Royal Road: to accept or not to accept

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  1. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I agree with Ubersoft. I went to the effort of making my own site, but then had every story I wrote rejected because the admin doesn't like Javascript. So personally I'm hoping they keep taking submissions from RRL because, since they already don't take submissions from WattPad and Fictionpress, that's my only way of ever getting listed on here. This is his site so he's allowed to do whatever he wants, but that's my take on the subject.

    Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on
  2. unice5656 (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @ubersoft: proposing different submission requirements for those hosting independently and hosting on a large site is not meant to drive writers into starting their own site. Honestly, considering the audience you have access to on the large sites, being able to be listed here a few weeks earlier than if you didn't have an independent site shouldn't be that big of an incentive to learn all the technical knowledge you need to start your own website if you don't possess it already.

    I think I've already adequately explained my vision of the WFG listings becoming a place for readers to browse fictions that have been pre-screened for high likelihood of being written to completion. I think it's a bit cocky to start predicting that writers' behaviour will actually change based on these submission requirements. As such, the criteria can use any easily obtainable information that has high predictive value for the writer continuing their fiction, including self-hosting.

  3. Tintenteufel (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    With simply setting the standards for acceptance higher you won't get rid of the queue, though. Chris will only have an 'excuse' (in so much as he wants one) to reject RRL stories that don't fit the criteria. He will still have to go have a look at them and as far as I understand it that is precisely the point - he is drowning in submissions, not in accepted or even acceptable stories.
    As I understand it the problem isn't too many good RRL stories taking the limelight away from original webfiction but rather too many stories being submitted that are already hosted on another site cluttering up the queue and making it a rather gruesome wait for non-listed-sites getting a look.
    Setting higher standards is grounds for rejection but will only to so much to "keep out" those who won't hit the criteria. Because there is no automated process to determine wether or not the arbitrary limits are hit the job you are, I assume, free to submit your shoddy three three chapter story. Even if it dies while in the queue someone still has to have a look and determine it acceptable or not. Which means the job to enforce those criteria still goes to a human being, probably Chris. Not much work saved, I'm afraid.

    As far as hosting goes I completely agree with ubersoft. Worm is hosted on a free wordpress site. As are six other of the top ten of TopWebFiction. Differentiating the requirements just complicates the process and is as such not desirable.

    Blut und Rost - German Webserial about the horror that is human interaction
  4. unice5656 (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Assuming this can't be automated (which it might not be able to if the large sites block scripts to check), it would take approximately 20 seconds to go on a page and verify these submission requirements, which are listed prominently on the summary page for each fiction.

    As I suggested before, a revamp of the Submissions page to clearly list requirements is probably in store. Having a "short version" and a "long version" in the guidelines clearly invites people not to read the "long version" before submitting.

    A Wordpress site would be counted as an independent site.

    Honestly, I've spent too much time on this thread. I have very little stake in the outcome. Feel free to agree or disagree with my idea. I feel that it's viable and have laid out my reasoning, but it's not up to me to decide whether it's worth trying.

  5. rykov00 (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Having just gotten accepted and also having a RRL story, I sorta already got my wish, but that being said, I think a higher bar is perfectly reasonable. Hosting location may not be a good indicator, but a site that lowers the barrier to entry to start a story is a good thing (I believe). Sure, I could add some reader widgets to but it's really a subpar reading experience unless you invest a lot of time and effort into it.

    That being said, RRL has some tools and stats that make it relatively easy to sort through stats. Using those stats as a basic filter sounds very sanity generating. A page/chapter requirement increase seems very reasonable since the barrier is so low. It's not hard to put higher expectations on the work product in those cases.

  6. Naeddyr (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Using the kind of web-hosting an author uses for their stories as a test for how 'serious' they are is extremely silly.

  7. lnv (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    The best solution is simple. Increase the requirements.

    Right now the requirement is:
    "We generally require a minimum of 4000 words or 3 regular installments to be available before we will consider a new story or collection for listing"

    So raise it to 100,000 words or something. (With exceptions of complete works)

  8. DrewHayes (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    The problem with just increasing the requirements is that every submission still requires validation, and a lot of people don't take the time to read the fine print. So every time someone submits a story, whether it hits the requirements or not, Chris still has to take the time to go physically look and see if they even meet those basic thresholds. Upping the thresholds would lessen the workload somewhat, since he doesn't have to go any further than that on the ones that don't qualify, but from the amount of submissions it sounds like he's getting, that wouldn't actually solve the issue. Remember, this is one guy who runs the site, one guy with one amount of spare time to work in. It's nice to talk about volunteers pitching in, however as has been brought up already those can't always be counted on, and have vanished before.

    People are going to hate me for suggesting this, and honestly I don't think I'd want to see it implemented, but if you really wanted everyone to be able to submit to WFG, one of the easier solutions would be to implement a paywall. Not a lot, maybe $5 - $10 to submit. It would lower the amount of submissions, because something that is free will always get more attention that something with a cost. More importantly, it would allow Chris to outsource some of the vetting process if he so chose. And, hopefully, it would force people to really look at whether or not they qualified before submitting, because although they might be fine with wasting someone's time I'd bet people are more careful about wasting their own money.

    I still think that the RRL policy is consistent and fair with what WFG has stated and how it treats similar sites, especially since they have their own directory. Even if the RRL directory is bad, that's not someone else's problem to solve. But at the end of the day, I'm not that concerned with being fair to RRL, or Fictionpress, or even us solo-sites. I'm concerned with making sure we're being fair to the guy who gave us this community and runs it free of charge.

    Super Powereds & Corpies
  9. lnv (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Well if you want people to pay attention to requirements, you could put a page prior to submission that says in bold capital red letters:

    I agree that my novel is over 100,000 words. Or have them type in the amount of words/pages themselves prior to submission. Anyone who doesn't read will mess up.

    In this way it would be more clear.

    But if you wanted to bring volunteers along, you don't need to search for them. Just make a thumbs up and down system and let people help filter them. Then all you need to do is see which ones have a bunch of thumbs down and magic.

    You don't need to make qualifications either, let every member have the ability to vote. This would simplify double checking of requirements.

    That said in the backlog right now is 47 novels. Considering RRL puts the information on the front page. Checking something like that would take no more than 10 minutes.

  10. Tintenteufel (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    A voting system - with severe limitations on who gets to vote, mind you - could be an interesting solution.
    It would probably still require limitations on who gets to vote. Only listed members, for instance, who know what is wanted on the page and demanded of subscriptions or members with a certain amount of posts, time or activity or usefull reviews or whatever. Simply allowing everyone to "check" and give thumbs could and probably would lead to heavy abuse.

    Blut und Rost - German Webserial about the horror that is human interaction
  11. lnv (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I thought about limiting people who could vote at first too. But then after thinking, it made little sense. Here is why:

    Right now, any person can go and vote a comic 5 stars or 0.5 stars. So there is already room for abuse where a comic's rating can be manipulated. What difference is there then for the voting it in or out?

    Of course if you want to give select people's upvotes and downvotes more weight based on restrictions sure.

  12. Chris Poirier (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I've decided to make no changes for now. I need to make some (long-overdue) changes to the site, anyway. There's some money collected in the WFG Patreon account. As I clearly don't have time to do the rewrite myself, I'll see about hiring somebody to do the work, and figure it all out at once.

  13. lnv (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    You don't need to do programming if you want to do a basic change. Just ask people to input the amount of pages for RRL novels in say the tagline. In this way anyone who fails to read the guidelines would be disqualified by default. This would be the quickest immediate change to limit submissions.

    All that would be needed is an update to the text. But as always, its your call.


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