Out of curiosity, which platform would you recommend an aspiring web novelist to use?

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by gardevoir07, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. gardevoir07

    gardevoir07 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    71
    Reading List:
    Link
    The title says it all. I'd like to know your recommendations with pros and cons as the main contention.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Westeller

    Westeller [Maid] [Cat boy] [Girly] [Watchu Looking at?] Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Messages:
    7,724
    Likes Received:
    23,381
    Reading List:
    Link
    All of them.

    No, really. If you search for some of the most popular English original webnovels, you'll find that many are hosted on multiple different platforms. RRL, Scribble Hub, AO3, Fictionpress, etc. One single novel might be on any combination of them.

    I would not recommend signing any contracts with any platforms that offer them (e.g. Webnovel), but if you can upload somewhere that has a fairly large audience and doesn't place restrictions on you or lay claim to your work, there's not much reason to restrict yourself to one place. At least not in my opinion.
     
    Kuro_0ni, imK, tirirism and 16 others like this.
  3. BoredNovelFinder

    BoredNovelFinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    608
    Reading List:
    Link
    Basically all this. And yes, Webnovel is notorious and downright bloodsuckers. Here's an interesting read why webnovel is terrible:

    https://whatsawhizzerwebnovels.com/why-do-people-hate-qidian-webnovel/

    Still, if you want to risk it, go for it. Though, I really wouldn't recommend it. If you ARE gonna enter into a contract of some kind... READ IT CAREFULLY. If you can't understand something, ask around. Also, check the main audience of the site where you're planning to post your story. Sometimes, certain sites have a certain audience so you might wanna check that out too.
     
    imK, Rumby, RabiezMonkey and 6 others like this.
  4. gardevoir07

    gardevoir07 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    71
    Reading List:
    Link
    Hi, thanks for responding.

    I'm interested in knowing how do people earn from their novels if they don't sign contracts like the one offered by webnovel. While it is quite grand to talk about earnings and whatnot for a starting writer, I do wish to go to that route.
     
  5. Bizmatech

    Bizmatech Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    21
    Reading List:
    Link
    Scriblle Hub or Royal Road. Even better, post on both.

    Royal Road is probably the biggest of the reputable webnovel websites. They have a lot of good stuff on there, and more than a few of the novels they host have ended up self publishing on Amazon. They can be a bit strict with the rules, but as long as you aren't posting pornographic content every other chapter, you'll probably be fine. Their formatting is also pretty well received, and I've seen it used to great effect. Want to use a different font color if a frost faerie or demon speaking? No problem. Want to make your gaming system isekai status menu look like an actual chart? Yah, they can do that.

    ScribbleHub is Novel Updates English language equivalent. A lot of the series posted on Royal Road also update regularly there as well. It's not as well known yet, so there's not as much competition for top ranking spots. It also lacks the "we are a super serious website" attitude, so you can write about pretty much whatever you want. I'm not sure about the formatting, but from the stories I've read on there, I have no complaints. If you like Novel Updates, which I'm sure you do, then show them a little love and post on Scribble Hub as well.

    Just make sure you avoid Webnovel(dot)com. That site is a damn abomination. Most of the bigger webnovel authors that post there only do so because they don't want other people stealing their stories. It's owned by a Chinese company, which means that all copyright laws might as well only apply when they feel like it. I've read more than a few horror stories about people who have signed a contract with them only to realize that they had given up all of their publishing rights. They even censor Patreon links, which is how a lot of popular webnovel authors fund their stories. Is someone reposting your chapters and charging money to view them? To bad! Webnovel doesn't care. Are you posting on Webnovel and expecting to make a bit of money from it? Ha! They're only hosting your story so they can profit from it.

    Royal Road: "We're a serious website, so you should take your writing seriously too. No, the quality doesn't matter. Just try harder! Don't you want to be on Amazon?!"
    Scribble Hub: "Senpai published on me! I'm so happy! Let's celebrate! I was going to hold a surprise party, but no one else showed up. I'm sure they just didn't get their invitation."
    Webnovel: "You must be truly desperate to come to me for help."
     
    Mono Wynt, Kuro_0ni, Elim and 18 others like this.
  6. An Anime Addict

    An Anime Addict (≧▽≦)/̵͇/'̿'̿ ̿ ̿̿ ̿̿ ̿ ̿̿ ̿̿ (▀̿̿Ĺ̯̿▀̿ ̿)

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2018
    Messages:
    913
    Likes Received:
    1,537
    Reading List:
    Link
    I don't know how most people earn but i think most of the earnings from posting webnovels comes from donations through patreon and PayPal or you can post the novels on your own site and earn through the advertisements and monetisation on it. Other than that, the only option left would be contracts i believe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
    Sabruness likes this.
  7. Westeller

    Westeller [Maid] [Cat boy] [Girly] [Watchu Looking at?] Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Messages:
    7,724
    Likes Received:
    23,381
    Reading List:
    Link
    Traditionally, authors sign deals with publishers that grant a publisher the right to distribute their work -- usually exclusively. The publisher prints the novel, distributes it through their channels, and takes a cut of the sales in exchange. More recently authors have the option to self-publish in a variety of ways, such as through sites like Amazon or Patreon. For a beginner, one of the two is probably a good option. Patreon takes a lower cut, but requires you to self-advertise more and doesn't benefit from Amazon's audience.

