It’s been a long, hard deliberation on posting ATL on other websites besides http://atl.quinlancircle.com/.
But I’m finally going to do it.
See, in posting on other websites, I have always considered that it might hurt the “brand” in some way. That if the story is not on Quinlan Circle.com, it will be too decentralized, with too many sources to deal with, too many communities to consider. The payoff would be good, with the potential for more readers to see the story, for more people to read the story, but it could lead to complicated situations with managing the story on multiple sites, or embarrassment on my part if it doesn’t break out on any of them.
Then it hit me– why would I ever be worrying about this when what really matters is giving more people the chance to see the story, the chance to become readers?
The fact that web fiction aggregate sites exist is pretty lovely stuff for the community overall. Aside from a few rare examples, maybe even a single digit number of examples, web fiction doesn’t pay the bills. It’s posted online for free, and its entire purpose is to get people to read it however possible. These aggregate sites, especially since they do not restrict cross-posting, are incredibly valuable then, as essentially free marketing for your free product. They have the downside in making you look “less professional,” but in ATL’s case, anyone who’s seen the design for my website already know this ain’t a professional endeavor.
So, ATL will be posted on Wattpad and Royal Road starting probably this weekend. I don’t know how ATL will end up on either of these platforms, but even a single reader gained will make it worth it in my eyes. I would hope for more, but you never know with different websites. The internet and its algorithms is a wild, mysterious place.
I imagine, though, that ATL will be just fine on both sites. It’s got a bit of charm to it, so it’ll pick up a few people here and there. What I want is a full-on explosion of activity, but I’m patient enough to wait a while for that. At three chapters a week, it’ll hit Chapter 200 by like, January or something, so there’s a whole lot of content for people to dig through. It’s going to be pretty intimidating soon!
A lot of what spurned on my change of heart towards posting ATL on other sites was that dark dragon simmering at the bottom of my heart, flicking its tongue into my arteries and freezing me over with fear (it’s an ice dragon). That dark (ice) dragon is my fan fiction The Glory of Bowsette.
It was a completely different level of success than ATL, and ATL will probably never even close to reach it, but I was also writing a fan fiction and taking advantage of one of the biggest internet memes of 2018. And it was a very nice lesson in cross-posting!
In the original serialization, I uploaded the story on Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction.net simultaneously. Both exploded with activity, comments, and full-on ripoff stories that basically cribbed my concepts but with the author’s own twists. It was pretty awesome. I posted it on Wattpad too, in batches, but I didn’t take advantage of the site’s community features, nor did I try to best utilize its often unwieldy algorithms. Nevertheless, it still racked up a couple hundred readers by my count.
It was only last month when I started posting The Glory of Bowsette to its fourth site on Royal Road that I realized the power that cross-posting might actually hold. This is a story based on a now-dead meme, posted 9 months after the other sites, and it still within one month has racked up over 45,000 views. It isn’t even complete yet (the final chapter posts this weekend I believe) but it’s already a pretty big hit on the website. I honestly didn’t realize how little crossover the site had with others, or just how much discoverability really matters to gaining readership.
Also, this is unrelated, but I want to brag about the story’s current stats on each site:
- Fan Fiction.net: 130,000 views, 166 Favorites
- 14th most-favorited (non-porn) Mario fan fiction
- Archive of Our Own: 4500 views, 143 kudos
- 6th most-viewed (non-porn, non-megacrossover) Mario fan fiction
- Wattpad: 24,000 views, 883 chapter kudos (no idea how this stat stacks up)
- Royal Road: Ongoing, but already 45,000 views, 47 favorites
- Rank #1530 sitewide, and the 136th most-viewed fan fiction, 99% sure the most-viewed Mario fan fiction on the site by a landslide. These will climb slightly higher after the story actually ends.
- (Overall, it’s kinda looking like this might be the most popular Mario fan fiction of the entire decade, quite possibly ever. Though it doesn’t even take a blip to other Mario fan works, not even the Bowsette fan comic that is still currently publishing. It’s not that impressive but I still want to brag.)
The only lesson I’ve learned here is that I should be a full-time fan fiction writer and beg for money on Patreon ostensibly for some original project, but I never actually make any progress on it because I spend all my time writing Rational Star Wars where Anakin is a logical genius who logically decides to kill all the Jedi, or something.
I think I lost track of the blog topic.