Featuring: Collaborators

It’s been only a week since the last blog post, but we have an exciting new release to announce, and so here we go!

Author Premium users are now able to add collaborators to their fictions, with both crediting and permission control.

Add Collaborator page

That’s right – you can now give access to your editor, moderators or co-author to your fiction to help edit or manage it, or you can add them just to include them in the credits. Please keep in mind that currently you can only add up to 10 collaborators.

You have granular control over what each collaborator can access – if we see the need, we may break up the permissions further as we go forward. Additionally, you also have the option to have the collaborators’ names show up on the fiction page under your own with their designated role - even including users who do not have accounts on the website, such as an artist or an agent.

To avoid abuse, collaborator users have to accept your invitation before they gain access or can be added to the credits. We have added a page that lets you see all pending invitations for you into the author dashboard; or you can simply copy the invitation link from the “Collaborators” page and send it directly to the user in question. The invitation is tied to their account, so other users cannot accept it even if they have the link.

Please do note that currently we do not send any notification to invited users to avoid spamming them, so you will need to notify them yourself. Additionally, as we currently do not have a real-time collaboration feature in the editor, please avoid editing the same document at the same time, as it is entirely possible to overwrite your collaborator's work.

Quick Update: Author Premium users can invite collaborators by visiting Settings > Collaborators in the fiction dashboard.

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Comments(110)

kanadaj
Admin

Nooooooo my first!

kanadaj
Admin

I mean, I could have just deleted his comment, but I'm not quite that petty

...

No need to spam...

Also, I was the Eighth comment.

The first comment is labeled 4058, and my comment is labeled 4065. 4065 - 4058 + 1 = 8

You should just make a autobackup if two collabarators are editing a story. Like every minute make a copy and keep it for a week. It's text file not like it would take that much space.

kanadaj
Admin

@shalmac File size is surprisingly large once you apply it at scale, with the potential to run tens of gigabytes of storage. There is also the issue of tracking open sessions to apply the saving conditionally. It's messy overall, and a non-trivial thing to maintain. Otherwise we'd have long since done this.

Then how about making it so that, if possible, a save that would overwrite changes made since it was opened, saves as a separate copy, or saves the other state as an accessible copy?

That, to my lack of knowledge sounds reasonable. 

Preferably also with the ability to compare changes, so you can easily see them, and having that based on maybe lines and not individual character counts, of course, so not all things past the first change get marked. Although any added linebreak would still break that, so actually making a good implementation of comparing versions would be a bit tricky. 

@kanadj

Why donΒ΄t you implement some simple git Functions?

Shoul make working together pretty easy and it should be quite easy to implement an basic system.

kanadaj
Admin

@CashireCat What part of git functions seem simple to you?

sh*t... I lost time reading it before posting...

Ooo, cool, I'll have to keep my eye out for any stories that my untrained eye can help for that sweet sweet credits page spot

Thanks for the hard work!

I will only like this feature if Authors can designate Nemesai.

Having my name written in Blood-Red under certain stories with the addendum "Cannot comment, review or even PM the author" would mean a lot to me.

"Court order, cannot come within twenty mouse-clicks of this author's stories." πŸ–

Do you mean nemeses? You'd really want that kind of public shaming? That's hilarious, but unfortunately I think that implementation of the feature would incentivise trolling and create a chore for authors to deal with.

Darn, this sounds nice to have!

well this is pretty cool, you guys are on it recently

royal road is evolving more and more epically! 

Cool idea! Looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Do you have any plans to eventually make a real-time collaboration feature?

kanadaj
Admin

It's one of the things I really, really want to do, but it requires a lot of things and a lot of development and it's rather very expensive to maintain since it requires constant pressure on the servers as they juggle connections, and on the backbone as it syncs the servers. It's a lot more complex than one would think, but maybe in the future. It might need us to replace the text editor completely though.

Back in the Before-fore Days, when there was no ethernet only Token Rings, we would file lock access when documents were being touched, because that's all we could do. And the Code was happy.

kanadaj
Admin

Yeah, I'm strongly considering concurrency tokens to avoid overriding content between users but it's still not quite the convenience of real-time collab.

Mark my words, in less than a week we will hear about the Great Smash Up where several collaborators lost their work and it was All Your Fault.

I got your back tho. I read the notes :)

Can always just stick a realtime chat in the sidebar? This way realtime discussion even while only one person can touch the document at a time.

Done like that and can maybe even allow a few people to get involved in chat with suggestions and stuff without giving them edit access.

