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Less frequent updates  [message #68965 is a reply to message #68962] Wed, 28 January 2015 18:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I think moving to weekly updates makes a lot of sense.

I do have an update for you anyway because I've been moving things about, though

Set 1, scheduled for Friday, has the start of a new story with a brand new author. It also has the final part of The Moor, book 2 of The Axis Trilogy
Set 2 is the resumption of The Cup Bearer, starting at chapter 11
Set 10 is currently for Finding Tim, next chapter, though that may change. Charlie has gone quiet, which is unusual
Assuming FT happens in set 10, then:
Set 11 starts a new Hunter Woods tale
Set 14 is a new Cy-kun tale
Set 16 has a new chapter of The Eggman's Life Goes On
Set 17 has a new story by another new author
Set 24 has a new story by another new author
Set 27 is currently for Finding Tim, next chapter, though that may change.
Set 29 starts I'll See You Down There, the final piece of The Axis Trilogy

And we are now in new story territory. Yes, we can bring a new submission to you in set 29, too

Set 37 is the tentative schedule for a new story by a new author, but I'm not sure quite when it starts because the start date depends on his own workload. I'm holding it back because of huge gaps between chapters to take the pressure of him. If I bring it forward it will move the data for new submissions back, but that's a decent tradeoff
Set 41 is the start of a new Joe L story

It looks as if I will keep up the schedule of six items per set and nine sets every two weeks for the medium term future




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: Less frequent updates  [message #68966 is a reply to message #68965] Wed, 28 January 2015 19:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kiwi is currently offline  kiwi   New Zealand

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Timmy, I can't pretend to understand all of your facts & figures, but it is apparent by now that you've tamed what was becoming a monster, so thank you & well done. Six weeks is still quite a long time for a new author to wait to see his story in print, but it's  a lot better than it was.

Good,too, to hear of an upcoming plethora of new writer's stories beginning.

Thanks.

Re: Less frequent updates  [message #68967 is a reply to message #68966] Wed, 28 January 2015 20:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"kiwi wrote on Wed, 28 January 2015 19:49"
Timmy, I can't pretend to understand all of your facts & figures, but it is apparent by now that you've tamed what was becoming a monster, so thank you & well done. Six weeks is still quite a long time for a new author to wait to see his story in print, but it's  a lot better than it was.

Good,too, to hear of an upcoming plethora of new writer's stories beginning.

Thanks.






--
I'm not at all satisfied with six weeks either. My problem is that I am walking a tightrope between sending out enough to keep authors happy, and not sending out so many that readers get upset. And I never thought readers would get upset by having "too many" tales to read, but that is the feedback I got in no uncertain terms.

Even so I reduced it from almost 16 to 12, then to nine, and now to between six and seven, but managed to offend a good few readers on the way.

What I will not do is to discourage new authors from submitting. What I can not do with ease is to increase the throughput as I publish stories. So I am rather stuck. Oddly, it's not a good place to be stuck. What I want to do is to reduce the queue length to around three weeks, but I have 248 items in the queue right now! For the next few weeks I think "Steady as She Goes" and I'll see what the trend is. At present it feels like a dynamic equilibrium

I can solve that to an extent with random extra bonus sets. I'm uncomfortable about raising the six stories per set to seven lest I upset readers. The most important thing to give an author is a pool of readers. It's far better to provide a good pool of readers than to release stories quickly to please authors, because the end result of that is the creation of an ever smaller pool of readers. I know with precision that an author needs a new story out today. And I know our readers have things to do in their lives like working, commuting, sleeping, eating. All of these things take precedence over reading.

Our email list has dropped from 987 in November to 938 now. Part, but not all, of that was symptom of my overenthusiastic releasing of stories. I know because they said so, and voted with their unsubscribe buttons too.

So, my priority is to release stories in the strict order that they are received, and to try to ensure we maintain our pool of readers.

The graph shows that we are doing ok:

http://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=1726&private=0

However, we used to get 2,000-2,200 sessions per day. We can only get back up there as time elapses. Today I'm pleased with 1,500. For comparison look at the same period 2011-2013:

http://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=1727&private=0

So there is a way to go. And only time can alter that, I think.

[Updated on: Wed, 28 January 2015 21:13]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: Less frequent updates  [message #68970 is a reply to message #68967] Thu, 29 January 2015 08:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Indeed, Kiwi, you got me to thinking about how to reduce the queue still further, so I took the decision to run a bonus set today, bringing everything forward. Assuming nothing arrives over the weekend, though I rather hope material will, we will have set 26 (on Monday) as the first set for newly arrived material. That will put us under six weeks of queue for the first time for a long time.

It's a small thing, but it makes a difference. And, so long as I don't make a habit of it, our readership will enjoy the bonus when it happens occasionally. Well, except the guy who just unsubscribed, that is. He seems to have had too much of a good thing.





Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: Less frequent updates  [message #68981 is a reply to message #68970] Sat, 31 January 2015 11:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I was prompted to do some major queue juggling by the arrival of a 12 part serial yesterday, plus a short story. This pushed us back to almost a 10 week queue. Healthy and unhealthy.

So I decided to run seven items per set for a while, bringing new material forward. There are a couple of anomalies, but that is inevitable.

What it means is that for the next 24 sets we will have seven items. Then we revert to six for a while, and to five later.

The overall effect is that the first set for new items is, at the latest, set 27, which is six weeks away. And we are up to 253 items in the queue overall, though some of them go right into the long tail since they are loooooong serials

Another item is not yet scheduled to give the author time to catch up with his real life!

On top of that DJ has not yet sent the final few chapters of the 80+ chapter The Cup Bearer, and Joe L is rewriting the final chapters of Back Door Slider, and has not yet sent them in (coz they are not finished!)

So, what is NEW:

Set 1 - Recovered, an Unlikely Friendship, by Hunter Woods
Set 8 - Everything Will Turn Out All Right, by Cy-kun
Set 11 - Brave Lake Manor, by AB
Set 13 - I'll See You Down There, by Solsticeman

All these have been brought forward, and 'dragged' other items with them. What I've been able to do is to shorten the queue by 24 items at a stroke. At six items per set that would be four complete sets, and there has been a ripple effect behind them, rather too complex to explain, even if I understood it!

I'm not looking further ahead than that, but there is a lot of new stuff after then too

[Updated on: Sat, 31 January 2015 12:04]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
icon14.gif We're under six weeks!  [message #69011 is a reply to message #68981] Tue, 03 February 2015 23:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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A four chapter new story came in and the first set for new stories is now in set 25. We're under six weeks for the first solid time for ages. Even better than that, set 25 has two spaces for new material in it (at seven per set) or one at six per set. The grand total of sories is now 245, but do remember that one is unallocated because it is delayed, and that on is 59 chapters another 82 (and we don't have all of those yet!) and that one starts after the 59 chapter one ends.

That was a complicated way of saying that the long tail extends to set 54 right now, though it will reach set 68 when DJ sends me the rest of The Cup Bearer. I have up to chapter 68 right now.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: We're under six weeks!  [message #69017 is a reply to message #69011] Thu, 05 February 2015 10:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Hahahaha, ok, this is the weekly report!

We have two stories waiting in the wings for completion, so they are held outside the queue at the request of each author. Each has been overtaken by real life, not such a bad thing to be overtaken by.

We're waiting for DJ to send the final chapters of The Cup Bearer, a tale anticipated to be 80-82 chapters, but we have everything up to chapter 68, so it's important, not urgent.

We're planning(!) on receiving chapter 209 of Finding Tim from Charlie. Chapter 208 we have, and that is coming out in set 3. If 209 arrives in time it is scheduled for set 22. Charlie has requested this interval so he can write without deadline.

Set 23 and beyond is the space for new submissions, and there is great news here. At present 23 and beyond have only four items bolted into place. That means that there is sufficient space for more than one new tale in each. Or it means we can slow down again, moving towards 15 items per week instead of our accelerated rate today. Unless I get a sudden deluge, even allowing for the two tales I have that are unscheduled, our queue is currently five weeks plus one set!

And that is with 231 items in hand, of which eight cannot be scheduled yet.

Do remember that I'm not holding the scheduled ones back! Everything goes out in strict order of receipt unless the author has requested I hold on, and we have several very long serials running right now, so a load of these are in the long tail of partially filled sets. I always fill a set, with one exception: I try never to run more than one tale at a time by the same author. Why? Well, some folk may not enjoy that author, and may thus be disappointed. So I make as sure as I can that there is something for everyone.

I'm aiming for three weeks.

I remember worrying that 12 weeks was going to be hard to achieved when our queue was 16 weeks long, and thinking that even 12 weeks was far too long.

Three weeks gives me ample time to prepare new items, and some scheduling flexibility

[Updated on: Thu, 05 February 2015 10:06]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Queue is just over four weeks  [message #69037 is a reply to message #69017] Wed, 11 February 2015 09:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Simple update:

First set for new work is set 19. That is just over four weeks even if I publish no bonus sets

New story by Cy-kun today,

The Cup Bearer now extends to 89 chapters. I have all but the final nine.

This shorter queue is much healthier, and I've been promised a new tale, a rather lovely saga, to go into it.

There are 215 items in the queue, Again, remember we have some long serials running. The long ones do not affect the queue length yet. There is a point when they will, of course, because they are the spine the queue is built around at present, and each takes up one place. At present their effect diminishes at set 25, and is almost absent at set 32. We have at least one story in sets as far into the future as set 60, with The Cup Bearer scheduled to end in set 69

Looks like there'll be something to read for a while, then!

