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Ratings . RATINGS ? RATINGS !

HarryCarton

A) If you're writing a multi part story, do you turn on ratings right away?

B) Do you write for the ratings?

C) Anything you'd like to share about your ratings?

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For me:
A) Yes, I always turn them on early. People can always change their ratings if they change their minds. I think folks like to express their pleasure or distaste immediately.

B) No, I don't care what the rating is. I look at it, but I don't alter the way I write to increase ratings.

C) I *always* get one '1' rating in each story. I don't know if it's the same reader, but if so, he's a loyal reader of all my stuff. LOL

Ernest Bywater

@HarryCarton

a. yes, but I complete the story first and post several thousand words at a time. All preloaded into the SOL wizard

b. not at all. In fact, as I predicated to friends, my latest story has more 1s and 2s than any other 2 stories together; I upset too many biased bigots on both sides of the issue.

c. nothing I can think of that's relevant apart from watching out for bigots.

Crumbly Writer

A) Yes, ratings are for readers, not authors, so turning ratings on is a benefit of readers (and a way for them to find you).
B) I don't write for ratings, but I monitor them. Only, I don't worry about scores, instead I look for the changes in the scoring between chapters. Readers are quick to alert you that something isn't popular in the immediate ratings. But other than that, they could score you on dozens of different criteria.

Like you, Harry, I have a LOT of '1-fans', loyal fans who rate EVERY story I write as a 1 vote. Not only do they visit each story, but they do so within days of the original posting. I warned them that by doing so, they can't protest beyond their 'worst story ever' rating. It didn't impact their views, until I realized another chapter they hated. Now they all score me either 3 or 5, just so they can adapt down OR up (popular chapters will nudge their scores up 1 point, while ones they object to will knock it down 2 pts).

I also pay attention to 'quit letters' (ex: "I LOVE your stories, but I had to quit reading this one because ..."). Whenever I get one, I immediately reach out to the reader. While readers like to congratulate you on good writing, most are reluctant to tell you about problems. Usually, a Quit Letter writer will tell you about something you should be aware of, so you can counter it within the story itself.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@HarryCarton

A) Yes. Voting is always on.

B) No. Absolutely not. I know some people won't like what I write, but I'm not writing for a score. I do look at the scores, though. Well, when the story was just posted. Just curious I guess. And now that I can see the raw scores they make more sense.

C)Nope. Don't want to talk about scores. Lazeez, you listening? LOL

ADDED THIS WITH THE EDIT:

I might even leave out a story code that could give away a surprise in the story even though a reader will punish me with a low score because I "misled" him on his squick. The story comes first.

Pars001

yes I leave it on.
No I never write for ratings if I did I'd never write.
Only that the readers can't really appreciate how much I have bled on the paper for them to idly cast them aside like trash.

harry-lime

A...No
B...No
C...Under my primary pen-name of Harry Lime I turned off voting on 344 stories and have not added any new stories to that pen-name since 1 Jan 15 until I have finished all storylines or am still actively continuing it with an updated segment. I also have 8 other pen-names which are all with voting turned off except for one which strangely has all 7,8,9,10 ratings. Most of my stories have an erotic flavor to them and they cover most genres. I have also experienced the only "1" rating game played by a few oddball readers but it is really the smoothing techniques of the rating system that influenced me to turn off ratings. I have about 3 million words of content on this site. Some of it is good but a lot of it is trash but still enjoyable reading to a lot of readers. My total downloads here is slightly shy of 2 million but on another smaller site, I have close to 8 million downloads for the same content mix. I tend to grade a story on the reader response in terms of download activity rather than positive or negative comments. My overall comments are about 90% positive and 10% negative which I view as normal or average.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Grant  imsly1
Crumbly Writer

@harry-lime

My total downloads here is slightly shy of 2 million but on another smaller site, I have close to 8 million downloads for the same content mix.

Pray, tell, which is this 'other site'? 8M vs 2M is a significant jump in readership!

Replies:   harry-lime
Grant

@harry-lime

I tend to grade a story on the reader response in terms of download activity rather than positive or negative comments.


As a reader I have no idea how the download numbers work.
On a completed story, does a reader viewing a chapter count as a download? Or do they have to view all chapters for it to count as a download?

Personally I don't rate a story until it is complete & I've read all of it. But there are many stories i've started, but not even gotten through the first chapter, others where I've read a dozen or more chapters before calling it quits and others where I'd had several goes at it (it's got good reviews & high ratings), but just can't get in to it.
In those cases I don't rate the story as I really don't know how good it is or isn't, just that I couldn't deal with the parts I had read & am unable to finish it.

