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Talo Segura

Number of readers

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On another story site which also produces stats for the books posted online, the numbers of readers are determined by page views where the person has stayed more than 60 seconds on a chapter. No stats are fool proof, but this other site gives page views as clicks and real readers (the 60 seconds plus). Without arguing about things like someone just left the chapter open for a minute or so, what is interesting is that, as an example, a chapter that gets 90 page views has by contrast only 10 real readers ( those who stayed 60 seconds on the page). I think this ratio of page views (clicks) to page views (reads) gives authors a better idea of reader numbers. It might be a little depressing to know you only have a few dozen, a few hundred, readers, rather than thousands, but that would be the real picture, I think.

 

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Stats are interesting, and may be simply a comment on the reputation of the site in combination with the strength of the hook written in the first few lines of the piece. 

Several years ago when I began posting, one site editor on a very narrowly defined site suggested that  each comment reflected 1K readers.  (That site had a colourful rep and a few excellent writers though limited scope.)  Other sites without counts or rating systems require readers to email give some feedback, that's okay.  Some readers are reticent about emailing.  Another site has stories with over 10+K views in only a few days.  Wow, surprising, but sitting among other good stories posted on the same date, it seemed suspicious. 

Since we live in a time where comments, likes, sixty-second views, etc can be bought, I don't give "hits" much weight.  Comments, I do.  When a person takes the time to comment on the site, to actually email me, that counts.  Let's face it, there's a number of good sites, a number of good writers and I'll remain grateful for the opportunity to post.  Reality is this, to me:  There are many kinds of writers, many kinds of readers and sometimes we fit, other times not.  My work may not attract high numbers, and I appreciate my readers' comments.  Found some nice people through comments.  Does that count?

I will say this about my own comments, reads and ratings:  As a reader, I want respect.

There is an excellent writer known across several sites, I refuse to go back to any of his work as several great pieces weren't finished. (What a disappointment.)  Another writer has great stories, truly interesting ideas and clear writing, and he slogs the plot with so much irrelevant detail I tire, lose the story line. Didn't respond to him, though as others may appreciate the extra words.  Respect for my time and my mental investment, please. 

In summary, I'll dismiss all the clicking around, all the ratings and such, and stick with the comments directly sent to me.  I write because I see a story unfolding in my head and allow my ethos to parade itself publicly, which in itself is a courageous act another will probably appreciate.  There are postings from deceased writers whose time to shine may have come.  All their hits, counts and ratings are for nothing, but the essence of their truths revealed move forward.  No?

This is an interesting topic for writers.  Thanks for posting it.

v

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I appreciate what you both say, @MCVT and @Myr, it makes sense. It is still difficult to interpret the stats, whichever you look at. I have posted my novella on another site which gives page views and the numbers make sense, because it is exactly what @Myr said, the first chapter didn't capture the readers attention, numbers dropped by half, but that half read it to the end. This other site is not a gay site nor a site that caters to a wide type of readership, so I could presume that being a gay themed novella I lost half the people because they weren't interested in that type of story, or perhaps it was too different to the main genre of the site.

By contrast on this site the number of readers was constant through all chapters until the last chapter, where numbers dropped by half. That is more difficult to interpret. As you have said it's all speculation and in the end it is only comments, reviews, and personal feedback that lets you know how you're doing. I guess we should not invest too much in the numbers, but it is something I can't help looking at.

 

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11 hours ago, Talo Segura said:

By contrast on this site the number of readers was constant through all chapters until the last chapter, where numbers dropped by half. That is more difficult to interpret.

Here are two suggestions as for the possible loss of readership. One being you should take a look at the next to last chapter again, see if anything in it may have caused the drop off for the last chapter. You would know best your own writing, of course, but a shout out to those who previously commented to take a look for anything that might seem 'off' -- perhaps something they just shrugged off as an anomaly but somehow managed to put a damper on half of your audience. A second reason and likely the most probable is that a number of readers may not have been aware that the last chapter had been published, and they missed it.

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Thanks @Talo Segura 

I love writing, but to be perfectly honest... the stats mess with my anxiety and other mental health issues.  If i could shut them off, I'd likely be a happier person.  Cuz sometimes what i don't know, cannot hurt me.  This is my issue, i realize, but maybe others with mental health issues have the same concern.

 

 

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The drop in views between early and later chapters may be due to readers revisiting old ones when we post a new one. I find myself doing it to refresh my memory. While I may read the final chapter once, previous ones will see more views from me. The effect would be even more pronounced with an irregular publishing schedule. Most of the time, I'll drop a story if new material takes a long time to show up. It's one reason I don't start posting until the story's complete or nearly so.

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