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  1. Letitia Coyne (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    They're wonderful, lol - but I'm sure you kow that.

    Are you just in need of a clap and a hug? Sick of screaming cooees into the void? Trying to wake up echoes?

    Seems to be that time of year. Everyone is hoping something somewhere will change and the status quo will break, but no one actually wants to start making waves.

    Very well done. I love the way you write and your subject matter is as diverse as it gets. Five gold stars.

  2. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I'm perfectly willing to make waves... how does one do that in webfiction?

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  3. Letitia Coyne (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    That is the $64000 question.

    Devise a process which eliminates an author's need for constant affirmation, or a system which provides it without relying on readers'constant feedback. Then have a reasonable portion of the webfiction communities participate. Nothing new there.

    Find a way to engage the disengaged multitudes who read without comment, and/or who do not read webfiction or do not know it exists. It seems we need either much greater numbers of silent participants, or a much louder minority. No one seems to have an across the board reliable working model for either.

    For starters. After that, who knows or dares to dream?

  4. Shutsumon (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I've had some luck with the reactions buttons for wordpress plugin. More people seem willing to press a button than are to actually speak up. Not as scary I suppose.

    I honestly think it should be our priority to reach new readers, rather than engaging current ones. Trying to change the nature of the human race just sounds too exhausting. But if we assume the silent majority will remain silent the only way to get more comments is to get more people through the door in general.

    Not an easy task. I did make a suggestion on my blog during read an ebook week but it was met with a deafening silence which I presume means people think it was a terrible idea.

    I'll keep trying to come up with strategies but this isn't something any one person can do. We need to come up with a strategy and work on it as a group.

    What we really need is an expert marketer who happens to read or write webfiction to help us.


  5. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    *lifts hand* I used to work in Marketing.

    But I admit, I'm not exactly sure what the goal is. Without understanding that, I can't offer any perspective. What is it that you desire more of? Feedback? Reviews? Comments? Money?

  6. Letitia Coyne (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    We need to come up with a strategy and work on it as a group.

    Do you mean some sort of collective or guild, working together to provide a unified voice and an overall marketing strategy for web based fiction? A way to work as a group to take web based fiction to the readers outside the little desktop box?

    lol, sounds familiar....

  7. Shutsumon (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    @M.C.A.Hogarth more readers. We need to reach outside the current circle of readers to reach new people.

    @Letitia Not really. I don't really want a group to come up with and implement strategy for everyone. They'd probably just end up frustrated with the lack of response anyway. What I mean is no one person or group can suddenly up and bring the readers in. It's up to everyone. We've all got to experiment and share data on what works.


  8. Ryan A. Span (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    M.C.A. Hogarth: I'll take more reviews and more sales, please!


  9. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    More readers, more reviews, more sales. Hmm. Short answers:

    More readers: sell your work to/place your work in traditional markets. Get your work in other formats, like e-books and physical books. Spread your work onto other websites. Write more. A lot.

    More reviews: get more readers. You can also send your work around to reviewers, but right now the common wisdom is that this might be a waste of effort that could be spent writing.

    More sales: Define "sale." Do you want more micro-payments? More per-story payments? More passive income?

  10. Ryan A. Span (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    In my case, more book sales. But I've just got something bubbling on that front.


  11. Letitia Coyne (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    With the exception of the whole concept of micropayments, these are all well worn strategies for the self-published author. They are all good advice and steps in the right general direction for anyone who wants to write, but they do not reach the wide audience; even in the real world they do not.

    And they do not meet the simple need for affirmation constantly expressed in these forums and others.

    Outside there are levels of success which, rightly or wrongly, accord some sense of achievement.

    Independent and self-published authors still receive almost no kudos at all. An enormous effort in marketing will bring some small success. For digital authors, the range of outlets has expanded greatly, but it still does not reach the widest possible mainstream audience. They are one tiny voice screaming into the air and being drowned out by white noise.

    Then there are independent publishers, micro-niche, and niche publishers who do not try to reach the wide audience. They identify their market and pitch to it only. It is not usually a wide demographic, but the sales are focused. Swings and roundabouts.

