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Notification Settings

You can find "Notification Settings" under your name in the upper right menu.



The first batch of settings is about how things work:



  • "Send me news and information" - Everyone should keep this checked so that we can email you.
  • "Automatically follow conent" - This allows you to automatically follow things so you get alerts to things that you involve yourself in.
  • "Method to use for content I follow Automatically" - Select how you wish to follow stuff. 
  • Notification preferences - This allows you set how much alerting you get.
  • On the right side is the Browser Notification which allows Gay Authors to alert you even if you aren't on the site.  They can be pretty intrusive.  If you wish to change them, it is at the browser level.

If you want to change your browser notification, here is a how to video:


The rest of the notification page allows you to set what you get as inline notifications or emails:



Hope this helps!


We've recently had a couple of noticeable updates for authors and for everyone pasting a story link.  I wanted to make sure everyone saw the information.

First, some changes to the software:

Also, A.J. has been able to fix the Preview Chapter button so you can now see how your story will post into the system, with all of the filters applied:


As mentioned in the first topic, when you place a link to a story in a post or a blog, etc, it will now format with a story banner.  Banner priority - Antholology Banner, Story Banner, Author Banner, then Category Banner.  So every story will get something.  Cia updated our Fiction banner:


Or maybe it's a Valdemar FanFiction:


Or Star Trek:


Or an Anthology:


If you're just clicking Newest Stories, remember, you can click "Categories" and get the list of all sorts of stories that are in the system.



Forums 4.3 software has entered beta testing, and we'll be looking at getting everything updated to work with it.  Some new things with Forums 4.3 include:

  • Improved Search.  They have really focused on improving search so things work more as you'd expect them to.  They have also implemented a third-party search solution that we will be deploying on Gay Authors that should improve search noticeably.
  • They are deploying Emojii support in the editor.  This will vastly increase the amount of readily available emoticons. The current smilies are supposed to still work the same.
  •   image.png
  • They are making Clubs a lot easier to find and deal with, including better Follow features and more visibility of topic forums.
  • Gallery is being made a LOT easier to use.
  • Blog is getting a facelift.
  • There are improvements in payment methods for Premium Content subscribers.


I would expect that we'll be able to upgrade in about 4-6 weeks.

We also have some structural improvements to simplify the Stories interface that has been in the works.


Hope this helps.  Be sure to Like the post and Follow the Site Technology blog so you don't miss any updates!


There are a lot of settings and options on the site.  It can be a real chore for people who don't make a habit of clicking on things.  I'll admit, I'm an engineer, and I tend to explore every option.  I realize most people aren't as shiny object driven, however.

So... settings.  You can find the link in the pop-up menu under your Display Name on the upper right part of the site.  (Or in the hamburger menu if you are on a mobile device).  Choose "Account Settings".

Today we are going to cover Changing your Email.  It is important that you have a working email address for using Gay Authors.  If you need to update your email, it is under Account Settings -> Email.


Email Settings

Very easy to deal with. Just enter your new email address and your current password.  If you have set up Account Security, you might have additional passwords to enter as part of multi-factor authentication.


The other topic for today is Profile Settings.  You can go to your profile by clicking your account picture in the upper right of any page.

profile image


You can add a Cover Photo, which is the cool image that you can have on your profile that goes in the dark blue space shown above.

You can also easily edit your profile by clicking "Edit Profile" in the upper right of your profile page.



First up is your birthday.  Please make sure that it is accurate. It is not displayed to others unless you choose to, which you can do farther down the page.

Second, you can enable Status Updates on your profile.

Next, if you are an author, you can fill out your Author Bio.  This appears in the Author listing when you post stories.  It should be a general promotion all about the stories you write and about yourself as an author.

Next, is the About Me section.  Let people know about you.  This appears only on your profile.


Profile information

Next up are gender and sexuality.  You can fill these out if you wish to share or leave them blank.

Next up is important and is required.  You can choose to show your Birthday on the Calendar.  If you choose yes, your birthday will display in the Calendar App and in the Today's Birthdays widget on the main forum page.  The default is off, and you must choose to show it or not.

Next is where you choose your favorite genre.  You can select multiples by holding down control and clicking the ones you want.  Or, if you like everything, you can scroll to the bottom and choose All.  Or you can ignore it altogether.  Your Favorite Genres appear under your name when you post on the forums.

You can choose to mention your location.  If you are not an adult, please do not show your real location.

Interests are next, and you can just type some more stuff about yourself there if you are so inclined.


Contact Methods

Contact Methods is last up.  Here you can share the various ways to get in contact with you.  Obviously, anything you show here is public to everyone.  So don't share anything here you don't want public.


Hope this helps!  Be sure to follow the Site Technology Blog if you find these posts helpful. 


I created an announcement a few weeks ago asking people for topics they wanted to be covered here in more detail.  You can find it here:

One of those requests was how to we make the fancy links, like I use in my post signature to link to my story.  It's really, really simple.  Just copy the link in the url address bar and then paste the link to a story on the site into an editor, and it'll auto format for you.  For example, I could paste a link to my Sci-Fi Anthology story, A Bad Day to Be WET:

And it automatically formats.  The neat thing is, that this applies to topics, like the first example, stories, like the second and other things like the Gallery and Blog's linked below:


If you are planning on updating your signature to link to a story, just remember you can only link one story that way.  Further rules can be found here:


Some offsite links also auto-populate.  YouTube and Google Maps, for example:



Hope this helps!  Leave a comment below.


