Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#1
I've got a few novels in the pipeline for the next year or two, and because of my current career situation, I am probably going to opt to publish them as web serials rather than try for traditional publication. But about half of those novels are straight-up romances; the characters and their explorations of love are the central aspects of the story for these. Will there be any point in publishing these on Royal Road?

I published a sci-fi romance one-shot "On the Ship" recently and it only got about 200 views, but then again, it was a one-shot published over four days; not exactly a good example to use for the prospects of a whole novel. I haven't found much else that seems to be romance-centric though, especially since the Romance tag on this site is cluttered with stories that are very much not romances at all. It's hard to tell.

A fantasy romance novel of mine is primed to come out sometime this Fall, and the fantasy aspect could work a little bit maybe (though maybe not, since there is zero action or fighting). But another story to release in 2020 sometime, about an exchange student to Japan who falls in love with a classmate, seems like it won't do too well here.

What do you think?

A few months ago, I wasn't even considering releasing either of those stories (or any others I might write very soon) on Royal Road, but I've seen that the community on here is pretty alright, and certain stories like Diary of Erica Kron and https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/21322/re-trailer-trash have shown that serials that don't fit so directly into the model of a popular story on this site can still do well (the latter story is so popular that it's like #6 on Top Web Fiction right now, gosh). So, maybe the first-glance thought of, "no way would RRL like a story about kissing and growing up," is wrong? 

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#3
No I don't think it is a waste of time. However, I don't think you should be expecting it be popular and you shouldn't expect for people to hate it. You can get away with writing something different than what's popular. I mean I really can't say that about any other platform. You will get someone complaining or mentioning that there isn't enough action, but I mean you can't write a story for everyone. 

A little story diversity wouldn't kill this place is all I'm saying.

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#5
LadyAnder Wrote: No I don't think it is a waste of time. However, I don't think you should be expecting it be popular and you shouldn't expect for people to hate it. You can get away with writing something different than what's popular. I mean I really can't say that about any other platform. You will get someone complaining or mentioning that there isn't enough action, but I mean you can't write a story for everyone. 

A little story diversity wouldn't kill this place is all I'm saying.


You're probably right. But are you sure I shouldn't put in some dungeon crawling? "I'm About to Go to School in Japan, But I Accidentally Got Godlike Powers and a Harem"

I Wrote: This kinda goes without saying, but people will read anything so long as it's entertaining.

How to make romance, the world's most overdone genre, entertaining, now that's a different story.


People say the exact same thing about isekai litRPGs. If you have something new to say with your story, or a new way to say it, then it's going to work to SOME extent, I think.

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#6
Ditto with the others on it not being a waste of time to put a romance novel on RR.
But there are sites that love romance more than RR, so maybe look into those as possibilities. Wattpad for instance, but it's competitive and crowded, so that's one facet to take into consideration. I would even suggest Webnovel.com; even though, the popular romances usually have CEO male leads. But there are plenty of fantasy romances too. In terms of getting the exposure as a new author, it might be difficult. But once you get noticed (usually by posting lots of chapters which can be shorter than typical RR), you can rise quite quickly and even get a shot at being offered a paid contract.
Just some ideas, but there are pros and cons of course.

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#7
Chryiss Wrote: Ditto with the others on it not being a waste of time to put a romance novel on RR.
But there are sites that love romance more than RR, so maybe look into those as possibilities. Wattpad for instance, but it's competitive and crowded, so that's one facet to take into consideration. I would even suggest Webnovel.com; even though, the popular romances usually have CEO male leads. But there are plenty of fantasy romances too. In terms of getting the exposure as a new author, it might be difficult. But once you get noticed (usually by posting lots of chapters which can be shorter than typical RR), you can rise quite quickly and even get a shot at being offered a paid contract.
Just some ideas, but there are pros and cons of course.


I've never really considered any of the Chinese web fiction sites because I've always just assumed they're either a) scams to get me to post my free content for their ad money (AKA the ones that keep pestering me on social media to post ATL), or b) so ingrained in Chinese internet culture that my very Western fiction wouldn't make a splash. Is there really a "market" for stories without any action, or any Chinese characters, on webnovel.com or any similar sites?

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#8


Thedude3445 Wrote: You're probably right. But are you sure I shouldn't put in some dungeon crawling? "I'm About to Go to School in Japan, But I Accidentally Got Godlike Powers and a Harem"


lol, no. Actually please don't.

