If you want to learn about the best online writing platforms, never fear! We’ve got a bunch of informative posts on Fictionate.Me to help you out. But even once you know what’s out there, it can be tough to decide which platform will suit you best. It’s never fun to put tons of work into something like self-publishing a book online, only to realize that you’ve made the wrong choice.


I know from experience how difficult it can be to choose where to publish your book. After weighing all my options, I chose to publish on Amazon KDP. It turned out to be a good fit for me, but when I had the chance to post one of my books right here on Fictionate.Me as well, I got to experience a whole different array of benefits.


As someone who has published on multiple fiction platforms (and researched many, many more), I’ve been able to come up with a few questions you need to ask yourself as you decide where to self-publish. Hopefully, once you have answered them all, you will have a much better idea of which online writing platform will be best for you.



What genre do you write?


One important thing to keep in mind when selecting your fiction platform is your book’s genre. While you can publish several different genres on most sites, certain platforms appeal to a certain type of reader.


For example, while we publish lots of genres of Fictionate.Me, our most popular ones tend to be under the umbrella of speculative fiction—fantasysci-fi, and other stories that involve supernatural or imagined elements. Conversely, genres that tend to do well on Amazon KDP are nonfiction, suspense, and romance. If you write YA fictionWattpad may be the way to go.


Do some research and try to figure out where stories like yours have the most appeal. That way, you’ll be setting yourself up for success with readers who are already receptive to your chosen genre.



Are you willing to spend some dough?


One aspect of self-publishing that can put a lot of would-be authors off is how expensive it can be. And it is not always cheap. Much as I enjoyed my experience with Amazon KDP, I did have to save up to afford book formatting and cover design. Many authors also opt to have their manuscripts professionally edited.


But if you’re running short on cash, there are still plenty of options to self-publish for free. When it comes to your book cover, Canva has a great free book cover maker you can use. Wattpad makes creating your cover especially easy since you can use Canva’s cover maker right on the site as you’re posting your first chapter. You can also simply grab a free image off Pexels or Pixabay. And if you can’t afford a professional editor, I’ve written a whole post about how to find beta readers and critique partners who will edit your work for free.


In addition to Wattpad, sites like Fictionate and Smashwords are also completely free to use. So, no matter whether you’re able to save up for help from professionals or not, there are plenty of online writing platforms out there that will suit your needs.



Do you want to earn money?


Another important question to ask yourself is whether or not you’re looking to earn any money from your self-publishing venture. A site like Wattpad will give you exposure to a large audience and tons of helpful feedback from readers, but it is notoriously difficult to make money on the platform.


Many fiction platforms will offer you the chance to make money off your work, though. You can sell your completed book through Amazon KDP or Smashwords, or post in installments on Kindle Vella. On Royal Road, you have the opportunity to direct readers to your Patreon page.


The main issue with a lot of these sites is the percentage the platform will take of your profits. While Amazon takes a much smaller cut than traditional publishing companies, they still end up with 30-70% of your book sales. That’s the great thing about Fictionate.Me—when you publish here, you get to keep 100% of your book’s profits.



Is your book complete?


One of the biggest things to consider when choosing a fiction platform is where you currently are in the book writing process. When I decided to publish on Amazon KDP, I had a completed book that I had revised and polished over many years. This made Amazon a good choice for me.


But maybe you’re not that far along on your writing journey yet. Perhaps you haven’t even started. And that’s okay! It’s never too early to start thinking about where you want to self-publish. There are actually a lot of advantages to self-publishing chapter by chapter as you write. I used to post stories chapter by chapter on FanFiction.net and FictionPress.com, and the support I got from my readers really helped me to move forward with my writing. Getting feedback on each chapter was also extremely helpful.


Neither of those sites is particularly active these days, and fanfiction is more for fun and writing practice than someone who wants to make a real career as an author. But you’ll find that there are tons of sites out there where you can post your story online chapter by chapter, or in episodes like it’s a TV series. Wattpad is one option, and Fictionate is another where you can earn money as you go.


You still have plenty of research to do as you tackle the many self-publishing decisions ahead of you. But I hope that these questions will help you to narrow down which platform you want to use to share your story with the world.


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