Some of you who follow me may remember that I had a little project on Inkitt going for a while, called The Wandering Stranger. To be honest I was apprehensive to start the project, but I gave it a shot. There were some results, when I worked to promote the work–which you should do anyways–but not the kind I was looking for. Inkitt wasn’t cutting it.
I started an Inkitt account because someone I knew had one; she would share new chapters to her story each week on facebook. One day I just got curious, and clicked the link. At first Inkitt seemed cool. You can read stories for free, and even publish them. It sounds a lot like fanfiction.net, or even fictionpress.com.
After signing up I would check back every few days, then every few months … And then I sort of forgot about Inkitt until this year. There was nothing which kept me wanting to go back.
The only time another user reached out to me was after I finally introduced myself in one of Inkitt’s forums one or two months ago, and it was to essentially to do a review-for-a-review (for The Wandering Stranger). That works for me, but it seems that with the amount of people who use Inkitt that there should be more interaction between users. Isn’t there something on the sites that just lets you know about new people? I don’t use the platform much to be honest, so maybe I’ve somehow missed it.
By the way, the person who did a review for me has a story on Inkitt, which you can read here. It’s sci-fi, and while I haven’t gotten that far in I have enjoyed it. Show her some love please!
Those Darn Analytics!
Another thing I found is that their analytics don’t really tell you much. I have another story, Axendough, which I have not actively promoted. However it seems that the number of reads per day grows, albeit slowly. But what does this mean, really? Are these reads where the person has finished the story all in one go? Or are these reads where the person left off at a chapter and then started reading the next day?
I’ve looked at Google Analytics before, and it confused the heck out of me, but it also provided me with some valuable information when I took the time to understand what I was seeing. For me, I need more information to go on, and the Inkitt analytic tool is a bit too simple.
Who doesn’t want to know more about who’s reading their work?
Another Popularity Contest?
Not only this, but I have read several articles about the platform, and that was the final nail in the coffin for me. While I don’t have any personal horror stories from Inkitt, I definitely will not publishing any more work through the platform. At best Inkitt is a platform for reading the work of others, and if something is super popular I guess they’ll publish it online for you. From their roster of published works there were only three books that caught my interest.
I guess that’s what happens when all you want is the next 50 Shades of Grey … I hope the authors whose works were published are seeing a decent return for their efforts.
Personally I think the problem for me was misinformation, or the lack of anything meaningful. There was a time where Inkitt promised that it would shop your manuscript around to actual publishers. Now they publish it for you on Amazon. What happened there? I tried looking for the original page on how Inkitt works, but it’s since been changed. I concluded that if the traditional publishing houses weren’t biting, neither should I.
Perhaps the Inkitt team should have figured out their limitations before making empty promises in the first place.
As a reading platform, I think Inkitt is great. My suggestions? Encourage a more vibrant community, suggest new authors, recommend new stories, offer tips to improve on writing. Don’t just focus on what’s trending. In other words: work for us, work with us, be our friends.
There’s no real hate that I feel for Inkitt, just disappointment. For those of you who use the platform and are getting something out of it, awesome! Tell me about it! For those of you who experienced the same discontent, I feel for you.