Jefferson
Updated:

1) I've never turned my voting off for any story I post, long or short. I have considered turning off voting for the first three to five chapters. There is no way someone can lodge a legitimate vote on a 40 chapter story just by reading the first chapter. I'd prefer no one vote on a multi-chapter story until at least the third or fifth chapter. By then, at least the story will have started. Before that, you're just pretty much introducing your characters.

2) If you write for votes, or if you need fan letters in order to keep writing, you're not going to be writing very long. It annoys me greatly when I see an author blog that says "Well, since no one wrote to tell me how wonderful my first chapter was. I'm just not going to write anymore on this story." I don't know how many of those authors actually follow through on the threat but I've written a couple of them an e-mail.

3) Like everyone else, I get the "1" bombers. Usually two or three with each story.

Like most of the others here, I watch the ratings and will use them when looking for something to read but otherwise, I don't spend too much time on them.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@Grant

does a reader viewing a chapter count as a download? Or do they have to view all chapters for it to count as a download?


Each chapter counts as a download.

I never look at download counts, as an author or reader.

For a short story, the download count is a better measure of author name recognition, story title, and/or description than the quality of the story.

Crumbly Writer

@Jefferson

I have considered turning off voting for the first three to five chapters. There is no way someone can lodge a legitimate vote on a 40 chapter story just by reading the first chapter. I'd prefer no one vote on a multi-chapter story until at least the third or fifth chapter.

That's a sensible approach, but it doesn't quite consider everyone. Often, fans will vote any story you write with a high score, which helps attract new readers. Also, MANY readers don't vote for the entire story until the story finishes, but they DO vote for the story 'as it is' and will change their votes on a chapter-by-chapter basis.

I don't mind this, but it's a different view of the ratings mechanism. Heck, even my 1-star protest votes will nudge their votes up or down for specific chapters (which is often more informative of how the readers perceive the story. If they vote a definitive chapter for a particular character, chances are, they DON'T like the character.)

Replies:   sejintenej
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Grant

re: As a reader I have no idea how the download numbers work.


On SOL the system runs two counters: one counter on each chapter and one counter for the story as a whole. In both cases the count goes up by 1 for each time a reader visit a page related to a chapter or a story, but only does it once within the same 24 hour day as counted at the server date. In short someone reads every chapter on the one day each chapter gets a count rise of one and the story gets a count rise of one. But, if they read it over three days each chapter still gets a count rise of one while the story gets a count rise of 3, one for each different day the reader visits the story.

Thus, if you post a ten chapter story at the rate of one chapter each week and have ten people following it you can end up with the chapter count of ten for each chapter but a story count of 100 because ten people visited the story ten times each.

Hope that helps you.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

Hope that helps you.


Yep, thanks.

sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer

@crumbly writer
IMHO in any stories there are good and not so good chapters - it is governed by the overall plot. Scores should be an average of the story to date including good and bad and for that turning off scoring for the first few chapters is sensible. That written, sometimes I so want to give a special mention to particularly good chapters; Jack Spratt's Jokes and Giggles does not need an overall score but chapters ......

Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

Sejintenej, I wasn't really discussing fast vs. slow chapters. It's assumed that an action chapter will score better than a chapter discussing what went wrong with the attack. There are techniques to account for that. What I'm referring to is when readers take an active dislike to one of your characters, or someone does something that really sets readers off. One of the bits I discovered this way is that readers LOVE seeing lawyers get killed. I've also had problems with strong women in stories. Those who work with women will see a strong character and nod their heads, while someone who's not as supportive will vote with their scores and a chapter will drop. You can't always anticipate those responses, so watching how the scores change, chapter by chapter, will alert you to problems you never knew you had.

Switch Blayde

@sejintenej

Jack Spratt's Jokes and Giggles does not need an overall score but chapters


Each joke should be a separate "story" within a Jokes and Giggles Universe. Then you'd score each joke.

PervOtaku

Voting's always on.

Of course I like getting high numbers and have been fortunate so far, but the chips have to fall where they may. I write the stories for my own amusement mostly, I share them because it's silly to keep them unseen on my hard drive. How much folks like or don't like them is something I can't control.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@PervOtaku

I write the stories for my own amusement mostly, I share them because it's silly to keep them unseen on my hard drive. How much folks like or don't like them is something I can't control.

Thanks, for that, PervOtaku. That was always my position, but I guess I forgot. I've been wrestling over a story where my beta readers aren't fond of my main character (sound familiar--in each of my stories, I've had characters who just don't appeal to readers).

I don't write the type of stories that will ever appeal to a broad market, so I doubt writing will ever be a career for me. At the moment, it buys am occasional dinner (once a month until the past year when they've been dragging).

