Lately I’ve been hearing from writers who’ve been solicited by one or another of two companies offering to distribute their books to Webnovel, a Wattpad-like platform based in Asia: EMP Entertainment and A&D Entertainment. (Note: there are a number of companies with similar names focused on concert invites, event scheduling, and DJ services.) (UPDATE: See the bottom of this post for a roundup and evaluation of additional serialized fiction platforms and apps.)
EMP and A&D are both based in Singapore, and both are just 11 months old (which raises interesting questions about whether they’re really different companies, though their contracts differ enough to suggest that they are). They present themselves as Webnovel partners–and, apparently, sometimes as Webnovel itself–authorized to offer non-exclusive contracts that allow authors to continue to publish on other platforms (such as Wattpad, where both companies are actively approaching writers) if they choose. (UPDATE: info I’ve seen since publishing this post suggests that Webnovel has contracted with these companies to recruit writers for its platform, allowing them to use their own contracts.)
I’ve seen numerous examples of each contract…and they are not author-friendly, to put it mildly. Nor are they truly non-exclusive.
Here’s an example of an EMP solicitation. In addition to Webnovel, EMP promises to distribute writers’ work to several other platforms.
Here’s the contract. Substantial problems include:
– The grant of rights is “irrevocable” (Clause 4.1). EMP can terminate it at will or for breach (Clauses 9.1-9.5), but there’s no option for the author to do so.
– Also in Clause 4.1, the grant of rights is said to be “non-exclusive”. However, this is appears to be the case only to allow for already-published versions of the work, because any new publication is severely limited by Clauses 4.2 and 10.1, which make any additional licenses subject to EMP’s written consent, and directly contradicted by Clause 4.7, which prohibits authors from selling the work to third parties during the term of the agreement.
– Clause 4.7 includes what amounts to a perpetual claim on the work by EMP, since, even after the contract has been terminated, authors must allow EMP to match any offer for a subsequent sale, and can’t complete a subsequent sale unless EMP signs off on it. (My highlighting.)
– There’s what amounts to an ethics clause (Clause 4.3), which requires authors to “uphold the reputation of EMP Entertainment” and decrees that they “shall
not engage in any activities which in the opinion of EMP Entertainment, reasonably held,
may be harmful to the reputation of EMP Entertainment or its interests.” Companies can and do abuse such clauses–something that’s made even easier when the terms are as vague as they are here.
– Authors receive 50% of “net revenue”, which sounds good until you realize that it’s actually net profit:
These “total expenses” are not detailed anywhere in the contract, so authors have no idea of what they are, or how much they may reduce the amount on which royalties are calculated. (Payment is monthly, with a US$200 threshold.)
Here’s part of A&D’s solicitation. Unlike EMP, A&D promises distribution on Webnovel only, with various conditions attached.
Here’s A&D’s contract. In my opinion, it’s even worse than EMP’s.
– The grant of rights (Clause 3) is, basically, all rights forever. Writers must grant “any and all intellectual property rights in and to the Work” via “a worldwide, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, freely transferable and sublicensable license of the entire copyright subsisting in the Work.” Whether A&D actually intends to take possession of copyright is not clear (despite the wording I’ve quoted, other language in the contract is ambiguous), but the duration of the grant is clear: life of copyright.
– Like EMP, A&D seriously qualifies the supposed non-exclusivity of their license. A&D’s Power of Attorney authorization forbids authors to exercise the granted rights without written permission:
Also, writers who want to maintain existing work on other platforms, such as Wattpad, must give Webnovel most favored nation status by publishing to Webnovel first, and by pausing or unpublishing previously published content to make sure that Webnovel is always several chapters ahead.
– Did I mention that A&D requires authors to grant power of attorney? (See the last pages of the contract). There is absolutely zero reason for any publisher or platform to require this.
– Per Clause 9, which covers termination, the author has the right to terminate the contract only in the event of breach by A&D (including failure to pay royalties). A&D, by contrast, can terminate at will–and, if it deems various kinds of breach by the author, can impose onerous provisions.
In Clause 9.1, for example, “breach” includes failing to deliver work on time or to A&D’s satisfaction. If after “three reminders” the writer still can’t satisfy, A&D can terminate the contract and bill the author for “all losses suffered in that connection, including but not limited to additional expenses incurred by Party A such as notary fees, attorney fees, accreditation fees, litigation fees, and travel fees.”
Here’s another example. Not only must the writer compensate A&D for “losses”, they must return 50% of earned income.
(UPDATE 11/2/22: The most recent iteration of A&D’s contract–which is mostly identical to the one linked above–increases the penalties in Clause 9.2, 9.3, and 9.4 to 200% of earned income.)
– As with EMP, author royalties are paid on net profit.
It’s not stated anywhere in the contract what those “other costs” might be.
UPDATE: I’m hearing from a lot of writers who signed with EMP or A&D, and then found this blog post and are wondering about how to get free. As I’ve detailed above, there is no provision for termination by the author in either of these contracts. So there is no way for authors to simply cancel.
