Ashley's Ultimate KidPub Guide~*
Posted November 3rd, 2010 by Serenity
in a balloon; the only way is up.
December 29th, 2010
I've gotten tons of questions throughout my KP life, from the technical to the social to the artistic. Most senior members of KP will know half of the stuff I'm talking about, but I won't just include the must-knows of KidPub. Besides how to post pictures and how to get a steady hold on your reputation on KidPub, I'll also include how to create a successful KidPub business, and how to write stories with humor (in my aspect, of course. There's many ways.). Here, I'll be writing nearly everything I know about KidPub and the KP road to success! So here I go!
In case you don't know me, I'm Ashley! I've been on KidPub for a year and a half. I have a well-sized and well-to-do family of 3 kids and both parents. The youngest is 2 years old and named Ryan, the middle is 9 years old and named Genny, and I'm the oldest, at 15 years old. For the most part, I advanced courses in high school, and I do get stressed out often over homework and grades. In fact, I've been absent from KidPub a lot because of grades. Socially, when I meet somebody new, I'm quiet and timid. But when I'm familiar with my surroundings, I'm outgoing, happy, good-natured, and relaxed. Time for my KidPub background!
I mean this in a factual way, not a stuck-up-hey-worship-me way: I'm the person who began the book-cover business spur among KidPub. It may be hard to believe, but in the short time I've had my KP account, I've been in many corners of KidPub fame and situations. There was a time whereas I wasn't very popular at all, in the negative numbers. There was also a time where I was at the peak of fame, though I was grounded in real life shortly after. I've become familiar with how KidPub works, both technically and socially, and how we roll here. I also have newly aquired knowledge on how to equal out KidPub and your real life. With that, let's get into all the fun stuff!
The First Steps of a Brand New KidPubber!
Well, you know what they say...
-says in a husky voice- Once you go KidPub, you NEVA go back!
(That's not actually a saying here on KidPub. xD Just something I thought up of on the moment.)
You've finally convinced your parents that KidPub is actually a fun and fruitful writing site, not one of those less fruitful sites like Facebook. You're brand new! YAY NEW MEMBERS! -ahem-
So, it's easy to think that at first, the utter most important thing is to know the group's etiquette and everything. Well, yes, that comes in handy. But don't forget the most important part of fitting in: just be you! KidPub is about writing, and writing is supposed to be about expressing yourself, so, under the transitive property of addition, KidPub is about expressing yourself! Maybe it's just my problem, but when I started out, I tried so hard to fit in, I acted like another person and I didn't fit in at all.
Another tip I have is to post different kinds of your work. Poetry, short stories, chapter stories, and of different genres too! If you notice something's getting more attention than the others, expand on that; create your own reputation. Also, be open-minded. People on here do give good critique, and if somebody doesn't, another person usually catches it. But in any case, I suggest you take into consideration whatever people say, or else you can't improve your writing. Like the saying goes, except in the case of improving, an open door will invite more people than a closed one.
Those are the first steps. But I bet you still have all sorts of questions. Not to fear! Much more is ahead.
Red Box- KidPub Menu
Read Stories- In this part of the menu, you can go through a list of the latest posts of any of the options below! Like if you click on "Popular Today", it'll show you the top popular posts of the day. If you go to "Chapter Books", it'll show you all the latest chapter posts on KP. The "Never-Ending Story" is a collab story across KidPub about Gary and Liz!
Write Stories- Need to make a post? This is where you go. Select whether you want to post a story, book page or chapter, book review, event, add on to the Never-Ending Story, poll, or edit your biography on your profile.
Talk About- This is where you find Author's Notes!! Muy importante (Very important.). Refer to "KidPub Etiquette" for why. Other things you can do here is inviting a friend to KP, access KidMud (though that doesn't work anymore), get to the Writer Block forums (Has a bunch of cool stuff including Bambi&Gypsi's Character Sketch service!), the KidPub event calendar (not usually used, but has a few contests), news on kid authors, and a link to Young Author's twitter.
KP Bookstore- The KidPub bookstore where you can buy all the KidPub books! Yay!
