Discussion Question: Should writers be paid through ads?

I know the title of this isn’t very helpful, but I’ll you give some background on this topic. However, before I tell you what’s going on, I just want to say I usually don’t post things like this on my blog. I mostly just want to get people’s opinions.  Opinions not from teens or people barely in their 20s on the particular website I am referring to.

Before I post this, I just want to say, please be respectful and don’t attack anyone.

Ok, so a certain website (where serial fiction is posted) that will not be named (because it’s seriously a scary place) is now only paying the “popular” writers through ads. So, if you read a story, you’ll have to play a 5-10 second ad to keep reading. The more ads played on the story, the more money both the said writer and website get. Now, I’m going to bullet point this to share my thoughts:

  • I think writers getting paid to write their stories is a wonderful thing.
  • However, it bothers me that some “fanfiction” writers are also getting paid through this process. Some of these “fanfiction” writers have even commented their writing isn’t professional enough to be published. And yet, they are getting money.
  • Only “popular” writers are getting this benefit, which I understand because they have the most reads.
  • The goal of this program is to become like the writing site of YouTube. Sometimes I wonder how this will affect the publishing industry.
  • Yes, I know one should only worry about themselves and not others, but it’s still interesting to watch. People who were already egotistical have gotten worse.
  • I feel like we’re seeing a shift in what good writing once was (more stories like 50 Shades and After are birthing from the internet). Hmm, it kind of reminds me of fast food. People want quick food they can eat on the go – it doesn’t matter about quality. That’s kind of like these stories. Quick action, quick romance, undeveloped characters, poorly written and more. Maybe we’re seeing the rise of the fast food industry of writing. And we all know what we think of fast food now…

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Maybe it was only a matter of time this was going to happen.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know not ALL the stories are like that, just the majority.

I know nothing will change, but I still like respectful discussions on topics ^____^

Please share your thoughts


21 thoughts on “Discussion Question: Should writers be paid through ads?

  1. I think they could run into a lot of legal problems paying fanfiction writers. Perhaps there is some kind of loophole, but I suspect someone is going to sue soon. I, of course, believe that writers should be payed for their work. However, I don’t like where this is going. This seems more like a popularity contest than a way of assisting talented writers in their quest to improve their craft and make a few bucks in the process. This is one of the reasons why I steer clear of these sorts of sites. I’d much rather read something by a published writer than something penned by an obnoxious sixteen year-old with no regard for the English language. (no offense to any sixteen year-olds.)

    Liked by 5 people

    • Oh, I agree with you about the legal problems. The one writer I know who bragged about getting paid for fanfiction wrote a One Direction fanfic. However, I feel like that may be a gray area. That’s how I felt about it – that’s a just another popularity contest. You brought up a good point about improving their craft. From what I’ve seen, these popular writers call themselves “The best writers on the site,” so it makes me wonder if they feel they should even improve.

      Smart move! Honestly, I am heading that way myself. I plan to steer clear of websites like that in the future. It’s not a place I want to be. To be fair, I not all the writers who are getting paid are teens, but I still agree this stinks of a popularity contest.

      I miss the old way writing websites did things. You post your work, the readers read it, and readers could decide if they wanted to filter to find only stories with a lot of reads and reviews. However, this site throws popular stories in your face, and that’s usually the only thing new users see.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m in agreement that writers should be paid, but what is the return to the website, and is it great enough for them to run the risk of legal issues with copyright infringement? This could get ugly quick since writing fanfiction is not illegal, but revenue exchanging hands? Who is more to blame? The writers who are paid, or the website for creating a revenue-inspired environment?

    A story being popular does not mean it’s “good” – simply means that writer has a great following based on past work.

    Better to remove revenue from the equation and leave the playing field open and level for everyone.

    I honestly think it would be better to reward READERS in some way if increasing traffic and a larger audience is what they’re after.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I also like the idea of removing revenue from the equation and making it a playing field open for everyone. However, that’s more like the old writing sites.

      Hmm, rewarding readers would be good. I haven’t thought about that. Thanks for adding your thoughts^^

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s the interesting thing about fanfiction… Unless it’s Nintendo or Blizzard most companies don’t mind as long as there isn’t money involved. Once money becomes involved and depending on how much of their intellectual property gets used within said fiction, it becomes a major problem so Fanfictions should not be getting any income.

    Cause I see the sue train a coming. It’s already started on youtube, like the #wtfu ordeal and businesses pulling videos down with little based upon it.

    Copyright laws are pretty burdensome especially once you cross international borders like what nearly happened with No Man’s Sky in recent months. Legality becomes an issue where money lies. But that’s what I see coming.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The #wtfu is the Where’s the Fair Use hashtag used on Twitter and YouTube during a massive upheaval in the fair use rights on YouTube over the last year. And the No Man’s Sky issue was a legal battle both in the US and Britain over the use of the name Sky by the game developer due to some odd copyright claim by a company with Sky in its name. Just for clarification and save some people the need of research.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmm, I’ve heard that they’re just testing the idea with popular authors, but they’re planning on expanding it and making it available to a variety of writers. I’m not aware of all the potential legal problems they might have, but I hope this initiative won’t fail. I know that a lot of books on that writing platform aren’t very original or well written, but I also know that there are some good authors out there (they usually don’t have many reads). The debate on whether 50 shades of grey or After is the kind of content that should be published and praised these days is a very complex one. After all, the moment we start selecting what is ‘real’ literature and what is not, we start censoring people and their ideas. I haven’t read After nor any other fan fiction and I probably never will, but I don’t think we should blame the authors for it nor stop them from writing what they want. I think the real problem is the fact that people choose to read these books. And whose fault is that? Capitalism and monetization of art? Or are we, as a society, just too lazy and ignorant to read more decent books?
    Anyway, this is a very interesting post and something I’ve been thinking of for awhile. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, yes, I remember you. You sound like a lot of users on the threads there. I did some research on the company; it looks like they’ve been planning the ad thing for years now. Basically, they don’t have enough revenue to stay afloat, so they are going to start putting ads in stories (which makes sense as a business). Not only that, but they also need to find other means how staying in business. I never said there weren’t some good writers there. In any writing community, you are going to have good writers.

