JukePop Serials Bloggity

Storytelling, one chapter at a time.

5 Fast Ways to Promote Stories — July 30, 2014

5 Fast Ways to Promote Stories

Self-promoting your writing is practically a must if you want to become a success. Promoted stories reach more readers, and hence wider demographics, age groups, and niches. Non-promoted stories reach pretty much no one. Finding places to promote your writing for free can be difficult at times, but the rewards are entirely worth it. Besides, if you don’t promote your work, who will?

Here are five fast ways to promote a story on JukePop.

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1. Use the Share Buttons

The most convenient way to promote a story on JukePop is to use the Share buttons under each story’s book cover. Whether you have a Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest account, we’ve got a button for you. Make a catchy blurb in your post, tweet, or pin description; something that will grab your followers’ attention. Our favorite is a quick summary of the latest chapter of the story. Each time the story gets updated, you’ll have a new blurb and a new reason to press Share. Use popular hashtags such as the genre of the story whenever you can.

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2. Write a Personal Blog

A personal blog is the perfect place to promote your writing, or your favorite works by other authors. Many of our top authors on JukePop have personal blogs, so let that be a measure of how effective it is. On a personal blog, you can talk about upcoming chapters, share inside secrets about the story’s setting and plot, and even do clever things like interview your own characters. As long as you keep your blog readers interested in your story, they’ll keep coming back to read your latest chapter.

Don’t have a personal blog? Don’t worry. It’s free and easy to create one with WordPress, Blogspot, or Tumblr. A Facebook page is also a great alternative.

3. Write Guest Blog Posts

So you don’t have a personal blog. Or you do, but it doesn’t get much traffic. Try writing a blog post for someone else. Contact your favorite blogger and ask them if they need a hand keeping their blog roll going, then write them a post related to your story. Not only will you be promoting your story, you’ll be building a lasting relationship with a fellow blogger and their extensive audience.

Hey, you could even do a guest blog for us.

4. Get Reviewed

Another thing you can ask another blogger to do is to review your work on their blog. There are a few sites dedicated to doing free book reviews, but don’t just look for those–most bloggers would be willing to blog about your work simply if they liked it. Be sure to reciprocate and review or share their work as well.

Note that the reviews need not be in the form of blogs. JukePop has review sections at the bottom of every story, so try to invite your reviewer to leave reviews there. Keep in mind that we have a code of conduct for reviews posted on our site.

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5. Join an Online Directory

Some of the most underutilized channels for self-promotion are online directories and forums. These are free sites for listing your work of fiction so they can be shared by others. Some of these sites also feature reviews by members of the community, giving your work extra exposure.

Our favorites include:

6. BONUS TIP: Utilize Word of Mouth

Online promotion isn’t the only kind. In fact, it probably isn’t the most effective. Talking to people about your story directly is the the oldest trick in the book for a reason. Tell your friends and family, or even strangers you pass in the street. If they like your work, then they’ll talk about it to their friends, and so on. That’s going viral.

7. EXTRA BONUS TIP: Talk to Your Local Library

Here’s another bonus tip. Head down to your local library and ask them if they have a shortage of your story. You might just get offered to have your title listed in their catalog. Why? Because libraries want your books.

Use these fast methods to get your story on JukePop featured on dozens of sites around (and off) the web. Promote frequently and often, not just once or twice, and you’ll be on the road to getting +Votes and reviews in no time.

Know a few ways to promote JukePop stories that we don’t? Drop a comment and let’s hear it!

A Guide to Updating Chapters on JukePop: Part 2 — July 24, 2014

A Guide to Updating Chapters on JukePop: Part 2

Welcome back to our guide to updating chapters on JukePop.

Last time we discussed:

  • The best schedule to release chapters – Monthly is too long, biweekly is acceptable, weekly is best.
  • Taking breaks – Meaty content needs a break between releases.
  • Communication with readers – Tell readers when your are updating to create trust.
  • Best time of the week to update – Most authors update at the end of the week, so there’s a window at the beginning of the week with light competition, but it almost doesn’t matter what day as long as it’s consistent.
  • Buffering – Have a buffer so you can stick to your schedule.

