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New Option for Authors

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

At the suggestion of some authors, I provided a new control in the story management page.

Now, you can, if you so desire, hide a story behind the pay wall and then if you had done so, you can make it publicly available again. The pay wall provides a certain measure of protection against story thieves as few of those would ever pay for a site like SOL.

This would be helpful for stories worthy of publishing. For example, when a serial is in progress it's kept in the free area until it's concluded, then once concluded it's left in the public area for a week or two so those following it can read it, and then you can hide it from those who seek stories to steal who usually come later.

Keep in mind that this is only a limited protection considering that the thief might be following the serial anyway or even, if really determined, pay for a premier membership to steal it.

Anyway, it's an available option now.

Replies:   madnige
Ernest Bywater

Thanks, but I don't think I'll be using this because a lot of regular readers can't afford a Premier Membership due to be on fixed low incomes. However, all of my stories have an extra protection of having the e-book version fully registered with an ISBN due to being on sale via Lulu. Added to writing under my own name gives me a lot more clout to go after the thieves, while also making it easier for me to do so. However, I'm sure there are some other authors who'll find this a good way to better protect their stories.

In either case, there's not much that can be done until after we find someone has been stealing stories, regardless of how they're protected.

madnige

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Are these tagged in any way so that basic members know that they only have

a week or two

to finish the story? I normally wait until a story finishes posting before starting to read it, generally just bookmarking it and only choosing to read it later as the whim hits me, generally months or even years later, and I have missed out on some stories when they've been removed before I get round to them. I'm concerned that if this feature doesn't have some sort of user/reader visible flag, then that will happen to me a lot more often. I'd suggest something like displaying a pseudo-tag 'Premier'.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@madnige

This option now simply gives authors an interface to the mechanism that the site has that separates free stories from premier stories. If a story is free, and the author has the intention of using this switch, then there is no indication until the author flips the switch.

Once the author flips the switch, the story will start requiring premier service to read and it will be marked with 'premier only' flag in the listings.

The 'week or two' thing was a hypothetical scenario that I used as example of what an author can do. A reasonable policy for authors who want to do this without hurting their readers is to keep the story free two weeks past its conclusion which gives most fans enough time to download/read the completed story. If you simply bookmark it and come back maybe 'years' after, well then you'll need premier service.

But, this option is something that gives the authors the absolute freedom and also the responsibility how to handle their stories. Some may use it and periodically switch it off for a week to give their fans a chance to download hidden works.

Again, it's all up to individual authors whether to use this and how.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)


But, this option is something that gives the authors the absolute freedom and also the responsibility how to handle their stories. Some may use it and periodically switch it off for a week to give their fans a chance to download hidden works.

Again, it's all up to individual authors whether to use this and how.


Actually, I'm not crazy about it myself (as it makes the stories inaccessible to many SOL readers), though now I'm considering it for my older stories so they don't keep 'popping up' whenever someone Googles one of my older books (i.e. 'read it for free by visiting the site you've never heard of, rather than buying it').

At least that way, if I periodically offer 'free reads', I'll get a bunch of reads (and possibly comments), rather than just a few over several months/years.

Not_a_ID

I would somewhat suspect some authors may actually want to do the reverse with some stories, with regards to the infamous 1 bombers. Whom I'd still be strongly inclined to suspect as being on free accounts normally.

So basically post a new story/serial, stick it behind the Pay Wall until it starts reporting a score, then bring it out for general consumption. The 1 bombers will still have their chance at it then, but it'll potentially provide a window where a slightly less skewed score shows from the onset. Which very well may bring more eyeballs(and votes) than it would have otherwise.

Of course, their trade-off is that it won't be viewable to free users while on the "new stories" list, and would only get (easy) exposure if further updates are posted after becoming "free" as it were.

awnlee jawking

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I wonder whether thieves tend to be Premier members. It seems to me to be quite a lot of work to scrape a story a chapter at a time then reassemble it. And for someone like Hooriya Ahmed to do it 20 or 30 times...

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


I wonder whether thieves tend to be Premier members.


Haven't seen any of the Premier protected stories turn up on the stolen lists. Maybe they use one of the options to download as an e-pub or kindle - I've not used them, so don't know what they do.

