Writer Payments: Changes to the Qualifying Criteria

that’s the vibe that I get from some people, they think that only trending stories are good which is insane, most of these authors also started with 100 reads so they should remember that reads =/= quality


I’m not even trying to unlock the writer’s payment, I just want small authors to have recognition. It’s not like I’m demanding Episode to give me money, I really hope people understand that


OK, so everyone please bear with me. I’ve written something once already but I kind of believe that this discussion is kind of going into a very emotional direction:

We’ve kind of reached the mentality: Pay us because we’re “working for free”. Disclaimer: I’m a non-published author on the App thus far and I really see where you - out of the position of a new author - are coming from. Again writing on Episode is not simply writing. It is hard work and you literally have to dedicate a huge amount of hours. Nevertheless, suggesting that Episode is kind of obliged to pay you because you’re offering your service is, quite frankly, a huge and apparently widespread misconception of the App and the Writer Payment program itself.

When we talk about the Payment Program we talk about a “Freelance Program” which basically means that you’ll never have a frequent revenue and that the revenue you generate basically consists of different factors such as how many people read your story, how much effort you put into them and how frequently you update. BUT and that is very important: As quickly as this Freelance Program has been adopted within the portal as an opportunity for succesful authors to generate money, as quickly it can be removed due to certain factors such as the App doing badly. For clarification: There is no kind of contract between you and Episode and you’re basically working on your own and for your own and not for Episode, as often suggested.

Also, I do want to bring up how much you actually earn as I’ve talked to some authors who were actually telling me what they meant by “pocket change”. I also do want to bring that up because I feel that a lot of people are really not aware of the margins we’re talking about.
Without intending to give too much away:
Basically per 20.000 reads on one month you’ll get something in between 25-35$ (= 20€-29€). However, and that is important: Episode has certain thresholds:
This means => you’ll only be paid by them for example if you hit off a number of reads that is equal to a 100$ (in some countries even 200$ or beyond). Don’t worry: Your money is NOT LOST if you are not able to gather the amount of reads needed for a 100$ in one month, it’ll cumulate: So, let’s say in your country the threshold is a 100$ until they transfer money to your bank account. If you are able to have 20k reads each month which are equal to (let’s say) 30$, the 30$ will not be paid to you immediately but they’ll be added to the amount of money you’ll make the months coming. So within that Math, it means: After a total of 4 months you’ll see your first 100$ on your bank account. Nonetheless, if you are not able to keep that number because you publish unfrequently, the outcome of your story is not liked and people stop reading, you lose motivation and go on hiatus and so on… you might see nothing for 6 months and more or maybe even never. And if you’re in a country with a higher threshold, the circumstances are even more difficult. For instance, in Indonesia you’ll be paid if your number of reads cumulates to almost a 1000$ which is A HUGE AMOUNT!

So, without being judgemental: I’m sorry but if some people appear to struggle in terms of hitting off the writer payment under current circumstances, the writer payment itself will really not be appealing to you at all.

To a certain extent, one can say: Even if you are able to unlock it, prepare yourself to still work “freely” most of the time if you are not able to win a huge fan base. Because Again: There’s a threshold and depending on the country you live in you might be able to receive something when your revenue is equal to 100$, 200$ and/or beyond.

Long story, short meaning: As a “small author” myself, I just want to say what I’ve said 4 days ago:
Write because you like writing not because you aspire a program that won’t cover any of your major expenses.

I hope I was able to give some kind of glimpse of what the desired and widely discussed Writer Program really offers.


Completely agree. I even gave some of my stories for free because I don’t have the time to code them but I really want to see them on the app, I write because I like it.

I tried to think about a method that gives recognition to small authors without Episode needing to spend money and time, so I will say it here.

Imagine having an option in the app that chooses a random story for you, so you can discover stories that are being updated that day and support small authors. Idk, my English is bad so I apologize if I didn’t explain my idea in a proper way

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Yes it does, but given that your entire main focus was on benefiting small authors, I was replying to that, not referring to bigger authors.
All stories, of all readership numbers have varying levels of quality.

At the end of the day, I still say that you can’t expect to reward people based on the frequency of their updates. To say that it’s a matter of adapting and organsing is quite frankly, ignorant. Sorry, but just because you can set aside time to make sure that you have everything in place ahead of time, doesn’t mean everyone else can.
Many people have busy lives and write on episode in their free time. It’s not always as easy as just uploading in bulk ahead of time. Also sometimes it is delayed in episode approvals. Take recently for example, some people are still waiting for approvals after over two weeks. Things can be delayed. No one should then miss out on perks because of these things. So I still don’t think that this would be an acceptable method of reward.