My story has no dungeon crawling and my main character will have  little trouble trying to understand why would anyone would want to have a harem. Having a girl pretending to be his "girl-friend" is enough and he rather not have her in his life sometimes. Why have more?

In fact, if I placed him in a story like that, he'll end up making all the girls self-sufficient to the point he'll make sure they don't need him. In fact, he'll crush their crushes. But he'll try to be nice about it.

Though I imagine that the  tsundere of the group will irritate him too much. I mean, the girl who he is pretending to be with falls under that catagory. And they have a rough relationship that starts out as you hit me and I hit you back sort of thing. One might say they aren't fond of each other.    

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#9
LadyAnder Wrote:
Thedude3445 Wrote: You're probably right. But are you sure I shouldn't put in some dungeon crawling? "I'm About to Go to School in Japan, But I Accidentally Got Godlike Powers and a Harem"


lol, no. Actually please don't.

My story has no dungeon crawling and my main character will have  little trouble trying to understand why would anyone would want to have a harem. Having a girl pretending to be his "girl-friend" is enough and he rather not have her in his life sometimes. Why have more?

In fact, if I placed him in a story like that, he'll end up making all the girls self-sufficient to the point he'll make sure they don't need him. In fact, he'll crush their crushes. But he'll try to be nice about it.

Though I imagine that the  tsundere of the group will irritate him too much. I mean, the girl who he is pretending to be with falls under that catagory. And they have a rough relationship that starts out as you hit me and I hit you back sort of thing. One might say they aren't fond of each other.

You never know. Sometimes harems are the only way for a story to go.... (for $$$$$$)

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#10
Thedude3445 Wrote: I've never really considered any of the Chinese web fiction sites because I've always just assumed they're either a) scams to get me to post my free content for their ad money (AKA the ones that keep pestering me on social media to post ATL), or b) so ingrained in Chinese internet culture that my very Western fiction wouldn't make a splash. Is there really a "market" for stories without any action, or any Chinese characters, on webnovel.com or any similar sites?


A) I only noticed ads sometimes on the website version, but it's never bothered me if I chose to read on the website versus the app which doesn't have ads. Also, the ads are in between chapters, and they're small banner ones. Most of the time, the ads have a lot of white to them, so I barely even notice. And an ad is not in between every chapter too.

B) Most of the Originals don't have Chinese internet culture (idk what that even is lol!). And even the translations don't have a lot of Chinese culture stuff even while having Chinese named characters. The terminology from Chinese fics like "white lotus bitch" are usually explained if not understood just by context. There really isn't any history or culture to name of that I can think of from reading these fics. At the very least, it's no different from the "Chinese" stuff of wuxia/xianxia on RR.

Thus, stories don't have to be Chinese by any means. There are actually quite a few Korean novels too. And some originals choose Korean names over Chinese if not even often Western ones. The whole Chinese and Western divide isn't really a thing on Webnovel despite being a Chinese company. They're expanding into the international market after all, so a lot is English-based. They even have Filipino writing contests and translate popular novels into Spanish too... But those are pretty small audiences to the majority as far as I know.

In short, it makes no difference whether you have Chinese characters or not, or if there is no action too. Honestly, as long as you post frequently in the romance genre, you bound to pick up readers really quickly.... That's how many stories get popular on Webnovel. They post a shit load of material regardless of whether the writing is any good (poor grammar from many non-English natives) or if the story is just a rehash of the typical CEO/handsome and cold rich guy romance story (very common on Webnovel).

I think each website has their own quirks, but it never hurts to try uploading there for some time to see how it goes. If it doesn't work out, then drop uploading there. I've done that to two sites previously.

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#11
Chryiss Wrote: A) I only noticed ads sometimes on the website version, but it's never bothered me if I chose to read on the website versus the app which doesn't have ads. Also, the ads are in between chapters, and they're small banner ones. Most of the time, the ads have a lot of white to them, so I barely even notice. And an ad is not in between every chapter too.

B) Most of the Originals don't have Chinese internet culture (idk what that even is lol!). And even the translations don't have a lot of Chinese culture stuff even while having Chinese named characters. The terminology from Chinese fics like "white lotus bitch" are usually explained if not understood just by context. There really isn't any history or culture to name of that I can think of from reading these fics. At the very least, it's no different from the "Chinese" stuff of wuxia/xianxia on RR.