This is a good time to ask you to consider authors you see who might like wider exposure and to suggest they consider us. The queue is short enough not to be an obstacle any more, though still not as short as I want it.

[Updated on: Wed, 11 February 2015 09:04]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
What I want to achieve  [message #69038 is a reply to message #69037] Wed, 11 February 2015 09:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I want to have a stable queue that fluctuates around a base average of three weeks, and to issue 15 items per week, rain or shine.

I'm aware, because readers have made me aware, that our readership feels pain with the accelerated delivery rate right now.

I'm aware, because authors have voted with their feet, and because others have told me so, that our queue was far, far too long.

This is an interim period. I do not anticipate its lasting much longer. Then we will return to a pleasant rate for all concerned



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: What I want to achieve  [message #69039 is a reply to message #69038] Wed, 11 February 2015 16:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ChrisR is currently offline  ChrisR   Germany

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Timmy -

I understand that you are riding on the horns of a dilemma, caught between authors and readers. My thought is that you should favor the authors in any such choice. (You and they are the ones doing the work here!)

When I pick up a book, I read a couple of pages, decide if I like it, and then read the whole book. I find it difficult to read a chapter in each of ten different books and then wait a week to read the next. I just can't keep that many storylines in mind simultaneously.

As a writer, it could be frustrating to do all this work and then be slowed in publishing. Or, as seems to have happened in a number of stories here, the author's writing lamp goes off and the tale goes unfinished.

Readers, on the other hand, can always choose how much time they're willing to invest in their hobby. If they leave because they're getting too much of a good thing, it's their loss.

Just my two pfennigs' worth.
Re: What I want to achieve  [message #69040 is a reply to message #69039] Wed, 11 February 2015 18:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
dgt224 is currently offline  dgt224   United States

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Quote:
ChrisR wrote on Wed, 11 February 2015 11:29.... My thought is that you should favor the authors in any such choice. (You and they are the ones doing the work here!)

Just one more ha'penny's worth: It seems to me that there is another complicating factor: Authors presumably go through whatever additional effort is required to submit a story to a site in order to garner additional readers, suggesting that anything that drives away a significant number of readers also undercuts the value of the site to its authors. Just one more thing to make Timmy's balancing act trickier.

Speaking as a reader, I would prefer that stories come out faster than I can read them, if the choice is between that and discouraging authors whose work I would enjoy reading when my schedule permits. But abandoning a site because it publishes more than I can read is a concept alien to me, so there is clearly a significant fraction of the reader base that disagrees with me.
Re: What I want to achieve  [message #69041 is a reply to message #69040] Wed, 11 February 2015 21:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Really, I only have generalities to reply to both of you. 

The situation is of our building, and we must dismantle it, while leaving everything that surrounds it intact. We were overtaken by the queue. Why that happened is unimportant. As the queue built authors' disappointment built. As the number of tales issued diminished the daily readership diminished. As you can see, that is improving. I have chosen the period since I was given the tool to let me take the burden off Megaman, and I had asked him to take on a huge burden, which he did without complaint:

http://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=1743&private=0

Daily fluctuations exist, but the overall trend of readership for all pages is upwards. This is even more marked when compared with the prior period:

http://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=1744&private=0

To me this means that, despite upsetting a number of loyal readers, I have it about right. But the email list has dropped markedly, from almost 1,000 souls to under 930. Twenty or so of those are natural wastage over this period. The remainder of the leavers are those that make me very aware that the task of catching up is creating an issue, and one I must be careful not to aggravate.

I view our readers as more important than the authors, because an author needs readership. But the relative importance is 51:49 in favour of the reader. It is scarcely different. Readers do not appear without authors, authors do not write to be unread.

What I'm engaged in is a short duration fix. I have, absolutely have, to get the queue down. With the 16 week queue we lost authors hand over fist. A three week production queue, sometimes a tad longer, sometimes a tad shorter, that is acceptable to almost every author. I've chosen three weeks to enable me to create continuity, something that arrives as a matter of course with a longer queue. It is harder work for me with a shorter queue.

To do that I have issued a great swathe of stories since 29 November. Just look at the change log! And, for those with other things to do in their lives, this is a huge load of reading material. It's far less than Nifty, but it's all worth reading. Instead of sifting out ordure we ask our readers to engage their brains and to determine whether they wish to read a story from a perspective far more serious than the desire for a quick wank. We are a fiction site, not a friction site.

I read so fast that this is not an issue for me. My son is a musician and reads music. He finds it interesting that his need to read every note in a score means he reads every character in a word. It slows his reading remarkably. So I empathise with those who find the volume a burden. My only excuse is that, by deluging them today I can 'ensure' stories for them tomorrow, though 'ensure' is a strong word to choose. I can only ensure it by attracting good authors, and by wooing those who have left us to return.

