Thursday, September 7, 2017

1,000 MODELs

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.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What I Read This Summer

Every summer, I make a promise to myself: cut into the large stack of books, whether ink-and-paper or digital, that I have amassed. And every summer, that promise fails to truly materialize--at least that has been the case since 2013.

But with some time over the course of the last three months, I did some serious, serious reading, and managed to slice my way through the reading pile--as well as dust off a few of my old favorites.

In all of 2017, I've now read 23 books--but starting May 16, I began my summer reading. From that date until just a little while ago today, I managed to read 19 books.

Here's a list:

The Harry Potter collection

It had been well over five-plus years since I last read J.K. Rowling's fantastic series, and I had yet to read the new Cursed Child screenplay. Reading these books swept me away, like it did over a decade ago.

So that's eight books, right there.

Abigail, by L.L. Craft

A pulse-quickener that isn't exactly for the faint of heart. Eagerly awaiting the sequel.

Goodman's Bad Day, by Michael Crane

Mikey finally wrote himself a novel, and it's as I expected: a solid tale derived from his slice of life stories and expanded.

The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel #2, by Bruce A. Sarte

I thought I had read this years ago, but apparently, I hadn't. Bruce is very good at bringing Philadelphia to life, just like I am with Boston or Worcester.

The Interstellar Cargo series (2 books and a novella), by Matthew Verish

A solid sci-fi series, and I'm waiting for the third book to arrive.

The Burning Room, Harry Bosch #19, and The Wrong Side of Goodbye, Harry Bosch #21, by Michael Connelly

I love Connelly. I love Bosch.

A Catskill Eagle, Spenser #12, by Robert B. Parker

One of my literary heroes, Parker.

Star Wars Aftermath and Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt, by Chuck Wendig

Being the Star Wars nut that I am, I've wanted to read these as the rumor had it that Snoke is in it as another character. Didn't find him in the first two; still have to read Empire's End.