I removed my second novel The Howling Heart from FictionPress. The story was online since July 2009. After 17 months and a disappointing low review count, I decided it’s time to take it down. Some FictionPress users made my story a favorite because I received email alerts every time someone did. But the majority of my readers (whether they made the story a favorite or not) didn’t leave reviews. The lack of reviews didn’t help The Howling Heart at all. FictionPress visitors can’t see how many people “favorited” a story, they can only see reviews. Stories with high review counts attract more potential readers. The only gratification I got from my experience sharing The Howling Heart was I never received a negative review and FictionPress has a reputation for its highly critical reviewers. That’s one of the reasons I hosted my story there. I wanted honest feedback. Every person who took the time to leave a review or send me an email said something positive about the story. I can’t say the same for my first novel A Rose to the Fallen.
If I find any PDF’s or e-books for The Howling Heart on the web, I will try to have them removed. I’ve noticed the story is being searched on torrent sites. I don’t appreciate people taking it upon themselves to create e-books for my story without my permission, especially now that it’s offline.
In retrospect, I wish I had never shared The Howling Heart for free. I should’ve kept the manuscript to myself until I felt like publishing it as a book. I can’t turn back time, but I can go forward with my life much wiser. I’ve learned a valuable lesson about sharing stories for free. I don’t have immediate plans to publish The Howling Heart because I don’t feel like dealing with the stress and frustration of publishing right now. Perhaps in the future I’ll try to publish it. Now that the story is gone, I updated my FAQ’s for any visitors who come here looking for it.