Guide created by CKtalon and etvolare
Being a web novel fan, you might have heard words like Qidian and 17k thrown around. Being a translator, you might have even struggled with the more esoteric parts of navigating around these sites. This guide compiled by CKtalon and etvolare will introduce you to the various features of Qidian. It will also explain how you can support your favorite author, even if you are not able to give any monetary support.
What is Qidian?
Qidian is an enormously popular, if not the most popular, fiction hosting website in China. Its Alexa rank was 1,785 as of April 26, 2016 and is ranked #250 in China. It provides a platform for amateur and professional writers to publish their work to an audience of millions of readers. Writers can submit their material that is initially available for free. If the stories become popular, authors can become VIP or contracted authors, with future content available behind a paywall (typically taking place at 300,000-400,000 characters, or approximately 80-130 chapters).
Readers are charged 3-5 points for every 1,000 characters (1 point = 1/100 CNY or RMB) depending on your membership status. A typical chapter ranges from 2000 characters to 5000 characters, averaging around 3000. Roughly 70% goes to the author, but royalties quickly add up if an author commands a large audience. In addition, readers can cast votes every month for their favorite authors, and those ranking in the top 10 will receive monetary bonuses (about 1000 CNY). Finally, readers can straight up tip their authors, with roughly ~44% going to the author (half goes to Qidian, the rest goes to taxes).
The guide will go into greater detail later on with regards to purchasing chapters, voting, and tipping. It’s particularly important to note that while a paywall may rankle given that the translation community operates by having all chapters available for free, Qidian is the only official source for their (A-contract) novels. In searching for a raw site that has no paywall, or reading the novel on any site that isn’t Qidian, the reader is supporting piracy and quite literally taking food out of the author’s mouth. Any site with no paywall or that isn’t Qidian is pirating. For many of the contracted and most popular authors on Qidian, this is their full time job.
If any of them gave up thanks to piracy, we’d all be sadface then, wouldn’t we?
Creating an account
The first thing to do is to register a Qidian account:
- Go to Qidian’s main website: http://qidian.com You will see the following view, with the relevant parts already translated
- Click on Register (??) at the top
- You will get this screen, asking you for a telephone number.You will not be able to register on this screen, instead click the text (??????) highlighted near the bottom of the screen. This will allow you to use your e-mail to register.
- Fill in the following details. Note, this is China, where you have to be careful with your privacy. Hacking does happen on Qidian, so to be safe, DO NOT USE A PASSWORD YOU USE FOR ANY OF YOUR ORDINARY ACCOUNTS. Using a strong password will gain you 100 EXP later.
- The next screen will be this:
- Go to your e-mail account. If you are on Gmail, there is a 99% chance it is in the spam folder.
- Open the e-mail. You should see something like this (with relevant parts translated), click on the link to complete your registration.
- Upon clicking the link, a new page will load, and you should see this screen that informs you that you have successfully registered, and it will redirect you after a few seconds.
- You are essentially done.
Remember your login and password. You will be using that to login in the future.
Although you are done, you can follow the instructions to get experience points (EXP). That is important if you want to support your author and their novels. Press the next button, to get to the second page:
- Click next, just keep clicking next
- Last step
If you click “Do it” in step 11, you will get to the missions page (there are many missions you can get to gain EXP). If you lose the page, the missions page is here: http://t.qidian.com/Mission/MissionList.php
After finishing any of the missions, you will need to go into each mission by clicking , and redeem the EXP points by clicking on the next page.
- Feel free to click through some of the missions, some of them have already been completed just by registering for an account, such as “uploading an avatar” (50 EXP), “tie your account to an email” (80 EXP), “perfect your personal details” (40 EXP) and some others. The answer to the number of TJSS novels is 16 (20 EXP).
- If you go to the Qidian Activity page here: http://me.qidian.com/profile/activity.aspx and do what is listed there, you can gain EXP and also gain some prizes. Some of the ‘present boxes’ will open when you reach 20, 40, 60, 80 activity points a day. Clicking on them gives you either EXP or items. The rewards for each activity are EXP and activity points respectively. This page gets reset at midnight CST (UTC + 8).
