Tag Archives: online writing community

Writers and the Long Tail: Hope for the little guy

The following was written in 2013 and was an examination of the book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson, for my Creative Writing degree program at Full Sail University. It explores ways of reaching niche audiences and the benefits of reputation economy. If you don’t know what “the long tail” is, click here to see my Youtube post for an explanation! The questions in bold were questions provided by my instructor at the time. The assignment was to provide answers from the book and industry examples supporting the excerpts I chose. I’m posting this here now, hoping that my work might help others. Chris Anderson’s book really changed the way I look at my own work and the industry and I think everyone should read his work!

If you like this essay, please consider checking out my e-book, Tributaries, and help me realize my dream!


  1. The Internet and digital storage has created a nearly infinite shelf space for all media types, but it has also given the tools of production to anyone with a laptop computer. In this new world of super-abundance how will writers distinguish themselves and their work?

Writers can distinguish themselves by targeting their writing, publishing, and distribution efforts to niche audiences. Understanding how to effectively sell and/or advertise one’s work is understanding the vast diversity that is the Internet. Many people surf the Internet, but not everyone goes to the same places online. Those primarily interested in science and history for instance, are very likely to frequent accurate scientific and historical wikis, forums, and blogs. Conversely, they are less likely to visit sites about video games, childcare, or car customization. That isn’t to say that these Internet users won’t web surf based on their other interests, but the point is to target your audience, and if you were writing a science or historical based work, you would seek to distribute and promote your writing at the places these Internet users frequent for such things.

The pitfall of many writers is failing to capitalize on new and effective Internet tools to distinguish themselves. It is true that there are many easy methods to publish and distribute, but there are other frontiers that can help increase your visibility with potential readers. Video can be a quick and dirty way to get readers to visualize the basic premise, setting, and genre of your story. Music is prolific on the internet, and offering a free download of a song you commissioned from a musician with information about your book or author website can spread very quickly. Social networks have also provided a way to connect with people outside of your personal circle with the use of hash tags, categories, and other special filters. Writers need never restrict themselves in how they wish to promote and distribute their work. For new authors especially, Chris Anderson (2008) writes:

From filmmakers to bloggers, producers of all sorts that start in the Tail with few expectations of commercial success can afford to take chances. They’re willing to take more risks, because they have less to lose. There’s no need for permission, a business plan, or even capital. The tools of creativity are now cheap, and talent is more widely distributed than we know. Seen this way, the Long Tail promises to become the crucible of creativity, a place where ideas form and grow before evolving into commercial form. (p. 78)

Given this awareness, writers looking to be seen and heard in the super-abundance should not be afraid to try out new and experimental methods.

  1. Discuss the importance of Exposure Culture, the Wisdom of Crowds and how they relate to the use Filters in creating successful media ventures.

The Wisdom of Crowds was actually a book written some two hundred years ago by James Surowiecki about how the many can be smarter than the few. Anderson discusses this idea, using examples such as Wikipedia, and how the online encyclopedia’s constant growth and adaptation has both its upside—and its downside. On the macroscale, the results of instant updates to a staggering number of articles in real time shows how Wikipedia leaves such works as the Encyclopedia Britannica in the dust. But on the microscale, the accuracy of such articles and the risk of vandalism is the tradeoff for such emergent information.

The wisdom of crowds thrives on probabilistic systems as they “can scale nicely both in breadth and depth.” (Anderson, 2008, p. 69) The important thing to remember is that anything taken from these systems (be this a Google search or a book review) should be taken with a grain of salt. Such results, like Wikipedia, should be the first source of information, not the last. But there is a need for such trailheads in the infinite shelf abundance of the Internet, and this is why filters use such emergent information to help guide users and/or customers to products further down the tail.