[Updated on: Thu, 12 February 2015 11:32]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: What I want to achieve  [message #69045 is a reply to message #69041] Thu, 12 February 2015 01:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
bisexualguy is currently offline  bisexualguy   United States

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Timmy, I think it is great that  the que is shorter.  I also like having more come out than I can read.  The authors who appeal most to me I will find time to read--eventually.  Some sites I rarely go to in recent months because so little new is coming out. 

Some of the stories I have read on here are published on other sites, but I like the FORMAT of the story better here.  But if it came to reading here or on a site with quicker postings, I would read it on the other site because I didn't want to wait months to read it here, and lose interest in the story.

As for the email notices, I have a friend who comes to this site regularly, and subscribed only because he wants the updates, in the (then) rare case an author he liked started posting something, or if a story title came up which intrigued him.  Because you are posting much more often, he now comes to the site regularly and finds authors he might not have read, otherwise.

I don't get the updates, but was checking once a day to see if London Lampy or Andrew Todd or certain others posted.

What you are doing  seems a good compromise to me.
Re: What I want to achieve  [message #69049 is a reply to message #69041] Fri, 13 February 2015 00:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ChrisR is currently offline  ChrisR   Switzerland

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Timmy -

You've mentioned that you do this for a hobby. What do you do with the other 17 minutes of your day?
Re: What I want to achieve  [message #69050 is a reply to message #69049] Fri, 13 February 2015 00:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Quote:
ChrisR wrote on Fri, 13 February 2015 00:06Timmy -

You've mentioned that you do this for a hobby. What do you do with the other 17 minutes of your day?

--
I have a couple of volunteer roles and a part time job as a commercial boat skipper. That takes up 12 of them. I relax for the other 5



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: What I want to achieve  [message #69061 is a reply to message #69045] Sat, 14 February 2015 17:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Quote:
bisexualguy wrote on Thu, 12 February 2015 01:56Some of the stories I have read on here are published on other sites, but I like the FORMAT of the story better here.  

--
We worked very hard on the format. We wanted the story to be the king, not the layout. So we have deliberately chosen a single and common font, and a serif font, slightly slower to read than a sans serif one, but a ragged right margin, which adds some reading speed back. We chose the background to be not stark bright white, but close enough to white that the reader doesn't notice, and we added the inner ruled margins to keep the page a reasonable width. Extending to the browser boundary is a poor layout technique.

And we keep the site very simple



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
15 February status  [message #69071 is a reply to message #69061] Sun, 15 February 2015 16:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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It was a little disappointing that no-one sent anything for Valentine's Day, but the queue is in good shape. I'm asking the readership about the shape it finds itself in:

Site story publishing speed

We are in a short term catch-up period and have accelerated our publishing schedule to bring you new material from our authors. Tell us how this affects you as a reader of stories here, please.

I'm overwhelmed, drowning.
I love it at this heady pace
I need to be more selective at this pace, so I don't read everything
I can keep up, but please slow down soon
I forgive you. I know this is a burst of speed and will be over soon
Whatever you do is fine by me
You have stories on this site? Who knew?


Current Results



There results are inconclusive and will be for a while yet.

I have two new stories promised, one from a new friend and one from an old friend who is returning because the queue is now much more to his liking as an author. It's more to my liking as a publisher, too.

I also have two unscheduled stories awaiting the go-ahead from each author. Neither is at all complete, and each appreciates the story not being started until they have a clearer idea of when they will end.

Set 16 is the first place for new stories at present. That's three and a half weeks or so away. We have not yet hit sub three weeks, but we're getting there. Remember, I want to base the queue length around an average of three weeks. It is not yet time to reduce speed, but we can cruise for a while. I have to decide about a bonus set for Wednesday. That is a Wednesday decision. so far I am marginally in favour of it.

Set 2 catches us up the only available new chapter of Life Goes On
Set 3 starts the final element of The Axis Trilogy

Then it's steady as we go until Matt Summers starts in set 10. This is substantially the same tale as it is on Nifty, but the author has taken the chance to do a serious amount of editing and polishing, and has split it into volumes. This is volume 1. He'll do the same with volume 2 and subsequent volumes. 

That's quite far enough ahead to look. Now let's look behind us:

http://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=1752&private=0

You can see that we have daily variations, but that the gap between orange and blue lines is widening as a trend. This is a pointless-but-interesting piece of information for readers, but for authors it is a genuinely useful metric. Authors compete for readership. The more sessions on the site the greater the potential pool of readers.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Wednesday's decision is made on Tuesday  [message #69080 is a reply to message #69071] Tue, 17 February 2015 20:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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It's a borderline decision, but a shorter queue is a better queue than a longer one. Wednesday will have a bonus set, and it's probably the last bonus for a while.

