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Questions from a newbie - why SOL?

nephthys

Hey there, writer-folks!

I've only recently stumbled across this site, after a friend of mine introduced me to the Clitorides awards. I write infrequently, but have tended to post stuff to BDSMLibrary, Literotica and XNXX in the past. With SOL, it's exciting to potentially have a new and unexplored readership and trove of stories to read available, except that I don't really quite understand the philosophy of this site.

The subscription model makes it very difficult to use the archive and to find stories that cater to one's interests. Which would be fine... but I'd expect the subscription fee to either be quite small, aimed at just covering the minimal server costs of delivering text-based content, or otherwise to for some portion of it to go toward the authors for the works that get read on the site.

As an author, I'm not really that interested in debating too much the actual price-point (which is hilariously close to what you'd pay for a Netflix subscription), but I do struggle to figure out what the incentive for authors to publish on SOL actually is? Stories that I host here would be very hard to discover and read by most casual readers unless they pay money to use the search features. What's more, the content that authors add to this site would appear to generate a profit for the site-runners (who are dependent on voluntary author submissions), but is something they are not remunerated for. I initially assumed that contributing to SOL would in turn unlock some or all of the Premiere features, therefore being part of a mechanism to encourage more submissions, but this does not appear to be the case.

Yet there's clearly a vibrant and active community here, and quite a lot of authors who do actively contribute! So I can't help but wonder if I'm missing something here? What is it that makes SOL attractive to other writers?

My apologies if the question comes across as somewhat hostile, but it seems like quite a reasonable puzzlement to me. I'm surprised I've not been able to find any statement in the FAQ or on the forums addressing the philosophy and intent of SOL's content model.

Switch Blayde

@nephthys

I initially assumed that contributing to SOL would in turn unlock some or all of the Premiere features, therefore being part of a mechanism to encourage more submissions, but this does not appear to be the case.


That is the case. Once you reach a certain threshold as an author you get the premier membership.

And you don't need a premier membership to use the Category Search to find stories based on story codes, sexual content, etc.

Switch Blayde

@nephthys

From the author's stats page:

4.This number is the size of text qualifying for premier service. If it is over 500kb, then you should be getting premier service on the site, or you will after your next post. It's calculated from the regular size and the score. Better quality stories are worth more. Stories with multiple authors are divided among all the authors.

Ernest Bywater

@nephthys

First, I suggest you check out the FAQs at:

http://storiesonline.net/help.php

Unlike the other sites you mention SoL accepts all kinds of stories and doesn't allow plagiarism - I had the problem with one of the sites you list. Nor does it have excessive management interference with what you want to post - a problem I had with another of the sites you list.

The best way to use the site is with the extras given a Premium Account which is why it has the name. When you compare the rate with what many people pay for a monthly game subscription you get a lot more entertainment for your dollar.

I prefer SoL because it's the only site I've found where they'll accept all my stories, all the other sites are very limited in what they'll allow to be posted.

richardshagrin

I understand one of the reasons for posting here is the feedback from readers. Some stories get reviews and perhaps there might be a comment that could be of interest to you. Unless you turn off scoring, most stories get a score (from 1 to 10), although the average score is adjusted to 6. There can be useful information derived from those scores, elsewhere on the forum there may be some useful data about how to work with the analysis of the scoring. There is an author community, some of them post messages on the forms about things that interest them, and how they handle problems. If you had a problem you could post something and likely get helpful? responses.

You get a new audience, not so much into torture and kidnapping as BDSM, or pedo and gay stories as ASSTR. There is some overlap with Literotica, but the moderator here and his staff are more supportive and willing to answer questions, and characters can be younger than 18, although due to Canadian Law there is a limit at age 14 for sexual activity. I can't say much about xnxx. There is an author here that used to post there. He removed his stories there so must have a reason to avoid xnxx. I think the quality of writing here is higher than at other sites, but I can't prove it. You could look at some of the top 50 story lists and see if you agree.

