Chapters

In order to publish on Royal Road, you need to go through our submission process. Only once the fiction is approved can you see it on your author dashboard. 

Then, you can start adding more chapters to your story. In this section, we explain the features available to do so. From adding a new chapter, to viewing all your chapters and editing them, viewing and editing drafts, and managing your book volumes.

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The chapter editor

The chapter editor is the editor presented and used during all on-site operations on new chapters, existing chapters, and drafts.

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The first fields presented are the Title, Author Notes, and the Chapter Content. After this there are some other, specific features that you may or may not want to enable based on the type of chapter or personal preference.

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The first option is the scheduled release. If you want your chapter to be published at a certain date and time instead of the moment you press publish, you can use the scheduled release to accomplish this. This option is not available when your story has not been approved yet. 

For people writing in external editors that cause formatting problems upon copy and pasting content, we provide the clean paste option. This option tries to solve the issue that some editors only use line breaks instead of paragraphs for spacing. If you experience problems related to paragraph spacing, please use this option when copying and pasting from an external editor.

You also have the ability to do a silent release for a chapter. This means your followers will not get an extra notification about the chapter when it releases. The chapter can still be found in the latest updates for your followers.

The Lock Comments option is used to lock the comment section of the chapter. This option is not permanent and can be changed when editing a chapter in the future. 

How to use tables

For the casual use of tables it is recommended to use the visual table editor. It is designed to be simple to use while still providing all the options one might require. While there is a direct HTML code editor available, this is only advised to people that already know what they are doing and might be more comfortable editing the HTML directly.

This will be a guide on how to use the functions in the visual table editor. It will start with the basics of the visual table editor and move onto the simpler options before finishing with the more advanced options.

The Basics

To use the visual table editor, you need to first create the table. This is done by opening up the table menu inside the tools section (located at the top of the editor) and selecting the number of rows and columns you want to use, with each box being a cell. 

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The visual way to resize a table is by dragging one of the table corners until your table has the intended size. More specific editing options are available under Table Properties, which are explained further below.

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Columns and rows can also be resized this way. Just click and drag the lines to the desired size.

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Common Options

Once you have a table and you have it selected (left click on the table), you are able to access the table options. These options appear right above the table itself. Hovering over each individual option will give you some info on what they do.

You can also go back to the 'Tables' menu of the tools section and access the other options there as well (they were previously greyed out). These options do the following:

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1 Table Properties: Contains the advanced options for tables, including a full range of RGB colors. I'll talk more in-depth on these properties later.

2 Delete Table: Completely deletes the created table.

3 Insert Row Before: Inserts a row before (above) the currently selected table row, indicated by the cell you have selected.

4 Insert Row After: Inserts a row after (below) the currently selected table row, indicated by the cell you have selected.

5 Delete Row: Deletes the currently selected table row, indicated by the cell you have selected.

6 Insert Column Before: Inserts a column before (left) the currently selected table row, indicated by the cell you have selected.

7 Insert Column After: Inserts a column after (right) the currently selected table row, indicated by the cell you have selected.

8 Delete Column: Deletes the currently selected table column, indicated by the cell you have selected. 

Text formatting works as usual, you can use all the tools available to normal text for text in a table as well.

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Advanced Options

Now onto the advanced options located in the Table Properties. These options can be found either on the floating table toolbar or the normal toolbar on top of the editor.

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Table Properties (General)

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The table properties allow for more precise control over the look and function of your created table. Measurements are either in percentages or pixels.

Note, not all the options affect the table currently. Some options are overwritten by site defaults to keep tables looking somewhat consistent across the site. This currently affects: Cell Spacing, Cell padding and Border.

Width: The horizontal size of the table. If left blank, it automatically defaults to filling up the fiction page width. The percentage corresponds to the percentage of the available page width the table takes.

Height: The vertical size of the table measured in pixels.

Cell Spacing: Determines the spacing between each cell (how close or far apart cells are to each other). This option does not currently affect anything and is overwritten by the default of 2 pixels.

Cell Padding: Specifies the spacing between the contents of a cell and its border (how close or far apart the content inside of a cell is to its edge). This option does not currently affect anything and is overwritten by the default of 1 pixel.

Border: Specifies the border size. If left blank, it automatically defaults to no border. 

Important! Royal Road has a built-in border. Because of this borders currently do not work in the table editor and will automatically default back to the Royal Road border.

