RRL now offering paid ads

RoyalRoadL is now offering authors the opportunity to promote works, that are hosted on their site, on their frontpage. Blaise Corvin has already bought a placement. It will be interesting to see how it goes.


Unless they're talking unique views, those are some pretty expensive rates...

To elaborate: I've spent about $70 advertising on Gunnerkrigg Court via Project Wonderful. and that ad has had around 700,000 views.

Not sure I'm a fan. I have a feeling that over time, visibility will be exclusive to those who pay and push everyone else down.

Not that I'm visible on RRL, just saying...

@Dary CTR rate so far is above 5% on RRL though. What's your project wonderful CTR?

@Chrysalis It's definitely a concern. I think the admins there are keeping an eye out for that though.

5% is rather high, so I'll give them that. PW is usually much lower, but then the ads are almost always displaying across multiple pages. Unique visitors-wise it's usually around 1-2%, depending on the site.


No need to worry that only paid stories will get exposure. The lists and rankings aren't going anywhere. Paid placement is really only to give your story a boost while it's new and doesn't yet have a following, if you think it's worth it.

@unice5656 The lists and rankings are strongly influenced by the number of views / reviews, though, and the only 'free' way to gain exposure is by updating daily - which I'm not able to do anymore. A story with paid advertising is clearly going to get many more views than an unknown new story without paid advertising.

The goal of doing paid advertisement, in my opinion, would be to get enough exposure to find your reader base, which is hopefully enough people who would leave reviews to get you on the Best Rated/Active lists, the lists with more longevity than the view-based lists. You could do the same thing by saving up a large chunk of story and updating daily for a month.

Future updates will have more rankings and lists by different criteria, hopefully allowing different kinds of stories to gain exposure.

The problem I have with this, though, is that no one should have to pay to find their initial reader base. Updating daily for a month isn't always possible, either. I'd have to stop posting for a year to save up that much edited content. I did it at the beginning, but even after updating daily for 3 weeks I still didn't have enough views / reviews to appear in a visible spot on any of the lists.

Generally, I don't believe in having to pay to let more than a handful of readers read your stuff for free. That's just... wrong in so many ways.

Needing to update daily just to get noticed is a pretty silly system. It encourages quantity over quality. People who want to spend time on their writing are going to lose out to those who can pump out two thousand words an hour. You end up in a race to the bottom where nobody benefits.

@Dary I'm not sure you can blame RRL for that. The readership is very much drawn to stories that post daily. They read web novels to get a quick fix every day.It's not that you have to post daily to get noticed, it's that people are much more willing to stick with a story that posts daily and actively look for those stories.

The other question would be what is a better way to do it? How can you you make sure stories get good exposure? There are a lot of stories on that site, more added every hour.

RRL could do what Wattpad does and 'feature' overlooked stories that fulfill certain quality standards.

And yes, my experience was that you have to post daily to get noticed, because the 'recent updates' list is one of the very few ways to get some eyeballs on your story. It's about the only list I discovered that doesn't require a bazillion views to appear on it.

Maybe they could use the money they'll make from advertising to employ a curator or three to pick out and highlight quality content? Otherwise it will end up collapsing under its own weight as multitudes of writers push themselves to write more and more per day just to get noticed, causing the quality of writing to nosedive and leaving the site with a reputation for subpar fiction.

It's so subjective. What a 'curator' thinks is good may not appeal to the readers. An on RRL the readership's taste is highly questionable. They like a lot of crap. Even some of the most popular stories are horribly written, but people like them, write thousands of comments, beg the writer for more. Good grammar and spelling doesn't guarantee it won't be boring or pretentious. You read enough Asian LN, you're tastes just start to warp (believe, me I speak from experience).

I'm not saying things are fine as they are (I don't think a p2w model is great either) but coming up with a fair and satisfactory system for getting exposure for a story is just very hard.

It's not RRL's responsibility to make sure "quality' fiction finds an audience. That was the argument of record companies and traditional book publisher, and look what happened to them.

The story feature system works great for Wattpad, though. And curators who are also RRL veterans themselves should have a pretty good idea of what appeals to the audience there.

I think it's safe to say that stories with a good number of glowing reviews appeal to the audience. ;)

I think you do have a point but bear in mind the vast majority of readers on RRL aren't members of the site and don't leave reviews.

Do all the stories with terrible reviews and thousands of readers not appeal to the audience. Obviously they do (although god knows why). Is the site there to cater for the audience or the writers?

As for Wattpad I think that system works but only for a very small number of books, which is great if you're one of the chosen. But I don't think it's a great system.

I don't value many people's opinions on what they think is good. A big website thinks I should read this? No thanks.

On the other hand if each writer also recommended other books on his profile, so if you like his stories maybe you'll share his tastes, I can see that working if handled right. But then do writers really want readers to focus on the competition? Why promote others when you find it hard enough to promote yourself. And would it devolve into a circle jerk with people trading support? I don't know how well that would work.

But paying to be noticed is better than any of the other suggestions? I still disagree. :P

And I agree with your disagree; it isn't the best, but at the same time it won't take eyes away from a story that already wasn't getting any attention. And if it makes RRL a little money to keep feeding the hamsters powering the servers, meh.

But then do writers really want readers to focus on the competition? Why promote others when you find it hard enough to promote yourself.

Because anyone who says "I'm not supporting other creatives because they're competition" comes across as a narcissistic ass?

It may be selfish, petty, insecure but I don't see how it's narcissistic. And I don't really mean it in an assholey way, just the energy required to type up even a short review after I've churned out another chapter of my own is hard to come by these day.