After Wednesday, assuming no more arrivals, our queue is 3.1 weeks. And the good news is that I have two serials promised, and we have space for them, either concurrently or sequentially. And we will return, probably to six, then to five stories per set as the current queue rolls through the system.

It's been just over two and a half months of work to tame the beast. It will take another three or so weeks for that to work its way through the queue. I haven't always made the right decisions, but I know when to make different ones and get back on track.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
22 Feb update  [message #69112 is a reply to message #69080] Sun, 22 February 2015 23:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Things are going extremely well. So, a quick update:

The first available space is set 12. That means the queue is working well.

Over the weekend I have been sent a six part item which wlll go out on one day, and a 44 chapter item which starts in set 12

We have a new short story in set 5 and a new serial

Set 7 has another new serial

Set 10 is scheduled for Finding Tim's next chapter, but I don't have the work yet, so it might slide

Set 11 has an old friend back with his 6 piece work

Set 12 has a new author with a 44 chapter fantasy serial

Set 22 has Joe L's next work after Back Door Slider ends

And that is as far as I am reporting.

We have 218 story items in the queue, eight of which are not yet scheduled, by the request of their authors





Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: 22 Feb update  [message #69118 is a reply to message #69112] Mon, 23 February 2015 14:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
solsticeman is currently offline  solsticeman   United Kingdom

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Timmy, Is the current days offering by definition always Set One? If not then a note at the top of a message in this thread that notes which set we have reached would help non-numerate old fogies like me enormously. By the way, congratulations on taming the beast, I'm sure I speak for the majorty of authors when I say that... Many thanks for all you have done for us.
Re: 22 Feb update  [message #69122 is a reply to message #69118] Mon, 23 February 2015 17:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Quote:
solsticeman wrote on Mon, 23 February 2015 14:12Timmy, Is the current days offering by definition always Set One? If not then a note at the top of a message in this thread that notes which set we have reached would help non-numerate old fogies like me enormously. By the way, congratulations on taming the beast, I'm sure I speak for the majorty of authors when I say that... Many thanks for all you have done for us.

--
It is either the current day, about to be posted, or the next set to be posted. Since, mostly, I post first thing, UK time, it tends to be the next set. Life needs a little mystery! Once a set is posted it becomes history, with no number. So Set 1 is always the set I will be posting when next I post.

Now, of course, I need a supply of more and more good material to feed the tamed beast. But I will, soon, be slowing down on posting, aiming for 15 items per week, probably in three sets of five.

Knowing how long it takes to craft a good tale there is no way I can ask authors to write specially, so I, we, must cast our net widely to find those who write stories that paint pictures, good pictures, whether they are literary masterpieces or not. I value pictures above literary masterpieces. A good picture survives bad grammar and typos. A poor picture is a poor picture however perfect the writing underneath. But how lovely if we get both!



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
25 Feb  [message #69134 is a reply to message #69122] Wed, 25 February 2015 17:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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A decision is required.

We drop to five items per set in set 10, just two weeks and a smidgen away. I can either make set 10 the first queue place and send out six items if one arrives, or I can run at five items per set, and make set 15, the first with four items, the first queue place.

When we drop to five items per set I want to drop to three sets a week. Because I want the queue to be based around three weeks it will still be a juggling act as I reduce the volume. Of course a sudden influx of candidate stories will change what I do completely.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
3rd March  [message #69182 is a reply to message #69134] Tue, 03 March 2015 18:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 12771



I'm starting to work it out. This is the current status. Set 1 goes out on 5 March.

Set 1: 7 items, new short serial; 5 March
Set 2: 7 items; 7 March
Set 3: 7 items; 8 March
Set 4: 7 items; 9 March
Set 5: complex set, 4 serial items, 1 short story, one 6 element single issue story all in one go; 11 March
Set 6: back to five items per set, one of which is a new serial; 13 March

I'll make a call around then about how to sort out the publishing schedule and the number per set.

At present sets 6 thru 16 have 5 items
Sets 17 thru 19 have 4 items, but set 19 has Finding Tim scheduled in as well, and I will not receive that chapter until a few days prior to the due date. So set 19 really has 5 items
Sets 20 thru 29 have three items
Sets 30 thru 50 have 2 items
Sets 51 thru 55 have 1 item

And Finding Tim grabs a place broadly every three weeks in that sequence until Charlie decides it has played out.

Anyone out of breath yet?

So, how long is the queue?

Well, that depends how many items I issue per set. Set 6 could be the first available place!

I have 191 items, of which several are lengthy serials, another is by Joe L and follows the end of Back Door Slider, two serials are not started, on hold because their authors, wisely, asked for that while they catch up with their real lives.

