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Stories and the queue  [message #68736] Sun, 30 November 2014 15:30 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Megaman has just passed the story publication back to me, and given me an amazing tool to work with to convert and publish them. We have 225 story items in the production queue. In real terms that works out as 31 sets of five items, to be released at 3 sets per week, and another 25 sets requiring one more item each to be ready to roll, and then the long tail which will get filled as we go. I already have a candidate for the first several of the 25 sets, but I am waiting for an email back from the author - I can't work out his chapter breaks!

225 sounds like a lot, but what it does is moves us comfortably into 2015. It's only 15 weeks. And that brings us back to just a smidgen over our 3 month lag that we had and tried to maintain.

In this schedule we have some amazing new authors and some old favourites. Some stories will cuddle you, some surprise you, and some will challenge you. And we want some more good authors and stories to bring 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: Stories and the queue  [message #68737 is a reply to message #68736] Sun, 30 November 2014 18:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jolyon Lewes   United Kingdom

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Mmmm, sounds very appetising!

Jolyon



Jolyon
Re: Stories and the queue  [message #68738 is a reply to message #68737] Sun, 30 November 2014 23:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Quote:
Jolyon Lewes wrote on Sun, 30 November 2014 18:52Mmmm, sounds very appetising!

Jolyon

--
I do hope so. We have, so far, only three Christmas Stories. And there are non Christian festivals we can add if folk can write for them. I'd also like a Valentine's Day set to build.

Do you all recall Haiku Based Stories? There is a rich seam of weird inspiration there!



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 Re: Stories and the queue  [message #68739 is a reply to message #68736] Mon, 01 December 2014 10:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Having started December by issuing the first set of the month, the current status is that, ignoring the special Christmas set, we have 43 sets of 5 items in stock now, and the long tail of incomplete sets now extends to set 52.

43 sets at three sets per week means that there are just under 15 weeks of guaranteed new reading delights for you. We try, but do not always succeed, not to run more than one take from the same author side by side. This is to make sure there is something for all tastes.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Publishing rate and stock  [message #68746 is a reply to message #68739] Wed, 03 December 2014 09:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Update on stock levels!

Just published a set ten minutes ago. We now have 46 complete sets, with the tail extending to a partial fill in set 58. This does not count the Christmas set, which is a special set to be published anyway

I've gone through my inbox for the last 12 months and, unless authors have sent material that has got lost in transmission, I can say with confidence that everything we have is in the queue.

The philosophy is to keep the queue under 3 months, but we are waiting for the new system to bed in before deciding whether to accelerate or not. We'll know in a couple of weeks. Obviously the current queue exceeds 3 months, but only just, so we make just sneak in a set every so often to keep everything balanced



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
today's story pipeline  [message #68747 is a reply to message #68746] Fri, 05 December 2014 12:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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After today's set we have 46 sets plus the Christmas set. That set now has four stories in it. We may be reaching a form of equilibrium, which would be excellent.



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: today's story pipeline  [message #68750 is a reply to message #68747] Sat, 06 December 2014 07:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr   United States

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Great news, Tim!

[Updated on: Sat, 06 December 2014 07:59]




raysstories.com
Re: today's story pipeline  [message #68752 is a reply to message #68750] Sat, 06 December 2014 18:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Quote:
Smokr wrote on Sat, 06 December 2014 07:59Great news, Tim!

--
Which reminds me, what about some of yours? I can't see any of yours in the queue right now.

After a small delivery today we now have 47 sets complete and ready to go, set 48 has one space, 49 and 50 have 2 spaces, 51 thru 57 have 4 spaces and the rest are vacant.



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: today's story pipeline  [message #68753 is a reply to message #68752] Mon, 08 December 2014 07:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr   United States

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I haven't put anything on Nifty for a while either. I've got The Circle 3 being edited, Jeremy's Swimming Lessons being passed around for finals, been working on and nearly finished Confession of a Chicken Rancher, and what other time writing etc. I do is several shorts for First Time Tales and two unrelated shorts.
And I had a hard drive crash, taking almost a week worth of work on those projects and other things on it. Just got that computer back into running shape, and still installing programs. Using it right now, LOL.
Then there's work, etc. I wanted to have Chicken Rancher ready for Halloween, but now not until next year. Wanted C3 done by now, too. Thought Jeremy's Swimming Lessons was done, at least for the most part. That's what I'd like to send in here next, I just have no good idea when it will be ready. I still have to catch up those lost days on all those and other projects. The hard drive won't even spin up, so it's all gone.
The last few months have been eaten up with those projects. Haven't done anything worth putting up here since C2.