Here is where exposure culture relates to the wisdom of crowds and search filters. Tim Wu of Columbia University is quoted by Anderson (2008) in The Longer Long Tail:

The exposure culture reflects a philosophy on the web, in which getting noticed is everything […] and at the center of this exposure culture is the almighty search engine. If your site is easy to find on Google, you don’t sue—you celebrate. (p. 74)

Exposure culture relies on the wisdom of crowds to influence the emergent information used by filters to get noticed. Without the wisdom of crowds, filters would be consulting old data and attempting to apply it to an unreceptive audience. Search engines, recommendation systems, and customer data must have constant feedback on Internet trends in order to best serve their users.

With proper attention and research, a person can observe these trends and take advantage of them to better promote their work, therefor ensuring that they take a more active role in exposure culture rather than a reactive role. A person can achieve maximum effectiveness for their media venture if they research top searches, hash tags, categories, and popular purchases within a certain frame of time. Sometimes, capitalizing on such information must be done within a certain period, especially for volatile trends, lest the window of opportunity closes.

  1. Cite an example from the text or other reading that exemplifies what you feel is the most important trend identified or illuminated in The Longer Long Tail.

In The Longer Long Tail Chris Anderson (2008) writes:

Why do they do it? Why does anyone create something of value (from an encyclopedia entry to an astronomical observation) without a business plan or even the prospect of a paycheck? The question is a key one to understanding the Long Tail, partly because so much of what populates the curve does not start with commercial aim […] One economic model doesn’t fit all. You can think of the Long Tail starting as a traditional monetary economy at the head and ending in a non-monetary economy in the tail. In between the two, it’s a mixture of both. (p. 73)

Anderson (2008) also writes:

[…] there is a coin of the realm that can be every bit as motivating as money: reputation. Measured by the amount of attention a product attracts, reputation can be converted into other things of value: jobs, tenure, audiences, and lucrative efforts of all sorts. (p. 74)

Given my personal experiences, these passages highlight the most important trends illuminated in The Longer Long Tail for me. Before joining Full Sail University, I had already begun my own journey as an amateur author publishing my original work for free online. I was attempting to build a reputation for myself, to gain recognition among the audiences I was targeting, because I knew there were others like me who wanted the sort of stories I wrote. When I explained to family, friends, or fellow writers what it was I was doing, the question always came—“Why are you giving your work away for free? Why are you throwing out all that hard work?” To them, my efforts seemed wasteful and shortsighted. Since I wasn’t making any money off of it, I had to struggle for a long time to convince those close to me that what I was doing was worthwhile.

Reading those words from Chris Anderson felt like having everything I worked for validated by someone who knew about economics, and not just knew it about it, but made it their life. I’d never been able to put in a satisfactory way why it was I was doing free online writing, because every explanation I tried seemed to make others doubtful or uncertain as to what it really meant. Anderson sums it up very nicely, and even comes up with a phrase to adequately describe the trend: reputation economy. The idea that a person could build their reputation to the point that it creates opportunities was something I’d always hoped for. Now I don’t hope for it, I work toward it.

But Anderson acknowledges that this isn’t a perfect fit for every product, a fact I agree with wholeheartedly. Not all of my works are a good fit for free publication and distribution, and I mean to submit these stories through more conventional channels. Yet I have no regrets for the decisions I have made regarding my writing so far. I now have an established audience and I have fellow writers that I have networked with. I have learned many of the tools and methods necessary to build a proper Internet presence given the paths I have taken. Many writers lack these skills, and I have the reputation economy to thank for teaching them to me. Now if anyone asks, I can tell them so, in no uncertain terms!

  1. How do you see immersion and interactivity changing the role of writers in the entertainment marketplace and how will you adapt to this phenomenon?

In the past, a writer’s work was very much like a brick-and-mortar store. The product, in this case the writing, was put out to market. Customers, in this case the readers, would acquire the work and read it. After reading it, their opinions were published in newspapers, and in the early days of the Internet, personal websites like Geocites (before the arrival of blogs). Any feedback a writer would get about a work would be after the act of publishing it. Even if new editions were released, the work largely remained the same—meaning major plot points and characters did not deviate too far from the original publication. Writers also chose their writing projects alone, based on their observations of the market (which before Web 2.0 was slow to adapt to immediate reader demand.)