Publish Your Book- This is pretty self-explanatory. Here, you can find all the information on publishing your own book!
KP Schools- This is meant for teachers, for them to enroll their class to KidPub. I think whole classes can post their works on here through the deal, or something.
Contests- There's always monthly writing contests and a weekly book giveaway! Click on one of the selections for more information.
About- This answers most of your general questions about KidPub that can only be answered by the staff and such of KidPub.
Green Box- KidPub's Search Engine
You can search for a word or a specific post using this awesome device! What do I mean "you can search for a word"? Well, let's say you type in 'cat'. Usually from most commented/viewed, it shows all the posts that has the word cat in it.
Yellow Box- Your Profile
Displays your account name and a link below to your profile.
Purple Box- Online Members & Guests
Displays the members and the number of guests online. Click on a member's name to visit their profile.
This is a pretty debatable topic. I left (debatable) next the ones that are undecided, but have been argued about.
- People can get touchy about posts that are or less than 1 paragraph. Why? Because it fills up the Newest page too fast; all the actual stories written on the same day are tossed to the 2nd page, and doesn't get as many readers as it should. If you want to spread a word to your fellow KidPub members, then use Author Notes, which can be located under "Talk About". Personally, I did do "Announcements" for Ashley Covers and will be doing them for Little Hattery, but they're much longer than a paragraph and have lots of important info for my customers.
- Leave constructive criticism (abbreviated CC) instead of simply saying a work is bad. Basically, instead of just saying "This sucks", say "It has good description, but the plot could use improvement because...". You should leave criticism that helps the author improve, not just make them feel bad about themselves. People will respect you more if you leave good CC.
- If you don't have something nice to say, it's best not to say it at all. Let's say somebody says on Author Notes "I just got braces, this sucks." Don't reply saying "Get used to it, brace-face." We on KidPub do not like fights at all, so don't start one! It'll downgrade your reputation, and then you'll feel like leaving, and that makes everyone unhappy.
- (Debatable) Don't leave posts about you leaving if you aren't, or even if you are. I won't make a personal comment on this, but from what I've read, people feel that this is just a way to gather attention.
- Don't copy other people's ideas for posts without asking. Some people take this as flattery, others get insulted, so I think the safest way is to ask first.
- (Debateable) It's not a good idea to bring religion into KidPub, a diverse and world-wide website. KidPub or the real world, religion is very controversial. Now, I've seen religious poetry posted on KidPub, and it seemed perfectly fine. But also, there have been situations whereas people try to give out advice that's pretty religious/spiritual, or make a choice that's against another person's religion, and nuclear bombs explode. I put this as debatable because people will disagree with me, but put some consideration into my point. Thanks to missmaple for reminding me of this topic. (Now, you may be thinking, "But Ashley, you said to express yourself, so why can't we express our religion so much?!" Well, if it's hurting other people, then it's not expressing yourself in an effective way. Also, I'm not saying writing religious poetry or stories is wrong, just don't be offensive to another person's different religion or beliefs.)
- Events are only for important things. Story time! :D My sister didn't know this when she still went on kidpub, so she decided to post an "event." Imagine reading a calender that says: "Important Contest Tonight!" "Contest Stories Due!" "So And So's Contest" and then, among all that important mumbo jumbo, you see: "I ate macaroni and cheese for dinner tonight." Yeah, that's right, such an important notice, she ate macaroni and cheese! Gotta love little sisters! - provided by missmaple
This topic is controversial, but this is what I've been noticing in the pattern of KP fights, and a way I've developed to avoid them.
Nobody likes KP fights. People's feelings get hurt, and in the worst case scenario, people leave KidPub. However, everyone likes debates, whereas you're proving your point to others without the "bloodshed". Sometimes, little disagreements will occur and you'll not know how to respond. How do you make out the difference between a fight and a debate, or make the difference?
Also, do NOT fight OR debate about religion (as mentioned in KidPub Etiquette).
