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Download count

aubie56

I have noticed that the download count on my stories has dropped to around 50% of what it was last year. I can't imagine what I have done to cause that to happen. My scores are running about the same.

Does anyone have any comments?

Replies:   red61544
Crumbly Writer

There's often a lull this time of year, as readers catch up on all the books they received as gifts for Christmas, or are simply too busy with family. I notice the same thing every year. There's generally a mid-rush in mid-January, then a lull in the end of Jan. thru Feb.

The numbers will get better, and when they return, they'll read the stories they missed too (boosting your counts).

Crumbly Writer

Sorry, just saw your "50% of what it was last year." In that case, I'm not sure. My last story finished posting at the beginning of January, so I haven't noticed lately.

awnlee jawking

How are the download counts per chapter faring? Are they 50% down too?

AJ

Replies:   aubie56
aubie56

@awnlee jawking

How are the download counts per chapter faring? Are they 50% down too?


Yes.

Replies:   REP
REP

@aubie56

Yes.


Just checked my current story. The download count and number of votes seem low compared to my comparable length stories.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@REP

Just checked my current story. The download count and number of votes seem low compared to my comparable length stories.

Is this an occasion when we only need to include 'Lazeez' in a post, like a bat-signal, to alert our fearless webmaster something may need his attention?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Is this an occasion when we only need to include 'Lazeez' in a post, like a bat-signal, to alert our fearless webmaster something may need his attention?

Yes, presumably he's got a routine which scans new posts for his name. However, whenever you invoke it, I'd include a full description of the problem and what you're hoping he might do (in this case, comment on whether there are fewer readers now than a year ago). However, I believe the SOL numbers are up, so it might be a genre specific trend.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

However, whenever you invoke it, I'd include a full description of the problem

I chose not to, THIS TIME, only because the posts defining the suspected problem are so few, so short, and self-explanatory.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

However, I believe the SOL numbers are up, so it might be a genre specific trend.


The problem is definitely not a site problem. The numbers between jan/feb 2016 and jan/feb 2017 indicate an increase of about 10% in site-wide download counts and reader log ins.

Sometime a story gets posted and captures too much traffic on its own and readers don't have enough time to keep the download counts for other stories constant. Checkout the top download lists to see where most traffic goes.

Crumbly Writer

I must also mention, you can never be sure how a particular story will received. What you think is a strong tale, just won't get the downloads. As Lazeez says, there might also be competing stories which steal much of your thunder. That doesn't mean they won't get to your story, or maybe it does, but numbers shift over time for a variety of reasons. You just can't blame Lazeez for it this time.

Replies:   aubie56
aubie56

@Crumbly Writer

You just can't blame Lazeez for it this time.


I never blamed Lazeez for this situation. I was just having trouble figuring it out.

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play

@aubie56

From CW: You just can't blame Lazeez for it this time.
aubie56: I never blamed Lazeez for this situation.

Sorry, I contributed to that.
I alerted Lazeez because the thread seemed to progressing where some might infer criticism of the site or him. As I expected, he provided some data showing the site was okay.

REP

@aubie56

Nor did I. It seemed to me that you were asking whether others had noted a trend. I had noted that earlier for my story, but didn't think it was that important. I figured it might just be a seasonal trend and planned to just monitor it.

Crumbly Writer

We should probably be comparing recent downloads by genre and score, rather than questioning total site downloads. I'd go first, but I'm not posting now, and my last numbers were off since many readers went ahead and purchased the book upfront, rather than reading it chapter by chapter.

Replies:   douglurie
Ernest Bywater

I suspect it's reader trends. Every now and then I go back and re-read my favourite stories, but it's usually 2 or 3 years between reads, and I know many others do the same.n If a bunch of us happen to do a re-read in late 2015 early 2016 then the 2017 stats are going to take a hit.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I suspect it's reader trends. Every now and then I go back and re-read my favourite stories, but it's usually 2 or 3 years between reads, and I know many others do the same.n If a bunch of us happen to do a re-read in late 2015 early 2016 then the 2017 stats are going to take a hit.