However with the Internet now allowing for individuals to not just passively consume content, but instantly interact with it, this is no longer the case. Even reader reviews are subject to feedback. Blogs allow for readers to directly comment on content and have others view their comments and respond to those. Google Drive has the capability of allowing anyone with access to view a document being typed live, comment on it, highlight passages, and in some cases (if authorized) to edit the document directly. Silvia Hartmann wrote the first complete draft of her novel, The Dragon Lords, live on Google Drive. (“Author Writes A,” 2012) The manuscript is no longer available, but for a limited time, Hartmann’s fans could watch the story unfold live before them, and interact directly with the author as she worked. (Hartmann, 2012)

Another example of interactivity and immersion comes from an indie author and television writer, known online as MCM, who in 2009 wrote a novel in three days with a document fans could see updated live. (MCM, 2009) He barely slept, and even made it a highlight of his event to take pictures of himself at regular intervals to show how he was being physically affected. There was an ongoing chat as well as polls where people could participate in such things as choosing character names. 2009 was the first year I joined the weblit community, and so I was able to witness this event happen live. MCM described this form of writing as a sort of “performance writing” and given what I saw, I agree with him. (MCM, “3D1D Wrap” 2009) The focus of the project was still the writing, but MCM found a way to layer a new form of entertainment over it that got audiences involved. His novel, Typhoon, was completed, and is now edited and available on the market. Since I’ve seen this done, I’ve always wanted to try it myself.

Another author, known as T Campbell online, has worked on at least twelve web comics in his career as a comic writer. Penny & Aggie, a high school epic that spanned seven years until its completion in August 2011 (Campbell), was very popular with web comic fans. Campbell, who had dabbled in writing prose shorts featuring the comic’s characters, decided to explore storytelling on Twitter using one of the comic’s more popular characters, Sara. To do this, Campbell created a dummy account where he tweeted as Sara, creating a first person short story. Other characters, whom he also made Twitter accounts for, responded to these tweets, and readers could view the story unfold in real time and respond. The original tweets have been lost as the accounts Campbell created for the purpose of the story were deleted, but other writers, like those for the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, have also used the power of social media in this way for storytelling. (“The Lizzie Bennet Character”; Green & Su, 2012) This method is usually in combination with other media and websites, such as YouTube or Pinterest, and has come to be known as transmedia.

Silvia Hartmann, MCM, T Campbell, Hank Green, and Bernie Su (the latter two being the creators of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) provide great examples of how creators can use different tools on the Internet to create, publish, and distribute their work. I’ve long since wished to launch an interactive project in which readers could directly engage with me and the story. I may do a live writing event, such as MCM, or perhaps a transmedia project, like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, or perhaps a new tool will be made available and allow me to do something completely new. Until then, I like writing and sharing my work online. I even make my incomplete drafts available for viewing and feedback on Google Drive. I believe I will have the time for something larger and more intensive after I graduate from Full Sail University, and I look forward to the experience.

Citations

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The Beautiful Perseverance

(My 200th post!)

Today I posted the latest update for Eikasia (Chapter 41.3) and it made me think of something.

The beauty of perseverance.

I was down almost a thousand words until meeting my word count goal and I was in a funky mood this morning. I considered saying, “No, I won’t write today. I’ll do it some other day.” The lethargy pressed down on me hard, to the point that even sitting up and looking at my computer screen seemed to take great effort. Negative thoughts ran rampant through my head. “You can’t do this. Your story’s quality is declining–not that it was that high to begin with. This update is boring.” What loomed over me was a big thick wall, and spray painted across it was the phrase: YOU CAN’T DO IT.

Then I just started typing. I ignored it all as best I could and just started typing. Did the feelings go away? No, actually. I felt like crap the entire time I typed. Almost unto the point of tears, even. But the point is, I got it done. After I read it to my husband and heard his input, I realized afterwards that this really WAS all just in my head, and there was nothing wrong with my update as a whole.

