Getting started: Tips for someone wanting to break into web publishing

I started with an idea for a web comic, unfortunately I can't draw and I have yet to meet anyone that would be able to create the visuals I was looking for; So I decided to forgo the illustrations and create a work of prose.

I literally found out about the large community of web serialization TODAY!

I'm truly excited about getting started on my own story, but I have one small problem,

I have no idea where to begin in regards to the web publishing part!

Any tips for a genuine newcomer to the community on how to get started?

Hi Edje,

Well, first, make sure you can write. ;-) Writing prose is a craft all by itself, and everything you can do to learn that craft will serve you well when writing fiction online. Critique groups like may help there.

In terms of the publishing part, most of the sites listed on WFG run on WordPress or Blogger. You can get free hosting for WordPress at and free hosting for Blogger at MeiLin Miranda (author or An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom) also offers free Drupal-based hosting for web fiction at Alternatively, you can buy inexpensive accounts at a variety of webhosts and run WordPress yourself, if you have technical skills and want to be able to muck with your templates.

Finally, from a personal/motivation standpoint, I recommend figuring out at least a few reasons why you want to do web fiction, so you can set your expectations appropriately, and make good decisions about your progress.

Good luck!


P.S. You can find good articles on writing web fiction at and

Another thing that would be worth doing is taking a look at some web serials and think about how they're doing what they're doing.

Specifically, I'd think about what sort of update schedule and the size of those updates. Also, I'd think about whether you wanted to write your serial up front and then release in bits or whether you'll want to write it as it appears.

Tales of MU has been the biggest success so far and it might be worth looking at even if you don't turn out to like the story. You'll also want to check out other authors since many others have good ideas as well.

I'm also a newbie who finds this to be an intriguing medium. Thanks for pointing out and Looks like I have some reading to do.

Don't forget, Pages Unbound (Similar to WFG, but older and less pretty/navigable ) is coming back.

Edje and Ace-- first off, a huge hug, and welcome to the web serial/fiction community! I always get excited when new faces join the crew of writers, so it's nice to meet you guys. Woot!

Ahem. Now, back to topic. There's a lot of great advice in this thread. I really stress the idea of making a personal manifesto before you start -- it can really help in the frustrating times. Knowing why you're writing and what you want out of it is a great way to maintain yourself -- and writing a web serial is all about being able to work in the long-term.

Another great tip is to make a realistic updating schedule right from the start. Make something that you can honestly keep up, instead of making a schedule based on what you'd like to be able to do. That way you can help stave off burn-out.

Oh, and another goodie is to be honest with your audience. If you miss an update, have to take a hiatus, or are in need of reviews/donations/etc, communicate. Readers love to know what's going-on with their favorite writer, and the ability to chat with readers instantly is one of the bonus points of being a web writer.

The Epiguide also has some great articles for starting a webserial over here. I still use their character sheet, despite having been in this medium for awhile.

Most important tip of all? Be true to yourself, your writing, and your vision. ^^

Make sure to have a buffer prepared too, just in case life goes crazy and doesn't give you a chance to update. It'll probably take you at most an hour update when you have a buffer established. Never sacrifice quality for quantity. If you can't make an update because a chapter isn't written yet, tell the readers a reasonable time that you can get it done. Just let them know what's going on, I would suggest getting a twitter or using a blog to let people know what's going on in your life.

Thought I'd jump into this thread, since I'm more or less in the same position as Edje and acetachyon. I decided, about two weeks ago, that I was going to start publishing a web serial, and started to look around last Friday... like Edje, I was surprised and pleased to find such a large and cohesive community! I've been reading Novelr and several of the forum threads from this site, as well as investigating, bookmarking, and reading some of the serials recommended here.

I've already registered a domain name and made plans for when to launch (January 3rd) and how often to update (once a week.) Next step is to figure out hosting and all that goodness. I'm quite intimidated; I'd like to have a fair amount of control over the look of my site, but my technical knowledge is scanty at best. Any thoughts on this? Is it an easy learning curve? Am I better off going with something like blogger or WordPress, and then moving somewhere else if I feel like I want more autonomy later on?


Personally, I'm very glad that I started with a simple wordpress blog (or LJ or Blogger, it just depends on what you prefer), just to see if I would have the time and energy to update regularly and to get a gauge of how many readers would be coming a day. When I became more assured that I could actually do this, I then moved to my own host and domain name. I still use the wordpress main frame because I have no web site knowledge and it didn't come easily to me.

My recommendation would be to take it slow -- there's nothing quite so upsetting to the creative spirit as when technology goes awry. is what I use. It's pretty cool looking.