Recently, I was going back and reviewing some of the things I’ve said and looked at when discussing Web Novel, otherwise known as Qidian, otherwise known as Inkstone (Yes, they’re all subsidiaries of the same place). You can see my whole analysis of why Webnovel is just the worst here.
The one thing I always prided Webnovel on was that as bad as they were, at least your work was seen. Others have excitedly pointed out to me how Tales of a Seductress, a novel I put up on Webnovel, ended up with close to two million views. The same book on scribblehub has only gathered 150,000 views. A good number, for sure, but not nearly Webnovel numbers.
I should also note that in their prime, this novel was one of the top twenty books on scribblehub for almost a month where on webnovel.com, it was never high on the list and more or less lost in the deluge of stories. This also isn’t like MDL, where I have 600 chapters, so those views are legitimately only across 100 chapters or so. We’re still talking an average 20,000 unique readers here. Don’t get me wrong, I get how this works.
Adding to this, I had never once been contacted by Webnovel. My book garnered 2 million views, and even that wasn’t good enough to be on webnovel’s “asked to join list”. All my slanderous articles have only come since then, and I really doubt web novel has paid enough attention to me that they wouldn’t have tossed me an offer if they felt my books were profitable despite what I’ve said on my site about them.
What point am I trying to make here? Qidian Webnovel may fluff their read numbers to make you feel like a better author than you are and make your book look more popular than it is. It’s clear to me that whatever algorithm they use to count book views is definitely flawed (you could probably say that about all of them, but I think Webnovel is exceptionally bad). They’re trying to make their website look more popular than it actually is, and convince you that releasing your book on their site is more beneficial than it would be if you released it anywhere else.
Am I wrong? Is Webnovel really just that much bigger of a website? I grew curious, so I simply went to a website traffic checker and I plugged in the website. It would show that compared to the likes of scribblehub, yes, the traffic is far larger, by close to 10-fold. (Note I made top 10 for weeks on it, nuff said). However, a site that isn’t much smaller than webnovel? Royal road. It’s got about 60% of the traffic of webnovel.com.
So, how many views does my most popular novel on Royal Road have? A book with twice the number of chapters I ever released for Tales? 400,000 views. That… I believe.
If we want to compare the same book, considering Tales of a Seductress, it has 150,000 views on scribblehub, and 2 million views on webnovel. So, by that math, we’re at 1.5 million views, and I must once again stress that TOAS was TOP of the site for a while, on the front page for weeks at a time, where on webnovel, it’s one of a deluge of books. I’m competing with way less on that site than I would be on webnovel or Royal Road.
I’ve always found the 2 million views I received on Webnovel to be suspicious, especially considering NONE of that ever translated to website traffic. I’ve done surveys in the past, and the numbers I’ve heard coming from webnovel to read my stories dwarves the other places. Even my stolen novel, which was labeled as plagiarism and had hundreds of comments on the first chapter informing people in was plagiarized, still managed to collect nearly a half million views. How?
That said, I will poke a giant hole in my own argument, because I believe in full transparency and I don’t like to be misleading. I do not know if pinging webnovel.com translates to their app. Their app is assuredly the place that holds the vast majority of their readers, so if that ping doesn’t touch their app, maybe they do have way more readers than anywhere else.
If they seriously do, it’s never translated to an increase in viewership, donation dollars, or popularity, at least for me. I just thought I’d share this bit of a look at Web Novel. Partially, because I still get readers recommending to me that I put more of my books and time into Web Novel, which is a bit like asking Jim Sterling to sponsor advertisement on his youtube channel, and I wanted to be once again abundantly clear on how I feel about this place.
Do they fluff their numbers? I’m sure they’ll say they have an algorithm and it’s legit. I’d just believe it’s also an algorithm that is fast and loose with its counting. I’m not accusing them of committing any crimes… other than all the crimes that we already know they commit. Jesus… plagiarism is so rampant there that it has become a tag.
Vitalynus is not the author/translator of this book, go here for the translation, which is probably being done without the author’s permission and thus also might be considered stealing… translations are complicated. XD. At least the translator put actual work into transforming it.
So, take this for what this is. It can be one more reason you really hate Webnovel, or the ramblings of a madman who is still salty he had so many books stolen by Webnovel 2-3 years ago.