[Suggestion] Increasing efficiency/amount of donations

Hey everybody, first time poster here, figured I’d start off saying I love the site, and I think it’s a really cool community.  Anyways, I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about the site, in particular about how chapters are sponsored, and it seemed to me that the current system is really inefficient, so I started thinking about ways to increase the amount of sponsorship.  I wrote all this weeks ago and never posted it, but after Deathblade's recent announcement, it seemed fitting.  It's a long post, but there a Tl;dr version at the end

 

One of the big reasons I think authors don’t get the donations they should is the mindset of the readers.  Personally, I am more than willing to donate money to sponsor chapters, but at the same time, at a rate of $80 a chapter, part of me views donating $20 as getting another quarter of a chapter in a week, and from this perspective, it doesn’t seem worth it. I know I should really be thinking of it in the more communal sense that, sure $20 is only a fourth of a chapter, but there are a lot of people donating, then more chapters will be sponsored, but for most readers it’s hard to break that individualistic mindset.  This is exacerbated by the fact that, say if an author places a limit of 5 sponsored chapters a week, if the other readers have already given that much in a week, then many would look at that and say well I don’t need to donate then.  That could also explain why there might be fluctuation in how many chapters are sponsored a week, because readers might look one week and see the goal is met, and then the next week not even think about donating, despite a lack of sponsorship that given week.

 

The first part of my plan to increase donations is to allow readers to make automatic monthly contributions.  According to Alexa, Wuxiaworld has 1,750,000 readers a month.  Wuxiaworld has a 30% bounce rate (people who visit one page on it then immediately go to a different domain), so if we eliminate those people as readers (not really an accurate way to do this, but the best estimate I can think of with the numbers available), we’re looking at around 1,225,000 actually reading novels on the site. If forum posts are a semi-accurate gauge for how many readers are reading a particular novel, at least a good 20% of readers are reading ISSTH, though it makes up 50% of posts in new chapter discussions so this number is likely higher.  If though we’re conservative and say 20%, that’s almost 250,000 people reading ISSHT a month.  If 1% of those people are willing to donate $1 a month towards sponsoring chapters, that’s $2,500 a month, which at $80/chapter is 31 chapters, so one a day.  For the short amount of time I’ve actually been paying attention to chapter sponsoring, it seems that this would be a good bit beyond what Deathblade & co. are currently getting.  Yes, having a bunch of microtransactions would increase the transaction fees that PayPal gets, but they do have a microtransaction plan that limits fees if the average contribution is under $12.  I think the increase in sponsorship would more than offset the increase in fees, especially since I think there are a lot of people who would donate more than $5 a month. If the translators switch to a by month basis, this would also allow them better leeway/planning capabilities for when to translate. If from the start of the month a translator knows they have 20 chapters sponsored, if they have extra time the first couple of weeks in the month, they could bang most of them out.

I also think there should be an option for the authors to implement some sort of progressive sponsorship rate schedule, because charging a flat rate for all the chapters doesn’t make sense to me.  A translator might currently say, I’ll do up to 5 sponsored chapters at $80 apiece, because I don’t have time/care to take the time to do more in a week.  But, I highly doubt there is a single translator that if offered $1000 for one more chapter, wouldn’t translate it.  $1000 is a ridiculous amount, but the point is that they might be willing to translate more a week, but only for more money per chapter.  The translators should be able to say something like I will do 5 chapters/week (or the monthly equivalent) at $80/chapter, 3 more chapters for $120 a chapter, and 2 more for $160 a chapter.  Sure, potential sponsors might look at that and say $160 for a chapter is ridiculous, but if they can look and see that recurring donations already sponsored 9.5 chapters, I think there would be a willingness to donate that extra $80 for the last half of the chapter, or start their own monthly contribution so a 10th chapter is even closer to being sponsored. And I think that would be the big shift in mentality; people would be able to see the monthly contributions and say ok I know the translators going to be putting out x amount of chapters this month, I’m willing to pay z amount of dollars a month for that.  I also think at the rapid rate Wuxiaworld is growing(according to google trends over the past year its doubled in popularity every 3 months the past year), that numbers like $160 a chapter will be more and more reasonable. (I’m aware that this is kind of similar to what patreon does, but this model seems to capture the essence of the current sponsorship model more than patreon does)

And finally, regardless if any of the other changes are made, there should be a place on the site (maybe on the index page for each novel) that clearly shows the statistics for each novel. What I mean by that is on one page, you should be able to see the number of chapters the translator guarantees per month, the rate schedule for sponsored chapters, how much money/how many chapters have been sponsored this month, a progress bar for the next sponsored chapter, the sum of the monthly contributions pledged, and how many chapters those monthly contributions sponsor.  I think being able to see all of that at a glance would make people much more likely to donate, because they’d have a better view of what exactly their money is helping to create.  Translators will get more sponsorship money with greater scheduling flexibility, meaning more content for us readers, and hopefully more and more people will come to appreciate this genre of novels, and the community will continue to grow.

