The Curse of Numbers

Written: 11/04/2015

 

Today’s ramble shall be about reviews, reader responses, sales, page views, and pretty all the little things I check compulsively every day. In an overview. I could spend hours babbling away with unfocused words about any single aspect, but shall restrain myself.

To this end – I shall try to first explain the mixed blessing that is having the public access something you have done.


Anyone who has dared to produce material for the internet (writing, music, artwork, long winded rants that are ultimately pissing against the wind pointless) knows the pain of public opinion. It’s bad enough being criticized at work for performance, things that were unknown, or terrible finished products. I’m scooping out clumps of my thoughts from the depths of whatever fractured mass of brain matter propels me forth – and asking people to like it.

To me, writing is done with a mixture of…

  • hope – to give back to a collective pool that has provided me so much entertainment
  • desperation – to complete the project at all and be something more than a desk monkey
  • fear – of any sort of feedback
  • hope – that people may like it enough to pass it on, or extreme hope that some many chose to pay me for my time

These fears drive me to look for all the feedback available. To measure both my own success or failure, and refine my skills to move forth. Since I do not wish to deal with the revolving door of publishing houses – reader interaction and my wife/editor/CFO are the only feedback available. I don’t advertise to my real life friends about my writing since most of them aren’t ‘readers’ – of my stuff or any others.


So back to the numbers. Ultimately, I receive one comment for every one hundred views or so (With a slight increase in comment to view ratio towards later chapters). That means there are at least 50-99 other people that don’t leave a direct note. That’s fine, I don’t mind (please, lurk and read all you wish) – but it’s the unknown response in each reader’s head that worries me. It’s not even a fear that I could do something different – it’s sheer nosiness. In an effort to see what is being said I roam through Goodreads, Royal Road, Amazon, Web Fiction Guide, backtrack WordPRess hits, talk to other writers, listen for the sound of my iPad getting a WordPress comment and generally drool on myself nervously.

I shall admit that this is a terribly dangerous habit that is both validation providing and mentally stressful.

Here’s the why – if I go by numbers alone…

  • Chapter 1 (Session 1, not including the Commencement)…  has roughly 14,000 views on Royal Road, and another 3,000 on my WordPress – take note of that really quick, the Royal Road traffic is almost five times higher.
  • Chapter 2 (Session 2) …is about 11,000 on Royal Road, then 1,700 on WordPress.

It keeps going in that sort of curve – such that my latest chapter after one day has 530 and 130 respectively (Rounded based on laziness saving my ego). When seeking validation, feedback, addressing personal hopes and fears for audience valuations, I’m reached a few possible conclusions.

  • People start the story, it’s not what they expect, and they drift off. This is an option I’m okay with.
  • People start the story, forget where they are, come back and try again, and repeat an ADD attack. This is an option I’m okay with.
  • People start the story, like it enough to earmark it for later, and binge read once every few months. This is confusing and throws off my perceptions, but I’m also okay with it.
  • People start the story, don’t notice the clear lack of an ‘action tag’ or already existing reviews – hate it, scream about it to the high heavens and anyone will listen. I am not cool with this option because it’s self-inflicted pain where they’re lashing out, and me, fool that I am, read everything I can find.

This is what I mean by the curse of numbers. I pay so much attention to the reader’s actions in desperation for feedback that I get myself all worked up about it. Now please be aware, I am not seeking to name names or call specific people out. To rephrase for clarity; This is not intended to be a whine fest or rallying of the troops. I abhor that kind of action. 

My point is that numbers are a curse, because I constantly seeking possibilities behind the data. My day job involves number crunching and report building, it only makes sense that at home, with a side job (It really is a side job at this point, one I enjoy) that the same actions happen. I seek patterns, reasons, and ways to improve.

