How to Make an App like Wattpad

Building an ebook app that people want to use is no easy task. It takes forethought and time, as well as proper coding resources. Have a dream of owning an ebook app but don’t know how to make an app like Wattpad? This is a concise reading with all information you need to know about ebook app development. Here, I intend to share a proven method that will help you create an app just like Wattpad.

Website and app name Wattpad
Founding year 2006
Founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen
Available app languages 32
No. of app users 500 million+
Technology used Content Management Systems (CMS), Developer languages like JavaScript and, Swift, Flutter.

What Is Ebook App Development? How Did It Start?

Ebook app development is a booming field in the Information Technology industry. A simple search for ‘ebook’ returns dozens of blogs and websites dedicated to this topic. Developers create free apps that can be read on various devices, including Wattpad, Kindle Fire, Nook, and iPad.

Interestingly, Softbook and Gemstart’s Rocket ebook reader was the first-ever ebook software launched in the market in the year 1998. Stephen King’s horror novel, in 2000, was released in only an ebook format. That was the first whiff of the whole revolution wave that would take over bibliophiles all over the world. In the year 2020, ebook sales have gone up to 191 million in just the United States; the figures are higher when we consider worldwide ebook sales.

However, the Wattpad app, which launched in 2006, gave people a chance to read and create their own stories, publish them on the app, and also earn from it. Kind of an all-rounder!

Before we know the magic that made Wattpad a success, let’s understand the types of ebooks apps available in the market.

What Types of Ebook Apps Are There in the Market?

Developing ebook reading app like Wattpad

There are various types of Ebooks available in the market. Some are purely reading apps, while others have features that make them suitable for creating ebooks. Some apps are designed only for reading, while others have features that can make them suited for creating other types of content as well.

Ebooks are becoming more and more popular because people want to enjoy books on their devices even when they are not at home.  With the increasing adoption of mobile devices, Ebooks have taken a giant leap forward; let’s look at all the ebook app types available:

The most important thing to know about making ebooks is what the software is doing under the hood. The application programming interfaces (APIs) are how the application or platform communicates with other applications or systems. In the case of ebooks, APIs are the methods and routines that the software uses to communicate with the end user.

1. Actual Ebook reading apps

These Ebook reading apps allow readers to read online and download them in pdf, epub, fb2 format, etc. This download feature will enable users to have access to the book even when they are offline. They are not that advanced, and most have fewer features because users have to just download the book on their device and read it offline.

2. Apps for online ebook store

The online ebook stores are the same as any brick-and-mortar bookshop. This is even more convenient for both the writers and the readers. And the owners earn extra while just adding a few additional features that a print version cannot offer, such as font adjustments, adding various illustrations of your choice, promotion options, etc.

Many ebook apps like Wattpad, Kindle, and Nook have gained massive popularity and formed a huge community of people coming together in one place and sharing their ideas, stories, etc.

How to Make an App Like Wattpad: Development Steps

Wattpad like App Development

1. Market research

  • Start by doing market research on local as well as global ebook apps. Search the top-performing companies.
  • Read the reviews and find out what are their strengths and weaknesses. Your competitor’s weakness could become your app’s strength.
  • If needed, conduct surveys on the target audience (in this case, book lovers). Look out for the customer’s needs that are yet to be fulfilled or any that they are expecting but don’t get.
  • For example, the dark eye mode was introduced in all ebook-reading apps when the app users complained about eyesight problems on continuous use of the ebook apps.

2. Identifying the needs

A newly launched site has to offer some great features to overpower its existing competitors.

How to attract more customers?

The easiest way is to recognize the customer needs and what can be improved to make the services better, like:

  • Try to find a feasible option to create your book-sharing app. 
  • Maintain a robust customer care system.
  • Make impressive marketing ads and ad campaigns, extensive social media marketing.

3. Cost-effective solutions

Wattpad, Nook, and other popular apps use cost-effective measures to increase their app efficiency. Some of them are- providing free contests, multi-platform promotions for writers with high reach, etc.

4. Trial and testing before the launch

The advance and multi-level trial and testing help in three ways:

  • Saves the costs of launching the app and removing the bugs afterward.
  • Gives a good opening and an impressive first look at your app.
  • Any loopholes are discovered, and issues are resolved prior to the app launch.

The development steps are almost always the same, but the business model shifts depending on your app niche, market trends, and other factors. Let’s look at the business model that Wattpad follows.

Wattpad Business Model

Monetary model

Wattpad is an amazing new social network book app for people who want to share their favorite reading material. As its name suggests, it’s all about providing free ebooks to improve your reading. The company launched in 2006 and has been growing steadily ever since.

Interestingly enough, the company doesn’t take any revenue from ad networks or user purchase requests. Instead, the entire business model is built around making the content free for readers who would otherwise not be able to afford high-quality ebooks. As more and more people turn to social networks to read, these companies find that it’s a great way to bring in new users and cater to the ever-increasing demand for free content.

