JukePop Serials Bloggity

Storytelling, one chapter at a time.

Changes to JP 30 Rewards — January 26, 2015

Changes to JP 30 Rewards

Since JukePop started, we’ve been 100% focused on incentivizing authors to keep writing—with a monthly JP 30 ranking and small cash reward. It succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. So we took it up a notch, and launched the crowdfunding platform where readers can share the success of JukePop writers by buying shares of future sales revenues.
Starting this month (January), we’re changing the reward policy for JP 30 to a credit towards authors that start a crowdfund project (available now) or use our publishing services (available in a month or so). We’re hoping it will encourage all the great authors out there to take their completed works to the next level.
Thank you for continuing to stay with us as we evolve into the best platform for authors looking to publish their stories!
How to Finish a Web Serial — December 17, 2014

How to Finish a Web Serial

You’ve started a web serial. You’ve chosen a website or platform to publish on and you’ve put out the first chapter on that platform.

You’ve continued your web serial by updating chapters, interacting with your readers, and not being picky about plot holes and continuity errors.

Now it’s time to finish your serial!

But wait, when is the best time to finish a web serial?

When YOU know best. Just like with writing a novel, the ending of the story is up to you to you. Keep in mind that serials have the potential to spawn several volumes of work and can actually grow more popular the longer they are. If you’re thinking of making a sequel to your serial, consider just integrating the sequel with the current story.

What next? Continue reading

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:

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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!

 

Kickstart Our Campaign to Fill Your Library with Indie eBooks — September 23, 2014

Kickstart Our Campaign to Fill Your Library with Indie eBooks

Ever wonder why it’s so difficult to check out ebooks in libraries?  It’s because they don’t have the infrastructure to store, distribute, and curate ebooks.  That’s no longer the case.  We provide a technology that’s easy to integrate, libraries just need a working website, and they have access to all the stories on JukePop.  (Ones that qualify at least, another service we offer.)  Watch the video below to see how our platform works for any library website.

 

With the “Upgrade Your Local Library’s eBook Catalog” Kickstarter project, we at JukePop aim to create a platform for libraries to directly port indie ebooks into their online catalogs. This means less hassle for libraries who are seeking out indie talent, and easier access to the local bookshelf for hard-working indie authors. This resource will be free to use once we reach our pledge goal, and we’re giving out many lucrative rewards to all backers along the way. Go ahead and take a more detailed look at the project.

Months ago JukePop successfully opened a new avenue for authors to publish to libraries through a partnership with Santa Clara County Library. We built the foundation of a platform which would use our unique combination of +Votes and Analytics to help libraries determine high-quality stories objectively and with little hassle, then worked with SCC to feature those stories in their online catalog. Dozens of our hottest stories have already been added, leading to some high praise in the form of the Urban Libraries Council’s 2014 Top Innovator award.

We want to expand this project across as many libraries as possible and get many more self-published titles into local libraries, all the while offering this service for free to all parties. We’ve set a modest goal of 60 libraries for now, but soon we hope to conquer the world.

Our previous work with Santa Clara makes it a cinch to implement this project in many other libraries. We only need help funding some of the technical tidbits.

Among other things, we have to:

  • Finish the software platform so that we can roll it out to libraries efficiently
  • Make the software more user-friendly for librarians to initially set up our technology and pick which eBooks they want on their site
  • The finished software platform will also lower the cost for both JukePop and libraries to implement and maintain
  • Integrate this technology with 60+ libraries

This is where you come in. If you are an avid reader, writer, or purveyor of JukePop, help us achieve our mission to upgrade your local library’s ebook catalog by contributing to our Kickstarter project here. Be sure to tell your friends and even mention it to your librarian next time you visit. They may be the first people we work with once funding is complete!

The Rewards

Since this is a Kickstarter, each donation to our project comes with a mouth-watering reward. You can read all the details on our campaign page, or check out a juicy summary of the rewards below:

The Basic Rewards

Pick Your Library – Any backers at $25 or greater can name a library of choice. We will prioritize your local community library for implementation. The more backers for a community library, the higher its priority for JukePop. So make sure you share this with your friends!

List Your eBook – We will include your eBook in our catalog for libraries to consider ($50 or greater pledge level).

One Click Publish – A platform for indie authors to easily create, format, and publish eBooks for their own use and to popular eBook retailers like Amazon and iBooks. We can only do this if you help us get to our stretch goal. If we do, we will make this free for 6 months for all authors!

eBooks of Choice – eBooks from some authors and publishers that believe in our mission.