Those previous guidelines were pretty general advice for anyone writing a webserial. This time, we’ll be discussing secrets that are exclusive to scheduling your story’s chapter updates JukePop.

Secret #6: Beware the End Times

It occasionally helps to release chapters at a specific time on JukePop. These times are: two or three days before the end of the month, and before 11:59 GMT each night.

Since the start of 2014 we’ve revised our JP top 30 to list only the highest +Voted serials of the month rather than the highest +Voted of all-time. As a result, at the end of every month now authors scramble to get +Votes. Don’t lose out! Have a plan of attack at the end of the month so you can reel in those last few +Votes yourself. Keep in mind that readers get emails about your chapter releases the following morning, but only if you release the chapter before midnight GMT time.

Secret #7: Getting a Head Start Helps

To get a head start on the next month’s top 30, release a chapter on the day the vote closes. Readers will get an update the following day and you might immediately get their +Votes, placing you at the top of the refreshed top 30 chart.

Secret #8: Shorter Chapters = More +Votes

This one might be a no-brainer, but it’s a big one so we’ll say it anyway. The longer your chapters are, the longer people will take to read them and +Vote on them. Long chapters also encourage people to stop reading and take a break–definitely not a good thing if you want them to read your next chapter release on-time. If you can write chapters that people will read all the way through in one sitting, you’ll have a slight edge over your competitors who have longer chapters. Thus, aim for chapter lengths of about 3000 words. Try not to cross 5000.

A word of caution though. Don’t let +Votes dictate how you write your story. If your story needs a 5000-word long chapter or longer, then go ahead and write it. Readers will enjoy it all the same, even if they need a break to digest it afterwards.

Secret #9: Special Events Especially Help

Who says a chapter release can’t be a big deal? From time to time, do something special with your chapter update. Give away a free book to the first three people who review it. Do a double-chapter release to signify the end of a story arc. Come up with a prize for readers if the story gets as many votes as the chapter number. The possibilities for special events are as vast as you can think them up.

Secret #10: Facebook Beats Twitter

This last tip is less about updating chapters and more about promoting them. More people discover serials through Facebook than Twitter. It’s obvious why when you look at the statistics: Twitter has millions of users, Facebook has billions. However, on JukePop the statistics are skewed even further in favor of Facebook. Use Facebook as your primary tool for promotion and announcing your chapter releases.

It’s worth noting that Facebook has a few neat options for advertising your posts, and they are generally cheaper and easier to use than what Twitter offers. An example would be Facebook’s “Boost post” option, which starts at as little as $1 per boost for some users, though Facebook changes the minimum amount from time to time. Do some research to find out more.

Keep these 10 secrets in mind as you release chapters on JukePop and you’ll be able to continually engage your audience with ease. Got your own secrets to updating chapters? Don’t keep them to yourself–spill them in the comments section!

 

A Guide to Updating Chapters on JukePop — July 17, 2014

A Guide to Updating Chapters on JukePop

Writing a serialized story isn’t a cakewalk. We know this; our authors know this. It takes time, commitment, and quite a bit of planning and forethought to put out chapter after chapter until the story’s end. Unbeknown to most, it also takes courage. Serial writers are the modern-day equivalent of athletes in the writing world, and only those who dare to push their limits make it the furthest.

We’ve observed a few analytical trends so far about what makes a successful serial, but we’ve never really dived into scheduling, which is one of the most critical aspects of serialization. Let’s settle that once and for all. Here is a definitive guide to scheduling chapter updates for your serial story on JukePop!

Secret #1: More Updates = Better Retention

Pop quiz: when’s the best time to release your new chapter? Weekly? Biweekly? Monthly? YEARLY?

If any of you have been paying attention to the analytics, you already know the answer to this. The more rarely a chapter is released, the less activity occurs on the story. Conversely, the more often the story is updated, the more new readers will flock to it and old readers will return. There really is no competition here: releasing one or more chapters each week is a schedule for success.

You can also settle for a chapter every two weeks. However, this schedule is the absolute slowest you should go with, as the retention rate will start to suffer past this point.