Why should you gain EXP and level up?
Essentially, it’s so that you can bookmark more books and receive daily recommendation vote tickets that you can cast for your author. Of course, the higher the level, the more it’s impossible to earn them without paying, but level 3 is definitely a nice sweet spot. The full list is below:
|3||156||Job item+1?Recommendation ticket+1|
|5||244||Job item+1?Special Job item box+1|
|10||745||Job item+1?Special Job item box+1|
|13||1455||Job item+1?Recommendation ticket+1|
|15||2274||Job item+1?Special Job item box+1|
|20||6939||Job item+2?Special Job item box+1|
|23||13553||Job item+2?Recommendation ticket+1|
|25||21176||Job item+2?Special Job item box+1|
|30||64623||Job item+2?Level up box+1?Special Job item box+1|
|31||71086||Job item+2?Level up box+1|
|32||78194||Job item+2?Level up box+1|
|33||86014||Job item+2?Level up box+1|
|34||94615||Job item+2?Level up box+1|
|35||104077||Job item+2?Level up box+1?Special Job item box+1|
|36||114484||Job item+2?Level up box+1|
|37||125933||Job item+2?Level up box+1|
|38||138526||Job item+2?Level up box+1|
|39||152379||Job item+2?Level up box+1|
|40||167617||Job item+3?Level up box+1?Special Job item box+1|
|41||184378||Job item+3?Level up box+1|
|42||202816||Job item+3?Level up box+1|
|43||223098||Job item+3?Level up box+1|
|44||245408||Job item+3?Level up box+1|
|45||269948||Job item+3?Level up box+1?Special Job item box+1|
|46||296943||Job item+3?Level up box+1|
|47||326637||Job item+3?Level up box+1|
|48||359301||Job item+3?Level up box+1|
|49||395231||Job item+3?Level up box+1|
|50||434754||Job item+3?Level up box+1?Special Job item box+1|
Some easy missions
Following a friend (20 EXP)
For example, go here. http://me.qidian.com/search.aspx?type=2&keyword=CKtalon We will probably eventually have a Google Doc where you can share your ‘account’ so that we can follow each other to get more EXP (it is one of the missions, and they go from 5 friends, to 10 to 20, to 40, etc).
After following a friend by clicking the follow button, go back to the missions page, and click the relevant mission. For example, in this case:
Click the ???? to receive 20 EXP.
Write your first broadcast (20 EXP)
Go to http://me.qidian.com/, if this pops up, just bypass it by filling in random nonsense. You might need to try the Account name a few times to happen on a unique one (2-12 characters). If an orange exclamation mark pops out as shown in the screenshot, try again. The last option, ?? is chosen for location, which means overseas.
Write your first broadcast and click the ??. Then go back to the missions page to get your 20 EXP: http://me.qidian.com/mission/show.aspx?id=3
You can share a message broadcast by clicking the first button (??)
The main way to gain EXP
Go to http://me.qidian.com/profile/score.aspx, there will be a slightly one-time tedious ‘tutorial’ that should take a minute, just click through it and you will get 100 EXP. There will be a button like this . Click on the ??? to get EXP. The first time you enter, there will be one waiting for you, giving you 5 EXP, 5 minutes later, the next icon to the right will light up, and clicking on it will progressively give you more EXP. The order is 5 (immediate), 5 (5min), 5 (10min), 10 (20min), 15 (30min), 20 (60min), VIP (60min), VIP (60min). That is 60 EXP a day.
The VIP boxes will give either 20 or 40 EXP, but that only unlocks when you are a VIP member. You might notice I have already reached 250 EXP in the picture below, but my level is still zero. Remember this number needs to go above 500 EXP to be able to get recommendation votes!
Click on the word ?? (level up). You can keep leveling up until you run out EXP.
