Updated: May 9
You've heard about Webnovel or might be approached by them with a tempting contract offer. You tried checking online reviews and do not know what to think about them. Most people say good things about them but are they really as good as what so many claimed?
In today's blog, we explore the darker side of Webnovel that you might not know.
Disclaimer: It is not a hate post about Webnovel. I still write and post my works there, signing their contracts.
If you wish to know more about writing on Webnovel, consider checking out my other posts:
*This list is not comprehensive. I've only included all the posts I've done so far as of writing blog date.
Patreons to credit: Anechke. -This could be you. Join now.-
With that, let's begin.
#1 Marketing Opportunities
There are good things about writing on Webnovel and signing an exclusive contract. For anyone who is a marketing idiot, the platform will feature your contracted work periodically. You don't have to do anything, and people will still find your work that's published on their app.
However, here is a catch. Depending on your book's genre, popularity, demand, reader base and profitability, Webnovel reserves the right to decide the slots and frequency of your feature on their app and home page.
Oh, and if you don't have an original cover design that you have to create by yourself or pay someone else to do it, you're automatically excluded from any social media external feature consideration by their marketing team. After all, they don't want any trouble with copyright from the original Pinterest image content creator.
Despite this shady treatment, there is good news. You can do the marketing yourself even if you're an idiot if your stepmother Webnovel mistreats you. Here are some (hopefully) helpful posts by yours truly about how to market yourself and your works as a writer!
#2 Nobody is a Friend
If you're excited about meeting other writers on the Webnovel community, that's great! However, Webnovel isn't going to involve themselves in the writers' writing community on their platform and outside of it. Why? They have no time to meddle with cliche writer bullies and drama when they are trying to increase their profits.
You might find a few kind and helpful souls in the writing community on Webnovel. However, competition and survival always bring the worst out of anyone. Nobody is a friend. Everyone is a rival and a competitor because we all strive to be that writer. We can do anything from leaving you a bad review to deter readers, slandering your name, bullying new and ignorant sheep, give bad advice and seducing your readers while comforting you in the name of friendship.
Scary, isn't it? Even the editors cannot do anything about what goes on in the writing community you're cordially invited to join. Talk to people, network. But always remember that behind every smile is a rival writer waiting to snatch your readers and put you out of business for good.
#3 Toxic Culture
It is no surprise that any artistic individual or creative content creator has an ego. It comes with the package of talent, no matter how much talent we have. However, sometimes this ego goes overboard. In an extremely competitive environment like Webnovel, where everybody would do anything to get to where they want, it tends to bring out the worst in a person.
Toxic culture exists everywhere, but some places more than others. Not going to lie about it because writing with Webnovel for 3 years proved to me that I can become negative and toxic too just by hanging out with that community. Now that I left that community, I'm starting to enjoy my bully-free life.
Please remember that you have a life outside of Webnovel and writing. Many people who write and read on Webnovel also have real lives but maybe shittier than what we have. The easiest outlet for them to pour all their negativity in Webnovel, and Webnovel doesn't deal with the toxic culture because they are the people bringing the money in.
Personally, I don't want to deal with the toxic culture anymore, so I simply write what I do and happily receive money in my bank at the end of every month. It's better this way, trust me.
#4 DIY Writer
Did Webnovel make it sound like you were going to be the next superstar? That you will have managers managing your bookings, people lining up to do your makeup and obscene paycheques once you sign the contract?
Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but the reality hits differently. Even after you sign that contract, you're still going to have to do everything from writing, editing, cover designs and marketing. Top authors of Webnovel do everything themselves before they were earning five-digit figures, and some still do.
What do you think makes you any different from them?
#5 Writing Culture
I think I mentioned this a couple of times in all my live streams. Webnovel is a quantity favouring platform, and quality compromise is acceptable. It drains the content creator's soul and puts constant pressure, demanding new content even if there isn't any.
Burnouts, depression, jealousy and a lot of negative emotions are associated with working on this platform. Even the editors can find themself overwhelmed, so the writing and work culture is undesirable. It becomes important for writers working with Webnovel to take extra care of themselves because Webnovel isn't responsible for you.
With that said, if you think that you are ready for your journey with Webnovel, hop right on! You can also share your experience in the comments section, so don't be shy!