Instead, I’ve been suggesting that authors consider contacting the companies and asking to be released. While initially the companies seemed willing to grant at least some such requests, more recently I’ve heard from writers who say they’ve been told no.
UPDATE: A&D (or AnD as it also seems to call itself) has published a rebuttal to this post…sort of, since it doesn’t address any of the points I’ve made above, and really just boils down to “mean people are saying we’re bad, but we’re really not, we promise!”
UPDATE 11/10/22: Since I published this post, I’ve seen numerous examples of the A&D non-exclusive contract. They are all essentially identical to the one analyzed above. However, a small recent change has made the penalties for breach considerably more punitive, increasing the amount authors have to pay from 50% of all income to 200% of all income. Here’s how Clause 9.3 reads now:
UPDATE 11/22/22: I’ve just seen an exclusive contract from A&D. It’s almost entirely identical to the non-exclusive one, except that the punishment for breach is slightly lighter: 100% of author income, rather than 200%.
A lot of companies are jumping on the serialized fiction app bandwagon. Many other “monetize your writing” chapter-by-chapter publishing platforms are actively soliciting authors on Wattpad and elsewhere. Unlike EMP and A&D, these companies aren’t distributors; participating authors publish direct to the companies’ platforms and apps. However, concerns about terms and contract language seem to be similar.
– Webnovel (sometimes dubbed “the Wattpad of Asia”). I’ve seen a number of its solicitations, and though I haven’t yet seen a contract (Webnovel offers both exclusive and non-exclusive contracts), online discussions by authors who publish on the platform suggest that it has problems along the lines of those discussed above. (UPDATE: I’ve finally managed to get my hands on a Webnovel contract, and it’s not good.)
– iReader is a serialized fiction app that’s soliciting writers with non-exclusive contract offers. It’s a good deal more professional-seeming than some of the others mentioned here, and, also unlike some of the others, its representatives are willing to answer questions and even do a little negotiating. Its contract is also less predatory than many. Even so, there are issues, including net profit royalties, a most favored nation clause that could limit non-exclusivity, and no option for termination by the author (although the grant term is limited to 5 years).
– Readict/VitalTek. This company asks writers to provide a sample of their work, which they’ll display for a couple of weeks to gauge reader feedback and gather “data”, whatever that means (here are the Terms and Conditions of submission). At the end of that period, they’ll decide whether they want to offer a contract, which can be exclusive or non-exclusive.
Writers may receive a flat licensing fee (supposedly as much as US$10,000, although in correspondence, a company representative acknowledged that there is a “range” starting at US$300), a signing bonus of $100, and “massive exposure”. No royalties or other payment (the contract is very specific about this). Readict also rewards referrals: if you get “peer writers” to sign up with the platform you can receive a bonus of “up to $500”. Since there’s no revenue sharing with Readict–whatever you get on the front end is it–there would seem to be a substantial incentive for Readict writers to solicit on their own.
I’ve seen one of Readict’s non-exclusive contracts, and while it’s significantly more author-friendly than A&D or EMP, there are some issues. The company makes a claim on a large range of subsidiary rights, including translation and film rights. The grant term is limited–years (variable, depending on the offer), rather than perpetual, but authors have no right of termination. Readict can edit at will, and if the writer fails to turn in a complete work, can hire someone else to complete it. There’s also a waiver of class action rights.
– Anystories/Read ASAP Ltd. invites writers who’ve uploaded least 30,000 words to apply to be a “signed writer”. If accepted, they may receive an exclusive or non-exclusive contract, and will earn monetary “rewards” based on how many words they upload per day (at least 1,500) and how many words their story contains (at least 80,000). The schedule is pretty grueling: writers must “update daily with a maximum of 3 days absent allowed per calendar month”. Writers with exclusive contracts are eligible for an additional “cash prize.”
– Hinovel provides very little information on its website, but describes itself on its Facebook page as “a mobile reading app with massive excellent novels and perfect reading experience”. It is currently soliciting authors with publishing offers, offering two models: “an amount of advance payment” plus a 15-30% royalty share once the advance is recouped; and a 30-35% royalty share with no advance.
The Hinovel contract is less author-unfriendly than others I’ve seen, notably in that it has a limited 5-year term rather than being “perpetual” (though authors have no right of termination). But that’s not to say it’s free of concerns. The term “digital copyright” is used when what’s really meant is “digital rights;” the contract does make clear that Hinovel isn’t demanding a transfer of copyright, but it’s an odd confusion of terminology, and I don’t know if it might pose issues at some point. Authors should also note that they will only get paid once the entire work is uploaded (so if they plan on doing it chapter by chapter, it’ll be a while before they’re eligible to get any income), and that there’s what amounts to a morals clause, which could affect what authors could say publicly about the company or their experience with it. Finally, disputes are subject to arbitration. I don’t know about the law in China, but in the USA, when you sign a contract that includes an arbitration clause, you waive your right to go to court.