Functional Model

Wattpad is the most popular note-taking app, with over 50 million downloads per day. It is used by the majority of students and teachers in the US and many other countries as well. It is a very powerful note-taking app with a unique feature set. By implementing a single-page app structure and having an on-page business model built around using it as a personal notebook or task management app, you can start getting a lot of great benefits from this app.

 Must-have Ebook App Features 

ebook app development

1. Location-aware functions

There’s a trend in the book industry to provide users with location-aware features. This means that once a customer has selected a book they want to read, the bookseller will do everything they can to help them find that perfect place — even if that means mapping their location to a specific address in their database. This feature can be used not just for discovering new books but also for pre-ordering them — if you’re based in a city where new books aren’t available yet but have open slots, then your local bookseller can send you an alert letting you know about these available books

2. Social Media connectivity

Having social media functions in an ebook reader is a great idea. The main advantage of having these features is that you can share books with your friends on Facebook or Twitter without leaving the Book App.

3. Ebook-reader functionality

An ebook reader app should have many functionalities to help the reader and the writer make optimum use of the app. 

4. In-app community

An ebook app can allow readers and writers to form a writer’s community, like-minded readers, provide them options to form such groups, comment on each other’s work, and grow together.

5. Payment feature

The writers who upload their works on such ebook apps should get a chance to earn from it. The app owner will also gain a certain percentage of the profit. This is the same as any traditional publishing method. In fact, easier to access for writers and readers and a great profit platform for the app owner.

6. Audiobooks availability

A bibliophile can access their favorite book even while jogging, driving the car to their office, or preparing a meal in the kitchen. The best companies always look for more facilities to provide their customers and keep them happy. The audiobook availability has made millions of book lovers. In fact, apps like Audible, Spotify, and Hoopla are famous for audiobooks.

7. Gamification option

Such options include collecting stones or other coins by winning games to unlock the rest of the chapters or other subscription features. They are a source of income for the writers and the app owners in the form of commissions. 

8. Content uploading

Wattpad started the content-uploading feature trend. This feature gave change to many young and aspiring writers the to showcase their skills. The app owners of such apps did a commendable job by earning money and providing an encouraging platform for people interested in books at every level.

9. Personal reading feature

The bookworms like this feature a lot as they can customize many settings like font size, page adjustment, eye protection modes, dictionary feature, note-making option, etc.

10. eLibrary list

An elaborate list of book titles is recommended in accordance with your earlier searches. It is just like on Netflix; you get a list of movies that you are watching, a list of recommendations, top-featured books, etc.

Special Features That Made Wattpad the Most Popular Ebook App

1. The Dark mode feature

Dark Mode is a new feature that helps you lower eye strain. It modifies the app’s color scheme, so it looks darker and more relaxing on your eyes. You can access Dark Mode by tapping the profile icon in the top-right corner. This feature provides eye protection which has been the biggest concern ever since the ebook-reading trend started. Wattpad has provided the dark mode feature that protects eyes and also looks good.

2. Genres and categories

Wattpad gives users the option of choosing a category in which most stories are categorized. Users can view the most popular stories based on popularity. Wattpad lets readers quickly find what they’re looking for.

Readers can choose from a category which most stories are categorized into. They can also view popular stories on or by ‘pulses,’ when writers pinpoint the moment their story is completed on the app.

3. Contests and awards

Wattpad is host to many contests and awards, which are not only good for promoting writing but also great for boosting the app users’ reputation as a writer. This feature became a prominent reason why so many young writers flocked to this app and downloaded it.

Wattpad regularly offers writing contests. These are often offered in conjunction with brands to celebrate events, such as a contest in honor of International Women’s Day that was sponsored by Converse sneakers.

4. Multiple Languages

What sets Wattpad as one of the most popular apps for ebook reading and writing is its flexibility. You can read in your own language or select from an extensive collection of other languages and genres. Members can also rate books in their own language, and other language readers will be able to see their ratings. 

Wattpad’s mission is to connect readers with great stories from all around the world. So it only makes sense that they have an international presence, having translated their platform into over thirty-two different languages. In fact, language options are available as soon as you log in to the Wattpad app. This feature increases audience reach for the app.

5. Auto narrate

This is the same as an audiobook; just a tiny change is that this feature lets the reader hear the narration of the book while they are reading the book. They have explained the audio story feature in detail in their FAQ section to make the new feature easily understandable.

6. Setting playback speed

The audiobooks that are uploaded in the ebook app can have different playing speeds. A user can change the pace of audiobook narration according to the speed at that they want to listen and are comfortable. Wattpad partnered with SoundCloud in 2015 has a trial for the audiobook feature.

Cost of Creating an Ebook App Like Wattpad

Have you ever wondered what it costs to build a mobile app like Wattpad for iOS and Android? Well, it is an app and would cost as much as any other mobile application. The team of developers involved and the features added to determine the cost of the application.

