Why do you read web fiction? Seeking comments for article

Hello, I'm working on an article for my blog -- http://herladyshipsquest.blogspot.com/ -- about the web fiction scene. I'll be mentioning the web fiction guide as a place that aggregates online fiction, but I would also like to include some feedback from actual readers of web fiction.

Please comment about any or all of these questions or address your own topics:

What appeals to you about web fiction?

How did you get started as a reader?

Do you find web fiction different than mainstream fiction, like a book you'd find at a bookstore?

Please also let me know if I have permission to quote you in the article. In addition to my blog, I will likely place it at the syndication site Ezinearticles.com and I'll even put it in this forum too and maybe Mobileread.com.

Thanks in advance to anyone who shares his or her opinions.

I think I first read web fiction back around 2001. One day I searched for "free science fiction stories" and I found some! The sites and stories I read back then seem to have vanished now.

Although I've read novels online, I still think reading a physical book is more comfortable. Where I see the advantages of web fiction, are in these points:

1) I love the opportunity to interact with the author and other readers. To me, this adds so much to the reading experience.

2) I like the web serial format. With a printed book, I can rarely stop myself from racing through it. With serials, I'm forced to take it in a little every day, which makes me savour each snippet rather than gulping it down whole. If I feel I don't have time to read for pleasure, it still never takes much time just to read a little web serial update, so I can always get a fiction fix, in bite sized portions. It gives me something to look forward to.

I've noticed quite a variety out there in terms of what authors hope for in terms of compensation. Some explicitly request readers to donate to fund the writing effort, some use their free web offerings to help promote their printed books, some just have a "tips jar", some don't even have a donation button and seem to just be happy to have readers. All of these approaches are valid and rely on the goodwill of the reader. I think the least a reader should do is express their appreciation of a story they've enjoyed in some way, whether by a tip or a comment. It's like clapping for a musical performance. The energy must be returned in order to keep it cycling.

(I give permission to quote for the article)

Very informative comments. Thanks for sharing, Fiona. I'll let you know when I finish the article.

Hi Fiona,

Thank you for your comments and insights that contributed to my article about the web fiction scene. I have just published it at my blog Her Ladyship's Quest.


Sincerely, Tracy Falbe

Great article. All WFG members should take a look. Nice shoutout to WFG. I learned our bold founder Chris is a fellow Canuck. Eh! Also, find out which web fiction author can read and knit at the same time ;)

Although I said I still prefer to read printed novels, thinking about it I realized financially over the last few years I have contributed more in donations to web fiction than to traditionally published fiction. This is because my print reading material usually come to me in the form of gifts, lent by friends, or from used bookstores. Thus, my economic footprint, although very small (don't get too excited authors!), is favouring the new media.

That was an interesting read.

And I also didn't realize that WFG is Canadian. Canucks represent, eh! =D

I really do think this entire scene is only picking up speed. I myself am beginning to transition more and more to reading web fiction, partially due to the price, and partially due to the ease of communication with the author that you mention in the article. As well, I've noticed people seem more willing to spend money on web fiction authors, through donations or digital copies, than they would spending $20 on a paperback novel that they may or may not enjoy.