I’ve been very open on this blog about my struggles with depression-anxiety, and I’m proud to say that I’ve handled my pregnancy just fine, and haven’t had the need to resort to medications again since I kicked them to the curb October 2012. The thing is, while perhaps the degree of my sudden funk is not what most experience, to have a funk AT ALL is something I think everyone can relate to, especially with writing. I guess the point of this little post was to just say…if I can do it, so can you. Sometimes you just have to chew through it. Yes, even when it is really bad. What perpetuates depression is not depression, it’s our willingness to allow for it.

My husband’s been watching The Ultimate Fighter on DVD, and while I recognize that many of you aren’t into MMA fighting (or even despise it) I wanted to share this insightful bit of advice from fighter, Chael Sonnen. I think it can be applied in any person’s career, hobby, or lifestyle, including writing.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kliff’s Edge Series Trailer

Watch the new trailer for Kliff’s Edge the free paranormal mystery series by Illise Montoya!

READ IT HERE!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Inklewriter – Choose Your Own Adventure…and Write Your Own Too!

http://writer.inklestudios.com/

I came across this site after exploring a way to write a “choose your own adventure story” without wanting to rip my hair out. It all started after playing a CYOA called Zombie Exodus, which you can try for free on your Android phone. I don’t know if it’s available on iOS, but you can get the game on Google Play—first two chapters (which are quite meaty and have tons of replay value) are free. Third chapter onwards is just $0.99 to play. Great deal right? The writing is pretty good too.

Anyway, back to Inklewriter: So after getting inspired by Zombie Exodus, I came across this site which essentially serves as an HTML5 app for those wishing to write their own CYOAs. I’m starting one at the moment titled, “Wolf Skin.” I’ll just let you guess at the subject matter. If I ever get something concrete going (there are just so many story paths, omg!) then I’ll post a link here. Until then, you can check out the site yourself and maybe even write your own interactive tale. 🙂

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

My wish, my only request…

So, just to give ample warning, I wanted to let you guys that December 7th is my 21st birthday.  Everyone seems amped up to get me as fucked as possible–to which I am resisting.  I want to have fun, not get sick!  But enough of that…this announcement has an actual purpose.

You see, a week from my birthday will mark the one year anniversary since Eikasia has received its last review from the Web Fiction Guide.  The story has progressed much since then, and I’ve even edited the beginning a number of times…so here’s my request:

Starting on my birthday (not before) if ANY OF YOU give me ONE review on Web Fiction Guide on the 7th of December, you’ll have automatically earned a bonus update from me!  For every additional review up to the 14th, I’ll add 1000 words to the update.  So the first review earns the initial 2000, then a second review makes it 3000, a third makes it 4000, and so on…

Am I crazy for practically ASKING you guys to give me more work?  Maybe.  But I know that Eikasia is long overdue for a proper review, and I want it to come from people who know the story intimately.

Your opinions need not be kind–it’s a review after all.  But I still require you guys to lay down at least 300 words, and make sure to speak to possible readers, NOT me.  The goal of the review is to give newcomers an idea of what Eikasia is about, and whether or not they’ll like it.  If your review consists of two lines telling ME how awesome Eikasia is, I’m afraid it won’t count for the bonus update.  So please don’t do that!

…So there’s my offer.  You guys have THREE WEEKS to do a 300 word review for me!  Be honest, be sincere, and be detailed.  WFG won’t like a hurricane of flimsy reviews, and quite frankly, neither will I.  This is a really easy request to meet, and you guys get a lot in return for little work.  Take advantage of this offer!

Remember, this starts on the 7th of December and ends on the 14th!  Exactly seven days!  Any reviews before the 7th or after the 14th do not count.  Only reviews on Web Fiction Guide will be counted–but reviews to other sites still work toward the normal bonus point pool!

I look forward to hearing what you all have to say!

P.S.

In the instance that I get more than four reviewers before the 14th, the bonus update may have to be split.  I can only do so much in a short period of time!  Don’t worry, you’ll still get your word count.  😛

P.P.S .

Oh…and hey!  Eikasia’s Facebook page is two fans away from earning you all another bonus update!  Did’ja guys know there’s exclusive Eikasia artwork on FB? Do you have friends you can bug?  Have you added yourself yet!?  Get to it!

