Today we are announcing an update to the Gem Bonus Payment portion of our Writer Payments Program. When we first launched Community Gem Choices to authors in May of 2018 we set the bonus payment for using gem choices in a story at a flat 25% with the intent that it would be temporary as we built out more tech. Though it’s been longer than anticipated, we’re making the necessary updates and will be rolling out a new Bonus Payment structure starting with payments for reads earned in January 2021. This change, combined with our recent release of new Story Statistics, the changes to our trending algorithm and any future features that allow authors to add gems to their stories, are designed to reward creators who write gem choices players love. In making these changes, we hope to give creators more freedom to grow and expand their businesses on Episode.
Note that we are only restructuring the Gem Bonus Payments, and the regular Writer Payment based on reads is not affected by this change. Authors can still qualify for Writer Payments even if they don’t want to use gem choices in their stories.
Currently, the requirements for the Gem Bonus payment are that there is at least one gem choice in each of at least the first 10 chapters. If that is the case, the author can receive a bonus payment of an additional 25% on top of the regular monthly reads payment rate for that story. For authors who write really great gem choices, this method has the unfortunate side effect of capping the bonus they can earn on their stories. Through the restructuring, we hope to be able to better reward authors for their hard work and effort that doesn’t limit their success in this way.
When the new bonus structure goes into effect authors will be paid a Gem Bonus based on the success of the gem choices they write. As part of this, authors will no longer be required to put gem choices in the first 10 chapters of their story to qualify for the Gem Bonus Payment, instead, they will now have the flexibility to place gem choices where they think they will be most impactful throughout stories. Authors will still be limited to no more than 5 Gem Choices per branch per chapter.
The gem bonus an author receives will now be calculated using the number of gems spent by players in a story per read, which will be combined with a flexible monthly gem bonus multiplier. The gem bonus multiplier will be based on a number of factors related to your story’s performance as well as Episode as a whole and is subject to change each month and over time. This is designed to be very similar to the way the monthly rate per reads changes in the normal Writer Payments Program. Overall, our intention is to reward authors who write more successful choices with a larger bonus.
Here are some examples of how the new Gem Bonus Payment might work for stories:
|Story||Reads||Gems Spent||Gems per Read||Gem Bonus Payment %|
In the above table, we see that this author has 3 stories, all of which contain gem choices. Story A gets 5,000 reads in the month of January and readers spend 3,000 gems on the choices the author has written. The Gems per Read number is calculated by taking the total number of gems spent and dividing that by the total number of reads the story earned - this story earned 0.300 gems for each person who read the story: 1,500/5,000 = 0.300. We take that 0.300 and multiply it by the monthly gem bonus rate (in these examples we are using a bonus multiplier of 125 - once rolled out this multiplier will fluctuate from month to month) to convert it into a percentage which gives us 37.5%. As a result, this story will earn a 37.5% gem bonus on top of their regular monthly payment rate instead of the current 25% rate.
On the other hand, Story C earns more reads, but the gem choices in that story are not as popular with readers as the ones written in Stories A and B. With 50,000 reads and 2,500 gems spent, this story earns 2,500/50,000 = 0.05 gems per read. When we convert 0.05 to a percentage we get a bonus of 6.25%.
As part of this change, the payments page in the Portal was updated to show authors the number of gems a story has earned in a month, the Gems per Read calculation.
Now that we’ve gone into the detail of the new bonus structure we want to clarify and reiterate a couple of things:
- Using gem choices in community stories has been and will continue to optional and at the discretion of the author.
- The overall criteria for qualifying for Writer Payments are remaining unchanged at this time. In order to unlock and receive Writer Payments authors must be at least 18 years of age and their stories need to earn a total of 500,000 general chapter reads in the last 60 days, or a total of 100,000 gem chapter reads and 300 gem choices selected across all published stories in the last 60 days.
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