Writer Payments: Changes to the Qualifying Criteria

Truthfully I’m quite disappointed by the numbers I’m seeing.

Gem choices in community stories are new to the community and Episode earned money before they existed. I do not understand why authors can not receive 70% of all gem payments spent on their story.

Imagine it this way, 15 gems are $5. Readers purchase a bonus scene in my story for 15gems/$5. They think they are supporting me and my story, but instead all $5 goes to episode. Why?

I think that instead of having such ridiculously high numbers met before earning payments, we should get a percentage of any gems spent on our story. Period.

For instance in that 15 gems scenario- episode walks away with $1.5 and I walk away with $3.5. Then, when you hit the “100k and 50k gems in 60 days” or whatever, we apply the current payment program.

We are earning money and receiving none of it- it’s ridiculous to me.

Writing is honestly a part time job, it takes hours and authors deserve compensation for their work when it brings in revenue.

Where would Episode be without its community writers? How much money are you making from authors that write for free and struggling to meet your standards before earning their compensation?


Also this quote says it all… you know the qualifications for payments are going to be harder. You are warning authors to scramble to make payments before it becomes more difficult?


I think it’s wrong that episode pockets so much I pay for gems to support the authors directly. If I wanted to give episode money i read one of those ridiculous episode stories.


Well why the gem choices are getting worst?! How are all the new authors going to do this? They are already struggling to get reads and this!! Well I don’t want to say this but you made me say it. This is clearly pointing towards favourites and common authors. Authors who have already entered the writers payment programme won’t be having too much problems but the ones who haven’t unlocked it yet will have too much trouble. It was better before but now it’s worst!! I am disappointed!


I’m very very disappointed and not satisfied with this change at all, here are my reasons.

50k gems is just excessive! If this is a way to force us into adding expensive gem choices inside our stories like episode originals it’s just not going to work because that’s the whole point about community stories, to be different from episode originals.
We managed to get creative solutions to the gem choice rank without upsetting our readers and still having a chance to make profit from our hard work, because every story has a lot of work and time invested, but with 50k gems in 60 days it will be unreachable.

I as an author and as a reader, suggest and ask you to please consider lowering the gem rank, okay you can make it higher than 300 but I think maximum 10k would be fair. 100k reads 10k gems. Still high but reachable. And give more time for writers to get those numbers, not just 60 days to reach it.
We’ve had it very hard already, with the fact that community stories are now hidden from new users until they read more than 20 chapters and the gem choices influencing the rank. Getting 100k used to be way easier a couple years ago than it is now, please don’t make payments an impossible goal to achieve. Please don’t discourage us from keep giving our heart and soul to this platform trough stories.


To clarify things: before it was 300 gem choices, now it’s 50k gems. It’s not a big difference, but usually 300 gem choices with default price is around 4500 gems. So instead of improving your gems over 100 times, you only need to improve it 10. Sounds less scary. And as everyone said it was very, very easy to achieve 300 gem choices before. 50k gems with 100k reads is 50% retention. It’s not easy, but it’s not supposed to be easy, as well as reaching 500k without gem choices.
And it’s certainly not impossible, new stories can have even 300% of gems retention.

Tip after May changes: if you know you can soon reach 100k (or already did it) but struggle to make 50% with gems, set the newly released chapters on early release and ask readers nicely to buy it this one time because you’re close to make payments. I assure that readers will help with reaching 50%, early access is a very effective method of earning gems. Count now what’s your retention and how to improve it to around 30% and then spare one month for early releases.

Episode changes this policy probably because so far the options in practice looked like: 500k reads OR 100k reads with support button, it didn’t change much for authors and basically everyone forgot about the option of 500k as unlocking limit. Yes, support buttons probably won’t be enough now, but it’s the message “either your story has good reads or it’s a gem machine”. So you can pick your way. The option of 300 gems was there before it was available for all users, only a few saw gem choices. Now when it’s changed it’s obvious that the number will be higher.

