How important is COMPLETED on RR?

#1
According to this post, allegedly from someone working at Wattpad, by far the most important way to get readers to to have completed stories. 

People want to read stories with an ending. So the most common search term is "complete" and these stories are vastly more popular. 

Is it the same here on Royal Road? 

I wonder if it's better to space writing chapters out and update twice a week for several months, or if it's better to push through and finish an entire book quickly, then update every day for a few weeks and mark compelte. Is there a big difference one way or the other?

Has Admin, witih access to data, commented on the issue before?

Re: How important is COMPLETED on RR?

#2
Nope! This does not apply here! 

One of the most efficient ways to get readers is to update a lot to have your fiction appear on the front page. The stories that are completed tend to die off. This is especially true if you want to make money, which with the RR model means patreon and advance chapters. 

RR is to written fiction what endless sitcoms is to TV. Some people love the shows. Other people think they're meh but watch it anyway because they've watched it for the last like five years. All probably agree that the predictable air time is half the point, that you always watch show X Y Z at eight a clock on Friday eveneing or whatevs. 

As to spacing out the chapters vs. updating often, I'm less sure, depends on your goals. What do you want from your fictions? Purely a hobby? Side income?

Re: How important is COMPLETED on RR?

#3
Here are the stats for my completed story, Bloodshard. The first image is from when it had just recently finished, back in April, and the second is its stats today.
First five months (while being posted); and after five more months (once completed)
https%3A%2F%2Fimgur.com%2F1QQ10Jo.png
Active posting seems to be significantly better for exposure than being-completed, but it's not as dead as I would have guessed. Views, ratings and favs have continued to increase, but at a much slower rate, while followers slowly decline.

Re: How important is COMPLETED on RR?

#4
Getting that initial boost of followers and commenters and stuff is a very good way to get a story going, and keeping it alive for a while by posting regular updates is important. But a completed story is a lot more valuable than a HIATUS story, because there are indeed people who seek out completed stories every now and then. They're just less common than ongoing.

Re: How important is COMPLETED on RR?

#7
Most of the successful works that I've seen on RR are longer running web serials, or longer fictions with multiple books/arcs under the same title.

A good portion of readers online want one thing: Quality content, and a lot of it.

I'm going to make a little theory here, so bare with me.

It's easier on RR to find longer works because of the advanced search functions. On RR you can actively look for fictions with longer word counts (more pages), vs Wattpad where the search lacks a lot of options. You can only sort it by "parts" which tells a reader nothing about word count.

On top of this, stories with longer word counts tend to have more dedicated authors who are less likely to flake out, and if there's one thing most readers can agree to hate, it's an author that writes too little of a good story or abandons their work too early. Readers can be greedy that way. Readers LOVE dedicated authors. This is the same reason most stories on RR don't start gaining traction until they've uploaded a few chapters consistently within their first week or two. Readers want to see that word count rise before they dip a toe in a lot of time.

In the case of Wattpad, where there are no advanced search options (that I know of, I've only browsed the site a little), if a reader doesn't want to be disappointed by a lack of content, their best bet is to search with the "Completed" tag. Completed fictions obviously have a beginning, middle, and end, with a dedicated author who won't disappoint them by going on hiatus 30k words in.

So, my theory is that the reason the "completed" tag is so popular on Wattpad is because of the tools (or lack thereof) it gives readers to navigate the site.

Or it could just be that RR and Wattpad have attracted different types of reader bases wanting different things. I don't know. 
DrakanGlasses

Re: How important is COMPLETED on RR?

#8

O_Weaver Wrote: Wattpad


I would guess genre might have something to do with it. Wattpad is allegedly primarily young adult romance. The happily ever after (HEA) is crucial to this genre, which is perhaps why endings are more important here. 

If fantasy, litrpg and such are more popular an RR, where the fun & games and journey are what people want, then endings may be less sought after. 

Total speculation though. Would be cool to see analyses of different sites. 

Re: How important is COMPLETED on RR?

#10

Timothy Wrote:
O_Weaver Wrote: Wattpad


I would guess genre might have something to do with it. Wattpad is allegedly primarily young adult romance. The happily ever after (HEA) is crucial to this genre, which is perhaps why endings are more important here. 

If fantasy, litrpg and such are more popular an RR, where the fun & games and journey are what people want, then endings may be less sought after. 

Total speculation though. Would be cool to see analyses of different sites.


True. Different audiences expecting different things could have a large impact.

It's possible that advanced search options just aren't needed on Wattpad because the audience doesn't require it.

Re: How important is COMPLETED on RR?

#12
I think the only novel I read until completion here, was Mother of Learning... this should tell you everything you need to know.


Sake Wrote: Literally "The wonderful wizard of Oz", the original, is no.3 in genre: fantasy on wattpad, and for a while used to be no.1, which should tell you a lot about what kind of audience you're trying to appeal to there 

a blatant mo dao zushi rip off is currently  no.1 

DrakanLaugh


My story still has 0 views there, it's amazing.

Re: How important is COMPLETED on RR?

#13

Fastus Wrote: My story still has 0 views there, it's amazing.
I've posted on Wattpad.  There are just no search options to help smaller or new books. If you don't join a book club or specifically contact people for a read for read arrangement, no one will ever see it. I've done searches for my own book and been unable to find it unless I search specifically by title.

Re: How important is COMPLETED on RR?

#15

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Fastus Wrote: My story still has 0 views there, it's amazing.
I've posted on Wattpad.  There are just no search options to help smaller or new books. If you don't join a book club or specifically contact people for a read for read arrangement, no one will ever see it. I've done searches for my own book and been unable to find it unless I search specifically by title.

It's insanely hard to grow on WP, especially if you're not writing smutty, smutty romance.

I moved my fantasy story over here and it got 3-times more views in 3 days than it did on WP for an entire month.