Free advice, Free advice, costs you nothing and may be worth the price.

nephthys

Cool, thanks people =) Those are great answers, all!

docholladay

As a reader I prefer this site and its daughter site (FS)because of the ease of listing the authors and the links to their blog/story listings page. The majority of the other sites about the only way I have found to look up a writer's listings are to find a currently listed story and link to their page through it. Its made fairly easy here with the author/writers list.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Dominion's Son

@nephthys

but have tended to post stuff to BDSMLibrary


I do some reading at BDSM Library as well as here. The BDSMLibrary advanced search tool sucks. Another problem I have is a large percentage of the stories are mis-coded by the sites definitions of the codes, particularly on Gender combinarions

For example, Mf is supposed to be Male dominant / female submisive. But I find a lot of femdom stories coded as Mf when they should be coded as Fm.

richardshagrin
Updated:

@docholladay

"I prefer this site and its daughter site (FS)"

Is this evidence of an incestual relationship?

Making it a sister site doesn't remove the incest, but it helps avoid overtones of pedophilia, since FS is less than 10 years old. SOL is only about 16 years old. In England that is the age of consent. I am not sure about Canada.
In either case (daughter or sister) at least we don't need the mm tag.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@richardshagrin

Namely the fact is SOL has almost no limitations on submitted stories outside the minimum age for any sexual activity and of course plagiarization of other writers work. While FS has definite restrictions on anything sexual in nature. In other words SOL is aimed at a more mature audience while FS is aimed at children or others with an immature mindset.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

FS is aimed at children or others with an immature mindset.


ayep, it's for letting the politicians and blue noses find stories to read, as well as the youth.

Replies:   TDydl
TDydl

@Ernest Bywater

... and for those of us who like to read at work, but do so behind a filter.

Personally, I appreciate authors also posting sanitised versions to FS. Although the more adult content is nice to read I prefer a good story (and have been known to skip copulation paragraphs to get back to the plot)

docholladay

@TDydl

Personally, I appreciate authors also posting sanitised versions to FS. Although the more adult content is nice to read I prefer a good story (and have been known to skip copulation paragraphs to get back to the plot)


I am the same although if the copulation portion fits into the plot properly I will tend to read it. The story is always the main thing of course. I am no good at editing or giving critical feedback but I find 2 little words I try and use regularly work great however.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Banadin
Updated:

My stories have no sex in them to speak of. At most it is hinted at off camera. The reason I post on SOL is that the community is usually very gracious in its feedback. I have grown and improved because of this. It is like having ten thousand proof readers. I also post on FS but it is a much smaller community so less feedback. Also there is no active authors forum there for discussions like this.

Yes it is a wonderful sex site (I guess) but to me it is a training ground for when I grow up to be a writer.

Daydreamz

It is a limitation here that stories don't turn up in google results unless you really force the issue, and sometimes not even then. That's the main one, as far as I'm concerned, but I'm pretty happy with the number of reads.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

@Banadin

I prefer to read stories that appear on both sites on Fine Stories. I get 100 stories a day on FS and 16 on SOL. If some of the stories are on both, I get to read more stories a day not using up my smaller SOL quota. Also stories age off the front page slower. Stories that get posted on SOL can disappear into limbo, or the recent new stories list in a day or less, if there are lots of postings. FS has less activity and postings don't vanish. I believe you get as many recommended stories from the past. The 800 or so stories on FS are still a good deal of good reading. If its clearly for children, well, I still like Swallows and Amazons which I read 60 years ago. Try not to lose your inner kid, he appreciates stories you may be too sophisticated to enjoy. There doesn't have to be sex to make a good story, as Banadin's Rick(y) Jackson proves.

Replies:   Daydreamz
richardshagrin
Updated:

@docholladay

Copulation. It involves two (or more?) people. Does that make Pulation by one person like masturbation? If its a BDSM story would that be master bation?