Also, if you struggle with having 50k a month but want to live from writing here - there’s not much money for reads here. You need really massive reads to make living from episode. I’m just mentioning it because some people claim episode sabotages their career.


I really don’t know what to say but as new author, episode bringing such rules is disheartening me


This is just cutting off the new authors from the scale. As if forcing authors to incorporate gem choices in their story wasn’t enough, now the gems leap from 300 to 50k :clapping: I have no words episode, you leave me speechless everytime.
It won’t be long when you have to spend 100 gems to open the app.


Well, Episode is a business and not a charity
If you want to donate money and support the creator directly you can find their ko-fi or Patreon. And supporting a story with a gem choice on Episode doesn’t really mean giving a gem worth amount of money to the creator. It means helping the story to get a higher rank and reach a wider audience . Yes, authors do get paid for writing, and ofc it would be only a part of the revenue generated from the stories. That’s how all UGC platforms work.

Well, if you treat it as a job …
This criteria is basically a probation period for an author to prove Episode that they can create interesting content with regular updates.
This unlocking payments period looks like an internship to me. Many internships are unpaid. So, to prove yourself and get a full-time position you need to work hard. And then, well, work hard too, if you want to keep receiving money.

It’s like when you work for some company. Your work generates revenue for the company, but you get part of it, and the rest goes to the development of the company.
For example, you’re a baker in a bakery. And a cupcake costs $2, but a baker doesn’t get every dollar from every cupcake, not even a half of it.
Episode made this platform . It manages it, creates new art assets, maintains apps, and servers. Where all our stories are stored? Do they just keep it in some cloud drive for free? No. I can’t even imagine how much storage do all uploaded overlays and backgrounds take. That costs A LOT. Plus work of all people who create animations, arts, and maintain the platform.
Episode needs money to give us the platform to tell our stories in the first place.

Well, again, how much storage on servers do those authors take… And back to the probation period…

Yeah, that’s hard. And it was always hard. I updated like crazy every week to unlock payments while my story was on the shelf. And it was really exhausting. But that’s what a UGC platform is about – making a promise that you’ll create more content and be consistent with updates.

Thank you. And it’s not only about writing, but it’s hard to make a living from content creation for all kinds of content. People usually just see those who already made it: popular bloggers, YouTubers, etc. But most of them went a long way to get where they are right now.

What if the new rank and gems implemented to community stories will go well enough and Episode would unlock community stories for new users? Hopes hopes… Episode, please, consider this :pleading_face:


I’m not happy with this at all, but I guess I can’t change it. However, you as a company that wants to make profit, should be able to understand the other side of the coin. People are leaving this community on a daily basis. They are leaving to other apps that don’t have these options! As a company, you should be concerned about this and take actions to prevent this from happening and not the other way around. I understand that it’s supposed to be hard to unlock the writer’s payment, but how am I supposed to work, go to university AND work my a** off on Episode just to unlock the payments? (Even if they’re small ones)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m majoring in Marketing and Business Administration, I know what you do here, but you’re totally leaving out the fact that you’re basically losing customers because of this.
At least expanding the amount of time would already make a huge difference!


I couldn’t be more disappointed in you, Episode. From 300 to 50k? Looks like you only care about money.


You wouldn’t be saying that a year ago when you were struggling with reads. I understand episode is a business but it’s a platform for a lot of young and aspiring writers too if they keep neglecting the ones who are literally begging for reads, episode trust me you’re gonna lose a lot of users and that ain’t profit.


