There are many mixed reactions regarding Wattpad’s newest program, Wattpad Beta. Wattpad Beta basically lets writers earn through readers paying “Wattpad coins” for their stories. The cheapest is worth Php 24.79 for 9 coins, and the most expensive buy is Php 185.00 for 230 coins.
Pros and Cons
Obviously, Wattpad Beta benefits writers. Writers get paid for their work, which is fair, just how digital illustrators and online essay writers earn from their works. Published authors gain “royalties” for their books, and in the same way, Wattpad gives an opportunity to their writers to earn from their online stories. Authors need to eat, pay bills, and live, and that’s a fact; to do that, they write—that’s their job and their passion, like what vloggers claim to be doing. It’s not impossible anymore; it may be difficult, but not unreachable.
Not to mention that this saves a lot of paper.
However, this will surely upset readers. Wattpad is known as a “free reading app.” If we will pay for the stories, then their branding becomes questionable. Moreover, from their sample, each chapter is worth 3 coins. Doing the math, your 9 coins, which is worth Php 25, can only pay for three chapters. As a reader, that would be very frustrating. Say, the story has twenty-five chapters. One should have at least 75 coins or roughly Php 620 to read the whole story, and that’s almost like spending on a physical book. That would be a burden to readers who rely on “free online novels.”
So is Wattpad Beta a mistake? I don’t entirely think so. However, it will take time for readers to understand the need for the program. Besides, not all stories are included. It must be clarified that Wattpad Beta is still an experiment, as most have been jumping to conclusions that all stories will be joining, and the conclusions and recommendations will be based on whether it succeeds or fails.
And because of the price, I am assuming that Wattpad Beta stories were meticulously chosen by some board and have undergone a set of criteria and proofreading. It’s more like Kindle or Buqo, only more expensive.
At the end of the day, writers and readers have a choice. Writers, if ever contacted for the Wattpad Beta program, should consider the possible consequences besides the profit: the pressure of delivering a story worthy of readers’ coins, need for proofreading, loss of audience. Readers, on the other hand, must understand that authors with well-written works deserve something in return to support them financially while continuing their passion.
Wattpad is more than just a platform where readers can freely read and writers can freely write and dream; for most, it is a community, and for a community to be united, each member must learn to communicate properly to determine what is most beneficial for all parties.