Whichever reading and writing platforms and free web novel apps you prefer and use, setting up your website is the best option for publishing your work, regardless of whether it’s an article, a writing prompt, a short story, a novel, or a novel non-fiction book.
If this is your cup of tea or this topic interests you, stay throughout the post to learn about my experience as a self-published author when I relied on free web novel apps.
Consider this as your beginner’s guide to publishing stories using free web novel platforms.
Toward the end, you will find alternative self-publishing solutions I propose for your books to ensure you’re on the right path to achieving your publishing goals.
Table of Contents
- What are Free Web Novel Apps?
- Why Do Free Web Novel Apps Gain Popularity?
- My Experience with Free Web Novel Apps
- Here’s What I Learned After Uploading Books on Free Web Novel Apps
- How Do Writers Benefit from Free Web Novel Apps?
- Should you write & publish stories on free web novel apps? My Final Thoughts
What are Free Web Novel Apps?
First, how do these applications work for all writers, regardless of their chosen genre or industry?
Web novel apps are typically mobile applications designed to create a massive online library of stories while inviting aspiring authors to share their work.
Platforms like Wattpad, Webnovel, Inkitt, and Goodnovel are just a few examples of these applications available on various app stores across devices worldwide.
You can check out the list of popular web novel apps below.
Popular free web novel apps
- Scribble Hub
- Royal Road
- Wuxia World
According to Quora users who tried using these platforms for reading and writing, this web novel system helps authors build their online presence while earning legitimate returns, such as gifts, prices from sporadic contests, and more.
To understand how the system works and better understand the behind-the-scenes process, allow me to share my experience using free web novel apps over the last nine years.
Why Do Free Web Novel Apps Gain Popularity?
- A new book publishing algorithm challenges the traditional view of book publishing.
- Authors receive credits and concrete progress from readers’ increase and engagement before the book publishing process.
- Audiences from Japanese manga readers and Korean comic readers, as well as others, come together and enjoy Chinese Wuxia web novels and light novels to kill time.
My Experience with Free Web Novel Apps
Since Wattpad existed around ten years ago, I have been writing and uploading stories, even though many still needed to be completed.
However, in 2020, my younger sister told me to look at other free web novel apps widely available for authors like me. So, I did.
In 2022, I uploaded two of my works on Webnovel, Inkitt, and Tapas, to name a few. I thought this would likely increase my book’s audience reach at that time, consequently bringing more avid readers and fans.
Well, this is what they promise. But is it like that? Do these free web novel apps fulfill their promises to their target audiences—aspiring authors, traditionally published or self-published?
This is the point of writing this article. It isn’t to discriminate or invalidate platforms’ vision and mission statements but to evaluate whether writers earn positive Returns of Investment (ROI) using them including me.
As a writer, I want to know whether sharing my work through this approach is worth my while and find alternative solutions or ways to move forward in case this doesn’t work.
Here’s What I Learned After Uploading Books on Free Web Novel Apps
1. Build an author website.
It’s better to have an author website to showcase your writing expertise and publish your work. This option is beneficial for book marketing, whether you’re traditionally published or self-published.
Additionally, you can exercise complete control of your entire writing business, which isn’t possible if you rely on platforms like these. If you want to learn more about other reasons to set up your author website, click here.
2. Be careful when signing up for the contracts they offer you.
Once you sign up for these free web novel apps, you’re expected to sign a contract and write a specific number of words within a timeframe, which isn’t suited for intuitive writers who rely on intuition when creating great stories.
For instance, you had around 50,000 words when you submitted the manuscript (because they’ll ask you to submit one). When it’s ongoing work, they may ask you to write more if your book gets popular.
They may ask you to write 100,000 words within a specific period, and if you fail, you’re breaching the contract. That may get you into trouble even when you don’t want to.
3. Don’t sign up for exclusive contracts.
You don’t have complete control of your story because their editorial teams demand you to please your readers rather than follow your plot as you imagined.
For instance, I received an email from one of their editorial members asking me to change the book’s setting from “leading male character” to “leading female character” to fit the requirement of a competition or an opportunity.
When I refused, she wrote, “It doesn’t take a lot of effort to change a setting. So, why can’t you do it?”
I said, “I know my book, so I know I don’t have to change anything.”
And then she stopped replying. No follow-up emails anymore. Nothing. It was as if she had vanished into thin air.
4. Be a self-publisher.
As a self-publisher, you can ask for a non-exclusive contract before the agent convinces you to sign up for an account and provide further instructions to complete and validate.
5. Don’t rush it. Great stories take time to create.
Stay away if you encounter any publishing platform or company that says you must finish this and that chapter within this time. Better run, and never look back again!
6. Be consistent in your publishing schedules.
Ideally, publishing once a week is excellent. If you like to post more than one chapter weekly, you must ensure you can sustain it in the long run.
However, daily posting isn’t recommended. Take it from my experience. I tried posting new chapters almost every single day, only to find myself beyond exhausted. Don’t do this.
Do you remember what I said before? Don’t rush it.
How Do Writers Benefit from Free Web Novel Apps?
- Building author brand and loyal fans from Day 1
- Potential contract signing deals (Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive contracts)
- Gaining massive book exposure to readers worldwide without any cost.
- Earning a legit passive income from paid chapters, fan gifts, etc.
Should you write & publish stories on free web novel apps? My Final Thoughts
Yes, it’s the future of publishing, and no, especially if you have no completed work before you sign up for a contract.
Once you have a manuscript of a fleshed-out novel beforehand, they can’t say about your story or demand you to add more chapters because it’s finished.
If not, you have to read each platform’s terms and conditions, as well as the pros and cons, before uploading your book.
For instance, there are free novel apps like Webnovel, wherein you can’t delete anything once you upload your manuscript, unlike Wattpad.
Consequently, I was forced to hide the book by changing its reader settings because I couldn’t. Nevertheless, this option remains attractive for aspiring authors worldwide.
On the other hand, stay away from exclusive contracts. Signing up for exclusive agreements with them could be your worst nightmare.
Despite the known risks, it can be worth your time and effort if you stay a non-exclusive talent.
This provides you with more publishing opportunities outside their platforms as soon as you decide to self-publish your novel anytime you want.
If you rely on free web novel apps to distribute your books, feel free to share your first-hand experiences. Let me know your thoughts about this topic in the comment section below.