Site Review Courtesy?

There seems to be some sort of 'honor code' about asking for reviews here, where one is expected to have written reviews for other serials. Does this also hold for website reviews? I haven't had time to do any proper reviews yet, so I understand if this would be a breach of etiquette.

I'm not familiar with any code...

Honestly, a good rule of thumb is to give if you expect to take. Just review things in the listings. It's probably more polite to do that before asking for a review for yourself, but I would consider that general good manners rather than a cultural thing endemic to WFG.

There is no code.

That said, we get a lot of people who:

  1. * Post in the forums asking for a review. Get review, maybe say 'thank you' and never show up again.

  2. * Submit their story to the site, ask about editor reviews or wait time or something, then never show up again.

  3. * Ask for/argue about reviews in general, but never write their own.

Of these, a great many just sort of quietly drop their serial midway through the writing, or get super sporadic with the updates and then sort of coast into an indefinite hiatus.

It breaks down to a lack of engagement and interaction. The truth of the matter is that most serialists want readers and comments. WFG is one source of such, yes, but by and large getting listed or reviewed will give you a short bump in numbers, and things will steadily drop or level off at a number barely higher than what you had before. With so many just wanting readers or comments, it's very discouraging. In truth, it takes a year or more to start getting a serious audience; I'm basing that off of Worm, which is the highest rated serial on the site yet had less than 50 readers before the one year mark.

It's discouraging to write and get no readers, and it's discouraging to review something and try to give it support in a way, only for it to drop off the radar shortly after. IMO, the best thing you can do is participate and interact. Think about topics for the forum, make it so other authors know your name (and know it for the right reasons), and provide any services you can - I know a lot of members of WFG have respect because they have some know-how about site stuff or they have talent as artists and do commission work, among other things.

Participating and offering your help isn't just about politeness, but it shows that you're plugged in and you're investing something other than raw words on the page in hopes of a reader turnout, and that in turn makes it easier to review, both because you're more of a person than a random screen name with no avatar, and because it suggests you aren't about to disappear on us, the moment you have something you wanted, or the moment you don't get the results you wanted.

It's a marathon, not a sprint. Yes, you can focus on the miles alone and putting one foot in front of the other, you can even hope for recognition (reviews), but if you're really into this, the best thing you can do is network with other people who can give you support, pick you up when you fall, and keep you company on the lonelier stretches.

Sorry to digress. Just trying to show my (our?) mentality here.

From my own experience on fan fiction boards (yes I admit to it), reviewing other folk's work and building relationships with other writers is important for both writing practice and increased readership. It's how one of my stories became one of the top 2 of that particular fanbase. After participation, regular updates are also vital. Give if you want to receive.

But no, there's no obligation. But interaction is going to really help your webnovel's success.

Off topic: Wildbow, I'm curious how you extrapolate how many readers your serial had. I know you publish on Wordpress, as I do, and while we can see numbers of pageviews and unique visitors I haven't worked out a method of seeing how many people are actually following my story.

I guesstimate the number of readers from the amount of views the latest chapter gets over 2 weeks. Then I add the RSS feed views and half the followers. Unfortunately, there's no way of telling for sure how many followers read the chapter they get emailed. :(

I'm surprised Wildbow only had 50 readers before the turn of the first year. How did you calculate, Wildbow? Because Worm's view stats were way higher than mine even when I only had 150ish readers.

I dunno about wildbow, but I had a self hosted img file in every post that I used to capture ip address and ran them through excel myself for unique visitors. that way I could track number of visits from a specific ip

You sir Alexander are a genius. I have also used one of those gadgets that shows the National flag of every IP that views my site, it's pretty fun.

its an old blackhat marketing trick, really, you put a one pixel by one pixel dot img in emails you send out, with the name of the img tagging the email address for each spam, and by checking usage logs on the imgs, lets you know who opened the email and viewed it as well as forwarded it, and lets you tag an ip to each email address for futher customization of advertising. its why most email programs warn you about an email having images on an external site, do you want to load?

Weeeeeell, I know what emails I'm gonna be burning from now on.