Would cop ulation involve one or more police persons? Police men or women.

When a King does it would it be fucking?

Switch Blayde

@TDydl

(and have been known to skip copulation paragraphs to get back to the plot)


In a good erotica story, the sex scenes ARE part of the plot.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Switch Blayde

That is why I state it must fit the plot. But it also must fit the characters. Take all those James Bond sexual interactions. Look at the BDSM indicators which are not said in any manner. Other stories while mainstream or otherwise also have indicators of the interaction types. Those indicators are very subtle as used, but they all fit both the characters and the plots.

red61544

Although Banadin alluded to it, I am on SOL because it is a story site, not a sex site. Those sites listed by Nephtys contain predominantly stroke stories; not so SOL. Here, I can find plot, character development, drama, suspense, and a little bit of sex thrown in to make it interesting. Use the title search to look up "The Grim Reaper" or "The Millionaire Next Door"; you'll be hard-pressed to find anything like them on the other sites mentioned. This site has many stories that suck; but the gems found among the detritus makes it stand out from the rest.

silverhawk552000

@red61544

I am a long time writer of erotica. I began submitting stories to another site several years ago. It was pretty nice with a decent rating system and a great forum for authors really interested in improving. Over the years the story quality deteriorated to mostly very short stroke stories with no plot. Most of the forum became...I'll use the word "immature" for lack of a better one.

I recently found SOL and I'm extremely pleased. I tend to write stories about people with some sex where it seems appropriate to the story. From the number of views I'm getting, it would seem the readers on the site are of a like mind. The rating system also is more fair, in my opinion. That's why I'm here.

docholladay

@red61544

This site has many stories that suck; but the gems found among the detritus makes it stand out


The gems are definitely here. A reader can start with the Top story lists for the different sizes or as I do at times go to the author's lists and scroll through them. The list tells how many stories a particular writer has on SOL and the last time they posted anything. There are so many stories and writers available its impossible to not find something worth reading.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@docholladay

Another useful approach, at least I like it, is to look at what authors recommend as their favorites. Once in a while there is a very pleasant surprise I might never have know about. I hate to keep bringing up Sturgeon's Law, "90 percent of everything is crap" but he was an experienced SF author in the (relatively) early days of pulp SF and he might have been an optimist (Like Murphy, if something can go wrong, it will). Keep mining, there are diamonds here if you look for them. Intermittent Reinforcement, that's the secret to keep us coming back. There might be some who like everything on SOL, or other sites, but there can't be very many of them. Most of us like some things and are less fond of others. Variety is the spice of life, and we get variety here. Happy New Year, I expect 2016 to be just as good for readers here as it has been in the past. maybe better, authors are getting guidance from their peers, and other people who like the sound of their own voice, here in the Forum, which is another present from Lazeez.

Crumbly Writer

@Daydreamz

It is a limitation here that stories don't turn up in google results unless you really force the issue, and sometimes not even then. That's the main one, as far as I'm concerned, but I'm pretty happy with the number of reads.

I actually prefer the stories not being listed by Google. I tend to publish first, then as the sales drop off, I'll post here for free, which generates sales as readers want to jump ahead. (On FS and BtFH, most readers will read the entire story for free, and then purchase the book afterwards to reward the author.)

Because SOL is a 'closed' system (requiring private membership), Google doesn't list my free stories when people search for my books. I don't mind giving the stories away for free, because I get SO much support from my readers here, but I'd rather people start at my website first.

If its (FS} clearly for children, well, I still like Swallows and Amazons which I read 60 years ago.

Richard, I don't view FS as a 'child's site'. Instead, I see it as a 'safe read' site. When I post to FS, I clearly list age ranges (HS and above) so I target the appropriate audience. I doubt younger children would get anything from my stories, but as others have noted, they can recommend it to their teenage relatives, or download the stories while at work (since reading at work is frowned upon).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Richard, I don't view FS as a 'child's site'. Instead, I see it as a 'safe read' site. When I post to FS, I clearly list age ranges (HS and above) so I target the appropriate audience.


