Writer Payments Program

Hi all!

I am new to the episode community and currently working on my first story. I’ve been working really hard on it for the last year, making sure my episodes are perfect before I publish it and I’m so excited to share it with everyone!

Anyways, I just had a few questions about the writer payments program.

I understand about reaching the 500k reads or 100k gem reads in 60 days.

Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but what happens AFTER the 60 days? If you haven’t reached the 500k reads or 100k gem reads by then, will you never be able to become a paid writer after that??

For all of the paid authors on here, do you have any suggestions on how to promote your story to get more reads? What worked for you? How did you reach that goal?

And do you suggest adding gems to the story or no? Do you get paid more as an author if you add gem choices in the story?

Thanks for your help everyone! I appreciate the feedback :slight_smile:

So firstly those are very unlikely to reach. Been writhing here for years, not even a quater in.

But to explain its always sixty days. Lets say with 5 instead of sixlty

Day 1 you get one read day 2 you get zero. Day 3 you get two reads day four get zero day five you get threw

That makes total reads on day five, 6
On day 6 you get zero reads. And the one read from day one no longer count so you have five reads

Day 7 you get two reads. So your total now is seven.

Remember this is only for payment methode.

2 Likes

No you can. It’s only for the LAST 60 days from your current point in time which is always moving. It doesn’t mean that you only have 60 days from the date of publication. Hope that makes sense!

I’m not a paid writer and probably never will be because I don’t write often, but from what I’ve seen of other authors who had success — consistency is key. The more regularly you update your story, the more confidence readers will have in you as author and the more likely they’ll be to continue reading and invest themselves in your story provided they like all of the other areas of your story obv.

Update regularly, have an engaging plot, reasonable directing at the least, be respectful towards others.
Since you’re starting out, you’re going to have a harder time finding readers, but you can always promote your story on here by creating a R4R thread for it, posting your story in replies for recommendation threads, ask for shoutouts and reviews on instagram (particularly to groups that do those things), share your story on your social medias, share your story link in your profiles. Sometimes “bigger” authors also provide opportunities where their followers can promote their stories or ask for reviews. You can promote your story too on Episode’s posts where they ask for stories to showcase on shelves.
@J.Miley and @Alusza could probably give you more pointers though since they’re paid writers?

Yes. Gems have become quite important now and they contribute to your ranking, your progress towards payments and your gem bonus once you become a paid writer.

Hope all that helps! (: Welcome to the community btw and good luck with your writing journey.

3 Likes

Makes sense now, thank you for explaining that!

I assumed it would be difficult to become a paid author.

Even if I don’t get paid for writing stories, I still do it because I love it and I want others to enjoy it.

But getting paid would be nice!! The amount of WORK that goes into a story is A LOT. I don’t think some people realize how difficult it is and how time consuming it is to write a good story with proper directing.

So for all you authors out there who have published a full story or have done more than one, good for you!

1 Like

Thank you for the feedback, this helps a lot!

I’ve been taking my time writing my story trying to perfect it because I’ve been reading stories on here for about 5 years and I know what it takes to write a decent story.

I want to make sure my story is “ready” to publish and not rush it. I want to make sure I promote it properly through social media as well.

I didn’t think to post it on the forum, so thank you!

1 Like

Also!

I know a lot of readers hate gem choices, but I feel like having them is beneficial to the author.

How else do you incorporate gems into your story without necessarily making the reader feel like they’re missing out on the content?

I’m not doing a points system for my story, I was thinking of maybe having a bonus scene at the end of the episode if people wanted to watch those? Also, I have a “support the author” thing at the end.

Is there anything else I can do?

Thanks!

This is a good thread for more ideas:
Bonus content ideas? I got you!

And you’re welcome!

2 Likes

I was tagged in this post, so I thought I’d give my feedback. I entered writer payments the first two months gem choices were made available to community authors and could be used as bonus to get into writer payments. Prior to this, you had to have 500k reads in 60 days which I narrowly missed by 20k when my story was on a shelf.
At that time, I went back through every Episode and added some form of gem choice. Back then, support the author choices weren’t qualifying gem choices. So, I added gem choices to key choices, to recustomization, and then in additional Episodes, I created bonus scenes and special content. I then calculated out how many reads I was getting every time I published a chapter (10k at the time). I calculated how many chapters I needed to publish within a 60-day timeframe. For me, that meant I needed 10 chapters in 60 days. At the time, I was already updating weekly (Ink directing is a lot faster than Limelight) so I had to push myself to get at least 10 done. So, I admit, I took a 2-week vacation from my regular job and wrote non-stop for 2 weeks. I was able to push out 12 chapters in 60 days and hit payments in July 2018.
So, what’s the key?

