Keep the Lines of Communication Open
The Staff of Fanfiction.net
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Now, this rule is quite understandable - we can see how one may find "Author's Notes" to take a reader out of a story's rhythm (as well as take up valuable space). However, we ask that you please understand our point of view, which will be explained in the following paragraphs.
We care, very deeply, about our readers. Let's face it, fanfiction just isn't popular, and there are a lot of reasons why (carries a general stigma, dilution of talent, fanart is easier), but the point is not in the reasons, the point is in the problem. When we get a real fan, when somebody actually takes time out of his day to write a review more detailed than "Great story, keep it up", then we need, nay, we are COMPELLED to let that somebody know how much we appreciate his comments.
This is why it's important that we keep the lines of communication between author and reader OPEN. E-mail won't do much to help; junk e-mail is still a very strong force on the Internet, and more and more people are opting to only allow senders listed in their address book to get through to them. (Not to mention, a lot of us just don't have the time to write each individual person back.) Therefore, we have to rely on Author's Notes and responding to our reviews in them to keep those lines open.
As far as we're concerned, your new rule, forbidding us to answer our reviews within the story, brings to light the troubles we have in keeping those holy-in-importance lines of communication open.
We have signed below in hopes that you can find it in your hearts to repeal this rule. ALTERNATIVELY, we would like to see an "AUTHOR'S NOTES" feature on fanfiction.net, similar to the "REVIEWS" feature, where for each chapter of his/her story, the author can leave commentary, respond to reviews, give appropriate shout-outs - essentially, the "reviews" feature, turned around so that the author can shout-out to the fans (as opposed to the fans shouting-out to the author when they leave a review).
If nothing else, know this: we care about our readers very much, and our needs to communicate with them spring from that care. Failure to respond to this petition will tell us everything we need to know about how much you care about our needs. You have given us a FANTASTIC vehicle to show our talents. Now, please, help us show our appreciation.
The names below are our PEN NAMES on fanfiction.net.