Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#1
So what if you have a story in episodes, but one that doesn't really have a big audience overlap with the RR population? Webnovels seem to be something for a very particular demographic, and RR has an even more specific, so certain types of story work here while other don't. The main audience is very young and likes particular genres.

Which is all normal and okay and fine, but what if what you're writing is completely out of touch with those things? My own story probably isn't really teenager-oriented: a MC in his late thirties, an older style of dystopian scifi in a future version of our world, no romance in the forseeable future, and a dark backround of humanity almost at the point of exinction. When it comes to certain parts of exploring the 'humanity close to possible extinction' idea I always lose a few of the veery few followers I have so that I'm back to 10 again. So something is not working with my audience that I have here.

Now, until I find a better place I'm not stopping 'Ghostified City' here. Publishing it here helps me to not stop developing the story and the world.

Does anyone think there  is a better place for episode based web-novelisation for other kinds of stories like mine? Are there other sides that are more oriented towards (let's say) classic scifi and dystopia (which isn't completely what I'm writing either.

And if I'd start another one here, which would be best? There's 2 other stories I've been working on in Dutch that might be interesting to translate and/or rewrite.
1.) Adoxa at the end of everything: some kind of post-apocalyptic low fantasy. In a world where one 'year' is around 20 of our years a small group of survivors of an old empire depopulated by a weird epidemic half a generation ago tries to survive both the suicidal tendencies of their last leftover leader and the arriving armies of a conquering army from a new empire from the North. (MC is female, around 18 in our years) To make everything worse it is snowing where it has never snowed before, and the 'coldyear' isn't even at its coldest point.

2.) Liana in between the worlds.
Liana is around 17, and doesn't really know how she sometimes travels in between worlds. She can also see invisibl beings and feel other peoples feelings. Sometimes she get lost in between worlds, and meets all kinds of strange things.
I don't know if I'd use the story of her going to Nuanderra (a world where some see our species as demons, inhabitated by certain species of humanoids including the Nummerfa who are something in between woodnymphs and elves) or another one with a colony of half-Nummerfa half-humans that have been separated from all other worlds in a dead alien world on an island surrounded by toxic corrosive seas.

Any of these that might get turned into something that would work more for the RR audience?


any other input is welkcome too.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#2
Indo not know too much about other sites but from what I’ve understood there aren’t all that many good ones, and the one harder to find would have very little traffic anyway. You can post through Blogspot like the zombie knight saga did and Webfiction Guide is a great place for a more critical approach (meaning less specific genre obsessed) to fiction.

The platform isn’t what’s important. Except for it’s hosting and it’s community of course. But what is important is how YOU present your story for readers to find. People who like niche find niche, even if there’s a lot of noise in the popular genres. I’ve read a few fics on RR with a weirder style to them already, and their problem has always seemed to be continuing the book rather than being niche causing them real issues.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#3
No to be honest. It's kind of the curse of writing something niche/cross-genre/it doesn't exists/where is the audience for this sort of stories. Nothing really works well. None of the well-known platforms will be a good place for your writing as far as I know. RR is as close as I've gotten just from the fact there are mostly fantasy stories here. The only place I've ever had luck with. Now with my second novel, a sequel to the first, I'm just between a rock and a hard place.

And as far as I know, there isn't a platform that's going to be very good for what you write. You would almost need something just as specific as this place, but for sci-fi which, to my knowledge, doesn't exist. You would probably be better off posting in the wilds of web fiction and using a Worpress or a Blogger account. I do. RoyalRoad is just a mirror. And normally I would say using Web Fiction Guide as a signal boost, however, it's in limbo as it transitions into a updated website. When will it be completed, I've no idea.




Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#5
Best advice I can give:  "Write the story YOU want to write, because you are the one who is going to have to write it."

I write "Ain't A Hero".  A slice of life story set in the post-post magical apoc future where you have normal everyday things inter-meshed with high-tech and magic, covering the lives of a group of adventurers with most in or near their 30's, anchored around a character with shattered confidence, questionable ability, and is fumbling around to manage break even point most of the time...  There is no real world ending terror, no obvious big bad, and the plot is glacier pace (Season 6 for 4 months in world to pass)...

And this story updates once every two weeks with a month long break between seasons.

This thing is so far away from the normal desires of the typical Royal Road crowd, that the Voyager 1 probe is set to pass by it the coming months.

But, people read it and some people actually like it.

And if you are looking for a good writing community and your story has some element of Humanity doing something, the Reddit's r/HFY might be a good place.  They're goofy, nice enough folks.  ( https://www.reddit.com/r/HFY/ )  They love some oddball fiction over there.


Still...  Write what you want to and make it for yourself more than anything.  Writing for arbitrary internet points will just leave you chasing fad after fad after fad, and frustrate you to no end.  It's most sure fire way to lead you to dropping it for the next temporary internet point fix.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#6
Thanks for the reactions. It's a bit what I already feared.