Secret #2: Breaks are Allowed

Yeesh, a chapter a week. Does that sound like punishment for some crime you never committed? Then perhaps this will cheer you up: taking a break after a meaty chapter release is both allowed and, occasionally, a good thing to do.

When we say “meaty,” we don’t just mean a long chapter; we mean chapters with good cliffhangers, a lot of character, setting, and/or plot development, and also chapters readers might consider climatic or conclusive of a story arc. All of these things pique the reader’s interest and sometimes exhaust their interest in your story. That’s why readers need extra time to digest meaty chapters.

Of course, taking too many breaks and taking breaks unnecessarily is as counterproductive as slowing down your schedule, so don’t get too comfortable.

Secret #3: Talking to Readers Brings them Back

Talking to readers is like maintaining gravity; you keep them in your orbit whether you’re releasing chapters or not. That’s why it’s immensely helpful to tell readers what your story’s update schedule will be. They get the benefit of knowing when to anticipate your next chapter release, while you get to keep their attention and their readership.

JukePop has made it easier than ever for authors and readers to communicate, so do yourself a favor and broadcast your next chapter’s release date!

Secret #4: All Birds Get the Worm

On the topic of the best time of the week to release a chapter, we don’t see a huge difference between one day or another. A lot of authors release chapters on the weekends, so there’s a window at the beginning of the week where competition is light. However, releasing on the weekends won’t stop your current readership from reading your latest chapter. At most, it may only mitigate how easily discoverable your story is at that point in time. Pretty much any day is a good day to release a chapter.

Secret #5: Buffers Help

A “buffer” is a group of chapters you wrote, but didn’t release right away. These can help you keep your chapter update schedule going in numerous ways. Say something comes up one week and you can’t write a new chapter for next week. Say a reader suggests something that you think is worth adding to the story in the future. That group of chapters you didn’t release yet can come in plenty handy at times like these. Buffers help you stay on schedule and direct your plot more effectively.

Whew, that’s a lot of secrets, but we’ve still got a bunch more. Let’s put a lid on this one and leave the rest of the tips for a part 2.

 

Introducing Broadcast — July 11, 2014

Introducing Broadcast

Following up on our latest site update to make our growing community of authors and readers more engaging, we now introduce the “broadcast” feature–a way to directly send a message to all your followers or those you follow!

Our previous update enabled the community feed and personal feed, two display columns which track most of the activity around the site, including individual comments on serials. These tools are great if you want to see what other people are saying about the serials you’ve never read, or if you want to participate in discussions about your favorite chapters. But what if you want to make a general announcement? Not just a comment on a single chapter or review, but a comment concerning multiple chapters or serials, or even something else?

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Personal Wall for Announcements to Followers

 

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Friend’s Wall for Leaving Messages

 

This is where the broadcast feature comes in. With broadcast, any member of JukePop can send out a post directly to all their followers’ personal feeds. You can also write a message on people’s walls, similar to how you would on Facebook. No longer are your comments limited to being on individual chapters of a story; now you can post directly to your wall and your followers’!

Send broadcasts via the comment box sitting at the top of your personal wall or a friend’s. Broadcasts sent from your wall will go out to all your followers’ personal feeds, while broadcasts on someone else’s wall will only go out to their personal feed.

If you are a JukePop author, we suggest using the broadcast feature to make announcements about your story, request reviews and shares, or promote it at regular intervals. This of course means you should have a following to begin with, so we also suggest you try your best to recruit more followers on JukePop. If you are a reader, use broadcast to tell your followers which stories you’re really digging at the moment that they should check out. Broadcast is also the perfect tool for off-topic discussions and Q&A sessions. Try not to be spammy, as we can and will act to remove spammers, but instead focus on keeping quality discussions about your story going.

We’re going to continue rolling out site updates for the foreseeable future, making JukePop more community-oriented and discussion-driven than any other publishing site before. Coming up: private messaging and a community feed for the JukePop app. Stay tuned!  (Oh, and any feedback on our latest site updates are 100% welcomed here or email.)

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