free short story I published last month has had almost 400 downloads on Smashwords.
I'm a little conflicted about that though. I wrote the short story with the intention of putting it up for free to give readers a taste of my writing style. At the end is a sample of Being Human with links to where that can be bought. It's a piece of advice I have seen other writers say works. Now, it's been less than a month, so I know not to expect ay activity on Being Human, but I still wonder. Out of those almost 400 downloads, how many people will actually read my little story? Is having a short story for free really worth it? I only have the one book out and other stories are still a long way off from being ready to be published. Maybe I jumped the gun, let my impatience get the best of me. Then again, it's not like having the free story will hurt. Maybe months down the road, a bunch of people who downloaded it will read it, read the sample and decide to buy Being Human. I don't know.
That's the hardest part to deal with. Not knowing. As writers, we pour our hearts and souls into our stories, and then we put them into the world with the hope that people will discover it and enjoy it. We all want to be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. We really do, and we try our best to do everything we can think of to make that happen. For some it works, and others it doesn't. We have no way of telling who will hit that lucky strike.
Despite what may or may not happen, I think we should be proud of ourselves. We've crafted a story, created a world and filled it with people. That's pretty cool in my opinion. And when things get tough, when the future seems completely bleak and unpredictable, remember that first time you finished a first draft. Was it worth it?