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Changed Chapters

awnlee jawking

(I would have liked to place this in a 'Reader Issues' type forum, but sadly there isn't one.)

Do readers like to be notified when an author goes back and tinkers with an already published chapter? If so, how should it be done - via a blog post?

Have authors had any feedback on this subject?

AJ

Replies:   anim8ed  Keet  Switch Blayde  REP
anim8ed

@awnlee jawking

I am a reader and if it is just minor typo / grammar corrections then no notification is needed.

If it is a revision that changes the story in some way then as a reader some type of notification would be appreciated.

Replies:   Jim S
Keet

@awnlee jawking

I'm not sure there is an easy way to do this. Premium members can use the "more info" link and see the date of the last update per chapter but that means he has to check every story he's interested in. I've seen some authors reporting changes on their blog. A specific page for reporting updates might get overflown with many reports but it's up to the authors to make the report. I like it when an author reports he has made changes. The author blog is currently the best place I think. Readers tend to follow their preferred authors so that makes it likely they see the update report.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I would guess to notify them with a blog post.

I also have a Yahoo group where I would notify my followers. That's where I announce stories.

Jim S

@anim8ed

I am a reader and if it is just minor typo / grammar corrections then no notification is needed.

If it is a revision that changes the story in some way then as a reader some type of notification would be appreciated.

What he said.

REP

@awnlee jawking

I think a blog post would be appropriate. Granted many readers don't read the author's blog, so they probably wouldn't bother reading another form of notifying them of changes to a story. Especially when that other form would include reports from authors they aren't interested in reading.

There is also a question regarding the types of changes to previously posted stories. In my opinion:

1. Correction of simple grammatical errors don't need to be reported.

2. Changes to the plot in prior chapters should be reported to your readers.

3. Changes to the narrative and dialog that have a minor impact, but don't change the plot, may be appropriate to report. Those changes may affect what is said in future chapters. The reader then has the option of rereading previously posted chapters or just accepting something said in the future that isn't supported by his recollection.

Of course blog entries are of no use to readers, who do not read the author's blog.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I think a blog post would be appropriate. Granted many readers don't read the author's blog, so they probably wouldn't bother reading another form of notifying them of changes to a story.

There are two sides to that argument. While many readers don't follow blogs, posting blogs will often introduce your work to readers who may never have noticed it before (there are readers who specifically follow blog postings). But, even if those readers aren't interested your story, once you post a blog, anytime a reader has a question, they'll typically visit your blog to check on updates, so it's a way of making the information available.

Of course, much has been written about when to report changes, and the general rule of thumb is: if the changes substantially change the story (i.e. you add new chapters to an existing story, eliminate an entire subplot, or change the underlying plot, then you report it), but if you merely 'clean up' something, you don't (though, if it's a massive project, you generally announce why you're replacing the entire story with a newer, more updated version).

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