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Author Topic: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?  (Read 3233 times)  

Offline Paul Bellow

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Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« on: May 06, 2017, 02:01:28 PM »
I'm relatively new to the genre, but I'm having a lot of fun writing in it after a few years of writing to market in other genres. Let's just say I'm more of a gamer than a romantic lover. ;)

Any other LitRPG authors here at kboards? I'd love to chat about where you think the genre is going in the next 12 to 24 months.

When the Ready Player One movie releases in 2018, I think LitRPG is going to take-off in a big way.

Thoughts? Questions? Discussion?

Thanks!
Author of a new LitRPG Series and publisher of LitRPG Reads

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2017, 02:47:53 PM »
I'm not, but there is a big FB group that you also might want to join if you haven't already.  I know some of the bigger LitRPG authors are part of it and it's open to readers as well.  So whichever side you're on, reader or writer, looks like a valuable resource to me.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGGroup/


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Offline Paul Bellow

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2017, 03:21:57 PM »
I'm not, but there is a big FB group that you also might want to join if you haven't already.  I know some of the bigger LitRPG authors are part of it and it's open to readers as well.  So whichever side you're on, reader or writer, looks like a valuable resource to me.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGGroup/

I tried, but Aleron Kong wouldn't let me in. He said it's because I use a pseudonym. I've heard he's had problems with other authors, so I'm not too concerned about it. I did find LitRPG Society, run by Blaise Corvin, to be a lot more welcoming.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/

Thanks for the heads-up, though!

« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 03:48:06 PM by Paul Bellow »
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Offline Lee Sutherland

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2017, 03:42:08 PM »
I'm currently working on a LitRPG.  It's been one of the most fun stories I've written, but it takes a lot of work managing the game mechanics, stats, loot, system messages, VR and reality.  I've played video games for most of my life, so I feel I have a good grasp of it, but it is daunting.  I'm hoping to be ready to launch late July with a little luck.  The demand still far outweighs what authors are putting out, and I definitely think readers can tell if it's half-assed or not.  In the end, it's a booming genre, but quality writing is what will stand out.

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Offline Paul Bellow

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2017, 03:47:28 PM »
I'm currently working on a LitRPG.  It's been one of the most fun stories I've written, but it takes a lot of work managing the game mechanics, stats, loot, system messages, VR and reality.  I've played video games for most of my life, so I feel I have a good grasp of it, but it is daunting.  I'm hoping to be ready to launch late July with a little luck.  The demand still far outweighs what authors are putting out, and I definitely think readers can tell if it's half-assed or not.  In the end, it's a booming genre, but quality writing is what will stand out.

I hear you on the need for a super-enhanced book-bible! I've been using a spreadsheet to track xp and what-not. Any tips you have to make it easier? I've been thinking about programming a simple tool to make it easier somehow.

Let me know when you're ready to launch, and I'll get you into our newsletter that goes out every Wednesday. There's definitely a LOT more people getting into the genre, which is a good thing for the readers, imho.

The LitRPG readers are very, very picky I've learned, but I'm working hard on my second book in the series. After book two, I have a standalone planned based on Roguelike games. Fun times!

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Offline Lee Sutherland

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2017, 04:21:26 PM »
I hear you on the need for a super-enhanced book-bible! I've been using a spreadsheet to track xp and what-not. Any tips you have to make it easier? I've been thinking about programming a simple tool to make it easier somehow.

Let me know when you're ready to launch, and I'll get you into our newsletter that goes out every Wednesday. There's definitely a LOT more people getting into the genre, which is a good thing for the readers, imho.

The LitRPG readers are very, very picky I've learned, but I'm working hard on my second book in the series. After book two, I have a standalone planned based on Roguelike games. Fun times!

Nice.  I'm currently posting my chapters to Royal Road as I write them to get feedback from the diehards so I can make changes as I write.  The LitRPG community is a really valuable resource I've found, because they want the books to be just as good as you do.