Tagged ,

3D1D – “Typhoon: Collector’s Edition”

Hey there everyone! Just wanted to post up some quick news–MCM, the madman behind 3D1D and also the writer of the television show “Rollbots” is releasing the Collector’s Edition of Typhoon! It includes lots of fun extras, and will also be featuring two special black and white ads for Eikasia–one of which contains photographic art of Hakeem! You can pre-order the eBook and the printed book now. I’ll likely be grabbing a copy myself, so please check it out!

Tagged ,

Ghastly.

Please forgive my tardiness! Chapter 11.4 is now available for your reading pleasure.

I would’ve done something particularly special for Halloween, but I didn’t think to until…well, just now. I won’t have time to slap some special update together, unfortunately. I’ve been going through some weird situations, and I can’t say it’s all been bad–some of it has been very good. But it’s also been draining on my (already) stretched energy. Luckily, my distraction did not prevent me from updating this week, even if the update was a tad shorter than usual. (and with a great deal more mistakes–to be cleaned up later, but I’ll just leave you guys the opportunity for bonus points. 😛 )

Y’know, Eikasia has been up for a little more than a year now. I should have recorded the exact date I started it, but unfortunately, I did not. I know it was some time in September (not counting the month of planning before hand). I feel like I can come up with concrete storytelling on command without having to bleed my fingers to do it, thanks to this project. It’s been a pleasure to write, and I look forward to doing much more!

Now if you’ll pardon my sudden segue–I’d like to bring you all some weblit news.  A.M. Harte, author of Above Ground, is hosting the second round of her search term writing challenge.  It looks quite fun, and I think I’ll be participating–though you won’t know who I am as participants will remain anonymous during voting week.  So if you think you’d like to give it a shot, be sure to have your submission ready by midnight November 8th GMT!

So for tonight I dress up as a detective from the 40’s. Just like the Untouchables. Yes, I’m doing drag–to my mother’s horror. Despite my recent emotional tangle (actually still ongoing), I think I might have some fun tonight. I hope the same for all of you!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj453pIAUEY&hl=en&fs=1&%5D

Happy Halloween!

Tagged , ,

Eikasia Bonus Points

Everyone (meaning all of you readers) work towards a grand total of 100 points.  This goal does not include number of Facebook fans (until further notice) since bonus updates every 10 new fans seems to be working fine.  So here’s how it’ll go:

  1. Every unique reader who comments on a chapter earns 2 points.*
  2. Every unique reader who points out a new SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) mistake or continuity error earns 5 points.
  3. Every unique reader who links to Eikasia earns 3 points. You must contact me with the page where the link is located–or if you’re linking on Twitter, just reply with @cajeck and/or the #Eikasia hashtag and be sure to mention that you actually read the story (as now and again I’ll have a kind non-reader give me a shout out)
  4. Speaking of Twitter, every RT of #Eikasia OR #weblit tagged posts earns 1 point.
  5. Every unique review on Web Fiction Guide, Muse’s Success, or any other review site for that matter (at a minimum of at least 300 words, unless the site prevents that) earns 15 points.  Be sure to contact me and link to the review so that I know.**
  6. Every time someone donates 5 USD or more through paypal, they earn 8 points.  Donations of 20 USD or more automatically get a special chapter from me, your choice of subject.  You can choose to share this with others, or keep it for yourself.  You may instead request special artwork from me, depicting a scene from the story, or something nutty you thought up (i.e. Nyx cosplaying as Rukia from Bleach, or Elmiryn battling Wolverine from the X-men.)***
  7. Submit fan art by either emailing it to me or submitting artwork to the “fan art” album on Eikasia’s Facebook page. It gets a bit subjective here, but I think everyone can understand the reasoning behind how points are given after that: For “sketchy” simple artwork (i.e. no/minimalistic background, low detail, low contrast, no color, etc.–here’s an example) you earn 2 points. For works that look like you spent time on it (i.e. high detail, full background, good contrast, color, shading, etc.–here’s an example) you earn 8 points. If I use the work for advertising (i.e. banners, buttons, youtube, etc.) then you earn 15 points!****
  8. Every new registered user on Eikasia (through the WordPress dashboard) earns 5 points.
  9. Every vote on a public poll (meaning it isn’t exclusive to forum users or Facebook users) earns 1 point.

