Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#121
a_cornerstone Wrote:
darkocean Wrote:
a_cornerstone Wrote: I admire all of you guys. An hour is just a warm-up for me and researching details for the story, I have a full time job in science, and so this thread seems somewhat depressing. Not all my days are best days, too. I sincerely hope that traditional publishing did not get to this speed yet (my story on RR is not a business, but essentially a trial run if I can learn to write in English at least in part as well as in my home tongue, and so my focus is on getting the story right, promotion not being the priority). My brain is not very fast. It's just very detail oriented and that's how I do my job. 

Edit: I confess that I also can't run my story like a business. I run my story like a story. That's how I learned and I don't think I can unlearn that approach.

That's good too, If you can't love what you do then there's not much point in doing it. I for one would like to get out of  HUD apartments, send my son off to college, be able to afford a car, and buy a house. that's all I want. And if this is what it takes to have a chance in hell to do so then I'll do it. I'll write my little fingers to the bone if that's what it takes to change my fate, my family's fate. I'm not crying. I'm working. I'm creating I'm so glad for this chance.

Then I admire you all the more - I've been blessed in life, I can afford writing at the only expense of my time off and I can be thankful for that. Though, with an exception of a miracle, I won't have children (and so I don't have to worry for them), my home country is still easier to live in than the US and that's where I plan to come back when my work here ends. Though life plays tricks on you, so I can never say that for sure. I will root for your success.


*Blush* That's good to hear, I've met a few entitled people in my life that just don't get it. I'm glad you're not one of them. Thank you! I refuse to write trash though. This is art. The story, emotions, and mental images created with each word matter to me, if people can't wait at least three-four days for the best I can do at this time then *throws up hands, I just don't know. :/ 

I am learning to go faster though so that's something. Even if I don't get paid it does make me happy to have the story read. (It's both I want it read-Joy-and would like like some payment to help with life. Got to be realistic after all. 
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 Soul Tear

I'm anti review swaps now; don't ask me for any. 
I retract any asks for any swaps. Do. Not! Want.

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#122
KestrelC2 Wrote:
Quote: it’s just literary masturbation.


Furthermore, framing it as "the way" is also just wrong and I have to call you out on that. It is like looking at a woman trying to make her living as something like a model and telling her just to become a hooker, that'll do the trick! You'll get adored, you'll have money! It is the same thing!

Sure, it is more realistic as a business model or a profession (very tried and true), but it isn't what she wants to do - at all.

Ultimately, this all depends on your goals with writing, but if monetization is something you're interested in, and RR is where you're trying to launch yourself from, then you'll have an exceedingly hard (if not impossible) if you ignore most of the elements in this guide.

Because people like porn more than they like models, and in an environment where algorithms determine who gets seen and who does not, anyone not writing SAO reskins might as well chain an anvil to their back. You aren't going to get the necessary clicks to in turn pop onto the higher visibility lists to in turn get more people to see your book. You're just limited to whenever someone happens to be reading the front page whenever you post a new chapter... To a crowd looking for literary porn.

If you don't want to write porn, then don't. But you'd better have a trad deal in place, a semi successful blog, a Twitter/IG following, or can afford to burn a bunch of cash on marketing. If you aren't actively stacking the deck in your favor, when it comes time to sell that novel which you spent the past couple years putting your heart and soul into, you'll make roughly $50-100, mostly from friends and family, before it disappears into the bowels of internet obscurity.

Or, phrased differently, if ya want to make it in this business, ya better be willin' to show a lil leg, sweetheart.

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#123
This thread becomes something really unsavory with all the sexual allusions. They're not necessary and the last one is disgusting.

Also, even the most pulp novel out there is only porn when you know, it IS porn. 

There are different degrees of writing to market and to your audience, there are different markets, and there's no silver bullet. 
The harmful thing I can see here is suggesting that people can make money writing very fast when they still can't write all that well. An athlete on doping that gets his body broken comes to mind. For complete beginners, I'd rather recommend sitting for a few years honing their workshop and writing fast, but not as fast so they can't reflect on it and correct it, and this site is excellent for it (even more if you can make a few $ with Patreon). Train those muscles so they aren't on steroids and they're useful for more than this particular site with this particular public. The First Defier already had skills, and I suppose some experience under his belt when he started. This is not some make-money-quick scheme. It's a publishing strategy.