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Offline Paul Bellow

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2017, 04:25:40 PM »
Nice.  I'm currently posting my chapters to Royal Road as I write them to get feedback from the diehards so I can make changes as I write.  The LitRPG community is a really valuable resource I've found, because they want the books to be just as good as you do.

Yeah, I used RRL for my first. I may use it for my third. And yeah, the fans have been great for the most part.

Have a link to your RRL page? I'll try to check it out.

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Offline Flay Otters

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2017, 04:48:55 PM »
Working on the first of a series right now.
Hope the genre stays hot long enough :)

Offline LSBurton

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2017, 08:17:53 PM »
I'm relatively new to the genre, but I'm having a lot of fun writing in it after a few years of writing to market in other genres. Let's just say I'm more of a gamer than a romantic lover. ;)

Any other LitRPG authors here at kboards? I'd love to chat about where you think the genre is going in the next 12 to 24 months.

When the Ready Player One movie releases in 2018, I think LitRPG is going to take-off in a big way.

Thoughts? Questions? Discussion?

Thanks!

It's an interesting genre. I had a client who came to me with a LitRPG piece, and I was enjoying it. I've been playing games all my life, but after 30-40 pages I realized they were describing a game that I've played a LOT. The more I read, the more obvious it became they were using the game elements exactly. It was at that point that I began to get a little wary, because it wasn't set in a game world with generic elements, its world was someone else's intellectual property. It was like fan fiction put out there for commercial gain.

I asked some other authors what they thought. One of them happened to be finishing their law degree, and it turns out that a game's "expressive elements" are copyrightable, and in this case the author was probably violating that copyright. If they had used generic game elements, they would have been fine, but they had used this game's world exactly. Chances are they would have been fine, but I had to tell them I wasn't comfortable with moving forward.

Funny thing was, the book's success would have been to its detriment. The more popular it became, the more likely it would be noticed by the game company.

Offline Paul Bellow

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2017, 08:24:54 PM »
It's an interesting genre. I had a client who came to me with a LitRPG piece, and I was enjoying it. I've been playing games all my life, but after 30-40 pages I realized they were describing a game that I've played a LOT. The more I read, the more obvious it became they were using the game elements exactly. It was at that point that I began to get a little wary, because it wasn't set in a game world with generic elements, its world was someone else's intellectual property. It was like fan fiction put out there for commercial gain.

I asked some other authors what they thought. One of them happened to be finishing their law degree, and it turns out that a game's "expressive elements" are copyrightable, and in this case the author was probably violating that copyright. If they had used generic game elements, they would have been fine, but they had used this game's world exactly. Chances are they would have been fine, but I had to tell them I wasn't comfortable with moving forward.

Funny thing was, the book's success would have been to its detriment. The more popular it became, the more likely it would be noticed by the game company.

Interesting. Thanks for sharing. I based my game mechanics loosely on the d20 system with my own additions and changes. Definitely a good point, though. I think I saw a book based in the Halo universe the other day, but I didn't look closely. It might've actually been written with permission. Definitely good points you bring up, though.
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Offline Christopher Kerns

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2017, 09:19:42 AM »
I've indie pubbed two tech thrillers, but currently posting chapters of my new story up on RR as I edit the first draft. I'd consider it "LitRPG-Lite," in that it takes place in VR worlds with game mechanics and levels, but is light on tables and specific skill point info (which I find to be a bit distracting when reading.)

It's called "Side Quest" - would love feedback from anyone here: https://royalroadl.com/fiction/11399

The interesting part of this being my first time doing RR, and being a data person in my day job, is tracking chapter reads and charting dropoff. Currently seeing a 30% dropoff from Ch1 to Ch2, and then a few %s dropoff, chapter by chapter, beyond there (it's hard to tell how many are dropping off vs. still reading.) I took this info to do a few edits on Chapter 1 to hopefully make it pull the reader in more, but not sure what kind of benchmarks are out there. I'd guess lots of people read Chapter 1 and say "not for me," but interested to see the dropoff rates others are seeing?