raysstories.com
Re: today's story pipeline  [message #68755 is a reply to message #68753] Mon, 08 December 2014 10:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Quote:
Smokr wrote on Mon, 08 December 2014 07:11I haven't put anything on Nifty for a while either. I've got The Circle 3 being edited, Jeremy's Swimming Lessons being passed around for finals, been working on and nearly finished Confession of a Chicken Rancher, and what other time writing etc. I do is several shorts for First Time Tales and two unrelated shorts.
And I had a hard drive crash, taking almost a week worth of work on those projects and other things on it. Just got that computer back into running shape, and still installing programs. Using it right now, LOL.
Then there's work, etc. I wanted to have Chicken Rancher ready for Halloween, but now not until next year. Wanted C3 done by now, too. Thought Jeremy's Swimming Lessons was done, at least for the most part. That's what I'd like to send in here next, I just have no good idea when it will be ready. I still have to catch up those lost days on all those and other projects. The hard drive won't even spin up, so it's all gone.
The last few months have been eaten up with those projects. Haven't done anything worth putting up here since C2.

--
I'll happily start to build the next Halloween set at any time you or anyone wants to send me a suitable tale in. Just make sure I know it is for that (or any other) special occasion.

I do like JSL, and the first time tales, assuming your correspondents are happy, and they are within the niche of the site, those are great to have as well. I want to avoid the adult/youth category unless there is an overriding reason to publish here, naturally. We have a couple of those classes of a/y tale already. Short stories I can fit in to the schedule, so send any that work well enough. There's still a wait while they find their place in the queue, but that just increases the new readership pool for every author.

Sad about your hard disk. Stable doors and bolted horses, but I've run an automatic backup for over 10 years now. And I've had to use it a couple of times



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Status on 9 December 2013  [message #68756 is a reply to message #68736] Tue, 09 December 2014 13:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I gave the queue a real hard stare. We have more coming in than going out. That's just not useful, so I published a bonus set today. At present there are just under 16 weeks of queue. That's too long. I'm going to push it down to a dozen weeks over the next few weeks. There's a difference between a drought, a refreshing shower of rain, and a downpour. I'm aiming for refreshing rain showers! I'll continue to publish five item sets, though. We'll just add some bonus ones to the schedule!

We have some interesting new authors and stories. Well, that's always true. And the Christmas set is coming along well. That is planned for Christmas Eve. And in that one is a brand new author to us here, with a short serial. It looks like a very interesting Christmas tale form the three chapters I've seen so far.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
And on 13 December  [message #68771 is a reply to message #68756] Sat, 13 December 2014 11:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I have decided to release a set today (already done) and tomorrow. I don't usually release anything on weekends, but the queue is healthy enough. With today's release we have 43 full sets in the queue. The next submission fills the 44th set up, and the long tail takes us out to the 52nd set, though those need to be filled

I know I'm getting some more from DJ in the next week or two, quite a lot! and I know there is some more heading my way from Andrew Foote. and there will be others. Or I hope very much that there will be. And that is not counting the Christmas set that I will publish on Christmas Eve.

Now Megaman has tamed this queue for me I can cope with quite a number. Are you a closeted author? Why not send me a sample. And do you know anyone whose stories would fit in well here? Please ask them to get in touch. Are there any unfinished series on the site? Please prod the authors to send the result to me! If you get no reply, let me know and I'll put a note on their page to apologise that we haven't heard from them for a while

[Updated on: Mon, 15 December 2014 17:51]




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: And on 13 December  [message #68773 is a reply to message #68771] Tue, 16 December 2014 09:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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We're getting there. Today's status is 41 sets to publish. I'm aiming for 36, ideally a little below that. Of course, folk keep refilling the queue (a good thing!). The long tail now extends to set 67! Obviously they need to be filled, but natural story arrival will handle that

After Wednesday, tomorrow, we are able to drop back to three publishing days each week of five items each. I know many of you will be happy about that. It's been a lot to consider reading and having other things to do in your day! There's a fine borderline between swamping readers and not exasperating authors. I'm trying hard to keep the right side of that line for each.

