Recently, I received a question about my thoughts after using other websites and blogging as a writer, so I thought I'd dedicate an entry about this, in case other people are wondering as well.

I've been focusing my attention on revising lately, so I haven't really updated on other sites. Before I started to revise though, I experimented with other websites other than soompi and fictionpress/fanfiction.net. I used to only know about these places to upload my stories. After all, a close friend of mine had told me those were the websites to post stories. Now, after trying out different websites, I think I enjoy blogging the most. I'll first give my thoughts on other websites, and then explain why I prefer blogging the most.

Wattpad

I found Wattpad on someone's signature on soompi. When I discovered Wattpad, I was thoroughly intrigued. It was really different and new, and has proven to be an interesting platform. There are discussion threads for writers and readers, and the threads are categorized based on genres. There are also contests that could earn you a chance to get published. (That's from what I remember. I haven't checked the site for several months now.) You can have "fans", who can follow you to know about updates. (I haven't followed anyone since I've been too busy writing, so I'm not exactly sure whether or not they get an email notification of your updates.) You can also chat with your fans, so that would make life easier if you have an editor who has become a fan of yours. No, I didn't find an editor, though I did try on fictionpress. (I'll get to that later.) It's also easier to read stories as people can just go to the next chapter via a link, and in that sense, it feels like you're reading an online book. Finally, there's a Facebook feeling I get from Wattpad because now, you can update your status, and you have a wall, where people can write on your profile.

However, because there were so many things going on on Wattpad, I became too involved in it that I didn't have time for other things. Also, the discussion threads often become spammed by people advertising their stories in the wrong areas. Although I like knowing how many fans I have, I also notice when I lose fans. To say that I don't care if I lose a fan would be a lie. Seeing how many fans you have also creates for unnecessary competition at times. I started to feel that I had to gain more fans and to start advertising my story more. Oh, I forgot to mention that once you post on a discussion thread, you get emailed every time someone else posts on it too. So, if it's a thread dedicated to recommending your stories to someone, then you'll receive mail that feels like spam. Luckily, I used an email that I consider a junk email, but still, I get bothered by it. Moreover, if you disable that function to receive emails, you won't get any notifications on anything, such as if someone has become your fan, etc.

In terms of actually posting your story on Wattpad, I think it's pretty easy. You just copy and paste your text from Word onto their notepad, and then you upload it chapter by chapter. Sometimes, though, the formatting changes, and there aren't a lot of buttons to fix those changes. What is annoying is that you have to tag each chapter with the tags you'd like and select a few genres for every chapter. It's not like other websites where you have tags for the whole story, and that's it. You can also upload a book cover for your story, which is kind of like a banner in soompi terms. (I have to say that the soompi banner/chart request area is more efficient than the threads that they have on Wattpad. Several people have asked me where I've gotten my banners, and I just recommend them to the soompi art section. hehe.) 

This isn't a bad thing and please do not be offended when I say this, but I thought I'd say that Wattpad is more European based. At least, I think I see more users from Europe using this website than North American ones. This may influence people's decisions on posting on Wattpad because its culture isn't that suitable for fan fiction with Asian celebrities. The fan fiction section is more for Twilight or Harry Potter lovers. So, when you post a story with non-English names, some readers may be hesitant to read your story as they're not familiar with fan fiction found on soompi. 

Bookmato

Bookmato is a much smaller, and younger website compared to Wattpad. Because it is so small, it's also not as active as other sites. It's different in the sense that you have the opportunity to possibly make some money, but I didn't select that option when uploading my chapters most because I've already shared my chapters online on different websites for free, so it wouldn't be fair for the Bookmato readers to be paying.

There are threads that were created for writers and readers to interact, but people don't really use them. You do, though, get a page when you upload your story, and that page also has discussion threads, which you or readers could create. I like this idea as it separates comments from the actual story, so unlike soompi or Wattpad, you won't get distracted from the comments when you're reading. It's a bit like fictionpress, where the reviews for stories are found on a different page.

