Important! Membership Changes

Silence of the Lambs

Interesting Query Style

Status
Not open for further replies.

AgentPete

Capo Famiglia
Guardian
Full Member
Narrator
May 19, 2014
London UK
I’m pleased to announce a new, simplified membership structure, available now through your Account Upgrade Control Panel.


Basic Membership
Free. Access to Cafe Life, The Back Room, Flash Club, Film Reviews, The Whole Writer, Writing Wiki and the soon-to-come Craft Chat area. Ads will be displayed in every area.


Benefactor
Give what you can afford, from $5 a month (£3.70) upwards. No ads. Access to the Writing Groups.


Patron
$125 p.a. or an affordable $12.99 / £9.40 a month. No ads. Access to the Writing Groups plus access to the Submission Surgery.


Laureate
$299 p.a. or $30 / £22 a month. Full PRO-LEVEL ACCESS.


Ambassador
$500 / £375 p.a. Full PRO-LEVEL ACCESS.

Litopia needs to make money in order to survive. I hope if you get some value from us, you’ll be able to give some back.

Do drop me a PM if you have any questions.
 
'My' sub won 0 % of the vote. And as for the one I'm recording next....I wager right now it will not win. But it's my privilege to read it all the same.

We will see how these changes work in the writing groups, but the Likes were done away with precisely to prevent overheating, in what is for the writer, an open workshop.
 
Access to the writing groups for free was one of the main things that got me interested in the site when I joined. OK, at that time you had to wait 2 weeks and do 20 posts before you got access to writing groups but it didn't cost you anything to find out how good that part of the site was.
I feel that by locking that out until the user signs up to pay something may be counter productive in attracting new members, since they would not be able to see how helpful the writing groups are until they've paid up.
Will non-paying members have view-only access to the writing groups?
 
I agree with @Tim James . I am currently considering membership and the basis for my comparison with competing platforms is the quality of feedback in the critique room.

I have some idea for potential revenue sources for the site:
writing "coaching"
and beta reader matching.
 
I am currently considering membership and the basis for my comparison with competing platforms is the quality of feedback in the critique room.
I totally agree, it is about the feedback and what makes or will make Litopia different from everywhere else.
 
I don't have a credit card and am quite happy not joining writing groups because: a. I don't feel confident in being able to do a written piece of work the justice it deserves; b. In return, I only get confused and doubt my own judgement even more if I have feed- back from everyone.

I don't mind the ads and I'm happy contributing in any way I can with support and my two penny worth to anyone who cares to have it. I'm also grateful to @AgentPete for letting me stay as a "free member", until of course I make it big. You never know, I just might! and then I'll have tons of credit cards to play around with. :D
 
I think non paying members should at least be able to view the writing forums and then perhaps pay to post. Or a free trial membership of some sort might work.
 
But it IS a barrier to entry. And it could paradoxically lead to people paying for a month to get feedback and then disappearing again instead of getting involved.
That's always been a possibility, e.g. I did wonder whether people might join at Patron level for just a month ($12.99), get an hour's worth of Submission Surgery, then skedaddle :) It doesn't seem to have happened. In fact, I'd be happy to do more Submissions Surgeries.

I think non paying members should at least be able to view the writing forums and then perhaps pay to post. Or a free trial membership of some sort might work.

Looking into this now, thx.

@AgentPete do I need to do anything, or will the payment automatically change?
Should be automatic, but let me know if not :)

Access to the writing groups for free was one of the main things that got me interested in the site when I joined. OK, at that time you had to wait 2 weeks and do 20 posts before you got access to writing groups but it didn't cost you anything to find out how good that part of the site was.
I feel that by locking that out until the user signs up to pay something may be counter productive in attracting new members, since they would not be able to see how helpful the writing groups are until they've paid up.
Will non-paying members have view-only access to the writing groups?

Well remember, it's up to the individual writer as to whether their thread is public or not. But yes, I'm checking out your suggestion of trial access, if we can do it technically, then it sounds good.
 
$5 a month isn’t much for most people, but if you’re unemployed, on sick benefits, a student or in debt, then every penny really does add up. Anything above benefactor isn’t for me at the moment, though I do appreciate the work @AgentPete puts into Litopia.

I agree with @Malaika and @Tim James. Also, it would be good if people could see the Submissions Surgeries even if they can’t submit.
 
It boils down to a question of priorities, and commitment. Litopia for a month, or another latte at Starbucks? People will have to decide for themselves. I’ve run Litopia for many years now at a loss, i.e. it’s cost me many thousands every year. That cannot continue, and it isn’t fair to expect otherwise.

I would hope that members would feel that $5 a month isn’t too much for what they get. But hey, we’ll see. I’d hate to close it, but if it doesn’t work out, that’s the only option.
 
I knew a woman who was always complaining about not having money, she was never at a place where she would say: "I have enough". One of the days she was over visiting, crying, telling me how she did not have any money that week; she wasn't sure how she would feed her daughter. I was frantically working out in my head how many meals I could realistically make for them when she produced an envelope and told me how her aunt had sent her e100 for her birthday. I felt like crying! And then she pulled up her jeans and showed me the pair of boots she had bought for e97 with the money. Because she never treated herself. Priorities, priorities.
In our house, this fable is known as "Sandra's Boots".

I couldn't put a price on what I have received from Litopia, I really couldn't. In the frustration of swimming in circles for years, I would have probably jacked the whole thing in, believing it wasn't for me or I just wasn't good enough. Maybe both of those things still are true! But I no longer feel blind, I have access to infinite wisdom at my fingertips and I feel I've been given a light on my way (with vast amounts of craic en route).
 
Heartfelt thanks, @AgentPete for running Litopia for so long at a personal loss. It's a hugely helpful service for a writer and I know I've benefitted personally.