What I plan to do after Wednesday is to walk along much more gently, and offer occasional bonus days. Or I may work out another plan, like posting every other day. That adds one 'kind of inconspicuous' extra half set a week, kind of! But trust me. I am listening to readers and to authors. I want to do my best for all of 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: And on 13 December  [message #68777 is a reply to message #68773] Fri, 19 December 2014 07:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr   United States

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"Quote:"
timmy wrote on Tue, 16 December 2014 04:47
I am listening to readers and to authors. I want to do my best for all of you.

--You always do!

[Updated on: Fri, 19 December 2014 07:10]




raysstories.com
Update 23 December 2014  [message #68788 is a reply to message #68736] Tue, 23 December 2014 00:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I have not yet published today's set, mainly because it is still yesterday here!

The current queue status is looking much better for authors and readers alike. We have 36 full sets of five items. Those are followed by sets 37-40 with four items (and one serial is on its way to top those up to five), followed by sets 41-66 with either a single or two items in each. Obviously those all move up one place when I publish the set I'm going to publish after I've slept!

We also have the Christmas set, scheduled for the evening of Christmas Eve as an extra set.

Now, I have two serials heading my way that I have planned slots for, and both are long ones, of the order of 50 chapters apiece. We've had some chapters of one of them already, and the author is working hard to proofread and correct the remainder. The other is new to us. I have some other material coming soon, too. But that doesn't mean I don't want to hear form new authors, or to hear from old authors with new material

Who is up for starting a St Valentines Day set? Writing takes a while, so start now! We'll add it in as a special extra set, just like all seasonal specials.

[Updated on: Tue, 23 December 2014 00:23]




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 Re: Update 23 December 2014  [message #68791 is a reply to message #68788] Tue, 23 December 2014 11:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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And now, just after I published the set today I had a refill!

We now have 39 complete sets (the next regular set goes out the day after tomorrow. Yes, on Christmas Day!).

We have sets 40, 41 and 42 just awaiting the planned chapters to fill them. Today they have four items in each.

Then the long tail extends to set 66. This means that, at this moment, the next spot for a new submission to start is set 43. And that is not as far away as it seems. Remember, we publish at a set every other day at present, so that is only 86 days away. It's a smigden over 12 weeks, which leaves plenty of time for authors to plan stories.

It's a little complex because I try not to run two tales by the same author simultaneously. Paradoxically that is happening at present, but that is an anomaly, unlikely to be repeated. I also try to complete a serial in sequential sets. This does mean a little juggling of spinning plates when I'm waiting for a batch of material to arrive! But, if it fails to materialise in time  that is the author's responsibility and they take the next available slot for their material after I re-juggle the queue

I do want that 12 week lead time to become shorter. That means I may issue a surprise set every so often if I see it creeping up. I'm aiming for a lead time of under nine weeks, but I don't want to bombard folk with more than they can read in comfort. It's dropped now from over 15 weeks, which was more than far too long



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Progress, 27 December 2014  [message #68810 is a reply to message #68736] Sat, 27 December 2014 08:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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We've been running at an enhanced rate for a while, and things are now pretty much balanced. The queue is decreasing at a controlled rate.

Today, ready for publishing on Monday, we have 37 full sets of five items. If I reverted to publishing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday that would be a 12 week queue, the absolute maximum acceptable. So I will keep running every other day for a while, just to chip away at it a little more. I want to get down to a point where I have spaces for new stories within the nine weeks of queue I'm aiming for, and I want to think whether nine weeks is too long

Our current status is that 38, 39 and 40 have one space in them, but this is pre-allocated to a lengthy tale. Sets 41 and 42 have two spaces, one of which will be absorbed by the lengthy tale, and one of which is spare for the present. And the long tail extends to set 70, in each of which there is space for quite a lot. 18 of those sets are pre-allocated to a different lengthy serial, and the first lengthy serial also needs to arrive to take some of them, but that leaves two slots in each set for new material.