Now, this is for people that are in the disagreement. If you're observing a disagreement/fight, post one neutral comment saying that fights aren't a good idea, and that's all you post. If you post again, that shows that you want to get into the fight. Don't post again even if they provoke you. It's a bad idea, and will make you sound like a hypocrite because you posted first that fights were a bad idea.
Lastly, (Please read this!!) a very good tip from L.S. Tredom: If you see a comment that might start a fight, don’t click the reply button for that comment, but a comment near it and make sure you address it to the correct person, because then the person who posted the comment can edit it, and [most likely] will.
Technical Questions of KidPub
These are the technical aspects of KP; come in mighty handy! I put these in most FAQ order, and if you have any other technical questions that are not listed, tell me in a comment and I'll add it to this post!
- How do you add pictures from the Internet in a post/comment?
Simply right click on the picture, and select "Copy Image URL". Then go to the post/comment you want to put the picture on. When you're in the Editing page, go to the icon displayed below.
Then, copy the URL into the "Image URL" section, and select Insert.
The picture might not show up at first, but when you click "Preview" next to the Submit button, you should see it. :D
2. What if the picture I want to post is in my computer documents?
In that case, go to http://www.tinypic.com/ and upload your image. Once you have, copy the link in the section shown below.
Why is it in Dutch? I have no idea. I don't speak Dutch or are related to Dutch in any form or way, so I have no idea why it makes my TinyPic in Dutch. But the layout should be the same for all languages. Anyways! After this, simply refer to #1 for the rest.
3. How do you link together chapters?
All you have to do is go to KidPub's top menu, go to "Write Stories", then "Book Page or Chapter". Create your first chapter. Your first chapter or prologue MUST be a "Book Page or Chapter" or else it won't link to the rest of the parts. I've done that multiple times, and still do it today, lol. After that, create your 2nd chapter and link it to the first chapter.
The proper and most effective way to link chapters is to link them all to the first chapter or prologue. That way, readers can go to the first part, and see a list of all the posts linked to it. Also, you can still flip through chapters like you can if you linked them to each other, the more popular way to do it.
4. How do you copy and paste?
The manual way to do it is highlight the text/picture you want to copy, then right click and select "Copy". Then, go to the section you want to paste your text/picture. Right click, and select "Paste". Ta-da! If you have a PC, the most simple way to do it is highlight what you want to copy, but then hold Ctrl and click Z. For pasting, hold Ctrl and click X.
For Macs, I've found http://www.wikihow.com/Copy-and-Paste-on-a-Mac , but if you want to copy something into a KP post, read the following! This information is provided by missmaple: "For copy and pasting, for some reason our Mac won't let me copy and paste into a post for kidpub. The solution I've found to this is to use the little button in the toolbar with the microsoft W on it, it'll say copy and paste into word. You can paste into the window that pops up, and click insert. That should work for people with copy and paste problems."
5. How do you copy and paste a link to your story/post?
To do this, first, go to that story/post you want to make a link to. Then take a look at the top part of your browser, where you type in the website address to get there. (Ignore the Google thing lol.)
Then, highlight it (hold your click at one end of the text then swipe your mouse across the whole text). Refer to number 4 on how to copy and paste. Now you can paste the link anywhere you want and people can access it with total ease!
Writing Questions of KidPub
I'm not a perfect writer, and I don't know everything about it, so I happily entitle anybody to correct me or add on to this section of the guide! Also, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
1. My story isn't commented/viewed often. I can't seem to get any more no matter what.
Try this tutorial: http://www.kidpub.com/story/tutorial-professional-formated-and-fairly-commented-story-45275280 . Most stories fall victium to poor formating, so the story's shape itself doesn't make it easy for the person to read. This tutorial will offer tips on how to fix that. There's also a series by Sis that gives good, legit advice on just generally how to get more views. http://www.kidpub.com/book-page-or-chapter/guide-getting-views-part-1-71682346
