Many of my longtime readers know me
as an award-winning author of the Nick Bracco thriller series. They may even
know about my two Pushcart Prize nominations. But very few know the real truth
about me: For the past thirty-five years I’ve been a fulltime sales
representative for a national medical supply company.
Yes, I’ve written seven Nick Bracco thrillers, one stand alone psychological thriller, one thriller which I co-authored with Jonas Saul, and numerous short stories, but the bulk of my income comes from my day job. And I’m not alone. It’s a little-known secret that many of your favorite Indy authors need another source of income to pay their bills. In my case, and maybe other authors as well, I’ve kept my day job somewhat of a secret in order to make my status as a writer seem more authentic somehow. Who wants to hear that Lee Child sells insurance on the side?
Here's the other side of the story—I never tell the nurses or doctors I work with that I’m a writer. Seems counterproductive right? But I don’t want them thinking I do anything but consider their needs 24/7. As a matter of fact, as I’m writing this post I’ve had to stop twice to answer phone calls from my customers, and I’m happy to do it.
I began this Indy journey after receiving an award for A Touch of Deceit from the Southwest Writers Contest for best thriller back in 2008. That attention got me a NY Agent who fancied himself the Literary Lion. (Those in the literary world know who I’m talking about.) Anyway, after 18 months of no news, I received an email from one of his assistants who told me that the Lion was no longer actively pursuing a home for my book. She had left his office and was working somewhere else now, but she convinced me that the work was too good to ignore and that I should publish it myself.
So I did. Creating my own LLC and naming it JK Publishing, after my two kid’s initials, Jessica and Kyle. And things went better than I could have imagined. The response for the book took me by surprise.
Back in December 2010 I sold 10,000 copies of my first book, A Touch of Deceit. In one month. Back when my book would show up on the front page of Amazon merely because it was popular. Back when Amazon was more agnostic about which authors sold books. Before the Big 5 publishers finally got onboard the E-book train and forced many Independents out of the picture. It was the was the wild west. Believe it or not I would outsell John Grisham on any given month. James Patterson and Stephen King too.
So here I am living a dual existence, keeping my day job hidden from my readers, and keeping my customers unaware of my writing career. It’s been hard to navigate both sides of my brain, but I can’t complain about the results. I’ve been able to maintain financial stability while preserving my core group of readers who are very loyal and email me all the time asking when the next book will be published.
Of course the real question is, why am I coming clean after all these years? Well, by the end of 2023 I will retire from my day job and become a fulltime writer. I’m excited what the future holds for me. I can now focus on trying to get my work in front of some movie executives like I’ve been planning. I can work on producing audiobooks for Nick Bracco thrillers 5-7. I can spend time promoting the French and German versions of A Touch of Deceit. All these are projects I’ve been putting on hold until I had the wherewithal to put all my chips into the writing pot.
I want to leave you with these messages: First, to any newbie writer who is committed to becoming a published author, be careful. The publishing world is complex and ripe with con artists willing to take your money to help publish your book, for a fee. Then there are those who will help you get readers to buy your book, for a fee. At the same time there are reputable companies and individuals who can assist you with your journey with a reasonable financial investment. People who can help but are honest about their limitations. For those of you who are passionate about taking this arduous trek but don’t know where to turn, feel free to reach out to me. Please understand I can’t commit to reading anyone’s work or give blurbs for a book cover, but I’ll be glad to offer you advice on your decisions. I can also point you in the right direction should you need help with editing, book covers, or formatting your work for Amazon.
Secondly, to my readers. Thank you so much for your patience and support. I get emails weekly asking when my next book is being published and it only makes me more determined to start the next chapter of my career very soon. I have so many projects on my desk, including a new series which I am co-writing with a very well known ex-NBA star who reached out to me with a terrific idea for a series. You will be pleasantly surprised at the concept. It’s an underserved market that I know you will enjoy, especially since I will be doing the lion’s share of the writing and editing.
I hope to have Nick Bracco # 8 published by the first of the year. Working title is A Touch of Regret. I’m excited for my writing career to flourish in 2023 and can’t wait for someone on the golf course to ask me what I do for a living.
All the best,