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I was GOING to do a post on how writers don't seem to want to get paid, or perhaps on how hard it is to start up a publishing business or perhaps combine both of those, because I recently (two months ago) announced (on several forums) that I, as publisher here on lit, a place for stories, was going to PAY WRITERS FOR STORIES, and yet in that time I have had fewer submissions than I expected, given that I was offering to PAY WRITERS FOR WRITING, which I understood to be the whole point of WRITING, or at least 53%of the point of writing, but then I realized that such a post would not be about my insecurities, as such, and would not be about writing so much as publishing, so I decided that under no circumstances would I mention that lit, a place for stories will PAY WRITERS FOR WRITING, and I especially was not going to mention that the details can be found on the "We Pay For Stories" tab.
I take this stuff seriously, after all, so let me instead focus on a different topic entirely, the topic of
Or: Why Don't You Come Back?
What makes a person come to a blog, and then come back? And keep coming back? Because whatever it is, I seem to lack it.
|Is it riboflavin?|
Should I be eating more riboflavin?
What is riboflavin?
Is it what they use to artificially color McRibs?
(A) way more comments than any of MY stories have ever gotten, and
(B) way WAY more comments than any of my stories have ever gotten, and
(C) all of the above.
Which is GREAT, for Tina as a first-time writer and me as a third-time publisher, that being the third story I ever published on the blog, but then, the other day, I put up one of my own stories (because it'd been a week, which was how long I'd agreed to run Tina's story as the top one) and I while I didn't expect 26 comments* (*secretly I did) I expected more than three...
... one of which was mine.
...And the other two of which were from Andrew Leon, the second probably being a pity comment to bump up stats, which, don't get me wrong: I will take pity. It got me my first prom date, it got me my present job, it got me my present wife, but the larger point is:
What happened to those 26-or-so people who came here to check out Tina's story and then didn't come back?
Blogger lets me track pageviews, and for Tina's story, the total pageviews were, quite frankly, phenomenal: Tina's gotten 143 pageviews since 12/30/13, which puts her up there with Tebow-related posts (this used to be a sports blog, so there are old posts hidden in the history about Tebow and stuff), so Tina got about 7 comments per page view.
(For another day: Who views a page and doesn't leave a comment? With 143 page views, shouldn't there be more than 26 comments?)
But my own story, posted on January 5 (It's the one RIGHT BELOW THIS, in case you were thinking about giving me a pity page-view. You should read Tina's, too, but not out of pity) got only 16 page views in the past 2 1/2 days, and only those 3 comments.
So where did the 143 people, or the 26 commenting-people, go? Did none of them think "Hmmm! This blog seems interesting, what with it's letters and words arranged into narrative form!" and bookmark it to come back?
Those are individual post hits, which may only count if someone actually reads just that post, as opposed to coming to the website and reading everything, so I also looked at:
The ICE MOUNTAINS OF PLUTO, from whence Earth's doom came!
It's remarkably consistent, isn't it, with the same page views more or less each day (I can't explain that spike last night, tripling the average blog viewership for no reason late on January 7? Did something happen last evening, when I was playing Teddy Attack with Mr Bunches [long story] that caused people to rush to their laptops and try desperately to find short stories?)
|Was it the ice monsters?|
Were they trying to get our riboflavin?
What the graph shows, though, is that while lots of people checked out Tina's story (she told me she posted a link on Facebook, and on her blog), and lots of people (relatively speaking) commented on it, overall, readership (?) of my blog remained relatively steady, and has been for a month:
With again, the spikes coming around Tina's story.
So the question again, is, why don't those people come back? Or at least some portion of them?
Or did they come back? Is that spike on January 7 the readers who saw Tina's story and came back to see what was posted here now? If so, why did none of them leave a comment?
(And, we're back to why read a blog post and not leave a comment? But that's for another day.)
I have a system myself: if I notice a blog, however I notice it (someone comments on mine, someone links to it, or something) I will bookmark it. There are a few blogs I check out every day, or at least every day that I read blogs: those are the blogs that I have found consistently entertaining and well-written, and I read them as often as I can.
There are other blogs that post inconsistently or which I haven't found as entertaining; that's not a knock on them, because after all, I don't like every movie or book or song I hear, and even movies/books/songs that seem like they would appeal to me I don't always like equally. Who does? One of my favorite groups right now is New Politics, and while I like many of their songs, I listen to Harlem
way more often than I listen to their other songs -- so if I don't come to your blog all the time, that's not necessarily a knock on you, it just means that even if you have a blog I like, there are others I like better, which with limited time means that I'm not going to get to read every blog I want to every time I want to, anymore than I will get to read every book I see is getting published.
So I get that. But with that said,
Why didn't anyone come back?
I've come across blogs that instantly vaulted to the top of my must-read list, blogs like A Beer For The Shower, which is very high on my list of blogs I go to as often as I can, and other people's blogs, too. Again, I don't necessarily get to every post they put up, but I get to a lot of them, because what I saw made me like them and I wanted to read more.
So that's what I'm left with: As many as 400 people clicked on my blog and read Tina's story, and 26 or so of them felt strongly enough about it to leave a comment, and of all those people, one decided to come on back and see what the next post was.
So Andrew, I welcome your pity. The rest of you, at least tell me the truth: was it my breath?
Because I've heard riboflavin can fix that.
Check out Tina's great story "Sippy Cups, Earbuds, and Something That Surely Isn't Wine," by clicking that link. I've also published stories by Brian Miller; click this link for both of them, and if you want to submit your own, check out the "We Pay For Stories" tab.
Also, I'm part of a new group of speculative fiction writers gearing up a website and monthly magazine, so if you like scifi, fantasy, and other related stuff, go to "Indie Writers Monthly" and find publishing ideas, reviews, writing tips, and more!