The Real Reasons People Hate Webnovel
Authors and readers alike have spoken out against the reading platform Webnovel. Here's why everyone has issues with it.
1. "Surge" Pricing
Fans have long complained that Webnovel charges increased prices amid key plot points and conflicts. If the story has suddenly become more interesting, it will cost substantially more to read the next chapter. It's no wonder their stories often end up extra-long and full of cliffhangers.
2. Author Poaching
Most reading apps have their own terms of service that prevent users from using their apps to recruit authors for other platforms. Webnovel is well known for defying these rules to poach authors and successful stories from existing platforms like Wattpad and AO3 under the promise of potential payment. They are not only breaking the rules of these other apps, but also spamming authors with constant recruitment messages.
3. Exploitative Contracts
Webnovel's contracts with writers often have very questionable terms. Their Premium program pays a $200-per-month minimum, but writers are required to produce "a minimum of 1,500 words daily for the entire calendar month" without any breaks between uploads. That's 45,000 words in 30 days, roughly an entire book every single month. Webnovel's copyright terms have been criticized of being extreme and predatory.
4. No Room for Author Promotion
Authors on Webnovel report struggling to connect with readers on or off the platform. This may be because Webnovel doesn't show author names in homepage and search listings or while you're reading the book. Authors have even reported that their system automatically censors Patreon links.
5. Suspicious Cover Sizing
Cover sizes are substantially shorter in height, so authors are forced to crop their existing covers or design something custom for the platform. Some users have speculated that this is a way to encourage authors to cut off their own name (aka byline). From a brief review, it seems that many authors have found a way to include their byline despite this, but there seems to be no other obvious benefit to Webnovel using their obscure cover size.
6. Books Cost Hundreds of Dollars
Depending on the current cost of coins and the amount of chapters, one Webnovel book can easily cost a user hundreds of dollars. Many popular books have hundreds or thousands of chapters, which leaves us to wonder how much they're padding the number of chapters to increase revenue. Even at these high rates, many readers who use the app have complained of being charged for coins they never actually received, making it doubly expensive.
7. Automatic Censorship
Webnovel's posting system has a list of banned words that it doesn't allow through, including everything from common swears to unexpected terms like "adult" or "naive". It replaces any words on its list with asterisks like this: ****. At times, authors have also reported censorship of bizarre everyday words "making", "freedom", and "simple".
Do you have a Webnovel experience to share? Let us know in the comments...