Chapter Ordering Suggestion

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Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby Admin » October 26th, 2017, 2:14 am

This isn't really news - more of a PSA.

A lot of people have a chapter for "Extras" where they put promos and guest art and such. And a lot of the time, this is ordered as the first chapter of the comic. So when you go to the First Page you're not really getting the first page of the story, you're getting the first page of the extras. This is bad, in my opinion. It confuses and frustrates new readers by making it harder for them to get into the story. Make the first chapter of the story the first ordered chapter. If you have a chapter for Extras, make it the second chapter. Better yet, don't put extras into their own chapter - keep them chronologically ordered to when they were created among the other pages. This is just my opinion, but I've arrived at it after years of encountering this as a reader.
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby BlooKatt » October 26th, 2017, 8:49 am

hmm, I wondered what I should do with those. I'm guilty of making an 'Extras' chapter :p
It's does make sense to 'leave them where they fall'
I'll do that from now on.
as for the existing ones... I think I'll divide them and place them at the end of various chapters
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby eishiya » October 26th, 2017, 11:09 am

I dislike it when comics have extras interspersed with the pages, it takes me out of the comic and gives me an opportunity to forget what was going on, to go do something else, etc. I drop reading comics that leave more than a few of them in. I tolerate them during natural breaks such as between chapters, but even then they're something I rush past if I want to read more of the story.

I like seeing extras when I've read the comic and want to engage further, not while I'm reading the comic. I believe extras belong on custom pages, outside of the comic flow, outside of the archive. There are free image hosts out there, so it's not really a problem to make a page that contains all the images. It would be nice if SJ allowed comments on those pages though xP But, even though SJ doesn't add such a feature, one can always add Disqus or something if they really want comments.

If the extras are in their own comic chapter, I'd actually rather they be at the start (or the end, but that messes up profiles) rather than between chapters - if I see non-pages at the start, I can just skip to the next chapter, they don't interrupt my reading. If I start reading the comic and then see a bunch of extras, that just sounds incredibly annoying. Fortunately I haven't seen any comics do it this "recommended" way xP


Edit: By the way, most people don't have their extras "ordered" as the first chapter - they're unchaptered, which SJ puts as the first. So, this is a creation of your own doing ;D Perhaps you could do something about it SJ-side, such as create an option for comics that have both chaptered and unchaptered content to hide the unchaptered content from the main flow (i.e. have "Start Reading" go to the first page of the first actual chapter, but still show the newly uploaded images in the profile, and still have it on the archive page, at the top as it currently is). Maybe make it a "First Comic/Begin Reading links skip unchaptered content" checkbox.
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby Squirreltastic-Blue » October 26th, 2017, 11:37 am

eishiya wrote:I believe extras belong on custom pages, outside of the comic flow, outside of the archive.


Agreeing with both Admin and eishiya. I definitely prefer them having their own custom page, but I've sort of played around with the idea of sharing fan art and splash art by incorporating them into a sort of bonus page of the comic like so:
*Edit, these pages are included at the end of the issue, not in the middle of a story.
Spoiler! :
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Spoiler! :
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I'd like a public feedback on this idea. Yay or nay?

There have been countless comics I abandoned reading because of the constant splash art at the star of characters I don't know or them behaving in a way that would be spoilers. It's frustrating when you click on First and then you have over 10 unrelated images to shift though.
And then there are comics that, for example, upload a rough draft of page 2 after the finalized page 2 as some sort of filler bonus. Why?
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby Ultizeta » October 26th, 2017, 12:29 pm

I've been saying this in my comic reviews for years that filler material shouldn't be the first thing you see when you start reading a comic. I agree with the idea that it should probably be kept to a separate page, but I don't necessarily think that having single-page bonuses in the middle of an archive is a bad thing, either. It does break the flow a small bit, but only one is a minor nuisance compared to a larger flow break of several different fillers simply existing between two pages.
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby Campion » October 26th, 2017, 1:36 pm

I put title cards at the front of each section. I also have a title card at the front to help direct readers, along with links to the relevant pages. In lieu of additional comic account.
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby Admin » October 26th, 2017, 4:36 pm

Regarding having a separate area for Extras vs. including them in the comic flow...

On the one hand, yes, from a purist perspective, extras don't belong in the comic because they're not part of the story. However, the way people read webcomics is to follow the page flow / page updates, so if you want most of your audience to see an "extras" page, the best place to put it is in with the other pages.