2. I want to make my story entertaining with humor, but I don't know how!
If you want to infuse your story with some humor, then it's all in the characters. You have to make your characters flamboyant with life and a realistic point of view. That way, you can make realistic humor. Let's make a character named Freddy and a character named John. I want Freddy to be fun and playful, but John to be quiet and serious. I'll make two samples of them interacting. The first will be not-so good and second better written, but both meant to be comedic:
" Freddy walked up to John. 'Let's go bungee jumping! Maybe we can get some girls,' Freddy grins. John rolls his eyes, thinking what an idiot he is, and looks away. '
" Freddy skips up next to John. He winks, 'Let's go bungee jumping, man! Maybe grab some hot chicks at the mall nearby!' John gives him a cold, hard stare. At least he didn't suggest we 'grab some hot chicks' on the bungee jump. John rolls his eyes and looks away. "
You see what I mean? It's helpful to understand how to make your character come to life, so that the jokes are realistic as well. This is just my experience though, there are probably much better tutorials out there on the Internet about this topic.
Oh yes, contests! I remember when there used to be a new contest on KP (held by KidPubbers, of course) nearly every single day! xD Good, chaotic times. So, what's the secret to a good contest? Well, I've never successfully held one, I'll admit, because real life interfered with them. But from the ones I've entered, I noticed this is what makes a contest the most fun:
1. The theme, rules, and deadline are set out clear and organized.
2. The theme provokes thought and/or inspiration; "brain food".
3. If any, the prizes are encouraging.
Some basic rules are no stealing other peoples' work, though that's basically a given, and no overly explicit language/sexual suggestions in the entry. As for themes, first decide if you want to do a writing contest or an art one. I think if you're fairly new to KidPub or want more people to be involved in your contest, you should do writing. If you really want art, then go for it! Just remember more people can get involved with writing contests.
Now, for prizes! Woo, everyone likes prizes! If you're a character designer (*cough*Bambi & Gypsy*cough* xD) then maybe you could do exclusive character designs for your winner(s). If you're a cover designer, make a snazzy cover for a story of the winner's choice. If you're not artsy artistic, you could make the winner a character of a story you're working on, or comment on all the stories they've been recently working on, giving indepth insight and praise. This is really all I can think of, but remember you can always ask KP on Author Notes before the contest what good prizes are.
How to Create a Successful Business
This isn't just applicable to KidPub; these steps can be transpired to real life as well, especially the 4th one.
So, first of all, think of a catchy idea. You can use a base idea for your catchy idea, like cover-making. But what will make your cover-making business different from the rest? Well, a few eye-catching elements are a catchy title, art style, the post's appearance itself, and anything else clever you can think of.
Second, think of an organization system for your business to keep it as effective as possible. You probably won't think of something good right-away; it took me the entire time of having Ashley Covers to finally figure out my own system that worked for my KP and real life.
Third, be timely with giving your services. I know this from experience, and I realize, in the case of the KP Magazine, I'm still not very good at this yet. But I do recognize that this is a good way to keep your business successful and alive.
Forth, if you're working with people as a 'boss', then you must be on top of your game! You're supposed to be a model for your "employees". That's why you're the boss. This also applies to being in student government or the head of a school club.
These are pretty general. Now, if you're in the cover-making business, here are my special tips for you:
How to Balance Real Life with KidPub
I understand how easy it is to get sucked into KidPub for hours and hours. Been there. xD But it's important to organize your priorities. If you know that school is important to you, and that you want to go to collage, then it's a good idea to first finish homework & studying for tests before going on KidPub. There's no other, easier way. When you get used to it, you'll be able to memorize things and get work done quicker, leaving you more time for KidPub. It adds up into a bundle of good stuff. It took me a month or so to finally get that steady flow, and now I'm glad I did invest those painful weeks into disciplining myself.
I'm probably going to add more to this, but even if I put down literally everything I know, I will always be willing to adding more! So please leave suggestions if you have any, thanks!
(12/29/10)- Added the cover-making tips I posted last week onto here, and added #5 to Technical Tips.
(11/6/10)- Added "KidPub Fights" section to the guide. Thanks to L.S. Tredom for his tip! Also added Sis's Guide to Getting Views series to #1 of "Writing Questions of KidPub".
(11/3/10)- Added missmaple's 2 pieces of advice under the copy & paste information and KidPub etiquette. ^_^
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