Publishing is changing. Do I think Apps like Tapas and Radish are going to replace paperback and ebooks? No, but I do think they have great opportunities for authors and might be one of the best ways to build a readership in the coming years.
I put together this Power Point presentation and presented it at Ad Astra 2019 and decided to share it to my blog, so let’s dive in.
These are the main Apps I focused on for this presentation, although there are plenty of other Apps out there. I picked these four because they are the platforms I hear about the most and because writers have had notable success on them.
What Even Happens on these Apps?
Apps like Tapas and Radish are specifically for serialized fiction. Think of serialized fiction as slow-releasing chapters. Every time you upload a new chapter or episode, your material pops up in a new section and readers are able to find your work.
Depending on the App, after you have enough subscribers or followers, you can either generate revenue through Ads, locking chapters, or Wait-for-Free.
- Ad Revenue – Ads appear under your chapter or readers have to watch a small ad before they continue on to the next chapter. The author makes a small percentage from each ad.
- Locking Chapters – Readers unlock chapters (or episodes) buy paying with in app currency, such as coins or ink.
- Wait-for-Free – Readers have to wait a set number of days before they can read the next chapter or they can pay in app currency to unlock the chapter and read it immediately.
Why Publish on Apps?
To expand on what I’ve written above, think of publishing to one of these platforms as a way of either building a larger following or an additional source of income.
With the exception of Tapas premium catalog (unless you co-produce with them), Radish, the Wattpad premium catalog, and Webnovel all require exclusivity when you publish with them. Meaning you cannot publish a novel into Wattpad Premium or on Webnovel and then sell the novel on Amazon, for example. For those platforms, you will need to write new material, but again, think of this as a way to reach new readers.
Which App is for you?
The text on this slide is pretty tiny, so I’ll summarize.
Unlike Radish which has an application process, anyone can post their story to Wattpad. Like previously stated, they have over 70 millions users, however, a good portion of those users are writers. With such a saturated market, it is very difficult to get your book seen.
Once it does get seen (think over ten thousand reads and several hundred followers to start), Wattpad may accept your submission to one of their paid programs or even pitch your novel to publishers and film companies.
So while it will take a lot of work without immediate compensation (months, possibly years), the platform does boast some pretty huge successes.
Wattpad currently has no systems in place for authors to make ad revenue or receive donations. You can only make money on your novels if you are accepted into one of their premium programs.
I love this app. As an author and artist, I love comics, and I love that I get to be a part of a community that not only supports comic artists and writers, but authors too.
Despite what I wrote on the above slide, about it taking time to build subscribers, I was able to reach 100 subscribers in less than a year. I am currently making ad revenue from my books, and I will reach the minimum requirement to pitch my series to Tapas this year–and it’s all thanks to the readers and Tapas team.
I cannot praise this platform enough and I’ll make sure to go into more detail about Tapas in my next post.
Edit: Tapas has over 2 million users as of 2021
I put in an application to get one of my novels on this app, but I totally pitched the wrong story and was rejected 😥 , but I’m so in love with Tapas it doesn’t bother me.
Radish is extremely romance focused; contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and fantasy romance etc. You name it, as long as it’s romance, they’ve got it. In interviews, the Cofounder SY Lee, has said that they publish other genres as well, but as someone who has downloaded the app, went through the books, and applied with a paranormal mystery novel, I can tell you with confidence that it’s rare. I mean, the App is pink.
Regardless, this is great news for romance authors and probably their best fit, next to Wattpad. Besides, the App is pretty cool. Once accepted, writers make good money on this platform (noted in the slide above), and as someone who took a stroll around, I can honestly say it’s well put together. One of the most interesting features was that I could read entire stories through text messages.
The texts pop up as you scroll down, as if you’re watching people have a text conversation. It was pretty cool.
I don’t use this platform, so I really didn’t know enough about it. On message boards, I’ve seen authors complaining about not getting paid and having issues with copyright, but then other authors are making a killing. In addition, this article claims they have “stepped up their game,” so it’s possible those issues have been handled.
I mostly included it because number-wise, it’s the largest competitor for Wattpad right now, with supposedly over 10 million visitors. You can read more about it here.
Boom. Shameless advertising of my own novels.
As a closing thought, I’d just like to mention that younger generations use their phone for almost everything: communicating, watching Youtube, listening to music, social networking, games, and reading. This generation and the next will be reading on their phones and if authors want to stay connected, they should start publishing on these Apps now.
Don’t stop making paperbacks and ebooks; branch out and do it all. Create an account for one or two of these platforms, give them a try, and start building a larger readership.
You can check out my account on Tapas HERE.