I agree, totally. I also find FS a good one to tell people about for when they want to read my stories at work, it won't trip the filters.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater


I agree, totally. I also find FS a good one to tell people about for when they want to read my stories at work, it won't trip the filters.


Or as a site for families to enjoy together. Its a site that is suitable for all ages, sure some things like the actual descriptive sex acts are banned. But that still lives room for many great stories. I know I read many there as well as on SOL and check it at least once a day for reading materials.

A story can be for a mature audience and fit into the guidelines of FS nicely. Also potentially it has users who don't visit or enjoy SOL for whatever reason.

Between the two sites there is something for everyone who has a desire for good stories.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@docholladay

I don't disagree, except maybe "everyone". You pretty much need to be able to read in English to get the good stories.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@richardshagrin

It seems to me that in many respects English is becoming the international language. I know it has many variations in both usage and spellings. At one point in history Latin was the common language. So yes I think the majority worldwide would be able to read the stories in this language. I am not saying its the best language.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@docholladay

It seems to me that in many respects English is becoming the international language. I know it has many variations in both usage and spellings. At one point in history Latin was the common language. So yes I think the majority worldwide would be able to read the stories in this language. I am not saying its the best language.

Yes; French used to be the language of diplomacy but that seems to have gone.

To follow up on Doc'soff-the-cuff, which do people think is "the best language" and why. For arguments sake leave out your own language and concentrate on an existing language which is easy for a foreigner to learn and flexible enough to allow all the world's cultures.

I'll start by putting the kybosh on Andaman because it counts one, two and more (ie there are no specific numbers higher than two) I'll also put the kybosh on Sami (Lapp) and Finnish because they have far too many noun endings - I found the six in Latin to be five too many).

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@sejintenej

There is always Klingon.

Replies:   tppm
tppm
Updated:

@richardshagrin

Just for the sake of form, because it's almost certain to be mentioned by someone, I might suggest Esperanto, though some may have criticized it as too closely related to Indo-European.

Nur pro formo, ĉar ĝi estas preskaŭ certaj esti menciita per iu, mi sugestas Esperanton, kvankam kelkaj povas kritikis ĝin kiel tro proksime rilata al hindeŭropa.

Crumbly Writer

English is a useful "universal language" for the internet age, at least until it's replaced by Chinese.

But seriously, I can't see Chinese ever taking over. There are too many Chinese who visit English sites, despite the risks, because they trust the content more. Unfortunately, the entire Politburo speaks English as well!

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


English is a useful "universal language" for the internet age, at least until it's replaced by Chinese.


I think the oriental icons would form a substantial barrier but if they were to use phonetic alpha characters, possibly.

With less than forty family names Mandarin might (I just don't know) have problems with the family names found in about 150 other countries.

I don't think trust of content really makes much difference to the language itself, and I did suggest that such a language should be simple for everyone to learn; Chinese is tonal and having worked in an office where some of the staff spoke a tonal language (Akan), no way

edit: spelling

Daydreamz

@richardshagrin

I still read Swallows and Amazons! They are a delight. I have all of them on my shelves :)

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Daydreamz

One of the reasons I remember it fondly was the one of the characters names was Ruth, but she used Nancy because her ship and shipmates were pretend pirates, and pirates are "Ruth"less. Arthur C. Ransom wrote a bunch of novels mostly involved with boats and ships. I am not certain about the middle initial. Maybe I remember Arthur C. Clarke. Or maybe one of the books, We didn't mean to go to C.

richardshagrin

@sejintenej

When I was in the army, a long, long time ago, we used to joke the optimists were learning Russian, the pessimists, Chinese.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@sejintenej


I think the oriental icons would form a substantial barrier but if they were to use phonetic alpha characters, possibly.