And as for time in updates, I don’t think people updating quickly, direct poorly… just to clarify. I’m just making the point that its not just easy to update regularly for everyone, when they are writing multiple branches, balancing careers and home lives, other projects etc.

It is a well known tip, yes. And one that everyone takes into consideration. But as I said, it’s not black and white, and just because someone updates once a fortnight, for example, shouldn’t mean they don’t get a reward if someone else does one update a week.

Most authors will put a lot of effort into their stories. And so I’m not sure how you would imagine that timing between updates could be a factor to determine which of these authors would deserve a reward. As for your comment about episode reading people’s stories/episodes etc, to determine quality, that’s just an unreasonable expectation. There’s no way that they would have the staff free to do such a huge job. And quite frankly, it just isn’t worth it.

Sure, earning more gems would be a good thing to do. I agree with that. I’m not sure if it’s something they may be considering, as it’s been mentioned a lot over time. But who knows.

If you look at the overall picture though, I think they do please their customers. They have a great app which allows people to read a multitude of stories, they also give freedom to write, they provide a vast variety of materials, a social networking platform for their users, they give back and promote stories for shelves and buying stories from users all sorts. Just because they raise a qualifying rate to enter the payment programme, doesn’t undo everything else that they do for everyone. I definitely think that these announcements tend to have a storm in a teacup response. People dive off the deep end, some take drastic measures, then eventually it simmers down.

You still can read them for free. No one is forcing gems onto you or anyone else. Admittedly, in order to trend, it is now hard to do without using gems, but community stories are still readable without having no alternative but spending gems.

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Just curious, how did you get these numbers if you don’t mind disclosing? I believe you said you are a small author if I am not mistaken.

Trying to figure out if the numbers you gave are average. I am curious what other factors affect wages as well.

Do you mind breaking down the money for gems as well?

Just thinking logically. This is the first time I read someone disclosing the typical wages for reads in detail. Thank you so much for sharing.


They have been good at featuring stories on weekly theme shelves lately that are by lesser known authors. What other non-monetary rewards would you suggest?

While consistency and hardwork are very important factors in becoming a successful author on episode, it’s not the only keys to success.

There are many definitions for what is a “successful” author on episode. Personally, I would encourage people to not focus so heavily on the writer’s payment program and to instead measure their success in other ways.

There is A LOT of help and support out there for small authors in the community. I am happy to give pointers and advice or tell you how I measure my personal success here.


For anyone who wants a little more perspective on the 300 to 50k gem requirement:

It’s literally a 16566.7% increase than what it was before :smiley:. Feel free to re-check my math, but that’s a really big deal. I don’t care about the writer’s payment program, personally, but for the writers who do it’s understandable why they feel discouraged or frustrated rn.

And honestly, the readers should be worried too. I know me and majority other people don’t read on Episode just to pay an insane amount of money to make choices. And with writers implementing gem choices just to get on the trending section AND to try to achieve the writer’s payment program, Episode is turning into just that. It’s disappointing because it’s harder to find quality stories on episode now more than ever because of this-- I hope I’m not the only one who’s noticed. I’m on the forums more than I am on the app now like wtf :skull:

I would tell writers to just forget abt the payment program and the trending section and just write whatever they want, but it’s not like it would make things better when it comes to finding quality stories on the app. Or maybe I’m just over exaggerating cause I’m a picky reader.

But for real tho, all the good stories are buried under ones with gem choices, it feels like.


It’s not 300 gems. It’s 300 times that someone picks a gem choice. The price of community gem choices for the longest time was 10-15 :gem: (I think?) Now they vary anywhere from 5 to 35 gems per gem choice depending on what the author sets it as.
In addition to this, the gem choices were only visible to a small percent of users until just recently. Now 100% of users see them instead of a small percentage.

The 50k is gems spent total.

The unit of measurement has changed.

So let’s say then, someone set their gem prices all to 5.

They would need 10k gem choices selected in 60 days in that case.

300 to 10k is still a BIG jump. However, keep in mind that the gem choices in community stories were only visible to a small percentage of people until recently. And most authors aren’t going to be charging bare minimum (5 gem) for their gem choices so for them it will be far less than 10k (probably more like 3.3k since using 15 gems for premium content choices seems a popular option).

