Yeah I had that, too!!! I don’t like it at all (that’s an understatement… ) I hate it. The longest waiting time I ever had was 11 days. And on top off the story I don’t have much gems. So, this is actually a bummer for me to read further. Even as a writer I don’t agree to put a gem-option like this in my story I know I can’t wait to read a story further (most of the times…) And when this option pops up it’s definitely a way to get me out of the story.
11 days!? I am guessing that is that stupid early access! The longest I have to wait was a week (7 days)
Yeah, 11 days… And the stupid thing was I had more gems at that time, so I paid 8 gems… Because I really like the story. But 7 days is also long. I only support the author if I definitely like the story.
Yes I have run into 2 stories like that tonight. I have loved using episode over the years but with unlimited gone and early access and now this it’s no longer enjoyable. I think it’s time to move on.
Yes. I came to the forum today to talk about this. I started reading a story today and now I have to wait 11 hours to read episode four or three? Not sure anymore but this is unacceptable.
I already hated early access. Mainly because you would get excited and then open the story only to realize you have to wait.
Some authors put (ea) or something like that in the title and I think that is great and solves the problem.
But in the middle or even the beginning of a story is not acceptable. I am not sure if I even want to continue reading now. If this happens again I will not continue reading this authors stories.
Oh, I see. I understand why you’re bothered. I still think it’s fine that there’s a waiting time, but the author should at least shorten it.
When you look at prices it’s 1 gem per 1 chapter if you want to unlock those 6 chapters faster (after that you get asked to pay or wait again to read next 6 chapters) instead of paying 8 gems for EA or wait week to read only one chapter.
I strongly believe that’s also some kind of generating gem choices by authors needed to unlock payments since big changes will be implemented from next month and that’s why it’s even in beta testing stage now.
Edited: No, I’m not ass-kissing towards Episode or being popular author (nothing published yet) but I know exactly how corporations work
So, as an author that is in the writer payment program, uses gem choices, early access, and testing skip-the-wait, let me explain a few things.
Features that require gems are a way for writers to be better compensated by Episode. If they’re not in the payment program, it helps to make it a bit easier to enter the payment program. Before the new gem features rolled out, we were paid a flat percentage IF we used gem choices. Guys, authors have had gem choices in community stories for over 3 years now… they just weren’t visible to all readers.
With the new gem features (prices, early access, skip-the-wait) not only does it greatly improve our ranking, but also we are paid accordingly to how many gem choices readers pick. If we add gem choices, but nobody chooses them, it’s as though there are no gem choices at all. I have one story where the gem payment is greater than the standard read payment because the number of gems spent is more than the actual reads.
What kind of gem choices are added are completely up to the author.
Some may call it greed, but I don’t think you realize the time, effort, and yes, even money authors spend to create their stories.
Personally, I do not add any gem choice that affects the storyline or enjoyability of the story. My gem choices are adding points, skipping mini-games, and in one story, bonus scenes that would not otherwise be in the story. There are plenty of other things I could say about gem choices, as an author that has used them for 3 years, but this post is about Early Access and Skip-The-Wait.
These features are to BETTER SUPPORT THE AUTHORS… not just to increase profit for Episode.
Several other apps out there have a ‘cool down’ period between chapters that if you want to binge read the story, you have to buy gems. You are not being FORCED to pay gems to read. You can easily wait 7 days for Early Access or 11 hours for Skip-The-Wait. Given Episode only gives you 4 passes for free at a time… that means readers have to either pay or do bonus stuff for additional passes anyways. So depending on how often the Skip-The-Wait is placed, you can read multiple stories at once, and by the time your passes are refilled, the wait is or almost is over.
If you don’t want to spend the gems… you don’t have to. Isn’t that better than the way gem choices are implemented in featured stories (spend gems to get the best outfit or spend gems or look like a fool, etc)? You still get to fully enjoy the content for FREE… just you might be asked to spend gems to “Skip-The-Wait”.
