The old adage goes that “you should not judge a book by its cover” and though it is a virtuous sentiment it is not one that is typically followed. Every day, for 31 days, I read the first entry or chapter of a different web serial (or web fiction) and then gave my first impressions on them be they good or bad. In short: I judged a LOT of books by their covers, and I did so with a reason.
The internet is a double-edged sword for many writers. Though it makes reaching an audience for your art easy by eliminating many of the gatekeepers of traditional publishing, the internet itself has EVERY DISTRACTION KNOWN TO HUMANKIND and thus makes it hard to compete with all of the noise. If you want to contend with all of the shiny things the internet offers your site design has to be on point, your hook interesting and urgent, and your writing has to be clean and engaging. If it isn’t, your reader will not be forgiving, and your hard work will be forgotten. The last thing an author wants is for a potential fan of their work to leave and never come back because they did not make a fantastic impression.