Radish Fiction

1 year ago | D. D. Webb (Member)

So here's an exchange that just occurred in the About section of my serial.

Commenter: "Hey D.B. Webb, is there an email address I could reach you at?

Thanks,

Alex

Radish Fiction
radishfiction.com"

Me:"Thanks, but if this is in regard to the website you linked, I don’t think I’m interested. I prefer not to put my content behind a paywall. That never works out well for webserialists.

Most of us stick to the donation model for monetization because it’s the one which has performed the best. If you follow the forums at webfictionguide.com, you’ll find that people launch services like this with some regularity and they never survive long.

Serial readers know what they’re looking for and how to find it, and they just aren’t interested in paying in advance, as a rule. I hope you have success with this venture, but for my part I am content with my current setup."

Commenter:"Hi D.D. Webb,

Thanks for the response. The key to Radish is that we use a ‘freemium’ model, whereby chapters are only behind a paywall for a set period, usually 7 days. This way, fans who want to read chapters early and support their favourite authors in the process pay a small amount to do so using in-app purchase, and for those who don’t they can simply wait until the chapter unlocks. The big advantage is that this is all done within one mobile app platform – users don’t need to be directed to multiple sites in order to support authors.

I confess I haven’t looked in depth at the webfictionguide.com forums, but to our knowledge we are the only company in the West that is using this model. We have drawn inspiration from similar sites in the East, such as Lehzin Comics and Shanda Cloudary, and already have a great line up of investors and advisors, including Alberto Vitale, CEO of Penguin Random House for over 15 years.

It’s fantastic that you are finding a way to monetise your writing online, and completely understandable if Radish doesn’t seem like a good fit for you right now. However there are many other great writers out there who struggle to find way to make a living from online fiction, and Radish is already helping many of them find a way to earn an income while still giving fans who can’t afford to support them financially access to their work for free. If you are interested in learning a bit more about Radish and what we’re doing, or have any other questions or comments, please feel free to reply here or email directly as alex@radishfiction.com.

Best wishes,

Alex"

I am curious what others think about this.

Their site is very slick, and I'm sure the app is too, though I've not looked at it. They are clearly getting funding, as the fellow indicated. I am much less impressed that he was unfamiliar with WFG and couldn't be arsed to get my name right in his original communication--not the hallmarks of a startup that has researched its market with any diligence.

In fact, my reaction from looking at this is this company's trying to replicate some things which have worked in Eastern countries without doing any background digging on how the English-language web serial community operates. I told him the plain truth: this idea has been had before, and tried before, and right now I doubt I could even find any trace of those attempts on the entire net except possibly the deeper archives of this very forum. Web serials just don't work that way; we know what works, and it's what we do. I wonder if Radish Fiction asked any actual English serialists how things tend to function; I know they didn't ask me before trying to recruit me.

However, the fellow remains enthused. Anybody seeing something I'm not? Do you perceive any merit here?

The Gods are Bastards Cowboys! Demons! Elves!

Read responses...

Page: 12

Responses

  1. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I think their model is actually kind of an interesting balance -- people who want early access to the material pay to get it, but the material gets there anyway. It's not much different than what I do with my patreon account for Curveball--subscribers get the rough drafts of each issue before it goes up, then get ebooks and pdfs of each issue once its been cleaned up a little, depending on their sponsorship tier.

    I would say that conceptually it doesn't seem bad. The devil is in the details. How well is the site put together? How well is it maintained? What are the details of the author's agreement with the site? What kind of rights do they demand, and what do they provide in exchange?

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  2. Marn (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I actually know creators who use Patreon to do something similar - people who donate a certain amount are sent updates a day early than regular readers. That said, I think that Patreon is a better venue to do this kind of thing because it still lets you as the writer control where your writing is hosted and how you roll out the early access updates to donators. Definitely agree that the devil is in the details here and I would be hesitant to use a site like that without looking at all the details of how it treats authors and their work.

  3. Billy Higgins Peery (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I think, ultimately, it's best for authors to build their own platforms. I look over at Kboards, and while I do think I want to turn my stuff into ebooks at some point, I'm terrified by the way these authors are forced to deal with the mercurial nature of Amazon.

    THAT SAID, it can be very interesting to look at the big serial sites, and I think it's important to do so. Two reasons, mainly.

    1) It's always good to know what other people think the market looks like. Even if it crashes and burns, there can still be some interesting ideas, lessons to be gleaned.

    2) The big, VC-backed websites are going to end up offering opportunities to people like us.

    Seriously.

    At the end of the day, we're the ones who know the most about serial writing. We're the ones who have been building audiences. These corporations have been looking for our audiences since day one -- which explains why this company posted on your About Page, and why other companies have posted to these very forums.

    It's obviously going to take them a while to figure their shit out. A ton of them are going to crash and burn -- the vast majority of start ups crash and burn, which is why going with a new company may not be wise, imo -- but eventually the dust will clear. At least one or two of these sites will survive, thrive, and start providing interesting opportunity for experienced serialists.

    I don't know that it would be wise to rely on guys like this as your ONLY serial outlet, but as an element of your web serial strategy? A company can really offer value.