 

This was a hella long first post, so if anybody actually made it through everything, thanks for reading.  Thoughts on my ideas?


Tl;dr  Change chapter schedules to a monthly model, allowing for recurring contributions. Have a clear-cut graphic on the index page for each novel clearly showing translation stats, including donations.

Comments

  • A lot of people usually read novels on their mobile, so it would be a good idea if they could make it easier to donate money like creating an app for IOS/Android which updates us about how much chapters are donated and when their avalible. Also you could set a monthly membership to the application and allow us to read chapters on it, maybe even set a purchasing price of it or have it free and have at least one 30 second advert per chapter page like other applications 
  • Building off of that, if there was a monthly fee for the app, if there is a monthly sponsorship feature as well, the payments could be lumped into one to reduce transaction costs taken by PayPal
  • edited April 2016
    You don't get it, do you? The whole purpose is to have it for free, make people think it's free, that donations are appreciated but not needed. Your mindset is just bad, your whole idea of how the system works is wrong. "I won't donate 20$ because it's only 1/4 a chapter?" Of course it is, but think of it as "I appreciate his work, so I'll send him 20 dollars AND contribute to the sponsored chapter at the same time, now that's two birds with one stone!". Mindset of "buying chapters" is plain wrong. Of course, translators here don't do it for free. Our dear Deathblade even quit his job to translate full time. You can either think "I'll pay him for one chapter uhhuhhjeuheuhehehuheuheueh" or "He quit his job and needs this money even if it's measly 20 bucks". It's called "donation", not "buy a chapter". 

    The whole idea you proposed with is so outrageously bad and terrible and stupid I won't even start because I'll sound like a rude douche and get banned in next 15 minutes. Come on. It's so long yet has so little content. It wouldn't play out like you described, it wouldn't make people donate more. It wouldn't make YOU donate more, let alone other people. 

    Me and my friend donated... 5$ each once. Mainly because we spend a lot on IT stuff and 5$ is a lot in Poland. We didn't even care about another sponsored chapter. It was like 1/18th of chapter? We just wanted to give something from us, as we get a lot from leeching every day. 
  • Duniak said:
    The whole idea you proposed with is so outrageously bad and terrible and stupid I won't even start because I'll sound like a rude douche and get banned in next 15 minutes.
    You already do.
    Absolute Choice is the first novel that I've read on Wuxiaworld that I genuinely do not like.
  • edited April 2016
    Duniak said:
    The whole idea you proposed with is so outrageously bad and terrible and stupid I won't even start because I'll sound like a rude douche and get banned in next 15 minutes.
    You already do.
    But hey, I haven't been banned for pointing out each and every wrong thought there. I'm not a yes man that tells his kid "Everyone is a winner" and that can't tell that something is stupid because I could hurt his feelings. Anyone can see lots of falacies and wrong train of thought. 

    The only idea I could agree with is more transparency when it comes to donations. BUT. We know which chapter is sponsored, and if someone took 10 minutes of time, he could easily check how many sponsored chapters there are. Every translator writes if published chapter is REGULAR or SPONSORED, right? Progress bar? There is one. Progress bar for the next chapter? If someone is not smart enough to take last 2 numbers of the progress bar, I won't even comment.

    Detailed numbers with donations? Duh... Maybe their bank account screens? I don't think screwing with the queue would go completely unnoticed, so everything should be in release posts. Let them have a lil bit of privacy. After all, everyone who donated is listed on the chapter, so it's not like they hide donations to get more money. 

    So if anything should be implemented, it's site stats and concrete numbers about how many people read particular titles. We already had a demographic test.

    BUUUUUUT IT WOULDN'T HELP DONATIONS. 
  • Duniak said:
    Duniak said:
    The whole idea you proposed with is so outrageously bad and terrible and stupid I won't even start because I'll sound like a rude douche and get banned in next 15 minutes.
    You already do.
    But hey, I haven't been banned for pointing out each and every wrong thought there. I'm not a yes man that tells his kid "Everyone is a winner" and that can't tell that something is stupid because I could hurt his feelings. Anyone can see lots of falacies and wrong train of thought. 

    The only idea I could agree with is more transparency when it comes to donations. BUT. We know which chapter is sponsored, and if someone took 10 minutes of time, he could easily check how many sponsored chapters there are. Every translator writes if published chapter is REGULAR or SPONSORED, right? Progress bar? There is one. Progress bar for the next chapter? If someone is not smart enough to take last 2 numbers of the progress bar, I won't even comment.