Anyone want my job? I feel a bit like an air traffic controller on a foggy day with falling snow predicted as soon as the fog lifts, during a baggage handlers' strike!





Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: Stories and the queue  [message #69208 is a reply to message #68736] Fri, 06 March 2015 22:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ancient_richard is currently offline  ancient_richard   United Kingdom

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Thank you for that message. I've recently joined this group, and like the way you tell us what is going on; other groups of story writers are relatively impersonal.



richard
Re: Stories and the queue  [message #69209 is a reply to message #69208] Fri, 06 March 2015 23:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Messages: 12771



Quote:
ancient_richard wrote on Fri, 06 March 2015 22:51Thank you for that message. I've recently joined this group, and like the way you tell us what is going on; other groups of story writers are relatively impersonal.

--
I try my best to keep folk in the loop. We've had a period where the queue grew to a counter-productive length and it has taken a while and quite a bit of work to recover from the situation. Now we're back on track. Readers receive the stories and authors receive a decent service.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
9 March. And an OUCH  [message #69239 is a reply to message #69209] Mon, 09 March 2015 07:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Bugger! I lost a story, and, after the most polite prompt ever from the author who must be deeply disappointed in me, have found it and started to run it today. An Apprentice's Adventures is a true delight.

That has changed the dynamics slightly. I have rushed it to the head of the queue as an express posting. It has lingered in limbo for two years. This means we will run at our accelerated rate for one more week. Today's set has an enormous eight items in it. Wednesday's is also a bumper set. Friday's returns to seven stories, and, as you will see, we will have two fantasy adventures running from Friday. Saturday's is the potential final set with seven items in it.

Mark Friedman, I owe you and give you a large apology.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
9 March. Recovering form the ouch!  [message #69250 is a reply to message #69239] Mon, 09 March 2015 23:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 12771



Earlier I was in a rush. I'm a sort of volunteer coastguard and I was heading to perform a watch. Now I have some time, let me tell you the current schedule:

Set 1, Wednesday, sees a continuation of all our current tales, plus a large single story, set out in six parts for convenience of those who use smartphones to read with.

Set 2, Friday, starts a new tale, a long one, by an author who is new to us here. We have a whole new world to learn about and enjoy, and not a little magic. That is the second new world in a week since An Apprentice's Adventures started today. We also catch up on our Emo Boy. There are four chapters remaining in that tale, Terrance tells me. Two I have in stock.

Set 3, Saturday, is, currently, the final seven story set.

Set 4, Sunday, is planned to be a six item set, and these are scheduled to continue to set 8 with the concluding part of our new Apprentice

My intention is then to run five item sets three times per week, but the frequency and number of items per set is subject to change. It depends on what I receive and how complete the tales are. I am really not keen on staring a tale where the author has not got it mapped out in total, though there are a few authors whose timing and productivity I trust.

We'll simply see how it goes from now on Smile Do you suppose Mark Friedman is willing to trust us with other things he has written after I cocked up badly with losing the Apprentice? If you like it, and I love it, please tell him so and ask him for more.

So, how long is the queue?

The answer is three sets make up the full part of the queue. I can fit a new tale or chapter into set four! I'd prefer to leave it until set nine, but that is with the author's agreement.

In stock now I have 173 items. Remember, some are long serials. The number of items in stock is not a simple indicator of the length of the publishing stream. I have items scheduled as far into the future as set 51.

[Updated on: Mon, 09 March 2015 23:25]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
icon14.gif 15 March  [message #69296 is a reply to message #69250] Sun, 15 March 2015 15:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
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Messages: 12771



Queue length is as near zero as makes no difference.

We have four sets of six items, followed by four sets of five items, followed by three sets of four items, followed by loads of sets of three, then two, then one items. The final populated set is set 47.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
17 March update  [message #69302 is a reply to message #69296] Tue, 17 March 2015 15:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
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Messages: 12771



We're running at six items per set at present. This is a short overview of the upcoming new things:

Set 3: Matt Summers part 2 starts
Set 4: Fitting In, the second, and I presume final, part of Where do I Fit IN? starts
Set 7: Mason in the Centre starts

The queue is no length at all. I would have started FI today, but Andy has not quite worked out how many further chapters there are. If it hasn't started when he submits the final chapter I'll bring it forward.

I'm in discussions with a new author about what he sends to us and when. When he's decided we will have quite a gritty series of tales. He pulls no punches. It's about time we have a few more tales that show that all is not all puppies and kittens.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
21 March  [message #69338 is a reply to message #69302] Sat, 21 March 2015 18:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Messages: 12771



Andichan has now sent me all 12 chapters of Fitting In. It starts tomorrow. I brought it forward. This means we will have a seven item set.