Edit to add: Just tried downloading as both an e-pub and a kindle from the story list, and it downloads the whole story as a single file, but only what's posted of the story so far. Thus it's a simple one click action for them.

I have a premier account so someone without one with a basic account will need to say if the kindle and e-pub buttons are displayed for them.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Haven't seen any of the Premier protected stories turn up on the stolen lists. Maybe they use one of the options to download as an e-pub or kindle - I've not used them, so don't know what they do.

Only Premiere members have the ability to download stories in different formats, which is what Lazeez was referring to when he made his comment.

As for your premiere stories not being downloaded, he only seems to have targeted stroke (much sex) stories, as none of mine were targeted, so I'm assuming most of your stories were safe except for a few rare exceptions.

Then again, I had people use LinkedIn to steal my stories. After I posted a lot of decent advice, he figured I must have something worth stealing, visited my site and my goodreads, realized I listed a book I hadn't published, stole my ISBN and downloaded the 'free sample' chapters and published an incomplete book containing nothing but links to other 'stories'.

It just goes to show, copyright thieves will steal from anywhere! :

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I have a premier account so someone without one with a basic account will need to say if the kindle and e-pub buttons are displayed for them.


Not usually. But those buttons are displayed to basic members when it's an out-of-copyright historic story Lazeez has added to SciFiStories.

AJ

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@awnlee jawking

Not usually. But those buttons are displayed to basic members when it's an out-of-copyright historic story Lazeez has added to SciFiStories.


That's not correct.

eBook downloads are for premier members only. Whether old stories or new, public domain or not.

Sci-fi Stories and FineStories are somewhat of demo sites for SOL currently. They have all the premier features available for free for now. Soon they will all require payment to get the premier services.

awnlee jawking

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Thank you.

I saw those buttons on SciFiStories and jumped to the wrong conclusion :(

AJ

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@awnlee jawking

AJ, I have found in the past when I didn't have the premium level. If I enjoyed a story and wanted to have it available offline. I could usually send a request to the writer directly with a chance of receiving it as one file instead of doing page copies of individual chapters. Most of the time that worked for me.

Capt. Zapp

@docholladay

I used to just bookmark the stories I enjoyed in my browser so I could just jump back to them at a later date. That worked fine until Young Thinker yanked all of his stories, many of which I had bookmarked. Since then, I have been copying chapters to my word-processor as I read them.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay
Updated:

@Capt. Zapp

That is why I started sending the requests to the writers. Not all of them would let me have a complete file but once in a while they did. Others I did the same as you by copying the chapters into a word-processor then saving the file under the name of the story. Sometimes I had to repeat the process however.

edited to add: I believe those requests had another side benefit to them. It had to let the writer know someone really enjoyed their story. Of course I could be wrong since its just a guess on my part.

awnlee jawking

@docholladay

That's a good idea.

I'm glacially working my way towards earned premier membership - I could get there today if I submitted some of my incomplete stories, but I think I have enough of those on SOL already :(

AJ

docholladay

@awnlee jawking

Its funny how being polite works so well with most people.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Sci-fi Stories and FineStories are somewhat of demo sites for SOL currently. They have all the premier features available for free for now. Soon they will all require payment to get the premier services.

Hear that everyone? It's time to jump onto Sci-Fi and download all your favorite stories (those which are posted) onto your favorite devices and decide for yourselves whether the Premiere services are worth the extra cost.

If nothing else, it makes saving a story you're reading for a protracted airplane ride easier!

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I'm glacially working my way towards earned premier membership - I could get there today if I submitted some of my incomplete stories, but I think I have enough of those on SOL already :(

Of course, you could always finish a few of them.

Seriously, Ross and I have been holding a 'master class' in writer's block, what produces it and how to resolve it.

Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Its funny how being polite works so well with most people.

Someone should tell Trump (if you don't mind a Twitter Attack, that is). :

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Someone should tell Trump


The easy way to tell Trump something is to buy add time on Fox & Friends. :)

Replies:   Not_a_ID
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

Someone should tell Trump (if you don't mind a Twitter Attack, that is). :


I don't use either Facebook or Twitter. I could never see how so many so-called smart people can not see the risks involved in that type of communication.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Someone should tell Trump (if you don't mind a Twitter Attack, that is). :

I don't use either Facebook or Twitter. I could never see how so many so-called smart people can not see the risks involved in that type of communication.