    Then there are those who are accepted and published by mainstream houses. They get to say at parties, “I am an author.” But they will almost always make little money and draw blank faces from the partygoers who asks what they have written. Chance are they will never in their life run into someone who remembers their one or two titles among the thousands.

    Then there are those who become famous enough not to have to say what they do. They either make enough in sales or series, and/or they are accepted into the vaulted halls of the well reviewed literati. They are the gods of fiction who were ‘discovered’.

    Independent web fiction does not have any of those widely recognized levels of acceptance/milestones/achievements for the majority of participants. For better or worse, such markers are basic human needs.

    That is my question. It does come down to more readers and more sales, but it carries a greater weight than just that. It is the reason there is a constant request for reassurance that, I think, is NEVER going to come from asking audiences to comment – not even when they are given the work for free. We all want to do something that works, but no one seems to have a good strategy to change that expectation, or that result, or any brave desire to change.

  12. Shutsumon (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    M.C.A Hogarth: Hmm, while those are suggestions might help my reader numbers I was talking about for web fiction in general. How do we, as a community, make people aware that web fiction exists and is worth their time. I'm less fussed about my stats personally than I am about the lack of weblit readers in general. A few sites have plenty of readers but very often those readers outside the community just read that site. Of course there will be some people like that, but we need more readers in the community.

    Letitia: Then we need to make our own milestones, don't we. Measuring such things is a topic for another post perhaps?

  13. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    I'm afraid I can't help with emotional/social needs, except perhaps to say that letting go of the need to feel validated, when you can manage it, always leads to less internal stress.

    I'm not sure we can worry about "web fiction" as a nebulous whole. Unless someone's going to go off and make the webfiction guild, and as we have noted, several attempts have been made at that and foundered... probably because the definition of webfiction and the goals of an organization supporting it are sufficiently nebulous that they can't be quantified. There's probably a reason for that. :)

    I think the best we can do is attend to our own numbers, point our readers at other sites we like, and let the whole thing grow slowly. As more writers expand into various types of outlets--e-books, physical books, webfiction, appfiction--then more readers will become aware of each type and move from place to place, following their favorite writers.

    Just telling people "Webfiction is cool!" or trying to figure out how to increase the number of readers for webfiction as a whole is like telling people "webcomics are cool!" and figuring out how to increase the number of readers of webcomics. Outside a really novel and difficult-to-organize approach, like coding an app that delivers multiple writers in a single place, you're only going to be able to work on specific pieces of webfiction at a time.

  14. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    I agree with the tiger. :)

    To follow up on the webcomics example, webcomics didn't start with a single audience that liked webcomics as a general concept -- it started with a number of smaller audiences that liked specific comics, and as artists linked to each other the audiences learned there were other comics they liked as well. There is no one, overriding "web comics genre" and the internet largely doesn't work that way. The internet is all about catering to niche audiences with specific interests -- the beauty of the internet is that those niches can grow very large and can cross-pollinate with others.

    In other words, people who like steampunk might be inclined to read steampunk web fiction because it's steampunk, but it doesn't follow that they'll branch out to other genres that are also web fiction. HOWEVER, not everyone who enjoys steampunk is exclusively a steampunk fan. So a subset of that audience might wander over to other web fiction sites to see what they're like.

    It's a spiderweb effect: each strand that connects sites together has the potential to lead a reader from one site another, and the more connecting strands you have the more likely it is that readers will find other things to read. However, you also need to make sure there are strands that link to things from the outside, to bring new readers in.

    In the very early days of webcomics, computer-themed webcomics were huge. Why? Because there were a lot of people on the web who were interested in computers and would go to any website at all that was computer themed at least once, just to see what it was like. So a computer-themed webcomic was not just a webcomic, it was a computer site. Computers were the niche market, the fact that it was a webcomic was secondary. But people kept coming back, and over time the fact that it was a webcomic took on more significance because the spiderweb strands kept increasing.

    So the trick is to find the niche you can draw from and start spinning those webs.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)

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