When we upgraded to the new software, we picked up a very powerful tool called the Activity Stream.  The cool thing here is that it has not only built-in options, but you can create your own as well.  We'll start with the most important two, right up front.  

First.  All Activity.  You can find it by going to the Activity option on the Main Menu and Selection the top option on the Sub-Menu, All Activity.



This immediately shows you all the latest new content on the site.  You can view this in 2 different ways.  Expanded and Condensed.  The system remembers your preference.






(You can see that for the forums, the Forum name is in the colored bubble, just like in Fluid View, which we highlighted here last week.  And you get a rare glimpse into the Site Moderator forum... We're discussing a blog Renee is posting tomorrow (Wed) on improving the quality of the tags, descriptions etc on Stories)

There are icons next to the content to tell you what the content is:

image.pngA forum comment, two story comments and a blog comment.  Story related items are little books.  Forum items are little chat bubbles.


That covers All Activities, so the next important item is Activity Streams.  These are customizable.  The default Activity Stream is "Latest Stories"  You can set this to anything you like.

You can find all the default stream under your name:

image.png(That little triangle is the Moderator Report function, for those that are curious)


If you have changed your default stream, that'll be different.


There is a LOT going on in the Activity Stream.  First, like the All Activity we covered first, you can view story updates as Condensed or Expanded. It works the same way.  The icons for content are the same, this time, since we are looking at only stories, they are all the story icon.  The big change here is there is now the large white "filter box". 

The filter box is how you set options.  It has the following items:

  • Show me - This sets what get's shown.  You can choose between Content (like a chapter) or Content and Comments/Reviews.  You can also filter items using tags.  If you type a tag in that box, it'll show you only things with that tag.
  • Content Types.  This is how you pick what get's shown.  The Story Updates Activity Stream shown above, it shows you Stories and Story Chapters.  That means it shows new stories that are posted and new chapters are posted.  There is a blog post all it's own on just how you can play with that.
  • Read Status - Default is everything.  you can set up a stream to show you only story updates you haven't read.  Important!  "Read" is forum software for "Clicked on".  It is like your notification pop up window. "read" is really loosely defined.
  • Ownership - Default is everything.  I could have it show only things I've posted.  Or I can specify an author.  Example:
    • image.png
  • Following - Default is everything.  You can choose to show updates for only stories you follow, for example.
  • Time period - Default is Any, which also displays as Last 365 Days.  You can filter items during the last year.  It does seem pretty quirky on how successful that works.
  • Sorting - Newest First is the default.  You can reverse that.

If you make changes to an existing stream, it asks if you want to save.  If you say yes, it'll keep your stream settings and you can go back to it whenever you like.  There are also a ton of existing Activity Streams availible already.  You can use them or you can modify them.  Example, you can change the Latest Blog updates to Latest Blog Updates of just this blog. 



I hope this helps everyone understand the power of the system just a bit more.  Let me know if you want to know more.


So, when Forum 4.2 was released, they added a new feature called "Fluid View".  This is a whole new way of looking at the forums.  It basically lists all new topics based on when they were posted and gives you a color-based tag on which forum it belongs to.  The forum company is recommending now that new forums start with it.  This ties into me taking the time to colorize the forum icons awhile back.  You can check out the different options here:


The Standard forum view is the button the left.  The Middle button is "Grid View" which is frankly pretty odd.  The Fluid view is the option on the right.  Give it a click and check out the options.  It really shows active posts a lot easier.


When in the Fluid view, you get filter boxes on the left-hand side of the page.  This allows you to show topics only from selected forums.  If you don't select any, it shows you all topics from the forums you have access to.  Each topic has a color-coded tag indicating which forum it is from.



As soon as you select a few forums, you'll show only the posts from those forums.  For example, Announcements and The Lounge:



This view is an option if you're not a fan of scrolling through all our different forums looking for updates.  It might surface content easier and it more likely you'll see something.  Give it a try and let me know what you think. 


Coming soon, I'll go over the Activity Streams as another way to view new content.


I thought I would talk this week about the use of quoting and mentions while you make posts and comments on the site.  There is a certain etiquette to this to keep topics flowing smoothly without making a nuisance of yourself.  So, first up, some definitions:

  1. Quoting is when you press the "Quote" button and it pulls in the entire comment
  2. Quote This is when you highlight a portion of text and a small "Quote This" box pops up that you then click.  It functions the same as Quoting, but only for the highlighted text.
  3. Mentions are when you type the "@" symbol followed by a name.  The system prompts you to create a mention @Myr Users are then alerted that someone mentioned them.

screenshot of quote this feature(example of "Quote This")


You shouldn't ever really use the first option unless the post you are quoting is short.  Most people have just read it and there is no reason to repeat the whole thing, especially if it is long.  That ends up being more irritating than helpful.  A great alternative is to highlight the small section you are referring to and using "Quote This" instead.  Now, I understand that this is harder to do on mobile devices as well as other circumstances, so a great alternative there is to use Mentions.   The system can get squirrelly if you use a lot of them in a row, but you usually shouldn't need such a thing.


