WARNING for WRITERS: Ignore W*BN*VEL Invite E-Mails

HugodeSantaCatarina

New member
Joined
Sep 5, 2021
Messages
5
Points
3
About a few years ago, I received a response to a call for submissions for some publishing company. They were interested in my book. A lot can happen in a year, and it took exactly the same amount time to realize that the composition and quality of my prose in that book wasn't exactly 'bestseller material'. Initially I was excited, but then I watered myself down like I always do. Even then, my self-loathing and general lack confidence in my work was what probably saved me from being scammed. I had long forgotten the name of that publisher and when I went to look for their email in my Gmail, I couldn't seem to find them. I think they might have deleted their initial message when i told them off. All I know for sure is is that I did some research into their business practice, I found testimonies from their authors about how they actually make their money. They charge processing, agent, and publishing fees up the ass, charging thousands from people who are desperate to be published after a thousand and one setbacks and rejections, a similar place to where I was a year ago and in the exact same position. I remember reading about a woman who was asked to pay upwards to 9k just to have the book out. I decline and provided the reasons as to why not even i would be stupid enough to fall for their bullshit, and so they probably deleted their initial email after getting called out.

I never thought this would happen again. I was at first excited when Webnovel invited me to be become one of their official writing partners, but then I did some digging. One of the the people here, SadTuna, was also invited by one of their scam artist editors but fortunately did the right thing and consult a forum of writers if the move would be right for them. Luckily, for them and all of us, they didn't go with it. And neither should you. Here's why. Webnovel offers both exclusive and non-exclusive contracts, and though I had yet to see a contract myself in the e-mail sent to me, I have read that authors who work with Webnovel have the same modus operandi with some rather predatory third-party web novel distribution companies, specifically EMP Entertainment. TL;DR-

-they can terminate your grant of right (which dictates who owns the intellectual property i.e, your book series) EMP can terminate that at any time but you can't. You leave when they say so.
-within this term of agreement which you cant get out of unless they say so, they can essentially copy paste your work anywhere else but you cant.
-they also have a perpetual claim to your work- when your contract ends, you must offer to sell your work to the company
-after you've signed with them and they've rightfully fuck you over, you're not allowed to tell anyone about it.

Read into more detail about it here.

I can understand the temptation to give in to something that promises recognition, money, notoriety, and a wider viewership- but at the end of the day, we all just want to be read and appreciated as writers. we as writers should really be thinking less about reads and likes, because a preoccupation with these analytics is how these scuzzball companies lure us in to these bad deals in the first place. We should all be more occupied on having fun while writing and improving the quality of our work. It doesn't matter if people think you're shit now, you can always improve. And sometimes, even if you've improved as much as you think you can, you often find yourself ignored, unsupported, unknown, and obscure. Don't think about that. Caramuru, the most important work in the Brazilian literatury canon, was written by Santa Rita Durao- who nearly burned it along with all his other works because of the harsh criticism by his contemporaries . Only Caramuru survived, and only a few decades after his death was both Caramuru and his literary genius acknowledge and appreciated. A more well-known example is Lovecraft, who's mastery of cosmic horror was not acknowledged and appreciated until decades after his death.

I'm not saying you're gonna be like these people- but if you wanna fighting chance at a legacy, these companies and their schemes aren't the answer. You're gonna be remembered by the blood and tears you've spilt over your works, which like invisible ink, won't show until much later. devote yourself to this madness. You owe it to yourself to write something that'll live long after you've gone.
 

Flashwolf96

Active member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
48
Points
33
Yeah, I remember the time I found a message like that when I logged in to Wattpad after a years of having left. The message isn't there anymore (I don't remember deleting it), but I copy-pasted it elsewhere:

Hello Flashwolf96,

My name is Anna. I'm an Author Liaison representative, representing W e b n o v e l.
I've read the initial chapters and I feel that your novel showcases your capabilities as a writer thus, I would like to invite you to publish on our platform W e b n o v e l. You may find our App on Appstore or Google Play, which has over tens of millions installations.

