Re: Advice on Building a Fanbase and Readership

#1
Hey guys! I'm pretty new to all of this serial novel websites and such, and I just want to know how you guys manage to successfully build a fanbase and gain loyal readers. How long does it take? Do the readers usually come at around the 50th chapter? What should I do to put myself and my book out there? Ik advertising on social media is a thing, but unfortunately i don't have much followers on my social media accounts yet. Any advice in where to find loyal readers and reach out to them? (other than friends and family lol)

Thanks so much!

Re: Advice on Building a Fanbase and Readership

#3
  1. Most people wait until there are at least 20 chapters or 100 pages before reading a novel, since they want to A) be sure that the author does not drop it (stories that reach so many chapters/pages are less likely to be dropped), B) have more pages to read instead of waiting for updates. Sure, there are some stories that become popular only with one or two chapters, but those are rare. Most stories never become popular from the very beginning. 
  2. Before you post your story, make sure to have written at least a few chapters beforehand. This will allow you to update daily and thus get more exposition (through the 'new updates' section). Afterwards you do not have to keep up that schedule (though it would help).
  3. As already mentioned, a regular update schedule helps a lot.  
  4. Participate in the forums. If people view your posts a lot, they will be tempted to click on the link in your signature. 
  5. Have a pretty cover. You do not have to hire a professional; there are plenty of sites that offer copyright-free images.
  6. A good synopsis goes a long away to attract readers. On the other hand, if your synopsis is boring or has many grammatical mistakes, it will drive off readers.
  7. Having an interesting/catchy title never hurts. :) 
  8. Last but not least, your story needs to be competently written. You do not need to write a literary masterpiece, but you do need to make sure your formatting is readable, you do not have obvious grammar mistakes and that your characters and plot are interest. No window dressing can cover up bad writing. 

Re: Advice on Building a Fanbase and Readership

#4
This is from a readers standpoint as I'm no writer. Some of the more successful stories I've seen start off with a decent backlog. I'm not saying they post everything at once, but they tend to post 1 a day for the first 20 chapters or so top get people enough to get hyped over. Looking at you, you seem to have pretty much done a dump of 7 chapters. That's fine if you still have enough to post another chapter on a set schedule. Schedule regularity is another big thing. I know I've dropped more than 1 novel where the author posts on an irregular and/or infrequent schedule. I'm a reader that tends to come in at around the 50th chapter. If the synopsis strikes me and I see the author is releasing on a good, regular schedule then I have been known to come in earlier though. Synopsis is an important factor. If I read a synopsis and am like, "WTH did I just read? I don't understand what this story is going to be about at all." Then I almost certainly won't pick it up. Your synopsis is ok, but it seems a bit long to me. More like something that would be in a prologue. I do get a decent idea about where your story is going though. Also, don't just disappear. Communicate with your readership. Even if you break both hands, get someone to type up a little blurb about it for you so people don't just wander off and forget about you. I've found that people are more than willing to accept a hiatus with an excuse without much complaint as opposed to just nothing. I'll keep checking back periodically if an author told me they had something come up. If they just disappear then I'll only check up a few times before I give up on them. That's about all I have to add. Good Luck.

Re: Advice on Building a Fanbase and Readership

#5
Publish chapters regurlarly and on a schedule. Chaos never bodes well. 

Have a nice cover, chapter titles etc... 

Have a nice blurb and be honest: you must say what you are selling/offering and be truthfull. 

You can go on specialised forums and reddits to gain a few viewers. Social medias are a thing, discords too, go on discords of similar stories as yours and link to your story in the adequate channel, ask first if self publicity isn't clearly authorized. 

Write a good story (yeah easy to say, I'd like to know how too DrakanSweat )

You'll get very few random viewers coming on their own, so you have to go get them. Just be honest about your story, what they are to expect and what are the main topics and tropes. 

Finally you can catter to very specific niches (LGBT, gender bender, smut, furry) you won't get a super huge audience but will immediately catch the attention of the targeted communities. 