Like Wattpad's fans, you can know who is reading your story by seeing who has "bookcased" your book. People can also rank your story by giving it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. This can be helpful for readers who'd want to know if the story is good or not, but sometimes, the ratings can bring unhappy news for new writers or writers who just like sharing their ideas. Competition is promoted as well by the rankings that Bookmato has for books. There are rankings for the books with the highest ratings, views, lowest ratings, etc. For new readers, these would make life simpler, but for authors, this may be a make or break situation. If you're ranked, then more people are going to read your story. If you're topping the lowest thumbs up list, then . . .



I do like how Bookmato tries to help to promote good stories by featuring your story on their page. If you upload a free, new chapter and you have a book cover, then your book cover can be found on the front page. Your story can also have a chance of being featured as the story of the week. They have instructions on how they choose those stories. I was featured once before, and they put my story on the website for around a week or two. It was several months ago, so I don't really remember. Being featured, though, definitely boosted my view counts, my ratings, and the number of people that had bookcased my book!

Uploading stories is like uploading on Wattpad, except the editing function is better. However, your tabs will disappear, so you have to click on this thing for every tab you want to make. Annoying. Like I mentioned, you also get the chance to have a book cover.

Fictionpress and Fanfiction.net


I grouped them together because they're pretty much the same. The only difference is that one is for fan fiction and one is for NG/original works. I use fictionpress more often, so I'll probably comment more on that.


I'm into knowing results, so I really like knowing how many hits I get per month and in total, where I am getting the most traffic, who has put my story on their favourite stories list, how many people have used the alert system to get notification of my story, etc. This is similar to Wattpad, where people can put your stories in their "library", and to Bookmato's "bookcase" system. However, I still like fictionpress' version because unlike those two sites, you can actually see a bar graph and a line graph of the hits for your story. The bar graph is separated by country, whereas the line graph represents the number of readers from that country. So, you might get 20 hits from Japan, but of those 20 hits, you only have one reader. Now, if you think about it how many chapters you have, then you know how many chapters this reader has read. To simplify things, they also separate the hits per chapter. Wattpad lets you know how many hits you have per chapter too by showing how many views you have, but I find that it's a bit buggy.

Fictionpress' view count system may not work for several days to a month, but you just have to wait until the mods fix things, and then everything is back to normal. Also, you only get email notification if someone reviews your story, subscribes to it, or adds you to their favourite story/author list. Less spam! Yay! To respond to a review, you can just click on the link from the email or you'd have to go the long route and go to your profile and then the reviews' link and then click on a little button to respond to it. Sigh. Oh, you can also leave anonymous reviews . . . which I'm sure some people like. (I don't like anonymous reviews as I can't respond to them, and I don't like leaving comments hanging.)

On Fictionpress, you can also try to find a beta reader, who would become your editor. I've tried to find a beta reader, and it took me forever to go over their profiles. Even though they have a search engine that can separate beta readers based on genres, languages, etc, it isn't that helpful. You still have to click on each person's profile to see who would suit you. So, I ended up asking three or four to help me, but I either didn't get a reply or the person said no for other reasons.

Like Soompi, you can PM people on Fictionpress, and now they've changed it so that it's like a Skype or MSN conversation. You will get notifications of these PMs on your inbox, so if you start having a fast conversation, then there will be tons of emails flooding your inbox.

Okay, so what I really, really, really dislike about Fictionpress and Fanfiction.net is the updating process for your story. I really hate how you have to save each chapter as a different document. I tend to have one, big document for each story, so this means that I have to copy and paste what I've written onto a new doc and save it. More work for the writer. Yuck. This also makes me super lazy to edit the formatting on its formatting page, so I don't know what to say about it. I have to say that sometimes your browsers might be incompatible with the formatting page, so that's another negative.

Oh, before I forget, if you're into reviewing stories, then you can join some reviewing games they have on Fictionpress. There are a lot of rules though, so make sure you read them all before you do anything. It's actually because of those rules that I didn't join. Too much work.

Finally, you might find some useful feedback on Fictionpress. People who tend to review actually write meaningful comments. I've discovered a lot of comments that have helped me improve my story and my writing.

