Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#21

kanadaj Wrote: Oh look, it's time to change all the algorithms  DrakanLaugh


Timothy Wrote: I'd like to see more weight given to writers producing quality. Maybe that means curating more stories. Or certain reviewers who prove themselves can write reviews with much greater weight. Or ratings and reviews lift you up the ranks more than views. Or likely a mix of all of it. Maybe that's difficult or means more work, but wouldn't we all benefit if the site really propped up the best of us?
You're looking at this backwards. It's not us who reward it, it's the readers. Because it's just that much easier to get readers with consistent, frequent updates, and quality can only be measured as a combination of the number of readers and their feedback.

In the first place, "quality", insofar as writing goes, is really rather subjective. You can write all the paragraphs you want about how Tolkien's prose is the perfection of literary prowess if the next reader will tell you how damn boring it is.


I'm not trying to hate on the site. I appreciate RR for what it does and the work put into it. I'm simply speculating on how it might improve. Please don't take offence. Everything can improve and should be open to debate, yes? 

1) Quality isn't all that subjective. You're confusing it with appeal, which is personal taste. You can use endless cliffhangers and empty drama and mystery and tease the hell out of readers so that they are desperate to keep reading. But that doesn't mean the story itself or the writing quality was any good. Most of the time, readers (and viewers for tv/movies) forget such stories five minutes after they finish because there's nothing in them but manipulation and spectacle. They may have learned nothing. Quality storytelling is why Tolkein is still read today and why they made such big-budget movies and why those movies also last. The same with Rowling or King. Their books teach and inspire as well as entertain.

2) Readers influence the popularity of posted stories, but the site itself has a responsibility and self interest to promote the best works, not just the most popular right now. When higher-quality works rise up the charts, it increases the site's overall integrity and quality as well. There are plenty of popular stories here with lots of followers, but if you read the reviews of people who actually got into them, they're not always very flattering on the subject of quality. Very few of the top rated or most popular stories would be considered publishable. But how much more respect would the site have (and how many more visitors would we get) if we were boosting writers with quality like Stephen King, JK Rowling or Tolkein? That's not to say popular pulp fic should be ignored, it has its place, but in the current system, cranking out as many chapters as possible outweighs quality writing by too much. It's out of balance. Readers don't have what it takes to address the issue on their own, so it has to be built into the system.

3) As for measuring quality, that's why I suggested giving greater weight to reviews by people more focused on quality, and boosts from curation — in addition to the systems already in place. It would mean more work identifying people who could curate or give better reviews and mean more human involvement, which has costs, yes. Which is unappealing when you want a site to run all by itself on a shoestring budget. But that's why publishing companies hire real people and don't use algorithms alone to determine what to publish. By being both an open platform and thinking more like a publisher, RR could grow as an entity, even though that might mean challenges along the way. 

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#22
I wasn't gonna reply to this thread so that people didn't think I was the OP or something lol (thanks for the egregious shoutout), but I've really got to respond to the post above.


Timothy Wrote: I'm not trying to hate on the site. I appreciate RR for what it does and the work put into it. I'm simply speculating on how it might improve. Please don't take offence. Everything can improve and should be open to debate, yes?


I really do get the feeling you have here, I really do. I've got a lot of stories that are well-reviewed, well-liked, and not popular in the slightest, so I really get it. So everything I say, I do so with the POV that we're basically in the same place, just a couple years apart in posting.

But, while Royal Road absolutely has room to improve, particularly with featuring completed stories in any tab other than "Completed," it isn't exactly struggling. Since the pandemic, it has seen a huge boost in stories, with higher revenue for the site and more authors than ever making a full-time income than ever before. Whether this is a brief golden age or a new status quo, I don't know, but it also means that a lot of the improvements that would help smaller, complete, or less popular genre stories just aren't a high priority.


Timothy Wrote: Quality storytelling is why Tolkein is still read today and why they made such big-budget movies and why those movies also last. The same with Rowling or King. Their books teach and inspire as well as entertain.