*Just to clarify, you get 2 points for every chapter you comment on–but you don’t get more points for commenting on a chapter more than once. Comments on Ninth Suture do not count, as this is neutral ground so to speak.

**The 300 word minimum is necessary, as the point of a review is to give a potential reader a well-articulated idea of what the story is about, and whether they would be interested in it.  These can’t be written as if they were directed at me–if you wish to critique, feel free to message me or leave a comment on a chapter.  These reviews should be geared towards readers. Any other rules set by the review site in question should also be followed.

***Monetary donations, though very much appreciated, do not earn as much as reviews because they do not have the potential to attract new readers.  However, every time the points are reset, you can donate to earn points again.  As for large donations ($20+), the minimum amount of words I’ll write you are 15,000 (no joke!)–and you can only expect this from me once a month per person. If I have multiple large donators in a month, I may have to spread your requests apart to keep sane.  My gratitude would be endless, but in consideration of other readers and my own personal obligations (work, school, family etc.) I can only do so much at once.  Regarding the option of special artwork from me, please note that I cannot send original work through the mail, all work would be sent digitally via email.  I guarantee not to send you a scribble, but you should be specific on whether you want/care if it’s in color or not.  Also, some ground rules:  I will not do nudity or anything outright sexual (subtext is fine); I’m not an art major and I don’t have all the time in the world, so I can’t really handle doing mechs, highly detailed outfits, or big crazy backgrounds–remember, you’re getting this for 20$, not 500$!;  I’m not a sadist, so let’s not put in weird requests for Elmiryn fucking someone with a knife, m’kay?;  I will not do anything even remotely racist, religious, or politically motivated;  lastly, you just donated to Eikasia–so therefor, the artwork you will receive shall be in some way relevant to Eikasia! Special work for large donations have a six month period. That doesn’t mean I’ll take all six months, but hey, I have a life too!

****I will always ask for permission to do this first. While the logic may stand that the art is based off of my work, I think it’d also be polite and justified to consider the feelings of the artist in question. If you think I might consider your work for advertisement use, simply let me know if you’d be okay with it or not. I can also attribute the work to you, and/or link to your website so that curious birdies can see more of your art.

If you think the end goal is too high, keep in mind that the 100 points is a common pool also contributed to by your fellow readers.  Also, please remember that these bonus updates are extra work that I’m willing to take on to show my gratitude.  In the instance that the points go over, they will roll over to the next update.

Thanks guys!

Tagged ,

3D1D

So there’s a guy who goes by MCM, determined to write the first draft of his novel, “Typhoon”, in 3 days. He’s the author of “The Pig and the Box” and “Torrent Boy”, and the creator of the television series “Rollbots”.  He’s set aside little time to sleep, take care of basic hygiene, and do fatherly responsibilities.  Every HOUR he cranks out a new chapter. I had to let you guys know this was going on.  Today (Oct 6th) is the first day, and as of right now he’s only up to Chapter 2.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6WuZHbaQ90&w=425&h=344%5D

Video made by Jan Oda, prominent member of the weblit community.

Be sure to check in and read it. Seems like this’ll be fun.  Crazy.  But fun.  🙂

Tagged ,

Doorways.

“Doorways are passages to new realms.  I have opened many doors in my life, and shut many behind me…but this time, I have ripped the door from its hinges, leaving an opening without end.  I would have others follow me.  I would have you follow me.”

So Chapter 10 is now finished, its ending signaling a change in the overall feel of Eikasia.  Nothing drastic, but still important.  I love introducing new characters, and as some may have noticed in the site’s Story Navigation under “Character POVs”, these newcomers are especially important.  Whereas other characters may still be of particular importance to the story, returning now and again to take part in the adventure, and even to offer a brief and very occasional look at the world through their eyes–the ones to watch for are the ones listed under POVs by name.

