JukePop Serials Bloggity

Storytelling, one chapter at a time.

Want to Make Editor’s Picks? — June 24, 2014

Want to Make Editor’s Picks?

Doesn’t it seem like the list of categories on JukePop is growing?

We started with several categories at the beginning. There were nearly 20 genre categories, the list of top 30 stories, a category for recently updated stories, and more. Now there are more categories than we can shake a stick at. We’ve got a category for stories in our latest contests, a category for completed stories, a category for aspiring authors, more genres, and even a What’s Hot list.  (Let’s not forget opportunities to get a contract with publishers.)

All these categories serve the purpose of keeping authors and their writing easy to find around our growing site, so go ahead and use them when you’re looking to read something fresh. We’ll keep expanding and updating them as more great stories roll in. Keep an eye on all the categories on the side of our new front page.

You know which category hasn’t changed since day one? That’s right, the Editor’s Picks. Because we love JukePop’s stories too!

Titles in the Editor’s Picks category are hand-selected by Jodi, our director of content and almighty curator of holy grails. Most of you know her as the person who accepts submissions to the site. Well, Jodi’s got a wide range of interests in genres, as evident by some of the editor’s picks she’s chosen in the past. Her list of favorites include:

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She also recently selected 15 stories to read in the sun when she goes to the beach this summer. Feel free to download the JukePop app and give them a read at the beach yourself!

Now, we have a short list of criteria for the stories we feature on the Editor’s Picks. If you’re an author looking to get your title into this category, keep these things in mind:

1) Your story must have an eBook cover with the title and author’s name legible. We use this same criteria for selecting stories for our Library program.

2) At least 3 chapters must be available to read.

3) The story must meet our simple formatting guidelines: no indentation, and a blank space before each paragraph.

Aside from that, just write an engaging story. We choose our featured titles regardless of whether they’ve been on the top 30 or not, so don’t worry about having to gather a following first. Good writing is its own merit!

 

The New and More Social JukePop — June 11, 2014

The New and More Social JukePop

Take a seat, readers and authors, because today we have a big announcement for you. We’ve mentioned before that we’re reinventing our site to better facilitate our growing community and the discussions that are happening around our stories. These changes serve the purpose of making our website more engaging, and making new stories easier to find. Well, we’ve now completed the first stage in our new site’s development–and it’s awesome.

Introducing…

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These slick new profile pages will replace the original front page for each user on the site. They come with a plethora of nifty features, including customizable activity feeds. These feeds allow users to interact with each other and their favorite stories in new and exciting ways. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

First, everyone now has a wall. It includes stats on their participation in the community as well as a short bio. What you do in the community will build your reputation as an author, commentator, reviewer, or new story scout.  When any user, registered or not, visits your profile on the new jukepop.com, this wall is what they will be greeted with.

The wall features two snazzy activity feeds. The community feed is a live feed of what’s happening around the site. It includes the latest discussions on a story, news of the latest chapter updates, donation announcements, chapter reviews, and more. In a nutshell, it keeps track of all the latest developments on the site. We’re hoping everyone will discover new stories through the community feed, new users to follow, and join in on many of the discussions occurring on our hottest stories.

Wait, did we say “follow”? That’s right–you can now follow or be followed by other users on JukePop!

This is where the personal feed comes in. The content on the personal feed fills up with the activity of stories on your bookshelf, new people you follow, including their latest comments, reviews, chapter releases (if they’re an author), and so on. So if you spot a great review or a hilarious comment from someone, follow them to discover stories they’re reading.  Likewise, once someone follows you, everything you do (with exceptions such as which story you’ve voted for) in the community will be automatically broadcasted to their personal feed. Now you can check in on your favorite stories, authors, and community members like never before.

We’ve made a few other changes in this update as well, such as the ability to “like” comments, reply to comments directly from the feed, nudge an author with the “wants more” button, and of course, a slew of user interface upgrades. It’s a newer, savvier, more community-oriented JukePop. And again, this is just the beginning.

In the future you’ll be able to:

  • Leave a message on users’ walls
  • Broadcast announcements or start a discussion with your followers
  • For authors, a story feed – all activities related to your stories in a single feed
  • …and more, based on your feedback

For those who miss the original front page, don’t fret. Just hit the “Explore Stories” link to be taken back to ye olden times. Alternatively, you can now find links to all our genres and categories right on the side of your user profile.

 

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So, what do you think? Do you “like” the new changes? Leave us “comment” and let us know!

p.s. We’ve automatically added users to your followers and following list to populated your personalized feed.  Now you’re sure to not miss a chance to interact with those you care about.

 

 

 

Leaving Supportive Comments & Reviews — June 4, 2014

Leaving Supportive Comments & Reviews

For the past couple of weeks we’ve made some exciting new changes around the site. Those who frequent JukePop already know what some of these changes are.

First, we’re in the process of transforming our front page into a live feed of all author and reader activity, including new chapter releases and reader comments and reviews. Second, we’ve added features around the site to make it more sociable, such as the “Pin It” button, and the ability for people to respond to reviews and to comments directly from the feed. We’re also working on making stories easier to find, letting authors know when someone wants more chapters, and even the look and feel of certain areas of the site. The list goes on.

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Although we’ve gotten some great feedback about the new front page feed, there’s one thing that concerns us, which is the increased visibility of comments. It’s a good thing overall, since it has led to more lively, insightful discussion on a plethora of stories. At the same time it’s resulted in the harshest critics on the site gaining a voice. Though we’ve yet to see any slanderous comments or reviews, the possibility of them cropping up on the feed at any time has made us a bit…nervous.

Let’s get one thing straight: honest, objective criticism is what we want from readers on JukePop. We’re not one of those publishing platforms that want readers to just pat authors on the back, or allow authors to do tit-for-tat reviews. We’re a very reader centric platform, more than 99% of JukePop’s community are readers. This enables us to be the most democratic, reader-oriented site around, but that requires each of our readers to be vocal in letting us and authors know just how much they love, and hate, JukePop’s stories. We’re glad to see that that’s been happening and hasn’t led to any burned down houses.

So let’s lay down a few guidelines for those on JukePop who aim to be critical. Again, we need folks like you and desire your insightful feedback. But, here’s a few things to keep in mind the next time you are leaving a harsh critique or review.

-Be as objective in your review as possible. If you’re starting a sentence with “I think,” stop and actually think over what you’re about to say.

-Avoid talking about the author in your review. Talk strictly about the story and keep it non-personal.

-This may sound counterintuitive, but don’t make suggestions or try to instruct the author how to write their work. That’s not your job, and it always sounds condescending.

-Do tell the author how you felt while reading, and what you enjoyed or want to see more of in the story. More than anything, those are the things that really help the author understand where their work succeeded, failed, and needs to improve.

-Be ready to continue the discussion with the author after you’ve left a comment or review

As a final note, stay strong, authors. We know that criticism can sometimes sting. Just remember that even the most negative comments still come from the heart. That’s a sign that your writing has reached its destination.

 

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