Long-time Episodians have just been spoiled by having community stories for absolutely free. In order to better compensate authors for their work, Episode needs to have the funds to compensate us.
These features are to Better Support The Authors.
Just the perspective of a writer.
The problem is that I read a lot. Propably up to 20 episodes a day. I don’t earn any money and can’t click through the stories that give you gems because I can’t deal with that mentally. Cptsd is weird.
It is already hard finding stories I will give a chance and or like when you usually only read completed ones. I feel like I read everything I could like. I know this is not true but it is hard finding stories from small authors.
It is frustrating if you think: “Nice story. 30 episodes. Nice I can read for the next hours.” and the author is like “No.” pay me. It was a surprise.
I do totally understand that authors and episode need money but I was the Person who clicked support the author if I really liked one story. Then I would even buy the gems needed because I would spent money on great books as well. was a choice without consequences (Like waiting).
I honestly thought that with the tons of ads I watch everyday (I have the skip 30 minutes of waiting button) they would have enough money to pay the authors. There is a lot of time, effort and Love that goes into these stories.
When I read them I watch ads, I suppose episode gets money for ads. But the author (not in payment programm) doesn’t get anything? That sounds a bit mean.
Personally I am not too bothered by the early access feature as I feel that I am actually getting value for my money - reducing the wait time from 7 days to none.
The issue here is, that there is not much difference in price between getting rid of an 11 hour wait and 7 days (2 gems), which as a consumer, seems like a waste of money.
If episode are going to continue to force us to be placed in situations where we will eventually have no choice but to spend more and more gems, they should equally make it easier to earn gems. I understand that you can through reading their originals, but again the payout is not proportional to the time spent actually clicking though them.
I respect authors choices to use gems how they please but when episode are continually limiting the reader then it won’t take long before people start to lose interest. An example being the removal of the unlimited monthly passes - maybe if I had unlimited passes I’d be more inclined not to wait and spend gems, but since I’m already waiting 4 hours for my passes to reload then what’s waiting a few more for another chapter.
I understand episode is a business that needs to make money, but as a user of the app for 5 years, I’m becoming incredibly frustrated. They have crammed a bunch of money-grabbing incentives within the space of a few months, whilst we’re in the middle of a global pandemic where people are struggling to make ends meet - it does not reflect positively on them as a company.
Well surprise! Since they implemented more ways of putting gems choices for authors and will change requirements to even get into payments it should be clear that they don’t make enough renewal as everyone is thinking.
Pandemic also is a reason why they do that, more people sitting at home means more time to write or read stories and more people got into payments during past year than ever before and they can’t live only from ads or purchasing gems and passes.
As @J.Miley stated before implementing choices by authors helps them with getting paid every month or even get into those payments.
@Alusza once wrote how many expenses Episode has to cover so it can’t be only providing free content and not making any profit out of it otherwise there wouldn’t be Episode because they wouldn’t last long that way.
And no one is forcing you into paying, it was and will always be optional.
I’m also not a big fan of paying for anything in apps but I don’t think that choosing not to pay is somehow changing my reader experience in this case. It stays the same
Most of the advertising networks follows Cost per Click (CPC) model for their ads. Whenever user click on the ads in the app, few pennies will be added to their account. Optimal Click Through Ratio (CTR) for apps is around 1.5 - 2 %. The average Revenue Per Click (RPM) is around $0.10 for banner ads. It differs based on type of ads. Banner ads provide the lowest RPM, Interstitial ads have moderate RPM ($1-3) and Video ads provide the best one ($5-10). Ads probably make up about 10-20% of their entire revenue.
Now, let’s look at Episode’s expenses.
Overhead - includes paying for building itself, electricity, internet, data storage, etc. I’m pretty sure they probably have the latest computers. I know I have to upgrade my computer at least once every 2 years as a writer/background creator.
Salaries - No, not community authors. I’m talking those who actually run the app. Development teams, Art teams, Support staff, Forum moderators, Editors, etc. etc. etc.
