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What do you want to see from Sparkler?

Home Forums Sparkler Monthly Hidden Forums Anything goes! What do you want to see from Sparkler?

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 34 total)
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  • #2645
    Tacto
    Member

    Ohh Joamette.. that’s an excellent idea! O.O I would love that too!

    #2647
    Lianne Sentar
    Keymaster

    We’re definitely planning some non-audio stuff for our audio series, since the format, although awesome, makes us cut back on a lot of things (like visuals, details, back stories, etc.). And we’re a mixed-media company, dammit! We can expand whatever we want. *lol*

    Joamette, we’ve had our eyes peeled for a good Girl’s Love story since Day 1. Thankfully, we’re seeing some definite potentials now, and I hope at least one of them makes its appearance in the magazine soon. Since the Girl’s Love manga market has been so, so small in the West (despite the amazing work by Erica Friedman), and since a lot of it ended up coming through Male Gaze moe (which obviously isn’t what we’re doing), we’ve been extra careful about this – we want something good and something for actual ladies. That’s been tricky to find, especially since we’re really picky about everything. *lol* But soon, I hope! We actually put a semi-block on Boy’s Love in the next round of prose to encourage people to go for Girl’s Love or something straight, since we have enough Boy’s Love (and its mountain of male characters) for a while. We love Boy’s Love, of course, but we’re very serious about having a diverse lineup.

    #2660
    sgl
    Member

    From a non-content perspective, are you open to experimenting with the social interaction elements of this site? Many of the webcomics I follow online are using Disqus or some kind of comment on each page as it updates… or if they’re using a WordPress hierarchy they at least allow comment/logins via some other method (i.e., open id or your universal wordpress login).

    I’ve seen many of the “forums” that used to support comics kind of die out in favor of immediate reactions to each page.

    I realize it could get pretty messy but was curious.

    There’s another option to consider and that’s the wordpress login sometimes deters people from jumping in with a thought. Have you considered using social login (http://wordpress.org/plugins/oa-social-login/) or some kind of equivalent to make participation in the public forum more immediate?

    Regarding content, do you guys have enough info yet on the ages/tastes of your subscribers? Are you comfortable reaching out for proposals from romance authors not connected to the anime/manga fandom ? I’m wondering if you might try your next round of recruitment through Goodreads authors groups, etc.

    #2675
    Lianne Sentar
    Keymaster

    Hey, sgl! Cool to see you here. :)

    We sorta went back and forth on page comments vs forums, but in general, we opted for a place we could more easily moderate as a safe space. Disqus and the like help keep out spam, but we’ve seen a lot of great sites (especially feminist-leaning ones) get their comment sections wrecked by creeps who are comfortable with Disqus. And, since we’re a publisher, we wanted to open up a space for dialogue but also let our creators’ hard work exist online on its own. I loved open comments on Tokyo Demons, but I’m also not every creator, nor do we expect all of our creators to be checking the Sparkler page every day to answer comments. The concept of open comments below every chapter of fiction is relatively new and we didn’t want to force that on our launch creators, so this forum seemed like a happy middle ground.

    That said, maybe we’ll ditch forums and go open comments someday; this is just how we wanted to run the first year. But I like what we have here so far.

    As for submissions, we’re very happy to consider proposals from anyone (including romance authors), regardless of whether or not they’re connected to the anime/manga fandom. Because of the way we designed our open submissions this summer, word of mouth spread them pretty far; we got pitches from all over the place, not just anime/manga fandom, because of our focus on Female Gaze. But reaching out to a few specific communities is always great when we can spare the time, so Goodreads is a good idea for a later round. Our editor Jill is pretty involved in the romance novel community (like Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) and would probably be good at that. :)

    #2677
    NoNane
    Member

    Maybe it wouldn’t be a terrible idea for creators to get to choose whether they wanted to have page comments or not (though I think they should always have a page here for the sake of consistency). Or maybe they could have the option, but the comments can also be accessed from their own board on the forum as well as the page itself, if that is possible. Or maybe the creators could choose whether they wanted to have the board for each chapter appear as the same thing in both the forum and directly below the content. Personally, I think that having the comments here is nice, and while I loved the comments on the Tokyo Demons website, having the boards here opens things up for nicer access when you want to talk but not read or listen. And for this kind of site, it makes more sense to me to allow topics outside of just the media on it. I mean, this conversation now wouldn’t really exist otherwise, would it?