    It's hard to see/believe that right now, given the amateur entrepreneurial proposals we've been seeing. Most of these proposals will be shit, but not all of them will be. If 90% of everything is shit, you don't want to condemn the other 10%. You want to look closely and figure out where that 10% is, and if it provides any opportunity.

    As for Radish, I think it still needs time to grow. Some of the reviews on iTunes complain about a shoddy interface, and it literally JUST started up. However, they have 48 ratings on iTunes and nearly 1500 likes on Facebook. Not staggering, but shows solid potential.

    Web Traffic Expert, my SEO business
    "Any number of hitlers, are still not my problem." -Tempest
  4. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 1 year ago

    It reminds me of "Serial+," the model that MCM (a serialist who used to be active in the community) used. He'd serialize after writing the entire thing. You could follow along each day, but if you wanted to read the whole thing immediately, you could just buy the book.

    I thought it was an interesting idea.

    His plan for when the serial ended was to repeat the process. I don't know how that worked, but it was worth trying.

    It also reminds me of Modern Tales, a web comic site. Modern Tales made the most recent update free, but made you pay to read the archives. While I could see how that made sense, it seemed to me that you were stopping potential readers from getting invested in the story by using that model. Selling the most recent update makes more sense. I'd be more likely to pay to get the most recent update if I 'd already become desperately attached to the story.

    In short, the makes sense. Does it work in reality? I don't know.

  5. ClearMadness (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I already offer advance access to the latest chapters, and exclusive side stories, on Patreon. I'd much rather keep doing things my own way than use any third party site. Having control over my own work is super important to me. I honestly doubt they would do a better job of promoting my work than I can anyway.

    Author of The Iron Teeth, a online dark fantasy story.
  6. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I think the Radish guy must be going through the Top Web Fiction serials. I got an email from him last night that I saw this morning...

  7. Wildbow (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    In the email they sent me, they said they already had some of the top webfiction writers on board.

    ...who are these people? If Radish is that good a choice, why haven't we seen people here on WFG or on subreddits talking about it?

  8. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I guess they could be talking about top writers on Wattpad or a similar service. Wattpad appears to have an entirely separate community (well, not ENTIRELY separate -- I know there are some WFG writers who use it). On the other hand, it could just be your standard "we're attracting A LOT of interest" marketer's nothingspeak.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  9. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    One thing to keep in mind about this: it looks like it is primarily an iphone app. Pushing webfiction to mobile devices is a pretty good idea (in that sense it's more of a competitor with WattPad than it is with WFG) but it doesn't deal with the Android market at all.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  10. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Sounds like a bluff to me. Ask them to reveal some names of top web fiction writers who are already on board - could be interesting.

    Personally, I don't believe in any of those new web fiction platforms. If I wanted to apply their model (pay to read the next chapter / the entire book), I could do it without them.

    It might be interesting in a year or two if they manage to attract a sizeable reader base. But I don't think they will. Like D.D. Webb said, it doesn't look like they're doing their homework (research) very well.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  11. MaddiroseX (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Mr Radish must read WFG forums, because that line has already been removed by the time he made his way to me.

    As Chrysalis points out, these models aren't exactly new. One of my serials, Beta Key, operates under the exact "Premium" model they tout, and I hardly needed extreme programming chops to accomplish that feat.

    Yes, it's nice that they're specifically trying to target mobile, but I do almost all of my serial reading on mobile and I haven't yet encountered a WFG author whose serial is unavailable on a phone.

    Perhaps I'm too cynical, but every single time I get one of these "let's go down topwebfiction and email everyone on the list" emails, it's quite clear what we provide them (our audience) but not super clear what they provide us that we can't do for ourselves

    Spurs & Seraphim (ongoing) | Beta Key (complete) | Twisted Cogs (complete) | Orbital Academy (complete)
  12. DrewHayes (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Got one of these e-mails as well, and it already felt a little shady even before I started digging in. After research, I don't have much to add except to echo what's already been said: They want to tap the serial market but didn't feel like bothering to actually research it, properly incentivize authors for it, or heaven forbid actually reach out to those of us who've been doing it for years. I don't mind the idea of a consolidated app, but nothing I've seen is prompting a call to action. Maybe if they get it together down the line.

    Edit: Didn't think this was worth a fresh post, but I thought I'd add that I sent them an e-mail asking for exact figures on charges, splits with the authors, and who exactly was among those "60 top webfiction writers". I don't necessarily expect answers, but how they respond might be interesting.

    Super Powereds & Corpies
    http://www.DrewHayesNovels.com/
  13. Taulsn (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    In case anyone is curious here are the two sections from their terms and conditions page relevant to people submitting work. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qe9rK8H30IDE4XCBoV5Rk7f2Yz8j_lcBYamTPIHsQk4/edit

    I need to get this app off my phone now. I feel dirty.

  14. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Wait, WHAT?

    d. you agree, warrant and represent that all Content submitted to the RadishFiction Platforms:

    ii. will be considered non-confidential and non-proprietary;

    From thesaurus:

    nonproprietary - not protected by trademark or patent or copyright; "nonproprietary products are in the public domain and anyone can produce or distribute them"

    So basically, by submitting to them your work is now in the public domain and not protected by copyright?

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/

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