So if you recall, a few weeks ago I had A THIRTYSOMETHINGLIFE CRISIS freak out and I registered for a google certificate class through Coursera. I’m at the point in my life where I work full time in customer service and I am desperate for a career change. While I hope that change will be to a full time writer, I’m also looking at alternatives.
As a kid, I used to build websites with html and spend hours doing it. I didn’t know what the internet was going to be or that it would be an actual job so I never really did anything with it. I was way too focused on my writing. I knew what I wanted to be and nothing was going to change my mind.
In my time as an internet user, a constant frustration for me has been the lack of a platform for fiction writers to monetize. There have been a few attempts.
Wattpad, which only just recently started paying its authors and only if you are part of their special program where you’ve got to have a BUNCH of followers. Joinsequel.com, which is new and I’m not sure about. Webnovel, Dreame, and Kindle Vella. Radish, which you have to submit to.
So far, Dreame is the one that functions best. It is easy for writers with no following to get a start. They go through a submission process, get paid, and then can start earning royalties as they gain followers. The most a story has to have is 500 to be entered into their pay-to-read program. And they also have a contract for full time writers. I’ve got 12 stories with them currently.
That said, each platform has its own difficulties. Wattpad I feel like has become more of a fanfiction website, which isn’t a bad thing it’s just it is VERY hard to get original works noticed on there. Joinsequel.com has not changed their website layout in over a year since I found out about them. They also do not have an app as far as I know. Or anyway for writers and readers to connect.
Dreame has a comments section, and people can follow writers. But: Dreame’s comments have to be read on the Starry writer app, the publisher that runs Dreame. And they often disappear or don’t show at all or they direct you to old comments. I told them about this, and their response was to use the app instead of the website. And it did the same thing. It makes connecting with readers hard and there is still no direct way to contact people. It’s a bug I’ve been dealing with and its a pain.
I spent this past week trying to get through the second Coursera class. If I can’t be a writer the traditional way, I am determined to make a writing career possible for everyone that wants to be. That’s why I’m dedicated to this class and learning how to build the app.
Self-publishing isn’t a radical concept the way that it once was. Legitimate authors have come from self-publishing. Colleen Hoover and Amanda Hocking, to name a few. However, there are costs associated with self-publishing that make people afraid of it.
If we have a platform that makes self-publishing universal, where writers can interact with readers and other writers and gain a following, it will be a complete game changer. Publishing is an intimidating business for a lot of reasons. There’s a lot of rejection.
An app like this would put the power of picking the next literary stars in the power of the people, rather than the power of the publishers. In talking about the way content is made, I feel this is something that has been a long time coming. There just hasn’t been the right person to do that.
I’m hoping by finishing this class, I’m that person. There are so many stories out there the world hasn’t been told yet. And I want to hear them all.
So, even though I’ve been taking and retaking the same quiz over for a week all while trying NOT to hit my head against the wall learning UX, I’m going to keep on doing it. Because I feel like this is the key to making literature accessible to everyone.
The internet was made for writers. It just hasn’t created a space for us yet. And so, I’m going to make one. Even if it drives me insane doing it.