1. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    ePublishing Channillo

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by Tenderiser, Jun 20, 2016.

    I was contacted by this publishing platform (I'm hesitant to call them a publisher) on Twitter, asking if I'd write for them. Since they're actively contacting aspiring authors, I wanted to share what I found with the writers here.

    Channillo is a kind of Wattpad thing, where writers post series--novels, chapter by chapter; short stories; poems; essays; whatever you like. Members of the site then subscribe to your series. Channillo claim you will be paid a portion of their income depending on your number of subscribers. They also claim their website is a way for an author to gain loyal followers.

    In theory, it sounds great, right?

    Well, alarm bells rang for me and I looked into it. For the following reasons I won't be writing for them:

    1. They require each author to purchase a membership. It's $4.99 a month and is effectively a fee for writing for them.

    2. Authors don't receive royalties until they reach $50. I'm yet to find one of their authors who have made $50, and they began operating in 2012.

    3. Their only costs are the domain. They don't market (besides fishing for authors on Twitter), they don't provide editing, they don't provide covers. In return for your $4.99 a month you get nothing but a website to host your stories on, which Wordpress and the like provide for free.

    4. I suspect their subscribers are almost exclusively other Channillo writers, who are there to promote their own work, not yours, OR friends and family of Channillo writers. They are not readers looking for their next favourite author. I have no proof of this because the website refuses to answer authors' questions about their subscribers, but it seems self-evident to me. The silence is deafening.

    My conclusion, which may be wrong, is that they have very small costs (the domain and the founder's time on Twitter) and make their money from the authors' subscription fees and consequent marketing efforts. There is no risk to the website, and whether your work is read or not they receive an income for it.

    This is different to a real publisher, who adopt the risk in spending money on covers, editing, and promotion, and are incentivised from the start to maximise your sales. Once they have your subscription fee, there is no incentive for Channillo to market your work.

    These are my conclusions anyway. I've written back to the owner with my concerns, though I'm not expecting a reply. If she does reply I'll post it in the interests of fairness.
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    You're better of making your own blog (which can be free or cost) and promote yourself through social media.
    You also have Wattpad, fictionpress, Youtube (You can read your own work, I'm sure there's a market for it) and so many other free or more popular options.

    Just from what you said about them, it seems you're better off anywhere else simply because their is already an active and powerful traffic flow elsewhere.
     
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  3. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Quite. If you want to give your work away for free, there are many better places to do it that won't cost you a thing.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    PT Barnum was right.
     
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  5. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    I was contacted several months ago, and decided that since I was trying to build an author platform that it might be worth a shot.

    As other's have stated, it's not worth it. Not only do you have to promote your own work, but you basically have to promote Channillo as well because nobody has really heard of it. I've had multiple other authors contact me because they're upset over the whole mess.
     
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  6. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I had to google that! "There's a sucker born every minute"?

    I think it'd be really easy to fall for this. These issues are certainly not obvious from their website--they make it sound like a great deal, a win-win situation. They look and sound legitimate.

    That's why I wanted to post here. I can see myself falling for this a year ago. Definitely.
     
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  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's not so much that people who fall for it are suckers. It's that the people running the site are playing on the possibility. They know damn fine they're cheating people and doing nothing to earn that 'fee.' I'm sure of it.
     
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  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Oh, absolutely. If she didn't think she was doing anything wrong, she would answer people's questions and concerns.

    Maybe she will spite me now by giving me a full and frank reply? :D
     
  9. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    It's funny that you mentioned this site. I just happen to see today one of my Twitter followers had the site listed as a place to see his work.
     
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  10. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Eep. Is he just a random or do you know him?

    I'd kinda like to find an author who has actually made some money and got some good sales from this. But I'm not sure there are any...
     
  11. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    Yes there are suckers born every day, but to be fair, I didn't go into posting on the site thinking that I would really get much out of it. It was a low investment option for me, I wasn't originally going to post any work with Channillo, but I let a few friends talk me into the experience I would get from "putting myself out there". If nothing else it made me get serious about my writing and approach it like a business, so it wasn't all bad.

    I can't say I've gotten nothing from Channillo, I do have a following there, but it would've been just as easy for me to release the shorts as a set through Amazon, and I would've gotten better coverage. I also would've gotten more feedback, which for me was the real reason I decided to go ahead. Feedback, and hopefully followers who wanted to see more of my work.

    I plan to finish out two final posts to close out my series, then will be done with the site.
     
  12. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    @Corbyn Wattpad seems like a good place to get feedback, especially when first rights are already gone.
     
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  13. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    I'll keep that in mind. I've already decided to just finish out a series first, then decide where to go from there.
     
  14. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    I haven't looked at Wattpad yet. I started downloading a few free stories from Smashwords and found most of them unreadable.
     
  15. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    All these sites are slush piles. As a reader, I don't think it's worth it. As an author, your task is to set yourself away from the pack. Not easy.
     
  16. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    I've talked to six author's on the site, not one of them has been paid as they have fallen just short of the minimum (yes they will not pay out unless your total earnings have reached over $50 for any given period,) and they in turn have contacted other writers, and have only heard of two that have actually gotten the payout, and only by virtue of the fact that they started with the site right after it began.
     

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