PART 4 - HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM DOING WELL IN "VOTE GATHERING"?
Clearly you know you are doing well if you win (see later) or get loads of votes but what’s the average?
The basic average ‘run rate’ that the figures tell me is that:
75 worder gives an average of 0.49 votes per competition per person.
300 worder gives an average of 2.1 votes per competition per person.
Thus you could use these as benchmarks to judge how 'well or not' you are doing.
But as we saw in the last section these figures are skewed a bit low, because of the large numbers of non-scoring first time only. If you stick at it, you should be averaging a bit more.
The following graphs are ‘Vote trajectories’...bear with me
Explanation – each point on the blue lines are calculated from the average number of votes gained by every entrant at that point in their competition history. Still scratching you head? So as an example, in the 300 worder Vote Trajectory, Bob the accountant took all the votes gained by everyone on their first attempt (turned out to be 397 votes cast) and divided by the total number of people trying (194) – giving ~2 votes on average. This was then repeated for all the votes received by those in their 2nd attempt etc… until we had plotted both blue lines in the graphs above. I'm looking at 'average personal performance' here, as everyone, right now, is at different parts of this 'trajectory curve' depending on how many competitions you've entered.
Both graphs get a bit rocky near the end, as only a few people have done all the competitions and so the averaging gets a bit volatile. I’ve sketched in a red trend line just too simplify the results.
Basically what I think it says is:
For the 75 worder – once you have entered 15 competitions you should be looking to get, on average a vote, per competition. And that seems to be pretty stable then on in.
For the 300 worder – The more competitions you take, the more votes you should get!
But remember, it’s highly unlikely that, even in a small group of writers and readers such as here on Chrons, a single story will take all the votes. That will also happen with all your work out there in public, so it's a good lesson to learn. No matter how hard you try there will always be people who just don’t get, don’t like or just like other things much better. I do think it’s important as a writer to think about the reader and try and write to a market…but everyone has their own unique style and it’s also about finding those readers that like what you do too.