Then, you can always decide to "try bread from different ovens", as the saying goes. Trad publishing is not all roses and sunshine. Getting a foothold out there is much harder than just getting published, which you can make with reasonable skills. There are publishing politics at a play, that doesn't have anything to do with your novel and are more like with what marketing thinks sells at the moment (it's a self-fulfilling prophecy sometimes) and other stuff you can't influence (Like, the publisher wants to publish his own book and because he needs a printing slot, he tosses out another from a prepared schedule - I've seen it happen, though not to me!). It's important to remember that the publishers are your partners and not your friends - sometimes it hits very hard home. But it's good to have a good business partner in the publishing world, and a solid one can become almost a friend in time. And you DO NOT go in there aiming for a bestseller. Nobody really knows what makes a bestseller (choosing a popular genre would help, and genres are so wide you can think of something that is your own to write, but it's never a sureshot).

And it's good to have a choice, which sites like that provide, so you can write to your heart's content and have your own strategy for it, and when you get beaten up, you can change gears. Trad pub, fine. Stories for the magazines, fine. Essays for the magazines, even finer, got me additional money when I was doing my PhD. But the core thing is that it's your story and you are allowed to love it. It's not masturbation when you do and not prostitution when you try to figure out your way to monetize. It's horrible to put it that way and it's not what it is, at all.
I can't market, I can't write very fast, and thus my relative lack of success, but that's my personality, and people are very different.

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#124
mneue Wrote:
KestrelC2 Wrote:
Quote: it’s just literary masturbation.


Furthermore, framing it as "the way" is also just wrong and I have to call you out on that. It is like looking at a woman trying to make her living as something like a model and telling her just to become a hooker, that'll do the trick! You'll get adored, you'll have money! It is the same thing!

Sure, it is more realistic as a business model or a profession (very tried and true), but it isn't what she wants to do - at all.

Ultimately, this all depends on your goals with writing, but if monetization is something you're interested in, and RR is where you're trying to launch yourself from, then you'll have an exceedingly hard (if not impossible) if you ignore most of the elements in this guide.

Because people like porn more than they like models, and in an environment where algorithms determine who gets seen and who does not, anyone not writing SAO reskins might as well chain an anvil to their back. You aren't going to get the necessary clicks to in turn pop onto the higher visibility lists to in turn get more people to see your book. You're just limited to whenever someone happens to be reading the front page whenever you post a new chapter... To a crowd looking for literary porn.

If you don't want to write porn, then don't. But you'd better have a trad deal in place, a semi successful blog, a Twitter/IG following, or can afford to burn a bunch of cash on marketing. If you aren't actively stacking the deck in your favor, when it comes time to sell that novel which you spent the past couple years putting your heart and soul into, you'll make roughly $50-100, mostly from friends and family, before it disappears into the bowels of internet obscurity.

Or, phrased differently, if ya want to make it in this business, ya better be willin' to show a lil leg, sweetheart.

(This is not me trying to argue against the point of this post, but it is a funny conicidence)
If we compare porn to essentially writing to the market (It is what this guide is, writing to the market of Royal Road.) and supermodeling then we can find more comparisons between the two.
First off I'd say a supermodel is in general more respectected than a prostitute. At least by the general public. (Fans will always hype up whoever.) Which seems accurate to real life since I feel if you said you were a fantasy novelist people would go "Okay". And if you said you were a "LitRPG dystopia isekai novelist." they'd go, "Wtf is that?" or "Oh."

Second off a prostitute has more health risks then a supermodel. While both can get obsessed or hurt via their craft (Under-eating, excessive surgeries, etc.) a prostitute can easily get a bunch of STDS or other sexual related issues from their job. If we compare this to writing it probably be akin to saying burn out is easier in the long-term for people who are writing a story that is essentially more limited + more posts on average. (Because it's targeting a specific audience.)

A prostitute also has to do more for their then fans then a model on average. A model needs to stay fit, take care of their body, maybe do a surgery or two. Then go do their photoshoot. A prostitute has to have sex with folk, and if you know anything about sex, their's a lot of kinks.
And I'd say its fair to say that most royal road writers need to do a bit more then the average successful fantasy writer when they post on average hmmm oh yeah every day lol. 

