Incentive Program

I noticed many web fiction sites offering different incentives for their readers. I was wondering what types of incentives writers offer and more importantly, how do they get their readers interested in getting these incentives?

I noticed the same thing when I was looking at other peoples and befor I started my own. I set my own incentives up on things that I new I could measure and that would also be easy for people to do. I know, as a general rule, people won't often take the time to do anything to complex or that requires to much effort on their parts.

As for the reward, I'm planning extra story posts and none story related posts. I've seen other stories that offer background information about the world or aspects of it.


I think incentives are a great idea. One web comic I follow, Inhuman, uses incentives to get more pages out a week, i.e. donate to x amount, and I'll put an extra page out this week. However, step one is to get enough people to read your work to make this effective. I'm not there yet. If you can swing it, more power to you. =D

Besides early chapters (Saturday instead of waiting for Tuesday), I have a points system that offers all kinds of wacky stuff to my readers:

They seem particularly happy just to earn new badges!

MeiLin, you're a bloody genius! I actually really dig the points system. Now I have to figure out how I'd use it. There's always something like Achievements from video games, too. That'd be cool.

I'm jealous of your awesome.

Seems pretty cool. I guess it's just generating enough readers at first, then giving them a reason to keep reading.

Hmm...I don't do that, but I do post up extras for the readers, such as the character poems. They feel like character songs in animations. I also accept request for posting up extra information. But for now, since that I finished my first book and the extras, I putting myself into hitaus while working on the second book and make some changes in the fisrt book. For me, incentives to the readers is not a must, but a good tool for getting readers.

Incentives for readers is not a necessity , but it seems like something to do to generate more readers and more loyal dedicated readers like you said. I think it's probably a good idea to have some bonus stories stock piled, then once there are enough readers, let them decide what they want their bonus story to be.

I just recently located this site and the web fiction community. I started a blog several weeks ago. Originally, I had started it with the idea that it would have tips and advice, but I think it is evolving into more of an info/humor column hybrid. I have even begun thinking about adding flash fiction and collaborative writing on the site. Here is an example of the an info/humor/flash entry: Fiction Novels - Italo Calvino

What does any of this have to do with incentives? One aspect of a web site is driving traffic to your site. I noticed the discussion about incentives is tied to getting readers. From a quick review of the site point system, it looks like a reader is someone that has an added level of interaction with the site. (The web marketing term is a conversion.)

grantcravens mentioned a system of donations before more fiction is published. I recall that Stephen King several years ago. One problem was that the donations decreased as readers relied on others to make the donations (sort of like PBS and NPR) to keep the story up and running and eventually it petered out. Maybe MeiLin Miranda should have been there to tell Stephen King about the point system. Seems like a great idea to me.

kcrisman: I think Meilin is taking donations to produce more story, or the same amount of story, but faster. I suspect Meilin will still produce story whether or not people donate.

I was does one get a points system up? It sounds like a great way to get dedicated readers and build up a community. Only thing is, I haven't the slightest idea how to start something like that. I know Wordpress has a plugin called CubePoints, but I'm wary of adding anymore plugins to my site. If I were to add another one, I'd want to atleast know if it works for weblit in particular.

My points system is here...

@eikasia I count it all by hand. ^^; In a fancy excel spreadsheet!

@kcrisman I don't think we'd fall into the Stephen King pitfall, because individual readers can also use their points to buy rewards, so it's in their interest to accumulate them.

@amaltia Wow, you're brave...and patient! XD I might try out CubePoints just to see. Once I work out what users can cash them in for, I'll give it a swing.

Unless someone has a better option...?

I just can't imagine anything that would more a motivation to readers than reading my stuff.

@eikasia I think it's manageable because I don't have a huge following. :D