Saturday, March 16, 2013

HASA How-to March 2013

How do I...

... create a Playlist and put stories in it?

Playlists are lists of HASA stories put together by authors and readers, just as music lovers put together lists of their favorite songs.


  • Stories in a series put in reading order.
  • A collection of similarly themed stories, such as Hobbit romance or critical essays on Men.
  • A reader's "favorites" list, complete with explanations of why the reader likes them.
  • A collection of stories by multiple authors.

There are three types of playlists, each featuring a slightly different set of perspectives.

The first type, Reader Lists, is for readers to put together collections of stories that you like, for whatever reason, in the order you like, and by as many authors as you like. Put together a reading tour of HASA!

You can add playlists as follows.

If you do not yet have any playlists, you can make one first:

  1. Go to the Playlists section.
  2. If the Main Menu is not open, click the header to unfold the menu.
  3. From the menu, click on "My Playlists", and choose "Playlists I share" from the righthand column.
  4. You will now see a form for creating a list.
    Type in a title. It cannot be more than 50 characters, including spaces. Make the title distinctive. Do not use double quote marks!
    Type in a description of the list. Use key words like your screen name, characters featured in the stories, and so on. Each one of these words is searchable. Click "Add new playlist".
  5. The playlist is created and you end up on the "Playlists I have created" page. You are now ready to add stories.

Or, when you are in Stories (and this works both for creating a new list and adding a story to a playlist you made earlier):

  1. While you are reading a story you like, click on the "Add to Playlist" button in the Readers Toolbox located at the top and bottom of every chapter page.
  2. If you do not have any playlists at all, you will immediately see a form like the one described above. Follow those instructions to create a playlist.
  3. If you already have playlists, you will see a drop-down list of your Reader playlists, plus a link to "Create new Playlist."
  4. Once you have either created or selected a playlist, you will be prompted to add the story to the list.
  5. Provide a brief explanation of why you are adding the story to the list and click "Add".
  6. The screen refreshes and you can see the story in the list. It is added at position "0". You must set the story to a number other than "0" for it to show on your list.
  7. Use the small ordinal drop-down boxes to put the story in position.
  8. Click "Reorder List" to update the order.

NOTE: When a playlist is created, it is set to Inactive. This is because when it is created, it doesn't have stories in it. After you add stories to it, you must set the playlist to Active to allow others to read it.

The second type of list is the Author List. If you write multiple stories that should be read in a particular order, or if you have different sets of stories (these are my Dwarf stories, these are my Hobbit stories, etc.) you can group them together. The only limit here is that any story included in the list must be Beta, General, or Reviewed status.

Creating an author playlist is also a great way to promote your own works. The most recently updated playlist appears on the home page of HASA, which is a good way to bring a set of stories to the notice of readers.

  1. Go to the Playlists section.
  2. If the Main Menu is folded up, click the heading to unfold it.
  3. Choose "Playlists I Write" from the menu.
  4. On that page, if you do not have an author playlists yet, you will be prompted to create one.
  5. Enter a title and a brief description of the playlist, such as "This is my Legolas AU series set in chronological order."
  6. Click "Add".
  7. When your list is first created, it is set to Inactive. This allows you to put your list together before releasing it to the public. You must set your list to Active to make it viewable.

Now that your list is created, you can add your stories to it.

  1. Navigate to My Playlists-->Playlists I Write in the Playlists section of HASA
  2. You will now see the list of all Author Playlists you have created. If you don't have a playlist yet, you'll be prompted to create one.
  3. Click "Update List" to add stories.
  4. The screen will refresh and you will now see all of your Beta, General and Reviewed status stories in a drop down list.
  5. Select the story you want to add from the drop-down list and click "Select".
  6. Provide a brief explanation for the story. Use keywords that readers might use for searching, such as characters names or story genre. Take time to say something that will spark curiosity about your story and make a reader want to click. If you are putting together a thematic series, put that in.
  7. Click "Add".
  8. The story and reason are added to the list.
  9. Be sure to set the order of the list after adding a new story. Use the order drop-down numbers to do this. The stories that are left set to "0" will not show up in the playlist.

After you have added a story, you will need to reset the overall playlist to Active status.

  1. Click the "Edit Playlist" button in the top table.
  2. The playlist will open in a form.
  3. Make changes to the description if desired and change the status from Inactive to Active.
  4. Click "Edit Playlist".

Workshop Lists. These are the most specialized. These are lists of stories by authors who belong to a particular workshop. If a group of authors is conducting a writing exercise, they could gather the stories in a playlist. Or if the authors are jointly writing stories, they can compose the joint works in a workshop, then put the stories into a playlist with commentary about writing them.

Adding stories to a Workshop List works the same way as described for the other two types of playlist. The only other thing you need to keep in mind here is that only stories that are in a Workshop can be added.

Have fun!

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