I won't disagree that the three authors you've listed are very talented (though Rowling sucks as a human), and their books can be wonderful. However... these are three of the best, top authors in the entire fantasy genre. Comparing them to unedited, serialized, FREE web fictions is a bit harsh, don't you think? Comparing these stories to the genre more broadly is a bit nicer of a picture: Take the Amazon bestsellers list for Fantasy. As of this writing, the stories at the very top are Harry Potter, Discworld, those kind of classics. But you know what's also there? A bazillion LitRPG-type action stories, romances with hot people on the cover, and a couple anime-looking books.

That's the exact same stuff that's popular on Royal Road, Tapas, and other web fiction sites. These books won't become classics, but they weren't designed to. They fill a need for readers, and that's why they respond so well. All those awful 700-page 90s fantasy novels are forgotten, but they did nothing wrong but kill a few too many trees. Readers aren't going to stop wanting to read "turn your brain off" or "just for fun" books, and so those will always have a place, especially in web fiction.


Timothy Wrote: That's not to say popular pulp fic should be ignored, it has its place, but in the current system, cranking out as many chapters as possible outweighs quality writing by too much. It's out of balance. Readers don't have what it takes to address the issue on their own, so it has to be built into the system.


I agree that stories with a billion chapters get a huge boost, especially to the Popular This Week category (though it's still very possible to get high on that list without 300 chapters). However, there is another issue here. Authors don't make money off their books directly here, for the most part. They rely on loyal readers who stick with a story for a long time and donate on Patreon, or buy the ebook versions for support, or follow them into future projects. The system rewards long, fast-updating stories because that's the only way authors can actually make a steady income out of any of this. So the system goes beyond just Royal Road; it's in the entire fabric of web serial writing to begin with.

Other sites have the Premium Chapter system, like Radish and Wattpad, but that, too, relies on having many chapters for readers to binge and pay for. Same deal, different execution. 

Shorter, complete, more genre diverse novels do exist, and I absolutely want there to be more to feature them on this site and many others (almost all web fiction sites have the exact same issue as Royal Road). In fact, I have read several really great complete novels on this site that are wonderful (despite lacking the polish of traditional publication), but even after a long time, they still haven't yet found their audience for one reason or another. In the long-term, maybe they will, but the site itself probably won't be the reason if so, and even if the site system is changed to try and feature stuff like this, I'm not even sure if readers will respond.

The real best way to get more diverse kinds of fiction breaking out on Royal Road is to bring a more diverse set of people to the site. More than the system, if the site readership becomes more gender balanced, older, less focused on America/Europe/South Asia, we may very well see a very different set of stories gain in popularity. If a community of sci-fi lovers migrate to Royal Road thanks to a really popular space opera story, they may also seek out more sci-fi stories and boost the genre here. If LGBTQ+ authors start to ignore the haters and post their stories here more often, we will likely see a big boost in queer fiction too (and that's something that's ALREADY happening).


Timothy Wrote: in addition to the systems already in place. It would mean more work identifying people who could curate or give better reviews and mean more human involvement, which has costs, yes.


Yep! This has been one of my main ideas for helping the site for years. Curated lists are the main, best way to feature smaller, but very high quality work, and help show a more diverse set of stories to readers. But, this site is still too small to pull it off. There are very few people who work at this site, and the money to get curators is not attainable just yet. Something like user-created reading lists like Wattpad would be amazing, too, but there's a lot of other development priorities that are just as important and still a long way off (e.g. the app, a monetization system.... webcomic support maybe..... pls). It's already introduced a brand-new list (New Trending) to help boost older stories, and has implemented a personal recommendations system (though users need to rate and favorite stories to see that working well).

Royal Road is on track to add the stuff that will help many authors out, but it's going to take a long time because this isn't some huge corporation. This is as indie as it gets, and ad revenue/premium support alone aren't enough to get it done quickly.


...Now, there's one more point I have to make that I didn't bring up until now. The entire argument here has a presupposed point, which is that the popular stories are bad, and the unpopular stories are the only ones worth reading.