A La Carte Rewards

Perfect for any aspiring author, or a gift to an author you know, from Cover Design to Developmental Editing. Our friends at Plympton have asked their friends who are fiction editors at Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Macmillan to help provide feedback to writers. All are current or former acquiring editors at Big 5 publishing houses.You will have a choice of editors based on availability and fit. Contact us to get a list of the editors.

Sample Edit – Got an idea for a book? At JukePop we know how important your opening chapters are. Get written feedback for 2000 words from acquiring editors.

Cover Design – Get your book cover designed by some of the brilliant artists behind the highly touted Recovering the Classics project. The artist will work with you to create three cover concepts presented, of which you get to choose one that the artist can develop. Contact us to get the list of contributing artists.

Editorial Consultation – Nothing beats feedback from a great editor and finding one is hard. You’ll get your manuscript reviewed and feedback given via a 30 minute phone call or a 2-3 page editorial memo.

Editorial Feedback – Ready for detailed feedback? Get your manuscript reviewed by current or former acquiring editors at Big 5 publishing houses and get a detailed 5-7 page editorial memo analyzing it.

Developmental Editing – There’s a great story in every manuscript, but often it takes a great editor to help you shape it. Get a comprehensive line edit of your manuscript, direct feedback in a 7 page memo.

We’re eager to get started on this project and we hope you are too. Help make this a success by donating to the campaign or sharing a link with your friends on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Thank you in advance for your incredible support, and we look forward to upgrading your local library soon!

 

JukePop’s 4th Bi-Annual Award — September 18, 2014

JukePop’s 4th Bi-Annual Award

JukePop’s 4th Bi-Annual award is here!

For those who don’t know, every month we award cash prizes to our top active stories based on reader +Votes, and every six months we award a deluxe $500 prize to the top-voted serial in that period. This year’s competition looks incredibly stiff, with long-time serials competing with some hot new stars in what is arguably our most active season yet. How did site wide changes like the community feed and monthly rankings affect the charts?

Let’s jump right in and see who all the frontrunners are. Note that this season, we’re not ranking authors solely on +Votes, but also on the average reading time for their story and the typical length of each chapter; stories with noticeably quick reading times or particularly short chapters may not qualify for the prize.

(DISCLAIMER: The following rankings were generated on September 15th 2014; rankings may differ by the September 30th deadline)

6) Rise by Brian Guthrie – 1654 +Votes

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On a shattered world protected from the cold of space by a water shield, the people are dependent on Ancient technology to survive. Now, that network is breaking down and the water on one shell is running out, setting the inhabitants on a path toward war. The search to find answers brings four complete strangers, each struggling with their own inner turmoil, together to prevent the destruction of the world as they know it.

5) How to Break an Evil Curse by Laura Morrison – 1742 +Votes

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An evil wizard with a grudge against the King curses the King’s firstborn child so that the child will never be able to be touched by sunlight. 19 years later, Princess Julianna sets out to have a life despite the curse. Antics ensue. Will she find the man who can break the spell?

4) Retcontinuum by Shaunn Grulkowski – 1810 +Votes

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While time travel isn’t physically possible, science has found a way to record all of your present thoughts, feelings, and experiences over your consciousness at a fixed point in the past. This gives the user the ability to drastically alter their future.

3) Vampire Empire by Stella Purple – 1931 +Votes

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“There are no dark princes that will sweep you off your feet into an eternal world in this land, but their looks sure can drive the mortals mad. Care to take a bite, dear?”

2) Hobson & Choi by Nick Bryan – 2142 +Votes

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Enthusiastic teenager Angelina Choi has joined John Hobson’s one-man detective agency as an intern. Can she change the world before her two week stint ends, or at least find the undermotivated private eye a crime to solve? Can they solve a series of complex modern-day crimes, way out of Hobson’s comfort zone? Can they cope with each other’s dark secrets? Will they stop bickering long enough for any of that?

1) Money Matters by Dean Moses – 2161 +Votes

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Money Matters is the story of four individuals and their unique relationship with the money that bound them all together during the 1930s.

Keep an eye out for our announcement of the winner on September 30th. Don’t see your favorite serial up here? Get out there and +Vote!

 

Which story do you think deserves to win the $500 prize?

 

Meet Shaunn and Laura, Co-Authors of Tradecraft — August 8, 2014

Meet Shaunn and Laura, Co-Authors of Tradecraft

Today we’re shining the spotlight on two of our hottest authors: Shaunn Grulkowski, author of Retcontinuum, and Laura Morrison, author of How to Break an Evil Curse. Both titles are JP30 and What’s Hot list frequenters, which makes these two authors something of a pair of celebrities around the site. But solo serials aren’t all they’re known for. Shaunn and Laura are blazing a trail in another genre of fiction, one where teamwork plays a significant role.

