Losing followers

#1
Hey everybody,

I just posted a new chapter this morning and for the first time I'm losing followers rather than gaining them. I can't tell if it's the content of the chapter, the fact that I've added a patreon, or a post chapter note that I've since deleted (The note was a bit of a poor me about a couple bad comments despite the overwhelming positivity I've received for the most part, but I've still been losing followers since deleting it).

Any ideas as to what it could be?

Re: Losing followers

#2
I know that it's normal to lose a few followers for a chapter update because basically every chapter is a reminder to the reader "should I keep reading?" If this is an alarming drop, much more than usual, then yeah, it might be one of the other issues that you suggested. At 3,000 followers, I have no idea how many people drop per chapter. I know at my ~100 followers it would not alarm me to see 1-2 go away so maybe multiply by 30???

As for the complaining about negativity, your genuine, nice, positive reader base wouldn't be put off by you expressing some normal emotions so if this was what made some people unfollow, at least you can remind yourself that you probably made some of the negative people leave anyway.

Although maybe come to the forums to lament about negative comments in the future? It's a step removed from the reader base and I think we try to be more understanding over here. Like, the forums are literally the place to go if you want help with something or just to chat / vent about it (considering that not all of us have people irl who want to hear us talk about writing).

For the Patreon thing, if some people unfollowed because you DARED to offer the option for people to support you financially for something that you put a ton of effort to provide for free... again those are toxic people who left (and also people who were not going to pay you anything anyway).

It could be the some of the recent content, and this would be the only genuinely concerning thing. Sadly, I still haven't read past your first chapter so I can't personally diagnose any potentially off-putting thing there. You only have 40k words written so I might try binging and get back to you. 

Re: Losing followers

#5

kieranpierce Wrote: I know that it's normal to lose a few followers for a chapter update because basically every chapter is a reminder to the reader "should I keep reading?" If this is an alarming drop, much more than usual, then yeah, it might be one of the other issues that you suggested. At 3,000 followers, I have no idea how many people drop per chapter. I know at my ~100 followers it would not alarm me to see 1-2 go away so maybe multiply by 30???

As for the complaining about negativity, your genuine, nice, positive reader base wouldn't be put off by you expressing some normal emotions so if this was what made some people unfollow, at least you can remind yourself that you probably made some of the negative people leave anyway.

Although maybe come to the forums to lament about negative comments in the future? It's a step removed from the reader base and I think we try to be more understanding over here. Like, the forums are literally the place to go if you want help with something or just to chat / vent about it (considering that not all of us have people irl who want to hear us talk about writing).

For the Patreon thing, if some people unfollowed because you DARED to offer the option for people to support you financially for something that you put a ton of effort to provide for free... again those are toxic people who left (and also people who were not going to pay you anything anyway).

It could be the some of the recent content, and this would be the only genuinely concerning thing. Sadly, I still haven't read past your first chapter so I can't personally diagnose any potentially off-putting thing there. You only have 40k words written so I might try binging and get back to you.


I really only lost 13 followers so far so I should probably calm down about it. These are all good points, thank you. There's no obligation to read my story by the way! Though I've appreciated your comments so far. I try not to complain too much on the forums because I think that complaining about certain topics will cause bad ratings to magically appear and I'd like to avoid that if possible, I don't know why I didn't assume the same regarding my story notes.



Ariana Wrote: Don't worry. Followers come and go. It hurts every time but it isn't necessarily something you did. People got bored. The accounts were fake and deleted by the mods. There are many possibilities.


Your right, I need to just get used to it. I really shouldn't be complaining considering how lucky I've been so far.


DrunkMinstrel Wrote: Also, not everyone that read your story, even though is religiously doing so, will also follow you.

Some people are just made to lurk.

Yes. Even the writer himself.


I have noticed that I get a lot more consistent views per chapter than I have followers. I think my first review was even from a lurker. This is a good point.

Re: Losing followers

#6
Some person, on another website, left a very wholesome comment under my first chapter.
 I don't know how to tell them it's a rather nasty tragedy, and they will most likely drop it sooner or later.

most dropped followers probably come from failed, or rather, misunderstood intentions like these; unless you have seriously changed the tone of your novel in recent chapter, or fell into some plot hole, or suddenly introduced some element that triggered people(apparently gay panic is a thing on royal road).