Yeah, I'm strongly considering concurrency tokens to avoid overriding content between users but it's still not quite the convenience of real-time collab.

git repos for stories when

If you don't want to add hard locks (to avoid having to solve timeouts or locking it out just because someone forgot to close a tab), you might want to at least include warnings in the style of "User XXX is currently editing this page, are you sure you want to edit it too/save?" It won't solve the problem, but at least will prevent most of the worst fallout.

RIP Pen.FM. I can't believe no one's filled that gap since, I was really rooting for those guys. 

Amazing, thank you for this great feature!

Very nice! This sounds like an extremely useful feature. Thank you!

Short story anthologies here we go!

I can already see this being a top tier reward for patrons

Do both sides have to be premium users? Or just the Owner/Leader of collab

kanadaj
Admin

Just the owner, though for premium analytics access, both sides have to be.

THIS IS AMAZING I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

I DIDNT KNOW HOW MUCH I WANTED THIS FEATURE 

na naa naaaa naaaaaaaa~

Oh heck yeah! This is so cool!!! 

Nice!

Is "proofreader" a role? Or is it planned?

I like to proofread. But I am not confident enough to be an editor πŸ˜…

kanadaj
Admin

Not currently planned. Authors might decide to convince me otherwise, but to me it feels like proofreaders are something that should be credited chapter-by-chapter since they tend to change a fair bit.

That is a very good point

Fair enough. 

As long as authors have the "suggest changes" feature active it's relatively easy to proofread as a reader. 

Not every author has it active though. And not every author is actively correcting mistakes πŸ™ˆ

I guess the role "Editor" is for those cases...

If "proofreader" ever gets implemented, it would be cool to see it be a system where those proofreaders get access to a chapter maybe an hour before it goes live and can make correction suggestions in the comments like normal. Don't know how complex making user by user viewing privileges would be, but I think this would be a neat way to implement it.

kanadaj
Admin

@Chroma my recommendation is to just give them access to the drafts, you'd probably be better off that way :)

This sounds like a great feature in so many ways, gj.

How I love not being here on time

Feel free to collapse my posts.

Hmm, author premium features gettin' a push, eh?

Might have to up my sub.

Not sure, I don't have a lot of data to make good use of analytics.

Sounds great. Thanks fur the update and including this new feature!

Oh my! This is soo good

This site is just constantly getting better and better. Amazing work lads, thank you. 

This is pretty spiffy!

I probably won't use it, but it's nice to have the option.

This is honestly a fantastic idea.

 

This is exciting news.

Sounds like a great feature.  

Wow, what a novel idea! That's pretty cool, honestly; imagining all the potential for features like this, it's got a lot of possible avenues to follow!

A collaborative poetry collection... an every-other short story anthology... a masterpiece work written from two different POVs... and certainly much, much more! How exciting!

thank you for continuing to make this site great!

Cool! If only I had friends to take advantage of this.

Does ti has a backlog of edited versions?

As in, if seven people make modifications, are there seven saved versions to restore from in case things go wrong?

Guys, don't be part of this, it is a phishing scam.

While the collaborators may be protected and profit now, eventually the current regime will fall.
Then the lists of Collaborators will be used to hunt them down and kill them.

Because no one like Collaborators.
Don't be a Collaborator, and don't let them label you as one.
It won't end well.

This will be great on multiple-author projects going forward. Love to see it.

Sounds good for people who have a lot of friends reading and help editting thier book

 

Hmm. *thinks in editor*

i feel like this is gonna cause a lot of drama, good luck to the mod team!

Nice! I can finally credit my coauthor as well. Kinda felt like a glory hog

 

Still new to RR but this sounds like a really useful tool for authors, thank for adding!

Frickin' awesome! I could see this encouraging more collaboration too.

A reminder that Royal Road has the best website admins around

'We have some new toys for authors to work with'
Authors without Author premium: Where Toys?

What about Copyediting credits, or Pre-readers? Is that a possibility? 

kanadaj
Admin

Copyediting effectively goes under Editor, and yes you can do that. Pre-readers I want to avoid, in big part because that results in a big cloud of names that you might as well just stick into the bottom of your RR blurb.

Ayo wtf is this site why is everybody so cool like i dont see any haters or trollers

What a novel idea for a novel. I got to get a collaborator first though. :)

This effing awesome!!!!! That is all for now. I am one that is always down for a collab.

Don't mind me, just hoining my unkown author brothers in saying how cool this sounds

nice probably wont be able to write anytime soon tho but nice

Love it!  Great job think tank!

well its time for me to find an editor then!