Confused? I was once, but I can see the route map today. It's no more seat of the pants stuff! This is real flying! Things change at least weekly as new material arrives, and there are some lovely surprises starting very soon that have been in the queue for far too long 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!
As we start 2015  [message #68822 is a reply to message #68736] Thu, 01 January 2015 11:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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The story queue is becoming more healthy in so many ways. The time for a new submission to be published is still too long, and I am working on that.

Status after publishing the Happy New Year Bonus:

There are 34 sets with five items in. If I carry on at the rate of a set every other day that is 68 days before there is a vacant space

Sets 35 thru 39 have one vacant space. Currently this is allocated to DJ, who has promised me the complete chapter set for The Cup Bearer. 

Sets 40 thru 45 have two vacancies. The Cup Bearer will take one of those if it arrives in time, and maybe a few more into the future

Sets 46 onwards have two lengthy serials in them vying for your attention, though some will also have the remaining chapters of Back Door Slider, a new tale by a new author here that started running today.

This is why we need to get the completed sets out to you at the rate of one every other day. At present we are in a sort of dynamic equilibrium because excellent new tales are arriving as we publish the existing ones. And we also have continuing tales to fit in where I can. The excellent Where Do I Fit In starts in set 9 and we have no idea how many chapters there are. I need to do juggling of spinning plates as that arrives!

See how complex it is to run a queue?

It's healthy. It's imperfect. It delivers good stories. I'm doing my best to make it work better.



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: As we start 2015  [message #68832 is a reply to message #68822] Sat, 03 January 2015 18:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Tomorrow we publish another set. After it goes out the status will be:

32 sets of 5 tales ready to roll

Sets 33 thru 38 have four items

Sets 39 thru 48 have three items

Sets 49 thru 65 have two items

Sets 66 thru 69 have one item

So, as you can see, we are in a healthy state, though the publishing delay is not dropping in the way I hoped. And some of the vacant slots are already planned for big serials.

There will be some new authors as the queue moves forwards. We also have some old favourites that are drawing to a close.

Coming up we have:

Three New authors to the site, though we ought to add Joe L to that list because we only just started his first story here on 1 January!

Nine New stories (serials) (ten if we add Back Door Slider to the list) plus Three shorts

It's quite a feast!




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: As we start 2015  [message #68837 is a reply to message #68832] Sun, 04 January 2015 20:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Things change fast here!

There are now 36 sets of five items apiece, and that will increase as soon as DJ sends me the balance of The Cup Bearer - 82 chapters! In reality I ought to declare the next three sets to be full, so I will. That makes 39. Actually it is different from that because I am also squeezing in Finding Tim at suitable points as Charlie finishes the chapters. I'm working out how to do that for long running serials that come chapter by chapter. But, assuming no such things arrive, and assuming DJ has sent me all 82 chapters, the following situation now obtains:

Sets 40-62 will now have 4 items in them

sets 63-65 will have three items

Sets 66- 69 will have two items

Sets 70 onwards until The Cup Bearer ends, currently have one item in

This all assumes the arrival of The Cup Bearer, of course!

Now, that means that set 40 is the first space for a new tale, and that is 80 days away, of just under eleven and a half weeks. Still too long, and nowhere near my target of sub nine weeks, so there will be bonus sets.





Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
An executive decision. The queue is too long.  [message #68840 is a reply to message #68736] Tue, 06 January 2015 16:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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The queue remains too long, so I have decided to raise the number of items published per set from five to six. My current plan is to publish every other day but to make Weekends a bonus with a set on Saturday and Sunday.

So, let me give you a revised queue status:

Set 1 will go out on Thursday 8 January as normal, and will contain 6 stories. The extra item is a new short story by Nicholas Hall
Set 2 goes out on Saturday and starts Where do I Fit In. That;s been brought forward by a few sets, as have the other new items lower down
Set 3 is a Sunday Bonus
Set 4 is the regular set and goes out on Monday
Set 5 goes out on Wednesday 
Set 6 goes out on Friday and has a new short story in it by Ricky
Set 7 is a Saturday Bonus and has a second new Ricky short, AND The Moor starts, AND Time Enough for Love
Set 8 is a Sunday Regular
Set 9 is a regular Tuesday and The Apple Orchard starts

We carry on in this fashion. New items appear in the following sets, but things in the far future are liable to alter.

