So recently Episode published a post on their Episode creator’s account about hiring new commissioned authors. Personally, I believe this is a fabulous idea. It gives more individuals the ability to create stories and simultaneously get paid to do so. However, my concern comes when you look at the criteria.
Criteria 1: Episode creator’s claims you need to have a large following on social media.
This is understandable to some degree, but also not completely. It’s understandable in the sense that people with a high Instagram follower count can share the post/information of their Episode commissioned story with more people. This will promote the app better and allow for more reads on said commissioned story. I can understand that.
However, at the same time, Episode promotes the story themselves and most people that are on the Episode side of Instagram will follow the Episode Instagram account. This allows Episode to share the story information themselves. So in this case, why is it important for the creator to have a bunch of followers? When famous authors start off writing, they don’t start with thousands of readers. Maybe a couple hundred, yes, but not tens of thousands. Looking deeper at it, it seems like a tactic by which episode can use to promote large authors over small authors and depreciate the voice of small authors instead of supporting them.
Criteria 2: Episode asks for top 10 treading authors to apply for the rolls of commissioned Episode creators.
This concept is incredibly similar to the Instagram one. I can understand it, but again it seems as though Episode is depreciating the voices of small authors.
There are so many talented authors out there that haven’t been sought out yet because getting a lot of reads and trending is incredibly difficult. And, not only that, but looking at the trending stories the same authors take up the top 10 spots. This yet again highlights the concept that episode is overlooking the talented smaller authors for those that simply have more followers.
Another critique of this (although it could be seen as a completely different argument) is that some of these top 10 authors writes stories that promote… questionable material. The amount of toxicity in these stories is astronomical. So is Episode promoting toxic concepts for the sake of popularity over wholesome content by lesser known individuals? I suppose that’s yore you to decide.
My next Episode topic is about the contests.
I’ve spoken to many authors about this, and I know for certain that I’m not the only one noticing these trends.
When episode first established creator’s writing contests, it was centered around authors being able to gain a platform with more readers. This in it of itself promoted stories written by small authors. But over time I’ve noticed that the basis of these contests has shifted a bit.
The authors winning these contests have absolutely amazing stories that should be read, but many of the winners are well known authors. I’m not trying to say that bug authors shouldn’t win contests, not’s not at all what I’m saying. I’m just wondering whether the same authors should be winning every contest over smaller authors. Let’s be real, people in the Episode community will read what Episode promotes. If a story makes a shelf, that’s how you get the most reads. So why not focus a little more on the content of the stories in contests rather than whomever gets the most reads on their stories? Again, this may not be the case at all and might just be me viewing it from a certain angle. What do you think?
Personally, as an author that has been in this community for close to two years, I’ve come to see changes in Episode. And changes that I’m not entirely happy to see.
- Promoting violence and toxic actions make by characters in stories written by large authors, for the sake of increasing readers in the community.
- Claiming a story doesn’t fit the LGBTQ+ shelf because the central focus of the story isn’t about a character coming out. (That’s a huge moment for members of this community, but it’s not always what defines them)
And many more, but I can’t talk about everything.
I would just love to know what you guys think about how Episode has handles things / changed over the past couple of years. Do you agree with me or view their actions differently?
There will be no arguing in these comments, as everyone deserves to speak their minds and share what they feel!