Hello Episode Authors!
Starting in the Fall of 2020 we began testing some ways to provide more opportunities for authors to tell stories on Episode full-time. Our goal is to provide a wider range of options for our authors through testing new features. For each of these tests, we’re partnering with community authors who have expressed interest in those features to better understand if they can help achieve those goals. One of the options we tested is Early Access, which allows creators to give their readers the option of using gems to read a newly released episode immediately, or releasing the episode for free after 7 days.
Previously we had been testing this option with small groups of authors and readers. Our testing is now complete. This new feature will soon be an option available to all creators for use on any newly published episode.
As always, using any gem feature is entirely optional and is completely at the discretion of the authors themselves. Enabling Early Access on your stories is not a mandatory requirement for joining the Writer’s Payment program, or to have your story rank highly in the trending section. This feature is a way to help authors get support from their readers and empower them to more frequently and consistently release episodes of their stories.
In the next few days, after we complete the Portal Update, the option to publish any NEW episode(s) with Early Access will appear as a toggle in the Publishing pop-up.
In the Episodes table, the Early Access status of each episode along with the day that Early Access period ends is shown in the Status column.
Multiple episodes can be in Early Access at the same time, however, each following episode will add an additional 7 days wait time to the remaining Early Access time of the episode before it. For example, in the screenshot above:
- If Episode 6 had been published with Early Access at the same time as Episode 5, the total Early Access period for Episode 6 would be 14 days, since that’s 7 additional days on the 7-day Early Access for Episode 5.
- If Episode 6 were to be published 2 days before Early Access ended for Episode 5, the total Early access period would be 9 days, since that’s 7 additional days on the 2-day remaining Early Access period for Episode 5.
This is what readers will see if your episodes have been updated and are still in their Early Access release window:
Important things to note about Early Access:
- Early Access only applies to episodes being published for the first time and cannot be applied to previously published episodes.
- Once turned on for an episode, Early Access cannot be turned off until after the scheduled wait period has passed.
- When you turn Early Access on for an episode, readers will see that episode locked for 7 days after it’s been published. Readers can then choose to use 8 gems to read the episode immediately (with no ads and without using a pass) or to wait for 7 days to read it.
- If you publish more than one episode at a time with Early Access enabled within a 7-day window, the wait times will stack for readers. See our examples above to see how this might impact you if you plan to do this.
- Early Access counts towards the number of gems used by players in a story per read. It also counts towards gem reads if you have yet to unlock Writer Payments. If you are in the Writer Payments program gems used on Early Access will contribute to your Gem Bonus Payment.
As always, we look forward to your feedback and suggestions. If you have any issues with this update, please reach out to our support team.
– The Episode Team