With that in mind, I'll bully through with my current story whether readers appreciate the main character or not. I think I've got her personality pegged, and she fits into common personality traits in her profession, so it's silly changing her (diluting her) to please a vocal minority.

However, since I take input from Everyone, it's difficult for me to ignore warning signs.

Jon_Lewiston
Updated:

@HarryCarton

You are aware that you get at least one "1" vote on each of your stories. How do you get a breakdown of raw voting results?

If I look on my "Stats" page, I see the calculated score, but I don't see how to get a peek at the raw votes.

Replies:   Jon_Lewiston
Jon_Lewiston

@Jon_Lewiston

"Never Mind."

Just clicked on the story's name on the chart: Presto!

harry-lime

In response to Crumbly Writer's question on other site mentioned, It is a UK based site called short-fiction. They have actually 2 sites, one is for all short-stories and poems both erotic and non-erotic. and the other is just for non-erotic stories. The non-erotic stories are posted on both. I did not double count the duplicated stories and also did not include some other pen-name counts which came to only about 350K. The current count is 7,565,334 and I expect to pass the 8 million mark before the end of the year. I have a number of stories submitted but not posted as yet. Hard to explain the difference except most of my writing is keyed to greater consumption and enjoyment rather than for writing excellence and is aimed more at mobile reading sessions.

harry-lime

@Crumbly Writer

For Crumbly Writer: I answered your question with a reply to the topic in general. I didn't realize there was a little tab to reply directly to a post. Posted reply on Sep 7. Thank you.

MisguidedC

The only thing I turn off on my stories are anonymous. I don't care if someone disagrees with me, but it pisses me off if they don't give me an opportunity to respond.
I don't worry about scores, but notice them none the less.
How do you see the voting breakdown for a story? I see the score, but don't see a way to tell how many votes in 1, 2, 5 or whatever are made. Is there really a way to see that?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
imsly1

@harry-lime

Harry ..I love reading your stories, and I'd like to read some of your other work, how do I find out which names you write under?

Replies:   harry-lime
Crumbly Writer

@MisguidedC

How do you see the voting breakdown for a story? I see the score, but don't see a way to tell how many votes in 1, 2, 5 or whatever are made. Is there really a way to see that?

When you look at the stats sheet (which shows the overall scores and downloads, just click on the story. It'll show a graph where only the totals votes for the top score are shown, but it's not hard to guess what the others are.

Replies:   aubie56
aubie56
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

CW, when was the last time you looked at the stats? The bar graph now lists the number of votes for all 10 possible scores. There is a lot of other data on that page. Lazeez has outdone himself in supplying information. All you have to do is to click on the story's name.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@aubie56

The bar graph now lists


Only for those authors who promised to never complain about the scoring system again.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Only for those authors who promised to never complain about the scoring system again.

True, although I had no plans to complain, I didn't want to be restricted from commenting on complaints.

However, now that no one is complaining any more, I should concede and promise to bite my tongue. (I still have no plans to complain about scoring, either way.)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
richardshagrin

I am sure Management won't require you to bite anything, much less your tongue. You don't even need to use fingers to hold it. Just what you type, or keyboard needs to be censored. I am pretty sure free speech continues, you just can't put it in type. Is this type? Its electrons activating a screen. Just don't input anything that could be output on a SOL screen about scoring. Praise might be acceptable.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I've not made that selection because the other rule is you have to have voting turned on for all your stories and I've a couple I don't want that for because they provide background information only and despite saying that in the blurb people voted them down, so I turned voting off for them.

Chase Shivers

@HarryCarton

I'm new here (almost 2 weeks) but I have been on ASSTR since 2013. Here are my answers:

A) Ratings on right away, though I do think it makes sense to turn them off until at least a few chapters are available.

B) Not at all. I like that the ratings offer another data point for deciding which stories to read, but beyond that, I post stories because I hope others enjoy them, not to squeeze out another couple of points in the ratings.

C) I, too, have seen the odd visitor ranking a story a 1. In fact, one of the first dozen votes on Semper Fi, the first story I posted here, was a 1, soon followed by another within an hour. It gave me a WTF moment until I realized that there are always a few who get off on doing that, so now I really don't care.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Chase Shivers

CS, typically, that's because you hit their particular squick factor, though nowadays, that can be anything from your character's politics to what brand of yogurt they eat. We're living in such polarized communities now, that anyone who varies in the slightest is seen as a worse enemy than the person they're fighting.

harry-lime

@imsly1

Harry Lime's other pennames are Downtomyankles, Tony Sorrentino, Scarlett Griffin, Grandpa's Bedtime Stories, RW Moran USMC Retired, He has 4 others but I have to send them later as they are less popular and I have to look them up.

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