Timothy Wrote: You can use endless cliffhangers and empty drama and mystery and tease the hell out of readers so that they are desperate to keep reading. But that doesn't mean the story itself or the writing quality was any good. Most of the time, readers (and viewers for tv/movies) forget such stories five minutes after they finish because there's nothing in them but manipulation and spectacle.


Once again, web fiction is serialized because that's what readers love, and that's the way to actually make money off this stuff. And web fiction generally does not have editors and is written at a pace that does not allow heavy editing. That stuff's for the ebook release, usually. So, yeah, everything here is going to be a lot rougher even than those books we saw on the Amazon bestseller list earlier, and most of those aren't going to be nominated for any awards.

But to imply that most or all Royal Road's most popular stories are bad or samey is just wrong. Even if we completely ignore all stories in LitRPG, action-fantasy, anime-inspired fighting stories, even if we ignore the billion-page behemoths that bring the site most of its views, there's still lots of great stuff! I think that you should read more Royal Road stories and see just how much stuff there is for us to read. Here's a sampling of stories from the Top 200:And there's a LOT more where that came from, especially when you browse the whole Top 500. Royal Road's got a huge number of diverse, awesome stories, and while the giant fantasy-action serials gain most of the attention, they aren't the only thing here letting authors make full-time income off their writing.

So, yeah, there's lots to improve about Royal Road, and lots that definitely will be improved as time goes on. But that's not to say this place is broken or bad now; it's just that some of us have been a bit unlucky so far, or not writing stuff that will appeal correctly (myself included for both of those). If you (Timothy Baril or anyone else reading this who's frustrated) read a bunch of Royal Road stories, especially these I've listed here, I think you'll start to see what this site really has to offer, and it might get your brain spinning for even more cool stuff to write in the future. I know it has for me.

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#23

Thedude3445 Wrote: The entire argument here has a presupposed point, which is that the popular stories are bad, and the unpopular stories are the only ones worth reading.


Ah! Sorry, I didn't mean to imply this. I think pulp pop fic has a place. There are lots of fun stories to enjoy. I just meant that the current system supports a self-fulfilling cycle of fast-uploaded serialization far more than also trying to boost stories with great plots with definitive arcs and tight character development. Not that pulp fic doesn't have this too sometimes. My point is that if a brilliant writer did come on the site and produce something wonderful, but slowly, it would be incredibly difficult to gain traction. Especially if a couple of people left 0.5* reviews out of spite or something. And I'd like to see the system — at some point — evolve to recognize that and also move in a more balanced direction. 

And if we could find a way to help some writers monetize quality intead of quantity, then perhaps the revenue system would shift to not only encompass fast-uploaders, but also make more time-consuming quality stories more viable as well, and we would produce more of the kinds of stories that take more time to develop and that might get picked up by publishers. (Not that trad pub is always great or anything.)

Not having been around or behind the scenes, I simply don't know if this a direction that RR is trying to go, or if simple Al Gore Rythms and letting the site do its own thing is the only goal. Again, not that I'm saying that's wrong, just that, for me personally, I hope for a broader approach. 

Lots of great points in your post, btw. Thanks for taking the time to respond so in depth. 

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#24
I wish there were more ways for users to generate curation for one another. The full burden doesn't have to be on the site itself to create all the lists and recs, if readers and reviewers had more tools available to do so themselves.

Favorites is currently the only official way to passively recommend things to others. If I find someone whose favs overlap with mine a significant amount, I'll check out other stories they liked. But it's not always easy to find people like that aside from happenstance.

Reviewers are awesome, but there's no way to follow them to see when they review a new book and it requires remembering to check back. And some review a lot. I wish there were a way to see, say, a list of 'best fantasy' from a reviewer, with their list and scores, or 'new promising scifi' from a random reader. Not everyone looks at the forums, not everyone posts on the forums, and forum posts are easy to lose in the shuffle of constant turnover.