Set 15 has a short from Andrew Todd
Set 16 starts Summers End
Set 17 gets back to The Cup Bearer, where chapter 11 arrives. There are 82 in total!
Set 25 starts Recovered, and Unlikely Friendship
Set 28 starts Everything Will Turn Our All Right and also Starting Over
Set 30 is the last,currently, with 6 items in it Somewhere around here I need to fit in Finding Tim 209, and I'm already needing to juggle a few of these for chapters 22 and beyond of The Cup Bearer. Remember, I said that things in the future were liable to alter. We are now in the realms of the future

So, at around set 34 is the first place available as it stands today for a new submission to start. And that is far better than it was an hour ago. The running rate is better than a set every other day. At present it is 5 sets per week, give or take. And that is just under 7 weeks from submission to hitting the streets. I plan on improving on that, too.

Two authors have given me the spur to do this. One is Chris James, an author whose work I adore and who was quite fed up with the queue length, and the other is Andrew Foote, whose perfectly reasonable question "I thought my story was meant to start a couple of days ago?" was the second weight I needed in the scale pan to prompt me to handle it. Others have commented in the past, too. Those comments have all sunk in. I just have to do this well, and gradually.

I could not have done this without the tool Megaman has provided me. It lets me move entire serials up and down the queue with ease. It has allowed me to keep the publishing order to be exactly the order of submission, too. I still have to fit in continuing chapters of things, of course I do, and that means a bit of juggling, which is why future stuff can jiggle about a bit, and I will also try to squeeze short stories in amongst the serials when I can and when it is fair to do so. Poems will always be extras, but we get very few of those.

My thought process has been simple. I wanted to ease the queue down while not overwhelming readers. I had complaints that one set per day was too many. I think those complaints were correct. People like the bonus set concept as long as I do not overdo it. So that left me with moving from five items to six. Sometimes, with long chapters, this will be a lot. At other times with short chapters, this will be a little. It's the luck of the draw.

When I feel the queue is fair to authors I will pull back a smigden. I intend to try hard to give you something good to read, and to do it regularly. I intend to make "my" authors feel better about the delay between submission and publication.

And, finally, this should never become a job of work. This is a hobby.




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: An executive decision. The queue is too long.  [message #68841 is a reply to message #68840] Tue, 06 January 2015 19:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ricky is currently offline  Ricky   United States

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Hi Tim,
Sounds like a lot of work. Thanks for doing it. The only thing I disagree with is the statement of overwhelming the readers and here's why. Not everything posted is going to be read by every reader. Taste in stories, styles and whatnot. To steal a Quote from the Jim Hensen movie The Dark Crystal, "Writing? Well it's words that stay." Your change log is available to go back and review what you may have missed. So nothing is lost. And many readers don't read until the story is completed.

Another problem with doling it out like a vitamin is that if the author is posting to multiple sites you may loose the voracious to sites with faster queues. Personally I think ya ought to dump them to the public as you have them ready to go. That would reduce the amount of work, provide substance in line with other sites timelines and probably win more visitors over to your site.

I guess perhaps I don't understand what you mean by overwhelming the reader. Personally the thought that we, your readers are too ignorant to handle our reading habits a little demeaning at the very least, controlling at best. Forgive me if I've offended you. I'm just seeking to understand why the queue has become such an issue. I suspect it had something to do with a time when the site was new and you had to give the reader a reason to come back so you spread out the delivery. But you are well established now so that isn't even a possibility. A GREATER help would be alphabetizing the authors on the storyshelf.
This is just my opinion.
Cheers.
Re: An executive decision. The queue is too long.  [message #68842 is a reply to message #68841] Tue, 06 January 2015 20:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Ricky wrote on Tue, 06 January 2015 19:21"
Hi Tim,
Sounds like a lot of work. Thanks for doing it. The only thing I disagree with is the statement of overwhelming the readers and here's why. Not everything posted is going to be read by every reader. Taste in stories, styles and whatnot. To steal a Quote from the Jim Hensen movie The Dark Crystal, "Writing? Well it's words that stay." Your change log is available to go back and review what you may have missed. So nothing is lost. And many readers don't read until the story is completed.

Another problem with doling it out like a vitamin is that if the author is posting to multiple sites you may loose the voracious to sites with faster queues. Personally I think ya ought to dump them to the public as you have them ready to go. That would reduce the amount of work, provide substance in line with other sites timelines and probably win more visitors over to your site.