Re: Losing followers

#7
In my experience, when you start dropping on Rising you'll end up with followers gradually disappearing at a steady rate. It generally has nothing to do with story content and just the way people use the various lists, unless you do something to make people mad and nope out, which is a possibility, but in general try not to worry about fluctuating follow numbers.

I feel like Favs might be a more solid indicator, personally. Top is follow, bottom is fav... :shrug:

https%3A%2F%2Fimgur.com%2FcQ85iLE.png

Re: Losing followers

#8

Sake Wrote: Some person, on another website, left a very wholesome comment under my first chapter.
 I don't know how to tell them it's a rather nasty tragedy, and they will most likely drop it sooner or later.

most dropped followers probably come from failed, or rather, misunderstood intentions like these; unless you have seriously changed the tone of your novel in recent chapter, or fell into some plot hole, or suddenly introduced some element that triggered people(apparently gay panic is a thing on royal road).


Ouf, I do think my story goes in a very different direction than people expect based on the first chapter, but I don't think my recent one has involved any dramatic shifts.


Asviloka Wrote: In my experience, when you start dropping on Rising you'll end up with followers gradually disappearing at a steady rate. It generally has nothing to do with story content and just the way people use the various lists, unless you do something to make people mad and nope out, which is a possibility, but in general try not to worry about fluctuating follow numbers.

I feel like Favs might be a more solid indicator, personally. Top is follow, bottom is fav... :shrug:

https%3A%2F%2Fimgur.com%2FcQ85iLE.png


This may be the answer. I recently fell off the top 7 on rising stars and am no longer on the front page. Maybe some people follow it as a 'to try' and then decide it's not for them, but I notice it more because I'm not gaining followers at the same rate as I was when I was on the front page.

Re: Losing followers

#9
Definitely nothing to worry about.

A lot of readers on the site simply like to keep their followers list fresh with new stuff, unaware or not caring that it directly ties into the metrics RR tracks. There are also a bunch of people deleting accounts or they’re wiped by RR for breaching terms.

Just keep writing and try not to read too much into it. Btw, nice work on the novel. Very cool concept and great execution!

Re: Losing followers

#12
Losing followers is also expected for a novelty story like yours. Such a story usually attracts far more readers than usual in the early stages, due to being an unknown and thus interesting setting. As the story moves away from that and necessarily becomes a more mundane story (after all, there is no way to keep the new situation new for very long), the novelty fades and readers have to decide whether they like the actual story instead of only the special start. And for some readers that will mean that they follow in the start and then stop following later.

Re: Losing followers

#13

Sake Wrote: Some person, on another website, left a very wholesome comment under my first chapter.
 I don't know how to tell them it's a rather nasty tragedy, and they will most likely drop it sooner or later.

most dropped followers probably come from failed, or rather, misunderstood intentions like these; unless you have seriously changed the tone of your novel in recent chapter, or fell into some plot hole, or suddenly introduced some element that triggered people(apparently gay panic is a thing on royal road).


Worries about these is one reason i made it certain my readers are aware that i would not be pulling punches, and tossed them some of the worst bits they could expect early on so at least they know what to possibly expect going forward.

To my surprise, the aforementioned "as bad as it gets" chapter lead to an unexpected increase in followers instead.

Re: Losing followers

#14

eric_river Wrote:
you still have what, three thousand followers who love your tale?
i don't think that losing thirteen means that 'you now fail'
write for those who stuck around, and forget those who went
time invested in your fans is time that's better spent
DrakanWine


That's a good point, also I admire your commitment to rhyming


whoever Wrote: Losing followers is also expected for a novelty story like yours. Such a story usually attracts far more readers than usual in the early stages, due to being an unknown and thus interesting setting. As the story moves away from that and necessarily becomes a more mundane story (after all, there is no way to keep the new situation new for very long), the novelty fades and readers have to decide whether they like the actual story instead of only the special start. And for some readers that will mean that they follow in the start and then stop following later.


That's a fair point. I see a steep dropoff on views from Ch 1 to 3 for this reason.

Re: Losing followers

#15
If you started bickering with your audience and responding to comments with a rage-thread, I would expect several unfollows. Whoever clicked on it and expected a new chapter (because they got the Follow notification) is going to be slightly pissed. And also swinging at windmills is not a good look for you

Re: Losing followers

#16
Okay, I was here for something totally different (Grammarly not working well currently with Dark theme).  I'm one of your followers Seersucker.  I haven't been reading the comments on your stories regularly though I have been reading your story regularly.  The only big disappointment to me recently in your story is that you had us wound up and ready to have the Armor confess to his friends and then it got cut off by an interruption and you haven't gone back.  To me, it seems too close to romance novels and soap opera manufactured misunderstandings where everything gets blown up into an emotional explosion because no one bothered to ask and answer an honest question.  Again, I don't have any idea why folks left so I didn't speak up.  But now I've shared my best guess and the small annoyance I felt with your writing style so hopefully, I'm not adding to an emotional misunderstanding myself.  : )

Please keep writing.  I'm enjoying the story.