Something like a 'my lists' that can stay on your profile and people can subscribe to, to organize your favorites and reviews and miscellaneous books you want to promo would go a long way imo. Especially if they can be filtered and sorted like normal lists, but I know nothing about coding and backend, this may be too much to ask for.

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#26

Timothy Wrote: And if we could find a way to help some writers monetize quality intead of quantity, then perhaps the revenue system would shift to not only encompass fast-uploaders, but also make more time-consuming quality stories more viable as well, and we would produce more of the kinds of stories that take more time to develop and that might get picked up by publishers. (Not that trad pub is always great or anything.)


That's what I want, too. Aside from just sort of getting published, shorter/complete works don't have much of a path forward, and even the RR monetization system that's coming is probably just going to be early access chapters, same as most Patreons. I don't know the way to fix it, but I'm confident someone will someday soon.


Asviloka Wrote: I wish there were more ways for users to generate curation for one another. The full burden doesn't have to be on the site itself to create all the lists and recs, if readers and reviewers had more tools available to do so themselves.


1000%. Royal Road should take a look at Letterboxd's list system, then wholesale steal it and apply it to the books here. It'd be a wonderful way to help promote books of really high quality to the people who haven't yet discovered them.

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#28
My honest opinion on the topic is that, the quality focus as mentioned above is not happening any time soon. By nature web fiction are fast mass produced light-hearted content, and the most popular stories are popular due to their increased supply. I think of web fiction as long running TV series. They are episodic, air Monday to Friday at a given time. (Or some other schedule) and are nice popcorn fluff. 

This is of course, not true for all web fics. Worm, Mother of learning, Super Minion, etc etc. These may not be the stories you will quote as having quality prose or just "quality" perhaps. Seeing how you are straight up jumping to Tolkien and Rowling etc. But that is quite an unfair comparison, in my opinion. So I would keep the examples within the web fiction world. 

Even inside web fic there are plenty of wonderfully written stories, TheDude has already given ample of examples for those. And they can do well. But. Not all of them. The key difference always boils down to the audience. if you plan to sell children's toys then you wouldn't market it to middle aged unmarried men would you? Similarly, if you plan to write on Royal Road, you shouldn't be hoping to write a historical romance, or a philosophical story and expecting that it will do well. 

The world is larger than simply Royal Road. All platforms have their places and purposes. And this one speciealises in it's own thing. My post is about utilising the platform what it provides. A way for authors to establish themselves in the writing world, and reach loftier goals. Something very very few can do. It's a wonderful place that has seen the success of many authors. And without RR that would've been unlikely. 

I'm not against the quality balance thing you're after. Well, actually, that'd be wrong. I am against it (not that I'd mind quality stories doing well at all, but I just wouldn't be interested in a YA story, no matter how well written it it). Personally. Simply because I haven't read those stories and don't read those stories. My niche and my interest lies in the fluffy popcorn stories RR has, though I certainly enjoyed the polished stories on this site a lot as well. But even those are speculative fiction. 

No YA story, or teen romance or other similar genre's do well. Simply because the audience here has a preferance for a certain kind of story. 

Returning to the TV series analogy. If a web fic is a TV series, then a novel is a movie. People take time to write them, go through multiple drafts, edit, polish and re-polish and present a final finished book. It takes more time, more effort and it is not something the hobbyist writer tends to dive into. If RR were to suddenly be filled with timeless classic, it would be just another book store, like all else, and the webfic fluffy readers like me would move on to other places, looking for our low effort mass produced number go up stories. 

And in all honesty, web fiction writers also want to create "art", but it is simply that our definitions of art differs, and the harsh fact is that out of the top 20 earning stories in web fiction, 16 are LitRPG, and almost all are Power Fantasies. The top top contains around a revenue of 180k USD a month. And the rest 130 authors get to share the rest of the 70k USD amongst themselves, which of course is also centered around LitRPG even in the middle ranks. 

It is simply a lucrative business, and that is because people want to read these things. It's simple supply and demand that shapes the site, not the admins. And there's really no way to change this. 

