Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#1


So, I’ve been here a for a couple months now. I’m doing very so-so.


I’ve done some reviews swaps, and I get good reviews. However, I'm getting a pretty clear picture of how my work comes off to a reader – at least Royal Road readers. It's weird. It's outside the norm. It doesn't fit too well. 

I think I’m writing to the wrong audience. I plan to keep posting here because I do care about the readers and followers I have, but I know that if I want more readers, I have to look elsewhere.

So far, I’ve tried Wattpad. I had zero luck there. It actively suppresses new stories and is a bit of a popularity contest (that might be an understatement). It’s a very uncomfortable place to be, as I'm sure many of us feel. I’m looking into doing amazon, but obviously, I’ll need an editor, a cover I didn’t draw, etc. Most importantly, I don’t want to do Amazon, until I’ve finished the story for my followers here. So, that would be the long term plan (if I still decide I want to do it).

I’ve looked at other webserial sites, most of which aren’t really doing great themselves. I’ve also researched through forum posts on this topic, but some of the information is already outdated. Newer sites are gone, and older sites are dying.

I feel like I’m missing something. Is this really all there is? I guess I’m just a little lost, looking for my people. Any suggestions would be a help. Thanks.






Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#2
Maybe you can try ScribbleHub. It only has around 2000 users and the discoverability is better than Wattpad.

I don't know much about the specific audience of SH. But from what I've observed, most of the novels there are about reincarnation or other staple that users of NU favors.

There are tons of tags there so it might improve visibility of the novel. 

Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#6
Your story is still new, so don't get worried so soon. Give it another six or eight months and you'll get more of a following. Except for the big breakout hits, web serials are all about patience. Your current rate of 150 views per chapter is pretty decent for a story that's only two months old and (presumably) without a ton of promotion. You're on the right track.

Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#7
Thank you guys for the replies. Yes, patience does seem to be in order. I don't do a ton of promotion. It makes me nervous, so that's on me. The feedback I get is pretty consistent though. So, I take it pretty seriously, and so far, the feedback is that I'm out side the main genres.

I have noticed how scifi / science fantasy seems to do here. Not bad, but certainly not anywhere close to the average. Definitely not the most popular genre. I've been wondering if scifi readers are really into web serials at all. Maybe, they read differently. But, then there's us. We're here, and we read web serials.

Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#8
I've done a fair amount of surfing the web, and actually, there are not zillions of open membership display sites. There are lots of reasons for this, especially where the materials are not Fanfic and are copy-writable. However, there are tonnage of E-zene sites that publish unknown author work, but they vett (evaluate the quality) of anything submitted, and choose the best that meet the theme of the  E-zene and the issue they are culling for.  Even so, there is no reason to avoid these, and most will contractually pay you for your effort (on acceptance). 

If you are interested in completing and smoothing a work to put it in publishable or competitive shape, a better choice is a writing circle, or club. There are several of these both local and national, on line and off.  Yahoo has a bunch in groups, though they have no online presence save as mailing lists anymore, with all document trades done by E-mail.

Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#10

WinnieSallow Wrote: I don't think my work will ever be published to be honest. I'll probably never make it to Amazon, so it wouldn't be such a hot idea to take up a writing group's time.



That's no way to look at things. I haven't read your work at all, but based on the reviews you have received, there's some promising stuff in there even if it's just a WIP or a draft. Everyone in writing groups is doing that exact same thing, and I can bet you that your book is probably better than a lot of a theoretical writing group's would be. 

Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#11
Oof. I feel you, Winnie, I really do. So much of what you're saying is infinitely relatable.

The good news is, your story is probably a better fit than you think. So much of success on Royal Road is dependent on visibility, and that tends to come down almost entirely to whether it hits Trending or not. 

I have a reasonably popular story on Royal Road now (though it isn't one of the big hitters), but had a similar experience to you for the first 6-9 or so months of posting here. 100k words in and about 50 followers, and I only got my first review by requesting one on the forums several months in. Then a kind reader pointed out I had very long chapters, and suggested breaking them into smaller chunks and releasing them faster. So I did. The increased visibility on the front page translated into more frequent ratings, which after a week or so turned into breaking through into the bottom of Trending. When that happened, my story went from one no one had heard of to something with hundreds of followers in a matter of weeks. That's how it tends to go on this site.