– SofaNovel/Vlight I haven’t seen a contract, but otherwise this one is very similar to the rest: exclusive or non-exclusive contract, signing bonus, income from “rewards”. Based in Singapore, SofaNovel was launched–like EMP and A&D–in November 2019. Reviews of the app are mixed.
– Dreame/STARY Pte. Ltd. also also does business as FicFun and Ringdom. These sites’ setup is similar to Anystories: writers submit at least 30,000 words, after which they can apply for an exclusive contract and “rewards” depending on word counts and updates. To claim the rewards, they must update daily, with only two absences allowed per month. The STARY platforms allow fanfic but say they don’t sign it.
Other than Webnovel, the STARY ventures have been around the longest of these companies, and there’s a fair bit of discussion about them, some of it not very favorable (among cited issues are poor quality/poorly edited stories and aggressive solicitation). Although the grant term is limited (5 years), snippets of the Dreame contract that have been posted online (see, for instance, this 2018 blog post and this Reddit thread) include problematic provisions, including net profit payment, no option for author termination, onerous penalties for author breach (return of all earned income, remuneration of company “losses”), and the use of the term “Digital Copyright” to describe what otherwise reads like a conventional (if sweeping) rights license. (UPDATE: You can see my analysis of the Dreame/Stary contract here.)
– Goodnovel, Bravonovel, Babelnovel, Elfnovel, Webfic, NovelsLite, and dozens more. Primarily based in Singapore and Hong Kong, most seem to function similarly to those above. While not all may have terrible contracts, given the many that do there’s reason to be very careful with any solicitation or offer you may receive.
(UPDATE: See my analyses of various contracts: GoodNovel, Novelcat, Popink, Fizzo. Short version: they’re all terrible.)
Feel free to email me if you’d like me to take a look at any contract and offer non-legal (I’m not a lawyer) feedback.
Hi, Victoria. Thank you for made this post. Last night, I get contract from A&D and some of clause really made me terrified like payback compensation 200 %. Its good I tell them to postpone signed contract after my daily job end. Pfft, thank you. I am new writer from wattpad and they found me there and aggressively ask me to sign a contract. Cause I still wanna publish my work to wattpadd so they give me non exclusive contract and answer my question briefly. I am new writer and this offer sure made me happy but it’s good I find your blog from quora, people linked it. Oh, God thank you. By the way, can you give us good contract for writer? Is it just wattpadd or there are other platform good too for us ?
Most of the serialized fiction app contracts I’ve seen have been pretty author-unfriendly, and I suspect that’s typical of the companies that do this kind of publishing. If you come across a company contract that you’d like me to evaluate (I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t provide legal advice), feel free to email it to me and I’ll tell you what I think.
Even I have been approached by A&D for non-exclusive contract, and also published 1 chapter to get the book id but haven’t yet filled in the form sent to fill in personal details for the contract, so this means I have not yet agreed to the contract, right? Just wanted to know if the publishing of that 1 chapter means anything, and which platforms would be a good source to earn income?
If you haven’t signed a contract, you haven’t yet agreed to one. I’m not sure how hard it might be to remove your chapter, though.
Gosh, I got a contract from Goodnovel and was so excited. But I actually had kind of a mental breakdown while thinking about signing it and had to be hospitalized (I also had covid)
Maybe that break down was a telling me this was a bad deal. lol. What a bummer. Back to the drawing board. Thanks so much for this article. I’ll send a copy of the Goodnovel contract if you want it, but it sounds like you got it already.
I did see a Goodnovel contract recently, and like the ones discussed in this post, it’s seriously author-unfriendly. I go into detail here: https://writerbeware.blog/2022/02/18/bad-contract-alert-goodnovel/
If you got a contract, I'll be glad to take a look at it for you and give you a non-legal (I'm not a lawyer) assessment. My email is email@example.com. Based on the contracts from similar reading/writing apps that I've seen so far, most of them are EXTREMELY author=unfriendly and have terrible terms.
Also, if you are a minor, you may need to get your parents' permission to sign anything.
I am a minor and just got a sign on fameink. I don't want any legal charges so I want to know more about their company. I was also wondering if you could possibly dig more about them? Thank you so muchhh
Tbh my experience with AND was not pleasant but it's different for every writer i guess.
I've had a chance to review a couple of GOodNovel contracts, and in my opinion they are very author-unfriendly. Look for a detailed blog post about them in the coming weeks.
currently have a contract from goodnovel waiting to be signed, and well I don't like it. first, they want me to help pay for advertising and you have to repay any money you make if you want to cancel the contract up to twenty times what they paid. i might as well not sign and self publish.
I'll be glad to review the contract and give you a non-legal (I'm not a lawyer) opinion. Email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Also: if you're a minor, your signature on a contract like this may not be legally binding, depending on where you're from.)
I am minor and I don't want to run into legal trouble, I was wondering if you can possibly review the sample contracts I have about Goodnovel. Very skeptic and dubious after reading this article. Thank you so much!
