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blackbird
12-09-2006, 09:24 PM
I don't know if this is the best forum to raise this issue or ask this question, but of all the other forums on this board, I didn't know where else to post it, so feel free to move it if you'd like. But here goes...

Okay, this situation worries me, and maybe it shouldn't (perhaps it's one of those making a mountain out of a molehill deals) but lately I posted a story on Authorsden.com, where I have a page. I don't know if any of you are familiar with this site or have used it. It seems like a good way to get some exposure for your work and, though you do have to pay a small fee if you want the more advanced services, the basic membership (allowing you to post up to 2 works in each genre) is free.

The idea is that people will read your work and hopefully (best case scenario) review it. The reviews may or may not be that helpful in every case, but it's nice to get them and to know that people appreciated your work.

I posted two poems, and both have gotten several good reviews. But what worries me is the fact that the story I posted has received some forty-three hits as of my last stat update, but not a single review. This means that forty-three people have at least clicked on it, but it tells me little else. I'm starting to wonder...if no one bothers to write a review, is that a negative sign (if you buy into the old adage, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing)? Does it mean that perhaps people are clicking on the story, but actually skimming only the first few paragraphs or so and deciding not to bother (ok, granted, I've been guilty of this myself-clicking on a story and "sampling" it, then moving on because it just didn't pull me in quickly enough, so I figure if I'm doing this, most likely other people probably are, as well).

I think there's probably a simple explanation why the poems have garnered more reviews. After all, a poem is a much quicker read than a twentysomething page story; one doesn't have to invest as much time and effort. But it begs the question: If you post a story on a site like this, and it garners absolutely no reviews, what does that really mean? That people just aren't reading it all the way through, or if they are, they're not moved enough to bother writing a review? Does it mean the story absolutely sucks and everyone is just too polite to express it?

The last time I checked my stats update, and realized I still had no reviews for this work, all these unanswered questions really started to nag at me. Granted, I simply posted the work for the exposure and to help promote my novel. I wasn't really looking for critiques or anything. But, as I'm sure you all can understand, like every writer, I appreciate when readers take the time and effort to review my work, whether it's positive or negative. The silence is the worst of all.

So...how much weight should reviews (or lack thereof) be given when it comes to writer's forums like Authorsden and others?

Rolling Thunder
12-09-2006, 09:39 PM
I posted two poems, and both have gotten several good reviews. But what worries me is the fact that the story I posted has received some forty-three hits as of my last stat update, but not a single review. This means that forty-three people have at least clicked on it, but it tells me little else. I'm starting to wonder...if no one bothers to write a review, is that a negative sign (if you buy into the old adage, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing)? Does it mean that perhaps people are clicking on the story, but actually skimming only the first few paragraphs or so and deciding not to bother (ok, granted, I've been guilty of this myself-clicking on a story and "sampling" it, then moving on because it just didn't pull me in quickly enough, so I figure if I'm doing this, most likely other people probably are, as well).

I always do this as well. If the story grabs me I have to keep going. If not....


I think there's probably a simple explanation why the poems have garnered more reviews. After all, a poem is a much quicker read than a twentysomething page story; one doesn't have to invest as much time and effort. But it begs the question: If you post a story on a site like this, and it garners absolutely no reviews, what does that really mean? That people just aren't reading it all the way through, or if they are, they're not moved enough to bother writing a review? Does it mean the story absolutely sucks and everyone is just too polite to express it?

Also consider: Maybe the traffic to that site isn't the right traffic for your work.


The last time I checked my stats update, and realized I still had no reviews for this work, all these unanswered questions really started to nag at me. Granted, I simply posted the work for the exposure and to help promote my novel. I wasn't really looking for critiques or anything. But, as I'm sure you all can understand, like every writer, I appreciate when readers take the time and effort to review my work, whether it's positive or negative. The silence is the worst of all.

So...how much weight should reviews (or lack thereof) be given when it comes to writer's forums like Authorsden and others?

Maybe you just need to give it some more time? It could be the 'clickers' are just curious and don't have the time or patience at the moment. You could try to pare it down and note it as an installment, adding more in X number of days to see if the traffic changes.

janetbellinger
12-09-2006, 09:46 PM
I have an account at AuthorsDen and quickly learned the way to get reviews is to review the work of other authors at AD. It's actually pretty much a tit for tat situation and yes, poems receive more reviews because they are quicker. I know I preferred to review poems while I was active there. I have downgraded my membership though and don't post there anymore because I don't believe the sites receives much attention from anybody other than fellow AD authors.


I don't know if this is the best forum to raise this issue or ask this question, but of all the other forums on this board, I didn't know where else to post it, so feel free to move it if you'd like. But here goes...

Okay, this situation worries me, and maybe it shouldn't (perhaps it's one of those making a mountain out of a molehill deals) but lately I posted a story on Authorsden.com, where I have a page. I don't know if any of you are familiar with this site or have used it. It seems like a good way to get some exposure for your work and, though you do have to pay a small fee if you want the more advanced services, the basic membership (allowing you to post up to 2 works in each genre) is free.

