Substack isn't ready for longer fiction... yet.
Why Wattpad and Royal Road still rule when it comes to novels
Substack has a lot going for it, but it’s not the best site for reading longer works of fiction. Moving between chapters is desperately awkward and so once you get to the end of one it takes too much effort to move to the next and that just spoils the flow of reading. If you’re releasing work chapter by chapter, there’s no easy way to link between chapters that doesn’t split your focus between getting words on the page and filling the page with usable links for your readers.
It’s not the experience I really want for my work.
As a result, I’m putting my longer fiction project, Futuredebt, on sharing sites more suitable for long reads in addition to what you might read here. I have almost no experience with either, but they both do something that Substack doesn’t: they automatically populate my work with links to the next chapter. It’s simple. Readers just have to click the ‘next chapter’ button to read the next chapter. Easy.
There’s nothing quite like that in Substack.
I’ve seen hacky solutions, embedding links into the writing or buttons that help the reader navigate longer works, but none of it is particularly elegant and they all require more effort that I am willing to sacrifice.
So please, Substack gods, hear my prayer! Give us a way to navigate between posts more easily!
Futuredebt is a speculative fiction about what happens when you know the future but don’t know what to do about it.
Kingdom is an epic eco-fantasy about the return of humanity to a world that has long forgotten them.