With less than forty family names Mandarin might (I just don't know) have problems with the family names found in about 150 other countries.


Sorry, Richard, I was making an unstated comment about the dominant culture, rather than suggesting that Chinese might be easier to use than any other language. The idea being, as the U.S. economy declines and China's advances, we may see Chinese being used more in internet commerce, rather than people choosing it to express themselves.

It was a silly point to make, especially when I didn't make it explicit.

One of the reasons I remember it fondly was the one of the characters names was Ruth, but she used Nancy because her ship and shipmates were pretend pirates, and pirates are "Ruth"less.


Richard, it's that kind of powerful connections to a simple history of a character's name that makes a name SO powerful. Having a clever reason for an unusual name makes it much more personal than anything else you can use. Hopefully readers will remember "Em" (see separate forum discussion) much longer than they would "Emma", or "Be" longer than they would "Betty". (Though they aren't as clever by half as your example!)

Perv Otaku

As far as I'm aware, you can get around SOL just fine on the free membership. The fact that you have to sign in at all is different from most erotica sites, but it's no big deal.

Some of the sites get a bad rap with some authors over topics that aren't allowed, especially if the topics previously were allowed at said site. All the sites are different around the edges, layout, scoring systems, tag structure, etc. Several of them have some sort of forum with active author communities, that's not unique to here either.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Perv Otaku

Some of the sites get a bad rap with some authors over topics that aren't allowed,


Such as refusing to allow a present tense story to be posted because the site owner hated them.

Replies:   tppm  Bondi Beach
tppm

@Ernest Bywater

That one deserves a bad rep. I think what Perv Otaku was referring to was, for instance, not allowing sexually active characters under age 14.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Bondi Beach

@Ernest Bywater

Such as refusing to allow a present tense story to be posted because the site owner hated them.


A site owner who apparently hasn't read much (very popular) recent fiction. Hunger Games comes to mind, and that's not the only one. But then, what's the fun if you can't do what you want on your own site?

bb

Ernest Bywater

@tppm

not allowing sexually active characters under age 14.


Where the law says the site gets closed for violating, then I think the site is justified. However, the is one site that's often mentioned on here where they say no characters under 18 and the really mean it. The owner refused to post a story where one character was only 16, however, that character was not involved in any sex scenes, but it still got refused because the character was under 18. Never did understand that ruling. In the end I never posted my stories at that site.

Dicrostonyx

@docholladay

It seems to me that in many respects English is becoming the international language... I am not saying its the best language.


Terry Pratchett once commented that the advantage of English as an international language is that it is easy to learn to speak badly, while still being perfectly understandable to most speakers. You may not not be able to get a good job or taken serious when writing badly, but you can get by in day to day life.

This is not true for many languages. In tonal languages like Chinese, minor pronunciation differences can make you completely unintelligible. Strict grammar rules, as in German, make word order important. But if a cabbie says "Me take you to where?", any English speaker will get the point, even if they also have minimal English, but in a different way.

@richardshagrin

SOL is only about 16 years old. In England that is the age of consent. I am not sure about Canada.


Age of Consent in Canada is 16, raised from 14 in 2008, and there are close in age exceptions. A person needs to be 18 in order to be involved in pornography, however, and the high court has concluded that under the law a "person" can be purely fictional, which is why sites like SOL are treading a very fine line.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Where the law says the site gets closed for violating, then I think the site is justified. However, the is one site that's often mentioned on here where they say no characters under 18 and the really mean it. The owner refused to post a story where one character was only 16, however, that character was not involved in any sex scenes, but it still got refused because the character was under 18.

That's the current trend now. None of the various publishing sites (Amazon, Smashwords, lulu, etc.) allow sex between any characters younger than 18, and many moderators are tired of authors trying to get around the rules, so they take an overly harsh approach.