If anyone interested in sending your chapter data my way, I'm happy to compile it all so we can all learn!


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Offline Dhayaa Anbajagane

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2017, 09:41:15 AM »
Hey there!

I've been a Sci-Fi Author for a while now, and as a big fan of Sword Art Online, I always envisioned writing a video game book. Didn't think it would sell until I found the LitRPG Genre growing in the corner. I've been around the LitRPG bubble for about a year now. Finally stepped into it about three months ago with my first LitRPG series. Needless to say, my first LitRPG book has been doing very well since release. Regarding the future of LitRPG, I think it's been growing at an exponential and like someone said before me, I'm totally looking forward to seeing what happens to genre once the Ready Player One movie drops in March 2018.

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Offline Christopher Kerns

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2017, 09:48:53 AM »
Hey there!

I've been a Sci-Fi Author for a while now, and as a big fan of Sword Art Online, I always envisioned writing a video game book. Didn't think it would sell until I found the LitRPG Genre growing in the corner. I've been around the LitRPG bubble for about a year now. Finally stepped into it about three months ago with my first LitRPG series. Needless to say, my first LitRPG book has been doing very well since release. Regarding the future of LitRPG, I think it's been growing at an exponential and like someone said before me, I'm totally looking forward to seeing what happens to genre once the Ready Player One movie drops in March 2018.

Great point with Ready Player One - I think that should throw some more fuel on the fire for sure.

Christopher Kerns | My Blog

Offline Benjamin Douglas

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2017, 10:56:10 AM »
*waves*  Hi Gamerz.

I'm just popping my head in here to read the room a little. I have a few non-LitRPG irons in the fire, but with the Ready Player One film coming out next year, as has been pointed out, the subcat might expect a bump. So I have two questions for all y'all, if anyone feels like chatting:

1.) KU or Wide? Where are the LitRPG readers? No need to speculate--I fully realize I could come up with some rough idea by doing a little Amazon research; just asking in case it's obvious and everyone 'in the know' knows. Care to clue a writer in, if that's the case?

2.) I invite you all to suggest a LitRPG book for me to read. Other than Ready Player One, which I'll write off as obvious. What's your favorite, what's hot, what do you think epitomizes the best of the genre?

Thanks all! Back to work ;)

Offline thebriansimons

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2017, 11:31:19 AM »
Hi Benjamin!

I don't often chime in here, but as a LitRPG author I thought I might have something useful to add :)

1) KU.  This genre is still gaining readers, but the community is small.  Readers are largely Amazon-based, and many are in KU.  If anything, start in KU for the rank bump there and then consider going wide.

2) Of course I'd like to highlight my own writing here - I have the third installment in my Travail Online series coming out later this month.  There are a few other books I would recommend reading if you're going to join the LitRPG crowd.  Travis Bagwell's Awake Online is a well-loved series starter (two out in the series so far).  It has more of a YA flavor.

Then, understanding the genre is difficult without reading Aleron Kong's The Land series.  "Founding" is the first book, and it's often free or 99c.  (the other five books out so far are higher priced).  He's not in KU anymore.  His series has coarser humor.  Both books include status updates, which a lot of LitRPG fans look for.  Other fans will say that status updates are annoying and "filler."  You can't please everyone!

I also enjoy James Hunter's Viridian Gate Online series, and Matt Diniman's Dominion of Blades.  They offer a good idea of how video game mechanics play a necessary role in the storytelling.  They're also clearly professionally edited, which isn't always the case with LitRPG books.

It's great that you're interested in reading the genre before jumping in.  You'll definitely get shunned by the community if you don't meet the standard of what counts as LitRPG.  My own books include status notifications about XP gains, leveling up, and descriptions of skills that players can unlock as they progress through the virtual game world.  Attempted LitRPG's tend to get bashed without an emphasis on video game mechanics.  Stats and status updates can't be gratuitous though.  They need to play a real role in the story itself.