  1. As @schittwriter said, consistency. I was already publishing about 1 chapter a week, so readers knew I was updating regularly. This also meant they jumped on new chapters as soon as they were published.
  2. An engaging plot. Keeping your readers constantly wanting more is key to the success of any story. I try to end each chapter on a cliffhanger, key moment, or something important. That makes the reader WANT that next chapter.
  3. Reasonable gem choices. With the requirement of 50k gems, you need readers to click those gem choices.
    Support the author helps, but I will tell you my most successful gem choices are definitely not support the author. They are bonus scenes and skipping minigames. Readers want something extra, so anything that’s a bonus. You don’t want to punish readers for NOT selecting a gem choice because that will drop your reads. You want to entice the readers who can afford it to select the gem choice. Early access is a BIG success. Skip the wait is a balance, because your gems go up, but your reads will go down.
  4. @schittwriter also mentioned being respectful towards others. Readers are much more likely to support authors who aren’t rude or jerks. I’ve had readers say they use the support the author gem choice because they like me as a person. Your attitude and how you treat others DOES have an impact on your reads. I personally won’t read stories by authors that I know are rude, hateful, racist, ect.
  5. Make sure to market your story. That is FAR more important as a small author than a large author, because bigger authors already have a base that watches for updates.

Ways you can market your story.

  1. Read for Reads. I started out this way, and not only did it get my story out there, I also developed friendships with other writers that I still have today. The forums is a good place to post read for reads, but be cautious, some people will get you to read theirs, but not return the favor.
  2. Put the chapter # published in the title. This catches the eye of current readers and they’ll see new chapters are out. Episode also putting the last updated date helps with this.
  3. Social media. I didn’t have a writer social media account for the longest time, and my reads were zilch. When I joined the Instagram Episode Community, it was slow, but my reads did pick up.
    along with social media…
  4. Get reviews from Episode Groups. This has a 2-part benefit. The review will not only show you areas where your story can be improved, but also is a bit of a marketing point for your story. Most groups will publicly post your review. I actually find a LOT of great stories by seeing the reviews posted by the group I’m in.
  5. Update regularly. This also is far more important for smaller authors. If you update once every 6 months, even if a reader has your story saved, it will move farther and farther down their read list. I have stories at the end of my read list that haven’t been updated in years. Unless I saw them post on Instagram, I wouldn’t even know they updated their story.
  6. Take advantage or promotion opportunities. Sometimes authors (and Episode) will post asking for recommendations, or opportunities to get your story shout out. Take advantage of that.
  7. Don’t harass people to read your story. One of the biggest turn off to ANY member of the Episode community is to have people randomly DM them, saying, hey, will you check out my story? Make sure you have a good relationship with a person before you ask, and even then, don’t just ask for the sake of reads. Ask for feedback. People are more willing to read if you’re looking for actual help, and not just reads. I’ll be honest, if someone I’ve never talked to just randomly DMs me and asks if I’ll read their story, I’ll just delete the message, because it tells me you only want to use me for reads.
  8. Enter contests. This is by far the biggest way to get your writing out there. During contests, many people will read stories they wouldn’t otherwise find. Other than stories of friends or Patrons, that’s the only time I start new stories, and I find some real gems. But don’t just enter the contest to get reads. Make sure it fits the theme and abides by all the contest guidelines.

Notice that a lot of things from how to enter writer payments are the same as how to market your story? Not a coincidence.

Lastly, to just touch on another thing, yes, you get paid more as an author for having gem choices. In fact, I make more money off my gem reads than I do just off reads in general. Episode really does give back to authors who add gem choices to their stories.

Sorry, I can be long winded, but if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

4 Likes

Wow :star_struck: thank you so much! This is amazing. I love how the episode community is so supportive. These are great tips!

Can you explain a little more to me about the early access? How do I put that in when I go to publish my story?

I don’t think I’m going to add the skip the wait option, I would hate to do that to my readers.

What I originally wanted to do with my story is publish it when it’s completed. I feel like I’m so picky and I’m constantly changing things until I’m happy with it. So if I publish a few episodes at a time, I feel like I’m going to be wanting to go back into my previous episodes and change things around. Are readers more likely to read a story that’s complete or is it better to publish a few chapters at a time and just keep updating on social media, etc?

Thanks!!

