Should you serialize your work on Channillo?
An interview with John McCaffrey, author of The Slowest Mile, a new serial on Channillo.
John and I go all the way back to the halls of City College’s graduate Master’s program. There we talked novels, short stories and read our work together in Sunday evening readings at dingy bars on the Lower East Side.
Since then, John’s writing has flourished. He’s published two books of his own and has serialized his latest work,The Slowest Mile, on Channillo.
People ask me all the time about whether or not it’s worth it to sell writing on a site like Channillo or Wattpad. I sat down with John to get all the details.
- How did you first get involved with Channillo? What was your experience signing up and putting the writing out there?
Kara Klotz, who founded Channillo in January 2015, contacted me via Twitter, perhaps after seeing some of my postings regarding my new book, Two Syllable Men and asked if I might consider applying to have a writing project, a series, on Channillo.
I’m not sure how it is for other writers, but when someone in publishing offers me a chance to get my work out to the public, I usually say yes immediately. Then I work backward. I check out the source to see if they are legitimate in what they are promising. What are the pros and cons? And I ask myself how it will benefit me as a writer, foremost, improve my writing and find readers.
So I did my homework on Channillo, reviewed their site, checked out the other work there. I liked what I saw.
I also had six chapters of a novella completed, The Slowest Mile, and I thought it might be a nice way to get it out and build an audience, a chapter a month. Not to mention, it was also good incentive for to finish it.
Another positive of Channillo, once the series is done, I can take my book back and do what I want with it. Channillo has no rights to it. My hope is to sell it to a publisher.
2. What do you like best about how Channillo works? What do you like least? What needs to be improved?
My favorite thing is that I can donate the money earned by my series. Channillo charges a modest subscription fee for their series to charity.
I decided to do this, and picked the Rainforest Action Network to receive any proceeds. I learned about RAN through my friend and actor Chris Noth, who is an ardent supporter of this not-for-profit which is really championing important environmental causes.
What I like least (and always do) is asking friends and contacts to pay for my writing. But because it’s for charity, I feel more empowered to ask for help this way.
3. Do you find you have to do a lot of your own marketing in order to make it work?
My series has only been up since September, so it’s early in the process, but so far it’s been all my own marketing efforts. In my experience, this is the norm now for any indie writer or even those published by larger houses.
4. What are the best practices for getting more eyes to your work? How did you develop your following?
I think having someone like Chris promote the work helps immensely. He sent out a very nice tweet on behalf of the series.
Consistency with social media postings is vital, as is building interest by connecting the work with things that might be happening in the world. You just have to keep active, eager, thick-skinned and not shy (which I am) to ask for help in getting the word out there.
5. Is it a good form of income for writers?
Hard for me to say, as I’m doing this for the Rain Forest Action Network. But my standard answer for this type of question, something an agent friend of mine told me bluntly a long time ago — “never quit your day job.”
Ed. note: I do believe it’s possible to make a living writing, because I work with people to help them make it happen. It does, however, depend on the type of writing you want to do. Perhaps John and I will have another conversation about this another day.
6. Why Channillo over other similar platforms that allow readers to choose for themselves what they want to read?
I really hadn’t heard of this type of platform until Kara contacted me, so I’m very new to this and can’t give a good comparison of what they do based on others. But so far I like what is happening. I like the control I have over the content.
7. Is there anything else I didn’t cover that you think should be mentioned?
I’ll take this as a chance to plug The Slowest Mile. Here’s the blurb I use on the site.
For one man, it’s now how low you can go, but how slow…literally, for one mile, in constant motion, a race to see who ends up last to the finish line. But before he can become the best at this new “sport,” he must defeat the undisputed “slow motion” king, a zealot of sloth-like maneuvers, who just happens to be the ex-husband of his new girlfriend. Determined to gain victory and lasting love, our hero finds out that in a world bent on speeding things up, championing the opposite is not only a revolutionary concept, but a dangerous one.”
You can check it out The Slowest Mile on Channillo for yourself.
About John McCaffrey
Originally from Rochester, New York, John McCaffrey attended Villanova University and received his M.A. in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. His stories, essays and reviews have appeared in numerous literary journals, magazines and newspapers. He is the author of two published books: The Book of Ash, a science fiction novel, and the short story collection Two Syllable Men. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.