I know it's easy to feel disheartened. Like you, I struggle with promotion, feel like publishing is a distant, unreachable pipe-dream, and dislike the popularity contest aspect of things. So this thread of yours hit me right in the feels. Trending has changed since and I don't know how to help you reach it, or I would. But don't ever feel like your story isn't a good fit, or not good enough. 

It's not you. It really isn't. It's the lack of visibility. All I can say is, keep writing and doing your best, and we will support you.

Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#14

Csuite Wrote: Oof. I feel you, Winnie, I really do. So much of what you're saying is infinitely relatable.

The good news is, your story is probably a better fit than you think. So much of success on Royal Road is dependent on visibility, and that tends to come down almost entirely to whether it hits Trending or not. 

I have a reasonably popular story on Royal Road now (though it isn't one of the big hitters), but had a similar experience to you for the first 6-9 or so months of posting here. 100k words in and about 50 followers, and I only got my first review by requesting one on the forums several months in. Then a kind reader pointed out I had very long chapters, and suggested breaking them into smaller chunks and releasing them faster. So I did. The increased visibility on the front page translated into more frequent ratings, which after a week or so turned into breaking through into the bottom of Trending. When that happened, my story went from one no one had heard of to something with hundreds of followers in a matter of weeks. That's how it tends to go on this site.

I know it's easy to feel disheartened. Like you, I struggle with promotion, feel like publishing is a distant, unreachable pipe-dream, and dislike the popularity contest aspect of things. So this thread of yours hit me right in the feels. Trending has changed since and I don't know how to help you reach it, or I would. But don't ever feel like your story isn't a good fit, or not good enough. 

It's not you. It really isn't. It's the lack of visibility. All I can say is, keep writing and doing your best, and we will support you.

I want to echo everything Csuite said here. My experience has been almost identical to their’s; I wrote for a couple months to a really small crowd but hit the bottom of trending about 48 hours ago and have already doubled my follower count. Nothing significant has changed about my writing, I just have exponentially more visibility than I did before. The unfortunate reality of Internet popularity, regardless of whether it’s on RR, YouTube, whatever, is that it’s almost entirely dictated by luck and visibility, and it’s definitely an uphill battle to build an audience from nothing.

It probably sounds cliche, but I really cannot emphasize enough that the problem isn’t you, it’s the nature of the algorithm. I really do believe that, if you write something compelling and keep at it for an extended period of time, you’ll build a readership. Web novels are marathons, both in how they’re written and how they build an audience, and you have to just keep writing into the void until people come. 

Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#15
If your story doesn't check at least half the boxes on the usual tropes list for this site, it's up to pure chance for it to get noticed on Royal Road, and even more ridiculous chance it'll even be read.  And unfortunately, there's really not many other places on the internet where you can post oddball stories and get any kind of recognition.  It's just the state of affairs at the moment.  I've looked many, many times, and haven't been able to find any place that's even all that welcoming.  (Apart from r/HFY on Reddit, they're pretty okay folks.)

My story Ain't A Hero is a strange mix of Post Post-Apocalypse Science Fantasy Slice of Life Even-I-Don't-Know-Anymore...  623,245 words, 6 reviews, 226 followers, and I've been on this site for 2 years.  I even came to this site from Reddit with 40+ episodes, and update fairly consistently every two weeks.  So... I don't know.  Personally, I've just come to the conclusion that it'll never be great and successful here, and accepted that fact.  The gimmicky, formulaic, and trope-filled stories simply win on Royal Road.  Period.  They game the internals and do so efficiently.  You ain't going win that race here with writing what you want to write.  I've thrown away any aspirations for being some kind of great writer in general and especially on Royal Road.  Just let go of that as a motivator to write, you'll be happier for doing so.  It'll spare you from a lot of painful burnout and stress.  (Just look at the graveyards of gimmicky stories that most top writers have on Royal Road.)  The Royal Road stats game ain't worth taking seriously, because it's at the mercy of the whims of internet fads, and doesn't even award any serious prizes at the end of the day.

Just do your thing for you, and have fun doing it.

Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#16

Lakstoties Wrote: If your story doesn't check at least half the boxes on the usual tropes list for this site, it's up to pure chance for it to get noticed on Royal Road, and even more ridiculous chance it'll even be read.  And unfortunately, there's really not many other places on the internet where you can post oddball stories and get any kind of recognition.  It's just the state of affairs at the moment.  I've looked many, many times, and haven't been able to find any place that's even all that welcoming.  (Apart from r/HFY on Reddit, they're pretty okay folks.)