    One common practice lately is for authors to provide advance chapters of their novels on Patreon, encouraging people to pay to read them before they're publicly published on a site like RRL or Scribble Hub.

    The reason I advise against signing a contract is that you have to be careful about what you agree to. The example given, Webnovel, will ask you to sign over all rights to your work, rather than just granting them the right to distribute it. This means they will own it, and can do whatever they like with it. You most likely don't have much to fear from them, because in all honesty your novel is unlikely to make it big. If it did, concerns would be that you no longer had any leverage whatsoever with regards to how much you're paid for your work, what kind of cut you receive from adaptations (movies, etc), or even if you get to continue writing it at all. They can, for example, simply tell you to stop. They can even replace you and have someone else continue your novel. This is, again, terribly unlikely, but it is precisely what they ask you to agree to upfront. Be extremely careful when dealing with your intellectual property rights, or you may find that your own novel simply no longer belongs to you.


    Edit
    It's worth noting that their original Chinese platform, Qidian, is known to heavily censor authors. While that hasn't extended to the international platform to date, it's always a possibility. If that happens and you find your work censored or banned, it would not mean you can find somewhere else to host it. Because whether they choose to publish it or not, they own it. That may be a more realistic concern than the thought that they could cheat you out of a movie deal or replace you with a ghostwriter.
     
  8. gardevoir07

    gardevoir07 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    71
    Reading List:
    Link
    Holy crap, that's scary. That part about his novel being copy-pasted in webnovel is downright sinister. If that's the case, then let me add another question to my original question.

    Which platform would have strict guidelines against piracy of a creator's work?
     
  9. Shizun

    Shizun 《Jack of all trades》《Artist/Author》《Dao of BLedia》

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    3,523
    Reading List:
    Link
    Scribblehub : Ok

    Royal Road: Ok.

    Webnovels : You sign your soul.
     
  10. Westeller

    Westeller [Maid] [Cat boy] [Girly] [Watchu Looking at?] Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Messages:
    7,724
    Likes Received:
    23,381
    Reading List:
    Link
    For the most part it is going to be up to you to defend your work against piracy on your own. Most sites will take down a novel that has been reposted without permission from the author, and usually without much fuss. Figuring out that someone is posting your novel somewhere and pretending it's theirs, however, will be up to you. ... If you do ever sign with a large publisher, they may go after pirates for you, to protect their own interests. On the other hand, at that point your novel would presumably be sold regularly and piracy would be more about dodging the price tag than someone trying to claim the work as theirs and profit from it.
     
    imK likes this.
  11. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*SIMP*Feminist*Comedian

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Messages:
    15,210
    Likes Received:
    14,397
    Reading List:
    Link
    I wanted to ignore this thread..
    My advice is different, join the smallest site that has a lot of active users who commit
    To me your best option is this forum.
    Unless you have the skills to start making money from your work.
    You need as much feedback as you can and a troll free experience as a start
    Cheers!

    Sorry, that thread is just dumb and stupid. It has good intentions but complaining that a company is selling products is stupid.
    No one is forcing anyone to pay for the paywalled novels. Same with games, I play a lot of games but dont buy gems.
    Daily rewards and grinding satisfies me just fine.
    It is entitled brats that complain that companies are selling goods.
    This is not medicine. You dont need to play it or read the novel.
    Just how video game companies are going bankrupt. Authors and content creators are usually the poorest working people.
    I shudder at those who want to make a career out of writing.
    I banged my brother's head in when he said he wanted to be an artist. I made him read up on Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball Z fame who lived like a beggar for years.
     
    Dravileo likes this.
  12. gardevoir07

    gardevoir07 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    71
    Reading List:
    Link
    True, starting small might be better for me since I am basically a novice.
     
  13. Westeller

    Westeller [Maid] [Cat boy] [Girly] [Watchu Looking at?] Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Messages:
    7,724
    Likes Received:
    23,381
    Reading List:
    Link
    I find myself in the weird position of agreeing quite a bit with the first half of your post and thinking you're totally missing the point for the second half.

    For an absolute beginner, it may be a good idea to start small. I recommended publishing everywhere, but I do feel like it's not necessarily the best option for any given author. Sometimes, it may be better for someone to stick to one platform early on, or even only share their work with beta readers for awhile. Maybe friends and family. Maybe a forum community like this one. There are less aggressive options than publishing your work on multiple large platforms to maximize attention and feedback.

    It's definitely something to consider.

    With regards to "entitled brats complaining that companies are selling goods", on the other hand, I'm not sure that even makes any sense as a response to someone talking about extremely lopsided contracts and unrestrained piracy. It's like a reply meant for a different conversation entirely. Maybe something about paywalls.