And in your opinion, what do you think will gain more gems? I know you said make sure your readers don’t feel like their missing out by not choosing the right choice.

Example:

You have three outfits to choose from. One choice will allow you to read a bonus scene. And if you don’t choose the right choice, you will be able to view the scene with gems at the end of the chapter.

Or - should I just straight up make it a gem choice?

Early access is added to newly published chapters. On each chapter that’s applied, there’s a 7 day wait that can be unlocked with gems. Between the two, this one seems more successful than skip the wait. BUT you have to watch, because if you publish multiple chapters, 7 days is applied to EVERY episode published. Generally, when I’m adding early access, I publish 2 chapters. One free, one early access. So I’ll publish the free chapter, then publish the 2nd chapter with early access enabled.
One thing of note, if you update your chapters at any time within that 7 day wait, it resets the clock. That means that if on day 6, you have to change something and republish the chapter, it resets the early access and readers have to wait 7 days from the date it’s updated.

There are pros and cons to this. Yes, readers like to binge read completed stories, but with how trending works, especially with better trending with gem choices, it’s not really beneficial to you as a writer.
When my story The Lake was in the Fairytale contest, I had 7 chapters ready to go at deadline. I published the required 3, then waited. When the winners were announced, I published 2 chapters. 1 free and one with Early Access. Five days later, I published 2 more. (Those who didn’t pay for Early Access on 4 and 5 had to wait 7 days, but once it expired, they also got 2 chapters. The one locked by early access, and the new free one). It gave me time to finish the story, and I constantly trended high. I did this, publishing every 5 days until I ran out of available Episodes, and until the story was complete. I HIGHLY recommend prewriting as many chapters as you can before publishing, but don’t publish all chapters at the same time as a complete story. Trickle them. It will help with retention, trending, and other things.

I personally like

  1. Gems to top off points. This doesn’t disadvantage readers that don’t spend gems but gives a bonus to those who do. If you have multiple endings, it essentially guarantees the best ending. Doesn’t mean the best ending isn’t possible without gems. It’s just a way for readers to buy a guarantee.
  2. Skipping minigames. I love minigames, and I’ll often add skips with max points. If the minigame contains information, you can put… skip the minigame and get all the info or skip the minigame and get all possible points.
  3. Choice helper. This requires double coding on you but make it where readers can spend gems to see HOW each choice impacts points. Best to do it BY Episode than for the story as a whole.
  4. Bonus content. This can be additional scenes that maybe you cut from the main story. Side story scenes (especially if readers like side characters). Additional outfit choices. Sneak peeks at future Episodes also works.

I wouldn’t do this, because then readers who DID get gems feel cheated. They could have gotten that bonus scene for free. It’s kinda like reading an official story, and you get the result of the gem choice even by not picking it. That makes readers less likely to pick your gem choices in the future. You have to build their trust. My readers always know that my bonus content is exclusive to them. It may reveal information that’s given later in the story, but usually 10-15 chapters later (kinda goes along with that sneak peek thing). One of my most successful gem bonus choices was to see who the killer is. In the Ink version of the story, I NEVER revealed who the killer was. I made it an expensive gem choice, but those who read the Ink version knew I never disclosed it, so they KNEW it was a big thing).

Bottom line. You want to make sure that readers are getting what they paid for.

2 Likes

OOoOoh!!! That is a fantastic idea for my story and a gem choice!

I have a murder mystery in mine too. I don’t know if mine is kind of obvious who it is, but I don’t think some readers would catch on right away.

How many gems did you set it at and at what point in your story did you put it?

So I think I set it to 27 gems, but there’s a LOT of build up to it, and it’s a long story. So the choice presented itself when the MC tells the LI about the night her parents were murdered. The thing is, she doesn’t remember who did it, as her brain has blocked it out. At the end of the chapter, I say the MC may have blocked it from her memory, but for the first time, you can see who killed her parents (and why). This happens at chapter 32 and the story when complete will be 90 chapters long. So Ink readers KNEW that even after 90 chapters, I never revealed the killer.

1 Like

That was very smart of you to put that in. I think it’s a fantastic idea.

I could probably do something similar with mine and reveal the “plot twist” with a gem option about a third of the way into the story or so.

Thank you so much for all your tips and advice! It is much appreciated :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

1 Like

Moved to Episode Fan Community since this isn’t about story ideas or reviews. Make sure to check out our Forum Tutorial for more info about creating topics, and feel free to PM me if you’ve got questions. :smiley:

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.