Thus, stories don't have to be Chinese by any means. There are actually quite a few Korean novels too. And some originals choose Korean names over Chinese if not even often Western ones. The whole Chinese and Western divide isn't really a thing on Webnovel despite being a Chinese company. They're expanding into the international market after all, so a lot is English-based. They even have Filipino writing contests and translate popular novels into Spanish too... But those are pretty small audiences to the majority as far as I know.

In short, it makes no difference whether you have Chinese characters or not, or if there is no action too. Honestly, as long as you post frequently in the romance genre, you bound to pick up readers really quickly.... That's how many stories get popular on Webnovel. They post a shit load of material regardless of whether the writing is any good (poor grammar from many non-English natives) or if the story is just a rehash of the typical CEO/handsome and cold rich guy romance story (very common on Webnovel).

I think each website has their own quirks, but it never hurts to try uploading there for some time to see how it goes. If it doesn't work out, then drop uploading there. I've done that to two sites previously.


This is all very good to know. I have been thinking about uploading some of my stories to even more sites than the three they're already on (personal site, RRL, and Wattpad, for most of them), though I've wondered if it might be a waste of time in some cases. For an all-new romance story, I will be sure to check out Web Novel and see if it might be a good fit, though for older stories, there is one important thing I have to know about Web Novel (or the other sites you've tried and dropped): do they have post scheduling like on RRL? That is an absolute life-saver of a feature.

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#12
I like to test out a website to see how it fares in new author exposure. That's really the deal breaker or maker for me. But often times I'm too lazy to try in the first place haha because yeah, it does take time to upload chapters even with automatic/scheduled updates.

WN does have a schedule feature like RR to upload chapters at designated times. You also can have an author's note at the end, but it's sadly limited to 500 characters. Honestly, the only big downside of WN in terms of structure is the lack of basic formatting like italics and bold. :/ Apparently it's being implemented in the next app update, but I don't have my hopes up considering it's been past a year since it was requested.

As for the other site besides WP, no, but it was a long-ish time ago. I don't know how it fares now. Most, I think, are adopting the scheduling feature though.

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#13
Chryiss Wrote: Honestly, the only big downside of WN in terms of structure is the lack of basic formatting like italics and bold. :/ Apparently it's being implemented in the next app update, but I don't have my hopes up considering it's been past a year since it was requested.

As for the other site besides WP, no, but it was a long-ish time ago. I don't know how it fares now. Most, I think, are adopting the scheduling feature though.


No italics or bold... that's ridiculous. I mean, I practically never use either, but that's such a weird thing to be missing when it's so easy to implement. It's already a feature of every font your browser can use.

And scheduling is good. Wattpad doesn't have scheduling, and that really sucks, but that one is obviously an intentional omission. Royal Road is the real example to go by when it comes to intuitive systems for writers.

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#14
I agree, RR definitely has the best platform on a pure writing system basis.

Yeah, it really is stupid of WN. All of the originals writers have complained about it frequently in the last year, especially when WN introduces new features that are often complex and unnecessary without implementing formatting. But the silliest thing is that translations use proper italics. So the codes are already in place; they just need to be included for originals too. ^^'

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#16
GFW Dohle Wrote: I don't think it would be a waste:

  1. More stories on RR = more stories to read ;D (good for all)

  2. If it doesn't work out you can still take it down.

  3. There are almost always people who are interested in different genres! Why should there not be some readers for a straight-up romance?

  4. It will maybe not at the top 10 on RR but you can still make some readers happy :)


Awwwwww thanks

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#17

Thedude3445 Wrote: I've got a few novels in the pipeline for the next year or two, and because of my current career situation, I am probably going to opt to publish them as web serials rather than try for traditional publication. But about half of those novels are straight-up romances; the characters and their explorations of love are the central aspects of the story for these. Will there be any point in publishing these on Royal Road?

I published a sci-fi romance one-shot "On the Ship" recently and it only got about 200 views, but then again, it was a one-shot published over four days; not exactly a good example to use for the prospects of a whole novel. I haven't found much else that seems to be romance-centric though, especially since the Romance tag on this site is cluttered with stories that are very much not romances at all. It's hard to tell.