Or... you could post Extras as News. Fans get notifications now for News updates. Although not all readers register accounts to become fans. To help with this, I should probably get to work soon on a social media integration that auto-posts when new comics & news are released.
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby eishiya » October 26th, 2017, 4:53 pm

Admin wrote: I should probably get to work soon on a social media integration that auto-posts when new comics & news are released.

I've been asking for this for years <3


I agree about extra pages being updates being important, which is why I think being able to separate unchaptered stuff from the flow would be very good. All the notifications are there, it's in the comic's profile with thumbnails (unlike news posts), it's in the archive, but it doesn't get in the way of binge reading.
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby JoKeR » October 26th, 2017, 11:07 pm

eishiya wrote:Edit: By the way, most people don't have their extras "ordered" as the first chapter - they're unchaptered, which SJ puts as the first. So, this is a creation of your own doing ;D Perhaps you could do something about it SJ-side, such as create an option for comics that have both chaptered and unchaptered content to hide the unchaptered content from the main flow (i.e. have "Start Reading" go to the first page of the first actual chapter, but still show the newly uploaded images in the profile, and still have it on the archive page, at the top as it currently is). Maybe make it a "First Comic/Begin Reading links skip unchaptered content" checkbox.

I would love to have this "jump-start" feature available.
Add a marker where the creator can mark the first comic page from where everything starts.
Or set a marker for a chapter, which declares if a chapter contains just extras. and those extras are only available through a link in the menu like an extra page. Only people who would look in the archive would see that the extras are actually at the beginning or the end of the comic.
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby The_Hankerchief » October 27th, 2017, 3:40 am

Another alternative would be to put unchaptered content at the back of the archive. Of course, that might require a tweak to the code so that it doesn't constantly appear whenever somebody tries to jump forward to the most recent page via the double arrow buttons, but I think it'd work better than having unchaptered content appear first.
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby mitchellbravo » October 27th, 2017, 5:59 am

The_Hankerchief wrote:Another alternative would be to put unchaptered content at the back of the archive. Of course, that might require a tweak to the code so that it doesn't constantly appear whenever somebody tries to jump forward to the most recent page via the double arrow buttons, but I think it'd work better than having unchaptered content appear first.

But imagine being super into a comic and seeing you still have 20 pages left to go in the archive and then realize 19 of them are fan-art or filler and you're aleady caught up with the storyline... :P
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby Gigi19972010 » October 28th, 2017, 7:59 am

Meh, I just like when Extras are completely separated from the actual comic pages. As I see it, when you upload a page, you're uploading something relevent to the story, not an extra.

When they are in the first chapter, I usually just skip them telling myself "I'll check them later", to them forget to do that, and I think that's what most people do. When they are spread in the middle of actual pages, without a separated chapter, I don't mind them but I do think of them as fillers, mainly if it's something the author took the time to do that is completely unrelated to the next actual page. And, although in general I don't mind them, I do think of comics that don't do either as "more professional".

I would rather see extras in a custom page, or maybe just linked by the author in author comments. Or, sometimes, incorporated into pages relevant to the story (like Squirreltastic-Blue pointed out, I do that in comic anniversaries all the time: instead of stopping the story to celebrate an anniversary, I do a special page that is as relevant to the plot as any other page). That way readers can click on the first page and get to the last page of the comic without getting interrupted if they so wish, which I think is what most people do.
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby The_Hankerchief » October 29th, 2017, 9:13 am

mitchellbravo wrote:
The_Hankerchief wrote:Another alternative would be to put unchaptered content at the back of the archive. Of course, that might require a tweak to the code so that it doesn't constantly appear whenever somebody tries to jump forward to the most recent page via the double arrow buttons, but I think it'd work better than having unchaptered content appear first.

But imagine being super into a comic and seeing you still have 20 pages left to go in the archive and then realize 19 of them are fan-art or filler and you're already caught up with the storyline... :P

Touche, salesman. Touche indeed.
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Re: Chapter Ordering Suggestion

Postby PhoenixRenaissance » November 11th, 2017, 9:57 am

Late response, but when I make extras I usually leave them interspersed in the chapter until I finish and then I move the bonuses as a chunk to end of that chapter. So, they'll end up with the chapter they were created during but not interrupt new readers.
:shrugs:
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