Currently, the only country that allows underage porn is, ironically, the U.S., which has a checkered past with censorship, but they determined years ago which they could and couldn't ban, so those earlier rulings now stand (although individual DAs continue to test the waters, usually to gin support during elections). As such, about the only site currently allowing underage porn is ASSTR. Sadly, that now means that the majority of material in ASSTR consists of this material, making finding much else difficult.

SOL, in complying with Canadian law, restricted the under age stories, and when the kiddie-porn writers all left, actually saw reader satisfaction and membership numbers go up, so Lazeez isn't unhappy with the results at all. As the ASSTR example shows, the issue isn't so much what's allowed, but how what's allowed reflects on the rest of the site.

sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

The owner refused to post a story where one character was only 16, however, that character was not involved in any sex scenes, but it still got refused because the character was under 18. Never did understand that ruling. In the end I never posted my stories at that site.

The problem is the gutter press; they will pick up that the story contains sexual references and that one of the characters is only 16. That is the only factual stuff they will print tarring the site with everything nasty. To them the fact that the 16 year old is totally not involved is not relevant - they have a front page two week destruction story and the apology (if there ever is one will be on page 5009 bottom corner in 5 point print

Replies:   Dicrostonyx
Dicrostonyx

@sejintenej

The problem is the gutter press; they will pick up that the story contains sexual references and that one of the characters is only 16.


It's not just a problem with sensationalism, I've heard published authors complaining about a similar issue. If a novel has an under-18 main protagonist, many publishers will automatically consider it to be children's fiction (or possibly teen/YA), regardless of content or style. Since "everyone knows" that children's books can't contain certain types of content -- primarily sexuality and extreme violence -- any such book that does have that content will often be rejected out of hand, on the theory that the author is trying to get around the censors.

This creates a problem for anyone trying to write a book which is historically influenced or in a traditional adventure style. It is only within the past century and a half that teens were not part of the workforce, so a lot of classics with younger heroes were written for adults.

I imagine it's even worse these days, as standards are different in Europe than in North America, but it's a lot easier for decent authors to get global publication (or just have someone buy the book on Amazon).

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dicrostonyx

Since "everyone knows" that children's books can't contain certain types of content -- primarily ... and extreme violence


I guess you never read a Grimm's fairy tale. Or watched a Roadrunner cartoon. LOL

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

I guess you never read a Grimm's fairy tale.


Try reading the original stories as published by the Grimm brothers. They were not intended for children. It wasn't until later, after it was very unpopular for adults to believe in magic that the Grimm Brothers stories and fairy tales in general got relegated to being children's stories. And over the ensuing several centuries, they have been sanitized for a child audience.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

That's the current trend now. None of the various publishing sites (Amazon, Smashwords, lulu, etc.) allow sex between any characters younger than 18, and many moderators are tired of authors trying to get around the rules, so they take an overly harsh approach.


You could be right, but in the story concerned the 16 y/o didn't have sex at all. They way the age limit was being applied would be akin to insisting a story about single parents having a relationship must have all their children 18 or older - which kind of eliminates any story about young single parents being allowed and is kind of silly.

richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

Does the problem of no children extend to pregnant women, who will have a child in less than 9 months, by the time they know they are pregnant?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Does the problem of no children extend to pregnant women,


Danged if I know, but I'm not the one making the rules for that site.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

You could be right, but in the story concerned the 16 y/o didn't have sex at all. They way the age limit was being applied would be akin to insisting a story about single parents having a relationship must have all their children 18 or older - which kind of eliminates any story about young single parents being allowed and is kind of silly.

As Mark Twain said, "Censorship is like saying a grown man can't eat steak, because babies can't chew it." You can't infantilize an entire population based on the potential for abuse. Instead, you focus your efforts on the abuse itself. That's the rule of law, rather than a corrosive environment where everyone is suspected of everything.

Perv Otaku

@Crumbly Writer

Terry Pratchett once commented that the advantage of English as an international language is that it is easy to learn to speak badly

HA!

As such, about the only site currently allowing underage porn is ASSTR.

