The last few weeks have been quiet for serials or other variants of webfiction.
So this will be a combo editorial/rambling blog plus news post with fun links on the bottom.
Why we should pay attention to news on paywalls and digital periodicals
Among the more interesting stories emerging the last two weeks are those about newspapers and magazines trying to sort through how to manage and monetize readership. Paidcontent.org follows a lot of different content providers and recently posted several articles this month worth reading.
This one from early February pointed out a problem for us who write on the web to consider…. Namely there’s a blind tendency to ignore or not try to understand the motivations and interest level of your readers arriving at the first page of your site/story.
Currently, the majority of independently-hosted online novels, serials, or webfiction are free to read from start to finish. However, there are a few examples of sites both independently hosted or hosted by communities that force a registration action, i.e., ask you to “log in” or obtain an ID to access content. I don’t have stats on the retention rates and so I can only speak as a reader and content consumer. I know that in at least half the cases these requests force me to simply leave the site, close the app, or look for another story.
This is what the article pretty much alludes to. You can’t be certain of the impact of these barriers and the interest/motivations of readers. Casual ones or those who are lazy (or privacy hounds) will probably walk away unless they truly are searching for that content and have a NEED to see what comes behind a wall. But how can these visitors become excited, invested readers if you put too much content behind a screen? And how do you keep them from sliding to a free site where there is no wall.
The internet caters to those of us who like instant gratification.
Every login, every active action a reader has to take means a subconscious decision must be made as to whether to continue reading. The painful experiments being conducted by periodicals online should serve as a caution to many folks who try to make content that will reach the widest audience.
E-book/Print book templates: The next stage of publication for your online novel
Interest: Paizo/Magic the Gathering/ “web fiction”
Forbes sat down this week with some folks from Paizo — and after a bit of checking, realized these guys have been writing web fiction for some time. Check out their “web fiction” page!
Interest: Cory Doctorow joins Wattpad
I didn’t see him announce this. Rather he just showed up on site one day and posted his books. I only realized this because other folks I watch on Wattpad started commenting on his books.
Pretty cool, IMHO. I’m now finally reading his books online!