    #2679
    Tacto
    Member

    Hmm, that’s an interesting point. The format with Sparkler is different from most webcomics as new content goes up in chapters as opposed to individual pages. Personally I love commenting (and receiving comments) on a page-by-page basis when in webcomic form since it is such an immediate feedback and helps figuring out what works and what doesn’t. But when a whole chapter goes live all at once, I would most probably make just one comment in the end of it, unless there was one page that completely blew my socks off and I felt the urge to give a shout out to the creator about that. And definitely, page-by-page feedback works best when the creator participates in the dialogue, which depends on time/workload/star alignment and coffee reserves..

    #2683
    Lianne Sentar
    Keymaster

    NoNane: We’ve been experimenting with leaving Tokyo Demons with both open comments and forum topics, but eh, I think it’s more confusing than anything. Keeping all comments as one or the other organizes the discussion a bit. And you’re right–having forums means it’s very easy to open discussions that have nothing to do with an individual series, which both expands commentary/community and keeps series-specific discussions more on-topic.

    Tacto: Yeah, the way we publish a full chapter at a time (especially with our comic viewer) means the first comment could spoil someone who’s reading the first page! That was our other concern. In addition to, as you said, not being able to replicate the vibe of webcomic open comments because we didn’t want to pressure our creators into discussion. We’re very happy when they come to talk, of course, but we don’t make it a requirement to joining the magazine.

    #2684
    sgl
    Member

    NoNane: You reminded me of two places that I think always did a good job of linking updates to the forums– CBR (comic book resources/reviews) and the old AnimeNewsNetwork.com page. Example — see review post and bottom link to “Comments” aka the specific forum thread? http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=6728

    And for an example of an integrated forum/social login — see http://www.momocon.com/wp-login.php?action=register . That still allows you to watch commentors but with that option makes it easier for community members to get in/out of a forum .

    As for the author community — I’m not quite sure exactly how to nail down serial writers. There’s some that manage to find Goodreads (there is one group there) and some end up at Webfiction Guide . The paths between don’t intersect very much but certainly there are far more authors at Goodreads than other places I frequent.

    Would any of the creative (prose) folks wish to guest blog or something at online-novel.com about what you are hoping to find? While I don’t usually like flat out commercial posts, I’m open to smart content that provides some insight into your challenges (as you look through the slush pile) and obvious links to what you’re working on. If yes, let me know and I’ll set up a guest account for drafting of a post. Usually my only edits are to suggest things like social network links or clarify things I don’t quite get. (CA Sanders probably handles it best — see http://theonlinenovel.wordpress.com/author/craigasanders/ ) Let me know!

    #2687
    Lianne Sentar
    Keymaster

    sgl:

    Yeah, we kinda modeled how we link content + forums after ANN’s forums. As for a plugin for easier viewing/logging in, so far we’ve found that the Sparkler system keeps you logged in pretty much all the time, and none of the connected forums for each chapter are behind the paywall, so anyone can view them with just a click. If you’ve logged in once, it should be easy to view and comment. The only extra step is someone needs to get a free membership to actually post, which yeah, is a bit of a filter…which is on purpose. That small filter helps us keep this place neater and safer.

    I love Goodreads – I think you’re right that that’s a good place to poke around next. Serial writers are indeed hard to find sometimes, but we’re not specifically courting them – we’re taking anyone who has the talent and can handle the workload. Some people have come to us with already-completed books, some are still writing but prove (before they start serializing) that they can stay on a decent schedule. I’m cool with any place that has passionate writers, regardless of their background.

