Some time ago I’ve announced that I’ll be uploading the “Oh. My. Fate?!”-prequel “Romancing the Son of Heaven: The 69 Stratagems of Dragon King Qiu Ling” (that was previously an exclusive patreon extra) for everyone free-to-read.
The first chapter is already up on several sites and there’ll be one each Sunday from now on. You might have noticed though that I haven’t uploaded the chapter to either Wattpad or webnovel. This is because I have decided that I won’t be uploading this series (and most likely all my upcoming series) there.
I know that the readers from both sites will be sad about this but it is a decision I had to make. In this post, I’d like to explain why.
The General Situation
It’s not a secret that I’m still studying and juggling another job next to writing. With the beginning of April, I’ve started my last semester in University and am thus writing my Master thesis. This is something that needs a lot of time and I need to free up my schedule for this. Because of this I’m trying to finish LWS as soon as possible (hence I changed the release schedule) and don’t have the time to post on too many sites anymore.
Comparing all the platforms where I am currently posting I finally decided that the ones I’ll give up on will be Wattpad and webnovel. Even though I have a lot of lovely readers there, the platforms themselves are the ones I like the least as an author. Here is a run-down on why:
The Problem with Wattpad
There are some things about Wattpad that I really love like the in-line comments where readers could leave their thoughts on specific paragraphs. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot I don’t like the worst being the performance that got worse over the last several months.
Half of the time when I open Wattpad now, I’ll be shown an error message telling me that the site where my stories are doesn’t even exist and it takes me several tries to finally be able to access it. Opening one of the novels takes about half a minute, as does creating a new chapter, saving the chapter, and publishing the chapter. The chapters I post in a day, the longer it’ll take. Sometimes the whole site crashes on me, resulting in double chapters (and even double novels when i start a new project!) that mean wrong numbering and having to go through several chapters again to adjust everything.
Since a few weeks ago the formatting has also become weird. My text is either written without any space between paragraphs making it harder to read or it has spaces between paragraphs but spaces between words will go missing even though they are there in my original document.
All of this is just such a hassle that I don’t have with any other site that I’d rather take the time I lose on these small issues to write another two or three paragraphs or edit a finished chapter.
The Problems with Webnovel
While the issues with Wattpad are some minor things, there is a whole list of things I don’t like about webnovel. Some of those being very major. I’ll try to cut it short:
The first thing is that the way the writing platform is set up is horrible. I can’t use any formatting like italics, I can’t put any actual links (I definitely can’t add a link to patreon even for free content because that gets automatically censored!), I can’t add chapters anywhere but after the last published chapter (e.g. if I forgot one or want to edit something) and I am limited to author notes consisting of 500 characters at most.
The second (even worse) problem with the writing platform is that I won’t be notified of new comments. This wasn’t an issue when I started out because it’s not that much of a hassle to go through ten chapters and look for new ones. But I don’t have the time and energy to go through several hundreds worth of chapters to check whether or not there are new comments. Especially not daily. I do so every few weeks but then it might be two weeks since the comment was left and I feel like I’m letting my readers down with that. I’d love to be able to react immediately if someone leaves a question for me, for example!
The major problem I have is something else completely though: It’s piracy.
Now, you might have seen me mention somewhere that I was writing and publishing back in my home country already. My stories constantly being pirated was one of the reasons that finally made me stop. It was also one of the reasons that made me decide to put up most of my new stories for free because I figured nobody would have a reason to pirate them if they were already free.
Yeah, I’m still too naive. Even though it’s not on the same scale as before, it’s still happening and webnovel is the major source. (As can be seen because the author’s notes at the end of the chapter are being copied along with the actual chapters.) I’m not even the only original author there that has this problem but they don’t care about it a bit.
They also gave me the feeling that they don’t care much about copyright anyway with how they straight-up encourage beginners to just rewrite an already existing novel when they start out before they go for some more original ideas or how they add a copyright with their company name behind it to original novels even though the copyright still lies with the author.
Before I start on a real rant about that, I’ll leave it at that. Overall, I’m just not very happy with the platform itself and to a certain degree even with the attitude of the people behind it. So I’ve decided to leave even though I’ve also had lots of fun posting there. If I see webnovel changing things in the future (like implementing some anti-piracy measures and overhauling their writing platform) and my time allows it, I’d also come back but right now, I just don’t feel comfortable with adding another series to this site besides the three that are already there.
Some Last Words on the Matter
Even though I won’t bring RSH and most likely not even future projects to these sites, I will be continuing the stories that I already started there. This is something that I owe to the readers that accompanied me on those sites since their comments, likes, and reviews were a huge motivation to me that made it possible to continue with OMF, LWS, and RMN for so long. I hope to see them again on other platforms!