Hi. I'm in Philippines which is part of Asian countries. These platform of reading/writing and signing of contract really hot items which became popular during the pandemic. I've signed a contract with one of the top five, but as I was on my 160k word and haven't received any bonus for reaching 30K, and my story is not yet on pay to read which I was lucky though. Did demand about my bonus plus the signing of contract failed, I decide to cancel my contract but I didn't have time debating of what are do's and don'ts as I believed a waste of time. As I tried to delete my account, it won't let me. And you couldn't delete the chapters you wrote on their site. So here's the trick, I deleted my chapters which are mine and not unpaid, I copy and paste a journal online equivalent of 5k wordings per chapter. I log out of my account and never tried to visit the site.
I was a contract writer with a traditional publishing which I terminated this year to try other stuff. Aside from signing a contract as a writer, all the titles I've written had a separate contract since they control the copyright, and different ISBN code ech book, though you'll have it back after period of years say, 5-10 years.
I'm not a lawyer, so I can't give you legal advice…but if you don't sign the contract, you aren't bound by it and haven't given them permission to publish.
It's disturbing that they ask for information like your bank account before contract signing–that should properly come _after_ contract signing, so that they only get access to this kind of sensitive information if you agree to publish your work. If you do decide not to go through with signing, you might contact your bank to let them know that they shouldn't allow any access by A&D or any other company named in the contract or during the signup process.
Hello. I had started signing with A&D a few months ago. I have also given out all of the information they asked me to give including my bank account. Now they have sent me the contract for me to sign and that is the last step left in the signing process. I am new to this all so I am scared about it. They are contacting me and asking if I'm done signing. I want to thank you for posting this and letting me know but now I regret not researching about this in the first place. Can I back out of this? The only thing left is signing the contract.
Omg I fill id and bank account too. Ugh, they just disgusting. But if I don’t signed the contract then its end right ?
If you didn’t sign the contract, you aren’t obligated to them. The bank account info is unfortunate, though–you might contact your bank and ask them to put a flag on your account for unauthorized withdrawals.
Thank you for this post. I used to write on Wattpad, and can't tell you how many times I was PM'd by people from Webnovel and/or similar platforms (something which is not legit for them to do on Wattpad, btw). All promise monetization of my stories, great returns, blah-blah-blah. If it seems too good to be true, chances are, it is.
Anonymous with the A&D contract,
Not seeing any of your documentation, I can't say for certain, but if you didn't sign a contract I don't think they have any claim on your work and you have no obligation to proceed.
I don't know about erasing your data–you could ask, but who knows if they'd agree or even if they'd respond. Regardless, if you don't proceed they likely will discard or archive your data–but if you provided anything sensitive, like bank account information, you might talk with your bank about putting a watch on your account.
Anonymous with the Goodnovel contract,
I haven't seen a Goodnovel contract, so I can't comment. If you'll share it with me, I'll be glad to take a look and give you a non-legal (I'm not a lawyer) opinion. My email is email@example.com
Hello, I just saw this post and I got a contract offer from the two of these companies, I didn't sign the other one but I already signed the contract for Goodnovel already, I even posted several chapters of my story already, is it possible for me to back out at the contract of Goodnovel? I would really appreciate it if you can reply to me!
Thank you in advance!!
I have only filled in my data for AnD entertainment, I just filled in my information with account details but I have not signed any contract yet. I'm more than happy that I say this blog and now I'm hesitating whether to go ahead with the contract and find a way to erase my data from the site?
Cab you advice please?
From what I've come across being promoted on FaceBook for these apps, none of these books/stories are being edited. They are all literally first rough drafts being posted and, unfortunately, the “writers” are too much of amateurs to even realize their work is not being properly edited or even proofread. The contracts outlined on their websites are nowhere near the actual contracts they require you sign. And now I’m seeing recruiters for these apps pop up in dozens of author groups I’m in.
It absolutely amazes me at the sheer number of “writers” who are so eager to see their work “published” that they are all too willing to sign with these scammers. To be honest, it is very discouraging to professional authors who are continuously being forced to compete with such bad, unedited books and stories. It borderlines on being laughable to see good books edited within an inch of its life languishing in favor of these rough drafts littering the proverbial bookshelves. Everything has shifted where it’s the amateurs who are making money while the professionals are forced to give up because they cannot make a decent enough payday to warrant the time, energy, and money it takes to produce a professional product.
After reading this I told goodnovel I'm not signing the contract. I did fill their google form but thank God for this article. Blocked the goodnovel editor who contacted me.
Hello, after readkng this, I felt a Big "No" resounding from my heart. I mean, perpetual granting of rights. Automatoc renewal. Net profit…it just gets worse. Please, do you know of any sites that offer better contract terms that we can pitch too? Or can you suggest a better part that we can take as a lot of us are young, don't have large readership and don't have enough money to properly self-publish. I was initially going to take the contract so that I could cover some basic living cost and maybe save some money for editing the novel I would like to self publish. I hope this isn't asking too much. Thank you in advance.
It doesn't sound like you signed an actual contract, but it's hard to tell from your comment. The contract is a distinct document, though, so I'm guessing you'd know if you'd received it.