The duo recently partnered up to co-author Tradecraft, a prequel to Retcontinuum. Set in the year 2119, Tradecraft follows Elizabeth Murphy, top industrial spy of the megalithic Sinclair Corporation, as she infiltrates other corporations and steals the data Sinclair needs to complete their top secret projects. The story’s already 8 chapters long and picking up steam on the charts. We invited Shaunn and Laura to tell us a bit about themselves, their writing process, and what the future holds for this method of story writing. Check out the interview below.

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JukePop: Hi Laura and Shaunn! Go ahead and introduce yourselves to the audience.

Laura: By training, I’m an environmental scientist with an emphasis on invasive species, and I’m currently a stay-at-home mom.  Whenever I have spare time, I write my book How to Break an Evil Curse, and now Tradecraft as well.

Shaunn: I’m a building supervisor.  I wrote Retcontinuum and split the chores on Tradecraft.

JP: How did you find JukePop?

L: I found JukePop through doing Nanowrimo last year.

S: I pitched an article to Cracked.com.  The editor who responded was J.F. Sargeant, the writer of The Wreck of the Joanna Ng.  He had the JukePop link in his Cracked profile.

JP: How did you find each other?

L: We followed each other on Twitter, and then I checked out Shaunn’s book, Retcontinuum, which I binge read in two days because it’s super good.  I was struck by how, though our stories are quite different in a lot of ways, we have a very similar style of writing and like the same sorts of jokes.

S: Yeah, the funny thiing was that neither of us were on twitter prior to being on JukePop.  I didn’t even have a Facebook account. We ended up with a small Twitter crew of JP writers:  Jenn Flath (The Black Pearl), The Athena Quadrumvirate (Athena), Shannon Vest (Mikolo and Kate), A.N. Jackwitz (Every Moment, Every Thing), Cameron Duke (Cargo), and now K.R. Kampion (Reconstruction).  I probably forgot someone, but I’m sure Laura can fix that.  I think the thing that jumped out at me about Laura’s work was her timing and joke construction, and how similar it was to mine.  I was kind of stuck on Tradecraft, and she kept on me to update it.  I took the chance on asking her if she wanted to split it with me, and I’m glad she was into it.

L: Gotta add Dustin Honor (Letum) and Jennifer Beasmoney (InnerWorld) to the list!

JP: What’s it like working with each other? What are the challenges, the pros and cons?

L: This is the first time I have collaborated with another author in an official capacity, though I grew up writing stories with my little sister for fun so I have some experience working on a book with another person.  Working together on Tradecraft has been very smooth thus far.   At first it was a bit strange to make the switch from reader of the world Shaunn had created to writer, but I got over that after a chapter or two.  The only real challenge I can think of is that I don’t swear, and Shaunn has created a world where the characters most certainly do.  And, of course, since his world is firmly established already through Retcontinuum and the first bit of Tradecraft he wrote solo, it’s not like I can jump in and clean up everyone’s language!  So, thus far, poor Shaunn has been having to go through and insert curses into the stuff I write since my curses sound forced, like a kid trying to be bad. Also, the violence I write in How to Break an Evil Curse is pretty silly and slapstick, whereas Shaunn’s is quite realistic.

S: As realistic as a book about time-travel can be, I guess.  Even though I’d never partnered with anyone prior to this, it was a no-brainer to team with Laura.  She’s very funny, and since we’re the same age and have a lot of the same influences, it’s been way easier than I thought.  Also, since Tradecraft is very heavy with female leads, it’s nice to have an actual female help mould and guide the characters.  She is a terrible curser, though.  I told her the other day that it was like reading a cursing worksheet from an ESOL class.  But she’s getting better!

JP: Describe the typical process for completing and releasing a new chapter of Tradecraft.

L: Essentially, we take turns writing chapters.  Shaunn writes a chapter, sends it to me for edits and insertions/deletions, I send my changes back to him, and as long as he likes my changes we publish.  Then, I write the next chapter and send it to him for edits.

S: It’s funny seeing people try to guess who wrote what.  Really though, there isn’t much editing that happens other than making sure everyone’s language stays consistent.  It’s cool though, because one of us will have an idea and text the other right away, and that’s worked out well so far.

JP: Are there parts of this process that are more efficient with a partner? Parts that would go smoother alone?

