Reviews and comments are the bread and butter for Fan Fiction writers. Reviews remind us that our work is being read, that we aren’t writing into a void, and readers appreciate our efforts. For most writers, myself included, the moments between posting a new story and when the first review rolls in are filled with impatience! Here are 6 easy things you can do to encourage readers to leave you more comments on your Fan Fiction stories.
Proof Read Your Fiction – Posting an error free story is one of the best ways to earn your reader’s respect. Make sure you read through your story before posting or ask a friend or beta to do it for you. Then read through it again. Earn a great writer reputation by posting mistake-free stories. Posting your story with “too tired to proof read” or “un-beta’d, read at your own risk” doesn’t cut it. You are disrespecting your reader’s time by asking them to read something that you couldn’t be bothered to proof read.
Write Consistently – This doesn’t mean you have to post every week, but if you consistently post stories to a particular archive or community, you’ll start to establish a reputation in your Fandom and readers will look forward to your stories. If you post error free, well written stories, readers will not only leave you more comments, but they’ll start to recommend your stories to friends and post links on other Fandom related message boards.
Participate in Your Community – When ficathons roll around in your community, be sure to participate-both by contributing prompts and writing a story. Just like writing consistently, this contributes to your visibility in your community. And Fan Fiction is all about community, about sharing a passion for the same show. So don’t forget to be a part of that community and participate by accepting writing challenges and offering them as well.
Reply to Your Comments — Saying a simple thank you to anyone that leaves you a comment is a sure-fire way to build goodwill with your readers. Many times, a reader will be thrilled to get a reply to their comments, and sometimes you might even find a new friend or beta reader. That is exactly how I found my beta reader, and we’ve been working together for over 5 years.
Leave Comments for Other Writers – Remember the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would have done to you” is an excellent mantra for Fan Fic writers. If you want to get more reviews, you are going to have to give them as well. Offer helpful comments, not just “liked it” or “good work.” Think about the kind of review that you would like to get and write those for your fellow writers.
Ask Respectfully — One of the biggest turn offs to readers is to read a threat in the Author’s Notes of a story. Do not threaten to quit writing unless you get a certain number of reviews. Instead, thank your readers for clicking on your story, and ask for their thoughts on your work. It might help to pose a specific question or suggest a topic for their reviews. Also mention if you are open to constructive criticism. A lot of times, readers like a story but are at a loss for what exactly to write, so if you prompt them, you are more likely to get a comment.
As Fan Fiction writers, we write because we love our characters, our show, and the power of words to tell a story. When that love is reflected in the stories that you write, readers will be inspired to leave you more comments.