Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cool Readership Stats

So, I was making some edits on my FictionPress.com profile and noticed that they have a new feature called "Readership Traffic". Curious, I clicked on it and it pulled up the August 2008 stats for my last completed novel (finished back in June). According to this new feature, in the past 12 days my story has had 5,394 hits and 1,424 visitors (which averages to about 118 visitors a day).

How FictionPress explains it:

Hit: the number of times a browser/visitor has accessed a story/chapter. Visitor: the number of unique hits, hits from unique IP addresses (Internet users), over a 24 hour period. For example, a reader named Jane accessing/reading 5 chapters of a story equals to 5 hits and 1 visitor. If Jane refreshes a chapter page 100 times, the system will record 100 hits, but only 1 visitor. If Jane came back the next day, more than 24 hours later, and perform the same task, the system would record 1 additional visitor. In summary, the visitor stat is the most important and accurate measure of reader traffic. Hits can be duplicates from the same reader.

It's a pretty cool feature actually because they also break it down by country.

Here's my country list: USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Singapore (the majority of the visitors came from these first five countries), India, New Zealand, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Germany, Iceland, Hong Kong, Finland, Ireland, Jamaica, China, Czech Revar, Chile, Slovenia, Pakistan, Estonia, Netherlands, Mexico, UAE, Brazil, Romania, Dominica, France, Yemen, Belgium, Norway, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Guam, Turkey, Portugal, Argentina, Taiwan, Italy, Thailand, Spain, and Sweden, Israel, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

I'm not really sure how it all works, I know that many countries listed (especially toward the end of the list) only contributed 1-2 hits or one visitors. But still, that's pretty cool that someone in Guam happened to find my story, at least one time. Doesn't mean they read it though. None of these particular stats mean people actually read, although many probably did. Some may skim and see a bunch of trash and decide not to read, who knows. The feature breaks down chapter stats too, so according to this each of my 21 chapters averaged about 200 visitors in August (in 12 days).

Seems a little incredible, but the story was up for a Some Kind of Wonderful Award (the story did win too, btw), so maybe that's where this influx came from. It's a contemporary romance, I suppose, or shall maybe I should call it "women's fiction". I don't know how to place it. It's fluff... nothing serious, something for you to -- hopefully -- be entertained. For my program I'll be writing in a more literary style, but I plan to try to publish both styles. Anyway, read if you like, but be warned... it's a first draft and full of errors of all sorts.

Competition aside, the story itself is on the favorite lists of 454 FictionPress readers/writers. That's a lot of people.

I wonder if I could use any of this information in query letters to agents? Maybe I should work on editing this story because it's a rough draft now and needs lots of work.

Please share your opinion.


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