year would it be? “Tell us about the era you wish you belonged to, or use it as the setting for a story,” says the ReadWave editorial team.
The best entries will be posted up on the ReadWave homepage and showcased to the entire ReadWave readership, and the author will be interviewed on the ReadWave blog.
For writers hesitant about displaying their work on the site for fear of spoiling their chances of getting a traditional publishing deal, ReadWave says there’s no need to worry, and in fact the opposite is true.
“Writers with a proven readership are more valuable to publishers, not less. Lots of books have become successful online before being bought by a traditional publisher. It’s also a good idea to prove to agents and publishers that you have the enthusiasm and skills to make your project a success,” says the ReadWave editorial team.
Robert Tucker is the Community Manager and Head of Marketing as well as a co-founder at ReadWave. A British national, he is a digital publishing expert with a background in tech PR, social media, community management, and he reportedly has in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry.
Roul Tawadey, CEO of ReadWave is the founder of Circalit, a platform which enabled publishers and literary agents to find new talent by creating writing competitions. Circalit won the Creative Category award at the 2011 National Varsity Pitch (NACUE) competition, the premiere business pitching (and plan) competition for UK colleges and universities, and also captured the UCL Bright Ideas Award (2011).
Simon Van Blerk, a software engineer and senior PHP developer is the CTO and Roberto Nygaard, a PHP programmer, is the Lead Developer.
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Correction: August 12, 2013
This article was amended to state that ReadWave is building a feature to allow writers to see detailed statistics on whom their readers are, where they’re from and what part of the ebook they’re reading. The earlier version of the article stated incorrectly that the feature was already available.