    Let's not confuse the guy with righteous fury - or disdain for said fury - over Webnovel's right to sell novel chapters. TPO. :sweating_profusely:
     
  14. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*SIMP*Feminist*Comedian

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Messages:
    15,210
    Likes Received:
    14,397
    Reading List:
    Link
    I meant to say " comment" not "commit"
    You are welcome.
    Cheers!

    PS At the end of the day, if you want to make money, your best bet will be webnovel.com regardless of what people tell you.
    Even offline in the book publishing world,new authors get the short stick.
    Even authors have complained about Wuxiaworld.com and they are a darling in this community.
    It is very simple. People want things to be free or too cheap.
    You can either exploit the readers or the authors.
    You cant have your cake and eat it too
    That is simply how things work

    I didnt go into details but this is my point as someone who is working very hard to have my own publishing platform ( I decided on adapting original English webnovels into comics)

    Posting unproofread chapters on platforms like Royalroad and webnovel is simply shooting yourself in the foot.
    Start with Novelupdates forum, maybe get an ardent reader to proofread it before posting on bigger platforms.

    Humans are a lot more fragile than we realize. People have gone AWOL because of negative comments. It is throwing someone who is a novice to the sharks when you have them post on large platforms. You have trolls and vile people, who simply live off saying hurtful words.

    I ended up saying more than I planned lol

    On the paywall, I am guessing you did not read the Why People Hate Qidian link. I did and that was in it.

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2019
    Westeller likes this.
  15. BoredNovelFinder

    BoredNovelFinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    608
    Reading List:
    Link
    Too true.
     
    Wujigege likes this.
  16. Westeller

    Westeller [Maid] [Cat boy] [Girly] [Watchu Looking at?] Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Messages:
    7,724
    Likes Received:
    23,381
    Reading List:
    Link
    Webnovel does both, so I don't really see why you can't, tbh.

    I skimmed it. It was too long to read in depth. What I saw was an author talking about how they'd found their work on Webnovel, rehosted by someone else. They had tried to contact Webnovel through a variety of channels and even had a lawyer C&D them, all to no avail. I could understand how that might have been a frustrating experience.

    If the page went on into the whys and wherefores of free chapters becoming paid chapters and the general disgruntlement over Webnovel's various antics, I didn't get that far. I do believe there are a lot of extremely legitimate reasons to dislike Webnovel, but I do also believe that the fact that they sell chapters now instead of publishing them for free is decidedly not one of those reasons. To that extent, I agree with you. I do think, however, that this is not the place for a discussion of Webnovel's business ethics beyond what they mean for an aspiring author. Let's not derail this thread.

    I would definitely not recommend an aspiring author accept their publishing deal. At the very least not without seeking legal counsel. Professional legal counsel, not forum or reddit legal counsel. While the practical demerits of signing away all of your work for the difficult to calculate gains of using their platform may be worth discussion, on balance it's extremely bad advice to suggest someone do so without extremely careful consideration.
     
    imK, Nom de Plume and Wujigege like this.
  17. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*SIMP*Feminist*Comedian

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Messages:
    15,210
    Likes Received:
    14,397
    Reading List:
    Link
    Definitely very true. That is why I advise posting them here for a start. An author with a following with get a better deal from webnovel or any publisher compared to someone just starting out.
    But to gain a following, I believe webnovel offers the best way from all the other platforms in terms of ease of use,visibility etc
    Given that you accept that your first and only novel published on there is a throwaway, sacrifice for your fledging writing career that you will never get back. I was not advocating signing the deal though.
    Just the use of the platform. I dont expect a novice author to get a contract but maybe things have changed last time I was in the loop. I have been too busy building my own platform
    Cheers!

    PS If I recall correctly, even SFACG has deals in which anything you write for the next 20 years is owned by the platform. They make slave contracts look like vacations
     
    Kutaifa and Westeller like this.
  18. yamibae

    yamibae Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    162
    Reading List:
    Link
    Put it on all of them like everyone else said. Make a website for it and post it on there as well. As for licensing and contracts, don't even bother thinking about them until you have a substantial fanbase because it's hard to ever be offered anything from companies without it. If you want to build some motivation to fund more chapters once you have a fanbase then lock extra chapters behind patreon or some other paywall system.


    If and when you do get offered a contract then forget all the advice on here as well as looking for other offers from other publishers, gather all the offers up and go to a lawyer. Remember, NEVER sign anything or even verbally give any sort of suggestion until you have gotten legal counsel for any matter involving your rights, people often get burned very badly.
     
  19. BurgerKong

    BurgerKong Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2019
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    44
    Reading List:
    Link
    I think Qidian and a lot of other Asian web fiction sites (besides that one Japanese one which is just for hobbyists hoping Kadokawa-senpai notices them) do have a similar pay-as-you-read model to Webnovel. The difference is that said services make a point of being way cheaper than traditional books (though I don't know the exact prices) while if you do the math Spirit Stones cost just as much as a standard paperback.
     
    imK likes this.
  20. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*SIMP*Feminist*Comedian

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Messages:
    15,210
    Likes Received:
    14,397
    Reading List:
    Link
    Yes, they dont have to pay translators...
    Regardless of the crap quality, it is more expensive than paying authors who only make money usually when readers spend