“I’m not interested”
Ever since we have implemented our rating system, we have noticed a tendency for the users to mark fictions they don’t want to read with a 0.5 rating.
While this is technically what a rating is, we’ve found that it negatively impacts the authors. To remedy that, we’re adding a new Not Interested feature, as well as changing how ratings can be made.
As you can see, the new “Not Interested” button can be easily accessed from the fiction page.
Furthermore, fictions can no longer be rated if no chapters of it were opened (but they can be marked as Not Interested). This should remedy some of the problems we’ve seen with ratings so far.
Additionally, fictions you’ve marked as Favorite, Following, or Not Interested, will be marked as such on your main page. We will consider expanding the functionality of this to more elements and features in the future. For now, let us know what you think.
The end of endless lines
Additionally, some of you may have noticed a change in reader width. We’ve changed the default reader width for larger devices (monitors and wide screens), in order to preserve a smaller character-to-line ratio consistent with printed books and ebook readers.
70% width (the default setting for 1080p monitors)
MAX width (100%, default setting for mobile devices)
The default setting can be overridden from the dropdown menu accessed on the top of the chapter content (“Width” section next to the “Light Theme” button in the image below) and should be automatically saved on local devices.
The change was done based on prior research that suggested between 45 and 75 characters for line length, 66 characters being the ideal length of the line.1 Our maximum width far exceeds that.
Too much scrolling
Furthermore, we’ve added the navigation buttons to the top of the page (as well as the bottom), so you can more easily go between chapters if you’re looking for a specific one.
Starting today, we’ve implemented a new internal advertising system (on top of the existing external one).
This system serves strictly image ads created by our users at a low cost. These ads will be used on devices with ad blockers, pages where we can’t show normal ads and in place of low yield ads.
To clarify the dangers of the last one, low yield ads not only bring in extremely little revenue, but are harmful in other ways - these impressions are often bought by people who want to use them for redirects, popups and phishing attacks, since they provide a low investment access to a large pool of users.
The new ads are 100% user friendly. There are no redirects, no flashing windows, no popups. They are also manually moderated by us, and we will strive to only allow ads that may be of interest to you, such as book releases, fictions on Royal Road, or, when we have nothing else, banners for our Premium service.
We hope that in the long run this will benefit all parties - authors will be able to advertise their works more easily, be it hosted on Royal Road or sold on Amazon or elsewhere; users will see more relevant ads and less malvertising, while we hope that it helps us better fund the numerous projects we work on.
For now, the system will start placing the Premium banners and we will start trialing ads for authors for both technical issues and efficiency. Once that is done, we will make the system publicly available to all authors.
1 Bringhurst, R. (1992). Horizontal Motion. The Elements of Typographic Style, pp 25-36. Point Roberts, WA: Hartley & Marks.