This is a mixed thing of course. Here’s an example, Continue Online, the main reason people drop by – gets a ton of attention due to being a ‘LitRPG’. As pointed out on the reviews from Amazon – it is, and isn’t one. The format and backdrop is there, the psychological / love-lost / main character overpowers it with more personality questions. What if? How do we react? Simply things like that. When I read the feedback available and try to correlate it to my numbers, there’s a disconnect. Were I to try and sloppily gauge reader feedback from my 1 in 100 responses (stated above, again sloppy math) against the current values I would believe the following

  • 50% just drift away, or binge read, or forget about it. That’s fine.
  • 25% of the people who start the story really love it, enough to follow it through to the end. (this is a quote) “Continue Online is a remarkably well-crafted story which shines even more brightly in comparison to the standard fare served up on RoyalRoad. If you are expecting a traditional VR tale, you will either find yourself delighted and surprised or bewildered and disappointed…it all depends on your personal reading preferences.”
  • 25% hate me for writing such a (this is a quote) “are one of the shittiest character I’ve ever found in RR. A coward sissy,  dumb like drugged monkey, mentality  sick, a genuine nerd boy in an old man shell, irritatingly passive sissy, irrational and illogical, freaking out with every little thing like a bitch, a gloomy looser but somehow had the luck and achievement of a great man which is total bullshit, in short one of the shittiest personality type.”

Again, I don’t mean to call anyone out. I merely want to use the most visceral example I can find to prove the crowd.

This sort of written feedback is what I’m given to measure against every statistic I can find. My sales being a huge example. (I watch…and nail biting as I am prone to do) Do people not buying it because of the reviews? or the synopsis? or they read it for free (IE why pay for free?) – numbers matching against feedback paint a decent picture, but it’s not a certainty that my conclusions are actually true.

In some ways, it could just be a measure of time.

This is what my gut believes. The sheer difference between the first chapter and last has more to do with months of time – readers trickle in, they don’t show up in a horde clamoring until there is a weight of time and product. Using Worm as an example – the nearly rabid fan base there is not one that popped up overnight. It was built over full years, at least four times longer than I’ve been presenting myself to the interwebz with my biggest puppy dog eyes saying ‘read me’.

I don’t have a formula for time impact upon this all. I can’t say 10 views a day with x diminishing returns per day calculates out values. Well, I could, but let’s face it, that sort of formula does not in the face of Reddit spikes or other shoutouts.

That’s the problem with numbers though. I have so much right now to go off of, and no accurate way to predict what might happen in the future. Will things continue with the same growth pattern? Will I eventually fade into obscurity and face every actors worse nightmare – an empty auditorium?


In the end, once this whole project is done, regardless of public opinion, I hope to feel proud for having completed something of this scale. Too often I speak to people who are ‘in the process’ of ‘writing a book’, which feels like they’re talking about a high school journal that will never see the light of day. I totally understand that status and existed there for years, but I didn’t want to end there. The idea of coming to the end of my years thinking about that book / project / dream I never realized bothers me. I wanted to not fall into the Library of Lost Books. (Read the line about Neil Giaman’s work)

At the very least – I want to end somewhere out there in the future, with dozens of terrible B-list books and a screaming fan base who both hates my work and still somehow finds it in their angry hearts to buy the next book or read the next update.

I just can’t let the numbers crush my spirits before that.

Back to Rambles

21 thoughts on “The Curse of Numbers

  1. Denalo

    Hello Frustrated Ego

    I will reply to only part of what you wrote about the Curse of Numbers
    My mind is in an odd state for me currently; similar to Mania instances in my past…but it is not Mania. The reason for this is something happened in the last week to me, that is why I have so far not read the Bible. Years ago I purchased the Bible with intent to read it; it has a substantial influence on Humanity and what people desire in their dreams. My problem when I considered reading the Bible was that it is part of how Humanity tries to guestimate at the properties of the Supreme Deity.Okay well that sentence alone is not the explanation. My issue that has prevented me from reading the Bible is that for me it would be an incomplete effort to read only that book while not reading the Koran and the Torah also.

    So for me to read the Bible I also have to read the other two books, then the exhausting mental task would begin for me…for me to compare my impressions and thoughts about all three books at the same time. I did not fear that; I do want to read them some day, however I figured it would result in months of me pondering the similarities and differences between them. And I already had hundreds of things I was considering so I did not want to add such a task to my mind.

    But something similar to what I just described happened in the last week.
    About a week ago I started to read the story of ArtHand and his loyal Swordnoob Army.
    In one week I have reached almost the end of Volume 16 of ArtHand.
    This story has become my new favorite story; it has been exhausting mentally to read this because I have compared it to all other books I have read going back over 30 years. That meant there was a tornado within my mind as I changed some priorities I have. Why? Because Arthand is superior to me in all ways, but I believe if Existence is Eternal then maybe in some Universe he does exist( Yes Yes, I know Arthand is improbable…but can you prove to anyone that it is not possible for him to Exist?)

