Friday, January 20, 2023


So. Have you heard of Inkitt

Frankly, I'd never heard of it either until their very charming representative contacted me about their plans to experiment with a subscription model.  Something I know a little bit about.

As you probably know by now, I'm a creator on--and proponent of--Patreon. Which is to say, I adore my patrons. I have issues with Patreon itself, which I won't detail here. 

Actually, what Inkitt is proposing is sort of a cross between Patreon and Radish. If you're familiar with web publishing platforms and mobile apps, you know that those readers are largely not the same readers scouring Amazon for KDP deals. ;-D Which is why Vella has not been the raging success Amazon hoped for. They're starting with a completely different customer base. 

Mobile app readers are lured into paying WAY more for stories because the web platform interface is more interactive. It's a bit like a game. And the experience is as much of what the readers want as is the book itself. I make a few bucks here and there on these apps with my backlist, but authors like SC Wynne, who can deliver fresh content daily, are killing it on Radish. 

That's my experience anyway. YMMD.

Back to Inkitt.

The audience on Inkitt is largely not my audience--romance rather than mystery and romantic suspense are the big draw on these platforms--but our goal as authors is to constantly seek to build our audience. one reader at a time. 

So the reality is I'll have to bring my own audience to Inkitt to start with because A - I'm unknown in that world (now there's a humbling experience :-D :-D :-D ) and B - the Inkitt interface is pretty disastrous (as in discoverability on the site is almost impossible if the goal is sell backlist rather than write fresh content and then publish for free).

For example, if you click on my Inkitt wall to see what goodies might await you, you see this enticing prospect:


In fact, this is a partial glimpse of what lies behind the wall--with lots more coming soon:

You can see that it includes weekly chapters of Puzzle for Two, the serialized story I'm currently writing on Patreon. 

Let's comparison shop for a moment. For a $3.00 monthly subscription on Inkitt, you get regular access to my rotating backlist PLUS weekly chapters of a new serialized story. 

For a $3.00 subscription on Patreon you get weekly access to a new serialized story:

You see what I'm saying, right?

Now that's not exactly a true picture, because on Patreon, I also throw in a lot of bonuses throughout the year AND we have a holiday zoom call. You're going to get more personal interaction on Patreon, but basically Inkitt is the better deal as far as books for your bucks.

Why am I doing this when I claim to be a proponent of Patreon? Well, as you know, I've never been a fan of putting all my eggs in one basket. But also, Patreon's service fees make the $1.00 and $3.00 tiers pretty much loss leaders. I've already capped them and I'm slowly but surely phasing them out on the platform. Inkitt takes a smaller cut and so a $3.00 tier could actually, eventually be profitable. Maybe. With enough subscribers. The goal is always to find new readers and there are readers to be found on Inkitt. 


The other goal, of course, is to earn passive income through my existing backlist. All these little revenue streams add up. As my titles are held to be rather pricy in the world of permafree, .99 cents, and Kindle Unlimited, this particular subscription is a pretty good deal for the dollars. AND you're supporting an author whose work you enjoy.

At least, I think it's a pretty good deal, but then I would. ;-D  Let me know what YOU think.


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  2. It took me a few days to review both Inkitt and Radish. I've heard of neither but then I don't generally go looking for new platforms. So this feedback is entirely from an uninitiated POV.

    TBH, I don't care for reading on my phone and Radish appears to be geared toward a much younger demographic who seem to have their phones grafted to their palms from birth. ;)
    I didn't download the app to try it since I knew it was a no go but I would be interested in hearing what others think.

    OTOH, Inkitt is an attractive price point for consumers just looking for a reasonable cost for their addiction. I found the interface challenging if you're looking for new authors or content. But since I'm not a subscriber I can't say what additional benefits or features I'd get.

    Both offer free content and that makes each desirable to an author who is looking to expand their base. If that was my fulltime gig, I'd be on both and hope the services themselves improve with time.

    Full disclosure: I am a Patreon patron and am quite happy with it. I like the author contact and community interaction so I'm not likely to throw over to Inkitt. But that's just me.

    1. Ooh! Thanks for commenting, Natasha! So much to delve into.
      So, yes, I would say that Radish and Inkitt are aimed at a younger demographic, especially as far as creators. There is a lot of trying new wings as far as content goes. There's also a whole lot of English-as-a-Second-Language (that's not a really criticism, it's just a reality as far as readibility). I'm going to add a screen shot of my reader demographics to my post because I just find it all so interesting.

      I love my iphone but, like you, I basically use it for games, communication and a few utilities. I don't like reading or even listening on it and I hate trying to use it for research. So yes, probably an age thing.

      The Inkitt platform is still too limited and the interface too clunky to really compete with Patreon. I'd be surprised if it's really serious competition for Radish (which does have a relative-to-Inkitt sophisticated platform). There's no real interface in which to deliver rewards beyond fiction as opposed to Patreon where I can offer artwork, audio, etc.

      I mean, some of that stuff can be done through links to other sites. I'm offering an audio book to my first 50 Inkitt subscribers, but they have to follow a link offsite. And as I get more familiar with the platform, I'll probably get better at communicating with subscribers through the "wall."

      For Patreons at the $3.00 level, there's no question Inkitt is the better deal, because the only thing Patreons get at that level are the new serialized chapters (Inkitt subscribers get those too). Patreons do have the opportunity for more interaction, but it's surprising how few of them use it! We have a community section, but really only a handful of us interact there. (In fact, I suspect a lot of Patreons don't actually understand how it all works and that many of the rewards are NOT delivered through the message system. With Inkitt there's only one way to interact, so maybe that's a good thing in the end?

      Obviously, this is an experiment and I'm making it up as I go.

  3. I agree with Natasha. I am happy with Patreon, and enjoy the content and specials. I am also more of an old school PB reader, whereas a younger person may want the ability to read on multiple devices, such as their phone. I can see why authors have to keep updated with trends to attract new readers. I may check out Inkitt in the future, but am not in any hurry to change,

    1. Right! I think the move would only make sense for Patreons at the $3.00 tier. All the other tiers get benefits that would be harder if not impossible to deliver through Inkitt. I suppose it would be possible to share codas and little snippets of fiction there, but I'm not interested in that at this time.

    2. I guess it would be better value for the $1.00 tier Patreons as well, since A - They really get nothing at this point and B - I'm phasing them out entirely.

  4. These were some great questions that were asked behind the scenes that I thought I'd go ahead and respond to:

    1 - How much does it cost to join Inkitt?

    I've opted to have one subscription tier and that's $3.00 a month. That gives you access to my current serialized story (Puzzle for Two) and a few titles each month from my backlist.

    Inkitt does not cost money per se, unless you're subscribing. ;-)

    2 - Can we subscribe to both Inkitt and Patreon?

    You could, but it seems unnecesssary to me. You get more for $3.00 through Inkitt, but any of the higher tiers on Patreon currently give you more goodies than I can deliver on Inkitt.

    3 - Is the purpose of Inkitt merely to purchase books?

    Basically, you're subscribing to a JL library, if that makes sense. You can't download the books, you read them online. I will probably offer the occasional audio or coda, but yes, the basic purpose is to read a lot of my fiction for a nominal fee.

    4 - Is there an Inkitt platform or app?

    Yes. You can access Inkitt through your phone or you can simply visit the website on your laptop. It's a pretty simplistic interface. I don't use the phone app. I use my desktop. But that's because I'm not doing anything on the platform but uploading my own content.