    Detailed numbers with donations? Duh... Maybe their bank account screens? I don't think screwing with the queue would go completely unnoticed, so everything should be in release posts. Let them have a lil bit of privacy. After all, everyone who donated is listed on the chapter, so it's not like they hide donations to get more money. 

    So if anything should be implemented, it's site stats and concrete numbers about how many people read particular titles. We already had a demographic test.

    BUUUUUUT IT WOULDN'T HELP DONATIONS. 
    Actually, I believe there's a good chance it will get the donations to go up, because if people actually feel that giving that one buck per month actually makes a difference, a lot of the people that leech will say, hey what the heck, its practically nothing and it will be a great boost with the amount of readers this site has
  • It has been proven many times that free services with improvements for extra money are usually held up by top 10% in wealth of the customers. You can try and make the argument but when top 10% provides 50%+ of the money it's a hard argument to make.
  • Duniak said:
    You don't get it, do you? The whole purpose is to have it for free, make people think it's free, that donations are appreciated but not needed. Your mindset is just bad, your whole idea of how the system works is wrong. [...] Mindset of "buying chapters" is plain wrong. [...] It's called "donation", not "buy a chapter".
    Sorry to break it to you, but the one who got it all wrong would be you.
    It doesn't really matter what anyone calls the process, because it won't change its nature, and that is the one of a simple transaction.
    Person A gives something of certain value to Person B and gets something - ideally of similar value - in return.
    That is what happens. No one, or at least the majority of those currently giving money, would pay money without getting any benefits from it.
    This website is, after all, not some kind of charity and serves no greater cause, which, by the way, is the reason why I wouldn't call the payments made "donations", but I guess that is a matter of definition and other people may feel different about this. 

    All this aside, I don't even get why you act like the made suggestion is the worst thing that could ever happen to this site. As I understood, it wasn't suggested to completely change to a subscription based model nor to abolish the idea of regular free chapters.
    I don't say all the made suggestions are good, for example I would rather have a progressive price for a chapter based on the character count of the raw chapter than on the translator's motivation to translate. This makes it a lot fairer for the translators and the readers.

    I'm also not an expert in this field, thus I wouldn't know if a subscription could have any negative impacts, like higher transaction fees due to micro-transactions and such, but I would support the idea if the cost/benefit ratio is alright. It's not like one-time-transactions need to be excluded because of this and the people I know would rather make a smaller monthly contribution instead of paying a greater amount once. For me, spending $2-3 a month is not a big deal, but spending $20 at once is on a completely different level.

    Finally, to address what the person before me said:
    Nordic said:
    It has been proven many times that free services with improvements for extra money are usually held up by top 10% in wealth of the customers. You can try and make the argument but when top 10% provides 50%+ of the money it's a hard argument to make.
    What you said may be perfectly right, but I don't see how an additional subscription option would negatively impact the already existing model. Worst case is there isn't going to be any change, because those top 10% you are talking about will spend money no matter if it's by subscribing or by making one-time-transactions. And having some of the bottom 90% chipping in some change most definitely wouldn't hurt either.

  • I'm just waiting for the app that was proposed to hopefully be made and I will happily sign up for monthly autopay or pay annually.
    Offline reading and keeping easier track of which chapter I'm on is golden. I'm unfortunately extremely lazy. However I will agree that the 80/20 rule is a hard fact. 20percent of your traffic will pay for 80% of your revenue. It's a true statistic unless it's a pay only service.
  • edited April 2016
    sarrymast said:
    Duniak said:
    You don't get it, do you? The whole purpose is to have it for free, make people think it's free, that donations are appreciated but not needed. Your mindset is just bad, your whole idea of how the system works is wrong. [...] Mindset of "buying chapters" is plain wrong. [...] It's called "donation", not "buy a chapter".
    Sorry to break it to you, but the one who got it all wrong would be you.
    It doesn't really matter what anyone calls the process, because it won't change its nature, and that is the one of a simple transaction.
    Person A gives something of certain value to Person B and gets something - ideally of similar value - in return.
    That is what happens. No one, or at least the majority of those currently giving money, would pay money without getting any benefits from it.
    This website is, after all, not some kind of charity and serves no greater cause, which, by the way, is the reason why I wouldn't call the payments made "donations", but I guess that is a matter of definition and other people may feel different about this. 



    Sorry to break it to you, but the one who got it all wrong would be you. And the one who has problem with reading and comprehension also would be you. 7 year old kid would be able to come to your conclusions. Don't make rocket science out of it, geez.

    You know the reason there are regular "free" chapters and it's called "donations"? Because primo, it works better than simple "every 80$ one chapter and gtfo". Secundo, because it makes leechers more appreciative. It also makes people think translators are angels that descended upon our mortal realm to bestow us with those awesome novels. This whole donation system is supposed to make you think... [you have it in the quote].
    You completely missed the whole point...

