Why would I post the stories for free?

I’m a member of several writers groups and quite often you’ll see people asking, “What about posting the story on the free websites?”, and most authors will laugh the person out of there citing, “That’s crazy talk!”

Those are either authors who already have a huge following, or are hobby authors that haven’t done their homework. It’s pretty easy to get a copyright, plus you can join your local writer’s guild and get all sorts of advice to protect your work.

Now here’s why I choose to publish on the free sites.

1. It builds audience!

If it’s a good story, readers will want a copy of it. Plus the books are usually a lot more heavily edited and refined than the online version they’ve read.

With an audience and followers, you have easy access to people that already like your story, so it’s easy to get user reviews. If a published book doesn’t have reader reviews, it often gets shuffled to the bottom of the search results.

Having an available audience, you can give them a discount code to use to buy the book for free or cheap, in exchange for a review! Reviews are gold!

2. Make a couple of bucks!

It’s called anticipation! If a story is really good, people don’t mind spending a couple bucks to have the latest chapter… especially if it’s a well written story. I’ve no doubt some authors actually make more money with their Patreon following than they do from their actual book sales.

Many writers and artists have a Patreon page these days so fans of their work can support the creator. Most people don’t mind spending a buck or two to support their source of entertainment, readers know that the words don’t just appear, it takes a lot of time and thoughtful contemplation to write something and have it make sense and still relate to the rest of the story or even foreshadow something that will happen in future chapters. It’s like having a backstage pass to the creation.

On my Patreon page, patrons can pay as little as $1 PER CHAPTER to get advance access to my scrivenings.

$1 is something that everyone can afford, and it’s not like I sit at home writing for hours each day and pumping out 5 chapters per month! Often it’s simply 1 chapter per month, maybe 2 if I get on a roll!

By charging per chapter, rather than per month, you don’t get charged without getting something tangible in return!

3. Free Editors and Guinea Pigs!

Many of the people reading on those free sites, do actually appreciate that they’re getting something for free, especially if you’re giving them a great story, and they try to be helpful.

Many readers act as free editors. They will point out glaring plot holes, spelling and grammatical mistakes and stuff like that. Plus it’s quick and easy to make edits for future readers… they see a more refined story and give the chapter a good vote! The higher your vote count and ratings, the more readers you get. See #1!

4. Criticism

I know that sounds weird, but with most free sites, there’s always assholes who seem to just enjoy trying to stir up shit! I’ve gotten some pretty scathing emails from readers.

While 99% of the time their criticism is baseless and non-constructive… everybody is entitled to their opinions! Criticism makes your skin tougher and acts like a reality check. If it’s all sunshine and roses, that’s the same as getting a participation award just for showing up, it breeds laziness and entitlement, which is a big part of the reason why the world is in the sad state it is!

6 Month Update

It’s been six months since I started publishing my story Cowboys and Aliens to various websites, all of Book One (The Cowboy and the Aliens) has been published to the sites and I’m now working on getting it actually published to Amazon and other book stores.

I’m also going to be selling the book directly from my website (after learning how much of a cut the various online bookstores take).

Here’s the tale of the tape after 6 months from the two biggest sites that self-publish to…

My story has been downloaded 283,447 times, it’s being actively followed by 1,495 people, it’s been voted on 11,219 times and the ratings are 4.71/5 (94.25%) on Literotica and 8.03/10 (80.3%) on StoriesOnline.

One week later!

Well the first 4 chapters of my story have been on StoriesOnLine for a week now and I’m totally stoked now!

Over 10,000 downloads so far! Over 300 people have added my story to their library so they’ll know as soon as I add new chapters and Cowboys and Aliens is rocking a 7.69 score which is one of the highest scores of all new stories added to their site in the past month!

I just submitted Chapter 5 to StoriesOnline, but you can currently already read up to Chapter 7 on my Patreon page.

Here’s some of the comments I’ve gotten so far… I removed the names to protect the innocent (ha ha ha)…

Keep it up, everyone is waiting for the next chapter

Chapter 1, I thought very good. By the end of chapter 2, I was thinking this has possibilities. By the end of chapter 4, I was wanting more, more, more. Keep it up, this story has a chance of 9.5 or better.

This was a very good story until near the end; then it became an Awesome Story. I’d love to read more, soon. Please continue.

Well this looks like it’ll be FUN!
I for one am looking forward to seeing where you go with it!

Scared Sh*tless

Well yesterday I decided to actually start publishing some of my story to StoriesOnline.net.

I can honestly say that last night I didn’t sleep very well, I was so nervous for taking an idea that I started back in grade 9 or 10 (some 30+ years ago) and actually publishing it for everybody to see.

Here it is 4am in the morning and I still haven’t seen any email notifications for comments, votes or anything. Well it turned out those all ended up in my junk mail folder!

I checked my story and the first chapter has been downloaded over 3100 times and the second chapter almost 2400 times with the story scoring 7.79 through 137 votes, and thankfully there was some good constructive criticism and some volunteer editing.

The stories posted to my Patreon account have been edited and therefore will be slightly different from the ones on SOL.

You’re doing what now?

Since I’m not doing IT anymore, I started looking for another hobby. I like to keep my mind busy.

I’ve been an avid reader of stories and books of years. So I’ve decided to try my hand at writing.

My first story is called Aliens and Cowboys, so as not to be confused with the Cowboys and Aliens movie and graphic novels, in fact, it’s the polar opposite! Thus Aliens and Cowboys and it’s actually an expanded version of a story I wrote back in Grade 9 or 10 called “Turtle Island”.

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