That, or it's generational. As more of the older readers (and authors) die off, more of our readership are new readers, who are only beginning to delve into the great authors of SOL. Not only do they require time to discover their favorites, but they'll prefer entirely different stories.

douglurie

@Crumbly Writer

We should probably be comparing recent downloads by genre and score


CW--

I had not considered it before, but you may have hit upon the cause of my difficulty. People keep telling me that I should concentrate on Westerns, and I have not been doing much of that lately. It may have been the lack of Westerns that has caused the relative drop in downloads.

I have been using bounty hunting as the way to support my protagonists, and I have been getting a lot of complaints about that facet of my stories. That was the main reason for the drop in the number of Westerns that I have posted lately. The problem is that the economic situation in the Wild West era made it very difficult for a man to find a job that paid a living wage, but a successful bounty hunter could actually become rich if he were lucky enough. Besides, the bounty hunters were a necessary part of the law enforcement community back then.

Assuming I should move away from bounty hunters, can anybody suggest an alternate job that was legal and paid enough to be worthwhile? I certainly am open to suggestions.

Switch Blayde

@douglurie

Assuming I should move away from bounty hunters, can anybody suggest an alternate job that was legal and paid enough to be worthwhile?


Some marshals got paid for each arrest or something like that (in addition to their monthly salary). Someone like Wyatt Earp also had businesses on the side.

Crumbly Writer

@douglurie

I had not considered it before, but you may have hit upon the cause of my difficulty. People keep telling me that I should concentrate on Westerns, and I have not been doing much of that lately. It may have been the lack of Westerns that has caused the relative drop in downloads.

Yeah, a drop off in your numbers is often a sign that readers are tiring of something in your approach. My numbers dropped when I started posting shorter chapters. I'm aiming for longer chapters, but the delay before realizing a problem and writing an entirely new story--which involves posting the remaining stories in the queue first--takes a while.

As far as jobs, in most economic difficulties, people survive by doing multiple jobs. Hell, if you're desperate, you'll gladly shovel shit all day. Showing how hungry someone is, by showing the lengths they'll stoop to, will better reflect their enthusiasm when they finally get their big break.

Also, don't be afraid to show them going to an empty cabinet, or facing the death of their children from starvation--even if in a flashback--as a way of painting their motivations.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@douglurie


suggest an alternate job that was legal and paid enough to be worthwhile?


Prospecting is not a job, but the possibilities of wealth and conflict may provide what you really need.

REP

@douglurie

I doubt it paid much, but for a change in the same time period you might try a city cop in a moderate sized town. Something big enough to have a police force and a large criminal element and not one of the major cities.

A second option that I would like to read is a US Marshal in Indian Territory. Develop him as the MC of a series. The crooks could be a bank robbers, rustlers, horse thieves, crooked Indian Agents, claim jumpers, or the respectable citizens of a township. Something along the lines of the Longarm Series, if you are familiar with it. It is over 400 stories now. After about 40 stories I got tired of the same basic story, the changes in the MCs personality, and the varying levels of sex from story to story (i.e., one story would be predominantly plot and minimal sex, and the next a stroke story). I recently learned that the series is written by different authors and published using the same author name, which explains the difference in personality and the amount of sex in a story. I've forgotten the name the publishing companies use for that type of arrangement, but it is evidently fairly common.

Ernest Bywater

@douglurie

Assuming I should move away from bounty hunters, can anybody suggest an alternate job that was legal and paid enough to be worthwhile? I certainly am open to suggestions.