Caption: Specifies a table's header. Always sits at the top of the table. You can write anything inside. If un-ticked, automatically defaults to no caption.

Important! Although captions are possible, they are not integrated into the default table system Royal Road provides. Because of this, they do not look good and have a huge contrast to the table itself. This feature is not recommended for use.

Alignment: Specifies alignment of table to Left, Right or Center. If left to 'None' it keeps the default center position on the page. You can select individual cells, or even individual pieces of content inside cells, and align them individually using this.

Table Properties (Advanced)

The advanced table properties has some extra options for color and style.

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Border style: Choose the border style of your table.

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Here are some examples of how these look.

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Border Color: Determines the color of the 'border' using the full range of RGB. If left blank, defaults to a Black/Grey hue.

Background Color: Determines the color of the 'background' using the full range of RGB. If left blank, defaults to a dark blue hue.

To use custom colors manually type in the hex color code (#000000 to #FFFFFF) or click on the small box to the right to use the RGB visual chart.

Cell Properties

In addition to general table properties, you can also give properties to individual cells. Cell properties are accessed through the top toolbar when one or more cells are selected.

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Within this option you have 3 options: Cell Properties, merge cells, and Split cells.

Merging and Splitting cells is pretty self-explanatory. When multiple cells are selected (click and drag) they have the option to be merged together by clicking on merge. This creates 1 large cell from them

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Selecting this large cell (click on it to select it) and then choosing the split cells option makes it fall apart into the original small cells again.

For more options like cell type, text alignment, or color, one will have to go into the Cell properties.

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In here, the following options are found:

·       Width The width of the cell within the table, expressed in % of the total table width or in px.

·       Height The height of the cell within the table, expressed in % of the total table height or in px.

·       Cell type Cell type. A cell can be a normal cell or a heading cell. Making a cell a heading cell centers text, gives it a lighter color, and also bolds text by default.

·       Scope Not Implemented

·       H Align Horizontal Alignment of the content within the cell.

·       V Align Vertical Alignment of the content within the cell.

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Note that sizing of cells is bound by table minimums and will be overwritten by a manual resize. It is not possible to have more than 100% of the width or height be taken by a single cell either. Cell properties are able to be applied to multiple cells at once as well.

When clicking advanced in the Cell Properties windows you will find 4 options: Border Width, Border Style, Border Color and Background Color. Of these, only the Background Color is currently available, other options have no effect.

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To use this feature, manually type in the hex color code or click on the small box to the left to use the build in color selector. This will change the cell background color to the specified one.

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Combining Features

Here is a simple example that combines some of the things listed above.

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Used here are headings and cell merging for the Stats and Elemental Affinities, right align for the elements, left align for the numbers, cell background color, text color to improve contrast.

Tables can be larger and more impressive, but this is a basic example showing how it might look.

Copy and pasting tables from an external editor

Not everyone writes their drafts using the build-in editor. The editor does support the copy and pasting of tables but is has limitations. Certain properties will get lost. See the following example of a table made in Microsoft Word being pasted to the Royal Road editor. 

Word Table:

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Paste result:

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Only the most basic of formatting survives this process, use it with caution.

Copy and pasting tables from the Royal Road editor to another instance of the editor does keep the formatting. This will be helpful when transferring tables between chapters.

Polls

On Royal Road we provide a way for authors to poll their readers on a chapter. When checking the ‘Add a poll to the chapter?’ checkbox while editing or releasing a chapter, you will see the following options appear.

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Within these options, you can make your poll. For the poll position, we offer 2 locations, above the chapter or below the chapter. The poll options are the options readers can vote on in the poll itself.

The number of answers is the number of options a user can select and submit for the poll. The default for this setting is 1 but it can be changed depending on your need.

If you do not want to make the results of this poll public, you can uncheck the ‘Public poll results?’ checkbox. This makes it so only you are able to see the poll results. 

Note that a user only gets one chance to vote, so they can't switch answers after voting is possible.

If you want to close a poll you can tick the ‘Poll Closed?’ option when editing a chapter. This makes it so no new votes will be accepted on the poll.

In the author dashboard, under the community tabs, you can find a polls section which aggregates all the polls in your fiction to one central location. Here you can see all polls and past polls that you created for your fiction.

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Releasing a New Chapter

When you want to release a new chapter, you just need to click on New Chapter under the Content tab in the Author Dashboard. This will take you directly to the new chapter page. There, you will be presented with the chapter editor to write your chapter.

