ENCOURAGING, BUT LOTS YET TO DO...
It's interesting how most people, when asked what they'd like to do in their life, will often say "write a book." I'm in a writer's group and do a lot of reading and critiquing of my fellow group members' work. Sometimes that means reading 50 pages; sometimes it means reading 500 pages. I often get frustrated with this task, although I know it makes me a better writer because to be a good writer means reading and writing every day. But there's more to it than that. Lots more.
I think most people don't realize that writing is just a part, and a small part, of building a writing life. My stories are available at least at 11 different sites, and they're all different in their requirements for reviewing books (long and short stories). For example, if someone reviews one of my stories at Barnes and Noble, that review doesn't transfer over to the other 10 places (or more) it's available for sale. Plus, you must buy the story first before reviewing it. So, if you've read one of my stories already, say you bought it at one of my book events and decide to review it some time later on another site (where you didn't purchase it), you can't.
Some sites have great review programs that are easy to rate with stars, such as Kobo.com, but they have another huge process for getting reviews and critiques through a program called Goodreads. This kind of stuff makes the promotional aspect of being a writer pretty challenging, not to mention time consuming. I end up spending more time promoting than writing...and that isn't a good thing.
I hope you'll take the time to write a review or rate my stories with stars whenever possible. I know it takes up your precious time, but it's enormously helpful for writers trying to live the writing life. I noticed at Kobo that all the best selling books have numerous ratings and reviews.
Thanks in advance for those who rate and review my stories.
Regarding this post's title, I'm encouraged by the number of downloads of my two free stories "Hope Janitorial" and "The Rationale," but I have so much more to do to promote my writing and at the same time continue to write my second novel. A final FYI, I'm almost done with book number two. :-)