Everybody that follows me knows that my new action thriller series JET has been wildly successful, far surpassing my expectations in its first 90 days of release. It’s gotten about 145 reviews during that time, the overwhelming number of which have been enthusiastically positive (and which I didn’t even have to pay for!), and not a day goes by now when I don’t get an e-mail from a reader asking me when the hell I’m going to stop slacking and write JET V.
JET, for those who aren’t familiar with the tale, is the story of an ex-Mossad operative who fakes her own death to get out of the game, but gets sucked back in when her past comes back to haunt her. It’s written in a breakneck style – I wanted to write the fastest-paced action thriller I’d ever heard of; something that launched from the first pages and kept accelerating right through to the end. I sort of envisioned a kind of literary equivalent to the TV show 24 – except with a female Jack Bauer, a cross between Bourne and Kill Bill, with some Lisbeth Salander seasoning and with a little Bond (shaken, not stirred) twist. In other words, a female main character with a whole lotta kick ass who can take names and deal with business.
NEWS: Great new interview at Free Kindle Books and Tips with, well, you know who. Worth a look!
NEWS: An awesome new interview from Cellardoorians on my craft and creations. A classic. Sort of.
I also wanted all the books to be big books that moved from exotic locale to exotic locale – as did the Bond books. I can honestly say that when I came up with the rough idea, I had no sense that I would be penning the fifth installment within as many months, and be eagerly looking forward to doing so. But there it is. That Jet. She kinda grows on you.
Some have said that JET is my best work. It’s certainly sold enough – 20K copies in 90 days – so why the hell would I ever want to give it away for free? I mean, it’s a real novel – almost 90K words, not some teaser. A book that earns substantial revenue. So what, have I lost my mind? Do I just hate money? Have I gone altruistic on your ass? Am I swearing off all worldly reward?
Not hardly. The way I see it, 2013 is the year where I need to broaden my audience, and increase my visibility – my reach. My novels have found acceptance with a decent sized crowd, for which I am grateful, and I believe that if more people knew about them, they would do even better. But how to gain broad market visibility absent Random House coming in, offering me a whopping contract, and then spending millions advertising them? Simple. Give one of my best books away.
My confidence in the work is such that I’m betting that most who read JET will want to read more, if only to see whether the writing and pacing was a fluke. My second bet is that once they finish with the series and realize that it’s not a fluke, they’ll move to my other series (the Assassin series), which begins with King of Swords. And then once they devour that, they’ll give my stand-alone novels a whirl.
And hopefully, tell a friend or two.
I also want to have 2013 be the year where my sales on platforms other than Amazon take off, and by keeping the JET series available across all vendors, I believe I can begin to really see some movement in the Apple, Kobo, Sony and B&N stores. Time will tell whether this was a good strategy – as of this writing, my giving away JET equates to investing about $250 a day in making it free. That seems like a lot, and I man have second thoughts after a month, but for now, I’m going to give it a whirl. My thinking is I’ll need to give away 250K copies to get 10K new readers. I’ve already given away 75K from promos, so I’m almost halfway there. Frankly, I’d just as soon have a million copies of JET out there, as I’m not as interested in sales as I am in getting readers. A sale is a one-time event. A reader is a relationship.
And I want that relationship.
If you haven’t picked up JET yet on Amazon, or on B&N or Apple or Smashwords, to see what all the fuss is about, please do, with my compliments. And here’s to hoping 2013 is as good as 2012 was. So far, so good.