    I am tired; I will take a ten minute break then add another comment here.

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  2. Pingback: New ramble, not a chapter | FrustratedEgo Stories

  3. Denalo

    This is continuing from my last comment.
    You have asked your readers a long question that I will summarize as “Why is it you read my story but rarely comment?”

    I will speculate upon what answers you would get if you ever do.
    !: Lurkers have too much to read to bother to comment on every item they see on the Internet.
    Think about this; everyone who ever uses the Internet is always gonna be a Lurker SOMEWHERE that they read articles or watch videos. But for most Lurkers they do comment on some very small percentage of what they read. So your complaint is that not very many of your readers have any comments for you; in a sense for you as an Author, even that description of the MC of Continue Online as a “Loser Nerd etc” is better for you as an artist than people who say nothing at all. Why? Because you can agree or disagree when someone comments on your story…but there is nothing that defines really why some people say nothing. For people who are Lurkers and say nothing; all you can do is guess why or choose to not care what they think of you…IE care only for the thoughts of people who in some way react to your art.

    2. For both Books and for Film projects; there is a plot of some desired outcome and how the MC attempts to achieve it. ( Note: a story could have only one Main Character, or a few, or dozens or if a story is vast and describes thousands of years of history it could have thousands of MCs) So regarding MC in stories; many complaints are about peoples outrage at the horrible horrible OP MC! Yikes! A character so impressive that he manages to accomplish the impossible?!? No way we must say the story is horrible because the character is just too dammed close to perfect!!!

    Ha Ha
    There is truth and amused sarcasm in that last paragraph;’-)
    Keep in mind there really IS truth in that last paragraph, however I also have a counterargument that I believe has some validity.

    Another break for me then my counterargument. Really I am tired, so I can only do so much before taking a break with my dozens of other priorities. Does that seem to be a paradox? To me it is not; I really enjoy doing simple manual labor tasks where I do not need to think much because that is restful when my Think Too Much Quotient reaches the level of 10. My TTMQ goes up and down; when I meditate it is my attempt to reduce the TTMQ for me or also to work on improving the efficiency of my minds Stream of Consciousness.

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  4. masuel

    Hello Frustrated Ego

    I guess that a lot of readers that don’t comment are, by there very nature consumers not creators. We are enjoying the ride!

    For myself your writing is considerably better than many others and the ideas and characters are interesting. Another point I personally appreciate is that the chapters you put out are not tiny scraps but contain enough for me to immerse myself in the world once more.

    I am hesitant to give advice as I am no position to do so but if you are looking for comments from the peanut gallery I have two. Firstly don’t listen too much to the peanut gallery its your work and your visions that will drive it forwards. Secondly character development is important and not just from the lead. I guess this second comments is more with regards to Royal Scales and there Jay a little too slow on the uptake sometimes.

    Looking forward to finding where you will take us next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mind the lack of commentary – my attempted point had more to do with me trying to understand the audience opinion based on what I had – and trying to improve myself as a writer. That and I spend too much time pressing F5 to see how many views today has, or how many copies my one book has sold, then debating ways to increase the numbers on both stats.
      That being said – your commenttary is welcome at any point. I’ve tried to like, or thumbs up, or say yes to every single review or note sent my way.
      Some of the Royal Scales chapters are really short – so if you start reading that story, don’t be surprised. I designed them with a book in mind and it’s my first, chronologically, written work – and was learning a lot.
      As far as the peanut gallery, I will always read the commentary with a grain of salt. And as far as Jay, he is intended to be kind of a dull / punch it thinker. He’ll get better as he ‘grows’.

      Like

  5. Lecompte

    Hi! I’ve had a brief exchange with you a couple of times on Reddit. I read a great deal of stuff online and offline. I also do pinch editing on a request basis for people if their regular editor is unavailable. I do write a bit but don’t have the compunction to follow through making all my projects stay in their infancy.