Please email me with full details on what you filled in and what you sent, so I can hopefully give you better advice (non-legal: I'm not a lawyer). You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I got contacted by AnD saying that they are recruiting for web novel through wattpad. I filled their google form with name, email ID, ID number, and Address and submitted it with the sharestory.Io ID. I didn't fill in bank account details or Photo ID proof or anything else. Have I signed? I actually felt skeptical with the bank account details they were asking for and searched for AnD when I found the name in the google forms that was when I found this blog.
Am I trapped? Or Am I safe?
If I am trapped What should I Do?
There's also novelstar it's the same. Thanks for the heads up.
I was told the same thing. I hope someone could reply me because I'm hesitant
I haven't seen a Novelcat contract. Not all contracts offered by these kinds of companies are terrible, but as I mention in my post, enough _are_ terrible that you should always be very cautious.
Hello, sadly ive already signed a contract with emp. Ive read this blog too late.
But can you tell me, what you think about novelcat exclusive contract?
Okay so I wish I saw this article earlier on. I was approached by webnovel on wattpad and offered a royalty contract which I finally signed and till now I'm yet to receive a penny. Their entire process is so frustrating, I really want to terminate the contract but I don't know how. And will my novel remain theirs or will I be allowed to take it off their site and post it elsewhere?
Lmao at 50 years after death.😂😂😂
Me too. I don't know what will happen but I hope good things. This blog is really helpful.
You don't need to contact them at all–as long as you haven't signed anything, you're not obligated to them in any way.
If you do want to respond, just send a brief polite email thanking them for their consideration and telling them you've changed your mind. You don't owe them an explanation.
Hello so a few months ago a editor A&D on webnovel contacted me for an non-exclusive contract. So I did mostly everything they asked for, for the contract signing. Last week they sent me the contract, that I should sign, but after reading the contract clauses and this article I want to back out. Can someone please tell me the right and most polite way how to tell them that I don't want to sign the contract and that I don't want to do it anymore.
Hello, I recieved a non-exclusive contract offer from A&D. they have sent me a contract to sign and publish my work. But I am really worried about their credibility, so is there anyone who has the first-hand experience with this??? if so, please respond.
Their response sounds reasonable enough. It makes sense that if there were an issue, they'd give you the opportunity to correct it rather than just slamming you with financial penalties.
However, assurances or not, you don't really know what's going to happen until you're in the situation. And just as important, the assurances they've given you are not in the contract. In any dispute, the wording of the contract is what prevails–not what you may have been told outside the contract.
Also consider that while you falling behind and them demanding money might or might not happen, the rest of the issues I've highlighted–the perpetual grant of rights, no possibility of termination by the author, and net profit royalties–are guaranteed to happen.
I've been reached out to by both And and Hinovel. Both of them makes me nervous especially the part where in AnD contract that the authors are responsible for the expenses in case of breach etc. Pretty much what you talked about Miss. Strauss, I did highlight it and ask them 'It says in summary that if Party B falls back on stuffs then any issues that follows, the cost is to be paid by Party B which would be myself.
What if in a situation like that I fall back on something. What if I am unable to make those payment?
I was told this: Regarding Breach and Termination part,
We always communicate everything first with our authors. We avoid any troubles. As long as your book does not violate the principals, I believe there is no problem to worry about. If you are inactive for a long time while your book still has a few chapters, we will send you a reminder, and all you need to do is give us feedback, you can let us know if you need a time because we also understand that authors sometime needs time to think and take a step back for a while.
We do not expect authors for their book to be a hit on Webnovel. We understand that even for senior authors, not all books can be a great hit. As we are also expanding partners with publishers and many authors, it will not be a problem for us if just in case it turns out your book's marketability is not good. If it turns out bad, you can just finish your book and start a new one. As long as you have completed your book and it doesn't violate the principals, then you have fulfilled your obligation as an author. (No controversial topics, a finished book should have at least 20 Chapters).
Personally it still doesn't answer my question which was a pretty direct question. I just wanted the answer what are the consequences if I'm unable to pay because I can't handle being sued or pressure for money I do not have.
Miss. Strauss can you read that response and tell me what you think please?
I've seen the Hinovel non-exclusive contract, and it has some issues (I need to update my post). Contact me at email@example.com. Please include both of the contracts you were offered. Thanks.
Hello, I had been contacted by a Hinovel editor which gave me two different contracts i would choose from and she was really nice when I told her that i couldnt sign on January but on May. Im also glad that I have a way better option to that dreaded company Webnovel.
But your advise, should i take the Non exclusive contract. I just prefer it to Webnovels which last til fifty years after death, could i get some of your opinions.
I can't thank you enough for this article. I'm a teenager and barely understand how contracts work so even after reading through the non-exclusive contract I was given by A&D Entertainment, I didn't see anything wrong with it. I nearly signed it just a few minutes ago but was still scared and suspicious of it and decided to do more research which lead me to this article. I didn't want to risk anything and knowing I could've been in big trouble if I signed it is terrifying. I sincerely thank you for writing this. I hope you have a great day.
