Royal Road: to accept or not to accept

Hi everyone,

So, I'm drowning in Royal Road submissions. It's starting to feel like we are becoming a second index for the site. I'm starting to think it's time to start refusing most (or all) of them.



Do what makes you feel the most comfortable.

If you're worried about RRL drowning the other sources, yet still wish to include them, you can create a category for them, or even some kind of partition in the reviewing process that slows them down/ lets you get to them at a much, much later date in order to maintain web fiction biodiversity.

In terms of size, if you already don't accept FictionPress submissions, it makes sense not to accept RRL submissions. That being said, I currently don't have a personal site hosting my work, so my main interest would be what you'd do with submissions already accepted.

I didn't even know you accepted RRL requests ("we do not list stories on large sites like FictionPress or Authonomy, as they have their own very extensive communities") . Since my personal site was rejected I'd like to submit my stories again via RRL, so I guess no, I would prefer you didn't start refusing them. On a side note, does this mean you'd consider a WattPad submission?

I do not know much about either the RRl nor the amount of submissions you are getting. So take this with a grain of salt (and please nobody be personally offended %) )

But if you feel like drowning then that probably is a sign of a problem.

I can't think of solutions that wouldn't result in considerable effort on your part - making a subsection for that specific genre/style so they don't "clog up" the main lists, make a second sub-feed so you can take them on whenever, revise the submissions process etc.

Plus It definitely feels like some members are leaving because of the kind of influx. It might be just me - and again I am not the most active - but I feel like at least in the chat and the forum there are quite a few non-writers and guys from RRL. While on the other hand I haven't seen around a handful or so of writers who I know are still active yet don't come here that often.

Soo...I'd support a temporary refusal of RRL submissions. Especially if other big communities are forbidden from entry anyway.

What Maromar suggests sounds good, too. As far as I know RRL works much, much faster. Like daily updates or something? I'd wager the amount of stories that go belly up after a few weeks or months is quite staggering. So with a slower review process you could maybe get rid of all the writers who lose interest after a while. Less dead weight that way. But that, of course, depends entirely on you.

Piggybacking off what Tinten said, I've definitely noticed the influx over the last year or so, and I can say that, at least for me, it was a major factor in being less involved in the community. In fact, this is the first comment I've made in about nine months now. That's just me, of course, but I've also noticed anecdotally that the quality of reviews has gone, uh, way way down in that time period as well.

I think web fiction has become more hub based over time due to the perceived advantage in attracting new readers. Excluding those communities will very likely make submissions easier to manage, but I don't think the result will be very representative of web fiction.

I agree with Maromar. Chris has to deal with the workload alone, so it should be manageable for him before anything else.

In regards to RRL and other similar sites... how about an overarching index in a prominent location on WFG? Something like... 'if you're looking for other web fiction platforms, check these out' and then a button leading to RRL, a button to... Wattpad? And others. Those stories wouldn't be listed on WFG but they could easily be found FROM WFG.

That way there would be something of a web fiction hub without a huge workload increase for Chris.

p.s. Imagine if RRL and Wattpad started linking back to WFG in turn... :O

Is there no way to automate the process? There gets to a point where, practically, you have to choose between a small, hand picked directory or an all-inclusive one where the community sorts the wheat from the chaff.

The other important question is: does WFG get anything out of this influx, or is it a one-way thing? Are non-RRl stories getting lost in the deluge as a consequence? And, if so, is there a way to counter - or, indeed, take advantage of - this?

I think automation isn't feasible because stories must meet certain criteria in order to be accepted. Some of those are content related and probably can't be detected by an automation process.

Hmm, and I've been trying to get a friend that's publishing on RR to list her work here. Didn't even think about the no large sites rule.

One issue with that is that a couple of the top rangers on TWF right now are RR's. And as Ubersoft said, it does make it less representative.

In the end, its the work you're doing out of the goodness of your heart. Go with whats better for you and the site.

In terms of whether WFG gets anything out of these listings, the only thing I could think of is that readers encouraged to vote for TWF might explore a bit and find the listings here, but it seems like a very small benefit for a whole lot of work.

In terms of "top rangers" on TWF, the most popular stories on RRL could take every rank below 5th if they were all listed here and encouraged their readers to vote. Excluding them might make it less representative of all webfictions, but it would stop it from becoming a clone of the rankings on RRL.

At the end of the day Chris has to choose the thing he can actually DO. I don't think he should kill himself to meet some kind of principle of inclusiveness or anything like that. I'm just pointing out that the webfic landscape has changed to the point that you can make a strong case for hubs capturing the majority of the author community these days, and that if you're trying to showcase the community as a whole, leaving the big groups out will not do so accurately.

I don't think this was true a few years ago, when the big fiction sites were seen as a lot more insular.

I like Chrysalis's idea. Have WFG specialize in listing independent sites and have a page of links to large repositories.

Note: This wouldn't bar an author with an independant site from ALSO listing on RRL, wattpad, or where-ever, and then encouraging their readers to vote on TWF. So we could still get some crossfertilization that way.

100% agree with ubersoft. I don't think a directory that excludes rrl can be representative of web fiction as it stands. On the other hand, I do understand that you gotta do what you gotta do.

But WFG isn't representative of "web-fiction as it stands", because it already excludes stories exclusive to certain sites (and those intended as erotica, too).

Yeah, it makes no sense to exclude sites like Wattpad and FictionPress and then include RRL.

Lemme change my statement then: "good web fiction as it stands." I do think RRL serials have seen enough success to deserve indexing. They're at the center of a very popular serial trend right now. You really can't say that about FictionPress. Wattpad is trickier, since their serials have seen success. I'll give you Wattpad, but you'll have a hard time convincing most people that we're missing out on much by not accepting FictionPress serials.

(The erotica thing is a good point too, though I also think you can make a good argument either way.)

EDIT: Thinking about it, it might be more productive to raise the number of chapters a web serial needs to have from 3 to like 10 or 15. That reduces the load and doesn't discriminate against sites. Would also eliminate some of the noise of short, abandoned serials we often see in new listings.

I mean, #3 on TWF right now is from FictionPress... I agree that fictions there generally don't see as major success as on RRL, but that's because RRL has a fairly niche audience.

Totally agree to upping the minimum requirements. It should take the potential author longer to write their stuff than it takes you to approve it on this site.

Hmmm... if 10-15 chapters was the minimum, then my new serial would only have like 10 updates left after getting listed on WFG. :( I'd kind of like to benefit from growth in readership a little longer than that.

Note: the new serial isn't happening before 2018 (I'm only up to 15K words at this point), but still. It's total word count is going to be something like 80-100K, or 20ish updates.