      Also, I never said people shouldn’t write what they want, nor did I say we should censor what writers writer. However, should that type of content be published? Well, I’ll let the reviews about After from Barnes & Noble’s website decide that: (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/after-anna-todd/1119740432?ean=9781476792484#reviews-header)
      Readers choose to read those books because they were based off something they already liked. One Direction – one of the hottest boy bands – has a major following around the world, and they also happen to be good-looking young men. So if teen girls who are their fans can read a story about one of them being a sexy bad boy with a lot a sex in it, it’s win win all around.

      Harry Styles + Bad Boy + sex scenes everywhere = readers (That formula isn’t hard to understand). One Direction is popular, bad boys are popular, and a lot of readers like spicy content. The same could be said of 50 shades. When she wrote that book, BDSM stories were very popular on Fanfiction.net back in the day. She took Twilight + BDSM + sex = readers (Again, that formula isn’t hard to understand). Neither of those two books got popular using their own ideas. Yes, they developed the plot, but they used elements from already established fandoms.

      To answer your last question, I don’t think we are too lazy to read decent books; I think the internet is filled with readers who are 1. Young, 2. Want wish fulfillment 3. Don’t care about quality. 4. Want quick reads. After all, that internet isn’t just the age of knowledge, but also of quick information. The same applies to want we read. Hence, my comparison to fast food.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah yeah, I wasn’t implying that you *said* those things, it was just me thinking about it as I wrote. I think censorship is kind of related to this topic because the moment we start asking ourselves what kind of books should be published, we’re making a biased selection. Plus, who are the people that decide what books can be considered ‘publishable’ or not. I guess it’s literary agents and publishers, although now things are changing. With the self-publishing industry and online writing platforms, any kind of book can be considered ‘literature’.
        As I said, it’s a very complex topic and I don’t know what the right answer is. And yeah, you’re right. Those people used a magical formula to write a (not very original) successful story . Can’t blame them though, they just found a genius way to make money!


      • Yes, I agree the publishing industry is changing. It’s like I said, we are moving to a fast food type of writing society. Self-publishing and publishing stories online is a great thing, but it does allow lower quality stories to get through. In the past, publishers and agents weeded that out, and now we don’t have that. Writers can write whatever they want, but then we have to wonder how far we want to go with publishing that. It’s a complex topic, I agree.

        Were they smart? I don’t know. I had a popular fanfiction story about a hot guy from an anime that got me over 1.5M reads. Sure, I could have made money off it, but I didn’t want low quality work attached to my name, no matter how much money I could have got.

        I guess it depends on the writer. Let’s just agree to disagree ^__^ I don’t like how this Wattpad type of thread stuff is on my personal website.

        Liked by 1 person

    • And to make another point, I used to be a popular fanfiction writer on that site, but unlike other people, I didn’t want to be known for writing a poorly written fanfiction. Therefore, I took down both my stories with over 565K reads and focused on my original stories. Between both stories, I had over 1.5 million reads.

      I want to be known for quality, not for taking another fandom and getting popular from it. The website is all about popularity, and that’s not how a writing community should be.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First, what? In my opinion there should be no money made from fanfiction writing unless you have a really good story. You’re basing your story off of another person’s work. There are legal issues which was mentioned in another comment. I write fanfiction, as I have mentioned several times, and I write for the love of it. Not to make money. I’ve never heard of someone making money off of fanfictions, especially if they have not developed the character, plot, etc… That’s just my thought though.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This is a very interesting post and topic. I’ve been reading through all the comments here and I agree with what seems to be the core opinions here. For one, yes I think writers should be paid for their work if they are pursuing that avenue. However, I do draw a line on fanfic. Yes, the writer may create scenarios and situations, but they involve characters and worlds they did not themselves think up. In cases like Potter, Hunger Games, Walking Dead – the money , or at least a good chuck of it,should go to the creators. I’m not sure how that would apply to fanfic of Kpop idols or One Direction. Imagine if Styles got residuals from fan fic. He’d be able to retire or run for president 😉
    With all that said, I love fanfic. Or at least some of it. And I do believe it takes some creativity to come up with some of it, but it should not be a paid venture. It should just be fun to read.
    On to the whole website thing. I’m not sure which site you are referring to , but it sounds to me like it’s more of a popularity contest. There are many ways that these authors get readers, and it seems to me it’s not always because they have a story of great quality. Often, it’s about how many people you can reach out to, sometimes trading follows for follows, without even reading the work. I think, in a nutshell, the websites want to make money, or to be fair, need it to stay afloat, so in a way I don’t blame them, but if they are going to pay authors I think they need to rethink the system they have in place. Okay enough rambling. Sorry, maybe I just needed conversation today 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I wish you’d named the website in question. I honestly have no idea which one it is, and I want to make sure that I never join it!

    I’m quite uncomfortable with the idea of fan fiction as I believe it to be both legally and morally grey. Making money from it, however, is inexcusable. I understand that there is a similar system in Japan, where fans of a work create comics and short stories based on a pre-existing work, print them, then sell them cheaply. I think any legal loopholes which allow this kind of behaviour should be closed.

    I’m less concerned about the low quality of popular fiction. I think it’s an inevitable consequence of capitalism and the digital age, and I don’t want to worry too much about something I can’t change!

    Liked by 1 person

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