Hi, how do i know that A&D is Original? Not like this?
I too have been approached by a&d entertainment to sign a non exclusive contract. After reading this I'm not gonna take any chances. Thanks for the info.
A&D entertainment also request me . I don’t know if i am Worthy of contract. I am also scared. Should i sign? I am from Bangladesh
Hello! After reading your article, I would like to input that I have signed up with EMP after talking to various already-recruited authors on their platforms, and, having received good reviews, signed their contract. Their discord server is also pretty legit, and very helpful to new authors.
I believe I already responded to you in email, but if I didn't…all I can suggest is that you comply with the stipulations of the contract. I expect that if there were issues, they would give you notice and the opportunity to address them.
I doubt it–"noted" just sounds like "we got your request". But without seeing the actual wording of your request and their reply, I can't say for sure.
I said I would like to cancel my contract and they replied noted. Is that enough to proved that they have already let me go?
We have a similar situation. They said it was still processed and wait for seven days.
I also signed the contract but they are still processing it. If I can't get out of the contract and might as well I would comply to avoid unecessary problems, what can you advice so I can avoid things like compensate for their loss? I am more than afraid to compensate rather than anything. I am only 18 and still studying.
An editor representing Webnovel also offered me a non-exclusive contract. I've been a romance writer for many years and promoting my works on different platforms have always been my problem. This gave me hope. But after reading their contract, I became hesitant, and decided to make a research, then I found this. I don't want to proceed with the contract signing anymore.
I've forwarded you the contracts and my email thread with the Hinovel staff
(Fw: An Invitation From Hinovel Editor Daisy).
Thank you so much in advance!
I've been trying to get hold of a Hinovel contract, and I can't comment without seeing the whole thing. Would you please forward it to me? My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
Which company messaged you? If it's one of the companies I've written about in my post, it offers very bad contract terms. If you like, send me the message or email and I'll comment. email@example.com
So a liaison representative messaged me through Wattpad, I think it was randomly because I just created my account and then they messaged me out of nowhere and asked me to become a non-exclusive partner with them. I don't know what to do as I am broke and this makes me happy that someone values my work but I'm not sure if it's a scam or some toy to trick writers, please help
I've been solicited by WebNovel, AnyStories, Dreame and several other bot accounts of nonexistent platforms. I've ignored/declined them since their update schedule is grueling.
But recently, I've received an invitation from Hinovel, and a 'sample contract'. Their update schedule is more forgiving; 1-2 chapters per week. They'll send me the 'official contract' later once I confirmed my interest. I'm interested, but due to the reputation of Chinese-based sites, I'm wary of entering into anything binding with them.
Here are some of the key articles:
1.2 Digital copyright refers to the right to use, publish, distribute, sell, sub-license, post, advertise, promote or market such Work on Platforms according to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.
1.3 Platform refers to all the online platforms owned, operated or controlled directly or indirectly by ANYUE, including but not limited to its websites and applications.
1.4 Nature of License: Non-exclusive License, Sub-license.
Non-exclusive license means during the validity period and within the licensed areas, ANYUE and its associated companies have the right to use the Licensed Work.
Sub-license means during the validity period, ANYUE and its associated companies have the right to license part or all of their rights over the licensed Work to any third party, but such authorization does not affect the use of the licensed Work by ANYUE and its associated companies.
The author undertakes that the sub-licensed third party shall have the right to use the licensed Work within the scope of ANYUE and its associated companies’ rights without prior consent.
4.4 The Author shall protect the reputation of ANYUE and shall not engage in or conduct any activity that is detrimental to ANYUE or its interests.
5.1 This Agreement shall take effect from the effective date and shall remain in full force during the creation period of the Work and for five (5) years after the Work has been completely uploaded onto the Platform. All modules must be completed and confirmed by ANYUE. This Agreement shall be automatically renewed for an additional five (5) years, unless either Party provides a written notice of non-renewal to the other Party at least ninety (90) days prior to the expiration of Agreement.
5.2 The author agrees and understands that for whatever reason the Author terminates the license, or for any reason this Agreement is terminated, or under any other circumstances, during the validity period of this Agreement, ANYUE’s end users have the right to continue using the already downloaded licensed Work, and ANYUE also has the right to continue providing the licensed Work to its users.
6.1 If the Author’s violation of articles 4.2-4.5 constitutes a fundamental breach of the Agreement, ANYUE has the right to refuse to pay the license fee, and for the Author who has received the payment, ANYUE has the right to require him/her to refund the payment. If any loss is caused to ANYUE, the Author shall be liable for compensation, and ANYUE has the right to terminate this Agreement.
6.2 Except for force majeure or Author's prior notice acknowledged by a written consent from ANYUE, the Author's failure to complete the creation of Work, failure to upload the complete Work to the platform or failure to submit the manuscript to ANYUE as agreed shall be regarded as a fundamental breach of contract. ANYUE has the right to unilaterally terminate this Agreement and require the author to compensate for all the losses.
