So, I Was In The Shower...
I started with stage performers but quickly dismissed it since the audience is normally barred by an entrance price. It took me a moment to slide through all the examples cascading from the shower head. Streamers and YouTubers ... we’re similar, then it hit me ... street performers.
We’re the street performers of the internet, tip jar at our feet as we play our personal orchestra week after week in our little corners. The connection brought more imagery with the audience.
- Some people see us as a nuisance and want us off the street.
- Some enjoy the free entertainment and put a little money in the jar.
- Some lob insults and take out their frustration on us.
- Some criticize or mock.
- Some throw food in our face.
- Some come back every week to enjoy.
- Some see us and ignore or stay for a moment before moving on.
It made me realize how polarized this community is and helped me realize all the jaded, joyful, engaged, hateful, and neutral personalities that make up our small section of the road.
Each web serial platform is their own street with these [dreamers] posted on its sides, hoping to find meaning in their lives as they attempt to paint the image of their heart.
🤔 Just thought I’d share the experience.
On second thought, clowns isn't the right imagery at all, perhaps, dreamers...
On the other side, very few authors actually monetise their fics on RR, and those that do, a good chunk actually offer stuff instead of simply having a proverbial tip jar.
1: I didn't put all negative things, but there are negative aspects. Yes, a vast majority of comments/ratings/reviews tend to be positive, but that doesn't erase the negative either. I didn't subtract the good in the post, and just because there tends to be a lot of positive doesn't mean it isn't polarized. For me personally, I get very polarized advice/criticism from readers on RR specifically, so that's my experience. They may enjoy it greatly, which a vast majority do, but the advice given for their experience to be enhanced is quite contrasting and varied. I just become more and more aware of the polarization as my fanbase grows.
2: There are a few that offer perks for patrons, but I'd attribute that to the exception rather than the rule. Most creators have just a chapter or two ahead, which is still free content given a week and possibly other things such as story direction polls which could all be seen as requests. People tip and make a request, which street performers do, and I even do it with non-patrons ... there are some wonderful discord contributors that I'm honored to be able to talk to. I never thought I'd get the communication I have from people on all different platforms. Now, out of all the platforms I'm on, RR tends to be the most negative, but you could also argue I have a bit more exposure on the site than a few others. I only have about half the fanbase, for instance on Scribble Hub for The Oscillation, but responses there are vastly more positive.
I'm not trying to condemn the community either! I'm just making an observation based on the data I have. I have a great love for the community that I've been able to experience on this site. I was just following the thoughts and experiences I had down the rabbit hole. =D
Furthermore, I believe that many more authors here would monetize their fictions if it wasn't sorta socially taboo right now. Don't know how it is on other sites, but I know that many here have their disagreements with patron. For your startup fictions and other fictions with little to no growth in their followers, monetizing could be their downfall.There are of course the few that do not wish to go that route though. Most famously is probably Andur. I would say people that actually don't wish to monetize would be in the minority. (Its really late and I've been up for too long this may or may not be an accurate representation of my rested views.)
However, I do agree that there is an overwhelmingly positive presence here with the exception of the review issues. Very rarely do I see rude comments.
There's also the fact that RoyalRoad has a much larger audience than Scribblehub does, so regardless, you'll get far more positivity and negativity, regardless of how polarised it is.
As for the tip jar stuff again, the second you say 'give me x amount of money and you get 1 early chapter/an idea added to my book/whatever else, it is no longer a 'tip jar', you are now selling a product exclusively away from the main product. I only think your analogy works for authors who literally offer nothing on their Patreon or PayPal or wherever else.
I used to offer nothing, but even then, I never considered my Patreon to be a tip jar. I can certainly see the similarities, but performers who use tip jars/tip hats are generally there to earn money. Intent matters as much as the end result.
`There are few that offer perks for patrons` I believe this is wrong. There are few that don't offer perks for patrons. Practically every single RoyalRoad author Patreon page that I check offers something (usually early chapters).
My line of thinking is that there are no or next to no authors writing on here offering absolutely nothing, but are still hoping to make that a career somehow like a street performer might. Authors here are either doing it solely for fun (and may accept donations for their works), or are trying to monetise seriously/are successfully monetising seriously.
Again, interesting line of thought, I just don't agree with it.
I also found it interesting with the amount of content Web Serials offer in contrast to mainstream series. I mean, it can take one to two years for a book to be published in the mainstream with anywhere from 75k to 200k words, while Web Serials pump out ... let's say if you release around 4k words on a single fiction a week, then that's 200k words a year ... the last Harry Potter book was 190k words which took more than 2 years.
I can write about 8k to 10k words a week holding down two jobs working 70 hour weeks which is a whole lot more than 200k words a year ... you know, I don't even know where I'm going with this. Just another one of those thoughts, but it seems like I'm examining the difference in produced content from mainstream and Web Serials. I mean Pirateaba writes like freaking 40k words a week >.> she's a monster.
I also write roughly 10k works per week which are published for free readers to consume at their leisure, and my readers seem to enjoy my stories like they're the best thing since sliced bread (mostly), so I take it as a point of pride that I can write far more and still entertain my fans and customers when compared to traditional authors.
But in regards to you... Writing my stories is my full-time job thanks to Patreon, so you being able to write roughly the same amount as me per week on top of another two jobs, well, that's incredibly impressive.
I haven't even been on the scene for six months. I must pay my dues! I've enjoyed the conversation and ironing out my thoughts.