We would like to offer a non-exclusive contract for your novels currently on the site, this way, you can keep the novel on the site but at the same time also help you tap on the large reader base of on our platform with over 60 million unique user views, making it a win-win situation.

Please feel free to reach out to me with regards to this, we want to understand your needs first and foremost as an author to help you reach the target market you want to hit.
If you want to reach out personally, You can contact me at:

I didn't bother saving the contact details, but I definitely found this suspicious at the time even without knowing anything about the scams or doing any digging on the subject. First of all, since this is on Wattpad, the message isn't about my magnum opus story, Micah Ever After, which has only ever been uploaded by me first on Royal Road, then to here after I left that site too.

The only story I have uploaded on Wattpad is an older one called Something With School in the Title. Setting aside the fact that its name wasn't mentioned once in the message, SWSitT itself is a super vulgar, badly written ecchi harem, and not at all something I'd imagine would earn me a contract with anyone. So with all of that in mind I ignored it and prayed such solicitations wouldn't track me down to a site like this one.

Ah, and I remember at the time considering posting that message here in the forums to see what people made of it, but I chickened out thinking that I'd get made fun of for making a big deal out of such an obvious scam :blob_melt:

Anyway, I totally agree with your advice. It's better to write for yourself than to jump on a chance that seems too good to be true simply for the prospect of a quick boost in fame and income. I've been told a few times that MEA could have so many more views/readers/etc. than it has now, but I try not to concern myself with statistics like that and just focus on producing a quality of work I can feel satisfied with. In my extremely humble opinion, no amount of money is worth risking loss of control over your intellectual property. And I personally don't like the idea of selling my soul over to shady companies that will happily solicit you with a smile and a handshake while hiding a noose behind their backs with their other hand.

Regardless of if said companies even plan to use said nooses, it's awful, it's scary, and people deserve better than to have to grovel at the feet of such people in order to escape those contracts.
 

tiaf

ゞ(シㅇ3ㅇ)っ•♥•Speak fishy, read BL.•♥•
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
1,135
Points
153
Yeah, I remember the time I found a message like that when I logged in to Wattpad after a years of having left. The message isn't there anymore (I don't remember deleting it), but I copy-pasted it elsewhere:
It's just a non-exclusive offer which is no different than a suggestion to crosspost on webnovel too. :blob_hmm: I wouldn't call that scam. Posting there is also free and good for exposure. Just don't sign an exclusive contract.

Although I know an author who was Webnovel exclusive. They knew what they were signing and did so willingly. It's just not to western standard...
 

Flashwolf96

Active member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
48
Points
33
It's just a non-exclusive offer which is no different than a suggestion to crosspost on webnovel too. :blob_hmm: I wouldn't call that scam. Posting there is also free and good for exposure. Just don't sign an exclusive contract.

Although I know an author who was Webnovel exclusive. They knew what they were signing and did so willingly. It's just not to western standard...
You're right; scam isn't quite the right word. But it is an easy trap for casual writers (or those who don't read/can't make sense of a contract like me) to fall into. Well, I can't speak for everyone of course, but I know for sure that keeping up with schedules like the ones in those contracts would be nothing short of impossible :sweating_profusely:

But I suppose if someone was theoretically up to the challenge and was prepared to abide by all of the terms, no matter how unreasonable, they could potentially make quite a bit through those contracts - and even if that isn't true, they could stand to gain a ton of exposure. I still don't really know what to think from an ethical standpoint, but I can certainly see the appeal for more confident writers.
 

tiaf

ゞ(シㅇ3ㅇ)っ•♥•Speak fishy, read BL.•♥•
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
1,135
Points
153
Whenever I read "Person X got invited by webnovel", I just feel sad.
I never get those invites from the big scam sites... :blob_teary:
That’s sad. Try wattpad, that’s where I got invited too for non exclusive.
 