Note: I do not mean to encourage anyone from writing what they want to write. But if they wish to earn money from their writing, then they will have to understand the market, and again, the demand. Writing what you want is for you, to earn money, you need to write what you want as well as the readers want. (The you want part ust never be excluded as that would be a shabby story that you don't care for, I call that a tragedy.)

TLDR: RR is a platform for webfics, and webfics sell in a specific genre. The quality timeless stories are centered around traditional pubbing and there are many places suited for different kinds of stories. It is all abut finding an audience and a palce that fits you.

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#29

Serion Wrote: The first step would be to learn how to write well, and consistently for very long stories.
God I'm trying.



Serion Wrote: The second step would be to realise what to write.


Dice RPG


Serion Wrote: get a backlog.


20 chapters so far in my backlog
Serion Wrote: Now for Patreon
.

How about $1 for everything except $10 for lewd.

Serion Wrote: The easiest list to get high on is Rising stars.


Alright, I'm interested in this. 
Serion Wrote: Latest updates


On it everyday. 
Serion Wrote: shoutout

Got two so far. 
Serion Wrote: daily uploads

I am doing this already. 
Serion Wrote: You'd need a rank of under 200 on Best Rated, 100 is more accurate, and top 50 is where the real visibility is present. This is a really tough thing to aim for as you need a very high rating and a lot of ratings (around 50 at the very least) to get here, and a single 0.5 star can make you crash hard. Thus a non preferred method to grow.


Whoa, hey, my writing has to be so good 50 people like it without any haters. Oh shit, this sounds really hard now. 
Serion Wrote: besides marketting your story

Reddit, Discord, Spacebattles, and Twitter. 
Serion Wrote: You need close to 100k or so views in a week to get to the top 10 of Popular this week, but around 40k or so should be suddicient to get you in the top 20, which is already really good.


Okay, so as a newbie, these numbers seem astronomical. I have no clue if I will ever get close to that amount with my niche story. But I enjoyed seeing how well I was lining up with all your markers. Only time will tell if I succeed at all. 

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#30

TheRottingBard Wrote: Okay, so as a newbie, these numbers seem astronomical. I have no clue if I will ever get close to that amount with my niche story. But I enjoyed seeing how well I was lining up with all your markers. Only time will tell if I succeed at all.

There is never any guarantee of success, all anyone can do is try to stack the odds in their favour. I hope you do well, and I wish you the very best of luck.

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#32


Jaced Wrote: Sorry if this has been answered before, but how many follow counts and ratings should we have to qualify for Rising Stars?
There's no hard numbers to be given. There used to one in the old algorithm, but not anymore for a while. But I do have estimates, and about 50+ followers, close to the near end of 100, with around 30 ratings or so. 

Thing to remember is that Rising Stars, (previously names trending) is a list that looks at a dozen or more factors. Not just stars, avg rating, follow count etc. And no one knows the algorithm, which is intentional. There is no point in trying to understand it either, it's a mess of numbers. 

So I'd personally go by these factors, very roughly.
  • Be more than 21 days old (Not a hard limit, but instead a down push for authors with a rpe-established following)
  • Have around 50-75 followers
  • Around 20-30 ratings
  • An average score of 4.5 or so
  • Around 1000 views
  • At least 50 pages, preferably more than 100
Again, none of these are hard rules. Just rough estimates. 


Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#33

Jaced Wrote: how many follow counts and ratings should we have to qualify for Rising Stars?
It varies. But you can look at the stories at the very bottom, then check the subgenre section and find those below them, to get a general idea. Those with bigger numbers are probably falling, the smaller ones are just coming onto it.


Here are the closest stats I have, from a month before and the day I made it on. That third review made it onto the front page and the views from that boosted me into Rising. There's no one formula for what it takes to get there, it's all relative to the others around you at the time, but this is what I have recorded.

https%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F2Fip9CX.png

But my story is also very very slow updating - I've been posting it since March and it only hit rising in the past month - so I may be something of an outlier.

