Dear Episode Writers

Hey! I previously wrote about this topic asking the readers about their opinions, you can find the topic and the answers here

I wanted to know your take on gems choices as writers, Do you use them?
If yes, how often? (How many times per episode)
Do you use them only when the choices are long well written bonuses to the story?
Or maybe to give something to gems readers that normal readers can’t access?
Do you use them for outfits? So that every readers has the same experience?
And if you don’t use them, what about payment?
Do you plan on reaching 500k reads to unlock payment instead of the 100k gems read?
Or do you not care about payment?

If you take the time to answer these questions, thank you!

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I wanted to know your take on gems choices as writers, Do you use them?
I have one story with gems in it (it was for the first gem test. I also have another version without). I was planning a story with gem choices (for when readers failed to gain items/points naturally).
If yes, how often? (How many times per episode)
Once is enough.

Do you use them only when the choices are long well written bonuses to the story? Or maybe to give something to gems readers that normal readers can’t access?
I typically use them as mentioned above- to gain points/items that weren’t gained naturally. I also sometimes use them for options that would not be available if gems weren’t a thing (e.g I have one choice in an unpublished story and the gem choice lets you select both options. If I wasn’t including gems, I wouldn’t include that choice.)

Do you use them for outfits? So that every readers has the same experience?
No.

And if you don’t use them, what about payment? Do you plan on reaching 500k reads to unlock payment instead of the 100k gems read?
Or do you not care about payment?

I’m in the program so to get my “bonus” I need to include one in every episode (first 10 episodes). I know most readers don’t like gems, so I don’t plan on doing this often. The story I was adding gems to was a little “trial” for me as I was curious to see how it went but also, I knew I’d be able to include choices in a way I was happy with.

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Thank you for taking the time to write back! I found your response very interesting :slight_smile:

I find it funny when writers put them without offering anything in return, asking to “support them by donating gems”, so that’s what I’d never do lol. However, I love when gem choices are used to regain points that were lost due to previous choices OR to unlock bonus scenes at the end of a chapter - and that’s the way I’ve recently started to use them in. I think of a scene that wouldn’t be crucial to the plot of my story (for example a kiss scene from the love interest’s point of view), but would be fun to read nonetheless AND at the same time wouldn’t mean worse reading experience for readers that don’t want to spend gems. So, one gem bonus scene at the end of every chapter is what I do.
I started using gem choices because I want to see if I can manage to get to the payment program this way. I have been gaining +100k reads over 60 days in the past, so it seems far more achieveable that the mythical 500k. We shall see how that goes:D

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I don’t use gem choices, but I want to eventually to see if I can get into the program.

Like @HannaKM said, I’d use them in a way that’s clever where you don’t necessarily lose anything as a reader if you unlock a scene or don’t unlock it, or you can gain points.

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Good luck with that! I’m only at 10k for the past 60 days, and I’m currently writing a second story so I wanted to make gem choices more enjoyable for the reader. I’ve been adding some outfits gem choices but still making the second outfit a cute one, that way readers can still have an enjoyable experience.
And when it comes to choices that matter to the story, I add a little more fun to the gem choices, but still make the non-gem choice as close to it as possible, without it being unfair to any type of readers, at least I hope?

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I can’t say anything about gem choices throughout the story (as opposed to the ones at the very end of the chapter), because most of my stories are in 90% choiceless :laughing:
I would personally never pick an outfit gem choice, though, so I think you have a good tactic with varying them. Honestly, as long as readers aren’t lead to think that not picking gem choice will worsen their experience/make them miss out on something very important (so the exact thing that episode team is doing in their featured stories), they won’t complain about them.

And also, as a reader, I have to say that the only choices that I’ve spent my gems on were the ones that gave me points I didn’t manage to gain myself hahaha (for example relationship points with love interests). So I think they are the best types of gem choices!

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I wanted to know your take on gems choices as writers, Do you use them?
I think gem choices are great for (like @EliseC has said) letting readers “cheat” to get something they missed in a minigame, etc… I actually put an option at the end of each episode of my story to let the reader replay that episode for free. So they have the choice of replaying to get points (free), continuing without the points (free), or using gems to buy the points. I still had one person complain, though :joy:
Like, what do you want me to do, give you the points for free when some other people replayed the whole episode 4 or 5 times to get them? :woman_facepalming:

If yes, how often? (How many times per episode)
One choice at the end of each chapter (but each option costs gems, so it’s kind of like 3 at once. One for each kind of points the reader missed).

