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Niet

A few questions about my first story

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Hi all!

So I joined just over a month ago and started posting my story. Since then I've uploaded a new Chapter every Tuesday. As of right now I have almost 2,000 hits, but no reviews and no ratings. I have no idea if people read my story because they like it, or just to gawk at how awful it is :P (Okay, I'm exaggerating, but hopefully you understand what I mean!)

I know people keep coming back to it, because I get a sudden rise in hits in the day or so following an upload. Is it just that people have picked up on my update schedule, or is there a notification system that tells them when I post? If the latter, is there any way for me to know how many people are "subscribed" to my story? This is more of a curiosity thing, since "2,000 hits" is all very good, but for all I know it could be one guy reloading the page a bunch of times to make me think I'm popular XD

Second, I would like to get some more exposure for my story. However, I have posted it (in "pre-beta" form) on my own website, in a dark corner with only about a dozen readers. Does this prohibit me from posting in the "Promote a story" forum? If so, what other options do I have?

Finally, I'm always trying to improve myself as I write. I feel that the best way to do that is to listen to the readers. However, with no reviews, I'm left in the dark. What I'd really like is to be able to actually talk with my readers, find out what they like and don't like about my story, and hopefully I can use that information to improve future chapters. Can Reviews be used for that? If so, how can I go about getting some reviews? If not, what options are available to me?

Thanks for your time, I hope my questions aren't stupid "noob" questions! :D

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There is no notification system in place. People will read a story because it is on the first page. Bear in mind we have over 150,000 members currently, and even more 'guests' on site every day, so people who will go into a section of the archive periodically just to see what's new will often click on stories updated since their last run through.

There is currently no way to see how many 'subscribers' your story has - in this case, I'm interpreting that to mean how many people have added it to their favorites list.

You may certainly post in the promote a story forum, provided that the story is hosted here on AFF. :D The rules and regulations of that forum are found here.

No, you may not use your review board as a communications tool. That is expressly forbidden in the Guidelines, which are part of the Terms of Service of the site:

You understand that you are not to engage in Review Board conversations. Review replies may either be posted in chapters with Author's Notes so long as they are under the 600 word limit or alternatively, you may create a topic in our forum to discuss your story and post a link to the topic in your story.

What we recommend is to create a thread in the appropriate sub-forum here in order to reply to reviewers as well as make any author's notes that exceed the 600 word limit. Users do not have to be members of the forum in order to reply to your threads there, and what you would do is, once the thread is created, copy the URL into your story chapter (either at the top or the bottom) to let readers know that you will be replying to reviews there.

(Example from one of mine:

"Review replies can be found here: http://www2.adult-fanfiction.org/forum/index.php/topic/52114-review-replies-alternative-learning/ ")

The URL will show in full within the chapter of the story.

I hope that answers all of your questions, and we'd certainly prefer that users ask if something is unclear to them. :)

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We're in the process of revising the archive's code, and at the moment, what we recommend readers do is add the story to their author profile, as "Currently Reading" or "Recommended Reading." They can then store a link to that story for easy access. As the new code is written, tested and rolled out, new features may be incorporated, so as an author myself, we can all hope.

One thing some of our authors do to open dialogue with readers is to offer Twitter/email updates or even maintain a Facebook or other social media site to let readers chat about the story. These are ways to connect with readers directly, and get some valuable feedback. Many people are shy about reviewing, because they feel they won't say anything relevant or interesting, and others don't like the recaptcha feature that keeps the archive free of spambots. But by finding a creative way to reach out to readers, you can often open a lively dialogue.

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Wonderful, and you can include that url on your archive profile, and let readers know to check your profile to find a link to meet the characters. :D

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