Just a note that is forum software bug more than anything, if you are using post dating feature, if you use a mention, the person will be alerted, even if the post/blog/whatever has not posted yet.  I think that is supposed to be patched, but I know from experience that it sends the notification as soon as you submit it, not when it posts.


Of course, I have previously made a video on how to use mentions.  It is here on YouTube:


Would you be willing to like and subscribe if you found the video helpful?  It lets me know whether or not making further videos is worthwhile.


This week is all about the tags.  Every part of the system uses them.  I bet most people kind of gloss over them if they notice them at all.  Buy why are tags important?  The honest truth is that the tags are there to help you group like material together.  For example, I tag all of these type of blogs posts with Tech Tuesday.  if you click on a tag, it pulls up the search engine and shows you everything that is tagged with that item:

https://www.gayauthors.org/tags/tech tuesday/


The same thing applies to stories.  Say you want to find all the stories tagged with Magic, well, just click on the tag on a story and you'll get your list:



With Stories, you can also go to the "Genre and Tags" page and see the list of all the Genres and All the Tags.  Clicking on them will bring you to all the stories tagged accordingly.



Using tags is easy.  On every new topic, blog, gallery image, or story, or whatever content you're posting, be sure to place 1-3 of the most important keywords in the tag box.  The tags will self-format when you hit the comma.  So Tech Tuesday tags look like this:

tag examplePlease note here the item prefix.   In some places, you are allowed to add this prefix and it shows up on the subject line ahead of the subject.  This should be used sparingly as it is meant for emphasis.  Usage of the prefix  option does vary by by member group and which part of the site they are using.


There are some pretty big search updates coming in the Forum 4.3.0 software that is entering beta test now at our forum vendor's site.  Using tags not only helps our system now with searching, it'll make it better in the future.


Speaking of future, we will be patching the site soon with some bug fixes and part of that will be that we are going to start tracking readers' stats on a weekly basis.  Right now, when you look at a story, you see the total number of views over time.  But that could have been 10,000 views four years ago or last week.  There's no way to tell.  With the new system we are implementing, authors will be able to tell what of their material is trending and when.  Publicly, we plan on showing data on what people are reading by genre and by tags.  This update will just begin the recording of the raw data.  This way, when we get to the real update in a few months, we'll have a lot of data already on hand.  For those concerned with privacy, there is no personal data recorded at all.  For those wondering, why should I care?   This data will be used to understand our market.  Stories that get the most reads in a time frame will boost their tags and genres in popularity.  Writers who are looking for a challenge, can then write stories that fit what people are looking for... or do that and twist it back to what you're looking for by hooking them good and proper.  This ties back to tags.  Make sure the tags on your story are useful and actually describe the story.  Review your stories and make sure your tags make sense.


We are also open to adding more tags that are currently not in the system if you make your case for them.


Writing reviews is hard.  That's the honest truth.  Writing the first review is even harder.  Humans are social creatures and tend to have a herd mentality.  Most people will wait for others to go first.  It is part of human nature.  However, writing those reviews is important for the same reason.  A lot of people don't like to go and read something unless it's been reviewed.  There are other factors people look to like number of views, number of likes, and number of follows when the reviews aren't there, but we've been trained by the billions of dollars marketing companies spend to look for those stars when we are considering something.  It's completely unconscious for so many of us.   Amazon has this down to an art form.  Every time you buy something, especially if there are not a LOT of reviews, you'll get a follow-up email asking you to review the item.  That's because people look for social proof that others like what they like.  There are entire psychology and marketing courses and books on just this subject alone.  It's mind-boggling, really.


Our Stories system is set up so that people can comment on ongoing stories as well as each chapter.  When the story is marked as complete, people can leave a review.  You need to leave a 1 to 5 star rating with 1 being Oh God, Why Did I Read This? and 5 being WOW!  Where can I send you money? I have made a video where you can listen to my non-dulcet tones explain how to do this:


If you watch the video, would you mind taking a moment and hitting like?  It would be much appreciated.  Also feel free to subscribe to our channel so you can see when I make these little videos.


Important notes on reviews:

  • The more spoiler-free stuff you are able to put in there, the better.  This is especially true the lower you rate the story.  
  • If you really liked the story, "This is Great!" is a positive feel good for the author, certainly.  However, if you can tell the author why you thought it was great, then the author has a great target on what to give you more of.  Did you love the characters?  the plot?  the humor?  the twists? the big cliffhanger? (but don't spoil it!)
  • If you didn't love the story, it's even more important to let the author know what's wrong.  It is imperative you do this constructively! "This Sucks!" is a complete waste of time for you to leave it and for the author to read it.  So DON'T do it.  Some examples approaching constructive feedback:
    • I like the characters in this story, but the plot felt flat and empty. You can use the spoiler tag to give specific examples.
    • I really loved the concept, but I struggled to read through the editing issues.
    • I think the plot was well thought out, but the characters felt interchangeable and flat.

Star Ratings to Me:

  • Stars mean different things to different people.  1 is bad, 5 is best.  But what does that really mean?  This is my own scale of how I view them:
    • 5 Stars - This story is one of the best.  A must read for me.
    • 4 Stars - This story is great.  Well worth a read.  (this is my most common rating)
    • 3 Stars - This story is good.  Decent story that may just be mismatched to my genre/mood/preferences.
    • 2 Stars - Meh.  Not a horrible story, but it has issues.
    • 1 Star - This story is a complete mismatch to my preferences or is horribly written or has one or more fatal flaws.