Do you use them only when the choices are long well-written bonuses to the story?
Or maybe to give something to gems readers that normal readers can’t access?
I only use them to allow the reader to get missing points. These points do unlock bonus scenes though, which can, in turn, unlock other kinds of points., and these will all affect the ending.

Do you use them for outfits? So that every reader has the same experience?
NO!!! I think using them for outfits in user stories is particularly bad because everyone has access to those outfits. They’re not premium outfits that Episode is never going to release. Unless it comes with a hefty dose of bonus content, I don’t think any user stories should make clothing options into gem choices.

And if you don’t use them, what about payment?
Do you plan on reaching 500k reads to unlock payment instead of the 100k gems read?
I actually did unlock payments with gem reads. Let me tell you, 500k in two months is HARD. You’d need over 8,000 reads a day on average, which means you’d either have to trend around the top 20 stories on the app CONSTANTLY (either because your story is super popular, or because you update constantly). It’s not easy. I don’t begrudge anyone for using gems to get into payments the easier way. It’s very, very difficult to get 500k in 60 days.

That said, even if there had been no chance of unlocking payments, I still would’ve used gems the way I do. No one deserves to be spoon-fed those points that other people worked hard to get.

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Yes! I’m currently using them on the story I’m writing.

About twice per episode. I have gem choices to allow people to use CC (I have a very clear vision of what I want my characters to look like, so the CC option is a bonus to me) and also once to make up the points in the episode.

Kind of. I integrate the make-up points into the story. My story is about a girl and a bad boy competing to win a school house cup, so I have the MC find a way to “win” each house competition by pulling out the stakes. She can either get enough points in the chapter naturally, or she can find someone amazing to get the points etc. The bonus content would obviously be her figuring out a “cheat” to win that contest and then the actual win.

Apart from CC (which I use to deter people from changing my characters), there’s nothing else that the non-gem choice readers can’t access. It’s up to them to get enough points to win the contest and/or the boy’s heart. There are the points to do that in the story!

I currently only have one outfit choice and it’s one of those “buy an outfit from the store to win the contest” choices. You either pay attention to what the judges are looking for or you use the gem choice!

I use them and if I can qualify for payments, I’d be over the moon!

Note: the first gem choice in a story is free and it’s gonna be CC for MC, so I think that’s an ok deal!

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You inspired me to write a blog post about this topic, so thank you so much!

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Great post!!! I love it. So true!

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Thank you for your reply! I find points very interesting, especially since you’re giving the freedom to your readers to either reread the episode OR go the easy way with a gem choice. That’s a very clever way to do it! Also very inspiring :slight_smile: Good luck with your future stories! x

Thank you for your reply, also found it very interesting. It makes a lot of sense for you to use them as a way to cheat in a contest, since a lot of readers may see gems as some kind of “cheat code” that you can only access with real money.
Giving the readers all the cards to win, but still giving them an easy way out, clever!

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You’re so welcome! I loved the blog post, I really liked the example you gave about MC having to remember the LI favorite color. As a reader I would’ve loved to get a choice like that one in a story, that would make me focus 2x more, and read every dialogue carefully, which is what every author wants!

I personally have 12k gem chapter reads in the last 60days, and 6k gem choices selected, so I guess I may be doing something right? Or maybe I’m just optimistic and 6k is a small number considering the 12k gem chapter reads? lol

Also! About writers asking their readers to support them with a gem choice at the end of every episode, isn’t it a smart idea? Especially if you already have other gem choices in previous stories, you could still gain gem chapter reads by doing that in a new, gem choice free story, (By gem choice free I mean gems wouldn’t affect the story) by giving the readers the choice to support you?
I wonder what would readers feel about that?

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I think such a high number of people selecting gem choices is pretty exceptional, although my own experience is probably totally skewed because of the ability to choose to replay instead of selecting the choice. I think it was a 1:5 ratio of gem choices selected to gem chapter reads for me.

@ShanniiWrites, great blog post by the way! Definitely very informative for people who want to add gems but aren’t sure how to do it right.

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I’m glad you liked it! I hope it’ll be helpful to someone, haha :smiley:

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