tiaf

ゞ(シㅇ3ㅇ)っ•♥•Speak fishy, read BL.•♥•
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
1,135
Points
153
I looked at wattpad once, but all those half-naked man made me feel like I would have no chance over there. Probably as far away from my target audience as I can get...
I want to refute that, but I just opened WP home and there are indeed a lot of naked upper bodies or couples.
 

scribesaga

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
63
Points
18
I get invites from good novel all the time on webnovel. I tried it once, and was disappointed. there's a lot of weird companies starting up in china, and even Taiwan, that are copies of webnovel.
 

Jemini

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
1,028
Points
153
About a few years ago, I received a response to a call for submissions for some publishing company. They were interested in my book. A lot can happen in a year, and it took exactly the same amount time to realize that the composition and quality of my prose in that book wasn't exactly 'bestseller material'. Initially I was excited, but then I watered myself down like I always do. Even then, my self-loathing and general lack confidence in my work was what probably saved me from being scammed. I had long forgotten the name of that publisher and when I went to look for their email in my Gmail, I couldn't seem to find them. I think they might have deleted their initial message when i told them off. All I know for sure is is that I did some research into their business practice, I found testimonies from their authors about how they actually make their money. They charge processing, agent, and publishing fees up the ass, charging thousands from people who are desperate to be published after a thousand and one setbacks and rejections, a similar place to where I was a year ago and in the exact same position. I remember reading about a woman who was asked to pay upwards to 9k just to have the book out. I decline and provided the reasons as to why not even i would be stupid enough to fall for their bullshit, and so they probably deleted their initial email after getting called out.

I never thought this would happen again. I was at first excited when Webnovel invited me to be become one of their official writing partners, but then I did some digging. One of the the people here, SadTuna, was also invited by one of their scam artist editors but fortunately did the right thing and consult a forum of writers if the move would be right for them. Luckily, for them and all of us, they didn't go with it. And neither should you. Here's why. Webnovel offers both exclusive and non-exclusive contracts, and though I had yet to see a contract myself in the e-mail sent to me, I have read that authors who work with Webnovel have the same modus operandi with some rather predatory third-party web novel distribution companies, specifically EMP Entertainment. TL;DR-

-they can terminate your grant of right (which dictates who owns the intellectual property i.e, your book series) EMP can terminate that at any time but you can't. You leave when they say so.
-within this term of agreement which you cant get out of unless they say so, they can essentially copy paste your work anywhere else but you cant.
-they also have a perpetual claim to your work- when your contract ends, you must offer to sell your work to the company
-after you've signed with them and they've rightfully fuck you over, you're not allowed to tell anyone about it.

Read into more detail about it here.

I can understand the temptation to give in to something that promises recognition, money, notoriety, and a wider viewership- but at the end of the day, we all just want to be read and appreciated as writers. we as writers should really be thinking less about reads and likes, because a preoccupation with these analytics is how these scuzzball companies lure us in to these bad deals in the first place. We should all be more occupied on having fun while writing and improving the quality of our work. It doesn't matter if people think you're shit now, you can always improve. And sometimes, even if you've improved as much as you think you can, you often find yourself ignored, unsupported, unknown, and obscure. Don't think about that. Caramuru, the most important work in the Brazilian literatury canon, was written by Santa Rita Durao- who nearly burned it along with all his other works because of the harsh criticism by his contemporaries . Only Caramuru survived, and only a few decades after his death was both Caramuru and his literary genius acknowledge and appreciated. A more well-known example is Lovecraft, who's mastery of cosmic horror was not acknowledged and appreciated until decades after his death.

I'm not saying you're gonna be like these people- but if you wanna fighting chance at a legacy, these companies and their schemes aren't the answer. You're gonna be remembered by the blood and tears you've spilt over your works, which like invisible ink, won't show until much later. devote yourself to this madness. You owe it to yourself to write something that'll live long after you've gone.