Older Stories

Gay Authors has been going since fall of 2002.  We have a lot of stories, of course.  Some of our early members are no longer with us for one reason or another.  @DomLuka@dkstories@vlista20 @C Jamesto name a few.  They each have some great stories but have low counts in the system.  This is because they had their own hosted sites on Gay Authors and were not in the system when they were getting the most hits and actively posting.  We promote the older stories regularly, but they really need members that love the older stories to review, like, comment on them to bring them to the attention of others.  Hell, @Comicality is active and has a huge back number of stories that you can check out.  @Mark Arbour is another.  Read and Review!  Let everyone know why you like the story.  Reviews, comments, and likes are all fuel for authors.  In many cases, the only fuel. 


So, will you--the reader--be willing to take just a few minutes of your time to let the author, who probably spent hours writing what you just read, know what you felt about their story?  Would you mind leaving that review in return for their hard work?


This week's blog was triggered by the observation that some authors and members seem to be unaware of a built-in feature of our Stories system.  This is the Series function.  First, for the readers, you can find Series easiest by using the right-side menu on the main stories page. See below:

Screenshot showing location of Longest Series Link


If the Longest Series is not your thing, you can easily adjust it by selecting "Sort By" and choosing a different option:

Shows Longest Series Page with highlights on how to use Sort link


When you click on a Series Title, say "Gone From Daylight", the stories will be listed in Series order.  You'll recognize Series stories in the system because they'll have a Series # followed by Series Title after the Story Title.  For example, on the Gone From Daylight Series page, you can see the highlighted Series # and Series Title:

Shows Gone From Daylight Series page


That's all great for Readers, but how to Authors make a Story part of a Series?  Easy!  Edit the Story and right at the top of Step 1 is the Series Title and Series Number:

Where to Add Series Title and Series Number on a story


We do ask that Authors not add the Series Title and Series number until there are at least two Stories in the Series posted in the system.

Also note, that is a great way to tie related Anthology stories together.  Although in the case of Anthologies, the staff will have to edit the story for you. 


I hope that helps everyone understand our Series function in Stories.


I thought I'd start off 2018 with a reminder to everyone about computer security.  In the past year, we've seen major security breaches that gave away pretty much everyone's personal financial information and worse.  It was bad, to put it mildly.  So, first, I'm not a security expert but I'm offering some common sense items for everyone.

  1. Use different passwords on all of your accounts.
  2. Use Strong passwords( 8+ characters, mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters like $#@!)
  3. If this sounds scary to you, use a password manager. I use LastPass personally as it works on all my devices.
  4. Use Two-Factor Authentication on your major email addresses and all financial accounts.  This could be an authenticator app, using the option to get codes texted to you, or setting up security questions.
  5. Keep your computer software up to date! 


You can change your password in your Account Settings. It shows you how strong your password is as you type it.  Go for green! (a password Strength indicator shows up when you start typing)




Gay Authors offers two-factor authentication as well.  Either questions or the Google Authenticator App.  Or both.



Further resources from MIT:



I also use Secunia PSI for making sure all the programs on my machine are updated.  It's free for home use:




There seems to be an unwritten rule out there for websites and publications everywhere that the last week of the year is the time to do a year in review wrap-up sort of post.  This is the one for Gay Authors.

2017.  What a year!  This was the year we jumped 50 versions of software to finally break free of the 3.4 version of the forum software and break into the world of 4.1 and then 4.2 versions of the software.  We've had hundreds of Stories archive software updates in the same timeframe as we've worked through all the bugs from going through a complete software rewrite and carrying a ton of existing data along.  The good news?  The biggest part is behind us for now.  It took considerably longer than we wanted to get where we are, but the system is mostly working as intended.  There are some outstanding notification bugs and quirky language that will be the target of a patch sometime soon.   The important thing here is that we made it!  We had a much smoother transition this time around.


It's time to look ahead at 2018.  Just what is coming?

Blogs and Newsletters:

  • Sunday Weekly Wrap-ups Blogs - These will continue.
  • Sunday Newsletter -This will continue
  • Monday - No change
  • Tech Tuesday Blogs - I'm hoping to keep this going as a weekly feature to highlight features on the site and new features that will be coming.
  • Wed Blogs - No change
  • Thursday Anthology Blogs - We will be featuring a previous anthology (or two) on a weekly basis.  We will also be reminding authors about new anthologies and contests coming up.
  • Friday Prompts - This will continue
  • Saturday - Writing Tips.  We will be wrapping up the previously posted tips next week and then we start with new content provided by Comicality, a (20 year!) veteran of writing on the web.   We'll also feature other author's tips along the way. 


