I think the biggest difference is the target audience, really. Traditional books (even e-books) are pretty expensive and time-consuming. WattPad aims at users who don’t buy traditional books (sometimes can’t even afford them!). They read on their phones, often during short breaks and surrounded by distractions. It imposes a certain format and style: Short chapters, digestible language, plots that don’t require intense concentration.
is used to be aimed at a young audience. It was a place where teens could read stories by relatable authors - kids their age, with a similar taste and world-view, talking in their language. Obviously, this is not something a traditional publisher would put their money in
While we speak of it, though: I’m actually curious what Episode stories are like. Frankly, I have zero experience with that platform. How would you compare it to traditional novels or any other familiar format?