As of my last survey of sites that I know about, there is ASSTR, adult-fanfiction.org, Archive of Our Own, Lush Stories (limit 16), and here (limit 14).

Lostlady
Updated:

@nephthys

One thing I haven't seen mentioned in this thread, I've seen no evidence on this site of voting irregularities or attempts to manipulate the scores. One of the sites you mentioned was known for this. In fact that's the reason I stopped posting over there, by last summer it was like the wild west, completely out of control. It seems to been have cleaned up for now. Also I'm unaware of there being much in the way harassing feedback here, like is all too common some other sites.

Crumbly Writer

@Lostlady

One thing I haven't seen mentioned in this thread, I've seen no evidence on this site of voting irregularities or attempts to manipulate the scores. One of the sites you mentioned was known for this. In fact that's the reason I stopped posting over there, by last summer it was like the wild west, completely out of control. It seems to been have cleaned up for now. Also I'm unaware of there being much in the way harassing feedback here, like is all too common some other sites.

Back when Lazeez used cookies for voting, we'd have people voting multiple times, though it's hard to tell whether people were trying to vote multiple times, or trying to vote for particular chapters, like they do now.

As far as harassing emails, they're more polite on SOL than elsewhere, but we get them. If you write something that someone disagrees with, they'll tell you. As we've noted, certain people will down vote not just the one story they disagree with, but everything you write, whether they regularly read it or not. They'll also down vote (1 bomb) you if you write something concerning their squicks, whether they read it or not. But, SOL is the most writer-encouraging site I know of (though those writing gay porn might argue the point). While only about 2% of the readers respond, they'll encourage you, make suggestions, offer services or advice, and are generally a very nice bunch.

When I posted to ASSTR I got downloads, and the occasional response, but I could never tell whether the readers were actively engaged or not. Sometimes I'd mistakenly post a chapter with display issues, and no one would ever complain about it. To me, that sounds like they don't care whether they read the stories or not.

John Demille
Updated:

@nephthys


Yet there's clearly a vibrant and active community here, and quite a lot of authors who do actively contribute! So I can't help but wonder if I'm missing something here? What is it that makes SOL attractive to other writers?


I'm a little late answering the OP's questions, but better late than never, I guess.

Personally, I like how responsive the webmaster is. I've never had an issue that was not resolved within 48 hours or so. Usually, I get a response within the day.

The warm community and encouraging response kept me coming back.

The fact that the site doesn't benefit directly from my stories (no ads and no payment required) encouraged me to put most of my stories as exclusive to premier members in order to help the site get paid. Yeah, I'm not a great writer by any measure, but it's better than nothing.

Funny story here, Lazeez once forwarded me a message from a member about my stories being exclusive to premier members. Said member was offended that Lazeez was putting such low quality content as exclusive for members. The guy wanted stuff like that from Al Steiner, Lazlo Z. and the like only to be considered for exclusive status (yeah, long time ago). Heh.

ustourist

@Lostlady

I've seen no evidence on this site of voting irregularities or attempts to manipulate the scores.


I think we owe Lazeez a lot of thanks for that. He is a benign overlord, but does exercise some needed control unlike many other sites where it is done either on the basis of personal foibles or not at all.
I may not agree with everything he does, but I very much doubt anyone else could do a better job.

Replies:   aubie56
aubie56

@ustourist

I may not agree with everything he does, but I very much doubt anyone else could do a better job.


I agree 100% with that statement!

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@aubie56

Maybe God, or Jesus Christ. They answer prayers, too, but sometimes the answer is no.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Maybe God, or Jesus Christ. They answer prayers, too, but sometimes the answer is no.


More often it's a hearty laugh and a "You got to be kidding me!"

TeNderLoin
Updated:

@Banadin


Yes it is a wonderful sex site (I guess) but to me it is a training ground for when I grow up to be a writer.


You're doing a pretty good job of it, so far!

:)

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