6.3 Unless otherwise stipulated in this Agreement, if one party violates this Agreement and causes losses to the other party, the defaulting party shall bear all losses caused to the other party, including but not limited to direct losses, indirect losses, legal fees, attorney’s fees, notarial fees, etc.
Me too I tried searching for them but nothing came up, I had to ask about there company and they sent me a link which didn't say much
Thanks for your work to bring this info to light. I was researching Webnovel and Dreame for peoples experiences with the non-exclusive contracts. There isn't much on the web considering how many books and authors are on those sites. I bet they scrub the negative web traffic.
I won a "contest" with webnovel and was pretty stoked about it but to collect the prize I have to sign an exclusive contract. I didn't know that or I wouldn't have entered the contest. Now I don't even want a non-exclusive contract with them.
Thanks again I think you saved me from a big mistake.
I just logged into a Wattpad account that hasn't seriously been used by me for at least 5 years now, and found a message from a Webnovel representative inviting me to contact them and publish on their platform. The fact that I hadn't used my account in so long & they've contacted me anyway makes me think this might be a bot targeting specific users on the website and sending them the same message? It's very strange.
Thank you for the article. I would never sign a contract with such a dodgy group, and this article has made me feel much better about that decision.
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From someone who has had experience with Goodnovel and Sofanovel, they are both scams. These apps take your rights as an author and you're lucky to see any revenue. Their "Editors" are nothing more than high-pressure recruiters.
I will say that Goodnovel staff was gracious enough to hear my concerns and let me out of my contract when I proved they did not adhere to their own rules.
Sofanovel, I have nothing good to say. In almost a year of being with them, I've seen less than one penny of royalties generated, and I had a pretty good reader base for such a small app. When I brought up concerns on several occasions and asked to be released from my contract, they became defensive. They threatened to find me in breach of contract and stopped replying to my emails. I worry about them having my personal information and I have no idea how to get out of the contract even though I'm seeing their systems are set up to avoid paying authors.
I wasn't aware of Goodnovel. It looks the same as most of the others; I will add it to my post (and I have to say that if you need to put an entire page on your website explaining how you are "of course a legit platform," you already have problems).
As mentioned in my post, I haven't seen a Webnovel contract, but I would like to. Would you share with me the one you've been offered? My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence.
I've heard from a number of people who were approached by someone claiming to be from Webnovel who turned out to be from A&D or EMP. They are not the same: Webnovel is a reading/writing platform, and A&D and EMP distribute to it. Please see my post for an analysis of the problems with A&D and EMP contracts.
Girl in Blue,
As noted in my post, the A&D contract has no provision for termination by the author. Your only option is to contact them and simply ask to be released. They do sometimes say yes, according to what I've heard from writers.
Hi, you didn't post about Goodnovel.
Goodnovel is young. Any tips about them and red flags to look out for?
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So i few months ago i got a message on wattpad from webnovel editor wanting to sign a contract. After talking to them on messanger they asked for my email and then sent me a contract on that but ut said A&D entertainment. So i wanted to ask are they one and same. I have only published 1 chapter yet to get a book id but haven't signed a contract yet because i don't have a bank account yet. I'm sceptical to sign it because of the clause that says i have to return every profit because i am already broke.
Hi. I have been approached by Webnovel Editor and has been given a contract. I haven't sign anything yet as I want to read all of it and I can't really understand the contract. There is the part where the editor is not satisfy by three time, they can terminate the contract but what are the criteria to meet the satisfaction of the editor? The income is also blurry and has no fixed amount. I am quite worry to sign with them but I really want to publish my works. What should I do? Should I get a lawyer to review the contract? or Don't sign with them as they have many loophole in the contract?
Companies like EMP and A&D, which are looking to acquire content on a mass basis, are unlikely to be willing to negotiate their contracts. Even if they were, though…what does it say about a company and its attitude toward writers that it would offer bad boilerplate to begin with? That's a question you need to ask yourself about any bad contract, regardless of the publisher's stance on negotiation.
Has anyone ever tried to negotiate terms?
I mean….every selfpublishing author has to keep in mind that they are their own manager/agent. It's the same as in yesterdays where your contract was as good as your negotiating skill.
The original contracts offered by A&D and EMP are (from a western author perspective) horrible and no one with a sane mind would sign that…..but has anyone ever tried to just negotiate that whole thing?
Hi. I have signed with many of these companies and I always negotiate. Goodnovel tried to give me a life long contract and I negotiated it down to 5 years. Always negotiate first. You won’t lose anything. I always do it and get higher paid amounts because of it. It is scary but they are also sucking you dry, always try to sweeten the deal for yourself too.
I just signed a contract with Webnovel and published several chapters already, they had me attend a story-building exercise on discord and they contacted me to ask when I would like to set my publishing schedule. I write well under pressure so I had no problem with setting a schedule twice a week. Thanks for your post though, I like to keep on my toes. I do have a question that I'd like to drop here: if you publish to Webnovel when is your book available to be read?