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#34

Serion Wrote: The top top contains around a revenue of 180k USD a month. And the rest 130 authors get to share the rest of the 70k USD


Out of curiosity, where are you getting these numbers?

As for quality, again I'm not saying we should do away with lighter, mass-updated fiction, and I'm not saying genres are superior to each other. Just suggesting that it would be nice for more than one type of story to be able to do well on the site. If someone takes the time to write a more in-depth, more tightly plotted litrpg with lots of character growth, but it takes longer to upload chapters, it would be nice to see a way for that to do well too. Same with completed works. An author feels currently forced to write a single long story, rather than trying to write multiple stories because you're better off updating the one more often. I guess I'm primarily objecting to a system that favours too much the high speed, single-story release over slower speed, multiple or completed works. 

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#35

Thedude3445 Wrote: Something like user-created reading lists like Wattpad would be amazing, too, but there's a lot of other development priorities that are just as important and still a long way off (e.g. the app, a monetization system.... webcomic support maybe..... pls).
Honestly, Wattpad has those lists, and I genuinely can't see how it helped them with quality whatsoever...


Following reviewers is another matter, I think it's in the backlog. They both are, really, but I have no big hopes for lists to make much of a difference at scale.


Timothy Wrote: Not having been around or behind the scenes, I simply don't know if this a direction that RR is trying to go, or if simple Al Gore Rythms and letting the site do its own thing is the only goal. Again, not that I'm saying that's wrong, just that, for me personally, I hope for a broader approach.


And at the end of the day it's simply a different market. It'd cost a lot to try to push writing based on "objective" quality - and dangerous in more ways than one. On one hand, who decides what's good and what's better? Should we put the website's - and the staff's - face on what's ultimately an opinion towards the work of our own writers? Would you want to post on a website where the staff proceeds to take your work apart and point out all the flaws? And if we don't do it, aren't we right back to trusting reviews by users, which we already do?

For reference, we have experience with this. We used to have a sanctioned group of reviewers with the goal of providing objective reviews, and the authors absolutely hated it, feeling that we were out for blood for the kicks. And how about all the works that don't get reviewed/promoted? Remember, we have forty thousand novels on the website. Over 1.1 billion words. For a fast reader, that's 130 years worth of content. How are we meant to evaluate that fairly? Especially without relying on "AI Gore Rythms". Even if we can remove 90% within the first few sentences, that's still 13 years worth of content. And this isn't getting any slower.

Do you have any kind of grasp on how much traditional publishers spend on curating submitted works? There is a reason they demand 90-95% of the earnings. On our end, the budget for a single book is measured somewhere between cents and single digit dollars, and even with a monetization model, I don't expect this to change significantly.

And on the other hand, do the website's readers want more Tolkiens on the website's top list? Do the Tolkiens and Rowlings want to publish on a free webnovel website rather than on Amazon, B&N or with a trad publisher?

Remember, we already rely on user reviews to build Best Rated, and authors are already vehemently against the entire rating system as a whole.
Thedude3445 Wrote: Royal Road should take a look at Letterboxd's list system

This is not how you sell a proposal :) ELI5, because I certainly don't have days/weeks to get to know a completely foreign system inside and out.

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#36
Serion Wrote: Again, none of these are hard rules. Just rough estimates.
Thank you! I've been browsing through the forums for a while now, looking up tips on how to better market my story, and Rising Stars/Trending would always pop up as a recommended way to gain momentum. I'm really glad I found this thread.

Asviloka Wrote: But my story is also very very slow updating - I've been posting it since March and it only hit rising in the past month - so I may be something of an outlier.
The stats line up really well with what OP suggested, so there must really be some truth to it. I also find it interesting that even with a fairly slow release schedule, you managed to make it into the list. The writing quality must be pretty good. I guess that in the end, I just need to believe in my own writing capability and consistent updates. There really is no end-all be-all process that would guarantee a spot in Rising Stars, so hard work and patience it is haha.

