Early Access soon to be available to all Creators

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

39 Likes

Thank u for including us in this so we don’t have to add loads of gem choices to our writing bc I prefer the idea of early access <3 also, looks rlly cool! :white_heart:

5 Likes

i actually really love this

Thanks episode team! :+1:

1 Like

Ouu so like webtoon??

1 Like

Ooh not a bad idea
Just to clarify, though, there is a limit on how long it lasts, right?
:unamused: I really don’t want some authors make it so that we have to wait 3 months to read an episode

11 Likes

No thanks, you do you. But i am already so long about makeing a new chapter. An adding an extra week arent good in my opinion.

2 Likes

This is AMAZING!
Thank you so much :heart:

4 Likes

Ooh this is great! Instead of adding gem choices I could just add early access, nice. :two_hearts:

4 Likes

I think it’s a good idea but maybe there should be rules like you can’t do so many early access because some authors already do early access ever other chapter.

7 Likes

I’d rather that this early access feature wasn’t made to begin with; same with the “support the author” choices because I don’t like seeing the use of gem choices in community stories as if they were being featured. I had to remove several stories (thankfully, they were bad to me) from my app because I saw an unnecessary gem choice (yeah, I’m picky and maybe mean like that, sue me). To sum it all up again, I wish these gem features in community stories never existed.

19 Likes

I don’t understand this at all.

4 Likes

Agreed :grimacing:

1 Like

@Liz will the early gem choice count towards our gem count?

Yeah they’re the ones who were involved with the beta testing, not all authors had that access

1 Like

I agree with you 100%.

1 Like

Here’s the thing, I don’t necessary like the idea of gem choices being used in community stories because most readers don’t even spend gems on choices, let alone spend gems when it comes to “support the author” sometimes. Don’t get me wrong. some readers are kind enough to spend gems to support the author and may even spend a few on a choice, and they are very much appreciated. I still think gem choices are unnecessary though because it makes it seem like community stories are featured stories. As an author, that’s not the vibe I’m going for when writing a story. But hey, who am I to say something? :woman_shrugging:t4:

14 Likes

Rather than authors manually adding early access themselves, you can get Episode to do it automatically.

I think they mean, they don’t understand why episode are doing this and not just keeping things how they used to be.

5 Likes

Yes!

2 Likes

Same, but as writer my rank needs to stay up if I wanna be on the shelves one day, but trust we would be better off without gem options.

5 Likes