Updated: May 9
Recently I took the plunge to finally edit My Wife is an E-Ghost! for publishing on Kindle. The process took me almost five weeks for the first editing round converting the manuscript into something Kindle worthy.
Here are some things I learned in the tedious process that you can avoid if your ultimate aim is to publish your webnovel manuscript to kindle.
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#1: Length of the Novel
This should be a no-brainer. Everyone who reads and writes Webnovels will know that they can range from a hundred chapters to a thousand chapters. However, for a Kindle publication, please do as Romans would do in Rome.
You could refer to this guide for an appropriate kindle styled manuscript length to plan your work. While Amazon doesn't have a lower limit for words, it is recommended to design a length appropriate for your kindle audiences and price it accordingly.
#2: Writing Style
Many writers on Webnovel mask their writing style because of the average IQ for webnovel readers. Many readers on webnovel do not have Good English and writers often write simply, including many traditionally fatal flaws in their writing to cater to those types of readers.
In publishing an e-fiction on kindle where the readers are truly book devourers, you might want to take into account that webnovel's general writing style would sit badly with these readers. Offer a balance when creating your work and find a style that can be accepted by both audiences.
Alternatively, you can rewrite the story completely like what I did to suit the kindle readers after you finished the webnovel draft.
#3: Chapter Length
While there are no fixed lengths for chapters, webnovel chapters are generally shorter when compared to paperback novels. Their chapter ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 words while novels have chapters from 2,500 and above, usually not crossing 5,000 words.
It isn't necessary to change this when converting your webnovel story into a kindle book. However, do note that shorter chapters mean fewer pages in a chapter and it could be rather awkward to flip three pages for each chapter when reading.
Chapter headers take up quite a huge amount of line spacing so if your chapters are too short, you might find 30% of your book's content just catered to fanciful chapter headers in print.
#4: Choice of Names
Many writers use names that aren't English for Webnovel simply because of the Chinese fiction inspirations on the site. While there is no rule saying you may not use non-native English names in your works on Amazon, please choose names that are easy for your English native readers to remember.
Choosing a name like "Fu Meng Yuan" and "Fu Meng Ying" could very well confuse your English readers as "Yuan" and "Ying" are foreign words starting with similar letters.
If you cannot change those names, you could opt for translating them. Eg: "Wu Di Jin Gua" to Peerless Pumpkin. It might sound strange in translation but hey! It would definitely make an impression on your readers.
Publishing on Webnovel could be an easy process depending on the platform you use. However, not all platforms offer the full Microsoft word formatting functions. Often, you will see webfiction writers using strange lines and symbols to make formatting breaks.
Eg: [System Announcement: Come get you cat back!]
Eg: /// What the fuck?!/// Xiao Hei neighed. ///Can't you crack a fart properly?///
You have received 6 coins and 5 xp.
Those? Yeah... consider them unique formatting for webnovels. That's because things like bold, italic, align centre functions are missing from the publishing platform.
Hence, if you are writing a novel that required such functions please save two copies. The first in a kindle formatting and the second for webnovel publishing. Trust me, it makes your editing life a lot simpler later.
#6: Cover Design
Seasoned web fiction writers know that Web fiction sites don't care much for the copyright of the cover images. Most covers are ripped from Pinterest and edited with Fonts for a title and author name using Microsoft Paint.
I know that. Been there, done that. Unless the original art creator comes after the author, nothing can be done about the piracy of images. Karma goes in a circle. Writers pirate images for their covers and get their woks pirated by free reading sites.
However, for Amazon works, I suggest spending a few bucks to get a copyright strike free cover. You can pay for one as little as USD5 on Fiverr or if you know a little Photoshop or Canva, you could make one yourself.
**DO NOT USE COPYRIGHT OWNED IMAGES ON PINTEREST FOR YOUR AMAZON KINDLE OR PAPERBACK.**
Once you get filed for copyright, Amazon will ban your account and that's the end of your Amazo publishing career.
#7: Contracts Signed
Some writers sign contracts with web fiction platforms. You can read more about the types of contracts in my previous blog. Please note that if you signed an EXCLUSIVE contract, you are not allowed to publish your work on Amazon even if it is edited. That is a straight-up violation of the clause.
For NON-EXCLUSIVE contracts, you might find that you have to first finish publishing your work on the web fiction site you're writing on and wait for a period of time before you're allowed to republish that work elsewhere.
For any contracts signed, please note that you will not be eligible in the 70% profit-sharing scheme on Amazon for exclusivity. This remains to be seen as Amazon updates its policy but this is what I know from research and working on various platforms for years.
Always read the terms and conditions properly and plan your moves five steps ahead before even creating your book so you don't get whiplashed by changes and your plans entirely ruined by policy changes.
When creating a book for the ultimate goal of publishing on Amazon while giving it exposure in the web fiction circle, plot like no tomorrow for both the content and marketing requirements. You need a 5-headed move in order to avoid all the obstacles in the way to make this a clean kill. Don't hesitate to badger your web fiction editors to ask about the contract terms with the possibility of publishing on Amazon.
Exercise shamelessness. It's their job to answer anyway.