Earlier this week, I hit an important milestone.
MODEL AGENT: A THRILLER, the first Jaclyn Johnson novel, finally made it to 1,000 sales.
Of course, it's not really a big deal (internal monologue: of course it is). I've hit 1,000 books sold on three previous occasions: my first 1,000, as well as for ROGUE AGENT and DOUBLE AGENT. The fact it finally happened for a six-and-a-half-year-old book.... one that I gave away well over 105,000 Kindle and iBook copies of it to get eyes on the series... well, I'm happy to finally hit it.
Backhanded compliment time: I'm happy because--and I believe I've said it before--I don't believe the writing in MODEL is as strong as the rest of the series (my opinion; you may have a differing opinion). Yes, it's a good story and there are parts where I'm using my fastball, but it's not the way it could have been. It could have been better. Remember that I published it one month after I finished writing the first draft, doing so on a dare. I didn't give the book the requisite three months that I usually give my work. Now here we are, six and a half years later, with the book in print and the audiobook already done, I'm not going back and making wholesale changes like I did with OBLOERON.
I did, however, strengthen the start of the book last year. To go through the entirety of the book would have sent me to the hospital with alcohol poisoning. True story.
Still, MODEL is a good first book. It introduces the protagonist and what she can do. Yes, some scenes are comic book-ish--and that's okay, because she is a comic book character within the realm of a fast-paced thriller novel. The readers who understand that love the story. The ones who don't, don't. I'm not going to twist their arms and convince them otherwise.
But it could have been better!
(Maybe not. Who knows?)
And looking ahead, there are a few milestones approaching. ROGUE AGENT is 53 copies from 3,000 sold. DOUBLE AGENT is approaching 2,300 copies sold (32 copies away). FEDERAL AGENT, the fourth novel, still has a ways to go before hitting 1,000 (188 copies away). And it goes from there. Yes, I am ecstatic with those numbers, and I cherish each reader who has paid upward of $3 of their hard-earned dollars for the digital copy/$13 for the print.
Would I love for the readers who downloaded MODEL for free to continue on with the series? Of course I do. The series is eight books long, with the ninth coming in early 2018. If readers can get by the first book and enjoy the second, I'm sure they will love the remainder of the series.
Because it only gets better from there.