L: It’s quite nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of, and great to write with someone who has a similar sense of humor because it can make the story twice as amusing.  A downside of writing with a partner is just waiting for each other to fit writing or editing into our busy lives.  But even that isn’t really a big deal; recently I went on vacation and we were still able to put out a new chapter that week.

S: I think just from a speed/volume perspective, the partnership route is the way to go.  I really don’t feel like there’s been anything that has come up as a problem working together.  I don’t think either of us are so precious about our ideas that having someone else go “Yeah, but what if we did this” has been anything but helpful.

JP: What’s your general impression of collaborative writing so far? Does releasing as a serial hurt or benefit the writing?

L: I’ve been having a great time writing Tradecraft with Shaunn.  Writing a novel is usually very solitary, so having someone else to talk to about a project is a welcome change.  One thing about writing that drives me crazy is having a huge plot twist that only I know about and must wait for readers to get to — but with a partner I have someone else to share it with so the waiting for the readers to get to it isn’t as tough! Another benefit or collaborating is if I run up against an issue I can just ask Shaunn a question about whatever plot point is bothering me, and that usually gets me back on track.  Collaborating on a serial (as opposed to a traditional novel) has been helpful, I think, because having the chapter updates gives us an external goal and keeps us on track.

S: It’s been great working with Laura.  Actually, I almost prefer it to writing solo.  Almost.  It’s way less work, which is awesome.  Plus, it’s nice to have someone that can rein you in.  Left to my own devices, I think I have a tendency to go  too far on the weird side.  Not to say that she isn’t super weird, but it’s an acceptable sort of weird.  Writing as a serial I think really helps you learn how to pace things well, since you can’t just have four or five expository chapters in a row.  Unless you want to bore everyone to death.

JP: After Tradecraft, would you collaborate on another writing project?

L:  I’d definitely collaborate on another project.  We actually already have another story in the works!

S: It’s going to be something way different than what we’ve done so far.  I think it’ll be a straight comedy.  I’ve also been kicking the idea of a podcast around with Laura and one of the other authors, but we’ll have to see on that one.  My assumption would be that we would publish it on JP, but we haven’t talked about that part just yet.

JP: Any advice for other writers seeking to co-author a work?

L: Find someone with a similar writing style and sense of humor.  Also, someone who isn’t too attached to a rigid schedule is a plus.

S: I’d advise someone to just work with her, but she’s busy.  Honestly, though: find someone who’s similar in taste, but has a different perspective.  If you’re too similar, I don’t think you’ll get the full benefit of having a partner.

Shaunn and Laura’s stories are available for reading on JukePop.

 

Introducing Broadcast — July 11, 2014

Introducing Broadcast

Following up on our latest site update to make our growing community of authors and readers more engaging, we now introduce the “broadcast” feature–a way to directly send a message to all your followers or those you follow!

Our previous update enabled the community feed and personal feed, two display columns which track most of the activity around the site, including individual comments on serials. These tools are great if you want to see what other people are saying about the serials you’ve never read, or if you want to participate in discussions about your favorite chapters. But what if you want to make a general announcement? Not just a comment on a single chapter or review, but a comment concerning multiple chapters or serials, or even something else?

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Personal Wall for Announcements to Followers

 

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Friend’s Wall for Leaving Messages

 

This is where the broadcast feature comes in. With broadcast, any member of JukePop can send out a post directly to all their followers’ personal feeds. You can also write a message on people’s walls, similar to how you would on Facebook. No longer are your comments limited to being on individual chapters of a story; now you can post directly to your wall and your followers’!

Send broadcasts via the comment box sitting at the top of your personal wall or a friend’s. Broadcasts sent from your wall will go out to all your followers’ personal feeds, while broadcasts on someone else’s wall will only go out to their personal feed.

If you are a JukePop author, we suggest using the broadcast feature to make announcements about your story, request reviews and shares, or promote it at regular intervals. This of course means you should have a following to begin with, so we also suggest you try your best to recruit more followers on JukePop. If you are a reader, use broadcast to tell your followers which stories you’re really digging at the moment that they should check out. Broadcast is also the perfect tool for off-topic discussions and Q&A sessions. Try not to be spammy, as we can and will act to remove spammers, but instead focus on keeping quality discussions about your story going.

We’re going to continue rolling out site updates for the foreseeable future, making JukePop more community-oriented and discussion-driven than any other publishing site before. Coming up: private messaging and a community feed for the JukePop app. Stay tuned!  (Oh, and any feedback on our latest site updates are 100% welcomed here or email.)

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