The idea is that people will read your work and hopefully (best case scenario) review it. The reviews may or may not be that helpful in every case, but it's nice to get them and to know that people appreciated your work.

I posted two poems, and both have gotten several good reviews. But what worries me is the fact that the story I posted has received some forty-three hits as of my last stat update, but not a single review. This means that forty-three people have at least clicked on it, but it tells me little else. I'm starting to wonder...if no one bothers to write a review, is that a negative sign (if you buy into the old adage, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing)? Does it mean that perhaps people are clicking on the story, but actually skimming only the first few paragraphs or so and deciding not to bother (ok, granted, I've been guilty of this myself-clicking on a story and "sampling" it, then moving on because it just didn't pull me in quickly enough, so I figure if I'm doing this, most likely other people probably are, as well).

I think there's probably a simple explanation why the poems have garnered more reviews. After all, a poem is a much quicker read than a twentysomething page story; one doesn't have to invest as much time and effort. But it begs the question: If you post a story on a site like this, and it garners absolutely no reviews, what does that really mean? That people just aren't reading it all the way through, or if they are, they're not moved enough to bother writing a review? Does it mean the story absolutely sucks and everyone is just too polite to express it?

The last time I checked my stats update, and realized I still had no reviews for this work, all these unanswered questions really started to nag at me. Granted, I simply posted the work for the exposure and to help promote my novel. I wasn't really looking for critiques or anything. But, as I'm sure you all can understand, like every writer, I appreciate when readers take the time and effort to review my work, whether it's positive or negative. The silence is the worst of all.

So...how much weight should reviews (or lack thereof) be given when it comes to writer's forums like Authorsden and others?

pepperlandgirl
12-09-2006, 10:25 PM
In my experience in posting at various sites, the average is 1 review per 50 readers. Which sucks, but my experience as borne this out time and time again.

Also, I second the advice to review other people's work. It helps.

soloset
12-09-2006, 10:34 PM
So...how much weight should reviews (or lack thereof) be given when it comes to writer's forums like Authorsden and others?

First, I completely sympathize. Nothing worse than deafening silence after you've put work out for people to look at.

That said, you shouldn't give it any weight at all.

As janetbellinger said, sites like that tend to be insular. The reviews you get are largely based on the reviews you hand out, and in the worst case, entirely predicated on them instead of the quality of your work. (And in that case, what's the point? Reviews like that aren't really valid anyway.)

Plus, since you need to have an account to comment, you're probably not going to be getting comments from anyone who isn't part of the community. I know I don't bother signing up for stuff like this unless I'm participating as well as commenting.

Just for comparison, on a modding archive I use there are mods with thousands of downloads and less than five reviews. *Thousands*. And that's for 30+ mb mods with several hours of gameplay, and some even have very high ratings from the official reviewers.

wish2bpynchon
12-09-2006, 10:44 PM
I would not be worried if I were you. It's funny because I was just looking at some of the posts here on absolutewrite, such as this post of yours, and 29 people have viewed it, but only 4 have written anything.

People may have opinions, but don't have the time to voice them, even if they have a possitive reaction to your work. The advice pepperlandgirl is great; review other authors and perhaps that will bring them to your page and they'll reciprocate.

ChaosTitan
12-09-2006, 11:35 PM
But, as I'm sure you all can understand, like every writer, I appreciate when readers take the time and effort to review my work, whether it's positive or negative. The silence is the worst of all.


This is a bit of an aside, but what you described is one of the many reasons I stopped writing fanfic several years ago. I continued to post stories, but the feedback dried up to a trickle. I couldn't tell if I was reaching my audience, or if the stories just sucked (although I honestly think that it was because I wrote plotted case stories, rather than PWP or smarm pieces), or if it was because I wasn't part of the "in crowd."

I took a break, worked on my own stuff, then returned to the fandom long enough to finish a series of stories that I'd promised to complete. Now I've been concentrating solely on my original efforts and enjoying every minute of it.

I know, not a terribly helpful scenario. Just me commiserating. :)

Carmy
12-10-2006, 02:33 AM
I've posted a few critiques on Authors Den, but only if the genre interested me and the prose was free of grammar and spelling errors. I've checked several other posts with titles that drew my attention but I've rarely posted comments. Quite often, I make no comment because the first paragraphs contain so many errors that it would take a lot of time to edit. I prefer to do time-consuming line edits on the small private group I help run, and where I know my own work will get the same attention.

I'm not saying your stories fall into that category, it may be that the genre doesn't appeal to me.

Puma
12-10-2006, 04:00 AM
Blackbird - Have you posted anything in SYW here on AW? If not, you might try posting a portion of your story and see what kind of reactions you get. That may help you figure out whether the problem is the length, the reviewers, or your writing. Puma