As we head into Gay Authors' seventeenth holiday season, and the end of the decade, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on our community in this past year.
With that in mind, first and foremost, I want to thank all of you for making Gay Authors what it is. We wouldn't be here without our authors writing stories, our readers reading those stories, and everyone talking together about those stories. That is the root of our community, and that focus is what we should keep in mind as we ride the roller coaster of life.
I'd also like to make a special call out to all of our Premium members. For a long time now, advertising has fallen well short of meeting the expenses of running Gay Authors. Premium Membership Subscribers keep Gay Authors open for everyone and allow us the luxury of constantly improving the site for everyone. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, we wouldn't be here. If you would like to join this group, you can click on Premium on the menu in the Store tab.
Over this past year, we were very happy to have three authors promoted to Signature Author:
We've also recognized an author as a Classic Author:
Last, but certainly not least, we also added a new Promising Author:
We also added some major new features this year aimed at making the quality of life improvements for readers and authors both.
- Collections - All members can now create collections of stories to keep to themselves or share with the rest of GA members. We also added the option to create Curated Collections. We'll be adding one of those soon for everyone. You can find collections on the Stories page. https://gayauthors.org/stories/browse/collections/
- Reading History - Ever accidentally close your browser or forget what story you were reading last week? Gay Authors now has a Reading History option that not only keeps track of what the last few dozen stories you were reading were, they tell you the chapter you last viewed too! This is a completely opt-in feature. You must turn it on to use it. It is technically a special collection so if you click the collection link above, you can turn on your Reading History there.
- Reading Stats - This feature was requested for a long time by authors. We have always tracked views on stories and chapters, but they were not time-bound. Meaning, the longer the story was on GA, the more views it would have. It wasn't that useful. The Reading Stats feature allows you to set a time to see what people are reading recently. This helps give authors an idea if a promotion you did works or what kind of topics/genres are popular at any given time. There are tons of sorting/filtering options to crunch the data as well. https://gayauthors.org/stories/browse/reading-stats/
- Story Goals - Feedback is the lifeblood of an author. Since most online authors are not getting paid monetarily, feedback is the only way they know they are hitting their mark. We added Story Goals to help give a visual kick to people to remind them to write comments and reviews. The goals appear in various places on the site and give a good show of activity in the Stories system. The goals, current and historical, can be found here: https://gayauthors.org/stories/goals/
- Tons of small fixes and additions - We continue to add and enhance the Stories system to help give authors and readers what they want. We've tracked down and corrected a few of the more burdensome bugs this year and have hopefully put them behind us for good. In the background, we've added some additional enhancements for authors and the various ways we categorize stories that will be put to good use in the coming year.
Site Blogs and Anthologies:
- Classic Author Feature - Thank you to @Cia for the hard work she does with graphics and feature blogs for our Classic Authors. There are a lot of story gems out there from our 17 years of being online and she helps bring them to the service to get the attention they deserve.
- CSR- Can't Stop Reading - Thanks to @Cia again for the work she does in writing up the blogs and promotions to highlight authors all across the site. The whole blog is worth hitting the Follow button on so you can keep up to date with all the up and coming stories as well as the classics.
- Anthologies - A special thank you to @Renee Stevens and her team for all their help in getting our Anthologies going this year (and every year). Also, a special thanks to the authors that took the time to write and submit the 27 stories in this year's anthologies.
- Prompts - A special thank you to @comicfan for the weekly prompts. Lots of authors have fun week after week with them.
- Articles - A special thank you to @Comicality for the weeks of articles early this year. They helped promote a lot of discussion around important writing topics. He'll be back in 2020 with more articles for our discussion pleasure.
- Ask An Author - A special thanks to @Carlos Hazday for his work with "Ask an Author". These interviews are always a fascinating insight to our family of authors here at GA.
- Author Guess Who - A warm thank you to @Renee Stevens for her "Author Guess Who" features, which provide a series of clues to see how much members know about their authors.
- Story Reviews - A great big thank you to the review team, for their 15 story reviews and 1 special review they completed this year.
- Weekly Wrap Up - A very special thanks to @wildone for his great efforts and our weekly wrap up blogs. He adds humor and links to all the fun that goes on each week here on GA.
So, once again, Thank You Everyone for making Gay Authors what it is. Thank you to the Staff and Teams for all that you do behind the scenes for your fellow members. The jobs are sometimes thankless things we toil away at, but I'm sure the members appreciate it. I know I do. Without all of us working together, we couldn't keep doing this year after year.
To all who celebrate:
Blessings this Winter Solstice!
Happy Boxing Day!
Happy Festivus for the Restivus!
Last, but not least, I wish you the very best of a New Year!