    I understand the need for third party validation AND a desire to improve. Intellectually, trying to determine how to improve readership/sales/exposure based on chapter replies is going to be quite challenging and, perhaps, detrimental. Definitely, if you’re reactionary to the advice of plebeians (need more harem!) and trolls (yer karacter is a sissy baby) who make reactionary comments.

    If you really want a large boom to readership — try crazy things! The growth will forever be slow (there will be growth though) with the method of exposure being reddit, royalroad and top web fiction sites. Have you considered sending Scalzi an email? See if he would be willing to feature you in a Big Idea post?

    I will answer your question as to sales vs readers. I will not be buying the amazon version of your book (though my dad already has after I recommended it to him) but I would send you money. Show me the donate button.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lecompte

      I also wanted to talk about readership size, writing style, and “success” but I kinda ran out of steam.

      Let me put it like this: Patricia McKillip is one of the most graphic and captivating writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Her writing and descriptive prose are right out of an acid trip. I will not be recommending her material to a great number of people … I’m more likely to recommend Old Man’s War or The Black Prism or something like that. Not because I think those are BETTER books than hers but because they have a larger audience appeal. It is four cellists doing improve jazz versus Miley Cyrus.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That makes perfect sense. There is a lot to be said about how a person writes and what sort of reader may enjoy it – verses what a person writes about and how much wider a group it can entertain.

        As far as running out of steam, I understand. Conversations through WordPresses system feel clunky to me – but I enjoy reading whatever people have to say regardless. Thank you for taking the time to drop a line or twenty.

        Like

    2. I’ve never heard of the Big Ideas topic, I’ll look into it and at least try to figure out what that’s all about – unless you have a link readily available?

      Most of what I’m trying to do is stick with the storylines I’ve got established – and just let those progress along their paths. Each new storyline will attempt to feature a different setting, scenario, or personality in whatever ways I can manage. (Hopefully Jay from Royal Scales feels nothing like Grant from Continue Online)

      I generally take those examples (Harem / sissy) as feedback, but nothing that will alter the stories course or stop me from writing. Most of my concern is making sure that my own feelings about different scenarios (how I try to objectively view my own work) matches up with what the general public sees – and all I have are awesome notes such as this one and viewer counts.

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      1. Lecompte

        http://whatever.scalzi.com
        John scalzi wrote a couple of rather well known books in the Sci fi genre and his blog get a quite a bit of traffic… He even has a book about hate mail that that been emailed to him for his positions on the blog called Your hate mail will be graded. He has authors do a big idea post sometimes in support of their book.

        I’m sorry for grammar and formatting issues in this email. I’m posting from bed on my cell phone. Hah

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Denalo

    Okay so I am glad that I did not continue with my train of thought in reply to frustratedego this morning, but instead waited until now. Why? Because if I had written further upon what I was considering this morning, there would have been flaws in my answer I was not aware of.

    Lecompte and Masuel
    Your internet Nicks are lovely.
    I have multiple internet names myself, each with a different meaning and origin, however your chosen internet names are more pretty in a pure phonetic sense than any of mine own.

    Also regarding what both of you said to frustrated ego; to the extent that I understood what you wrote, I agree with you heartily. Also what you said was not something I was intending to say myself…thus no matter how much I write on this I never would have added the insight you did.
    Or shorter; I agree and no way I could say it better than you;-)

    My answer to frustratedego (Part 2, continued IE counterargument I mentioned this morning)

    Okay so a few comments from me on the concept of an Overpowered Main Character in any fiction format. First is I will recommend an old Spider Robinson book where in the first chapter we get a description of a Perfect Warrior raging at his failure to find anyone willing to fight him. Now in almost any normal action story with combat, a Perfect Warrior would by definition be an Overpowered Main Character…but you have to search for which book Spider Robinson wrote to find out why that perfect warrior had no solution to his dilemma. Surely I have an obligation to tell you the title to the book about the perfect warrior!!! But I don’t wanna do that because this is my devious and utterly impossible to resist attempt to get even one more person to read stories by an Author I love. Muuah HA HA Bask in the glory of that nefarious plot!

