New to the site
The basics(?) you might want to know about RoyalRoad is that the community and writers seem to develop their own RR tropes and cliches at times, which is weirder than you might assume just from similar other sites.
It’s a Gameified site to an extent with video game themes, though they’re not very intrusive. Leveling just kind of happens (mostly from achievements though.) The Reputation system is a pretty good social incentive that allows you to rewards any commenter or poster who isn’t the author. (Because that gets crazy fast)
Notice my avatar image. My epic bronze wings are from my level (the nest level is less awesome looking T_T) and my green gemstone thing represents my Reputation level (I can’t actually remember if it was green tbh). Some stats and achievements are more explicitly visible in text below the visuals.
The Latest Updates list is simple but surprisingly effective (the site’s not too noisy for it to be useless yet), Popular this Week is actually stuff that’s Popular Forever and has a bunch of stuff that’s only there because being on that list keeps them there. Best Rated is really good for finding good stuff, but also never changes so it gets old fast and is mostly useful for new users.
Trending is the “Rising Stars” of RR with the most circulation of new and (mostly) good fictions. How it works is old rating count AGAINST new ratings so glory is temporary. It’s about having a lot of hype in a short amount of time. Top Reviews is also a good place to find unknown/new books from but it’s both more critical and more subjective.
When looking for good stuff you can look at the rating for the books. (4.3 to 5.0 is the usual high quality ranges and few rating go much lower than 4.0 surprisingly). The amount of rating can be more important than the exact value. Reviews are the greatest source of information but varying in availability and quality, leave some thumbs up for them reviewers. Amount of chapters and page count are also useful, they show dedication, persistence, and experience. You can also look at previous books an author has written.
The traditional response to being given a fresh new chapter is to comment “Thanks for the chapter!” on mass. There tends to be more critical/constructive feedback in comments than in reviews at times. The Bookmarks list is the most useful list, Read Later is for fics you’ll probably forget to read, and your Favourites List can be publicly viewed (like a reading list?) if anyone wants to bother but is largely purposeless other than being a nice gesture. I use it for stuff I’ve finished reading to act as bragging on occasion.
For the community overall most activity occurs on individual chapter comments in specific fics. We are in the forum now which tends to have a new post daily-ish at the least and occasionally springs into interesting topic threads and post activity seemingly at random. The site Admins and Mods are active members of the community, it is not hard to get into contact with the site mods, or even the Owner herself. There is fanfiction of the site owners and moderators. Do not needlessly annoy the site mods. The tech guy is a dragon.
This is a (cough) “PG” site. You must be PG. There are rules for content and conduct on this site.
Some things (mostly author stuff and some personal profile stiff like a name change) require oversight from a mod, yes they actually get back to you before next week most of the time. Stuff that tagging your book as “Completed” requires a support ticket and verification. Posting a new fiction also requires mod approval.
To give feedback to the site you can find the totally amazing Feedback forum in the Suggestions Option from the Help? Tab. It’s right beside the site F.A.Q. Yes there are plans for an eventual app for RoyalRoad. It’s not coming all that soon.
There is also a Discord channel for RR. People chat there, and quite a lot at times.
The Read tab, which is next to the Write tab, you can find many interesting options here. All of Royal Road is ranked and governed by simple (ish) algorithms, so there is no inscrutable AI suggesting similar books You Might Like with a disturbing preference for BDSM romance and titles that include the word “slave” (wtf Wattpad, I don’t even LIKE romance.) The Search and Advanced Search functions have limited usefulness. They are good for finding specific tags if you want though. I tend to use it over the Best Rated List just for that really.
Uhh... there is also Premium! Which has several mildly useful features! Whoo Hoo! (More might be added eventually)
RR is not as focused on Monetization as other sites. (It originated from a fanfiction sight for some VRMMO story I have never read, but there’s almost no fanfiction presence on the site these days?!) So it’s exceedingly unlikely that RR will ever be pursuing exclusive content gating now or in the future, or aggressive advertising, you don’t even really need an account other than bookmarking specific fics to read them better. They might remove that inbuilt Patreon link soon because of how many people pay RR authors on Patreon but don’t pay RR itself, but I think that’s be a superficial barrier at most. Nothing to worry about.
Welcome to RR, Kesha. I tried Wattpad for a bit, but the way it only promotes stories that are already popular (even if you try to search for recent updates) made it difficult to get views, especially since I wasn't writing fan-fiction or stories about abusive boyfriends (???).