A lot varied with the location and the actual period involved. Also, a lot depends on how well you want them to live and if they're traveling. Lawmen and guards were well paid in some places and times, and poorly paid in others. The same is true for all work then.

ustourist

@douglurie

Depending on the actual time period, how about an undercover agent for Wells Fargo, Pinkertons, or other detective agency / state investigator. That would permit freelancing, roaming state to state, and to not necessarily have a law badge.
It would allow for various roles to be taken as part of the undercover ploy, but also allow for a permanent job - and since I doubt anyone could dispute wages in that occupation, quite a bit of flexibility as to provision of horses, firearms, travel or location.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@ustourist


an undercover agent for Wells Fargo, Pinkertons


Those were private killers. Worse than bounty hunters. At least bounty hunters went after someone wanted by the law. The Pinkerton guys worked for a company and did their killing.

By the way, what's wrong with bounty hunters? One of my favorite TV shows growing up was "Wanted Dead or Alive." It's the personality and morals of the bounty hunter that would make him lovable or despised.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@douglurie

Assuming I should move away from bounty hunters, can anybody suggest an alternate job that was legal and paid enough to be worthwhile? I certainly am open to suggestions.


If you want something with a fair degree of mobility, I would suggest professional gambler. Few got rich, but a not insignificant number made enough to be comfortable and the hours leave plenty of time for other activities.

For something less mobile, the wealthiest men in any western town/city would be the bankers and the saloon owners.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

In some areas and periods the shopkeepers became rich selling to boomers of various types, and at other times the traveling shopkeepers or freight caries did well too - each job had their own dangers, too. Hunters and trappers did well at different times in different places, so did the fur traders. Also, if the person could afford the minimum to set up with, settling unclaimed lands or coming to agreements with the Indians for part of their lands allowed many people to settle down and set up farms etc to get by on.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
red61544

@aubie56

Over time, my taste in what I read changes. I have found that, lately, I tend to eliminate stories that are described as "stroke story" or "much sex". I just grew tired of all the "ins and outs". I also avoid M/M stories, again just a personal squick. That's just my preference. I imagine most readers have stories that they avoid because of their preferences, too. Maybe you are just writing about topics that people have tired of or include activities that turn people off. I recently read an article that contended that John Grisham's lawyer stories are getting monotonous. If it can happen to Grisham, it can happen to anyone.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
StarFleet Carl

@red61544

I have found that, lately, I tend to eliminate stories that are described as "stroke story" or "much sex". I just grew tired of all the "ins and outs". I also avoid M/M stories, again just a personal squick. That's just my preference.


I believe Nick Scipio has that as a tag on his site - I look at too much pron. And yeah, there's only so many ways to describe it. The one's that I really, really loathe have as 'dialogue' (and I use that term loosely):

I'M CUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMING!!!

Now, given that, what the hell are we doing on an adult porn site? Well, just as John Ringo caught holy hell for his Ghost series - I prefer reading stories with a bit more reality in them. (No, I'm not referencing the trip in the airplane wheel well - I'm talking about sex in his books.) People make love, have sex, and just plain fuck. It's part of life. Otherwise there'd be no follow-up generations.

The minor detail that a lot of the authors who write here should be dead tree published because they're that good, just that our societal mores (or at least the mainstream publishers) can't handle sex (and how many copies of 50 Shades - aka the Twilight fan fiction - were sold?) means that we get to read their stuff here.

As for download counts - I have nothing to compare to for my story, since I only have the one story up. I figure that if I get more than 500 downloads before I publish the next chapter I'm doing good.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

By the way, what's wrong with bounty hunters? One of my favorite TV shows growing up was "Wanted Dead or Alive." It's the personality and morals of the bounty hunter that would make him lovable or despised.

Aubie's point was he thought his readers were growing tired of continuing stories about bounty hunters, so he was looking for alternatives he could try to avoid becoming tedious.

Frankly, Aubie, I always liked your 'doctor' stories. If you really want an alternative, try either a schizophrenic Indian medicine man (since they often sought out those who suffered visions for their wisdom is seeing beyond the limitations of most men), or possibly an untrained woman learning medicine on her own while few regard her as an equal. In both of those scenarios, there's plenty of drama and you won't be repeating yourself. I've also always wanted to write a story about a transsexual woman who uses the Civil War (or the westward expansion) to escape her past and take on the role of a man in the 19th century. Even though those stories were considered outrageous at the time, there are numerous real-life examples. (Though it'd take a delicate hand to work.)