Anyone can be a prostitute, a few people can be supermodels. In real life a lot of prostitutes aren't super sexy or well-kept, their regular people. A supermodel is pretty much by definition someone who's beautiful or unique in a way that sells the fashion product. Again, this kinda fits with writing as well. Finding a audience with LitRpg is a lot easier then finding a audience of romance drama readers on Royal road. And to cultivate that audience you'd need something most regular folk lack. If you're not special in some way then being a supermodel is likely impossible for you.

Prostitutes (For the STDs mentioned above and other reasons.) on average can be expected lower shelf life then a supermodel. And before you say supermodels need to be in their physical peak, look up who's the oldest supermodel. Outlier? Maybe, but let me keep up with my example. In this case a writer who specifically writers to the most popular genre/market will eventually see that market shift/change at some point. In which then their story will no longer be targeting the most popular demographic in their niche. While a story that isn't targeting a popular niche doesn't have that problem. So long-term (Assuming equal success in the beginning, which if you are a supermodel then it is possible) stories that don't target the most current popular niche likely have more relevancy in the future overall. (Or at the very least you probably won't have a tolkien effect on a genre if you stick to what everyone else is doing.)

And finally, by your own words, as a Prostitute you are someone's (to put it blatantly) bitch. Wether you like it or not your decisions are heavily influenced in pleasing your client/reader base. Wanna take a long break? That's definitely gonna hurt retention. Wanna kill a important character that no one wants to die? You could very well be risking a lot of viewers and ratings depending on what type of story this is. Wanna do anything that does not fit in the specific niche you've made for yourself? Ehhh. Of course, it can still be done, but a Supermodel has a lot more freedom on what they can do with their story then someone who's specifically writing for the market. 

Also, I feel like if you really wanted to chase popularity/monetization it be better to just be a romance/erotic writer. Like, definitely the biggest market lol. In the end, it's true success is a lot more likely as a prostitute then a supermodel. But you have to go in with the right mindset/be prepared for what you'll need to do. If not, you're gonna have a real bad time being someone else's literary bitch. 

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#129
Mx.Writer Wrote:
a_cornerstone Wrote: Again, what's with that horrible sexual metaphore? 

Nobody compares pottery, jelwery crafting or sewing to prostitution and they also create to the market.
You've heard nobody compare pottery to prostitution because you probably aren't someone who actively sells or enters pottery discussions about how to monetize your pottery.

I know a bunch of crafters. 
Actually I've also seen writing compared to pottery and that was more on point. Like, utilitarian pots and jugs always sell better than the sophisticated ones, but the latter can be famous as pieces of art. And there's always a niche market for artistic pottery and ceramic jewelry that sells on Etsy. You don't go and tell these crafters to make more soup pots to make more money. It's not what they do and not their niche.

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#130
a_cornerstone Wrote: I can't market, I can't write very fast, and thus my relative lack of success, but that's my personality, and people are very different.


From what I gather from your posts you're a scientist.

Don't sweat what some content creator online tells you is the best way to "success". You're already successful and doing something extremely worthwhile to the world that people need (and need a lot more of). 

As for the unsavory sexual allegories, TheFirstDefier started them, I'm just sending them back.

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#131
And if their anything like you their probably gonna avoid using negative wording. Which is what this all is.

Literary masturbation is just a negative way to say having fun writing what you want, and calling someone a prostitute/whore/bitch is just a negative to say that their making a business decision. And those are just positive ways of saying the negative shit. In the end sometimes the negativity is needed to push people into certain decisions. The poster in question knows that the people who aren't going to budge on their stories won't give a shit for what they have to say. While the people on the fence clearly can still be convinced otherwise. Which is why using negative wording is useful. 

If they said "Writing for yourself is no different then making a story you enjoy" and "Writing for the market is no different then selling your body." then a lot less people would be convinced. Or at least less strongly convinced. Of course if we then the shift the conversation to explaining the pros and cons in that system it's important we use equally negative wording to avoid bias. Which is why me calling that decision akin to being someone's bitch (Which despite how much it may make you uncomfortable does have validity.) even though it's just doing what any decent business men would recommend of you. It's also kinda funny for some people or feels more real then "Sugar-coating" it. 

Look, if you want to call it something else that's fine. But people can refer to it however they like because some folk have different thresholds for what comparisons their willing to take to the craft they enjoy. 

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#132
KestrelC2 Wrote:
a_cornerstone Wrote: I can't market, I can't write very fast, and thus my relative lack of success, but that's my personality, and people are very different.


From what I gather from your posts you're a scientist.