Tomorrow I am also receiving a story from a brand new writer here; or, of course, he may be overtaken by real life and it may not happen tomorrow. 

Assuming it does not arrive, we have the following:

Set 1, seven items, Fitting In starts
Sets 2-5, six items, and set 5 has Mason in the Center starting
Sets 6, 7, 8, five items, but set 8 will also have the next Finding Tim
Sets 9-12, four items
Sets 13-18, three items
Sets 19-39, two items, but set 25 will also have the next Finding Tim
Sets 40-44, one item, but set 42 will also have the next Finding Tim

I have 136 items in stock, of which nine are not yet scheduled, by author request.

I have another story in process of assessment. The author, another one new to here, is working in it to make it reach our standard. I love the opening theme, but it doesn't meet our standards yet

All this changes every time something new arrives. You ought to be amazed that I can now start a new story at once without breaking sweat. I'm really pleased about that, so are  'our' authors



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
23 March  [message #69348 is a reply to message #69338] Mon, 23 March 2015 09:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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We plan to alter the publishing schedule from this week on to publish on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. No weekend publishing. This may change at no notice, of course!



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
25 March, Queue update  [message #69361 is a reply to message #69348] Wed, 25 March 2015 13:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Messages: 12771



We are publishing for the present on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Sets 1 & 2 have 6 items. Set 2 has a new story by Joe L
Sets 3, 4 & 5 have 5 items. Set 5 is anticipated also to have the next Finding Tim chapter.
Sets 6, 7, 8 & 9 have 4 items. 
Set 10 has 5 items, but two of these are a new story by Andichan
Sets 11 thru 15 have 4 items. 
Sets 16 thu 36 have 2 items. Set 22 is anticipated to have the next Finding Tim chapter.
Sets 37 thru 41 have a single item. Set 39 is anticipated to have the next Finding Tim chapter.

I have 124 stories, of which 9 remain on hold.

As you can see, as you have seen, I am able to start a new offering instantly, at present. Remember, though, I do not run two tales by the same author at the same time. With that caveat, the queue length is 'until the next set'

I have two new authors waiting in the wings, making decisions about their work and what to send me first.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
1 April, Queue update  [message #69392 is a reply to message #69361] Wed, 01 April 2015 08:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Messages: 12771



Things are running smoothly.

We just started a major new author and story today. The previous set we started another new story, the second by an author here, and a third new one by an established author. Of course I may be losing track!

Here is the status now, after today's set went out

Sets 1-2: 7 items. Tim 210 is expected in set 2 as well, but it doesn't matter if it slips
Sets 3-8: 6 items (we are introducing a new Andichan story with chapters 1&2 at the same time in one of those, so it looks like 7 items!)
Sets 9-10: 7 items
Sets 11-12: 6 items
Sets 13-14: 5 items
Sets 15-16: 4 items
Set 17: 3 items
Sets 18-33: 2 items
Sets 34-38: 1 item

I still have 9 unscheduled items waiting for the authors, one of whom has vanished for the moment, the other of whom is pasted by college work. Including those I have 144 items in stock for you.

Ok, so why do I have so many in stock and why don't I release them all at once?

Simple. These are serials! Experience has shown that people read to the end of a serial if it is released as a serial. They don;t read to the end so often if it's issued as a full book. The site stats bear this out time after time. And, of course, you get antici

pation

So, what treats are coming your way?

The answer is that everyting that is running now, plus What The Hell? from Andichan, and the next part of Matt Summers with a short gap after the current part ends to let the author catch up with himself.

I think we have some pretty good stuff running right now, and I hope you agree. Mind you, I never choose stuff less good than pretty good!

[Updated on: Wed, 01 April 2015 08:47]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
11 April - loins to be girded up  [message #69453 is a reply to message #68736] Sat, 11 April 2015 08:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Messages: 12771



It's as awkward a feeling with the queue running easily as with it being too full. When it was too full I was anxious about emptying it without causing a deluge. Now it is as empty as makes no difference, by which I mean that I can fit a new story in at almost any time, I am anxious about having enough good tales to publish. The site's reputation is built on good stories, and I don't take all the output of even my favourite authors if they slip below standard.

So, the status at present is as follows:

Set 1 goes out on 12 April.

Sets 1-8 have at least five items
After that it tails off fast to two items per set

I'm expecting some more material over the weekend, but that will only add one item to sets 7 et seq

This means the search for new, good material is on. I've emailed on chap with an excellent four parter, but no reply so far. I suspect I am in his junk folder. Memo to self. Check junk folder now. Hmm, no, just stuff about protecting concrete. How weird is that?

Please, if you have a favourite author and you feel his work is up to our standard and fits the site, don't tell me! Please ask them to email me and have a chat instead.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Things are getting scary  [message #69510 is a reply to message #68736] Sat, 25 April 2015 18:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Messages: 12771



The queue is running perfectly, but I am running low on tales.