Pocket Gems (who owns Episode) has 200 employees. That’s a lot of salaries to pay.
Story purchases - Let’s just say, when Episode purchases a user story, they’re paying SEVERAL thousand dollars.
Community Author Payments - Community authors gem paid a fluctuating rate based on ad revenue… yup. Our read payments change from month to month, based on how much Episode generates from ads.
In order to make any substantial money (without gem choices) you have to have MILLIONS of reads EVERY month. Insert - Community Gem Choices… to help make it possible to pay authors more.
While we all enjoy free content. To continuously produce BETTER content… you have to increase your source of income. I’m sure Episode could go back to the Classic days, with no customization and robotic animations… and survive off ad revenue.
But wouldn’t it be smart then to give us and ads for diamonds option? Because then we could support authors. I can’t afford to buy gems anymore but I can definetly watch more ads. If they start controlling better because there is way to much adult content in the ads.
Don’t get me wrong I really want to support authors but I don’t like the way it is implemented.
My greatest problem is that it starts in Episode number 4. By that time I have yet to decide if I like it and want to continue reading. Eleven hours of waiting is enough time for me to loose interest.
Thanks for explaining. I don’t know much about any technology so that was helpful. That does mean if I click on more ads it would support authors indirectly?
Maybe it doesn’t sound exiting but you can get gems while reading Episode Originals and if you tap high enough you are risking tapping gem choice by accident.
Also idk if everyone has access to this feature but I posted few replies before and option when you open app and have an opportunity to get 3 gems for actually nothing.
Edited: I can send a dm on ig to show how it looks like in practice
I’m not sure if there is MORE revenue if the app is actually downloaded (vs just simply clicked, and then backed out). I know when I see ads, I click, wait a few seconds for it to go to the play store, then hit the back button. I like to think that helps to register that click and Episode (and authors) get the money from it.
No author is saying “pay me” most authors do not even want to add gem choices but they have to roll with the changes. Gems play a part in ranking so of course authors are going to use them. A lot of authors don’t get sh*t from episode and are providing their story free of charge. Why do readers think they should have everything for free? All this is, is a pre-order system. I bet if an published author put their book on pre-order you would not complain so why is it different for episode authors they work just as hard on their writing and have to learn to code. You say people should do that for free. Episode as well as authors have to pay their artists which is a hefty sum of money for some so I can turn that on you since a lot of readers won’t read stories that don’t have a jaw dropping covers.
It is not episodes fault you can’t afford gems, also how can you not mentally stand episode featured. Like don’t be dramatic. You expect them to run on ads?
11 hours isn’t even that long. I mean you sleep for roughly 6 and surely you can do other things for the rest plus so many other stories to read in that time.
As for small authors, you can find many small authors on here, there are so many promote your story threads for you to find them.
They understand we are in a pandemic, they are in one too but if you are struggling to make ends meet, why are you on episode all day? They also gave us gems and passes at the start of the pandemic. I am a reader and an author so I understand both but getting content that is done to a good quality is not something that should be free. Most readers are complaining at any choice offered so you can understand why some authors are annoyed with how entitled some people are acting.
I actually read a lot of the ones displayed by episode. Some of them are good and I usually go and check out the no gem version later.
I just used most of my gems for some Support the authors and skip ads.
I have not seen this feature before but I like it. Looks like something I would like.
Maybe read my previous replies.
I will try to explain.
Look Ptsd is no joke. I know people that have been bedbound for months. It can even be considered a disability. At least in Germany. There are a lot of people who can’t work normally because of disabilities.
Is it wrong of me to want to support authors without playing money? I personally have friends who are artists. They don’t earn money from that but they do it to brighten up peoples days.
I truly want authors to feel appreciated and get support but still in the middle of the story is just frustrating. Early access is totally fine if you do write it in the title Just like (25 out). Just write (25EA) and I am totally fine with it and If I have the gems at that time maybe even use them in your story. But opening it expecting to read and being surprised with a week of waiting or pay gems choice is truly frustrating.