    First post was about how it should be changed.  System doesn't need to be changed because IT WORKS BETTER that way. Aaand his idea was so terrible I didn't even want to start. I explained how it's supposed to work on a reader. I didn't explain what it really is. Didn't see a point in it. Of course translators make money out of it. Deathblade quit his job to translate full-time. So did Ren. It's so obvious I just don't understand how can you make this smartass post with nothing but obvious facts. Maybe I should call you Cpt. Obvious? 

    @tl;dr? Lemme make a short version of this whole thread.

    "System needs to be changed because [wrong reason, even worse arguments]"
    "Nope, your arguments are very bad, system is good, because it's supposed to..."
    "You have it wrong dude, screw the purpose, what it does and look only at facts. People give money as donations for chapters, so they pay for chapters!!! I'm clever, noone ever thought of it!!! Ignore everything else" 

    @even longer:
    Compare MMORPGs. P2W and F2P. P2W is short-lived even if it milks out whales. F2P makes more money, and makes people come back, pay even more without hurting those who don't. Of course it isn't like that on WW, as people who pay have no benefits. Let it just serve as an example how this system is supposed to work. 

    Almost forgot. Some translators do it for the funsies, just to translate their favourite novels and share. Those people would be perfectly fine without any donations. Of course I'm not talking about translators that can make a living out of it like RWX or DB, but those smaller ones would translate anyway (because they haven't smelled dem dollars yet). 
    All this aside, I don't even get why you act like the made suggestion is the worst thing that could ever happen to this site. As I understood, it wasn't suggested to completely change to a subscription based model nor to abolish the idea of regular free chapters. 
    I don't say all the made suggestions are good, for example I would rather have a progressive price for a chapter based on the character count of the raw chapter than on the translator's motivation to translate. This makes it a lot fairer for the translators and the readers.

    I'm also not an expert in this field, thus I wouldn't know if a subscription could have any negative impacts, like higher transaction fees due to micro-transactions and such, but I would support the idea if the cost/benefit ratio is alright. It's not like one-time-transactions need to be excluded because of this and the people I know would rather make a smaller monthly contribution instead of paying a greater amount once. For me, spending $2-3 a month is not a big deal, but spending $20 at once is on a completely different level.


    You don't have to be an expert in this field to understand, that one can't coexist with the other. Or rather it can, but it wouldn't bring INcrease in donations. WW app for 5$ or something would be enough as "subscription", because those 5$ wouldn't have any impact on chapters and donations. 
  • So long as we are talking about the donation systems, I would appreciate a site donation button. I block every add, script, tracker, cookie and analytics network I can for a few reasons, but would like to still be able to contribute to the cost of the servers running the site.

    Were donations to the site to become a common enough thing, we could perhaps remove some/all of the adds, or at least move to add networks like project wonderful. While they likely don't earn WW as much as the current network, their advertising standards make it a lot harder to inject malware through an add.
  • So I've been travelling for a while so I haven't looked at this thread in a while, but holy hell Duniak. Before you critique other people's reading comprehension, you should check your own.

    I never said the system was broken, I just said (and maintain) that it could be improved.

    Saying that a PART of me views it as buying a chapter does not mean that is my complete view. I in fact donated $20 to Deathblade hours before he announced he was quitting his job, because I appreciate what he does.  But like sarrymast said, the society we live in is one based on exchanges, and  so there is a part of me that thinks that way. 

    As for the whole seeing which chapters are sponsored thing, at the time of my first post, I believe the donations page said Deathblade would only be doing 3 sponsored chapters a week, when in fact he was doing 7, and that wasn't the only post on the translations page that wasn't updated.  Also, not all authors do as good of a job as Deathblade of saying what chapter number they're posting. 

    Also keep in mind, the suggestions I made were not made to change the actions of the people on the forums, the people on the forums are in general the people who care more about the site and so probably make up a very large chunk of the donations. The people who I'm trying to influence are the more casual readers, where every little extra bit of work they have to do to understand the donation system makes them less likely to do so. Putting all of the information in a centralized easy to understand format reduces the work needed to understand the system. This in particular would become important if a translator switched to a monthly model, because then you can tell what impact even the smallest of donations are having when agglomerated together.

     And I disagree (at least in part) with your point that people should think the chapters are free/the translators are angels, that donations aren't needed. While I do agree people need to realize the benevolence on the part of the translators, they also need to understand that translating is a lot of work, and that these people expect/need the money from donations to augment/supplant their usual incomes.  Deathblade turned to Patreon because there is a system in place that easily facilities monthly donations, but in my view it's unfortunate that Patreon now takes 5% of all the donations he gets on it. The whole point of my post, which apparently you entirely missed, was that with the large and ever-increasing amount of readers on this site, it's a shame that the translators get as little as they do for all the work they put in, and everyone is worse off because of it.


Sign In or Register to comment.