(Feel free to also check my math)


Oh okay, i misinterpreted it.

300 times a gem choice is selected to 10k is a 3000% increase than it was originally. And if the gem choices are set at 15 gems making it 3k gems selected like you said, that makes it a 1000% increase. That’s still a really huge leap.

Now, i’m curious to know what percentage of writers on the app qualify for the payment program and exactly how much harder it will be with the new criteria in place (whether it’s by a little or a lot). Regardless, Episode is going to be making a lot more money with these new changes. I just hope they use this to make the app better (despite the some of the changes) instead of filling as much space as they can in their pockets-- like a lot of gaming companies and corporation do. Unfortunately, I don’t expect much.


Just wanted to add one more opinion lol.

Most of the readers are teens so it’s mostly impossible for them to buy gems to spend in a story!! I see all the offers when I open the app. 10 gems for so and so dollars, 3 passes for so and so dollars,etc. I see the prices are a bit high compared to the number of gems and passes you are providing. So if you increase the number of gems and passes then the adults on the app can buy it because it will be much better according to the money they will spend in buying them. This is just my opinion, but if you can think about it then it will be great!!

I also know that paying every new author can be difficult but if we have to forcefully add the gems to unlock payments then it will decrease the amount of readers. I personally paid around $22.25 to get gems and spend it for some particular scenes, etc. But I can’t keep on paying for it every time because I am still not earning.

So think about it once again and clear this mess. I understand both the sides (Episode and Authors) so please for the sake of readers think once again about it!!

I am writing on Episode as a hobby so it doesn’t affect me much but the authors who really want to unlock payments are affected real bad!!
Also changing the number of days required to unlock payments will give them some hopes and time. Like change the number of days to 80 days and you give them hope+time.

Think about it Episode!!

Thank you and sorry for the big rant!


What worries me most is that I imagine sum kids will b using their parents money for gems n stuff. Their parents could b unemployed due to COVID or smth… so, smth that’s meant to b an escape turns into smth expensive for parents, which must suck for young readers.


If you don’t have money, you spend your time to read originals. It’s as simple as that, don’t use the argument that kids don’t have money :woman_shrugging:

Not to mention they can have most of the content for free, because the app is free to download and episodes are free to read (compare it to other apps where you can actually pay to even enter the app), the only paid option is extra content that you don’t have to buy.
In general episode is not essential good (like water, food, electricity), it’s the place with interactive stories where you can go if you have a free time to relax. Using this dramatic narration that people deserve free content isn’t correct, it’s the same with Spotify - if you don’t want ads you pay or accept the free option.

Ps. I never spent a penny for gems and I still earn them in a free way, it’s possible to do it without money. Yes it’s time consuming it can be annoying but you have a choice - either you pay or you spend your time.

I wish there were options to watch ads for gems, but maybe it will come after the gems situation will be more clear.


I never said that they should give free content, please read my post again to clarify. It’s just that using so much of gem choices in a story can make them lose readers.

I agree but not everyone is patient or can handle the story line. Like you still need to pay gems in originals. Of course they won’t choose that but not everyone likes the way the story goes if we don’t choose gem choices. That’s why I avoid reading them depend on my daily streaks.

Good for you then!


Ikr!! That’s why I stopped buying gems because this period was difficult for my family!!


Ah, poor u. I have quite a lot of gems (300 or smth) but I get them from reading episode official stories bc I refuse to pay ridiculous amounts for episode gems lol.


Yes I feel you!! I buyed those gems with my pocket money! Like I divide my pocket money for savings and Episode lol. I only depend on my daily streaks! Just imagine reading originals with all those crappy scenes because we didn’t chose the gem options!!!

You don’t have to spend gems there, you don’t even have to handle the storyline or to read it at all. You can just tap it through to have gems.


I’m not sure what stories that you’re finding thay are using so many gem choices.
For the most part, I’ve only seen stories that add a gem choice at the end. Something to offer extra content or support the author choices. I know some people are using gems in the story itself, but from what I know, those aren’t essential choices to make, and are more catered to enhancing the story experience, not making it harder to enjoy.


the comments on this post are honestly quite shocking, the pure disdain with which some responses posted are very telling.

whether you agree or disagree with the points made, it doesn’t kill to show some compassion and understanding or just straight up courtesy. at the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their own opinion - what one person thinks is important is not the same as what I, or the next person will.


But if people just stop choosing gem choices then it won’t benefit the author!

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