Tech updates

  • We are testing the bug fixes for notifications and wonky notification wording now and hope to patch that soon.
  • This version is also going to streamline the story pages so we have a standard listing everywhere instead of the odd front page we have now.  Very large advanced search improvements will be added as well to make it much easier to sort and filter stories in the system.  This will include being able to do so by author.  Example, if you want to look at all of Comicality's Fantasy Stories, the filter bar on his author page will let you do that with a couple of clicks.  It will look similar to the filters you see on the Activity Streams.
  • The major update after that will be Reading Lists.  This will allow you to have "Favorite Stories", "Favorite Authors", "Reading History", "To Read", "Recommended" and custom lists of stories and authors.  The intention is to make things clear and easy for you.  The Reading History list, which will be private unless you choose to share, will include the chapter you were last reading to help make finding things easier.  We'll go into more details when we get closer.
  • The major update after that will be aimed at authors.  We are working to provide far more robust stats on what people are reading so an author can see how they are doing.  We'll also be working to provide more stats for authors on what readers are looking for.  This will appeal to authors who like writing for the market and challenging themselves to appeal to that market will differentiate themselves.  We'll go into more details when we get closer to this one as well.
  • The final currently planned update for Stories is to improve the Story Queue.  This will automate some of the rules and let us do mass updates.  For example, the plan is for you to be able to post all your chapters at once so they are in the queue, and then you can just click a couple of buttons saying to post weekly on Friday at 9 am.  Stuff like that.  We know it is a bit tedious posting multiple chapters currently.  We'll get a lot more into this later in 2018.
  • The forum software 4.3 updates is also expected earlier in the new year.  The only announced features we are aware of right now are Improved search, Emojis support and Club enhancements to make them more visible when they have activity.  We'll post more as we know about it in our Tech Tuesday posts.


My personal 2018 Stuff:

  • I am planning on writing an entry for the anthologies and novella contest for this year.
  • I am hoping to complete my Harry Potter and the Parliament of Dreams story finally.  16 years is really procrastinating.
  • I am also hoping to spend more time writing in general.
  • And I'm making an active effort to be posting on the site regularly.  A good portion of that will be with the various writer clubs.


Thanks to everyone for making 2017 so great for us!  Here is to all of us having an even better 2018!


One of the most important aspects to our Stories software is allowing members to make the reading window fit their need for reading.  Whether that is to adjust the text size, the contrast, the indents or the width of the text window.  Here are the controls:

Chapter Text Controls Diagram


Text size should be obvious here.  The green highlight, as shown here, means that the current text is larger than the default text.  If you have no highlight, then you have default text size.  If you have A- highlighted, then your text size is set smaller than default.


Chapter Indent Control Diagram


Text Window Width is whether the entire window is filled or not.  This is mostly used on the desktop with a wide screen.  There is no need on smaller screens.

Chapter Text Width Diagram


Contrast Mode shows a dark background.  This helps to save battery and your eyes on mobile devices.

Contrast Mode Example


I hope this blog helps you understand the power of our text controls.  You can have any combination of the controls and it is stored on your device so you just need to set it once and it'll remember.




Greetings everyone!  It occurred to me that since this is the gift-giving season, we should share with you that GA does have a built-in Gift Card system that you can use to gift Premium Content (or credit for eBooks).  


But first, let me get to the why Premium?


Everyone who has been on the Internet for awhile and is familiar with the other story sites like Gay Authors knows that there are basically 4 business options out there:

  1. A private or small group that covers the cost of running the site and everything associated with it.
  2. Advertising covers cost of running the site.
  3. Donations cover the cost of running the site and everything associated with it.
  4. Freemium Model (GA), where there are tiered membership and advertising with most content being free.


The biggest site out there is, of course, Nifty.  They have advertising, but they mostly run on donations.


When Gay Authors started 15 years ago, we also ran on the good graces of others.  I found that trying to juggle grad school and never knowing if the bills were going to be covered month to month on Gay Authors was just too stressful.  I decided early on that we were going to hitch our wagon to the advertising wagon, and, when we started making enough to cover the cost of the bills, we stopped taking donations.  Now, advertising tends to fluctuate a lot day to day and month to month.  For a long time, we were able to keep our growing costs under the curve of the fluctuating ad revenues.  However, we eventually hit the point where the costs of running the server were exceeding the revenue we could get to cover it.  At that point we faced a situation where we had to decide whether to go back to a mixed advertising/donation model.  From the beginning, and to this day, I'm not comfortable with that model.  I want to provide value to our members with an explicit promise, that if you pay for premium, I'll keep the doors open.  We'll provide you with additional content AND we won't show you ads.  This has worked very well over the years.


What you get for Premium:

  • You keep Gay Authors Open for Everyone.
  • You get to browse the site ad-free without hurting the site like Ad Blockers do.
  • You get additional stories that aren't available elsewhere.  Or, they might be available as paid eBooks.
  • You help authors that are involved in Premium.  We compensate authors via different options like buying rights to use the story for Premium, by advertising for the author, helping the author with self-publishing through services.  We also are an honest to goodness publisher with our own block of ISBN numbers that we can assign to eBooks or other options.


You can also use the Gift Card system to purchase a membership for your friends who might not be able to cover the cost of a subscription.

The Gift card option is right on the front page of the store:  https://www.gayauthors.org/store/

Screenshot of Gift Card location in Store




  • To get one, just click the Buy Button.
  • Then, select the color for your gift card. 
  • Fill in the card.
  • Select the amount.  (The prices correspond to the various subscription options for Premium)
  • Choose to send via email or print it out.
  • Add to cart.
  • Select your payment method and checkout.
  • If you used email, you're done.  If you printed, you have a redemption code for the gift card amount.  Share that with the person you wish to gift it.