I haven't seen a Webnovel contract. Would you share it with me? I'll be glad to offer you non-legal (I'm not a lawyer) feedback. My email is email@example.com . Thanks!
Hi! I received an email a month ago from an editor from Webnovel saying that they would like to offer me a non exclusive contract to publish my story in their platform. Today, they gave me the contract and I feel very hesitant because it might be a scam or whatsoever. Also, they might copy my work which is very wrong. Should I sign the contract or no? Hoping for a response. 🙂
I really appreciate you taking the time to research and write this article. It may have saved me from making a really bad decision.
A&D's contract terms are there in black and white. They are bad contract terms that give almost all the advantage to the publisher and significantly limit authors' rights and recourse. It isn't that A&D might "trick" you. It's that it's a bad offer right at the start.
Is there anyone who actually stuck it out with the contract?!!! (I just want a first hand experience of what would happen) Are they gonna take all the rights of my book on Wattpad… or take bring it to a different Webnovel platform… I don't doubt the blogger, but I do doubt the A&D people who sent me the contract, but I'm not gonna refuse the contract until I see that someone has been tricked by it. Until then I'll keep trying to find someone who claims to have been tricked first handed… I'm just terrified of passing up an opportunity like this.
Thank you very much for this article, I was very happy to receive a contract, but I thought about it and thought it best to research further! Now, I probably will not sign the contract and will continue on my own with an independent publication, so thanks again, I hope others can find this before doing anything!
Same view as yours. I also received and thought of going deeper and found this article. I am curious to know how do you work as an independent publication. Any apps or websites you can help me with.
ImaginaryWings, I think that Anonymous 12/5 is referring to self-publishing. Amazon’s KDP, IngramSpark, and Smashwords/Draft2Digital are among the preferred DIY self-publishing platforms. For more information on self-publishing, please see Writer Beware’s Self-Publishing page.
Yeah, it worked for me even though I had already signed the contract.
It's A&D . I told them I want to cancel but the problem is that they replied on my messenger but not on my email… How do I know they let me go ?
Did you send back the contract with information filled out, even if not completely? If so, my guess is that you are considered to have signed it.
You didn't mention which contract you signed (EMP or A&D), but as detailed in my post, there's no provision for termination by the author in either contract except (and only in the case of A&D) for breach by the company.
If you'd like to be released, you can try simply contacting them and asking them to let you go. Don't mention anything negative–just say your circumstances have changed or something similarly neutral They may say no, but it's worth a try.
Hi I got my contract signed 2 days ago and I didn't read the contract. I'm freaking out and I don't know why to do. I didn't send any chapters yet and didn't get any money whatsoever . Can I still cancel it ? I need help I don't know what to do.
how would i know that ive already signed the contract? i have given my information but i wasn't able to give my bank accounts because the power went out at my place.
Hi igot my contract today and this helps and A&D entertainment sent me the contract so after reading this im a bit hesitant about signing this so thank u for for this
I'm glad to hear it, Anonymous 11/26 Thanks for letting me know!
Thank you very much for your answer, I wrote to them asking to cancel the contract because of my studies. I told them that because of my studies I won't have the time to update frequently enough and that I won't have any time to write.
They kindly told me that they understood and "hope our paths cross again". So I'm really relieved, I don't have to work with them.
Thank you very much for your article, it really helped me getting out of a probably bad situation!
As mentioned in my post, the A&D Entertainment contract extends for the life of copyright and there's no option for the author to terminate it other than in the event of breach by the publisher. You could decline to upload the work–but since you signed the contract, your rights are encumbered and subject to all the contractual strictures, whether or not A&D ever publishes the work.
About your only option (that I can see) is simply to ask to be released. If you do that, don't mention any negative information–just say your situation has changed, or something similarly neutral. They may well say no, but it's at least worth a try.
Thank you for your article, it's really helpful and scary at the same time.
Unfortunately, I fell right into the trap and sent the signed contract back to A&d Entertainment before seeing this article.
Nothing has been published yet and I'm trying to find a way out. Do you know how I can stop this contract and if there is any way for me to retract from their proposition now?
Thank you very much for your informations, I wished I'd seen all this before…
Have a nice day!
A&D entertainment also request to signed a contract with me (non-executive contract)
I am a little scared and search in a investigate them and I see this . Will I sign with them ? I am in India
I received a message from this A&D entertainment to publish on the webnovel. Honestly I am very afraid of everything, mainly because there is a clause that says "I will have to return all expenses that the company had with me if my book does not sell. I found it very abusive. So I contacted them and explained my concern and one of the representatives said she didn't have to worry because they only terminate the contract when the author does not deliver the chapters on time. As she expressly says that she will not terminate and I have all the conversations to prove my argument, I simply deleted parts of that clause.
Why such a clause if they say they will not terminate for that? I already deleted it from the copy they sent me and I'm thinking of signing it.
But, now that you explained it made me a little nervous, after all I live in Brazil and I have 0% control of what can happen in case of legal process.
Thank you, Victoria for this article. I have been approached a couple of times by WebNovel, but had not heard of EMP or A&D. This is valuable info.