    Which kind of prose person would interest you for a guest post? A writer, an editor, someone who’s been through the submission process and was either accepted or rejected?

    #2689
    sgl
    Member

    The blog audience is primarily aspiring authors. To that degree, most already understand that writing a serial is masochistic :)

    I think the one perspective missing so far from the blog would be an editor. (If that weren’t possible — someone who completed navigating their way through the submissions process and got to an approved concept. )

    The editor — I believe — is where Chromatic is different from some of the other serialized content players.

    Jukepop serials doesn’t do any editing. It’s “you’re in on the basis of your sample chapters” and nothing happens beyond that.
    Wattpad = no , no editing.
    Amazon – yes, Kindle Serials does throw you into a partnership with an editor but their pace is punishing. (You are supposed to update twice a month with the editor involved in this process. )
    (Skipping more minor players but there are several…)

    Other ideas:
    Talk about experience/ philosophy about paywalls and such. These are not common in serial prose circles.
    Challenges in selling the serial vs. webcomics. (Like if you talked about engagement and feedback and hits of one medium vs. another. That too always interests people.)

    Or talking about how it’s been curating a host of content /serials. Very few authors have ever aspired to go “collective.” (THere’s only one I know of operating right now in some kind of magazine form, “Chimerical Tales.”)

    Or one of your team could just come in and talk about the short prose submissions and what you’ve learned so far the past few months too :).

    MOre or less I’ve just had a lot of Jukepop folks all over the blog and I’d like to hear other voices once in a while .

    #2692
    Lianne Sentar
    Keymaster

    Well, I’m the only regular editor in prose right now and I go through all prose submissions myself, and I’m booked solid until January, at least. :( But you’re right, I think our editorial involvement is different from a lot of small publishers…we have super, super intense editorial on some series, which can be harsh! But so far, I’m happy to say our writers can take it. :)

    Let me get back to you on this. Ellery (who writes Gauntlet) was published by small presses before we signed her, plus she’s done a lot of serial fanfiction. I think she would have valuable insight from a writer’s perspective and it would be a little less “advertising”-like than if I wrote something, I think? And maybe I can do something for you as an editor later, when my life is less insane. :)

    #2697
    NoNane
    Member

    Okay, swerving back to a previous topic, what if there were a “Hide/Show Comments” button underneath the chapter, like the sidebar toggle button? If the author wanted to show on-chapter comments, when a reader navigated to the page and scrolled down the comments would be hidden. When they wanted to look at the comments, they could click the button and reveal them. I was also thinking that, rather than commenting on individual pages, the comments would be linked to the full update for the sake of simplicity, and that the on-chapter comments would just be a mirror of the actual forum board. It might seem redundant, but it might be a good way to encourage participation while keeping everything organized. The first bit certainly worked for Tokyo Demons. Sorry if this is getting to be a bit pushy, I just thought it wasn’t a terrible idea, and those rarely come during finals season.

    #2704
    sgl
    Member

    I think any sort of link/ visual to the activity on the board would benefit the board. I get what you’re saying Nonane — that’s how I think boing boing handles comments now– so with the unhide/hide there is a way of keeping a clean look and yet letting people see something is up.

    and Lianne -that’s fine. I didn’t realize you were still solo on the editing. whatever /whoever is interested I can also work with by setting up interview questions if that’s easier for then to sort through

    #2706
    Lianne Sentar
    Keymaster

    Y’know, I was considering click-to-reveal comments a looooooooooooong time, when we were designing tokyodemons.com. Definitely something to think about again!

    I sent Ellery to your post, we’ll see if she’s interested. I can personally re-evaluate in January when I’ve cleared a few big things off my plate.

    #2707
    Lianne Sentar
    Keymaster

    Oh, by the way–we opened up thread for those in-character Q&As, for those of you who were interested:

    Awake Character Q&As
    Tokyo Demons Character Q&As

    Just ask your questions in those threads. If we get your questions by the end of the year, we might be able to record the answers with the voice actors, since we’ll be doing a big recording marathon in early January.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 34 total)
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