Saturday, August 15, 2009

GuestEssay: The Indies Through the Rear View Mirror

The Indies Through the Rear View Mirror.

The Twific Indies

Hmonster4: we don’t talk anymore

Gustariana: you are done with me, aren’t you?

Hmonster4: hehe, it does feel weird

Gustariana: I know! my life has lost its meaning! ~snorts~

Hmonster4: LMAO drama queen…

Gustariana: ~gigglesnort~

Okay, so we made that chat up, but it’s not far off of a real gchat session the other day.

For almost five months, the Indies have been a major part of our life. From a harebrained reactionary idea to the real deal, it got more response than we could have ever dreamed of.

For that, we owe you all a huge thank you.

Thank you for supporting something that we both feel so passionate about. Thank you for nominating stories and voting. Thank you for spreading the word.

We are in regroup mode right now. Getting some rest and finally getting to read the stories that you all nominated. We’ll kick back into work in a few weeks.

But in the meantime, a number of people have asked how the Indies did: how many registered users, how many votes, that sort of thing. We’ve also been asked how it measured up to our expectations and what our future plans are.

So we’ve put together a quick recap– what you did, what it’s done for the stories nominated, etc.

Our website,, has received over forty thousand hits since the moment it went live. This covered the nominations as well as the voting rounds. That is a LOT! All of these site visits lead us to get an outstanding 3,211 verified users.

To give you an idea of the power that 3,211 readers have just take a look at the amount of stories that they nominated. We had over 18,000 nominations sent for all categories. These nominations resulted in 757 stories being validated and published as Indies nominees. That is enough reading material to last you a good 10 years!

The amount of votes cast during each round was amazing. The first round of votes drew in 38,458 votes, while the second round drew in 23,577 votes. The higher volume on the first round is due to the fact that we captured 10 votes per category, while the second round was only one vote.

If at any point you are “running low on fics to read” you should stop over our site again and check out the archived list. It is really full of amazing stories. We have started the process of adding them to a C2 in, but the main list will remain posted on our site. Remember that the C2 only contains stories from, we had many other sites (Twilighted, Simply Twlight, and Live Journal to mention a few) represented during the voting period and this is just another opportunity to learn about other story archives in the twilight fan fiction world.

Impact on Traffic

We did a fairly unscientific polling of winners and nominees, asking them to quantify the impact that the Indies had on their site traffic. It was a mix.

A number of authors reported seeing spikes in traffic and author alerts during the nomination and voting process. One author indicated that she saw 300 author alerts right after the final winners were announced. Another saw her traffic increase by 500 percent during the month of July. While not every story received such dramatic bumps, authors did cite being added to c2’s, as well as picking up new reviewers who credited the Indies with helping them find the story.

But reviews haven’t trickled in anywhere near as much as we hoped. While we don’t want to get on a soapbox and crusade for everyone to review, the unfortunate reality is that review count or word of mouth tends to be the largest drivers of story awareness. Neither of us are very good reviewers (we readily admit that), but we find ourselves going out of our way now to leave comments on the stories that we read, as well as spread the word on those we love.

We both learned a great deal out of the experience. Not only about the fandom and the caliber of stories available, but about ourselves as well. It will sound a bit gratuitous, but the entire experience was truly rewarding, albeit exhausting. We wanted to give something back, to try and create a platform for stories to gain awareness. While we might not have executed everything flawlessly (um, hello bandwidth issues! More space has already been purchased), we couldn’t be more happy with the end result.

So what comes next? We mentioned a winter version of the Indies. We’ll unveil it towards the end of September or early October, once we have the framework all fleshed out. It will be different in content from the summer edition, so there will not be any repetition of stories, that we can tell you.

In the meantime, if you have thoughts or insights that you’d like to share, please feel free to email us at You can also @ reply to us on Twitter, at We are always open to ideas or observations so that we can make the next round a success.

Thank you again, so much from the bottom of our hearts. This endeavor was a success thanks to all of you, and for that we will be eternally grateful.

Happy Reading!



  1. Thanks for doing this ladies! I agree that I saw a spike in traffic, especially after making it to the final round in three categories. However, only a handful of reviews could be traced back to the indies.

    Still, this was awesome, and one of my first experiences participating in the fandom a little more.

    I appreciate the time you spent!

  2. I found a lot of great fics through the indies and I'm very glad you did it. It is unfortunate that their review counts are going up as much as they should be.

    Thanks for all of the hard work and effort that went into this from you and all of the validators.


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