For those writers who are able to afford a monthly Starbucks latte, then the price for access to colleagues' critiques seems eminently reasonable.

Of course, not everyone can afford that, and it seems a shame they can't use the critiquing aspect of the site if that's genuinely the case.

I'm not sure how you can get around that. But at the very least, the "view only" access to the critiques (retaining the minimum number of posts before access is granted) seems like a good suggestion.
 
Last edited:
I think $5 a month is more than reasonable, though I too have been in that bad place where you have to choose whether to spend your last few pounds getting a bus to work or walking the 3 miles and buying something small to eat at the end of the day. I don't get on here as often as I'd like but for the moment I can afford to pay for the privilege (and I do consider it a privilege). This is a professional site committed to professional writing with writers who, by and large, are good fun to be around.

I'm sorry you've lost money on this site, @Agent Pete. I think we should do whatever we can to help turn that around.

I agree with @Malaika and @Tim James that trial access might be worth considering. That way people can see the worth of the facility they would have access to. There will always be people who want something for nothing. But I don't know that I'd like to spend time with them, on or off a forum.
 
I would hate to see any kind of reward system in the Writing Groups, or any other part of this site, to be honest. There are sites out there like that - where members crawl over each other to gain attention by giving critique because doing so is part of a point system. And it's often not sincere critique because they're only trying to gain attention or rack up those points.

This place is unique in that respect. We give that critique because we want to. Not because it's expected of us, or because it's required to be a member on this site. We give it because this site has a self help ethos and that critique is part of it. The critique is therefore sincere and way more helpful than you're going to find on a site where people are simply racking up karma points.
 
@AgentPete I'm sorry you've lost money on Litopia. That makes me sad. It also makes me even more grateful that you continue to run it and offer all it has to give. I wouldn't be published if not for this place, and I will continue to contribute for as long as I'm able. Which hopefully will be for the rest of my life. :) I really love it here and want to make it even better.
 
@AgentPete I'm sorry you've lost money on Litopia. That makes me sad. It also makes me even more grateful that you continue to run it and offer all it has to give. I wouldn't be published if not for this place, and I will continue to contribute for as long as I'm able. Which hopefully will be for the rest of my life. :) I really love it here and want to make it even better.
Totally this. It's perfectly fair to have a membership system. I live in a village where they have tons of clubs and groups. Most of them have a membership system. I see nothing wrong for an online group to do the same. Virtual space can cost just as much to rent as a village hall. Litopia is a wonderful place. Full of knowledge. We have the superb @AgentPete with all his wisom. We have the collective wisdom of Litopia members. Surely that's worth it. Time to boycot the coffeshops, anyway. Viva la Litopia revolucion.

I would hate to see any kind of reward system in the Writing Groups,
Totally this too. In my opinion (that's if anyone actually wants to listen to my waffle ;)) the writing groups should be a safe place, without the pressures of reaching a certain level. We all aim for gold, don't we? Isn't the WG a place to road test or work, to work on our writing freely in a nurturing, constructive environment? Personally, I don't care if I get a gold rating. It means nothing. I had gold stars in school. My mum can give me a gold star for my writing(she won't, ever) but the WG is where I can just be me and write; where some lovely people are kind and give me feedback. I would be sad if WG turns into a place where we compare our work against each others, by allocating medals and bests of whatever. But that's just my view. Whatever goes, I'll still be there.
 
Hey Everyone,
Can I just make myself clear regarding my ideas for The Writing Groups and they are purely ideas atm.
At the end of the day it is entirely up to @AgentPete. I don't mind either way, really.
My suggestion is a scoring system of Bronze, Silver and Gold could be used to reflect how an Agent might for example read/view a Query Letter or Submission. And could be something @AgentPete could use together with a few lines of feedback.
To give us the confidence, encouragement or boost we need to put together a professional submission package.
This would be useful as you have to admit we struggle as writers with the whole submission package to Agents - from the Synopsis, Query Letter and The Novel itself.
Feedback from other writers is great, very helpful and amicable. Besides, The Writing Group is my Favourite hang out on here.
But to have a little feedback from an Agent aka Pete would be very valuable too in there even if its just a sentence or two.
Especially as there is a limit of about 5 or 6 packages reviewed a week on Pop-ups. And some of us may not be ready or confident enough yet to submit to Pete or to any other Agent for that matter.
Everyone wouldn't be on some sort of scoring system if they share a piece of work in The Writing Groups or you have to earn a certain amount of points/stars to win privileges etc. No.
It would very much stay the way it is now The Writing Group.
Maybe put a Quote of the day in there to encourage some positive vibes, organise it a little so we have Query Letters, Short Stories and The First Chapter Of Our Novels separately not all together in one list, to allow easier reading and access.
And let me repeat myself they are only some ideas of mine and I have mentioned them to Pete for consideration, that's all nothing more.
The last thing I would want is to make anyone unhappy and turn the Writing Groups into some sort of pyramid scoring system, and a competition of sorts etc.
I sincerely apologise if I have given anyone that idea because that was not my intention.
Kindest Regards,
Alix
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I too feel that feedback from @AgentPete in the Writing Groups would be invaluable.
Many people are putting query letters in there now and to have an agent's feedback on them would be a great help, I'm sure.
The feedback in the writing groups from the writers on the site is amazingly helpful, but the addition of an agent's perspective, even if it is just a couple of lines, would be a real selling point for the site. The USP that other sites do not have.
You could say that this is what Pop-ups are for, but Pop-Ups only manages to address about 5 or 6 submissions a week in a more detailed, real-time way. This could be an opportunity to provide a couple of quick valuable pointers to someone who is getting ready to send out submissions.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Silence of the Lambs

Interesting Query Style

Back
Top