It’s the only hint I’ll give as to their relationship in the story.  These recently introduced characters, I am not afraid to say, will be around for a while.  Why?  How?  Only the course of their adventure will tell.  I may occasionally shift views to auxilliary characters or other frequent cast members, but not nearly as much.  When that happens, they’ll be filed under “Other” beneath POVs.  I prefer stories with multiple viewpoints, and while I admit–large casts and convolution has been one of my bigger problems in writing–I mean to avoid head-hopping.  Hopefully some of you, along with my great and wonderful editor, will keep me from going overboard.

In a way, I have reached a point of no return, but still, the door is open.  What new wonders will stumble in, now that Eikasia has taken this route?

Speaking of open doorways, I’ve come up with some other ways for all of you to earn bonus updates!  Currently, Facebook is only 3 fans away from reaching another update.  But not everyone likes Facebook, and there’s only so many friends and family for you all to badger.  So in light of this, I decided it was time to show some appreciation for the other things you folks do.  Commenting on chapters, pointing out typos, linking to Eikasia, leaving reviews, donating money… Those are some of the major things that help me out, that encourage me, that encourage others to give the story a chance.

Starting today, all of you will be working towards a total of 100 points.  This goal does not include number of Facebook fans (atleast for this first go around) since bonus updates every 10 new fans seems to be working fine, and you guys are currently only 3 away from another update anyway.  So here’s how it’ll go:

  1. Every unique reader who comments on a chapter earns 2 points.*
  2. Every unique reader who points out a new SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) mistake or continuity error earns 5 points.
  3. Every unique reader who links to Eikasia earns 3 points. You must contact me with the page where the link is located–or if you’re linking on Twitter, just reply with @cajeck and/or the #Eikasia hashtag and be sure to mention that you actually read the story (as now and again I’ll have a kind non-reader give me a shout out)
  4. Speaking of Twitter, every RT of #Eikasia OR #weblit tagged posts earns 1 point.
  5. Every unique review on Web Fiction Guide, Muse’s Success, or any other review site for that matter (at a minimum of atleast 300 words, unless the site prevents that) earns 15 points.  Be sure to contact me and link to the review so that I know.**
  6. Every time someone donates 5 USD or more through paypal, they earn 8 points.  Donations of 20 USD or more automatically get a special chapter from me, your choice of subject.  You can choose to share this with others, or keep it for yourself.***

*Just to clarify, you get 2 points for every chapter you comment on–but you don’t get more points for commenting on a chapter more than once.

**The 300 word minimum is necessary, as the point of a review is to give a potential reader a well-articulated idea of what the story is about, and whether they would be interested in it.  These can’t be written as if they were directed at me–if you wish to critique, feel free to message me or leave a comment on a chapter.  These reviews should be geared towards readers.

***Monetary donations, though very much appreciated, do not earn as much as reviews because they do not have the potential to attract new readers.  However, every time the points are reset, you can donate to earn points again.  As for large donations ($20+), the minimum amount of words still applies–2000–and you can only expect this from me once a month per person.  If I have multiple large donators in a month, I may have to spread your requests apart to keep sane.  My gratitude would be endless, but in consideration of other readers and my own personal obligations (work, school, family etc.) I can only do so much at once.

If you think the end goal is too high, keep in mind that the 100 points is a common pool also contributed to by your fellow readers.  Also, please remember that these bonus updates are extra work that I’m willing to take on to show my gratitude.  In the instance that the points go over, they will roll over to the next update.  To get you guys started, I’ll include all comments and corrections posted since Part 2 began. That leaves you all with 43/100!

If I can find a nice visual progress bar, I’ll use that.  For now, I’ll just post the point total in text on both sites–to be updated manually by me as time goes on.  These conditions may be tweaked in the future, as this is the first time I’ve tried this.  In the meantime, chat on Facebook with other readers, or message me with your ideas of what you’d like to see for the next bonus update.  If not, I’ll just put up my own list when the time comes.

…The doorway is open you guys.  You gonna step through?

Tagged ,
Advertisements