Replies:   Grant
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

For something less mobile, the wealthiest men in any western town/city would be the bankers and the saloon owners.

Speaking of which, most saloon owners, shopkeepers and tradespeople required 'protection' to settle their more troublesome clients. As a 'tough guy' moves through the territory, many would hire him, once they determined they could trust him, to take care of their troubles before encouraging him to 'move on' elsewhere.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

In some areas and periods the shopkeepers became rich selling to boomers of various types, and at other times the traveling shopkeepers or freight caries did well too - each job had their own dangers, too.

As did, in later years, the hocksters (?) selling 'medicines' (i.e. opium and cocaine). I took this from a history.gov site:

It is reported that one drug manufacturer, in 1885, was selling cocaine in 15 different forms, including cigarettes, cheroots, inhalants, cordials, crystals, and solutions. Many famous imported wines, such as "Vin Mariani," contained a mixture of wine and coca. For consumers on budgets, the wonder drug was available as Coca-Cola and dozens of other soda pops and pick-me-up drinks. One of them even had a simple and direct name, Dope.

Grant

@Crumbly Writer

or possibly an untrained woman learning medicine on her own while few regard her as an equal.

Dr Quinn, Medicine woman, lives again.
Please, let it better than that.

richardshagrin

I concur with the tavern owner/publican thought. All one needed in boomtown gold rush communities was a tent or something to provide shade/escape from rain or other weather, a bar, as simple as a long board over two boxes at either end, and something with alcohol in it, probably in a bottle.

In the land of Re, he could be a re-publican.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ross at Play

@StarFleet Carl

what the hell are we doing on an adult porn site?

For me it is how they get to the sex that interests me. It's rare I do not start skimming over the Tag-A-in-Slot-B parts for stories of any length.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@richardshagrin

All one needed in boomtown gold rush communities was a tent or something to provide shade/escape from rain or other weather, a bar, as simple as a long board over two boxes at either end, and something with alcohol in it, probably in a bottle.


You forgot the most important product after alcohol — whores

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

For me it is how they get to the sex that interests me. It's rare I do not start skimming over the Tag-A-in-Slot-B parts for stories of any length.

While I agree with you, I hate stories where two unlikely people (like mother and son, or mortal enemies) fall into bed together without any second thoughts. I prefer watching the attraction develop over time, so you feel why they did what they did. Otherwise, the story is nothing more than 'tab-A in slut-B'. A slower pace allows the tension and the characters to develop. Sometimes I wish the beautiful girl would say, "By the way, I have AIDS," just so they'll take a couple minutes to decide whether they want to risk their lives before jumping into bed.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

You forgot the most important product after alcohol — whores

When there are no jobs, and little way to purchase what you need to survive, the few women have little choice but to either marry someone whether or turn to prostitution, especially if, if they do neither, the choice will be taken out of their hands.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

When there are no jobs, and little way to purchase what you need to survive, the few women have little choice but to either marry someone whether or turn to prostitution, especially if, if they do neither, the choice will be taken out of their hands.


It wasn't a commentary on the women. It was setting up a saloon in a boom town.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


It wasn't a commentary on the women. It was setting up a saloon in a boom town.


Understood, Switch. I was outlining possible sources of story conflict for characters, more in keeping with 21st century values (sorry, make that 20th century, as now POTUS is grabbing pussy, so all standards are essentially out the window).

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

I was outlining possible sources of story conflict for characters,


A woman with no family whose husband dies could end up being a prostitute to survive.

aubie56

I think that I have found the answer to my download question, and several of you already mentioned it. My latest story being posted, "Dome's Early Light," is a time-travel Western, and my download count is back where I expected it to be. It looks like my major audience is with people who like Westerns. Okay, I can live happily with that, but I will still write non-Westerns when the mood strikes me. So there! LOL

A grateful thanks to those of you who were kind enough to respond to my posting.