I guess perhaps I don't understand what you mean by overwhelming the reader. Personally the thought that we, your readers are too ignorant to handle our reading habits a little demeaning at the very least, controlling at best. Forgive me if I've offended you. I'm just seeking to understand why the queue has become such an issue. I suspect it had something to do with a time when the site was new and you had to give the reader a reason to come back so you spread out the delivery. But you are well established now so that isn't even a possibility. A GREATER help would be alphabetizing the authors on the storyshelf.
This is just my opinion.
Cheers.

--
The feedback I have had is that "X seems to be a great tale, but I shall not be reading it now, because it was issued with to much other stuff." Not all our readership is fast at reading. I suffer from being able to read like lightning, so I can only take the feedback I'm given. And I appreciate yours, too. I did a poll a good while ago that asked about the speed folk would like stories issued, and the outcome was pretty clear. At that time it was 15 units per week, give or take. We then gradually lessened that to a level where the queue built up. Now we are back to running well, but with a backlog to clear. I will probably revisit this topic often. I want the queue to be short. Authors want the queue to be short. Right now it isn't.

When I look at the site statistics, issuing (eg) a 20 chapter novella all at once causes a huge drop off in readership after about chapter 4. If I issue it chapter by chapter there is a tapering off, but it takes far longer and loyal readership follows the entire tale. I've watched this happen so often that it appears to be a universal truth about readership.

I don't mind about the voracious sites. There are so many good sites and so many good stories that it genuinely does not matter. Our readerships overlap, and some authors overlap, too, and that is lovely.  One thing many authors seem to appreciate is that they get an extra audience because of the time differences in posting at various sites. I do also sometimes find an old tale and ask the author if we may host it.

I'm not overly worried about site visitors. A couple of years ago we pulled in over 2,000 per day. We dropped to 1,000 per day in October. We're back up to 1,400 per day now. We get those whom we get, and it seems that regular publishing generates more visitors than (say) weekly larger tranches. We have just under 1,000 people on our email notification list, and a good few follow us on Twitter, too

The list of authors? I have tried. But, whichever way I do it, it is wrong. I think I may set up a survey! A question I have for you, though, is "How would you do it?" Let's start a thread on that!

The workload is identical whether I issue my entire queue now or do it 6 (or whatever number) items at a time. I have to convert them (99% automatic), check them (manual), add to the queue (manual), publish (automatic), announce (automatic), check each published item (manual), and correct any necessary errors (very manual). The thing is, the site has made such name as it has from being magazine-like, and for good quality material

[Updated on: Tue, 06 January 2015 21:04]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
The poll result for frequency  [message #68843 is a reply to message #68842] Tue, 06 January 2015 21:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Have a look here. The results are what I base the current (enhanced) running rate on.



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: The poll result for frequency  [message #68844 is a reply to message #68843] Thu, 08 January 2015 11:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ricky is currently offline  Ricky   United States

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Authors should be Alphabetical. How else is there?
Author list order  [message #68847 is a reply to message #68844] Thu, 08 January 2015 11:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Ricky wrote on Thu, 08 January 2015 11:09"
Authors should be Alphabetical. How else is there?

--
They are, ordered by surname (or similar) if it is one, and single name if not, rather like a library shelf. Or have I missed one or two?

[Updated on: Thu, 08 January 2015 12:00]




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: Author list order  [message #68849 is a reply to message #68847] Thu, 08 January 2015 15:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Please see this new thread on the topic. Replies about author sort order should go there. I am running a survey to see what most people think.

[Updated on: Thu, 08 January 2015 15:43]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Brief update  [message #68852 is a reply to message #68840] Fri, 09 January 2015 16:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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There will be a set on Saturday and a bonus set on Sunday, then the regular set on Monday, followed by every other day, with bonus sets at the weekend.

We've started the "6 per set" scheme, and I think our audience likes it

We have 32 sets of 6 items, albeit with some placeholders for chapters tales that are promised to arrive

We have spaces from set 33 onwards. While this doesn't seem like progress, we have received upwards of 15 items since the last queue status announcement. Obviously many of them go past the end of the full sets. This queue is going down. I could make it go down quicker by issuing more, but there were huge objections to that before Christmas. I'll keep that under constant review.