There are also some tropes that are less explored (for ex: female MC, half of the reader base are females, but not half of the stories? Writing a good fantasy/litRPG with a female main character can gives you a lot of early attention and reach trending fast, which in turn will give you traction.) 

Good luck with the writing, luck is also a huge factor, early reviews can change the fate of your story. 

Re: Advice on Building a Fanbase and Readership

#8

prommy_halibut Wrote: Hey guys! I'm pretty new to all of this serial novel websites and such, and I just want to know how you guys manage to successfully build a fanbase and gain loyal readers. How long does it take? Do the readers usually come at around the 50th chapter? What should I do to put myself and my book out there? Ik advertising on social media is a thing, but unfortunately i don't have much followers on my social media accounts yet. Any advice in where to find loyal readers and reach out to them? (other than friends and family lol)

Thanks so much!
Looks at flies on my fic on R.R.

Maybe, or maybe not. 🤨

Re: Advice on Building a Fanbase and Readership

#9


christos200 Wrote: Most people wait until there are at least 20 chapters or 100 pages before reading a novel, since they want to A) be sure that the author does not drop it (stories that reach so many chapters/pages are less likely to be dropped), B) have more pages to read instead of waiting for updates. Sure, there are some stories that become popular only with one or two chapters, but those are rare. Most stories never become popular from the very beginning. 
Before you post your story, make sure to have written at least a few chapters beforehand. This will allow you to update daily and thus get more exposition (through the 'new updates' section). Afterwards you do not have to keep up that schedule (though it would help).
As already mentioned, a regular update schedule helps a lot.  
Participate in the forums. If people view your posts a lot, they will be tempted to click on the link in your signature. 
Have a pretty cover. You do not have to hire a professional; there are plenty of sites that offer copyright-free images.
A good synopsis goes a long away to attract readers. On the other hand, if your synopsis is boring or has many grammatical mistakes, it will drive off readers.
Having an interesting/catchy title never hurts. :) 
Last but not least, your story needs to be competently written. You do not need to write a literary masterpiece, but you do need to make sure your formatting is readable, you do not have obvious grammar mistakes and that your characters and plot are interest. No window dressing can cover up bad writing.

Thank you for your advise. I'm also news here and tried to get a reader.


Re: Advice on Building a Fanbase and Readership

#11

TimKaiver Wrote: Is it required to participate in review swaps to get reviews? I finished a book on here but did not get any reviews, so I’m curious if I missed a cultural requirement. I have finished the second book and am not sure if I start a new page or continue on the original.
It's not necessary, all the reviews I made were unilateral (also I don't even have a story to be reviewed). But it is one of the few ways to more likely get a review. 


On a related note, I checked your profile and both your fictions are tagged as on hiatus. This might possibly minimise the chances of people starting to read your story and then reviewing it.

Re: Advice on Building a Fanbase and Readership

#12
To add on to what's already been said.

Peruse the new release feed to find quick reads. I tend to stick with people long term, but they have to impress me with their first chapter. While as a reader, I'm super picky, it doesn't take much to offer encouragement to people who are trying out something new. I like to leave a comment on their work. If the work has a great premises (but maybe poor execution) I'll complement them on the idea of the story. I won't say anything about what drove me away because quite frankly, I don't know the creative or why they're writing. They might not understand that posting to a public forum may mean they'll receive very public and varied opinions - and quite frankly I made that mistake more than enough times to know to just fixate on something nice and make a run for it.

Quick tips
  • Read new releases
  • Read in general
  • Leave a comment (on every chapter focusing on what you liked)
  • Vote
  • Fave/follow - but only if you're serious about reading it because you'll get pinged for notifications on updates if you decided to fave/follow every one
  • Rate & review - honestly. But keep in mind this isn't the place for feedback - do that either privately or on the comments (I'd say comments because it's easier to find the problem when it's mentioned with a particular cluster of words)
  • Target genres/story styles you like and/or is similar to your story. People who like sparse narrative prose will probably like your fiction if it's similar to theirs, or to what they are already reading.
  • Last tip: For heaven's sake - don't do it for the follows. Do it because you're interested. We can tell when it's a superficial comment/review vs something genuine and thoughtful.