In this edition of Episode Explained we’re here to give you some tips on how to get and keep readers.
Tips to get readers
- Use an eye-catching story cover - this is often the first thing a reader sees when looking for a story so you want something that piques their interest.
- Use Instagram or Episode Social Profile to post about your story, show off your work and updates and talk about your story. On Instagram try experimenting with hashtags to help members of the community find your posts and stories. #episodeinteractive, #episodelife are good places to start.
- Completely fill out the story info on the Portal. You can find them on your Story Script page under More Options.
- Author Name - tells your readers who wrote the story and helps build name recognition. The more often readers see your name the more likely they are to remember it.
- Author Biography - this tells your readers a little bit about you. At minimum, you should include info about how your readers can learn about you - either your Instagram profile or your Episode Social name. It’s helpful to tell readers a bit about yourself - an interest, a fun fact, etc.
- Story Description - After your story card this is your next chance to entice a reader to check out your story. Think about how you can summarize the goals for your main character as well as the challenges they will face in the story.
- Search Keywords - many many many authors overlook this section. Think about what terms best describe your story and what terms you think your readers might be searching for when looking for something like your story to read.
Tips to keep readers
- Pacing - this is the speed at which your story moves, an important factor in keeping readers interested in your story. Our team of internal writers tends to think of writing for Episode to more like writing for TV than writing a novel. TV episodes are paced more quickly than novels.
- You want to grab your reader’s attention early on in Episode 1 - make sure you lay out who the character is, what is their goal for the story, what’s the major conflict and the challenges or issues that they might run into.
- Try to end each episode with something exciting - you want your reader to finish a chapter and say to themselves “I can’t wait to find out what happens next!”
- Be thoughtful with Character Customization - we know that readers love to put themselves in the story. Helping your readers do this by using character customization is key. However, you want to be thoughtful about how it's done.
- Integrating character customization into the pacing of the first Episode so that you can entice your reader with your story and plot is key.
- It is NOT RECOMMENDED that your entire first chapter be entirely Character Customization. Readers want to know about the story they are trying to play and if after spending 10-20 mins (and a pass) creating their character, their family, their love interest and their best friend they aren’t able to get a sense of what the plot is they may not come back or continue reading.
- Have a variety of choices - we see a lot of stories where the only choices a reader gets to make are what their hair and outfits look like. Readers tend to stay longer in stories where they get to meaningful choices beyond their character's appearance. While the donacode for branching, gains, flags and elseif statements can be tricky to learn - these commands can help you give your readers a more engaging, interactive experience.
- Regularly update your story - readers are more likely to stick with stories that get updated regularly. This can be whatever is realistic for you as an author and doesn’t have to mean a new chapter every day, week or month. Some authors write whole stories and release them all at once, others write and release a chapter a week. Others find a backlog system works for them - they write a number of chapters all at once and then release them weekly while they work on another batch. This allows them to regularly release updates to readers without having to stress about finishing a new chapter so quickly.
We hope that this was informative and was able to help!
The Episode Team