Ross at Play

@aubie56

I will still write non-Westerns when the mood strikes me. So there!

Perhaps this quote belongs in the 'Writing Quotes' thread as well.

"You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself"
- Ricky Nelson, from Garden Party.

Ross at Play

I am posting this here because I don't want to start a new thread questioning some anomaly in the scoring systems. That's the second-last thing we need, behind the obvious one of a thread on the merits of recounting election results.

Has anyone else noticed that scores of stories submitted to writing contests seem particularly low?

I have seen a number of stories with scores much lower than I would have expected.
I suspect it has something to do with the readers who have premium memberships being either more discerning, or more demanding, than the freeloading riff-raff.

Another way of asking that question is whether writers have noticed scores of their stories rising after the period when only premium members can access their story.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Has anyone else noticed that scores of stories submitted to writing contests seem particularly low?


I thought that reason was obvious - check the contest rules, and you'll see why in the Additional Rule 8.

By participating in a contest, the author grants World Literature Publishing Co. exclusive right to publish winning entries in the site's premier area for a period of 6 months. Due to this rule, stories previously posted on other sites are ineligible to participate. After the six months exclusivity period, the author can publish the entry elsewhere.

Only the Premier members can see the story and vote on it for six months, thus there's only a percentage of readers able to even know the story exists, let alone read it and vote.

Another aspect is the contest stories are usually theme based, and many readers not interested in the theme won't read the contest stories because of that.

Edit to add - due to the above restrictions in readership, you'll find those who do read the contest stories are the more demanding readers who'll reflect that in their scores.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

you'll find those who do read the contest stories are the more demanding readers who'll reflect that in their scores.

That is my assumption about what happens, and why.
I am asking if anyone has any evidence supporting that conclusion. I only have a sample of two stories I edited which I think are better than the low 6's they currently score. That seems very low for one that finished in third place.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

Has anyone else noticed that scores of stories submitted to writing contests seem particularly low?


High score wins. So maybe voters are more prudent, not wanting to give the first story they read a high score before reading a story they might like better. Like in gymnastics. If you give someone all 10s and then the next participant does better, you can't give them 11s.

Now the best way would be to read all the stories before voting on any. But I wonder how many people do that?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

not wanting to give ... a high score before reading (one) better

Thanks. That is another reason why it might happen, but I'm still hoping for evidence of it actually happening.

Crumbly Writer

@aubie56

I think that I have found the answer to my download question, and several of you already mentioned it. My latest story being posted, "Dome's Early Light," is a time-travel Western, and my download count is back where I expected it to be. It looks like my major audience is with people who like Westerns. Okay, I can live happily with that, but I will still write non-Westerns when the mood strikes me. So there! LOL

If your readers respond so negatively (i.e. it wasn't just the one story), you may want to consider using a pseudonym when posting other stories, just so your fans won't hold the other stories against you. You'll probably have lower downloads initially, but it'll be easier to build a new alternate fanbase.

Kid Wigger

You might want to explore the job of a Special Agent of a railroad. Bat Masterson and Allen Pinkerton both worked as Special Agents at one time. That is how the Pinkerton Agency eventually developed. With an hour of research on the web, you can develop a time line of what an agent was legally able to do. They only had authority inside railroad property, on trains, and inside the right-of-ways, unless the person also managed to be appointed as a State or Federal Deputy. You could have your hero start small, and with successful investigations or pursuits, be noticed by state officials, then Federal officials, and gain the lawful authority to go after no-goods after they departed the right-of-ways making their escapes.

Crumbly Writer

If you want to have fun, how about an unsuccessful lawyer, gone west to 'civilize' law enforcement, only to discover no one in the 'wild west' cares about the law, who's then forced to take the law into his own hands when he's unable to stop people from doing the wrong things. Ditto for a newsman (in common in the old west).

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