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Creating a review reply thread


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You’ve received a review for your story, and in the review the person has asked a question. You’d like to reply to that person. So do you just leave a ‘review’ to your own story to reply to that person? No, you don’t. Why? Because it’s against the Terms of Service, that’s why.

The full reason is two-fold. Firstly, that’s not the purpose of the reviews. It’s meant to only contain genuine reviews, not discussions; it’s not a chat service or a mini-forum. Some people like to artificially inflate their reviews by leaving their own ‘reviews’ as replies to other reviews. Some people also like to carry on arguments with nasty reviewers. If you do get a nasty review that is clearly there just to be annoying then simply delete it. If the person keeps harassing you then report it to a mod here on the forum. Also, the archive website and forums are completely free to you, but they’re definitely not free for us! Therefore, saving bandwidth makes good economic sense.

But you really want to communicate with your fans! How? This is how.

On the main forum page, scroll down until you see the ‘Fan Fiction’ section. There are three subforums for you to look at. There’s ‘Anime/Manga (all)’, ‘NON Anime/Single Fandom Subdomains’ and ‘All Other Subdomains’. Find which subforum your story falls under and go there. For example, if your story is a Harry Potter story then you’d click on ‘NON Anime/Single Fandom Subdomain’ then on ‘Harry Potter’. Where was your story posted in the archive? If it was posted in the 'Het-Male/Female' section then click on that link, for example. Regardless, choose the appropriate category and click in it.

Once there, click on the ‘Start New Topic’ button. For the Topic Title, you should write something which identifies this tread as a review replies thread for your story. For example, you could write: ‘Review Replies for <story name>’.

With that done, you should give some details of your story, such as the full name, perhaps a brief summary of your story if you like (without giving away spoilers, of course!), a link to your story on the AFF archive, and perhaps any other info you feel is relevant for the opening post. Then subsequent posts would have the username of the person you’re responding to and your reply to them. You could include replies to several people in the one post.

An important thing to remember is to mention this thread in your story posted in the archive, so readers know it’s there! If it’s a single chapter story, include an author’s note at the end of the story, telling people about your review replies thread, a link directly to that thread, and encouraging people to go there to see your comments! If your story is a multi-chapter story then you could include a short author’s note at the end of each chapter, if you like, to remind people of your review reply thread. But do not create a separate chapter for author’s notes or to reply to reviews! Both are against our ToS. Another thing you should never do is include an author’s note in the middle of your chapter. That makes your story look amateurish and you unprofessional.

What if you’ve just uploaded your story and you’re not confident that you’ll get enough replies to make creating a review reply thread straight away relevant? What if you later do get a number of replies to which you’d like to reply to? Simple! Just create the thread in the forum as mentioned above and then go into your story in the archive and edit it to include the author’s note information!

The most important thing of all is to have fun! Which includes no flaming in your review replies, but I’m sure you’d never do that. ;)

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