People who signed up as writers on the site could publish their stories in serial form. If their works happened to attract a large group of readers, Qidian.com editors would call the writers and ask if they would like to sell their copyrights to the website. After they signed a contract, their works would be displayed in the site’s VIP section, where readers could read a certain number of chapters for free and then be charged for the rest of the novel. Later, the website would split the profit equally with the writers.
Bizarrely enough, I found out about this a couple of months back when I observed a few of my Chinese friends reading web novels in their spare time. “Are they any good?” I asked. “No,” My friend answered. “We just read them for stress relief.” (thx, SgL)