I'm going to slow down with 'Ghostified City' and try a story with Liana that I've never finished in Dutch, in an English version.
At least for all her weird powers and quirks he's 'just' a teenage girl from our world and time, no human extinctions and depressing existential dread in a post-dystopia, just a bit of parallel world fantasy and (in this particula story) some idiots in another world who think that our species are demons from hell.
No real traumatising content, sexual content, or stuff like that. I think...

I'll check out the reddit, but I'm not sure 'going almost extinct' is a good example of 'Humaity being Awesome' for some reason...

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#8

A Wrote: By far, just post it here and make sure to commit. The biggest issue with niche stories isn't that they're niche, but that the authors don't keep them up and they die.



This. I started posting a slice-of-life satirical sort-of harem on Royal Road, because I knew before I wrote the first word that it was going to pivot into an isekai (which is solidly in Royal Road's strike zone). Predictably, I didn't get a lot of readers, but the ones who did pick up the story were very devoted followers.

Then the genre switch happened, and ha, wow. Guess I should have warned people a little more strongly! Now I'm kind of stuck, because people who want iseka don't want to read volume 1, and people who loved what I was doing in volume 1 didn't want isekai. Whoops. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The downside to a story in a niche that isn't quite the norm is that you're not likely to garner lots of attention. But the upside is that the people you do gather tend to care more.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#12
Hello There

I am not really sure if I know enough to comment here. I never thought of niche or what audience I was targeting.

I just had this idea of a story, so I planned it out and started posting it. I am not the best with grammar and a few people hate my story while a lot of others like it.
The thing is, I got what I wanted: I am getting feedback and I hope improving.

It is different for every author. some guys do not interact with their readers and others like me, do it a lot. I guess it depends on what your goal is.


I have read a lot of stories on this site and some of the successful ones do have older protagonists.

My point is; find what works for you. The people on RR are mostly supportive in my experience.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#13
@bramcools, I understand your dilemma. I don't think my current story fits into the usual RR niche either. I don't think that you have to worry about that though. Here is what I am doing and I think it might be the best course of action. Post to all of them. I am releasing my current story on RR, Inkitt, and Wattpad; I also post a few chapters ahead on Patreon. (Additionally, Wattpad seems to have a very diverse readership). However, I think it doesn't make sense to put all your trust into a single site. To get more readers regardless of website readers, you need to promote your book on any and all social media sites you are comfortable with. Personally, I have started to post on twitter. No matter what social media site you go to, it will bring views to your book. 

Additionally, don't slow down! Once your book is in a place you feel comfortable stopping. Publish it to Amazon. This will increase your readership. Then you simply continue your novel, rinse and repeat.

The worse thing that can happen is you have a published book, the best is that one of the sites gets you popular and/or your book becomes a best seller.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#14
I've posted one fantasy and am closing in on finishing the posting of a SF novella. Both written to the same standards, by the same author, in the same POV. While I am quite satisfied with the initial boom of reads, comments, followers and overall Rating of the fantasy work, the SF one promises to achieve less than a fifteenth of the traffic the fantasy nets, zero reviews, and zero commentary to date even though several true believers are keeping up, chapter by chapter with it. I suspect most sites are like this, where one or two genre reign supreme.  Its sort of sad, but I am happy to provide something for the few, the proud, and the brave, who perhaps have few alternatives on the web.
I'd suggest inviting more like minded readers to increase the diversity and readership for your sort of works.

Wattpad? Well if your story is a teen love fest, that's a good place to consider, as that's their speciality.  I spent (wasted) several years of my precious time developing some Eight books there, and do haunt their extensive Discord site for the large system of Threads their bulletin board system promotes. So I am familiar with it, I believe.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#15

FAHyatt Wrote: I've posted one fantasy and am closing in on finishing the posting of a SF novella. Both written to the same standards, by the same author, in the same POV. While I am quite satisfied with the initial boom of reads, comments, followers and overall Rating of the fantasy work, the SF one promises to achieve less than a fifteenth of the traffic the fantasy nets, zero reviews, and zero commentary to date even though several true believers are keeping up, chapter by chapter with it. I suspect most sites are like this, where one or two genre reign supreme.  Its sort of sad, but I am happy to provide something for the few, the proud, and the brave, who perhaps have few alternatives on the web.
I'd suggest inviting more like minded readers to increase the diversity and readership for your sort of works.

Wattpad? Well if your story is a teen love fest, that's a good place to consider, as that's their speciality.  I spent (wasted) several years of my precious time developing some Eight books there, and do haunt their extensive Discord site for the large system of Threads their bulletin board system promotes. So I am familiar with it, I believe.



I remember seeing you on Wattpad sometimes. Wattpad is a horrible site for anything outside of its niche, but that's because the site is so poorly designed that there is just no option for anything else to break out. Seeing the occassional off-genre story succeed on there is nice except when you realize it all came out years ago before the site declined so much.

