Earlier today I posted an entry talking about a reader comment where a reader (from another site) was offended by the fact that I promoted my novel along with the submission of my free story.
When I submitted that story I didn't see an issue with doing it. (I still don't). I enjoy writing and for years I wrote stories and didn't let anyone see them because I was afraid that they weren't good enough for others to enjoy. Sometimes I still question my ability, even though I usually get a lot of positive feedback.
It made me feel very happy and less self conscious when many people, both readers and writers, answered that blog post, letting me know that they also felt that there was nothing wrong with promoting yourself along with submitting a story.
As writers, we all have the dream of getting paid for our work. Most of us don't mind giving content away for free, because we want people to read our work, and we want them to become fans of what we write. But we also like, or even need to generate at least some income from it.
I have, in the past, had readers virtually demand that I keep my stories flowing on a regular basis. Of course I want to do that as much as possible. I want readers to be able to depend on me to live up to the inherent promise that I make when I start a story. Every time I open a story line I am asking my potential readers to trust that I will finish what I start and I do everything in my power to live up to that promise. But I also have to make a living, spend time with my family, and put out the fires in life that always seem to ignite, the way that life-fires do.
In a perfect world I could write stories for free and never worry about income. In a perfect world I could spend all day doing it and still have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a car to take me wherever I wanted to go. I wouldn't have to worry about keeping the car insured, because somehow that would be done for me. Lol. (That would be a really perfect world).
And I do have a novel out there, which is one of the most wonderful feelings I've ever had (as far as writing goes). With that novel I have the potential to earn at least some income. It probably won't ever lead to me becoming wealthy (so far it is far from that), but it's a really cool thing, and it is selling which is a thrilling experience. The writing world and the writing market, however, is an extremely difficult market to get noticed in. Writers like Stephen King, James Patterson, JK Rowling, and many of the other really famous writers deserve the attention they get, but even they are extremely fortunate to have been able to achieve what it is they have achieved.
So whenever you read an author, if you genuinely like their work, and their work is something that you can link or share with your friends on facebook without embarrassment, then I would ask that you consider doing that for that author. (I understand that sometimes you can't because we are on an adult site and sometimes that's not something you want your mom or sister to know about). But if they have a work that isn't so controversial consider doing that for that writer. It's fairly easy to do, and it won't cost you a dime. Who knows ... Maybe you could help that writer make an extra sale or two.