My friend lovesrain44
I think is tired of hearing me whine about fandom stuff and she said I should instead post to my LJ.
So this post is entirely her fault!
Basically, here's what's going on. My work has cut off LJ and now gmail. In order to read any fan fiction I add it to my ebook device and read during lunch. (this is where 80% of my reading happens during the week) the other 20% is sometimes off my usb stick. They haven't disabled usb mass storage drives at work yet but I would not be shocked if it happens sooner rather than later. And I do read on the weekends but not as much as I'd like.
I sometimes at night only have maybe 30 minutes to an hour online to check my email, go through LJ and DW to see if any new stories are posted. As anyone who is following any of the big bangs knows Supernatural is releasing about 5 stories a day (each over 20k words long) the tardis big bang has posted their stories. I think the Merlin Big Bangs are coming out soon??? I have favorite authors posting to each of these story fests. And I'd love to read their fics.
I noticed this week, and previous weeks for that matter, that with limited time it's really nice to be able to save a story onto my usb device so I can either format it to read on my ebook device, the next day at work, or read it on my work computer through MS Word.
As you can imagine this isn't easy because 99% of the authors (that write fics over 20k words) post their fics in chapters. And a whole bunch of chapters at that. For the 1% of authors that do post to Dreamwidth in a single file or to a website/archive I LOVE YOU!!!!! and I read their stories first. The rest I try to save and merge myself at a later date. I've been lucky to find a few other friends who have more time than me to merge fics and we're swapping fics as we merge them so we can read them on our devices.
What I want to know is what do fans with children, jobs, and husbands do to read fics?
Truly, writers of the Tardis Big bang that opted for Chapters...I'd really like to know why? It's not like it's easy to comment on each chapter (their site isn't efiction based or LJ based). There were no limitations on how much story can be posted. LJ has it's 10k limit. So I can kind of get why a person can't post 50k words at once unless they go to Dreamwidth.
This is 2009. I think most people who have internet have mostly high speed internet and or 56k modems which trust me it's still easier to open one big html file than 5 or 8 mini-html pages. People are not always reading fan fic on their computers anymore. Or they have time to read but not at home and with work places closing shop on blogs, LJ, rottentomates, and gmail, yahoo, hotmail. It's not like everyone at work can access your fic when they do have time to read it. (like me!)
The ability to save a fic quickly is very very nice for the readers. If you want to set your story apart from others in a big way, make your story easy to save. If you want to give your readers more options post to an archive that allows the reader to choose between chapter viewing or single file viewing. Or offer both options when you post your story. Many fans out there are willing to host fics (I'm one of them) But at the moment only 4 SPN big bang authors have asked if I could do this for them. that's 4 out of 255 stories. Some authors were cool enough to post their fics to Dreamwidth so I didn't have to open 20 10 separate html pages to save their stories. (which btw, those will be read last if at all) I'd think as writers/authors you'd want to reach a wide audience. I know I'm just one reader who is saying I'm not doing it anymore. But I have a hard time imagining there aren't more out there who say nothing but skip along to something else based on similar criteria.
If you post a story that's over 8 chapters of html pages and I can't get it in a single file from the author directly or from a friend it's not going to be read. Let alone recommended by me. I don't care if God himself comes down from above and says it's the best story in the world you have to read it.
I have a ratio I kind of work with. I expect 10k words per LJ post. So yeah if the story is 80k words I can accept 8 LJ pages. but if it's only 28k words and there are 8 pages forget it mister. That story should have only been 3 LJ pages at most.
For the Tardis Big Bang stories. What's most annoying about those is you don't even have all the links to the chapter at the top. You have no way of knowing how many chapters are listed. So yeah, I think I'll stick to the authors that posted in a single file for now. Maybe over 4th of July weekend I'll see about downloading the chapters. But truly, no one should have to do that.
Also, single file PDF sucks. really really sucks. I think I know of only one PDF expert and even she does not recommend PDF as a format for ebook readers. PDF does not convert easily to other formats, crashes computers, and does not work on the Kindle and barely on the Sony PRS, let alone iPhones or Ipod Touch. When I say single file I mean single HTML or Word Doc. Unless you've read the Sony PRS manual on how to create PDFs specifically for 6 inch screens it's a format best stayed away from.
There was no specific story or author that prompted this post because as I stated 99% of the authors I run across post multiple chapters via LJ. the 1% of those that don't know who they are and probably already know how much I appreciate them thinking of the readers. And if they don't this post should tell them I do appreciate it.
The other 99% percent of you guys. I get your reasons for posting to LJ. Finding an archive you like is hard, making your own website is even harder and yet you want control over your fic and LJ seems like the best of both options. LJ is great for short stories but it does have it's limitations as anyone that posts long stories should know. So truly I get it. I do. I just wish there was something better than LJ (or even Dreamdwidth) though I will say Dreamwidth with their 50k word count limit went a long ways towards making itself better than LJ. (though a few kinks still need to be ironed out)
I'm not discounting the difficulties of posting single file fics. But there are ways if you don't have your own web hosting space. I've seen authors use megaupload, sendspace, friends who do have websites, and a whole bunch of other ways. Hell even google docs.