So, after I issue Monday's set, the queue will have its first vacant slot in set 30. And now oyu see the effect of the work.

We are issuing 9 sets in every 2 week period. So you do the maths on the length of the queue now, in weeks. This is so much better, but not yet good enough

Ok, let's use round figures: 

If we had 36 sets before a new story could appear that would be eight weeks. We have 33, so we're already way below eight weeks. When I started wrestling with this the queue was almost 16 weeks. It's down to half what it was, all since 30 November, and with a load of new items arriving all the time.

So the site is now far more author friendly and without upsetting the key thing authors need: the audience.

Well, it was always going to be a tough transition period. We could not have survived without Megaman in the intervening period, and I could not do it now without his queuing software.

[Updated on: Fri, 09 January 2015 16:43]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Monday 12 Jan  [message #68861 is a reply to message #68852] Mon, 12 January 2015 08:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Life, of course, never goes quite as predicted. We have some new stories added to the queue, one from an old friend, one from a brand new author. And the second piece of good news is that each of these new items starts much sooner than before.

Our old friend starts in set 30, and the new author in set 31. And we still have a place in set 31 (and beyond) for one more new item! Pretty soon after that we have space for two new items per set.

Ok, that still means we have to wait a while, authors have to wait a while, but we're running at nine sets every two weeks, so that's just a smidgen over 6 weeks for new material to appear instead of almost 16 weeks. This is starting to become acceptable. There's more to do to get it right, but the general trend is the right one.



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: Monday 12 Jan  [message #68864 is a reply to message #68861] Mon, 12 January 2015 15:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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By the way, when I started this radical shortening of the queue there were 255 story elements in the store. Now, with a far shorter queue, we have 261.

More items to read, and a shorter time between submission by the author and the readership getting to grips with them have to be great pieces of news.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
A heady period for new starts  [message #68889 is a reply to message #68736] Thu, 15 January 2015 20:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Yesterday a new short story by Ricky, and tomorrow another. Very different tales. Ricky will tell you quite rightly it has been far too long between submission and publication, as will the other authors I'm about to mention.

Saturday The Moor by Solsticeman starts. So does Time Enough for Love, by AZ Story Guy. Each different, each special. Solsticeman is developing characters form another tale, AZSG says he has but one tale in him. I hope you will tell each of them how much you like the tales. Hmm, don;t feel left out, Ricky. They need to tell you, too!

Sunday ~gasp~ has no new tales, just existing ones!

Monday there is no set, but Tuesday has Jobe's The Apple Orchard.

What I love is the huge variety of styles, themes, plots, paces that we see. And it could not happen without the folk who write here.

Queue health is good, too. We have some new tales arrived for the starting slots, and the first vacant space remains at set 31, it's healthy, but still needs to come down, at least to the low twenties, probably the teens (we like teens). That will be achieved by continuing at the current rate for the medium term future. We now have 255 items in the queue.

[Updated on: Thu, 15 January 2015 20:12]




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: A heady period for new starts  [message #68890 is a reply to message #68889] Thu, 15 January 2015 20:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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And, just as I posted this, sets 31 and 32 have filled up! So set 33 is now the first available set for new material.



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 Jan update  [message #68902 is a reply to message #68890] Sat, 17 January 2015 14:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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After tomorrow's regular set goes out the first space for new work is in set 30. The tail of the queue is healthy for new story spaces as follows (after tomorrow)

Set 30-36: 1 space
Set 37-39: 2 spaces
Set 40 onwards: a little complex because I am awaiting the arrival of promised material, but reasonably free for new material. And that is just over eight weeks lag, down from almost 16.

We are now down to 244 items in the queue. This is not counting the promised items (and that figure has never counted the promised items). Still too long a queue, but the requests I've had show that running any faster will alienate the audience. So I'm between a rock and a slightly less hard place.