Royal Road, while stories have FAR more visibility and readers are much more willing to try your stories out, is actually even more niche I think. Re: Trailer Trash and Epilogue are the only popular stories even remotely out of the typical fantasy/sci-fi action niche. I think that will change over time, but for now it's a tough world out there.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#16

Thedude3445 Wrote: I remember seeing you on Wattpad sometimes. Wattpad is a horrible site for anything outside of its niche, but that's because the site is so poorly designed that there is just no option for anything else to break out. Seeing the occassional off-genre story succeed on there is nice except when you realize it all came out years ago before the site declined so much.

Royal Road, while stories have FAR more visibility and readers are much more willing to try your stories out, is actually even more niche I think. Re: Trailer Trash and Epilogue are the only popular stories even remotely out of the typical fantasy/sci-fi action niche. I think that will change over time, but for now it's a tough world out there.

Royal Road has literally no function whatsoever to search for tropes outside of a limited selection catering to the typical story here.


And for OP, the simplest solution is to accept it. Live with the fact that the ideas you're passionate about are ones that aren't popular, that other people aren't interested in, and be fine with the fact that you'll probably be the only person who really gets into it. At least there's that.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#17
It’s true Wattpad is horrible for finding the stuff that isn’t consumed with Wattpad’s own mutated recommendation trends. I think most fiction sites with a recommendation algorithm have this problem to some degree since they won’t be getting Google level tech that can properly recommend different things even slightly appropriately without all of the genre trends bleeding together into an abomination.

Royal Road is the best I have found so far, and it doesn’t really have a strong niche focus like some other sites other than a general tendency towards wider genres like Fantasy and LitRPG. It has niches like dungeon, system apocalypse, crafting stories, etc, but it has quite a few of them, and all of them are doing rather well.

The selection of available tags to search with is, while rather small, appropriate to the stories that actually are on the site and nor trying to spam us with an absurdity of tags on everything, which makes them easier to search through. The search function isn’t great, but it works really well to find less obvious books in some subgenre tags, though often the book you’re looking for doesn’t exist. I’d say RR has the problem of still needing to grow and gain more authors, forum activity, and fan groups of other genres and subgenres to add to out current echo chamber.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#18

Endless Wrote: It’s true Wattpad is horrible for finding the stuff that isn’t consumed with Wattpad’s own mutated recommendation trends. I think most fiction sites with a recommendation algorithm have this problem to some degree since they won’t be getting Google level tech that can properly recommend different things even slightly appropriately without all of the genre trends bleeding together into an abomination.

Royal Road is the best I have found so far, and it doesn’t really have a strong niche focus like some other sites other than a general tendency towards wider genres like Fantasy and LitRPG. It has niches like dungeon, system apocalypse, crafting stories, etc, but it has quite a few of them, and all of them are doing rather well.

The selection of available tags to search with is, while rather small, appropriate to the stories that actually are on the site and nor trying to spam us with an absurdity of tags on everything, which makes them easier to search through. The search function isn’t great, but it works really well to find less obvious books in some subgenre tags, though often the book you’re looking for doesn’t exist. I’d say RR has the problem of still needing to grow and gain more authors, forum activity, and fan groups of other genres and subgenres to add to out current echo chamber.



I thought we had a lot of authors already, or do we just have an abnormally high release from a small set of authors? 

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#19
Well, I have no real way of knowing if our author/release count is high in relative terms, though I wouldn’t be surprised. But I’d suspect other sites are larger and more “active”, and I’d suspect if they had a Latest Updates it would be flooded by the second, though those also have a lot more “noise” in the kinds of posts they have. I remember if I looked at deviantArt posts in terms of recency it would be new stuff every time I refresh (in short succession) and that would even be true for a single category of submissions filtered from “All”. Wattpad I suspect is much the same, though I have no way of knowing. I suspect sites with a lot of fanfiction might also have this tendency from what I know of fanfiction writers.

Re: When your story doesn't really fit in a RR niche...

#20
Royal Road, due to its submissions process, has an astronomically smaller number of stories than Wattpad or most other web fiction sites without one. When you have a story with zero ratings I believe it shows the rank as the lowest number available, which is the total number of stories on the site I believe. There's less than 100,000 stories in that case, and that includes things with one chapter and no continuation, as well as stories that were rated but have had all content deleted for them afterwards. 

In comparison, according to Wikipedia as of 2018 (!!!) Wattpad has 400 million. Granted, something like 90% of those have less than 5 views and most are probably spambots or single chapter releases, but that means there are millions upon millions of stories on that site with actual content. It's only natural that most are unable to garner any sort of readership, because it's not like Wattpad has the sort of recommendation algorithms Netflix has built over its twenty years or anything.

Royal Road has no complex algorithms in any of its categories and no personalization at all, which helps combat the problems of other web fiction sites considerably. I think some will eventually be needed as it grows but for now it's probbaly working out very well.