Our Crowdsourced Novels and Payments to Authors
Your Success Is Our Success
We believe in our writers, and are committed to helping them thrive and flourish. Next Chapters’ terms of service includes our pledge to commit us to share profits earned from books created on our platform with the writers that helped create these stories. It’s fair and completely the right decision that if we’re able to make money from works submitted on our writer’s platform, the writers deserve to share that profit. That’s why we’ve included it in our terms; it’s something we believe in and value as a company, and putting it in our initial agreement also binds us to follow through with our promise.
It’d be disingenuous of us to say that everyone who submits a chapter to our platform that they’re absolutely guaranteed to make money. We’d quickly go out of business – that money to pay authors has to come from somewhere, and just like you, our bank account unfortunately isn’t unlimited. That’s why we can’t tell you up front how much you may earn from your chapter, if anything at all. Just like everything in life, some books won’t sell for whatever reason, while others will fly off shelves. We’ll do our best, especially noting that your success is our success.
There are lots of people involved in writing a book, and we believe anyone helping a novel get printed and sold deserve compensation for their hard work. Here’s a breakdown of just some of the different people that may be involved in publishing a crowdsourced Next Chapters novel. Please note, this structure does not refer to our private or closed-group books, although those payment structures could be similar.
And note, there’s nothing saying someone can’t be included in multiple categories below. Someone who creates a book may also write multiple chapters for it, or a novel may have two people editing different parts of the book.
Who Gets Paid
Here are some of the people needed to work on a book in order to make it possible to sell. This list is not intended to be comprehensive.
On our platform, anyone can start a new book. We call these people Story Creators, and they’re the ones who come up with the idea for the book. Story Creators write the plot and outline characters for others to use in their chapters.
Numbers can definitely change depending on an author’s specific contract with their publishing firm, but in the publishing world, writers often receive between 10% and 20% of book earnings as payment. For example, let’s say the writer receives 10% retail royalty, and they have an agent gets 15% of the author’s share (that’s 15% out of the 10% the author earns, not 15% of the total). On a $24.95 book, the author would receive $2.12 and their agent the remaining $0.38. That kicks in only after any contractually-established pre-payments (things like advances) are reimbursed from all those little $2.12 payments, the author would start seeing some checks coming in.
We don’t charge authors to join our site, and books on our platform don’t cost authors anything when they craft any of our community books. Authors won’t receive a bill from Next Chapters for using our normal services. (Although there are things authors may decide to purchase from us, including special-edition publications, ghostwriting, plot development or specialized cover design; none of which are necessary for writing and completing a book on our community platform.) We’ve made sure it’s completely possible for writers to use plenty of our tools and platform to create great books without paying us anything.
Again, it is completely possible for writers to sign up with our platform, have chapters approved and included, get a book published and earn a portion of the profits without paying Next Chapters anything. And our Terms of Service state that submissions to our platform remain the intellectual property of the writer; you’re granting us a license to try to make your chapter a success. We don’t own what you write; and by using our community-writing system you’re also saying you’re interested in us trying to turn your chapter into part of a fantastic book that sells.
So here’s how payments are broken down, and the priority things are paid from that pool of money:
First, Next Chapters recoups any external outlays made to publish a book. This is money we have to spend to be able to sell your book, including printing and marketing, cover design and typesetting. As a commitment to transparency, a listing of these payments will be available to everyone who contributed to the final version of the story.
Second, any extra services requested by the book editors to make this book a huge success will be reimbursed to whomever pays each bill. These are usually optional expenditures, and can include important pieces like marketing, professional editing, print and paper quality, and cover design.
Finally, after all the bills for creating, printing and distributing the book are paid, every person who contributed to the final version the book will receive compensation for their efforts. Here’s the breakdown:
|Story Creator||15% of profits||This is the person who creates the book on our platform and submits the story summary, plot outline and character profiles|
|Book Manager(s)||10% of profits, equally divided among each chapter managed||These are the individuals who read and approve chapters for inclusion into this book. By default, the Story Creator is asked to fill this role first. It may be multiple individuals or even Next Chapters fulfilling this role|
|Individual Chapter Authors||50% of profits, equally divided among each chapter approved||Each chapter in the final book earns an equal share of the profits. Authors contributing multiple approved chapter will earn an equivalent multiple payment. (For example, write two chapters, earn payment for two submissions.)|
|Next Chapters||25% of profits||Unlike large publishing companies, we base our business model primarily on our writers being successful, and are committed to sharing the benefits with those people outlined above that made Next Chapters possible.|
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to several questions we receive. If you have additional qustions, please contact us.
We are often asked how someone applies for a job with Next Chapters. Simply put, we do not hire individuals as Next Chapters staff members to write novels. Payments are made upon completion of the book, if and only if the book generates profits to be shared with everyone.
Community-based novels do not cost writers anything to start and create. Next Chapters does not bill writers for using our platform, or for the marketing or publishing of books. Writers may opt to purchase additional paid services such as marketing campaigns and professional line editing to enhance their book, but membership on our system is free for writers. It is extremely possible for writers to create an account, start a book, write parts of a story and be published without paying us a cent.
We can't answer this question honestly, as writers share profits of book sales. Some books will never generate a profit, and others may end up being world-renown best sellers (we hope!). Since we aren't able to say how much money your story will earn, we can't say how much you'll earn in royalties either.
Next Chapters pays author royalties by check, sent through USPS. Therefore, it is critically important for writers to provide their mailing address to us, so any royalty payment is sent to the proper address.
Books are finished when the storytellers say it is; Next Chapters does not have a time limit or word count for these books, and the decision to say things are ready for print lie with the community. We do not force our writers to deal with unrealistic deadlines when working with multiple writers usually in their spare time writing stories together.
Who We Are
Next Chapters is an innovative start-up based in Erie, PA. We are story-tellers, and want to use our talents to help others write and be published. We are based in the Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University, and are a portfolio company with Ben Franklin Technology Partners. We are also supported by the Creative Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program at Erie Arts & Culture. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you want more information or references.
Questions or Comments?
Do you have any questions or comments for us? Drop us a note! We can’t build a community without you, and your success as a writer is our success as a guide.