Drew is an online novelist with three e-published works. A bibliophile and a voracious reader. A writer who loves to muse about life.
Build Your Fan Base
Have you ever wondered how you can get your novel or story into the hands of fans who will truly appreciate it? Perhaps you've tried self-publishing an eBook, but you got less than stellar results. Maybe you have gone the traditional publishing route and met a manifold of rejections.
I know, I know. You are going to tell me that even J. K. Rowling got rejected a lot of times, or Stephen King’s Carrie almost went to the garbage bin. Sure, it's happened, but in reality, how many aspiring fiction writers actually succeed?
Most of the time, amateur fiction writers don’t fail because their works are bad. Rather, they fail because there is no demand for their work. In other words, it doesn’t have a fan base. Only a handful of people know your work even exists. Maybe your mom, your friend, or your niece has read your work, but that's it. I hate to break this down to you, but your work has no traction at all. No one cares.
Luckily, there is another path fiction writers can take when trying to publish their work. If you're an amateur writer and want and get followers and readers, this is for you. Below, four sites where you could build your reader fan base and earn from your work are discussed in detail.
Pens up! Let’s get into it.
1. Royal Road
Royal Road calls itself the home of web novels and fan fiction. Well, I agree with that. This site boasts one of the largest online readerships on the world wide web. It boasts thousands of web novel series in its database. The site is filled with aspiring and professional authors. Awesome right?
Okay, now let me break down the pros and cons of Royal Road. If your goal is to gain traction, fans, or followers, then this fiction writing hub is definitely for you. They have a lot of readers. And when I say a lot, I mean it—big time. It is almost impossible not to get a single follow, especially if your web novel is within a certain niche.
Most readers on Royal Road are young adults or young at heart. It is also an open secret in the community that Royal Road readers love specific genres. Lit-RPG, reincarnation, sci-fi, and fantasy are the best crowd-getters on this platform.
Anyway, all you need to do is publish your wonderful work on the site and be consistent. Oh, and don’t worry—all rights remain yours. Your work won't be going anywhere.
Be wary of the quality of every chapter that you post on the site. Check the grammar. Don’t dig yourself a plot hole, then expect your readers to take the bait. Believe me. Royal Road is also well-known for its critical user base. They will slice up your work if it is not up to par. They know when it is rubbish or not. So, if you publish there and fail big time because of plot or grammar issues, don’t come running to me crying. I warned you.
I've already published a few chapters of my web novel series there. So far, so good. To gain and grow your fan base in Royal Road, expect that you need to release at least a chapter a week. Or, if you want a faster boost, do it every day (or every other day) if possible. Readers are fickle beings—they love both quality and quantity.
Now, let’s get to the money matters. Royal Road authors get their bucks through the support of their fans. Most of them have their own PayPal links for donations. Creating a Patreon account is also a good thing if you want to earn more. Through Patreon, you could offer advanced chapters to your readers in exchange for a few bucks.
Heck, a few writers even earn big money through it. I saw one author earning more than $10,000 a month. Unbelievable right? Royal Road also has a very user-friendly interface for its authors and readers.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Read More From Toughnickel
Webnovel is one of the largest online reading platforms in the world. It claims that it already has over 200 countries. The platform also boasts of having 100 thousand works, ranging from novels to comics. Oh, they also claim to have over 60 thousand authors from all over the world. Big, isn’t it?
I also made an account on this site. The fun thing about this site is its capability to help you reach a great number of readers. You will need to provide your readers with three things. Quality, quantity, and consistency. Then spice it up with a little patience. Trust me, you will soon get those organic comments and fans coming your way.
Webnovel has a very active fandom and has a lower threshold for quality as compared to Royal Road. This place seems to love everything under the sun. You bait a fish, and they get your fish and chew it too.
Still, things couldn't be too perfect. Putting in effort is a must. If you want to earn, you must first get contracted with them. Publishing at least 1,500 words a day is their basic rule. In that way, it will keep your readers active. Yet, the returns are great, especially if you're good. I don’t know why but that’s how their system work.
Another problem I picked up is their contracts. If you are a budding author from a first-world country, you will not like their contract. If you are from a low-middle income country, their offer is actually good enough for a simple living. It seems like their target authors are also from such countries. And if your novel is of pleasant quality with a lot of follows, you can even live with excess.
Can I earn through this platform? The answer is yes. I knew a lot of authors getting payouts here. Your earnings will depend on the traffic your novel brings once you get contracted. And some authors I know on this platform earn nice bucks. I knew I few guys earning at least $10,000 or more from writing on this platform. No bull, you can search for it.