    Second
    Consider the two ultimate extremes of the wisdom/intelligence, and importance, and influence, and raw power…of the main character in a story. Here are the two extremes; on one end you have a microbe that has no self awareness, and on the other is an entity impossible for a Human to comprehend because it is in all ways perfect at the beginning of the first chapter.
    To have a Microbe or a perfect entity as the MC of a story would be an extreme challenge for any writer to attempt. But also consider that if the MC is perfect then if it changes in any way at all it will become something less than perfect; that is interesting as an idea to consider, but it also is the exact opposite of many stories in which the MC becomes more competent, respected, etc as the story progresses.

    So for the second point; for any story it is an important thing to consider how close to perfect an entity is at both the beginning and the end of the story. The story is a journey for the reader (and creatively for the Author who is sometimes astonished at what they think of!! ) the MC in which that entity succeeds or fails, or changes in some way; the story explains why those changes happen.

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  7. Denalo

    My Reply to FrustratedEgo (Counterargument part 3)
    Apologies from me that I am not writing all this in one post; the reason for that is because this is typed realtime without me using notes…so I would be annoyed if a glitch in my internet service made me fail to post something that took a long while for me to write)

    Okay so the example above that frustratedego gave of a critical comment, in effect said that the story of Continue Online is not worth his consideration because the MC is a winy loser. I’m sure frustratedego has the insight to just shrug in indifference to a criticism such as that because he chose to have the MC be very flawed at the beginning DELIBERATELY for the purpose of his story.He has his vision of a man filled with despair and his difficult and complex method he gradually becomes less flawed. The thing about this story is that much of the plot so far would be illogical if the MC was a Macho Man who was not even slightly upset when his Fiance died; for the Plot to make sense it is a requirement that the MC start flawed and only slowly become less flawed.

    Ummm I am losing track of whatever points I was trying to make; if I add any more it would simply make this current comment less understandable. So shucks I can’t finish this train of thought.

    Like

  8. First: the readership curve you descripe can be attributed to a major influence: site navigation. Improve that, and you’ll notice readers have appreciably more staying power.

    I generally use your twitter feed to navigate. But some people might not be on a screen that shows it easily, or have some other issue with it loading – it’s stable enough for me, but 3rd party ‘feeds’ are always unreliable in some way.

    I have 4 recommendations:
    1. Have a clear link for ‘First chapter – Story X, Story Y’ and ‘Latest Chapter: Story X, Story Y’ on EVERY PAGE. Make it bold; use a graphic, even. Make it front and center (or slightly off-center, but only slightly). Remember that some people have to scroll around horizontally to see your content, and plan for that.
    2. Have a chapter guide in the sidebar on *almost* every page (pages dedicated to that story). I recommend having every 5 chapters or so be the bullet point of a collapsing tree, since you’ve got a lot of content and expect to have more; but that may be too technically difficult on a hosted WordPress site. Regardless of its internal structure, whatever you have to do, *have that sidebar!*
    3. The top bar menu is already broken down by books; but I recommend having each book with nested menu of chapters, again condensing by every 5 or 6 chapters or so. This is to help those readers that come back after missing a few chapters, or read halfway through and have to stop for some reason, and only have a vague and general idea of where they left off. I can hit the back button 2 or 3 times to find where I stopped reading, but having to hit ‘previous chapter’ 15 times to recover my reading position is painful. Breaking it down into larger chunks helps forgetful navigators.
    4. Make sure that inbound links are going where you want them to! Check your log for referrers from other sites and ensure that the links they give are the best they can be. If they’re linking to, for example, one of your announcement pages that’s 6 months old, ask them to update it or leave a comment.

    Those are suggestions to help with the seeming dwindling stream of readers as they get further into the story. But to attract *new* readers, I can only recommend what I saw Wildbow do. First, he kept an *exacting* schedule, every tuesday and thursday, and never missed – he even apologized for posting a *minute* late once. Occasionally, he’d post on a saturday – usually bonus content – but when his readership really heated up was when he spent a week writing *every day* and posting – and each of his posts was around 10k words. The first week he did that was a nice surprise, and an attaboy. Then he did it *again* a few weeks later, and that time caught people’s attention. When he did it a third time, around Christmas (It was years ago – I forget the exact timing) people had caught on to what a massive undertaking this was and were paying close attention. He, to my knowledge, has never left the top of topwebfiction, and is the top-rated author on webfictionguide and Muse’s Success (which is a horribly organized website by the way, but they’ve been around forever). It didn’t hurt that the writing itself was constantly escalating in tension.