Redeeming the code is easy.  "Redeem" is right next to "Buy" in the picture above.

Click redeem and enter the code.  It will put credit in your account which will be visible in the store, and you can go make your purchase.  The system uses account credits before billing anything else.


Thank you all for supporting Gay Authors through the years! 



As I mentioned last week, it is my plan to post short feature highlights as well as other tech-related items here each Tuesday.  This week it is about our Letter format and IM/texting formatting.

This feature is available across the site, and the buttons are displayed in desktop/laptop-sized windows and tablet-sized windows.  The buttons are not in the mobile browser due to space limitations.



There are two ways you can use this feature:

  1. You can type everything you want to format (or paste it), highlight it and then press the format button.
  2. Or you can press the format button and then type everything you want (or paste it) in the box.


This is an example of the Letter formatting. image.png

This is an example of the IM/text formatting. image.png

The formatting will appear as it does when you post, right in the editor.  If you are typing in the box and want to get out of it, just hit enter twice and you'll be back into the normal editor.


Please note that the formatting does vary from browser to browser and from operating system to operating system.  The Letter format is more script based to imply handwriting, while the IM/Text formatting uses monospace (Courier) to imply computerized text.  In both cases, the text is indented and put into its own box.


If you have stories that need this format, I suggest going back and editing your story accordingly.  This method does work properly with our chapter text control and won't later run afoul of formatting problems.  (it is just putting this in a format box and we then could tweak the formatting for everything tagged this way all at once, thus providing improvements to ALL stories that are properly tagged in one go.)  As time permits, the staff will clean up older stories by authors no longer with us for one reason or another.


Please let me know what you think in the comments below.  Was this feature helpful?  Did you have something else you wanted to see?  I have a list of topics I'm planning to share but I will shuffle dates around if people show a strong desire for a topic.


Tech Tuesday - Spoiler Tags

Hello!  Welcome back to Tech Tuesdays!   Starting today, we are planning on bringing this feature back for you every Tuesday.  Most of them will be short but will highlight either existing features or coming features.  


Today, we will be going over the use of the spoiler tags.  These are built right into the editor and should be used to hide information that would otherwise spoil someone's enjoyment.  This often applies to the big twists you see in books, movies, tv shows, games, etc.  It is considered rude and obnoxious by many to let out a big secret before others have had a chance to get to it themselves.  On GA, you can hide text in many places like Stories, Forums, or Clubs. It's a good way to hide sensitive material such as reader reviews as well as large blocks of text that you want to share but don't want always visible, such as a story or chapter sample for feedback. 


It is especially important for Gay Authors to use Spoiler tags because the activity stream shows content out of context.  For example, the latest reviews and latest story/chapter comments can be seen in the stream, and it's very easy for someone to read a comment on a story they haven't had a chance to read yet.  The information inside Spoiler tags is NOT shown in that stream.

How to use:

  1. Click the "eye" icon on the toolbar. image.png
  2. Type your spoiler information inside the box that appears. image.png
  3. Type the rest of your comment.
  4. Submit your comment.

and you get this:



Also, here is a video that walks you through it:



Sorry About That

Well, first right off the bat, I want to apologize for the upgrade taking so long to get all the bugs worked out.  I did not expect nearly 3 months to track all these bugs down.  That said, there was 5 forum software updates and a server change in that same time frame.  Each one of those updates caused unexpected surprises.


So where are we now?

As has been true since the first week or so, the major features work.  Some of the integration features act unexpectedly on occasion.  (This is especially true of the Activity Stream system).

Are there still bugs?  Yes.  There is nothing show-stopping left though.  Now that the Author Follow is working properly you should be seeing more consistent notifications of new stuff.


Where are we going now?

I am still working with the programmer to eliminate the remaining bugs.  Most of the bugs currently left are not generally visible to everyone.  As I'm sure you noticed by now, some of the integration is pretty sensitive and fragile so fixing something over here, might break something over there.  I think we have moved beyond the worst of it though.  The next big thing on our agenda is Forum software 4.2 and Stories 2.1.


What is Forum Software 4.2?

While we have not been idol with our stories software updating, the forum software has also been going through a major overhaul.  So, I'm sorry that you just got used to this set up and we're making more changes soon.  The price of security and keeping software up-to-date is that we are at the mercy of the programmers and the changes they make.  There are some really nice new features in the software we'll be using though, so it will be worth it.  The two big ones are Clubs and Social Media Promotion.  (Though I also like the new free Fluid forum where it takes all topics and shoves them into one giant list you can filter.  It's pretty handy).  You can see the same forum here, if you're interested: https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/

There is also a quick video flashing some stuff:


More information on Clubs:



What is in Stories 2.1?

Stories 2.1 is a vastly smaller upgrade then what we just went through.  It is focusing on one core feature which I am calling Reading Lists.  It will allow you to create two types of lists... people and stories.  There are some default lists I'm planning... Favorite Authors (public), Favorite Stories(public), Reading History (defaults to private unless you choose to share), and To Read list (defaults to private).  You'll be able to add your own lists. 

Tying in with Clubs, there will also be, "recommended by club members" list.  We will also have clubs like a writing circle where you can post a story like it was in the system, but be available only to the club members


The plan is to have Forums 4.2 and Stories 2.1 this summer.


