Royal Road Legends Advice?

As of today, I joined Royal Road, and intend to publish Legion Nothing there until either 1) I realize that it's not worth the effort or 2) I'm done.


I know that some people here are posting over there as well. Any recommendations for how to go about getting your story well known there? My current plan is to post daily up to the point where I catch up to my current serial. Then I'll post twice a week like I do normally, but I'll deliberately stay a week (possibly more) behind my website, encouraging people to go there.


I don't have any advice beyond updating daily. It really does seem to help. Good luck!


Do you know how to convert HTML / Word files to BBcode?


Update frequency is basically number one on RRL. If you do that, you're pretty much 90% of the way there.


A few other things you could try:

- To get even more updates, if your chapters are long enough, you might consider actually breaking them up into smaller chunks. A lot of the stories on the top weekly fiction list have daily or twice-daily updates of only a couple hundred words. Of course, this is your personal decision, as where you end a chapter does affect how the reader experiences the story. I personally update once a month with a 3k word chapter, and I do well enough

- Participate in the forums and link to your story in the signature. The vast majority of RRL readers actually don't go on the forums and only read, but you will get a couple of readers this way

- There's actually a Promote Your Webfiction section in the forum where you can post your story synopsis. However, there is a "no bump" rule, so unless one of your fans goes there and starts discussing your story, it's very easy to get lost in the huge number of threads there

- Make sure your fiction is tagged properly so that someone using Advanced search can find it easily. Some people put every single possible tag, which I consider a bad idea, since then the reader has no idea what the story is about. Other than "mature" and "original", I'd say 3-6 tags is a good number

- Write author's notes and get your readers involved. Let them know explicitly that you enjoy getting comments and reviews. Encourage them to rate your story. While getting on the Top Weekly Fiction list is all well and good, the list with much more longevity is the Best Rated/ Active Top 50, which involves getting good ratings, and a lot of them.

- Participate in the writing contests. They don't happen that frequently (basically when the staff have enough time to read a bunch of crap and decide on a winner), but if you place, you'll get a feature in the news. The current contest is a fanfiction contest of a xianxia called I Shall Seal the Heavens, which you probably can't enter unless you've read the xianxia, but most of the contests have general themes that any kind of writer can join in.

- Be aware of the reader base. It is majority male, mostly people who enjoy Korean/Japanese light novels, anime, and manga. They like action and adventure. This isn't to say that other kinds of stories can't enjoy success there, or that you should change what you're writing to suit the reader, but you can do small things like optimize your synopsis to appeal.


Like I said though, it's 90% update frequency. As long as your story is of high enough quality that people will want to click "follow" after reading a few chapters, all you need is enough exposure to get a decent number of followers, and the Latest Updates list takes care of that.


I've been writing a lot about RRL recently... Sorry if anyone finds it spammy.


On top of updating daily I would suggest maybe tweaking your synopsis to appeal to the user base. They tend to like their anime tropes there. Full reviews will also get you a bit of publicity as well.


Write VR or reincarnation -stories :D


I have another question for people who've done it: Is this worthwhile?


I've been batting around the idea of cross-posting over there, but I'm leery for several reasons. I'm not sure how much I want to seek out that community (it appears to be VERY xanxia heavy in its interests), it's one more damn thing to do every day, and it'd be splitting my readership. On the other hand, more readers are more readers.


What kind of returns do you get in terms of reader acquisition and retention from posting there?


I got good returns after about 3-4 weeks of updating daily. Good for me, at least - 170ish average additional views per chapter, spread across alot of chapters (about 40 or so). So like... 7000 views total? Now I'm updating weekly, and traffic has slowed down quite a bit. The glowing reviews and rating were worth it for me, though, especially considering that superhero stuff isn't exactly popular on there. The reviews are a big motivation booster.


Your mileage may vary.


Thanks for the replies. That gives me some hope that Legion of Nothing will work okay there.


I'm thinking that my posts are typically somewhere between 800-1500 words. That means I probably can't cut them in half, but on the other hand, I've got more than 900 already written, so posting daily won't be much of an issue.


Hopefully some of my current audience comes from Royal Road anyway. That's what I'm guessing based on the fact that I've been getting traffic from Reddit's light novel/translation sections lately. That's one of the things that made me think it might work. Of course, that might mean people have already been exposed to it, and don't currently care.


I may tweak the story description though. Legion of Nothing does include some anime tropes--the main character is essentially a genius inventor, there's an ongoing training/martial arts component, an immortal martial arts teacher, and so on. There's even a character who's quite deliberately a magical girl--though she only appears about five years in. Including her in the description would probably amount to false advertising.