Overall Rating: 8/10
3. Scribble Hub
Scribble Hub calls itself the home of original web stories. A platform dedicated to helping authors grow as authors. Simple and clear, isn’t it? Hey, that’s how they described themselves on their ‘about us’ page. This platform is still budding, but its prospect is high, considering its fast readership growth.
So, what’s good about it? The platform’s community is awesome. Scribble Hub is non-toxic and lighthearted as compared to its counterparts. You can even play with them in their discord chat. It’s a nice place to chill and spend your time. How do I say this? They feel like family. I can compare it to a friendly neighborhood. I am also an active author on this site.
The platform's author interface is also great and easy to use. With a little twinkling, you'll know how it will work. You can even use the forums to ask for help. Believe me, the folks in there will come to your aid.
Okay, let’s go for the cons. Since this platform is still young. You will not get too many comments unless you produce a quality story. And like the other platforms—it is all about consistency, quality, and quantity.
How can you earn through it? Scribble Hub supports authors by allowing you to create your donation drive. They encourage the use of Patreon, Ko-Fi, Substar, or even a Paypal direct link to get donations. And yep, many authors in this place earn big time. I even saw authors from Royal Road and Wattpad putting their novels here.
The site has a warm atmosphere and an author-friendly interface. Hey, a non-toxic place on the internet is nothing but a gem.
Overall Rating: 9/10
In case you haven’t heard of Wattpad, let me introduce to you one of the largest storytelling platforms. It caters to over 50 languages. Yep, unlike its competitors, who mostly use English, this place is far more versatile.
Wattpad offers you to write in your native language. Hey, this is splendid news, especially if you are not from an English-speaking country. Of course, only if the language has a market value. In the end, everything is business. Let’s get real.
Okay, let me get to the pros of Wattpad. This place has a massive audience. When I say massive, I mean it—big!
The people who will follow your story are usually avid readers who will invest their time in your work. You can expect feedback from them. Where can you improve? How did they feel about your chapter? So on and so forth.
Once you get the traffic going to your piece. You even might get promoted by the platform itself on its trending or hot list. Hey, that’s a free promotion coming from a site that’s getting millions of traffic a day. What else can you as for, right?
The readership of this place thrives on reading romance stories. Most readers within the platforms are young people around the age of 18.
Anyway, good things and bad things are two faces of one coin. So let us dig into the cons of this platform.
Wattpad is full of surprises. One surprise waiting for you is the great competition within the platform. You can’t expect to have a big buffet of books and be number one in a jiffy, right?
They will pit your works against other novels of the same genre. To get on those hot or trending lists, you must struggle to earn visibility first. I saw many people engaging the community and promoting it on their social media to get traction.
To get up, your work must be a hot potato. A goody capable of being passed around from one reader to another until it reaches the top.
How do they earn in Wattpad? You can opt to get your readers to support you using Wattpad Paid Stories. This option allows your audience to show their support. Your fans and followers will pay a little fee to unlock portions or chapters of your story.
Wait, there’s more!
Wattpad also has other programs called Wattpad Studios and Wattpad Star. These programs seek potential big hits that could make it to the big screen. Oh, I watch a few Wattpad stories becoming cinema blockbusters here in my country. So they don’t lie about it.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Do realize that getting that beloved followers or fan base won’t be easy. Putting in the effort, time, and sometimes even money is a must. And sometimes, the amount of smart sweat you have put in is parallel to your success.
This piece is for aspiring fiction writers who want to create their author portfolios. My advice is to never put your eggs in one basket. You can still go for self-publishing after you've completed your novel there. I knew a lot of authors who earned this way. And if you enter a contract, please read their terms before signing.
I only added the platforms that I tested and used. There are a lot of emerging platforms lying in wait on the web. If you want more choices, you can also check out the places below.
What do you think? Do you want to test the waters? If so, get into the online web writing bandwagon. Well, I'm out—it’s time for me to get those new chapters written.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Drew Agravante
Drew Agravante (author) from Philippines on August 24, 2020:
Thank you for reading. I also hope that it will be of some use to others.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 24, 2020:
This information will be useful for aspiring novelists. Thanks for giving us your first-hand knowledge of these platforms.
Drew Agravante (author) from Philippines on August 24, 2020:
Thanks for reading. I managed to gather data on Reddit. After that, I tried to check each site's forums to check for veracity as well as confirm if it's legit. Then, after being assured. I've posted my own novel.
FlourishAnyway from USA on August 23, 2020:
This was very insightful. I don't know how you discovered these sites but good on you.
Drew Agravante (author) from Philippines on August 19, 2020:
Thanks for reading. It's really nice to get an author fan base before publishing anything. I think it will help authors pitching their other works.
Danny from India on August 18, 2020:
Thanks Drew for the listicle. Now fiction writers can rest on the ready fan base.