Drew is a Fantasy-LitRPG author and a blogger. He enjoys binge reading and writing to fight boredom.
What Is Dreame and Is It a Scam?
Nah, Dreame isn’t a scam. It is under a legit technology firm called Stary Private Limited. A Singapore-based company whose chief business is running app-based multilingual reading platforms. Dreame, Innovel, Yugto, Slash, Ringdom, Suenovela—these reading apps are part of Stary Writing’s content business.
But why do lots of people call Dreame a scam? Well, it’s partly because of their bad PR and dubious contracts. Though a legitimate business model, their recruitment practices unethically prey on new authors. And that’s a big no-no to lots of veteran authors and industry experts.
I don’t know why, but most reading apps suffer from the same issues. There are outliers, but most act like they have been born from the same mold.
Anyway, back to the Dreame app. This author platform taps romance web novels, authors of all romantic niches.
Dreame (Stary Writing): Its Reader and Writer Community
Dreame is a haven of feel-good romance web novels. A large percentage of their readers are women. Thus, expect most of the top works in Dreame will be under the romance niche.
If you’re writing werewolves, vampires, billionaires, mafia, dragons, titanium-plated Mary Sues, then you found the right place. You can also write in many languages such as English, Filipino, Bahasa Indonesian, Deutsch, and Spanish.
The parent company of Dreame, Stary Writing, has also spread out its market reach. From Ringdom which caters to fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, and everything-not-so-romance web novels. Slash for LGBTQ+ stories. Yugto for Filipino stories. Suenovela for Spanish romantic tales and more.
If you plan to become a Dreame writer, here are the pros and cons of writing in Dreame.
- Low barrier of entry
- Huge audience reach
- Good-looking app interface
- Low editing requirements
- Vague-worded contract
- Below industry standards royalties
- You’re expected to write almost every day
- Dreame expects you to write 100+ chapters
Dreame app is a serial reading platform available on Android and IOS. You can also check out their website if you like.
Two Main Issues With Dreame (Stary Writing)
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any beef against Stary Writing and its affiliates. And hey, I have lots of friends doing great out there.
1. Bad Author Royalty Contract
We know most web novel contracts are already below industry standards. Still, Dreame contracts just push writers to the edge with their royalty offers.
I have searched and knew a few who have signed off contracts with a dismal 8% net royalties. Some received 30% net royalties which are still a tad low. Of course, I also have read contracts offering 50% net royalties—the standard in the industry.
The royalties also vary depending on the author I’m talking to. And that’s sketchy to me.
2. Lack of Clarity About Your Royalties
Like most web novel platforms out there, transparent accounting isn’t a thing.
Instead of getting a clear breakdown of what you earned, Dreame will only show you the total amount of your earnings in their dashboard. Dodgy. They won’t tell you the operational cost and how much cut they took due to it.
Anyway, I also searched, compiled, and answered the common questions asked about Dreame for all aspiring web novelists out there.
Dreame Contract: Exclusive or Non-Exclusive?
Signing an exclusive contract means you can only publish your novel in Dreame. In exchange, they’d offer you more benefits, such as extra pay when you beat your quotas and more app visibility. Technically, the contract says that you own your work, but Start Writing shall manage the copyrights for you.
If your novel gets adapted into other forms (incredibly rare), you’ll also get a cut as stipulated by the contract.
A non-exclusive contract means you’re only giving Stary Writing limited rights to publish your work in their Dreame app. They won’t own your work. But of course, your payments won’t be as big as the exclusive contract and there would be a few restriction clauses. You will also have to forget about exclusive benefits.
But in exchange, you’ll be able to go wide to other serial reading platforms. Nowadays, there are lots of authors opting for this whilst publishing their novels on Amazon and other online bookstores.
Do Dreame Authors Get Paid?
Yes, they get paid. But can you earn good money in Dreame? It depends. I know a few author friends writing in Dreame that get paid well. But they’re rare and have already written a few good books for Stary Writing and its affiliates (Dreame, Yugto, Suenovela, Innovel, etc).
And if you’re a new author, please don’t assume you’ll get huge payouts immediately. Be it indie, traditional, or online web novels, you don’t make it big unless you luck out or have a huge backlist of novels.
Dreame Offered Me an Exclusive Contract—Should I Sign?
Hey, no one’s stopping you. But be damn sure that you’ve read the contracts every nook and cranny. You’re willing to work with the clauses? Sign ahead. But if you’re not sure about it, ask the help of professionals or other writers on social media platforms. Nothing bad will come out of being extra careful.
Remember, signing an exclusive contract means you’re entrusting your rights. It will have perks, but will also have responsibility. The only question is—can you bear it?
How Much Do Dreame Authors Earn?
A Dreame author’s earnings depend mostly on their type of contract. Active exclusive authors can earn at least $150 to $1,000 per month based on the popularity of their novels. Some earn bigger payouts because of their novel backlist.
Such an amount might be on the low side if you’re living in first-world countries. However, if you’re from a low-income country, that payout is big enough to survive with excess.
But remember, the quality of the novel matters a lot. You can churn out thousands of chapters but still earn nothing if your readers don’t like your prose, plot, and characters. Unreadable stuff isn’t going to earn money.
How Do Authors Get Paid in Dreame?
Stary Writing pays Dreame authors via Paypal or wire transfer. Still, I’m not too sure about the subsidiaries of Stary Writing.
What Is Stary Pte Ltd?
Stary Writing or Stary Private Limited (Pte Ltd), is the company running the Dreame app. So if you saw their name in the contracts, don’t panic, they’re the same entity.
How to Become a Writer in Dreame?
Win or lose, they offer contracts to most authors who join Dreame contests. I also know a few Wattpad authors offered contracts by acquisition editors from Dreame or Stary Writing.
You can also go to their author platform. Sign in. Write your novel. Then ask for a contract through their email. If it’s good, you might even get a contract quicker than you imagine. But again, read that contract again and again before signing anything.
I Signed an Exclusive Contract With Dreame, but I Want to Get All the Rights Back Now. What Should I Do?
Now that’s trouble. Check out the clauses of your contract to see whether you can get your rights back. Most publishing contracts have it, but in the web novel industry, it isn’t a thing.
But if there is no such clause in there, go contact Dreame and ask them how. Push come to shove, you can ask a copyright lawyer’s help. I’m not a copyright expert, but I know dealing with contract buybacks is troublesome.
Which Is Better, Dreame or Indie-Publishing?
Straight indie-publishing. No questions asked. Though it requires better cover and well-done editing as compared to publishing in Dreame, when done right, gives a better payout long term.
Aside from that, you also own the rights and can wield them as you wish. You can go narrow with Amazon Kindle Unlimited or go wide. The indie publishing industry also offers lots of venues to earn nowadays. You have IngramSpark. Scribd, StreeLib, DraftToDigital, and more. The choice is yours.
Which Is Better, Dreame or Traditional Publishing?
If you’re still a new writer, Dreame and Stary Writing might be the better choice short-term. It’s a nice place to hone your skills before jumping into the big leagues. But if you’re already an experienced writer, I’ll suggest you try traditional. After all, the romance niche has always been one of the bread and butter of traditional publishing.
But remember, there are lots of gatekeepers in this business. You’ll need to look for agents. And unlike writing web serials in Dreame, traditional publishing will need the best out of you. Editing and everything.
I know a lot of friends who have earned and are still earning good money in Dreame. And most of them are saying that writing on a reading platform isn’t a simple walk in the park. They spent lots of sleepless nights meeting quotas, but for them, it was an effort well-spent.
Now all the cars are on the floor, the choice is yours.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Drew Agravante