This is a really smart idea. Is there any way Wattpad can see this. I want to see authors making a good amount of money from Wattpad but at the same time, I want to read for free. So your ideas work brilliantly!
Wattpad have seen this, both Nick and I work for Wattpad.
I saw the title of this thread and first thought it is RIP wallets.
They have also managed to find ways around Adblockers.
Just wait until they are pop ups in the middle of the chapter on mobile.
I have also thought about other ways of creating a more compatible coinage system. I understand the compulsion to look for ways to help aspiring authors, and I can agree with Wattpad’s reasoning and motivations on that, though I believe there is much merit to be gained in exploring more possibilities and tabled options before the end of the Beta testing of Wattpad Next, as Nick said.
When I first joined Wattpad, the platform was a fantastical idea that sparked my inspiration and drove my imagination forward. I found a community where aspiring authors could publicize their works, receiving feedback, creating connections, meeting editors and publishers, and advertising their creations. As an author, it was a friendly environment where creativity was applauded and quality became a goal of development. As a reader, it was an endless source of literature. There were entire worlds that became available. I found a home among the words of Wattpad writers.
Things have gradually changed, and Wattpad is becoming something very different from that homely community I once cherished. I have watched the growth of ads on Wattpad. This is understandable. Funds must be made. I have even accepted the extremely invasive ads - the ones that appear right in between paragraphs at climactic moments, ripping the world you have become mesmerized in asunder - without complaint. I am a rational and reasonable person. I can bend, and I love Wattpad. I wouldn’t give it up for the world. (I will come back to this.)
There are problems with the Coinage system as it stands, however. I would like to stand up against parts of the Coin system - not the system itself. To me, it ruins what Wattpad was meant to be. There are plenty of other websites that use such things, as Renoe_K pointed out.
Wattpad is different from these other sources in its unique freedom of access to expression. Yes, it is a noble cause to look for ways to garner profits for Wattpad writers, but there are so many other ways authors do this. Many use Patreon to gain funding, on a basis of donation or by extending access to contributors to advanced or additional content. Others simply post samples of their published works to advertise them.
I myself support several authors through Patreon services. I would like to see further exploration to incorporate things like that into Wattpad so we don’t have to rely on outside sources. I do not appear to be the only one. (@charlottemallory)
In addition, I help edit for a few amateur authors, another subject Wattpad could expand upon - as the Improve Your Writing Community resource does not work so effectively. I will be - as I am now - happy to see any other avenues that the Wattpad team creates for giving back to our authors.
Please do not see my feedback as mere opposition to change. I do support movements to help and support authors, and the Coin system is a boon for those that are able to successfully use it. They system has definite benifits. In particular, it can attract authors from other platforms seeking other audiences. For instance, this author has used the Wattpad Next program to expand. (@TamaraLush)
I also see the potential the system has to have a very different effect, however. Wattpad truly is a community. By introducing Coins, Wattpad will be splitting that community into factions of more affluent and successful authors from those less known and distinguished, rewarding one over the other. Wattpad will also be splitting the readers into factions able to pay for chapters from those that cannot. I believe it is pertinent to restate Renoe_K’s insight:
I could see many authors and readers forgoing Wattpad due to these facts. Readers will fade away as their favorite works are torn from them or become too expensive to read; writers will lose inspiration and pride in their works if they are unable to generate income from them. Case and point (@SchuylerThorpe):
They developing system may not be implemented with the purpose of creating divisions, but it can, and it inevitably will. I do not know how deep those divisions will be. Perhaps the Coin system will have little effect on the normal activities of Wattpad authors and readers. I may find little to comment about in a year’s time. As stated previously (@TheOrangutan):
Yet perhaps not. This is where I urge caution, reevaluation, and perhaps restructuring. I still believe voluntary donation is the better route. It provides funds to authors without causing such a division among the readers. Donations could be directly to an author or to a distribution system accessible at the top of stories - perhaps both. Funds could be distributed from the system among authors according to views, votes, comments, and placement in the charts.
Renoe_K’s proposal of the expansion of the ads on Wattpad Next participants is another excellent approach.
If the Coin system is truly for the authors, set up a donation system similar to Patreon for ease of voluntary donations. Increase and incorporate some of the ads in the chapters (and to unlock Wattpad Next chapters) into author income based on views. Find other ways that will not destroy the community that has been built. Otherwise, perhaps the Coin system is a mode of furthering greed’s conquest on communal literature, not the prospering of the authors.