Well, at least that's one thing no one has ever accused Trump of being.

Go ahead and criticize me for that one, as I definitely deserve it.

Replies:   REP
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

The easy way to tell Trump something is to buy add time on Fox & Friends. :)


Or Morning Joe on MSNBC. The Ad rates for MSNBC would likely be much cheaper.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Trump has mentioned stories from Fox & Friends repeatedly, so we know he watches Fox and Friends.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Trump has mentioned stories from Fox & Friends repeatedly, so we know he watches Fox and Friends.


He also has been known to a big fan of watching Morning Joe.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

one thing no one has ever accused Trump of being


I thought that "so called smart people" was a sarcastic reference to stupid people, which certainly seems to include Trump.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@REP


I thought that "so called smart people" was a sarcastic reference to stupid people, which certainly seems to include Trump.


Otherwise known as "people who consider themselves 'intelligent', mainly because they're too stupid to know any better".

(By the way, the surgeons in my 'Medical Advice' question fit into this category, even though they both have graduate degrees, high-paying jobs and are considered 'experts' in their fields.)

Replies:   REP
Vlad_Inhaler

Trying to drag this thread kicking and screaming back to its original purpose, can I suggest doing minor edits when it goes private. Why? So that you can see which version gets posted. If it is the edited version, Laz might look and see who downloaded it and any other rebranded stories.

REP
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


mainly because they're too stupid to know any better".


I thought that is what I said, but not as eloquently.

Having knowledge and being able to use it are two different things.

By the way, do you know what Vlad is talking about in his post? After all, the post's original purpose was to let us know about a new feature.

minor edits when it goes private. What does that mean, if he is talking about posts, the edited post is what is displayed and I doubt Lazeez looks at all the edited posts.

If rebranded stories refers to plagiarized stories, Lazeez has already said there is nothing he can do from his end to identify the thief.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

By the way, do you know what Vlad is talking about in his post? After all, the post's original purpose was to let us know about a new feature.

minor edits when it goes private. What does that mean, if he is talking about posts, the edited post is what is displayed and I doubt Lazeez looks at all the edited posts.

I wasn't sure what he was getting at either. It might be 'reposting a story without sex scenes' so Lazeez can track which gets more downloads, though I doubt it refers to readers commenting on a story (since they're not "editable").

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

I wasn't sure what he was getting at either.


Hi CW. I received an email from a friend about Vlad's post. He suggested that I substitute Premier Member in place of Private. It took a while, but I think I now understand the post.

Vlad is suggesting making a story Member Only, making a few edits to create a different version, and then waiting until it is stolen to determine if the thief is a Free or Premier Member.

His idea is that Lazeez would then know who the Premier Member is, and an appropriate action could be taken.

It is a good idea and would probably work if Lazeez tracked who downloads the story. I suggested something similar. Evidently the site's software doesn't track who downloads stories, so neither of our ideas will work.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@REP

It is a good idea and would probably work if Lazeez tracked who downloads the story. I suggested something similar. Evidently the site's software doesn't track who downloads stories, so neither of our ideas will work.


The site tracks downloads for premier members in order for the green/grey dot function to work.

But, the idea would only tell whether the downloader is premier or free, that's all. The file isn't tagged with identifying info, so if 100 premier members download the marked file, it could be any one of them who stole it. No way to pin point it to a single member.

Again, for the umpteenth time, the only way to identify who is stealing the stories is to get the info from one the selling sites. Can't identify who downloaded from SOL to sell.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Understood. That is the point I was trying to make.

Vlad_Inhaler

My point - which I obviously expressed badly - is if Amazon author Wanda Dolla posts 10 stories on Amazon, and they are the premier-only reposts, Laz may well have a handle on who Wanda Dolla really is, or at least WD's credit card. Then we are looking at ToS violations.

Replies:   paliden
paliden

@Vlad_Inhaler

On another thread in this forum Lazeez stated less than 1% purchased the premier membership, therefore the other 99% earned the premier membership by posting stories on SOL.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@paliden

On another thread in this forum Lazeez stated less than 1% purchased the premier membership, therefore the other 99% earned the premier membership by posting stories on SOL.


I believe Lazeez was pointing out the majority of readers used the free access. And some people entitled to the free premier access also buy premier access.

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