First and foremost, I will answer the question about what MGS is.
In short, MGS stands for Minimum Guarantee Scheme where writers contracted exclusively under Webnovel will receive a monthly payout of USD200 for uploading total word count of 1,500 or more, daily in a month for the first four months provided their total earnings within the month doesn't exceed USD200.
For more information, you can find out about the terms and conditions here.
Just for curious people, this is the new MGS introduced in 2020.
As an author on the Webnovel platform for 2 years, I have experienced both the old MGS and new MGS benefits. Here is what I think about it.
Q1: Is this sustainable?
Personally, no. I live in Singapore and we have a very high standard of living. USD200 cannot cover my utility bill, much less my rental, food and transportation. A healthy wage size for a single person in Singapore to support themselves would be SGD2,000 which is also my goal.
If you would like to help me achieve my monthly goal of earning SGD2,000 a month, head over to my Patreon, any amount would help and exclusive content perks begin at USD1!
However, if you live in a different country where the standard of living is low, USD200 is actually not a bad deal to have for the first four months after contracting your book.
Q2: How many hours do you write a day under MGS?
Assuming my speed of writing is on average 1,000 words an hour, I would only need 1.5 hours to meet the MGS requirement of daily upload of 1,500 words or more.
However, I'm an over-achiever. I write 5 book on-going at the same time so my real writing time spent is about 10 hours at the desk (inclusive of all the streaming, marketing and editing that I do). My real daily word count is anything from 5,000 to 10,000 with my highest words written as 13,000+.
Q3: Would you recommend MGS to anyone who isn't a full-time author?
Absolutely. This new MGS is better suited to those who hold full-time jobs and write on the side. The old MGS required writers to upload a total of 80,000 words or more in a month to qualify for USD400, 60,000 words for USD300 or 40,000 words for USD200.
Yes, I was that one crazy person who wrote 80,000 words or more in a month under the old scheme. I did that for four full months too.
Q4: What are some of the difficulties you experienced while doing the MGS?
For starters, the pressure of deadline and missing is real. If you get a writer's block, you cannot afford a few days off unless you already have a stockpile of chapters.
Also, scheduling errors might occur, making you miss a day. 1 day of no upload is all Webnovel needs to not give you that USD200 payout that you worked so hard for.
The buggy writing Inkstone platform that Webnovel uses also doesn't register published chapters with their edited word counts. Hence, the real 1,500 words only count when the system records it, regardless of if it was a bug or your miscalculation.
The lack of good coffee, music for writing, air-conditioning and noise from the COVID period of working from home also affected me greatly during the MGS period for Love Journal. Boy am I glad this is finally over even if it means I'd be broke after the MGS period ends because I simply don't have paying readers.
Q5: Would you recommend anyone to go for MGS?
After all the negative things I've said, I would still encourage writers who have signed their work rights to the company to go for MGS. For many like me who write niche and don't sell well to the audience of that platform, this could be your only chance to break even on profits for your work.
That said, I'm never going to sign another exclusive contract anywhere. I learnt that it wasn't worth it so I'll now only entertain friendly non-exclusive contracts.
This concludes the 5 Questions About My Webnovel MGS Experience. I will be making a Youtube video about this so do remember to subscribe to my channel for more content!
Update: In 2023, this MGS scheme is no longer applicable. Please check out this blog for the updates and differences.