Features Time (in hours)
User Profiles 42 hours
UI/UX Development 42 hours
Home Page 83 Hours
Search & Filters 94 hours
Payments & Transactions 43 hours
Notifications 42 hours
Authorization & Security 60 hours
Internal features (book uploading, updating, etc.) 20 hours
App Integrations 30 hours
Web/ Mobile API 62 hours
Users Panel 16 hours
Admin Panel 16 hours
Total estimation 550

An app should have these basic features and an expert developing team that could save your time and reduce expenses. A basic development team should consist of the following:

  1. Back-end developers
  2. Front-end developers
  3. UI/UX designers
  4. Marketing team
  5. Management team

What more do you need to get a cost-efficient app made? Simply get the best app development team, and your work is done!

Another important step that could reduce the cost, in the long run, is to research your competitors. Finding out the current market trends and using them for our app development could benefit us. 

To reduce your research time, here are some competing ebook apps in the market that you need to know about. These 5 apps are considered winners of the ebook app game, just like Wattpad. Let’s look at the features these apps possess.

Top Apps Similar to Wattpad

1. Sweek

What is Sweek? It is an App that allows you to download Ebooks from the internet. All you have to do is download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store, and you’ll get a new Ebook every day. It can better be termed an e-library.

Founded in  2015
Best feature Simple self-publishing and promotion 
Platforms Android, iOS, and website
Fee Free of cost
  • Pros

App usage is free.

The app has a clean writing interface.

Chapter-based writing allows users to write on a daily basis.

  • Cons

The application freezes and crashes often.

They need to add more features to get greater audience attention than its competitors like Wattpad, etc.

2. FanFiction.Net

Founded in  October 1998
Best feature Active fandom forums
Platforms Android, iOS
Fee Free of cost
  • Pros

The spell-check option is also available for the ease of writers who use the app.

It is the largest site and application for getting fan-fiction stories published and read.

  • Cons

The customer support system is considerably slower than other ebook apps.

The updates are not done frequently, leading to dissatisfied app users.

3. Google Play Books

Google Playbooks app was introduced by Google almost a decade ago, but its continuous improvements have been tremendously beneficial. The audiobook feature is the ultimate favorite of many app users.

  • Pros

No requirements for a monthly subscription.

Pick up from where you left reading last.

Users can also continue reading on CarPlay.

The offline reading option is also available.

  • Cons

Not able to import third-party books.

Importing, sideloading, or downloading a book on your device is not available.

Founded in  December 2010
Best feature Ebooks and Audiobooks (both versions)
Platforms Android, iOS
Fee Free of cost

4. Webnovel

Founded in  2017
Best feature Micro-transactions, in-game purchasing, comics
Platforms APK mode on both Android, iOS
Fee Free of cost
  • Pros

Along with novels, the app also has a huge collection of comics.

Daily updates bring in a new collection of novels and comics.

Users can share their stories also, creating a fanbase for their write-ups.

  • Cons

Some popular books need subscription plans to get the later chapters of the book unlocked.

Unlock options need the users to collect coins, make in-app purchases, or make referral invites.

5. Readict

Founded in  July 2020
Best feature Social media integration for promotion 
Platforms Android, iOS
Fee Books and other features are available free of cost
  • Pros

All the novels are available for free.

The app has a vast selection of novels from different genres.

The app makes frequent updates to provide more advanced reading features to the app users.

  • Cons

The content-management part of the app seems to have issues, leaving users in the middle of chapters.

App interface and usage are a bit more complicated than their counterparts.

Takeaway: How to Make an App Like Wattpad?

You need to go through several stages or phases as you begin developing a mobile ebook application. After that, choose the best mobile app development company for your needs. Idea Usher experts can help you do just that!

You can build your Wattpad-like app by focusing on three major components. First, you have to have a good community; then, you have to offer the users engaging content that is relevant to them. Finally, you have to provide them with incentives or rewards for their efforts.


Q. Can you get Wattpad on Kindle?

Wattpad is available on both Android and iOS devices. But it no longer supports any Windows or Kindle apps.

Q. How to download books on Wattpad?

Log in to your account, and go to the Wattpad downloader option. Next, go to the library, select the book for downloading, and wait until the download button is clickable. Once it is ready, click on the download button. The ebook will get downloaded to your device in a pdf form.

Q. Are there any apps better than Wattpad?

There are many ebook apps available in android and iOS format, like Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kindle, Aldiko, etc. The rising demand for ebooks is bringing in dozens of new ebook apps every year. The good thing about this market is that users can try and use multiple apps for reading and writing purposes. And as long as your app has something unique to offer, your app will be a success.

Q. How to become a star on Wattpad? Is it possible to become famous on Wattpad?

Yes, many aspiring writers ask this question. The good news is that Wattpad and many other similar apps have provided a common platform for writers to read, write and participate in free competitions. Wattpad has even launched a Wattpad star program where a profile has to meet a certain set of criteria to get listed as one of the start Wattpad writers.

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