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Offline German_Translator

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2017, 11:39:25 AM »
Hi, chiming in as a translator of LitRPG (Brian Simmon's Travail Online vol. 1 into German).

I found it interesting that several reviewers in Germany mentioned never having heard of this genre. I did a Google Trend search and found that most searches for the term seem to come from Russia and the US right now.

Fascinating to think where this genre might still be going ... 8)

Just a few of the books I have translated (English <-> German)

Offline thebriansimons

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2017, 11:53:29 AM »
Hi Frank!

Frank and I have been hard at work getting the word out to German readers about what LitRPG is and why it's so much fun to read.  Book bloggers really enjoy it so far, and if it takes off in German like it has in English and Russian, Frank and I will be experts on marketing this genre overseas soon.  And then I'll have more info to share with Kboards!

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Offline Benjamin Douglas

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2017, 10:39:47 AM »
Thanks, Brian & Frank!

Sounds like I have some reading to do. Happily, I'm into that  :P  This definitely confirms for me the impression I had that the genre requires a genuine understanding of what else is out there. It's interesting to me that such a relatively young subcat already has such stringent reader expectations. I think it speaks well of the LitRPG reader; that they really, really care.

Thanks again! I'll be sure to stop by if I come across any burning questions that need answers  8)

Offline Benjamin Douglas

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2017, 10:00:40 AM »
Hello again, people in the know! Back with another question:

I see someone mentioned Sword Art Online, so I jumped into the anime last night. Engrossing! Anyone have any thoughts on how it stacks up against the LitRPG we've been discussing? Similar vibe, tropes, expectations? Or is it a whole different animal?

Thanks everyone :)

Offline P.J. Post

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2017, 10:06:45 AM »
I see someone mentioned Sword Art Online, so I jumped into the anime last night. Engrossing! Anyone have any thoughts on how it stacks up against the LitRPG we've been discussing? Similar vibe, tropes, expectations? Or is it a whole different animal?

Same thing. MMORPG as real. Like many, RPO was my introduction to the genre.

Offline BJAllan

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2017, 04:18:38 AM »
Hi everyone!

I thought I'd weigh in here. I'm working on a litRPG and hoping the genre is still hungry by the time I put it out. It will be my first novel published (tried to go trad with an earlier novel, got some interest but not enough to secure an agent). I'm still writing the first draft so it will realistically be ready in December, which is apparently a horrible month to release, so I may hold off for January.

As for the earlier questions, as a reader I've noticed that most litRPGs seem to be in KU, at least for the first book.

In addition to Brian's recs, I'd add Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko and Reboot by Domino Finn.

Offline Rick Partlow

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2017, 09:45:08 AM »
Not a LitRPG writer, but I read that Aleron Kong has successfully trademarked the term "LitRPG."  How do you see that affecting your attempts to market your novels now?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 10:34:49 AM by Rick Partlow »

Offline Rick Gualtieri

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2017, 10:11:49 AM »
Not a LitRPG writer, but I read that Aleron Kong has successfully copyrighted the term "LitRPG."  How do you see that affecting your attempts to market your novels now?
Not copyrighted, trademarked. There's a bit of a brouhaha going on over on the Facebook litRPG group about it as well as on Reddit.

ETA: I don't write litRPG, but this development should be a bit concerning to anyone who does.


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Offline BrianDHoward

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2017, 10:17:27 AM »
Not a LitRPG writer, but I read that Aleron Kong has successfully copyrighted the term "LitRPG."  How do you see that affecting your attempts to market your novels now?

Personally, I'm not worried about it at all. For one, it's a preliminary mark that he'll have to defend to get permanent. Secondly, I can't possibly see it standing up in court if it went there. Thirdly, Amazon already lists it as a genre, which makes his move--in my opinion--a pointless act of hubris.
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Offline Rick Partlow

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2017, 10:35:16 AM »
Not copyrighted, trademarked.


Sorry, I corrected the term in my post.

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