[Updated on: Sat, 17 January 2015 14:53]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Forthcoming new items  [message #68914 is a reply to message #68902] Mon, 19 January 2015 01:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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A glimpse of what is coming:

Tuesday, in set 1, a new serial by Jobe
Set 8 a new tale by a new author here. At the same time we pick up The Cup Bearer, by DJ, and run to conclusion
Set 17 has a new serial by Hunter Woods
Set 20 a new serial, so far unfinished, by a new author for us
Set 23 a new serial by Cy-kun
Set 27 a new serial by author
Set 47 or thereabouts, because we await the end of Back Door Slider, and the ending is different from its previously published ending, a new serial by Joe L

I have promises of more from several authors, too, but the chickens are not yet hatched

Finding Tim is drawing towards a close, but Charlie is still gong strong. We're running new chapters at approximately three week intervals to keep pace with his output. I predict several more chapters to this magnum opus

New items arrived over the weekend, so we are back to 244 items in the queue



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
20 January  [message #68918 is a reply to message #68736] Tue, 20 January 2015 10:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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As the queue is brought under control I am starting to see the chance, probably after set 28, to pull back to five stories per set, and maybe to three sets per week, bringing us back to the old "15 units per week" state. I shall not make up my mind until we get closer to it, much closer.

If I do that it moves the first set for new work from set 29 to set 36. At present that would be a negative step. So I think I'll let things settle down 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!
A lovely 'first'  [message #68924 is a reply to message #68736] Wed, 21 January 2015 12:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I have just been able to tell an author that I would love his piece on the site and that it will start in approximately six weeks, something that has been impossible for a long time.

In return he is letting me know if he wants to start then, or wants me to delay until he has finished the serial before I start.

With the 16 week delay back in November he would probably have written his next story and be into the one after that before we started.

Ok, so his story has taken that slot and subsequent sets, so the next set for new work is set 36. Remembering that we run at 9 sets every two weeks, that is eight weeks away. This is unless he asks me to de;ay, of course, then it all changes again.

We have 240 items locked and loaded in the queue now. Tomorrow six more will go out and the sets will all move up by one.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
24 January status  [message #68946 is a reply to message #68736] Sat, 24 January 2015 16:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Are these updates useful?[ 1 vote ]
1. Yes 1 / 100%
2. No 0 / 0%

Things are now under good control. We have a similar inflow to outflow; oddly that is not lengthening the queue significantly, because the current inflow is the later chapters of lengthy serials which are in sets that extend well into the future and are by no means full.

As matter stand right now, on Saturday, we have 32 full sets. This includes some promised chapters. I may have to do some juggling from about set 25 onwards, but so be it. This puts the queue length at 7 weeks or thereabouts, so it has gone up a smidgen, but there's nothing that worries me unduly.

We have 234 items in the queue (ignoring, as usual, any items that have been promised).

There will be the usual weekend bonus set on Sunday (other weekend it is Saturday), and then the normal next set on Monday.

The Cup Bearer is due to resume from Saturday next (barring alarums and excursions). It will resume at chapter 11. Alongside it will be a new story from a new author here.

I hope you find these updates useful. I'm just as happy not to let you know as to let you know.

[Updated on: Sat, 24 January 2015 16:24]




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: 24 January status  [message #68952 is a reply to message #68946] Mon, 26 January 2015 09:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Look like that is a solid vote for "don't bother telling us anything" then



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: 24 January status  [message #68961 is a reply to message #68952] Tue, 27 January 2015 19:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
bisexualguy is currently offline  bisexualguy   United States

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Timmy, I personally like the updates on the Story Que Status from time to time.  I also appreciate that you have increased the number of stories daily to 6, and hope that might continue for quite a while.  Perhaps you might update us about once per week?

Any chance that another story might be arriving from London Lampy or Failte200 or Ricky in the next few weeks or months?

Thanks.
Re: 24 January status  [message #68962 is a reply to message #68961] Tue, 27 January 2015 20:34 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Quote:
bisexualguy wrote on Tue, 27 January 2015 19:44Timmy, I personally like the updates on the Story Que Status from time to time.  I also appreciate that you have increased the number of stories daily to 6, and hope that might continue for quite a while.  Perhaps you might update us about once per week?

Any chance that another story might be arriving from London Lampy or Failte200 or Ricky in the next few weeks or months?

Thanks.

--
I know Ricky comes here, so will, I hope, take the hint and answer for himself. LL and F200 I would also love more from. Some time ago F200 suggested I had everything from him that fits our niche. Ask them both. Each is a nice guy Smile



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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