    Writing huge updates, and writing them so *fast*, and never ever ever missing an update, along with a few other details, gained him a loyal following that’s carried through to his other projects and continued to grow. There are some other interesting quirks – for example, he never gave himself a gender and used a gender-neutral avatar of a… furry thing, so for most of the first year he wrote I thought he was a she, but wasn’t actually sure… I’m sure that wasn’t intentional, but it was a quirk – one of many – that kept me curious enough to come back every few days.

    Another example would be Jim Zoeteway, and ‘Legion of Nothing’. I consider that site to be the ‘Law & Order’ of webfiction; i.e., it’s a show that’s been running longer than pretty much everybody, plods along, isn’t flashy or hyperbolic, but it gets’erdone. He has short updates and writes I would say much less quickly than you do, and isn’t in even the same Newtonian frame as Wildbow, but he has a rabid following – and he does side projects with other ‘Superhero’ genre authors, he does other things. But mostly, he’s just there. He too is always consistent, always reliable, very very rarely is late with an update (it’s happened, but years and years ago). To give you an idea, I started reading him in… 2008? I think. And his story is still in the middle, no end in sight. But it’s fun – and his writing has interesting technical goodies, he writes a suit-wearing gadgeteer type of superhero that’s always raising questions and wondering about things, and it’s good comment fodder. Totally different style than Wildbow, but still very successful.

    I don’t suggest you do the same thing; you have your own quirks. But create a little mystery, a little anticipation, and when you do a reveal, go BIG. Wildbow and Jim Z. had things you don’t, and won’t; you’ve got your own tricks, just use them. As for going big, I wouldn’t recommend you write as much and as quickly as he does; I’m still not convinced that he didn’t have all that archived up from years of prior preparation – and if he DID write 1.6 million words or so in one year, then I’m not convinced he is a human being who eats and sleeps. Might be a mechanoid learning about humanity by pretending to write ficition, idunno. Don’t kill yourself like that; instead go with a trick only *you* can do. (Though, flashy eye-catching tactics aside… writing a whole lot is helpful to gain readership, however you do it. just saying.)

    Last note: for anything – and I mean ANYTHING – creative done online, be it art or writing or youtubing, I have this mental earmark I call the 3 year slog. The Web is as twitchy as a fresh-caught trout, and has about the same attention span. But consistency draws it in. I believe, and this is my own personal belief – I haven’t done a scientific study or anything – but I believe as a rule of thumb that it takes content creators about 3 years of consistent output before the Web will take it and them seriously. So if nothing else, just keep sloggin’. You can count me as a fan, for sure, and I hope your readership picks up, but if you just keep slogging I am certain it will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve actually talked to Wildbow about worm before, he’s running around in one of the IRC channels I visit. He’s a machine I swear, and really pushed himself once he got started.

      As far as site navigation, I’ve tried a few navigation menu changes but found issues with how they look on cell phones. They don’t collapse so it’s a wall at the top. I’ll have to find a better theme or get my own site at this point to fix it.

      I read he rest, thank you for the feedback. It does help!

      Like

      1. I believe WordPress has an option for cellphone-loaded pages – it’s been a long time since I looked into it, but I know there are options. You can have your cake and eat it too.

        The only problem with messing with WP scripts, or any scripting for that matter, is that it takes away time you could be doing other stuff with. Still, I want to reiterate how very important better site navigation can be. It’s a game changer for page views!