One last thing: do review swaps help gain traction or are they really just a way to find criticism and nothing else?

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#37

Jaced Wrote: The stats line up really well with what OP suggested, so there must really be some truth to it. I also find it interesting that even with a fairly slow release schedule, you managed to make it into the list. The writing quality must be pretty good. I guess that in the end, I just need to believe in my own writing capability and consistent updates. There            really is no end-all be-all process that would guarantee a spot in Rising Stars, so hard work and patience it is haha.

One last thing: do review swaps help gain traction or are they really just a way to find criticism and nothing else?

but you also have to consider that this author, Asvilokawrote several books already, and probably got some cross following from them

as for review swaps, from my experience, they didn't increase my following and favorites at all, and their content is pretty useless too; one review says "i dunno what that is never read something like that", the other was written after just three chapters; the third is pretty ok tho. 

I didn't expect much and I still got disappointed; maybe if I got better reviews it would have been different, so I advise you to look for quality in review swaps rather than quantity. 

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#38

Sake Wrote: but you also have to consider that this author, Asviloka, wrote several books already, and probably got some cross following from them
That's true, around 50 followers are shared between ReIgnite and earlier stories, and at least one of those two initial reviews is from cross following. But the vast bulk of followers are only interested in one particular story.


Jaced Wrote: do review swaps help gain traction or are they really just a way to find criticism and nothing else?
Any review helps more than no review, but swap reviews are generally regarded with suspicion by readers due to the prevalence of over-complimentary reviews in hopes of getting leniency in return.


For review swaps, I highly recommend NOT posting your own thread, but instead scouting out others' threads until you find a story you can genuinely connect with that's in a similar genre to your own. Random swaps are largely useless in my experience, but if you find someone who's in a similar genre and writes something you like there's a much larger chance of your interests overlapping enough that they'll be a correct audience for your story.

Re: A Guide to be Successful on Royal Road (Not Clickbait)

#39

Timothy Wrote: Out of curiosity, where are you getting these numbers?
Various sources. I have the listed earning of most web serials and have made a ranking system with the overall income in the field, the genre based income. The overall income increase etc etc. There's many ways to get this info as it's all publicly available. Even for those who don't make their earning visible on patreon a simply statistical estimate is 98% accurate. 

Timothy Wrote: As for quality, again I'm not saying we should do away with lighter, mass-updated fiction, and I'm not saying genres are superior to each other. Just suggesting that it would be nice for more than one type of story to be able to do well on the site. If someone takes the time to write a more in-depth, more tightly plotted litrpg with lots of character growth, but it takes longer to upload chapters, it would be nice to see a way for that to do well too.
I feel a bit sad to hear this honestly. Sad because I want this too, in some ways. But it's just not how things work right now. There are some stories who've managed this. Mother of Learning updates once a month or slower. There's no Epic Loot here Only Puns has errattic updates, Super Minion as well. Seaborne went on hiatus for months, Caedence Lee is still on hiatus afaik and they're both still very high in the best rated rankings. 

It really depends on your definition of doing well. If it is money, then... it is difficult. And that is all I will say. It isn't impossible. But it is difficult. I know of an author, who wrote the story they wanted to, epic fantasy, extremely well written, and all authors I knew agreed that it was highly underrated. I will not name this author or their story. So the author had less than a 1000 followers, after around 8 months of posting. They finished the story and moved to other things. 

Eventually, they came back, but this time with a story that was a progression fantasy, and one that updates fast. They have more than 5000 followers now. Again, I will not be giving any names. But this is just to highlight that, there is a way the site and its audience works. And following that will lead to monetary or otherwise success. 

You can do well with a slow updating story in follow count and rankings, even in monetary terms, for some. But the best of the best earners are still those who produce content fast. 

I wish I had any solutions to offer. I do not. I don't know what it takes to get a slow but well crafted story to the heights and achieve success. I only know that a story that does so on Royal Road, will be one that is of a certain genre group and of a certain style of writing that appeals to the RR audience.