A fantasy romance novel of mine is primed to come out sometime this Fall, and the fantasy aspect could work a little bit maybe (though maybe not, since there is zero action or fighting). But another story to release in 2020 sometime, about an exchange student to Japan who falls in love with a classmate, seems like it won't do too well here.

What do you think?

A few months ago, I wasn't even considering releasing either of those stories (or any others I might write very soon) on Royal Road, but I've seen that the community on here is pretty alright, and certain stories like Diary of Erica Kron and https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/21322/re-trailer-trash have shown that serials that don't fit so directly into the model of a popular story on this site can still do well (the latter story is so popular that it's like #6 on Top Web Fiction right now, gosh). So, maybe the first-glance thought of, "no way would RRL like a story about kissing and growing up," is wrong?



You'll find a reader for any kind of story.  I would say that you should add some conflict within the serial; human beings thrive off different forms of conflict.  Romance is excellent (it's something I'm in the process of learning), but if there are no conflicting elements, then it just isn't realistic.  Do you write just pure romance, or is it more of a drama?  There doesn't have to be crazy action scenes, but if you're a good sappy romance author that can bring out the emotions in characters and introduce events that contrast a hard world, then I think you'll do great.

People are a bit more grammar intensive on RR than most other web serial platforms; so, I'd suggest getting Grammarly as a minimum and go over every chapter before publishing.  Let your readers know that you're up for correcting mistakes; you're not perfect and you're without an editor.  Set realistic goals on the release schedule and KEEP that schedule.

Readers want a consistent release schedule and word count that is similar to the first chapter or GREATER (My chapters tend to be minimum 3k words to upwards of 8k). Set your minimum word count early because no one wants to expect 3k words to find 1k after a week of waiting.

I hope you do well!

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#18
Scott Edwards Wrote: You'll find a reader for any kind of story.  I would say that you should add some conflict within the serial; human beings thrive off different forms of conflict.  Romance is excellent (it's something I'm in the process of learning), but if there are no conflicting elements, then it just isn't realistic.  Do you write just pure romance, or is it more of a drama?  There doesn't have to be crazy action scenes, but if you're a good sappy romance author that can bring out the emotions in characters and introduce events that contrast a hard world, then I think you'll do great.


Thanks for the words of encouragement. My first romance novel that will probably be released starting in the fall is gonna be a little bit tough because it wasn't written with serialization in mind, so I'm worried it won't be "grabbing" enough until it's all posted and you can read it archivally. But we'll have to see because it's hard to tell 'till it's finally out.

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#19

To be honest, A Tail's Misfortune Volume 1 and 2, as well as The Helena Chronicles Volume 1, were written in novel format, but taken reasonably well.  My advice would be to release a chapter, wait for it to fall off the front page new chapter listings, and then post the next one.  You don't need to be super active with the posting.  You could wait until it falls to like the mid or end of the 2nd page of the new releases.  This will ensure your serial gets the most screen time.

Another point of advice, keep one to three chapters in reserve (that includes on Patreon if you release chapters ahead of schedule for patrons).  This way you have 'sick days' or a small backlog you can use if you can't write a new chapter that week.

Good luck!  ^_^7

Re: Is posting a straight-up romance story on Royal Road a waste of time?

#20
Scott Edwards Wrote: To be honest, A Tail's Misfortune Volume 1 and 2, as well as The Helena Chronicles Volume 1, were written in novel format, but taken reasonably well.  My advice would be to release a chapter, wait for it to fall off the front page new chapter listings, and then post the next one.  You don't need to be super active with the posting.  You could wait until it falls to like the mid or end of the 2nd page of the new releases.  This will ensure your serial gets the most screen time.

Another point of advice, keep one to three chapters in reserve (that includes on Patreon if you release chapters ahead of schedule for patrons).  This way you have 'sick days' or a small backlog you can use if you can't write a new chapter that week.

Good luck!  ^_^7


Hmm... I'm either planning on doing two chapters a week, or four chapters a week, for this first romance novel; because of the way it's formatted it has to be done in pairs of two (2/3, 4/5, 6/7, and so on), and I kind of want it to last a while in serialization, at least on my personal site. But I know Royal Road is a bit antsier when it comes to serial stories and readers like a faster flow. So maybe I'll wait to post it on here until after much of the story has already posted to my personal site (and Wattpad), and then do daily updates for all 60-something chapters?

Also, 1-3 chapter backlogs terrify me. I try to keep at least 15 lol