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  9. Genisyn

    I’ll be honest, I really like your story. I also think its an ‘underdog’, in a genre that is almost dominated by foreign authors/tropes. Which is why alot are hateful towards it, those that do read your story are more thoughtful people, much like your main character. I believe like me alot of them are ‘introspective’, if not introverted by nature on their opinions. I rarely, and I really can’t stress this enough, rarely comment on anything online or IRL. Probably why the story itself appeals to me. TBH, I think the reddit/royalroad crowds have less readers who are interested in this sort of MC than OMGZSUPAPOWALEETHACKSTOTALLYDESERVEIT MC. Its not a poor self insert, or harem fulfillment… It is still a wonderful story. I’d suggest ‘lurking’ yourself for alot more sites to post on if anything, even if only a temporary thing. Grabbing a few more thousand for first time views, and keeping a few long term investors sort of thing. Even possibly changing or making an alternate synopsis for other sites, especially as he starts ‘growing’ more. Such as sites dealing with depression, as disrespectful as that sounds. So few MC’s truly deal with a believable character suffering from deep depression. Opposed to a trope like disposable woman which is entirely surface related, your’s is entwined into the story like “lost Lenore”, where it continues as part of the plot. If others can’t see his weakness as both the starting point, and the reason the AIs (at least in my mind) pick him as malleable (though that is debatable).

    I think your MC is great, it’s almost as if he is an antihero, but he isn’t. He most certainly isn’t a hero, and he actually fits into the ‘unwitting hero’, or hopeful hero. So many authors swear up and down that their character is down on his luck, or weak, then becoming powerful on their synopsis, and yet it’s not there, or its complete drivel of elevator versus staircase growth. Your story actually owns up to its synopsis, not a preconceived story trope. That review of “he doesn’t deserve it, weak MC” type of vile response is simply someone who can’t really appreciate literature at all. That sounds disrespectful, but it’s the truth. If you can’t read different kinds of stories, with different characters. Then you’re just reading the same story in a different skin.

    Also, tbh… Reddits readers are biased as crap.. If I had marketed your story as a CN release that you were translating, they’d probably have upvoted it… I mean, they just recently split from light novels over the fact that other novels weren’t light novels because they weren’t of JP origin, thus couldn’t be there… That’s why I think you could market on other Novel sites, if only to grab a few readers here and there, get more feedback, and bolster numbers. Without the revolving door, that has a “huge sign” out front to bring in readers, you’ll have to market yourself more. I don’t really feel comfortable reaching out to non-standard sites. But I think putting it on other sites even as a monthly dump or something like that might be beneficial to grab attention.
    Such as, Fictionpress.com (where mother of learning a popular EN novel is at), or quotev (http://www.quotev.com/stories/c/Fantasy). You don’t necessarily have to maintain them either, posting book 1, or book 1 & 2 out there, with a statement that your novel is continued (and up to date releases) found on wordpress as the main site. For example. Also, I’m not sure it is possible, but novelupdates.com is awesome But I’ve never seen an EN story on there.. so I don’t know. Storiesonline.net? I think thats just pervy stuff(I was totally there for the plot!), but I’m also not sure.

    Best of luck to you. I can’t say I’ll keep up with my reddit linking forever, just because I’m lazy… And once I’m into a book I get stuck there without the ability to stop reading it for another book. Which is what happened last week, I read all of “world’s of Fel” subjugation universe, then I read kit (interesting, but it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be), then I read spirit walker stuff (spirit walker was really really good imo) (http://forums.sennadar.com/viewforum.php?f=18 , and http://www.weavespinner.net/worlds_of_fel.htm) if you wanna see what I was fussing over haha).

    Until next time I’ll be lurking in the shadows.
    I also agree greatly with one of the replies. Lurkers have too much to read to bother to comment on every item they see on the Internet (-sic- before they go look at porn)
    I hope what little jokes and advice I had help. Cya!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a lot to reply to here, but I will say the Reddit views help a ton, but I understand that you may not always be around or distracted, it’s all good to me. I’m trying to treat this as a long term project where hits may come in a year or two after the story itself is done.

      As far as the other details, I’ve read them and I’ll certainly keep an eye out for other places to post. We’ll see how it goes. I work full time and spend most of my time writing, so sanity and brainpower is in low supply sometimes, especially this month.

      Like

  10. Genisyn

    OH! I’d also say you should look into more artwork, both for your site, and especially! For the book cover for amazon. I don’t mind the one you have now, but that is because I’ve read the story, and catch the reference. I would go so far as to say, try to get someone paid for it, like a deviantart-ist or something.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I really enjoy reading your ramblings. It’s fun to get into someone’s head and really see what they’re thinking.

    I found your blog on the Dream Big, Dream Often blog post where you were featured. I was featured there last week. It would be great if you’re interested in taking a look at my site:

    Poweredbymangos.wordpress.com

    Like

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