I’m not “throwing shade”. But hey I’ll stop, this is your thread.
So, talk about things we’ve went through? Or concerns we have? But just positive things? Can you start?
I’m not arguing, just a little confused.
It’s probably not as clear as I’d like it to be
Meh, they may be true, but I don’t really think that’s the case.
Family and work and their everyday life. I know I work 50 hours a week and my job can be quite stressful sometimes and it’s hard to find good time to respond and write.
I agree with everything, damn it. I will never be a popular author, but let’s pretend I am for a moment… who has that much spare time? I said it in Briana’s thread… If I were a popular author, I would promote friends who write quality stories, or basically any good story I come across, if any. I am not going to promote stories that I think are garbage. I am not going to spend all my time replying to PMs and trying to help everyone. I study, I have a very real life with very real friends, I have problems like everyone else.
To be honest, the only thing I expect from popular authors is that they abide by the guidelines and at least some decent directing. I expect things from their stories, not from them. Popular Episode authors are popular Episode authors. If they want and can help, great, but they do not have to. I could not agree more with your points.
Oh, OK. Guess I just read too far into it.
Honestly I just think we pay too much attention on this big-small author question. Without wanting to offend anyone, popular authors are not Hollywood celebrities or rock starts. They are average people like us and some of them even write worse stories and they were just lucky that yet they got recognized. Then there are others who write good stories and/or even support others in the community. Just like us. This is not about popularity, this is about writing skills and personality. Small authors write bad and good stories too, they can be kind, supportive or rude and indifferent too, we just don’t notice this because their names and their stories are not right in front of our eyes.
I agree with @Annorah , my only expectation from a popular author would be to follow the guidelines and try to write their stories in a way they would think it’s OK to show them to their 13 year old sister, for example.
The only expectations I had from popular authors was for them to stop saying reads don’t matter in contests. 'Cuz they do, lol. Thankfully this stopped. So no bones to pick.
Not gonna lie, there’s a lot of disrespect and entitlement. This goes for both parties. I think the entitlement is a personal (so is disrespecting) thing, some do say popular authors tend to be more entitled, meh. But small authors are also entitled when they think their stories should be read just because they are a “small” author. (Not even gonna touch the fact that most people who consider themselves have thousands of reads…)
And… the ones who are the most vocal about supporting small authors don’t support other small authors at all. Isn’t it a little… interesting.
So confusing lol
Yeah, that’s the other reason why I think it doesn’t make a lot of sense to distinguish small and big authors so extremely. We can’t really determine these categories by just looking at the reads. I know an author with about 4K reads, 25 episodes and she published her story more than a year ago. I would call her a “small author”. But if you publish a story with 3 episodes, and you get 4K reads within a day, you are popular.
I agree with all the points raised in the opening post.
It can be really easy to say “oh people should do this” or “I would do this” but unless you’re actually in that position, you don’t really know how you’d react. I remember seeing some rather snarky responses by a particular author on IG and thinking “she’s kind of rude. I’ll never respond like this.” Then I had an ongoing story which was semi-popular (and not even super popular lol) and I was getting a lot of the same fanmails (“Continue??” “9!!!” “Hurry up!!!”) and I literally had to deactivate my fanmail because I was turning into a b*tch ahahahah.
I don’t really have this problem with my DMs but I used to stay on top of my fanmail. Now I’ve just let it go for most of my stories. You can spend up to hours a day answering fanmail sometimes.
I honestly ignore these. If someone that I have never talked to DMs me asking for a shout out, I just feel used. (Completely different situation if I’ve asked for story suggestions on IG/Episode Feed. I’m more than happy to take self-promo then.)
About a year or so ago, I was doing hidden gem shout outs and I asked for suggestions. I’m going to be honest- I read ten stories in a row and I didn’t feel comfortable recommending any of them. I dedicated hours to reading stories and wasn’t able to share any of what I’d read.
I think this is expected from every author. If you are not original to the point where there are 5 stories trending beside you with the same plot , you aren’t a good author.
I agree. I think a lot of us expect so much from popular authors. A lot of us want popular authors to do things that we are not even doing ourselves. I understand that their platform is bigger but every little helps (majority of the time anyway lol). I’ve noticed that quite a few small authors want popular authors to help promote their stories and other small authors stories when those same authors spend their time reading nothing but stories with over 1 million reads and only promote stories by popular authors. Hypocritical much? It would be great if some popular authors would promote well written stories but I don’t like how a lot of smaller authors are expecting them to do all the work for them. We have to remember that these authors were not always popular and these authors are humans with lives too. A lot of smaller authors also need to understand that just because you worked so hard on a story and you don’t have a lot of reads, doesn’t automatically make your story a hidden gem and having a popular author try to promote the story isn’t going to improve the story.