Yep, this sort of thing needs to be said on occasion to warn all the newcomers. Thank you for your service good sir.
 

HellerFeed

New member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
5
Points
3
I also post on their webnovel site.
I also received an official contract option in the dashboard.

At first, I was happy as well, but then I learned that you have to hand over the copyright of your novel.
Not to mention you have to atl least write 40k to 60k words every month depending on the package you choose.

Only in the first 3 months, they will give you a fixed 100-150 dollars + the amount readers spend.
After that, you are on your own.

After the 3 months period, the income depends on your readers, who unlock your episodes.
And only readers who actually use purchased power stones count as earning and not the free stones/coins.

On top of that, the webnovel takes about 50% of total income.

The writing quota should always be filled.
The writers affect their writing style and quality just by trying to keep up with quota, resulting in a bland novel that readers usually drop.

Also, they assign you an editor from a webnovel.

The editor also intervenes with your story and you have to change it according to him.
Like forcing you to include Harem or cliche pervert moments, etc even if you don't want to.

Also if you are novel does get popular and you don't heed the editor's demands, they actually snatch your novel and assign a new writer to continue your novel. You can't do anything about it.

The competition is tough, only if your novel manages to reach the top, will you get a lot of benefits.
There are like thousands of contracted authors but only the top 100 make decent earnings.

Not to mention the reader base of webnovels are the most toxic people.
My fellow friend that I met on webnovel's discord quit writing after her readers spammed 'harem' all in the comments and with 1-star reviews. Despite she was just a casual writer. The webnovel site moderators didn't help her coz she didn't make a contract.

Webnovel also doesn't allow writers to have bold, italic, table, etc features for their casual writer.
Only once you are contracted with them will they let you use those features.
This is surprising because I have never seen any other sites do this.

But generally female lead, romance genres is much more popular on their platform.
Despite all this there are some decent readers, as well, hence why I still upload their.
 

Madjic

New member
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
2
Points
3
That isn't only it, if you dig into reading Webnovels terms in the contract; if you are doing an exclusive deal, there is a stipulation that all other books you write they have first Dibs on too. So if you plan on releasing a book and don't tell them first, you can be sued for it.

To top that all up, if you don't produce the number of words written, they hold the right to commandeer all royalties that were earned in contracts timing. So let us say you get sick and can't post for a period of time or write; they can ask for all those royalties back.

I may be misunderstanding something in the contract since I am no lawyer, but this is all under Hong Kong law which is VERY capitalist and friendly towards Major companies.

I have gotten offers too from them, and I pointed those things out, asking for them to be changed I received no reply.

My main point is never to sign a contract you don't fully understand.
 

CheertheDead

Fudanshi of Yaoi-sama
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Messages
176
Points
43
My fellow friend that I met on webnovel's discord quit writing after her readers spammed 'harem' all in the comments and with 1-star reviews.
Now that's just bad manner.

Even dogs and cats have to learn how to act else they got euthanized.
 

Sabruness

Cultured Yuri Connoisseur
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
419
Points
103
all true. After all, there's a reason why Webnovel contracts are also referred to as slave contracts.
 

BenJepheneT

كاني™ ويست
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
4,099
Points
183
not contributing to the discussion, but it's funny to me how Webnovel's notoriety has become so infamous that it's receiving the Voldermort treatment
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
16
Points
13
I can understand the temptation to give in to something that promises recognition, money, notoriety, and a wider viewership- but at the end of the day, we all just want to be read and appreciated as writers. we as writers should really be thinking less about reads and likes, because a preoccupation with these analytics is how these scuzzball companies lure us in to these bad deals in the first place.
Just want to take the chance to say that webnovel statistics are incredibly and blatantly fake. When I first visited the site I wondered why they might bloat up the numbers since it doesn't really attract readers or anything, but now that I think about it, it's probably to lure in authors.
 
Top