Essay Non-Fiction posted December 24, 2014

This work has reached the exceptional level
All those points--GONE!

All Ranking Disappears Jan 1ST

by Spiritual Echo

While the site was being transformed to its new look, many members shared their shocked reaction (mostly negative) to the new look and offered suggestions for improving FanStory. One idea was to offer new members a comprehensive tour of the site to make the learning curve less painful. I'll try to help--a little.

Another shock about to occur is the roll-over of earned points in the ratings. Come midnight, December 31st, all ranking is complete for 2014 and every member starts on an even playing field.

The ratings will disappear. Whatever you earned in ranking will be gone--kaput. Every member begins anew, and unless the rules have altered since last year, a writer will need to post six individual stories or poems in each category to show up in the rankings when they reappear.

I knew this last year, and when the lists showed up again, I enjoyed my lofty status as number one for a few days, having written the prerequisite six short stories.

I'm a voracious writer, penning hundreds of words every day. It was a simple matter of writing, but not posting anything until the New Year. There is a two-post daily maximum, but within a few days, I'd met the criteria.

Rankings are determined by member popularity. As far as I know, the only thing that adds points to your score are member reviews. Winning member-sponsored contests might earn writer money, but it doesn't change the numbers.

Once the rankings are posted for 2015, there are huge changes in the writers on each list. Posting frequently and receiving reviews will alter your status very quickly. A writer may post a brilliant story and receive a galaxy of stars, but if he or she sits back and basks in his accomplishment as number one, he'll soon find himself in number ten position as more prolific scribes leave tread marks on their climb to the top.

Another woe I read from newbies is their lament about few reviews. The site will show your story on the new release list and readers who are trolling, may review without being particular about who the author is, but once you receive the two complimentary reviews, the only way to find your manuscript is by delving into your portfolio. That's not going to happen.

The only way to get attention for your work is to buy a certificate. Your story will remain on the new release list for two to four days depending on whether you opt to shell out seven dollars or ten. Without a certificate, the story will disappear from the new list after two reviews. Often new members are aghast, thinking their membership should pay for more exposure. It does serve a purpose to have certificates. Of course you can max out your credit card to promote your work, or you can read and review to earn FS dollars. You may love reading, but knowing you need those member dollars to promote your own work, will encourage you to read other authors who are also looking for feedback.

To catch my attention for a two cent pay-out, stuck in a portfolio of someone I've never read or know, is unlikely--read impossible. The certificates keep your work alive and will introduce you to new authors and perhaps earn you fans.

The easiest way to build your FS dollars is to review the featured stories or poems on the front page. All twenty-four posts have a pay-out of over one dollar, enough to promote your own work. For all intents and purposes, these are member-paid advertising positions. The writers through their FS dollars or Amex have deliberately spent money to promote their work and want you to cash in--the more reviews, the more feedback they receive--not to mention the increased rank.

Trust me, a story or poem on the featured list is not always very good--some are very weak--but the dollars are there for the reviews. Further down the page, the list of well-received stories, are not financially driven, but represent stories that received more than five reviews of five stars or higher. Poetry needs ten or fifteen reviews to make the front page. The life-span for this prominent position is all dependent on whether your post remains in the top-read category as others post their work during the day.

Don't be intimidated by reviewing top authors. Some writers have achieved technical brilliance and they don't need a grammar coach--sadly I still struggle with commas. Your response can be totally from a reader's point of view, telling the author whether you loved or hated the characters, sharing your reaction to the scene or mood of the story. A reader's emotional response to a story is often the true measure of whether the writer was successful in achieving his goal. At any rate, do review honestly. Do not cut and paste or bore writers with generic drivel.

Fans get automatic notice of everything you post. If they are true admirers, they'll probably read your post regardless of the pay-out. Building a fan base is a sure way of increasing the readership. I used to tell my kids, 'to have a friend is to be a friend.' The same advice holds true on FanStory. Most writers you review will reciprocate and read your work--at least once.

Merry Christmas to all, and I hope my little bit of advice will help you digest meeting everyone on ground zero next year.


A (Not for profit--LOL) Public Service Announcement

It should be noted that only the writing rank is erased. All members pumps, reviewing point status and dollars remain in the writer's vault--untouched.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2018. Spiritual Echo All rights reserved.
Spiritual Echo has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.