My story Ain't A Hero is a strange mix of Post Post-Apocalypse Science Fantasy Slice of Life Even-I-Don't-Know-Anymore...  623,245 words, 6 reviews, 226 followers, and I've been on this site for 2 years.  I even came to this site from Reddit with 40+ episodes, and update fairly consistently every two weeks.  So... I don't know.  Personally, I've just come to the conclusion that it'll never be great and successful here, and accepted that fact.  The gimmicky, formulaic, and trope-filled stories simply win on Royal Road.  Period.  They game the internals and do so efficiently.  You ain't going win that race here with writing what you want to write.  I've thrown away any aspirations for being some kind of great writer in general and especially on Royal Road.  Just let go of that as a motivator to write, you'll be happier for doing so.  It'll spare you from a lot of painful burnout and stress.  (Just look at the graveyards of gimmicky stories that most top writers have on Royal Road.)  The Royal Road stats game ain't worth taking seriously, because it's at the mercy of the whims of internet fads, and doesn't even award any serious prizes at the end of the day.

Just do your thing for you, and have fun doing it.



That is a LOT of pages for "only" 226 followers (which isn't too shabby, but still). I feel like if your story had a cover, that alone would probably get a ton more visibility regardless of anything else, because it seems a lot of people are liking it already (and sadly a lack of cover makes most readers completely ignore stories, like just not even look at them).

Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#17

Lakstoties Wrote: If your story doesn't check at least half the boxes on the usual tropes list for this site, it's up to pure chance for it to get noticed on Royal Road, and even more ridiculous chance it'll even be read.  And unfortunately, there's really not many other places on the internet where you can post oddball stories and get any kind of recognition.  It's just the state of affairs at the moment.  I've looked many, many times, and haven't been able to find any place that's even all that welcoming.  (Apart from r/HFY on Reddit, they're pretty okay folks.)

My story Ain't A Hero is a strange mix of Post Post-Apocalypse Science Fantasy Slice of Life Even-I-Don't-Know-Anymore...  623,245 words, 6 reviews, 226 followers, and I've been on this site for 2 years.  I even came to this site from Reddit with 40+ episodes, and update fairly consistently every two weeks.  So... I don't know.  Personally, I've just come to the conclusion that it'll never be great and successful here, and accepted that fact.  The gimmicky, formulaic, and trope-filled stories simply win on Royal Road.  Period.  They game the internals and do so efficiently.  You ain't going win that race here with writing what you want to write.  I've thrown away any aspirations for being some kind of great writer in general and especially on Royal Road.  Just let go of that as a motivator to write, you'll be happier for doing so.  It'll spare you from a lot of painful burnout and stress.  (Just look at the graveyards of gimmicky stories that most top writers have on Royal Road.)  The Royal Road stats game ain't worth taking seriously, because it's at the mercy of the whims of internet fads, and doesn't even award any serious prizes at the end of the day.

Just do your thing for you, and have fun doing it.

I can tell you why your story doesn't seem to be all that popular, just like Thedude3445 said, a lack of cover page is a BIG thing. As a reader, before I even see the title, the cover is what draws attention. I don't think I've read a single story without a cover page and I've been on this site for years. Incidentally, the lack of cover page also makes it ineligible for Trending, which is a huge boost for any story (probably the hugest tbh). Also, your infrequent uploading schedule. I'm still a new author, my fic is under a month old, but I get most of my views from the Latest Updates page, because people see me uploading consistently and trust that the story won't just be started and dropped. I guarantee you those two things (infrequent updates and cover page) are what is holding your story back, because from the reviews, it's pretty well written and I've seen much worse fictions get much more popular

Re: Don't Really Fit, Where Could I Go?

#18
I can also relate, my story is probably better suited on some D&D forum or something but I wanted to write a fun adventure and get better at my writing as I do it. I actually got discouraged for a few months as you can see from my time gaps in my story but I came back.

I came back because I joined a new D&D campaign and we had a discussion about how most campaigns never finish and I don’t want to do that to my readers. I have an epic road map planned and I’m looking forward to finishing it because my followers are like my players and I’m the DM. They deserve a satisfying ending but that won’t be for a long time.

You could also open a discord for your novel. You have wonderful art for your story and a nice follower base so I’m sure you can get more views and promotion that way as well.