Re: Losing followers

#17
It's a bit of an illusion, when you're gaining followers on the frontpage, you will gain 50 and lose 7, which looks like +43 to you. But when the visibility is no longer frontpage, it might be gain 3 lose 7, which looks like -4 to you. 

Don't be discouraged, your story will end up on the new trending page soon and it will start gaining again from there. Also note that people might have read your entire story in one go

And no it's definitely not because of your patreon don't worry. The only time you'll get battered is if you go the amazon exclusivity route 

Re: Losing followers

#18

HereBeTreasure Wrote: And no it's definitely not because of your patreon don't worry. The only time you'll get battered is if you go the amazon exclusivity route
Wholeheartedly agreed on this. I noticed no difference when I opened my patreon, other than that now the story makes $$$ for me.

Re: Losing followers

#19

Ararara Wrote: If you started bickering with your audience and responding to comments with a rage-thread, I would expect several unfollows. Whoever clicked on it and expected a new chapter (because they got the Follow notification) is going to be slightly pissed. And also swinging at windmills is not a good look for you


I wouldn't call it a rage thread, though bickering is accurate. I did delete the author note and things slowed down immediately so I think it's all settled. Honestly I was just getting a bit of that tunnel vision I think people get where they only notice the bad. I blame a catholic upbringing.


Morris Wrote: Okay, I was here for something totally different (Grammarly not working well currently with Dark theme).  I'm one of your followers Seersucker.  I haven't been reading the comments on your stories regularly though I have been reading your story regularly.  The only big disappointment to me recently in your story is that you had us wound up and ready to have the Armor confess to his friends and then it got cut off by an interruption and you haven't gone back.  To me, it seems too close to romance novels and soap opera manufactured misunderstandings where everything gets blown up into an emotional explosion because no one bothered to ask and answer an honest question.  Again, I don't have any idea why folks left so I didn't speak up.  But now I've shared my best guess and the small annoyance I felt with your writing style so hopefully, I'm not adding to an emotional misunderstanding myself.  : )

Please keep writing.  I'm enjoying the story.


First off, thank you so much for reading! I can see that being disappointing, but I am going to get to that point here just a little after I hit the 50k word semi halfway point. I can definitely understand why it would be frustrating. Don't worry, I have no intentions to stop writing.


HereBeTreasure Wrote: It's a bit of an illusion, when you're gaining followers on the frontpage, you will gain 50 and lose 7, which looks like +43 to you. But when the visibility is no longer frontpage, it might be gain 3 lose 7, which looks like -4 to you. 

Don't be discouraged, your story will end up on the new trending page soon and it will start gaining again from there. Also note that people might have read your entire story in one go

And no it's definitely not because of your patreon don't worry. The only time you'll get battered is if you go the amazon exclusivity route


Thank you for that, it definitely makes sense. My more recent chapter had a patreon note and I received fewer lost followers with the new chapter and overall I'm still net gaining them. It's just odd to lose a few when I first release a chapter, but than gain more over the weekend. I know the pattern now though, so that's easier to deal with.


In general I think I was being to sensitive as a new author. My story has been received incredibly well and I need to focus on that rather than some honestly very mild and fair criticism that I've received. 

Re: Losing followers

#20
Quote:
Thank you for that, it definitely makes sense. My more recent chapter had a patreon note and I received fewer lost followers with the new chapter and overall I'm still net gaining them. It's just odd to lose a few when I first release a chapter, but than gain more over the weekend. I know the pattern now though, so that's easier to deal with.


In general I think I was being to sensitive as a new author. My story has been received incredibly well and I need to focus on that rather than some honestly very mild and fair criticism that I've received. 
When I started writing in august there was a rising star story called battlefield reclaimer which was doing really well with 4,000 followers. But the author had a rocky road shifting to amazon, you might want to take a look and see how to better handle it if you go the amazon route. https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/44546/battlefield-reclaimer

It was a decent wish fulfillment story, I read a few chapters of it before it was taken down