Web Serials and Novels: How Do They Get Big? Do They Get Big? Let's Find Out!

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Responses

  1. R.E. Washington (Member)

    Posted 5 months ago

    This is so informative! It definitely made me think about my own serial novel and if it fits these characteristics. At least the consistency part I got down. Buffer created, manageable schedule created. Good start so far.

    Though one thing I'm curious about is how do people even find serial novels that aren't already a part of a community like Royal Road? If they are are only posted on a website like WordPress how are they discovered?

    Author of Illusion/Core
  2. Thedude3445 (Member)

    Posted 5 months ago

    If it's on Wordpress.com (e.g. the free blog hosting), then you have access to all the community blog functions, and people can discover your story through tag searches, trackback links, etc. Same applies to Blogspot and any other blog website. It isn't a community for story writing, but that also gives you more freedom not to do your own thing and not be stifled by whatever's popular on the established websites (which, until recently, were mostly banned from WFG, but that appears to have changed with a deluge of Royal Road stories of dubious quality entering the database).

    If you're on your own server using Wordrpess.org software, you CAN find the serial via the Wordpress Reader app-- I've gotten a few referrals from there somehow-- but to what extent, I'm not sure. Other than that, you're on your own for making sure the story is put out there for others to find. This applies to anyone who is running a website outside of a blog or established community, as well.

    First of all, obviously Web Fiction Guide is a huge source of discoverability; ask anyone who's had their story listed in a featured review on WFG, and they'll tell you it has a MASSIVE impact on getting new readers. Top Web Fiction is pretty helpful with getting referrals too, though you'll get a lot more clicks than you get new readers. The more you are a part of the WFG community, the more you'll get out of it-- write reviews that get a lot of helpfulness votes, and other people will be more likely to read and review yours. The WFG community is still pretty small (and friendly) so it isn't a pit of self-promotion and SEO techniques and people tearing each other apart in order to get better rankings (Royal Road, WattPad, etc.). Therefore, this is a good place to start!

    There's also other communities you can join, not to self-promote necessarily, but to simply get involved in, that can help get a story better-known around the internet. The forum for Space Battles was really big into all the superhero serials 4-5 years ago, for example. There are Facebook groups to join, Discord chats to have fun in, and... I don't recommend Reddit but there could be a subreddit worth posting in, maybe. Someday.

    Also, you can pay for advertising. This one is kinda dumb for a serial. Don't do this unless you are already a little bit popular.

    There are other ways to make sure that a serial not on an established story writing community is easy to discover, but the main rule is, make sure you put your stuff, and yourSELF, out there with a real effort, otherwise nobody's gonna know it exists.

    Sorry boss, but there's only two men I trust. One of them's me. The other's not you.
  3. turtleme (Member)

    Posted 5 months ago

    As a web serial writer who has been writing for about 3 years, I really appreciate the concise information bulleted! Some of the points have been something I've been doing that I feel are very important (like consistency and the toybox). While the technical side (where to host, who to reach out to, where to market, building a mailing list, etc) is another monster, you've tackled this particular beast very well.

    Thank you ^^

  4. R.E. Washington (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    Thank you for responding Thedude3445. That information really helps.

    Author of Illusion/Core

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