Don't sweat what some content creator online tells you is the best way to "success". You're already successful and doing something extremely worthwhile to the world that people need (and need a lot more of).

Thanks. Well, obviously I don't refer to my work in science :D. Art is also important. Science makes us (as a species) survive, art is one of the things that make life worth living. There is also Brian May, you know, though I admit that's an extreme case of a scientist turning artist :D

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#135
a_cornerstone Wrote: This thread becomes something really unsavory with all the sexual allusions. They're not necessary and the last one is disgusting.

Also, even the most pulp novel out there is only porn when you know, it IS porn. 

There are different degrees of writing to market and to your audience, there are different markets, and there's no silver bullet. 
The harmful thing I can see here is suggesting that people can make money writing very fast when they still can't write all that well. An athlete on doping that gets his body broken comes to mind. For complete beginners, I'd rather recommend sitting for a few years honing their workshop and writing fast, but not as fast so they can't reflect on it and correct it, and this site is excellent for it (even more if you can make a few $ with Patreon). Train those muscles so they aren't on steroids and they're useful for more than this particular site with this particular public. The First Defier already had skills, and I suppose some experience under his belt when he started. This is not some make-money-quick scheme. It's a publishing strategy.

Then, you can always decide to "try bread from different ovens", as the saying goes. Trad publishing is not all roses and sunshine. Getting a foothold out there is much harder than just getting published, which you can make with reasonable skills. There are publishing politics at a play, that doesn't have anything to do with your novel and are more like with what marketing thinks sells at the moment (it's a self-fulfilling prophecy sometimes) and other stuff you can't influence (Like, the publisher wants to publish his own book and because he needs a printing slot, he tosses out another from a prepared schedule - I've seen it happen, though not to me!). It's important to remember that the publishers are your partners and not your friends - sometimes it hits very hard home. But it's good to have a good business partner in the publishing world, and a solid one can become almost a friend in time. And you DO NOT go in there aiming for a bestseller. Nobody really knows what makes a bestseller (choosing a popular genre would help, and genres are so wide you can think of something that is your own to write, but it's never a sureshot).

And it's good to have a choice, which sites like that provide, so you can write to your heart's content and have your own strategy for it, and when you get beaten up, you can change gears. Trad pub, fine. Stories for the magazines, fine. Essays for the magazines, even finer, got me additional money when I was doing my PhD. But the core thing is that it's your story and you are allowed to love it. It's not masturbation when you do and not prostitution when you try to figure out your way to monetize. It's horrible to put it that way and it's not what it is, at all.
I can't market, I can't write very fast, and thus my relative lack of success, but that's my personality, and people are very different.
Perfect reply, well said. 

People can love what they do and actually want to eat ocasinaly from selling what they love, it's a thing.
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 Soul Tear

I'm anti review swaps now; don't ask me for any. 
I retract any asks for any swaps. Do. Not! Want.

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#136
I'm going back to painting word pictures (short ones I don't do in purple prose) and trying to write something good. Sighs I stayed on that other writing site for years because... drum roll I liked the editor with all the nice options. Lol. That wasn't a good site to make any income from either so while earning something would be nice I'm not going to get super excited just yet. One book does not pay bills imop. But then again here on RR, the rules are different. Maybe 10 books later? ha-ha! xD 

How about everyone agrees to disagree and leave it at that? My takeaway from this article is that the OP is very excited that they're making income on this website with their writing so took a moment to share what they did to do so, in the hopes that it helps other people too. As for the should and have toos, those I always ignore. I'll do it my way thank you. :P

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#137
Quote:This post is not for hobbyists, but for people aiming to monetize.

Have you noticed any similarities between long-running successful fics with slower release schedules, like Ave Xia Rem Y or dungeon crawler Carl? All I can tell is that the chapter lengths are usually bigger, like 3-5k words. I'm not looking to reach the staggering heights of the smash hit defiance of the fall lol just trying to get enough to justify this as a profession to my parents (live in a third world country so the bar for success is a lot lower)

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#138
Strif3 Wrote:
Quote:This post is not for hobbyists, but for people aiming to monetize.

Have you noticed any similarities between long-running successful fics with slower release schedules, like Ave Xia Rem Y or dungeon crawler Carl? All I can tell is that the chapter lengths are usually bigger, like 3-5k words. I'm not looking to reach the staggering heights of the smash hit defiance of the fall lol just trying to get enough to justify this as a profession to my parents (live in a third world country so the bar for success is a lot lower)

My only reflection is that slow-release series generally fare worse in the webnovel format, both in growth and follower-to-patron conversion.