When writing a chapter you also have the ability to save it as a Draft for future use, like a scheduled release.

Editing a Chapter

There are multiple ways to start editing a chapter. This can be done from the chapter reader or through the Author Dashboard.

On the public chapter page, there is a button available to edit or delete a chapter. Clicking the Edit Chapter button brings you to the relevant chapter editor in the author dashboard.

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If you are already on the author dashboard, it is possible to reach the chapter editor by navigating to Content then Chapters in the side menu. This brings up a list of chapters for that fiction and the ability to edit and delete a chapter.

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Here you will be presented with the chapter editor. Once your changes are made, then you can click save changes at the bottom and the chapter will be live.

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You can click preview if you wish to see a preview of the changes before publishing the chapter. This shows the chapter with all relevant formatting first, you can save changes afterwards.

Deleting a Chapter

On the public chapter page, there is a button available to edit or delete a chapter. Clicking the Delete button gives you a confirmation page to delete the chapter.

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If you are on the author dashboard, it is possible to reach the delete chapter option by navigating to the chapters tab. This brings up a list of chapters for that fiction and the ability to edit and delete a chapter.

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Clicking the red trashcan button deletes the chapter.

Once a chapter is deleted, the red trash can button becomes a restore button. This allows you to restore the chapter the same way you deleted it in the author dashboard.

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These actions are instant and take effect immediately.

Drafts

Drafts are (un)finished chapters that are either being written or waiting on release. Drafts can be accessed via the author panel under Content.

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When editing a draft, you are presented with the chapter editor.  Here you can make changes and delete, save, or publish the draft. You also have the ability to set a scheduled release for a draft this way.

Page Wordcount

A Royal Road page is equal to 275 written words, an amount comparable to published paperback books (where it varies between 250 and 300 words per page).  

Reordering your chapters

It is possible to reorder your chapters by navigating to the chapters tab, which will reorder them for readers as well as you.. There the reorder button can be found on the top right.

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Then it becomes possible to drag your chapters in the desired order.

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Be sure to hit Save Changes when you are done reordering chapters, changes will be live immediately.

Volumes

Volumes are a way to order chapters by volume. Please be aware that volumes currently only serve as a way to organize the fiction page and show off your covers, this does not reorder your fictions, allow for volume-specific summaries, or show volume-specific stats.

You can find the volumes feature under Content > Volumes in the author dashboard.

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From here it is possible to add new volumes, edit a volume, delete a volume, and add chapters to a volume.

After creating a volume, you need to assign one or more chapters to it. This can be done by clicking assign chapters on the relevant volume.

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After assigning the chapters to a volume, they will be listed under that volume on the fiction page. A chapter can only be listed under one volume. When assigning a chapter to a volume that is already part of another volume, it will be transferred from the original volume to the new one.

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Chapters that are not listed under a volume are listed under Other Chapters on the fiction page.

Scheduled Releases

In the chapter editor, you can set a scheduled release time to release a chapter automatically at the set time.

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The times presented are automatically converted to your local time zone so you do not have to calculate time zone differences.

Removing a scheduled release can be done by clicking the cross left of the calendar icon.

It is possible to see an overview of your scheduled chapters via the drafts page. They will have a clock icon to identify them and the scheduled time is also shown.

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Managing Multiple Fictions

If you have multiple fictions or are invited to collaborate on multiple fictions, you can select which fiction panel you want to see by using the fiction switcher.

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Select the fiction you want to access and press Go. The information and options for the fiction should appear in the author dashboard. There is also a search bar for the people that have many fictions and would prefer to search by name.

Upload Recommendation

In order to gain as many readers as possible, we recommend publishing chapters at different hours, which will allow you to gain readers from different time zones. Do not publish more than two chapters a day but instead, do so on consecutive days. This will allow you to maximize the exposure your fiction receives from the Latest Update list.

The biggest mistake in releasing chapters to gain readership is releasing in bulk. Try to spread out the chapters but stay consistent. Sporadic uploads get less attention than uploading consistently once every 3 days.

As for chapter length, our biggest recommendation is to write as much as you’re comfortable doing and to keep a consistent release schedule rather than having the same word count every time.

The minimum word count per chapter is currently 500 characters. We recommend keeping the chapter length to less than 10,000 words. 2,000 words tend to be a good stopping point as this is not too long, nor is it too short to tell a part of your fiction.