What I mainly want is for authors with bigger platforms to spread more positivity instead of coming across as a bully.
I’m not a popular author, but I stopped responding to my fanmails because I had 50+ asking me when I’d continue. I had writer’s block and the thought of as many as 50 people wanting me to continue stressed me out!
I can’t even imagine the hundreds of reasons popular authors might have to not reply. Social anxiety, stress, letting it overwhelm them, all of the ones you mentioned above… But forget that: even if they did just not want to reply, that’s a good enough reason for me. As much as I hate being left on “seen”, I might grumble to my friends about it in private, but I’ll get over it quickly because those authors don’t owe me anything.
I see a lot of people say “they wouldn’t be where they are now if they didn’t have fans like me”. While that’s true, you’re not a fan out of the goodness of your heart. You get a story you love out of this. This is a give and take relationship and anything extra that the author puts in is their own prerogative. They could easily just be anonymous if they wanted.
The only time I have an issue with a popular author’s behaviour towards fans is when they only respond to hate and do it on a regular basis. That’s not even because I think they’re ignoring their nice fans! It just promotes so much negativity on their social media or shows that they can’t take criticism and both of those things lead me to unfollow and let them continue in peace. Their choice, but I won’t be a part of it anymore.
With all of that in mind, I want to address the “gesture of kindness” thing. Sure, it’s a gesture of kindness for a popular author to use their popularity to boost other unknown authors. However, it’s not going to be kindness if they’re forced or pressured into doing it. That’s just a societal expectation.
As I said on the other post, I can choose to give my money to homeless people. That’s a gesture of kindness because I chose to do it off my own back. However, me giving to 1, 2, 3 or even 1000 homeless people isn’t going to solve homelessness. The same goes with Episode authors. They can choose to boost 1, 2 or 1000 stories as a kind gesture, but that isn’t going to fix the inherent issues with how stories are promoted on Episode.
That’s a task for the Episode team. It’s their job to use the stories they have on the app to generate income, not the popular authors. And promoting stories that already exist, they don’t need to spend thousands licensing and that they don’t need to put the time and money into directing/making overlays for? Well, it’s basically free money for them and they’re silly not to utilise it, but that’s a conversation for a different time.
Yes, I love it when a popular author replies. I’ve also had a few unsavoury encounters with a particular popular author. However, popular authors do not owe me anything. If I like their story, that’s what I get out of this. If not, well it would be wrong of me to chase them around asking for favours.
And I completely get it. As weird and fake as this may sound, I have anxiety and it makes me stress out during 1-on-1 personal conversations with someone I don’t know. I get self-critical and focus hard on how awkward I’m being. I don’t know if that would change over time if I ever got popular, but I know that a lot of people would take it as rudeness.
Sorry this is so long
I think a lot of expectation is placed on popular authors, especially when they are just seen as a popular author and not a person, and in many cases, a stranger. Taking one example, asking for them to read your story…
In general, I don’t know where in society it is acceptable to approach a stranger and ask that they do something for you, for your own benefit, so why are these popular authors expected to reply to these messages or do someone the favour of reading their story if that is all that you want from them. In many cases the person asking won’t have done anything to communicate with them in any other way, follow them, or sometimes even read the popular author’s story, it’s simply just to use their status.
I’m not a popular author, in fact currently not an author on episode for now, and even I have had messages from random people just simply sending me a link with their story and asking me to read it and share it, so I can only imagine how many of these popular authors receive.
We are all equal so rather than look at them as just a popular author, see them as the person who they are and don’t expect more from them.
I have of course messaged a few of these authors in the past, mostly to just express enjoyment at those stories and in general only one person has never replied and she has millions of followers and I know at one point she had so much work on with doing multiple plot lines in her story just to keep her readers happy, so I don’t expect a reply, yet she does follow me on Instagram which I never expected.