Asianfanfics

Asianfanfics is kind of like Bookmato, where you have a page for your story. Comments, though, are found at the bottom of each chapter like Wattpad. You can't really track your hits as well as Fictionpress or Blogger. You can only know how many hits you have in total like Soompi. You do know the people who have subscribed to your story. Instead of email notifications, you have tiny posts to the side of your name to tell you if you have new subscriber, story comments, and wall posts. That is a huge plus for me!  

What's also nice about this website is that you can have a separate place to blog. However, I don't really use it because I already have a blogger. Blogger is just more efficient for blogging compared to Asianfanfics' place. You can have polls as well.

Asianfanfics kind of reminds me of Facebook, where you can have friends, and receive notification of friends' posts. The notices of your friends' posts aren't very obvious, so that's another plus. You also have a wall that people can write on if it's to comment on other things other than your story. 
Asianfanfics also has a review and banner requesting service. You can submit a request, and people can respond to it. Sometimes, people won't respond to your request and once you submit one, you can't seem to update it so that it'll be on the top of the list again. There's the other option of finding your own reviewer/banner on their list of people. That is tiring though.

The audience from Asianfanfics is generally from Asia, or so I've noticed. Of course, the title already says asianfanfics, so definitely, if you post a fan fiction, there will probably be someone willing to read it. I recommend tagging your stories with the appropriate labels, such as by bands or celebrities. That way, readers can find you easier. I do feel that the readers tend to generally read stories that feature the celebrities that they like, so posting NG or original fiction may be harder to gain readers. 
Finally, people are pretty nice on Asianfanfics, so if you're a new writer, I'd recommend going there before you try Soompi. Soompi can seem harder to approach at first, and you might feel that there's no one reading your story.
Blogger
 
It's probably the hardest to increase your popularity or view counts via blogger, but I think posting on my blog has been the easiest for me. I don't have to PM people. I still get the stats that I do have from fictionpress, except it separates them by posts, and it also goes by "Now", "Day", "Week", "Month", and "All time". Moreover, instead of a bar graph or a line graph, you have the map of the world. The more hits you get for a country, the darker the country becomes. There are also raw numbers and a list of the countries from which you receive your hits. You can see what browsers people use to see your page, and their operating systems from a list and pie charts.

I can know who's following my blog via the "Followers" list. (I've actually become a follower of other places. I'm sure if you click my profile you can see who I'm following.) Since I have been a follower of other sites, I can say that you won't get email notification of people's updates. Instead, you can just check your dashboard, and it'll show updates. That is so much easier for me!

People are also free to follow my anonymously through email subscription. I only have email notifications when there are comments on my posts, so there's less spam. I can have separate pages from my blog posts. Those pages have become places, where I can share a track list, a chapter index, posters, and character descriptions.

I also like that besides posting my revised chapters here, I can write about other things. I can also give readers a heads-up about when I'll be updating. I have much more freedom to do what I wish. I can create my own labels. I can switch the template of my blog if I wanted. Oh, you can make a tiny bit of money from having ads on your blog, but of course, you'd need a ton of hits for that to be successful. (I don't have that, that many hits yet, but I still have ads on.. It's like, why not?) 

What I don't like about blogger is that it is harder to attract readers. People know my blog from other websites. Hehe, I forgot to add before that you can also know where people were linked to your blog. That I also love. (Yes, I kind of feel like a stalker, but it's just to know how things are going.) Numbers wise. My hits on blogger have been far less than those on Soompi, Asianfanfics, or other websites, and I also receive fewer comments. However, I know that those that consistently visit my blog are here to stay, so I've learned to appreciate every click.

Final Comments

I'm not sure where I'm going in the future with these websites. I haven't made up my mind yet. I have a feeling I'm going to leave Wattpad hanging because I honestly don't have that much time to be invested in it. As much I enjoyed meeting others and replying to comments on Wattpad, realistically, I can't manage that many writing accounts online. As for Fictionpress, I might continue with it because I quite like the atmosphere there. Comments are meaningful, and I like knowing the stats. Bookmato, I haven't thought about what I'd do with it. I'd probably just leave it there. Asianfanfics . . . I'm not sure what will happen with it too. With Soompi, I'll probably be on a hiatus from soompi after I finish up revising, and writing Bloodline. As for my blog, I'd probably just post the sequels here. 
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