We're running Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the moment

We have 31 sets stretching into the future, but most of those need filling. At the moment, a week on Wednesday, we are very low indeed.

We do have a new tale from Andichan starting on Wednesday, and it's the tale he's proudest of. Now that's impressive.

Now, who will find me some new stories from old authors, or new authors?



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Periodic update  [message #69543 is a reply to message #69510] Sun, 03 May 2015 20:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Messages: 12771



Pleasantly healthy, though still lacking volume, we have two sets of five, followed by some fours, then more fives. We get a bit thin again at set 18

What's exciting?

Chaps, you need to start telling ME!

I have some treats for you.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: Periodic update  [message #69617 is a reply to message #69543] Wed, 13 May 2015 17:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
bisexualguy is currently offline  bisexualguy   United States

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Messages: 30



Timmy, I think it is great how you have tamed the story que. 

And thanks for the updates every week or two.  It is greatly  appreciated by at least some of us.
Re: Periodic update  [message #69629 is a reply to message #69617] Fri, 15 May 2015 13:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Quote:
bisexualguy wrote on Wed, 13 May 2015 18:16Timmy, I think it is great how you have tamed the story que. 

And thanks for the updates every week or two.  It is greatly  appreciated by at least some of us.

--
Thank you. With that thought, here is the current update, briefer than usual:

Next set goes out on Monday

First 10 sets have six items
11 - 15 have four
16 - 19 have three
20 & 21 have two
22 - 77 have one

I still have the unscheduled items awaiting queuing. One of those I have seven parts of and am expecting a total of nine. The other seems to have withered on the vine for now

Including those I have 168 story elements in the system

What is coming up new?

We started Jeremy and his swimming lessons today, so that can't be coming up!

Part 4 of Matt Summers starts on Monday
Puppy for Sale starts in set 28 after The Saturday Boy ends

Obviously we need some new blood! Whom can you all persuade to get in touch with me?




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
30 May update, **Vacation Warning**  [message #69730 is a reply to message #68736] Sat, 30 May 2015 22:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
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Messages: 12771



Things are pretty good with the queue:

Sets 1 - 9: 6 items
Sets 10 - 12: 5 items
Sets 13: 4 items
Sets 14, 15: 3 items
Sets 16 - 20: 2 items
Sets 21 - 81: 1 item

By this you can deduce that we have more than one long running serial! 

I'm pretty happy with this state of affairs. I shall start getting edgy by set 10 if I don't have a couple more new tales, but that's fine. especially as the site will have its annual vacation from 10 to 28 June inclusive, with a low likelihood of any sets published in that period. Even if Megaman and I have an internet connection where we are, the probablity is that will will not be thinking of the site!

So, four more sets until the vacation. Hope nothing ends on a cliffhanger!



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
2 June update, Vacation schedule  [message #69741 is a reply to message #69730] Tue, 02 June 2015 19:17 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Messages: 12771



Amazing how things move.

Now, here is the plan:

Set 1, 3 June
Set 3, 5 June
Set 4, 8 June

Then we have a gap when we are away.

Set 5, 29 June, and then back to normal service.

I will take a view around then about whether I increase the running rate, or the number of stories per set. It's likely, but not certain, that more tales will arrive in the intervening period.

Here is the status:

Sets 1 - 11: 6 items
Set 12: 5 items
Set 13: 4 items
Set 14: 3 items
Sets 15 - 19: 2 items
Sets 20 - 82: 1 item

We have some exciting stuff.
  • Elf Boy and Friends finishes just before the vacation. What serendipitous timing!
  • Elf Boy's Friends, part 1 starts on the return! You are never far from an Elf Boy. Oh I wish that were true!
  • The Highschool Years starts in set 4. I bet it ends on a cliffhanger! You'll have to wait for the next chapter
  • Never Forget starts in set 9. Remember Time Enough for Love?

There's some other stuff far into the future. Remember, we try very hard to run only one story from an author in a set. We know most folk love most authors, but imagine if the only author you don't like had all the stories in a set!

We're working with Westcliff Writer to release his stories that fit the site over the next several weeks. Yes, you can go and have a Westcliff-Fest on his site, of course you can. We're just doing our usual quiet formatting and publishing.

Now, what would I like to see in my inbox when the vacation is over?

This is a selfish list!
  • Kiwi, where are you?
  • J J Janicki
  • David Clarke
  • Andrew Foote, you know the story I want to run next. I hope you're writing it!
  • Smokr!
  • I am hoping a story about an apprentice will be coming here. It has a message as well as being good
  • So many other authors who have started out so well, and kind of vanished

There'll probably not be an update before we go and play. 

[Updated on: Wed, 03 June 2015 12:28]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
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