Author’s Note: If you read an earlier version of this article, I had some inaccurate information. and I’ve made major revisions to correct them.
Last year, I received an invitation via Twitter to join Channillo, a serial reading service, as an author. I was intrigued and decided to check them out.
Basically how it works is that you upload either individual book chapters or short stories on a schedule that you, as an author, decide upon. I opted for weekly chapter updates on my books, starting with The Case of the Haunted Vampire. I’m up to The Case of the Reincarnated Lover now, so I still have a way to go before I run out of content to upload. Hopefully I’ll finish my next book in time.
You retain all rights to your content, and you don’t need to be exclusive to Channillo. Obviously, Kindle Select authors wouldn’t be able to enter their exclusive books, but they could upload any which were on wide distribution. Although many Channillo authors upload works in progress, previously published books are welcome. Having previously published content does reduce the stress of having to stick to an upload schedule.
For every subscriber you have to your series, each month you receive a small amount. It’s been running about 72 cents per subscriber per month for me, and I assume that number is basically the same for all authors. When you accumulate $50 in your account, Channillo pays you via PayPal.
As an author, you can also be a subscriber, but it’s not required. That’s a change from when I joined, where you did need to have at least a Bronze membership, which costs $4.99 a month and allows you to subscribe to 10 series at a time. You can unsubscribe to a series, but you can’t resubscribe for, I think it’s three months.
As long as you don’t mind the wait to accumulate $50 in your account, I think it’s not a bad deal for authors. The interface to upload does have one inconvenience. When you cut and paste your story into the upload field, you lose all formatting, which means I have to go back and add back all the italics. I’m so glad I don’t write high fantasy!
As for readers, I think it’s a pretty good deal. In my experience so far as a subscriber, the quality of writing has varied wildly, but I’ve generally enjoyed what I’ve read. You can’t download content, at least not without jumping through more hoops than I’m willing to jump through, and you can only read in your browser. No dedicated app. The reading interface is functional but not much more than that.
That said, I’m planning to stick with it for a while. I’ve received two very nice reviews, and I see this as another way to introduce people to my writing. My number of subscribers has grown steadily. I haven’t read as many other serials as I’d like, but I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve read so far.
If you’d like to try it out, I’ve got one code for a free three-month Bronze membership. If you want it, let me know in the comments, and I’ll send it to you. First come. First served. Oh, and you’ll be nice and subscribe to my series, right? 😉