JukePop Serials Bloggity

Storytelling, one chapter at a time.

Invest in a book, share its $uccess! — November 21, 2014

Invest in a book, share its $uccess!

One of the biggest patterns we noticed is that our authors usually publish their stories as novels once the story is completed–and they get a good number of sales afterward. But not every author has the resources to make their dreams come true.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign to get more indie ebooks into local libraries, we realized it took more work than we expected to raise just $15K.  From putting together the various rewards for backers to distributing the rewards when it ends.  Not only that, but the cost of the rewards means a significant amount of funds raised would be spent on fulfilling the rewards. So we’ve been thinking about how can we improve this specifically for authors with little time and resources – and just as important make it worthwhile for the supporters.

So to make it simpler and let authors do what they’re good at, we’re introducing a crowd investment sharing platform.  Simply invest in a story you love, and share its success. Authors decide how much percent of sales revenues to share and how much funding they need, while we take care of the finances and distribution to retailers. With the funds they receive, authors can hire editors and cover artists and not have to worry about how to pay for it all. We’ve seen the power of JukePop’s supportive community, every time a story is updated, readers help by sharing the news. Imagine the power of those readers if they have a stake in the success of the story on Amazon!

This is different from other crowd funding platforms because instead of simply seeing a pitch page from the author, investors will have read the story on JukePop and perhaps gotten to know the author already. The revenue share aspect also turns these investors into the author’s biggest fans, as they may be the first ones to give the book a review on Amazon, iBook, or any ebook retailer we work with. Essentially, authors can count on investors to be their word-of-mouth marketing engine. Compare that to other crowd funding platforms where the author doesn’t usually receive assistance after the funding phase, and we think the benefits are obvious.

Curious for more? Below are some frequently asked questions with our responses.

Q: Does the author retain ownership of the content?

A: Yes. The revenue share is only limited to the sale of the book – nothing else.

 

Q: How does the math work out for the investors?

A: Say an author wants to raise $2000, and considers that to be 50% of the book’s net sales revenue. The net sales the author is aiming for to break even for themselves and investors will therefore be $4000. If an investor puts in $40 they’ll share 1% of all future earnings. But we do the calculous for you when you click on “Invest in This Book” button. You’ll be able to see what percentage of future sales you’ll receive for every dollar you put in. The more you put in, the more you earn!

 

Q: How do investors get paid?

A: Don’t worry, we’ll handle the financial settlement once authors start selling on the retail network.

 

Q: Will you be the publisher?

A: Because we have to be the ones doing the financial settlement, we have to be the publisher in name only so we can get access to Amazon’s systems. But authors can put whatever they want on the copyright page of their book.

 

Q: Who sets the price of the book once it’s published? Author, investors, JP, or some combination of the three?

A: Authors set the price, since it’s their book. Investors have no control over anything beyond putting in the seed money. It’s entirely up to the author how much to listen to investors, though making them happy means they’ll talk about the book more.

 

Q: Who are these investors?

A: Anyone can be an “investor.” We use quotes because really, it’s more like a partnership than anything. At $40 for 1% of net revenue, investorship is within reach of anyone.

 

Q: Can investors rescind their investment afterward?

A: Once the deal is completed, the investors cannot rescind.

 

Q: Is this program open to international authors?

A: Yes!

 

Q: If I were an author, how would I get started?

A: Get on the wait list by clicking here.

 

Q: I have more questions!

A: See the FAQ here or leave a comment below.

NaNo Feed — November 18, 2014

NaNo Feed

It’s November, so you know what that means: it’s National Novel Writing Month! Authors around the globe have just 30 days to write a 50,000-word long novel from scratch, in whatever genre they choose. It’s already the middle of the month, so the deadline is fast approaching. How many novels will be written this year?

As we did last year, JukePop is accepting submissions to the contest. But this year we have a surprise!

