This is Wattpad's first venture into earning revenue but according to their blog post it won't be their last. The 9-year-old has grown to be the largest online community for readers and writers with nearly 16 million page views per month, all while avoiding charging their members for services.
Fan funding is about bringing stories to life in a myriad of ways and giving writers the tools to engage with, acknowledge, thank and reward their loyal fans who have been there since the beginning. The millions of readers on Wattpad are fueling the next generation of writers, that’s always been the power of our community, so this program is also a unique way for readers to come along on the journey.
Wattpad will take a 5% commission on successfully funded projects. The payments processor Stripe takes a 2.9% fee (plus $0.30 per transaction for each pledge). The rest of the funds go to the writer.
The funds will only be collected if a project is fully funded. The projects run a standard 30 days, though they can end in a shorter period of time. One project has already been funded, though that did take nearly 2 months to reach the $5,000 goal set by the writer.
Once a project is fully funded the resulting story will be made available for free on the Wattpad website. This keeps the crowd-funding concept true to the spirit of Wattpad as a place for the sharing of free stories.
Wattpad is hoping that this platform will be used to fund more than just an author's next story. “In our case, the product doesn’t necessarily have to be e-books or paper books that result,” said Allen Lau, founder and CEO. “It could be a movie script that you’re funding, and the end product could be a movie.”
There are 2 projects under weigh on the Fan Funding page. One has 6 days left to achieve the last third of the $7500 the writer is trying to raise, while the other project has only just been launched.