The 3 Best Online Publishing Platforms for Serialised Fiction
Many online publishing and writing platforms, like Wattpad, Radish, and Kindle Vella, allow you to release your stories as serials. Publishing your work online is an excellent way to get your words in front of as many people as possible, and releasing them on a chapter-by-chapter basis keeps your audience engaged.
Wattpad is a popular online publishing platform and book-sharing community where writers publish and engage with readers. The site has over 90 million users. It is an excellent platform for indie authors to get their work in front of millions of potential readers and receive feedback from other writers to help improve their craft. While users can release their work as full books, most writers on Wattpad release on a chapter-by-chapter basis. Rather than waiting for a completed manuscript, they publish as they write.
Wattpad offers a variety of opportunities for authors at all levels. They have a paid program, Wattpad Stars, where the most popular authors are picked up for Wattpad Books or Studios. A wonderful team is constantly on the lookout for excellent stories and collaborates with authors to publish their books. They even pitch their work for TV series to production companies all around the world.
Wattpad Books collaborate with traditional publishers and work for writers similarly to how an agent would. The platform is very good at accumulating data on what books perform well and what trends are currently popular. Publishers can potentially pick up your book through this program. Similarly, Wattpad Studios does the same, but for optioning a writer’s work for television or film.
Wattpad is a great platform to hone your skills and connect with readers. Young adults are particularly engaged and enjoy commenting on stories and communicating with the platform’s authors directly. Community is very important on Wattpad, so make sure you allocate time for lots of engagement.
Radish is a curated online publishing platform. An author submits their work in advance. Once accepted, you can choose from different release and pricing models. They specialise in serialised fiction where readers can pay to unlock chapters or “episodes”, or wait a designated time to continue reading for free.
Authors can set their work with three different pricing models, Premium, Freemium, or Wait-to-Unlock. A premium story will cost readers three coins to unlock the next episode. Coins are bought through the Radish app and are equal to anywhere between 4p or 20p depending on the package purchased. The most cost-effective option for regular readers is a subscription of 200 coins a month costing £8.99.
The Freemium tier is a hybrid system in which a reader pays three coins per episode to read immediately, or if they’re happy to wait, each episode is free to read a minimum of seven days after publication. Wait-to-Unlock is not dissimilar to the Freemium model, but the author can set the time limit before each episode is free to read, and readers can choose to pay coins and unlock it earlier. There are also free stories on the platform to entice readers for which they won’t have to use coins.
If Radish accepts your work for publication you will be paid a few cents for each episode read. You can apply for monthly promotion programs to feature on the Radish homepage, which helps drastically increase your reads for the month. There is also a comments function so you can connect with your readers directly.
Spicy romance stories do very well on Radish. So if you’ve written something that might make someone blush on their daily commute, then this is the platform for you!
Kindle Vella is Amazon’s foray into the world of online publishing and serialised fiction. At the moment, it is only available to US-based authors, and episodes should be between 600-5000 words. A frequent release schedule is encouraged.
The first few episodes of a story will be available for free to attract readers, and then authors will receive 50% royalties of what readers spend on tokens to unlock the story’s subsequent episodes. Readers can purchase tokens in packs. Each token unlocks about 100 words, so 200 tokens (currently sold in a pack for $1.99), will unlock anywhere between 4-8 episodes. Kindle Vella also offers monthly bonuses for writers based on readers activity and engagement.
Romance, science-fiction, and fantasy stories currently do well on Kindle Vella, but literary fiction is also finding some success on the platform.
Whichever platform you may decide on, make sure you check out their terms. The most important one to check is exclusivity – must it be exclusive to one platform, and if yes, for how long? With most of these platforms, you are in charge, you get to decide if you’d like to take it down and publish it elsewhere. But, most importantly, these platforms allow you to build a fan base of readers who enjoy your work, and ensure you can make money from your writing.