Introducing the NaNoWriMo community feed on JukePop:

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 9.27.15 PM

That’s right, we’re integrating a one-stop conversation hub for all authors who are participating in our second annual NaNoWriMo contest, as well as past and future NaNo participants.  This feed will track chapter updates from stories in the contests, and conversations between participating authors. Go ahead and check it out!

The last time we ran a NaNo contest, we didn’t have this social layer, so the interaction between NaNo authors were sparse. We added the feed so they can continue to share the writing experience after November is over – and also because some of our top authors came from the NaNo contest last year.To enable this feed, go into your profile and select “I am a NaNoWriMo Author”. We’ve done that for most authors we know about already.

We’ve seen how successful the current feeds are at creating engaging conversations in the community. We’re hoping this new feed can follow the trend!

 

How to Continue a Web Serial — November 5, 2014

How to Continue a Web Serial

Last week we went into a lot of depth about Starting a Web Serial, including some of the best practices for putting out a good first chapter. One of these practices was outlining, or preparing a bullet point of where you want the story to go beforehand. Since we also mentioned this in our Guide to Updating Chapters, we won’t go into much detail here, but we want to reiterate that outlining, as well as buffering, are two very effective strategies for keeping a serial going strong.

Now, problems will arise as you continue your serial, from losing readership at odd intervals, to writer’s block, to discovering plot holes or continuity issues in your first act while heading into the third, and so on. Here, we’ll discuss a few popular ideas for overcoming these hardships and keeping your serial going strong.

I’m Losing Readership. What Went Wrong?

This is a timely topic, as one of our authors, Aden Ng of 139 Years to the End of the World, recently wrote a blog about losing readers and what it feels like from an author’s perspective. As he describes, authors who publish their work may feel somewhat betrayed when no one reads it. There are indeed a few authors on JukePop that have stopped updating their chapters due to a lack of readership. However, as Aden also mentions, stopping a serial for that reason only hurts the few readers that the serial may have had. Moreover, writers who love their story don’t stop writing it–ever.

Here’s the deal: readership is always on the decline. This is what the typical analytics chart looks like for a relatively new JukePop serial:

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 12.14.28 PM

This is not a bad thing. Readers who are perusing for a good story won’t want to read every story to the end. This trend occurs in television shows and comic book series as well; the series will have a large starting audience, then trim down to a hardcore audience at the end. How many readers you can bring in for every chapter is therefore not the best measure of quality.  Don’t forget that the trend is also a snap shot in time, and you can affect the trend by going back and editing chapters where you lost some reader’s votes.

Nothing’s wrong with your serial if it loses readership. Just keep writing and keep promoting it to old readers and new–that’s what successful authors do.

I Have Writer’s Block! What do I do!?

Yikes. The Big WB. We’re sorry to say it, but if you haven’t written that new chapter yet, it’s probably game over for this week.

Of course, things would have gone much easier had you followed our guides to updating chapters in those weeks before you acquired writer’s block. You’d have had an outline to copy/paste, or perhaps won a week off thanks to a buffer.

But if you haven’t done any of that, just write. Write crappy, nonsensical prose, and get that chapter–and that writers’ block–out of your system.

How do I Deal with Continuity Issues or Plot Holes?

From time to time you will make a mistake while writing your serial. You’ll have a character wearing a green shirt when he specifically put on a red one in the chapter before. You’ll have the villain reveal something he clearly shouldn’t have known. You may even give characters living in a futuristic world no means of long-distance communication. These incidents can be scary, frustrating, and may make you go a little paranoid wondering what else you missed.

There’s no point worrying about the stuff you missed or messed up on. Sure, we at JukePop allow authors to edit chapters, and you can also do so freely on your personal blog. But aside from cleaning up the most obvious plot holes, why bother cleaning up anything else? The web serial is a messy first draft that’s bound to get edited if you reach completion and/or choose to novelize it. If your readership sticks with you despite those errors, are the errors really so bad?

Next week we’ll talk about the big one: how to finish your serial. In the meantime, what issues do you run into while publishing your serial? How do you overcome it?

 

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