Reader retention and contests

I read on one of the contest threads (maybe DL) that some of the contest entry authors were having friends begin to read other entries and then ditching half way through to screw up reader retention for other entries… I don’t know if I misread it, or misunderstood, but I am really just curious if people could be that petty? It’s legit blowing my mind, and was hoping to get others opnions on it.


It could happen… You’re pretty much powerless because you don’t know who are the ones trying to bring down your score, plus that’s the rubric Episode teams is going to be using for determining your story’s success.

But the community’s strength is much more stronger than just a few troublemakers.

If your story is well established, more readers will read your story. In that case, if your story is good enough to obtain a high reader retention score from the community, it’s almost impossible for those troublemakers to bring down your score as they’re pretty much outweighed.
Let’s put things into perspective: 100 readers started your story, 10 troublemakers didn’t finish your story and your retention score becomes 90%.
However, if 1000 readers started your story with the same amount of troublemakers, it becomes 99% (10/1000 x100%)

Therefore, I would recommend at least publish a story with decent amount of chapters and reads before joining a contest so that you don’t get… Pranked.

For those shameless troublemakers…
What goes around comes around.


I don’t have a large following, or a high read amount, and as much as I appreciate the dashboard I feel like it’s also a new way to get disappointed, or cause discouragement, my first chapter on every story I have written is weird, the retention is between 40-50% when all other chapters are 80-100% , its extremely confusing. I would love to know what is wrong with the first chapter in all my stories to get such a low retention rate, but reader who get past chapter 1 it seems they like and continue to read.


Ah, the first episodes, by logic always have the worst retention scores.
Picky readers tend to leave your story halfway through in episode one when they find your story boring.
However, if readers love your story, they usually will continue to read your story until the end and continue later chapters as well. That’s why the retention score increases gradually as you publish more and more episodes.

But fear not. You will find readers who appreciate your writing style as you continue to write and polish your writing skills. It takes time, so don’t let the read counts and support be your major motivation. They can be one, but don’t rely on it as people can talk trash to demotivate you.

However, in my opinion, the most important factor is quality content. Readers may like your story, but they would rather read a 15 chapter story with a solid, packed storyline than a 60 chapter story with at least 30 chapters being fillers.


I definitely feel like my stories have gotten better the more I have written. I definitely don’t write for recognition. I do it more as an outlet, although my first couple of stories were based on real life experiences. I started going more with imagination, and I feel like my coding has improved hugely. I am just having fun, but it definitely feels better when people appreciate your work.


This is where advertising your story is going to be useful.
Now, even though you aren’t writing for recognition, it’s important that you make your story known in the community. Not many flips through the recently updated stories frequently (me included) to find new stories. They usually rely on recommendations from people they know/Episode groups such as Axiom on Instagram so that they are promised with quality content.

It’s a good idea to get engaged with the community! Who knows, you might find some good friends?

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LOL Axiom hates me, I corrected a few things on their review of one of my stories that the reviewer misspoke about, and even though they know that information in the review was inaccurate they claimed I argued with their reviewer which got me banned :tipping_hand_woman: :woman_facepalming: I definitely update my IG on new chapters/releases etc. And I am a big advocate in doing R4R on new stories I publish, mostly because several of my stories trended and got reviewed either during or shortly after doing R4R’s (like the influx of reads tipped in on to episode’s radar_) I do have other review groups that I submit to, and my story typically gets decent reviews,

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Sorry about that… I didn’t know :slightly_frowning_face:

And that’s nice! It means that your content is being recognized. It’s just that it needs some time to establish.

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It’s ok, Axiom isn’t the only group, and frankly, I got 2 separate groups to review the same story, and the reviews were black and white with grammar/coding, etc. I also didn’t want potential readers to get inaccurate information about my story, so I felt the need to correct the things that were said inaccurately. Apparently, Axiom wants you to say thank you and move on. I defended my story, which I think, anyone would do.
Now I use epiappreciated and epilight for reviews, they seem to pay better attention.
On top of the fact that Axiom told me they actually had my story reviewed the last time by a professor of English from a college university. Now I am not young by any means but why would you use a college professor to review books that are potentially written by 13-year-olds +. That to me was ludicrous.

Mm-hmm, I get what’re you saying. I think it has something to do with that particular reviewer or something… Eh, it’s in the past, let’s not dwell with it.

I followed epiappreciated but not the other one.

Kinda beats me ngl.

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I try to follow all the episode reviewer pages, I agree it’s all in the past, I was bummed out, but it is what it is. I moved on and continued with the story 2 really good reviews and 1 bad one, I felt the good outweighed the bad, I understand the groups have their own way of doing things, and I appreciate the work they do.

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That’s the spirit.

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