I also think many of these authors get a bad rep for defending themselves. When you write a story you have the right to create it how you want to make it, yet a lot of the time people won’t like the story and will go off at these authors and cause negative and unpleasant interactions which when these authors do defend themselves I have seen people say that they shouldn’t act that way and should just ignore them because they should be setting an example. Whilst this is possibly the best way to deal with hate messages etc, again these people are just the same as all of us, they have their limits and boundaries, we all get angry, upset etc… they aren’t asking to be an example to people and so shouldn’t be expected to in every situation, imagine getting messages that really test you all the time and you’re bound to have an off day and snap too.
Very good topic.
There are various problems I see, that cause the tension between some small authors and some popular authors.
So as I see it happen often, a lot of authors think that just because they work hard - they deserve recognition. And the truth is you don’t. You may work your ass off, and get a totally bad story in the end. It’s how it is. Some people need more practice and research about writing and directing, some are just incapable due to some personal traits/abilities. A lot of authors needs a reality check.
I’m writing for 3 years now, and to be fair my previous stories were pure trash (up to my standards, as I see it now), and maybe because of this I never really pushed my stories, as I wasn’t really interested in them. I was reading other stories, then I started helping here, like doing reviews, arts, backgrounds and stuff. You contribute to the community and learn stuff in the process.
Also. A lot of people want other people to help them while doing nothing in return.
I never ever asked any popular author, or just a random person to read my story/give it a shoutout etc. Just because I respect other people personal space like I want others to respect mine. This is why I dislike when someone goes into my DM with “read my story, here’s link, thanks”. It is rude, and kinda disrespectful, not just to popular authors, but to anyone.
I think it is perfectly reasonable for people to value their own time, and help the community (if they want to) on their own terms. May it be a review thread, where you take your personal time to help someone, or just randomly check any story and give it a shoutout, because you liked it.
I know about some small authors with a bad experience with popular authors, they are there. Just like there are rude and unpleasant small authors. All popular authors I know are very nice. They also promoted my story and helped a lot with the fan base, because they wanted, on their own terms, and I also participated in some big author’s contests, which also helped. Most people aren’t rude or bad, you just have to respect them. “If you’re gonna be like an ass, I’m gonna treat you like an ass.”
It seems like it is. They sure have a lot of pressure. I get anxious when I get one message asking about the update, imagine getting hundreds.
I guess my final point is. Stop thinking anyone owes you anything, work hard, respect other people’s privacy and time and be active. That’s what most popular authors did to get where they are now.
Tension will go away once the understanding comes.
I’m seeing a lot of great points here! I do want to acknowledge something, however. I don’t want to invalidate the hurt and frustration a lot of people may be going through because they feel overlooked.
I think this is where the heart of the issue lies to be honest. Episode is a platform where certain stories will automatically get more visibility and be more popular, and that can lead to a lot of frustration that I think gets directed towards the wrong people. This isn’t a problem that can be fixed with shout outs. This is a problem that comes from the way Episode chooses to market the app. While Episode has been getting better with featuring different genre themes on the shelves, the way the platform is run now will not fix the inherent issues within Episode. And part of the problem is that their advertising and featured stories target a very narrow group of potential users, and those are romance readers. As the years progress, the target demo keeps getting more and more narrow. That means genres outside of romance are going to have a harder time gaining readers. This is something that popular authors’ story promotions just aren’t going to fix, and Episode is not willing to expand their genres or target demo (sure, keep away money- that makes sense). I think a lot of frustration and tension can also be resolved if people understand where the problem actually lies and accepts that this is just how the app is going to be. Episode isn’t going to change. The good news is that there are plenty of popular authors now who write in other genres; it just took more patience and harder work- some for years- to gain visibility. Everybody won’t be an overnight success. This app is geared for romance readers and writers, and even then it’s not always easy to be seen. The sooner we can accept these facts, the less frustrated and upset we’ll be. But we first have to acknowledge that popular authors aren’t always the problem and aren’t the ones who are responsible for this. I’m speaking from experience On the flip side, I think it’s important for popular authors to understand where the frustration is coming from.
We are not each others’ enemies.
I think problem is going even beyond this. We see many shelves, but as I noticed they don’t get many reads. Episode readers represent a certain demographics (majority) that has specific interests (genres, plot etc.) This is something even Episode can’t really affect.
I think they can help that by having their advertisements include stories other than romance… although I’m a romance reader, so…
I think the way they target and advertise does have a bit to do with it but actually in a sense you’re right.
Even if Episode expansed their marketing and brought in a variety of readers, they’d also be bringing in more potential writers and we’d end up having the same visibility problem.