For what it's worth, here's the current description:


http://royalroadl.com/fiction/6455


I started posting mine on royalroadl a while back. Although I haven't gotten too much engagement out of it, it seems like it can be a good traffic generator. Overall it seems like it's most important to have steady updates, and it doesn't hurt to have a story that appeals to the crowd over there--like Sten said, they seem to love the Sword Art Online-esque Virtual Reality or Reincarnation stories. Good Luck!


@D. D. Webb


Xianxia is actually one of the smaller genres on RRL. By far, the largest segments are VRMMORPG and reincarnation. I would say that xianxia stories come a distant fourth after those two and "summoned hero" stories, maybe even fifth after regular high fantasy. The only reason RRL is currently having a xianxia writing contest is because it's a collaboration with another site, WuxiaWorld. You may have gotten the impression that xianxia is big on RRL from that xianxia writer who came on the forums a while ago, but he's not even an RRL writer.


That being said, there is a strong current of emotion among the reader base of being "tired" of the cliches. When you've seen the exact same intro several hundred times, it gets really old. Some readers will now only try stories if they don't fall into the aforementioned categories.


Hm.


My story is specifically meant to be a deconstruction; it's full of cliches, but they're there for the purpose of being examined and dismantled. And while the scope is a very broad epic fantasy, it does start out with a group of adolescents arriving at a school of adventure to discover that they mostly hate each other, before broadening to the wider plot. Maybe it would work there, after all.


'course, I'm still hung up on "one more damn thing to do every day." It's a small thing, though. I just have to manage my emotional energy very carefully; if you haven't lived with bipolar disorder, look up "spoon theory" on Google for a brief hint what it's like.


Heh, it's up to you whether it's worth it. I just want you to make your decision knowing that RRL has over 20,000 registered users, most of them readers rather than writers, and that while the readers were originally gathered to the site through a mutual love of a certain Korean light novel, it's been over a year since RRL turned into a nexus for original fiction, and other genres can and do succeed there.


It does sound like your story would fit right in :)


If you're doing previously released work, you may as well just drop in an update a day. That's worked out pretty well for me so far. Of course, when I catch up, I'm not sure it'll still work.


That's basically my mindset. I've got enough for roughly 3 years of daily posting. I'll add almost another year due to writing during that period. After that, it'll update at the rate of my serial. Of course, that may not be necessary. I might get sick of it by then.


I know this was in a post someplace but I can not find it. I have been copying and pasting my story to royal road legends, but it sucks going through and re-adding all the line breaks. Does anyone have a way to make it play nice?


Chrysalis had a suggestion in http://forums.webfictionguide.com/topic/getting-the-story-out. I'll quote it here so you don't have to go looking:


First copy your chapter from Word to here... http://www.html-cleaner.com/ and 'clean HTML'


Then copy the cleaned HTML here http://www.garyshood.com/htmltobb/ and post the result on RRL.


I haven't gotten that far yet, but she usually knows what she's doing. My past experience with copy/pasting to forums has been to save as a .txt file, re-open in Notepad, and copy/paste from that file to get clean formatting. Her way is probably much simpler.


I'm doing pretty well on RRL right now (by my standards) despite the fact my story isn't very typical for the site. RRL leans heavily towards stories written in more of a Light Novel style. In fact, I've seen authors with fairly popular web serials on TWF post on RRL and get very little interest.


My opinion, and why I continue to post on Wattpad despite my anemic views on there is that every little bit helps. Obviously, only each individual writer can decide what ROI justifies any amount of time spend on uploading or promoting.


One thing RRL is good for is finding dedicated readers. Even if your reader base is small, you could be surprised how passionate your RRL readers can be. I personally enjoy it quite a bit.


Interaction with my readers is part of what motivates me to keep writing and trying to improve my skills.


@JimZoetewey: In my opinion that synopsis needs a lot of work. You have more text describing the web serial's history than the story!


I would flush out the actual synopsis with stuff that would peak the interest of RRL readers, add a horizontal line between the synopsis and the notes, and cut the notes down to the bare minimum.


Stuff I would mention:

- high school characters

- how powerful his armor is

- superheroines and dating

- bullying at school

- he's a geek


@J.E.Hixon - If you need the full guide on how to retain formatting when copy->pasting from Word to RRL, I have a full guide (with pictures) posted here: http://royalroadl.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=56887


@ClearMadness: You're right. What appears there right now is a bit of a placeholder cobbled together from a couple different versions. I put that in to have something there while I thought of/was suggested what ought to be there.


You've got a lot of good suggestions that I wish had seemed obvious to me. I can see how those hit RRL demographics where they are as well as fairly accurately represent what they'll find in the first 2-3 years of the serial. I'll probably hit that tomorrow since I update my serial tonight.