Many people will leave the community because of this. At least increase the TIME. Make it 4 months :unamused:


Thank you, you were so helpful! :pleading_face:


I think irregardless of big versus small or who’s on the payment program or not, jumping from 300 gem choices chosen (that’s choices chosen, not the total amount of gems) to 50k gems is just insane. There’s making the system harder and then there’s making it impossible; and being tone deaf (can’t think of a better way to put it) to people here who are saying it’s hard isn’t the solution.
Obviously getting into payments shouldn’t be an easy thing to do. When I got in if I remember right I was updating at an average of twice a week, but that was after I was lucky enough to be featured on a shelf. Less then a year later the app is a completely different beast and so much has changed. At the end f the day, yes getting into payments isn’t supposed to be easy, but let’s not act like making it impossible is the solution either.

Also, in a time where some readers are leaving stories if they have any gem choices at all I don’t think making it where authors have to add more is the best solution.


Also a friendly reminder to my fellow authors already on the payment program: WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT’S LIKE.

I know it’s easy to go: oh, well this wasn’t the system when I got into payments, but clearly it’s the system now. We can admit things suck for others trying to get into the payment program at the moment. It’s not like we’ll lose our Episode Goody Badge by admitting that.


I completely understand where everyone is coming from because I was there years ago. I was so mad (at myself) when I missed the 500k reads in 60 days by 20k reads when my first story was on a shelf. Two months later, Episode came out with the gem choice for community stories. I figured out how many Episodes I needed to release in 60 days to get the 100k gem reads. I took 2 weeks of vacation off work to do nothing but write, and I hit it.
Here’s where it gets real. I consider myself a moderately successful author on Episode. I had over 800K reads before I hit payments… not exactly a small author. Does the amount I receive from Episode reflect the time and work I put into my stories? Not by a long shot. While I don’t think we can disclose what we do get paid (although someone has a YouTube video detailing the information), I will tell you that unless you are getting millions of reads every month, it’s pocket change. Heck, if you don’t reach a certain threshold, they keep your payment until that threshold is met due to the costs of issuing payment. It’s never been easy for small authors to make payments. As someone already said, Episode is a business. Of course, they care about money. While we can basically read stories for free, everything on Episode’s end with making those stories visible is not free. They have to generate income somehow, and each dollar paid to an author cuts into that generated income. Yes, 50k gems is a LOT. But if you add smart gem choices (points/bonus scenes/support author/early release) it is attainable. That 50k is half of the 100k reads required. Right now, my stories average a 50% gem count and that’s without using early release. So, if I weren’t already in the writer payment program, if I hit the 100k mark, I would probably also hit that 50k mark as well.

That’s using gem choices for skipping mini-games and adding bonus points after the chapter ONLY. No support author, no bonus scenes, no early release. That’s 70% which if I had 100k reads on this particular story, it would translate into 70k gems.


To be fair ones who are already getting payments won’t see an issue.
What bothers me episode isn’t a charity really? Episode is making money off community stories with those gems episode isn’t creating the stories the hard working Authors are but if I was already making money off my stories I wouldn’t have issues either.

If there was no community stories on the app episode wouldn’t make any money as there premium stories are complete garbage.

But now I know I spend my gems on the ones that need it to get payments


Why are you telling that reaching 50% of gem retention is impossible when it’s not? I’m sorry, but it’s not true.

It looks enormous for people who can’t reach 50k reads a month (as the unlocking now requires), but it’s not that much when you already have 100-150k reads. With only support button the % can vary between 10-20%, with bonus scenes it’s 20-50% (I mean stories frequently updated, not abandoned stories). Early release can bump it even to 100. That means if someone has already 100k reads, 50k gems shouldn’t be that scary.

Of course the jump from 300 to 50000 looks ridiculously big, but it’s mostly because the old system was adjusted to only a low % of readers seeing gem choices. After they’re visible for everyone it’s not impossible to reach 50%.


Honestly episode don’t take this the wrong way but you got to much dip on your chip. First of you wanted community stories to add gems just to get a higher rank, adding the early access option which is a choice but we all know some authors are going to abuse and use it too much, and now you want to add a different amount of gems to get payed. I understand you guys need money in order to pay people. Yes we all know it’s not impossible to reach but like in reality we all know it’s hard to reach.