Thanks everyone for the patience and understanding you've shown as we've gone through these upgrades.



Updated 10:15 PM  EDT Wed Jun 7, 2017


We've gone on for quite awhile since the upgrade.  We still have a few odd bugs that we are working on, but for the most part, things are working now or we have a useful enough work around.  We've gone through several software updates of the forum also in this timeframe which added to the difficulty of properly troubleshooting the issues.  We are sorry it is taking so long, but it is only one developer who also has another job.


You can always find the latest stories by clicking the Newest Stories link on the side menu after you select "Stories" on the main menu.



You can adjust your notifications here:



You can see all the content you follow here:


There are How To videos for various aspects of how to use the site on our YouTube Channel. 


We will add more over time.  We are also working on Closed Captioning for new videos and ones we've posted.


This is a list of open bugs and their status:

  • Advanced Story Search should now be working. Please alert us if you find some combination that is not working. Fixed
  • Story Related Activity Streams are functioning except for the "My content" filter.   This is still being worked on.  Fix: Friday
  • Favorite Authors and Favorite Stories mechanism is being replaced.  Currently, it is based on "Likes" of Story on story detail page and author author listing page.  We have a much better method we are working on.  Fix: Stories 2.1
  • Notification of comments on stories I like. Fixed
  • Notification of comments on chapters I like. Fix: Friday
  • Notification of comments on stories I authored. Fixed
  • Notification of comments on chapters I authored. Fix: Friday
  • Manage Followed Content - Story Authors Database error. The link has been disabled for now to reduce confusion.  Fix: Friday
  • Stories RSS feed is not working as intended.  Please see link above for latest stories. Fixed
  • Notifications are now working for stories if you follow the author.   Fixed
  • Add story and Add Chapter now pop-up confirm prompts.  However, they do not save when expected.  after you confirm the prompt, you must click save again. Fixed
  • Notification of comments should link straight to the comments now.  Fixed
  • When deleting a chapter, the chapters will be properly renumbered.  Now if you have staff delete a chapter, the chapter count is corrected. Fixed
  • Underlying story meta data for search engines as been fixed to improve search engines finding your story and knowing that it is a story. (schema.org) Fixed
  • Guest teaser box for both story and chapter comment form areas. Fixed
  • Last updated and follow code added to story listings as well. Fixed
  • Next chapter title automatically added when adding new chapter. Fixed
  • Latest Stories Widget no longer shows unpublished stories. Fixed
  • The "child" tags issue should now be fixed.

 Updates will be ongoing until everything is working.




I quickly threw this together to help out a member that messaged me.  Please forgive the mumbling of the word author. lol.  I have not have my caffeine at all yet and it's not even 6 am.


This video will show you how to use the quick search features built into the new Stories system.  @Carlos Hazday, thanks for being the random author selected for this demonstration :)




I hope this helps show some of the power behind the system and why it is worth the patience as we work through these bugs.



The Site will be offline starting at 3pm Eastern Daylight Time on Friday March 17.


The site will be completely offline for a handful of hours and will slowly come back online after that.
More details here:


We will also be posting updates on our social media pages as well as our newsletter. (especially if we experience any surprises)
If you have not already done so, please follow us on all or any of the following:


You can post questions here:


Incidentally, I've been posting short YouTube videos into that forum that give some handy demonstrations of the new software.


I will post updates as they become available.


It has been a couple of weeks since our last update here, but we have been working hard behind the scenes to get our story software ready for the site. We're down to a handful of bugs that are preventing an upgrade here. Hopefully those get taken care of this week and our test upgrade goes smoothly. If that is the case, then we'll probably aim to be upgrading around 3/18. We'll post updates both here and on our social media outlets as we know them.


What to expect
There is going to be some chaos when we do this. We're doing everything we can to minimize it, but there is just too much to do, in a specific order, to have this go as smooth as we would desire.

  1. When we run the software update, the site will be completely inaccessible for two to three hours.
  2. If there are no nightmarish upgrade issues, you'll then see the site upgrading message and everything will still be offline.
  3. While things are offline, we'll be scrambling around behind the scenes in updating settings and creating the site menu and color scheme. These have to be done on the live site and, though I know what they look like, it will take time to get there.
  4. When we come back online, not everything is going to be turned on. Priority will be Forums and Stories. Chat may be turned on, but the entire chat service is dying off on April 30th. It will only be temporary, and we'll evaluate more when the upgrade has settled.
  5. Site search will be offline for about 48 hours. Well, it would be more accurate to say that site search will return few to no results until after about 48 hours. The system will be building the search index in the background.
  6. Things are going to be different. While everything should look similar, they will be different. The new software has been redesigned from the ground up based on a modern platform, including mobile devices. Keep in mind that the 3.X software we are currently running is older than Facebook... Everything that looks modern here is grafted on and it is creaking under the weight. The new software fixes a lot of the oddities. For example, you'll be able to edit comments and reviews on stories, which you can't do now.
  7. It's going to take a while, probably weeks, to get everything dialed in and tweaked to where we want it. We'll experiment and make adjustments based on needs.