Now that account setup is complete and you know how to level up, it’s time to delve into the vast world of Qidian webnovels!
The homepage can be quite overwhelming as books fight for your attention, the light grey bar right above the search box of “Book Name/Author Name” denotes the various genres available on Qidian. For a full list of rankings, please refer to: http://www.novelrankings.com
After navigating to your favorite book, you will see this.
Voting – Recommendation (???)
If you click “Rec Tic” as in the picture, this will pop up.
Select how many recommendation votes you want to give to the book and press submit.
Recommendation tickets are VERY IMPORTANT, especially when the book is completed. Completed books seldom gain Monthly Votes, so new readers would tend to decide on reading a book based on the Recommendation score.
Notice how you can reach level 3 in a day, and level 13 a week or two later, gaining you 2 recommendation vote tickets. With that you can submit n recommendation tickets A DAY. It resets everyday at midnight China time (UTC + 8). Note, recommendation tickets will only appear after you amass 500 EXP. However, if your EXP is lower than 6000, you can only give one vote a day.
Voting – Monthly Vote (??)
This is only available if you pay for chapters. See VIP matters. Note, one can only give 5 monthly votes per book a month. The only way to go above the 5 monthly votes is to do it through tipping. Also, note that you cannot give monthly votes in the first month. Do not spend any Qidian points in your first month as it doesn’t give you monthly votes.
Click the “Read” button shown in the picture. You will be directed to the table of contents page. Usually the first 80-130+ chapters are free and can be read without paying. The VIP chapters are denoted by a page break and a truncated view after you’ve clicked on the chapters. If you enter a VIP page, this is roughly what you will see. The left button, “Buy All Chapters” will buy all VIP chapters that has been released up to now, while the right button will only buy the current chapter.
To tip, you need Qidian points. They can be purchased using a variety of Chinese services like Alipay, or other Chinese credit cards. For foreign readers, the most accessible service is PayPal, but the fees charged by Qidian are atrocious. You can get to the PayPal page here: http://me.qidian.com/account/charge.aspx?type=28
The amount is 11.50 USD (~75 CNY) for 6,480 Qidian points. Compare that with 100 CNY for 10,000 Qidian points if you had paid through a Chinese service.
Tipping goes from 10 Qidian points up to 1,000,000 Qidian points a time. Every time you tip more than 10,000 Qidian points, the book also receives one additional Monthly Vote. Also, note that you cannot give (free) monthly votes in the first month. Do not spend any Qidian points in your first month as it doesn’t give you (free) monthly votes.
Author Support – No $$$ Involved
- See Daily Recommendation Voting.
- Add the book to your Bookshelf. It helps the author for his future contracts with Qidian. This can be done once you have an account. Even if the book is completed, leaving them in the bookshelf is beneficial.
- Visiting the book you are interested in. That also helps the author. Clicks only count per unique IP once every few hours. Rejoice F5 sect!
There are a few member levels. Take note of the difference between CNY (actual currency) and (Qidian) points.
|Level||Normal Member||High Grade Member||Early Grade VIP||High Grade VIP|
|Requirement||Spend 1 CNY||Spend 199 CNY in 1 year||Spend 1200 CNY in 1 year||Spend 3600 CNY in 1 year|
|Cost||5 Qidian pt/1000 char||5 Qidian pt/1000 char||4 Qidian pt/1000 char||3 Qidian pt/1000 char|
|Guaranteed Monthly Vote||–||+1 for spending 1000 pts on chapters||+2 for spending 1000pts on chapters||+3 for spending 1000pts on chapters|
|Subscription Monthly Votes||+1 for subscribing 3000pts on chapters||+1 for subscribing 2000pts on chapters||+1 for subscribing 1500pts on chapters||+1 for subscribing 1000pts on chapters|
|Recommendation Votes||–||+1 (total + 1)||+1 (total + 2)||+1 (total + 3)|
|Tipping Monthly Votes||Tipping 10,000 pts gains one monthly vote for the particular book that was tipped.|