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Thread: [YADS] Fiction Arcade

  1. #1
    I write novels
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    [YADS] Fiction Arcade

    I just received an email from a new outfit called Fiction Arcade, which said:

    Fiction Arcade an innovative venture aimed at boosting the popularity and profitability of short fiction. It integrates the crowd-sourced nature of sites like YouTube (anyone can upload and promote their work) with the inexpensive, a la carte sales approach of sites like iTunes (stories are priced under a dollar), and then combines this with a 50% story preview system (just enough to hook readers without giving away the best bits) and the exponential word-of-mouth potential of social media.
    I went to their site and read their FAQ and Terms & Conditions. They appear to be similar to Smashwords. Sort of. Authors upload short stories and set the price based on tokens. Authors cannot give away stories, nor can they set a price higher than four tokens. Readers pay 25 cents (US) for a token. The author receives 20 cents for each token "minus all applicable taxes, processing fees, transactions fees and all other applicable fees."

    I searched the site and found nothing on much those taxes and fees might run. I also note that according to their terms, Fiction Arcade reserves the right to change the value of a token whenever they like, without any warning. And they have all kinds of warning clauses about violating terms, which means you have your account canceled and you lose all accrued sales.

    All in all, their site does not leave me with warm fuzzy feelings. The token system seems overly complicated. The stories are only available through them, and it's not clear what formats are available. I also came across a story that was listed as public domain, but the author only died last year.

    I replied to their email with a number of questions. I'll post their answers here when they reply.

  2. #2
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    This sounds a lot like Microsoft's clunky old points system in its music store. It didn't work all that well for them.

    Blog: Blue Night
    Art and jewelry online at iCraft

  3. #3
    I write novels
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    Oh, and they asked me to mention them on social media. So, they are trying to get authors to do their work. (I note that they hit my website from the SFWA public membership list, and they've followed a huge number of SFWA authors on Twitter.)

  4. #4
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Yup, not happening. I'll see where they are in two or three years.

    Blog: Blue Night
    Art and jewelry online at iCraft

  5. #5
    I write novels
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    I've heard back from the Fiction Arcade people.

    Stories are only available at the website itself. In other words, they use a propriety format that requires you to be online. They do have plans to move to downloadable files in all the usual e-reader formats, but that's for version 2.0. They estimate the next version will be available in a couple months.

    Tokens cost readers 25 US cents. Fiction Arcade told me they deduct 10% for themselves, 10% for Paypal fees, and 5% for Australian taxes. The monetary value of tokens can change whenever they like, with no warning. (I'm not so confident in their math, however. They clearly state the author receives 20 cents/token, minus processing and transaction fees.)

    They say that they will honor takedown notices, but a search of the site does not list this policy, nor does the site list any specific email address to contact. I put this down to "they didn't think about that part yet," so I suggested they add that to their site.

  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Tw ceased '14, FB gone. Site reverted to "Coming Soon" shortly before expiring.
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

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