We are doing a number of things to try to ease this transition:

  1. We have our Beta Testing Team who have poked around with the software and have had some one-on-one time with us and will hopefully be able to lend some advice based on their experiences.
  2. We will be updating our FAQ very regularly with updated methods to use with the new software.
  3. I have procured a decent microphone and software, and I'll be recording help videos on how to do certain tasks that we'll post to YouTube and link directly into the FAQs. I'm really hoping that this method helps the most people as I can make these videos fairly quickly now that I've practiced a few times.
  4. We have opened a new Site Upgrade Questions and Answers forum which is the top forum on the site. https://www.gayauthors.org/forums/forum/262-software-upgrade-questions-and-answers/

We are doing our very best to keep people informed and up-to-date on what's going on.


I'll ask everyone to please remember that the entire staff here are volunteers and that this upgrade is going to be stressful for all of us. If you are feeling frustrated during the transition, I can't recommend strongly enough that you take a short break from the site and give us a few days to get the worst of the transition behind us. We understand that people do not like change. But in technology, you change or you die. Google is forcing sites to be as mobile friendly as possible, and this software just isn't it. We have to upgrade as soon as we can or risk further slipping in the Google search results.


To be explicitly clear, the staff is going to be extremely overworked, stressed and pulling their hair out when we upgrade. Having a dramatic moment in that time frame will result in an involuntary break from the site because we will not have the time to deal with the drama.


This week I wanted to talk about the reading formats we are providing for everyone. This is a work in progress as we continue to fix bugs and tweak how the final version will look.

First up, this is the default of what you'll see the first time you go to read a story (though with slightly larger font then default):

There are 4 things members can control here, and the system will remember your settings on the PC.

  1. Font Size. You can go up and down a nonsensical amount. Default size is indicated by white background on both + and -. If the background is green then you are either larger or smaller than default.
  2. Indent style. You can choose between internet style with no indent and old fashion book style with indents.
  3. Text width. You can choose to have the width of the text appear 100%, 75% or 50% of your browser window. (handy if you maximize a browser on a wide screen)
  4. Contrast. You can toggle contrast on and off.

The nice thing is that you can mix and match to get the settings you like.
3/4 Width:


Contrast (Yes, we are still working on the format here...):

Big Font for those that want it:

No idea why you'd want ant size print... but it is currently an option:

The whole purpose of this is to allow members to read our content in the way that is most comfortable for them. We've tried to provide the tools in this build so you can customize things to your liking.

What do you think?


One of the most noticeable new features in the forum software update is called Activity Streams. It completely replaces "new content" and is far more powerful. Activity Streams track every activity that occurs on the site, and you can set up your own custom streams.

  • As an author, want to track all the comments and reviews on your stories? Easy.
  • As a reader, want to have an update stream for all the authors you love? Easy.
  • Want to track Your reviews? No problem.
  • Want to see status updates of your friends? Easy.
  • Stalking someone? That's kinda creepy... But it is like Facebook.

All Activity is just that. It shows everything that is going on. New posts, comments, stories, reviews, status updates, gallery pictures, blogs, whatever. It is built in and will be right on the menu where it is easy to find.


Latest Stories will be the default Activity Stream and there will be a link to it near the top right of every page. But if latest stories isn't your favorite, you can change your default to what you want. For example... status updates. Lots of people love those :)
Another note here is that you have a LOT of filtering options of what to show and how to show it. Want only new story updates since your last visit? Make the change. You can then save that stream so you can view it whenever.


Showing off some versatilty... I want the latest story updates, but only from the authors I select. A few quick clicks and done. A custom stream for the authors I want to follow.


This system is really powerful and pretty easy to use. We'll set up a bunch of lists and you can customize them for yourself.


We are currently waiting on Stories Beta 18. This beta should address all current outstanding bugs and we'll do one more thorough bug hunt through the software making double sure that the stuff that matters most is working. We'll then look to upgrade the site. We're down to weeks, barring any major surprises.


Let us know what you think!


Hi all! I hope Santa was nice to you, if he happened to swing by your pad.


As promised, I am starting to post weekly blogs to bring everyone up to speed on what's going on with the coming changes to the site and our Stories software. Today I am going to talk about the big change to reviews.


We are changing the nomenclature on what counts as a review. Today, the system allows you to leave a single comment on a story and on each chapter. We label this a 'review', though most are just comments.


In the new system, everything that exists on the site today will become a "comment". Then, going forward, there is a new thing called "review". A review, as defined in the new system, occurs on the story only. They consist of a star rating of 1 to 5 stars and a required comment. Other readers will then be able to then choose "yes" or "no" on the question "was this review helpful?". The default order of reviews will be "most helpful". Also, reviews can only occur on completed stories.


The whole thing looks like this:
stories-2- review-comments.JPG


The reviews actually cause the star rating to update and it shows how many reviews were made, what the average is, and what you rated the story:


Reviews and comments can be edited.


Comments will appear at both story level and on the chapters. They are unlimited, meaning that a chapter-related thread back and forth between authors and readers can be done right at the bottom of the chapter. We will still have forums for authors for deeper discussions, so this doesn't mean they are going away. But it will allow you to make a quick comment on the chapter as you complete it as well as easily read what others have said.


I know this is a pretty big change and leaves everyone with no reviews, per se. But it brings the author/reader conversation right to the story and gives us an opportunity to have a real review of a story written that others can vote on so the most helpful story review rises to the top.


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