I truly believe that, though these two things are similar, they are not the same. The distinction, I believe, lies in the relationship between the reader and the author. I feel that the Coinage system tarnishes that relationship. It changes our community. (@charlottemallory)
My fears - and those of many more of the community - may be due to assumptions, as Nick pointed out:
Nevertheless, I wouldn’t agree with the last sentence of his post. As posted previously (@TheOrangutan):
It is our responsibility as the Wattpad community to monitor changes and developments. If we fear there is a threat - which it is obvious many do - we must cross analyze. We must make argument and counter-arguments. We must propose solutions. These are our only ways of shaping Wattpad for the better. To do otherwise would be a folly, a mistake, and a transgression on our responsibility.
would beckon a circular argument. Yes, there are still stories available on the free side, but there are also stories reserved only for the Wattpad Next side. It goes back and forth. To claim satisfaction should be found in one and not the other, for either side, would be incorrect, faulty logic. In fact, satisfaction is found on both sides. That is why so many are trying to find a way of providing access to both in a way that maintains the purpose of the separation.
And I do believe the seperation is important. I believe the distinction should be obvious, quite agreeing with another post (@charlottemallory):
Truly, from authors and readers alike I have found disapproval of the new Coin beta testing. Authors find it to be unloyal to block their readers off from their works - works they originally published to be shared with the community. Readers find it frustrating to find a work that they enjoyed walled off by Coin barriers. Many, both authors and readers, joined Wattpad because of its free nature. The Coin system gives Wattpad something it has never had: a superficial air. That’s what tells me it isn’t ready.
There is more to test. There are ideas to share. And there are plenty willing to keep searching for a more appropriate solution or adequate tweaks to the existing system. (@charlottemallory; @palestarlightcowboy; @shadesofamber)
I have been blown away time and time again by Renoe_K. He is a distinguished, popular, and sucessful author, yet he has not ever used that fact to take advantage of his readers. He has said he will never make payment a requirement for reading his series of Parallel - something I respect him immeasureably for. He doesn’t even ask for donations or contributions; he simply provides the opportunity for readers to do so if it is their wish. He makes use of Patreon, creating realistic goals and reasonable ways of reaching them. He has even created a Discord server to increase the interactions within the community around his works (which has been extremely successful in forming new bonds and friendships). I support him on Patreon, not because I have to, but because I choose to. If he can do all of this for his readers despite his popular, successful, distinguished status and from his status as a mere author of Wattpad, I believe the Wattpad community and teams can do so as well. Together, we can find a solution suitable for Wattpad’s needs that preserves what has already been built.
Nick, take that time. All of it you and your team need. Let the “monolithic entity” of Wattpad move as slowly as it wants. I don’t care how long it takes. Just make sure that when it is done, it is done right.
I still love and trust Wattpad and its community, but there is the risk of a change for the worse. Caution is needed to correctly gauge how such changes will affect what Wattpad is becoming. I know Wattpad is not like Webnovel. It is not an organization not focused on the readers and writers forming its community, instead focused on pulling as much profit from its users as possible. It is more than that, more than a business. To me, it will always be mroe. I believe in a better Wattpad. I believe in the community.
Though, of course, this is just an opinion. I will watch to see how the Coin system progresses.
Thank you for the interesting and thoughtful analysis. Much to think about, and I’m glad you are willing to see how the coin system progresses.
Here’s something that hasn’t been said in this debate: the program is successful. How do I know this? While I can’t give specific numbers, I know exactly how many people are reading my paid chapters. Unlike most of the other books in the program, my book began the day Next started — it’s being written specifically for this program.
So I can assure you that there are a good number of people who are willing to pay coins for books. Sure, there are plenty of people who don’t like the system. I’ve chatted with many of them
ETA: I also have a pretty good idea of readership patterns of serials, as I also publish on Radish. I’ve been impressed with the amount of readers on the paid chapters on Wattpad.
But there are people who will pay, and I’m guessing that Wattpad is trying to capture those readers — and readers who pay to read on places like Radish, Tapas, and even Amazon. It’s good business sense.
We can debate whether a coin system is part of Wattpad’s “mission.” Naturally, I believe free and paid content can co-exist peacefully.
It’s always a good idea to keep one’s options open and to try new things.
This is critically important information, to me if no one else, thanks VERY much for saying this.
I suspect that when the coins become easier to get and use, they will get passed around and the WP economy will shift somewhat, but the communities will pretty much stay the same.
WattPad is not going to become Amazon.
Has anyone considered the idea that, as additional reward, the author gains that many coins? If I spent 5 on a story, they would gain five?