However, that doesn't mean they aren't viable paths of authorship. For example, Dungeon Crawler Carl started here on RR (as far as I remember), but it moved pretty quickly to amazon where it's now a monster hit. But even today, its patreon is pretty small. And if I had to guess, then Ave would probably make as much every month as it does in a year now on patreon, provided it was released properly. 

Quality writing is quality writing. But you need to understand your product and where it is likely to perform the best, and to have a plan for your writing. So if release rate is an issue, you might be better off focusing on other venues, such as KU, for release. You can still release on RR for feedback and to start nurturing a reader base, but you don't need to take the 'watershed' concept too seriously as the real release would be on Amazon.

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#139
TheFirstDefier Wrote:
KestrelC2 Wrote: [Silly baby rage]

It's simply a fact that only writing for yourself, heedless of what's selling or popular, will reduce the odds of you being able to live off of your writing. Certainly, a scenario where what you want to write and what the audience wants to read coincide is obviously the best for longevity in this industry.

One thing that I do think is particularly fascinating is that you aren't necessarily writing for the market. You're writing for a market. In this case, the litRPG / progressive fantasy market, which is very, very small, at least when compared to what sells in literature overall. But I don't think people realize just how unique of a situation RR's community has cultivated. They have a well-balanced rating and visibility system that allows their audience to accurately boost the stories they want to see, and the end result is that readers here have coopted that system in order to benefit an otherwise underserved community: litRPG, progression fantasy, etc. From the author perspective, if you write those subgenres, you have a direct pipeline to your readers. That is the most powerful tool in building an audience. The story is your main ad, and RR will boost it for you if you've written the right story and gotten those first few readers in the door. 

As you've pointed out though, this is all just a means to an end. The biggest player here is still chump change once placed in the world's largest market: amazon. Yet, if you've made it on RR, you're entering the thunder-dome of Kindle with a posse of dedicated readers at your beck and call. Under those conditions, you don't actually need to be a NYT bestseller. You just have to beat the other guys doing the same thing. Then the snowball you started can keep gaining mass until it stops rolling over snow altogether. 

By this same token, there was a lady about 5-10 years back who cleared six figures writing Big Foot erotica because she happened to get enough early audience capture to bubble out and reach everyone who'd always wanted to read Big Foot erotica. I know erotica is a big seller, but if I had to guess, I'd say that reading about Big Foot as he reams with a bunch of campers isn't high on people's bucket-list. But she still found her audience, and no doubt laughed all the way to the bank when she was done. 

How many readers is that in the end? From what I'd guestimate in your case... ~3-4,000 patrons? Another 20-40k paying readers under KU? You'll know the numbers better than me, but that only sounds big and scary until you realize that it isn't big and scary. There are hundreds of millions of e-book readers worldwide. I don't say that dismissively either. If anything, I find it inspiring that you don't need everyone to be screaming your name from the hilltops to get by as an author. You just need to have a dedicated audience of several thousand willing to throw you a couple bucks on a regular basis, along with the appropriate content / plan to entice them to swipe the plastic in your name. That is far from Herculean.

So in this era of atomized engagement where information dominates and we can communicate with anyone, the question I've been wrestling with is less "how to write to the market of readers" and more "how to reach my market of readers". RR streamlines the building process, but only for one subset of readers. Pull it from the equation and you're stuck at square one. Sadly, I've yet to see a really good guide that dives deep into how best to microtarget any reader group in a way that is reliable. 

Re: Running your story like the business it is.

#140
mneue Wrote: By this same token, there was a lady about 5-10 years back who cleared six figures writing Big Foot erotica because she happened to get enough early audience capture to bubble out and reach everyone who'd always wanted to read Big Foot erotica. I know erotica is a big seller, but if I had to guess, I'd say that reading about Big Foot as he reams with a bunch of campers isn't high on people's bucket-list. But she still found her audience, and no doubt laughed all the way to the bank when she was done.


If you're ok with writing big foot erotica you can laugh your way to the bank all you want. Good for you. Everyone else will be laughing too, and it'll be a good time.

However, going around telling people that is the "way" to do it, much less using derogatory remarks discouraging them from more creative and intelligent means, is just being immature and arrogant. Which OP proved they are anyways.