Category: Book Marketing (page 1 of 1)

Books I Read in 2022

Here’s a broadly-applicable statement — 2022 was a mixed bag. It’s true of the books I read too. Going back to 2003 when I first started keeping up with this, I’ve used a 4-star rating system that is entirely subjective. Here’s a list of the books I read in 2022 and the rating I assigned to each.


  • Brandon Sanderson, Rhythm of War (Stormlight Archives), 3 stars
  • Stephen King, Billy Summers, 3.5 stars
  • Gillian Flynn, Dark Places, 3 stars
  • Brandon Sanderson, Edgedancer, 3 stars
  • Brandon Sanderson, The Alloy of Law (Mistborn), 3.5 stars
  • Brandon Sanderson, Shadows of Self (Mistborn), 3.5 stars
  • Bonnie Kistler, The Cage, 3 stars
  • Brandon Sanderson, The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn), 3.5 stars
  • Stephen King, The Outsider, 3 stars
  • Peter Straub, If You Could See Me Now, 2.5 stars
  • Stephen King, Elevation, 3.5 stars
  • Stephen King, The Wind Through the Key Hole (The Dark Tower), 3.5 stars
  • Michael Crichton, Dragon Teeth, 3.5 stars
  • Brian Panowich, Like Lions, 3.5 stars
  • Emily St. John Mandel, Sea of Tranquility, 3.5 stars
  • James S. A. Corey, Leviathon Wakes (The Expanse), 4 stars
  • Michael Crichton, Next, 3 stars
  • John Scalzi, The Kaiju Preservation Society, 3.5 stars
  • James S. A. Corey, Caliban’s War (The Expanse), 4 stars
  • Martha Wells, All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries), 4 stars
  • Martha Wells, Artificial Condition (Murderbot Diaries), 4 stars
  • Martha Wells, Rogue Protocol (Murderbot Diaries), 3.5 stars


  • James Scott Bell, How to Write Dazzling Dialogue, 3 stars
  • Matthew McConaughey, Greenlights, 3 stars
  • Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers, 3 stars
  • Dean Wesley Smith, How to Write a Novel in Half a Month, 2.5 stars
  • Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven, 3.5 stars
  • Jennifer Hilt, Horror Trope Thesaurus, 3 stars

Books I Wrote

I also published three books in 2022. I’d be remiss not to include those in the list as well. I certainly read them (several times) before they entered the world. I will refrain from rating them though. That’s a bridge too far, even for me.

  • J. W. Judge, Seeking Sanctuary (The Zauberi Chronicles, Book 2) (link)
  • J. W. Judge, Forging Bonds (The Zauberi Chronicles, Book 3) (link)
  • J. W. Judge, Write Your Novel One Day at a Time: How to Write a Novel While Having a Career, a Family, and a Life (link)

Big Day Today!

Lots of things going on today, so let’s just start at the top.

New Book!

My new book, Write Your Novel One Day at a Time, released today. I hope it lands in the hands of a lot of would-be writers because I think it’s a great tool. Here’s a synopsis:

You’ve always had the ideas for your novel. Now, you can do the work of writing it.

Write Your Novel One Day at a Time will help develop the processes to do the creative work of writing your novel. I will show you the power of consistency by giving you a look at my daily word counts and journal entries through the six-month endeavor of writing my third novel while working my day-job as a commercial litigator and raising a young family.

You can pick it up wherever you like to buy your books online.

New Podcast Episode!

Episode 9 of The Write Approach is out today. Barbara Hinske and I pick up from a prior episode in talking about providing description through dialogue and character actions, rather than having big blocks of text that people want to skim.

Writing Update!

With October behind us, here’s what it looked like for me. I wrote 12,432 words, which brought me to 127,711 for the year.

I’ve written about 43,000 words of Casual Business with Fairies. For most of the book, it’s been trending shorter than the first three novels, but there’s SO MUCH that still needs to happen. Act 3 may end up accounting for more than a quarter of the book that it usually occupies. It’s a peculiar position to be in to have written 2/3 of a novel and still have so much up in the air.

Vulcan Rising Is Free from July 1-7

For a limited time, you can get Vulcan Rising free at Apple Books, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and directly from me at Payhip. Go here to choose your preferred retailer. The first trilogy of The Zauberi Chronicles closes with the release of Forging Bonds on September 20.

Pick up Vulcan Rising now so you’ll have time to read it and Seeking Sanctuary before the release of the third book.

vulcan rising the zauberi chronicles free

I Read a Bunch of Good Books in 2020

This wasn’t a banner year for reading for me either in quantity. And I didn’t read any non-fiction books that were just life changing, like I’ve done in 2018 and 2019. But I did read some really good novels. I also read some that were just good enough to pass the time. And in 2020, that was enough.

So here are the books I read and how I rated them on a 4-star scale. The links are all Amazon affiliate links, so if you decide to buy any of these, I’ll get a few pennies, but it won’t affect your price.

After making this list, I realized that this was a more qualitatively good reading year than I had remembered it to be.

Hopefully, when people are making their reading lists for 2021, Vulcan Rising will be on a whole bunch of them.

Book Marketing with Instagram Reviews

After book sales stalled for Stop Putting Out Fires, I decided I to resume my book marketing efforts. Work has been so busy that I’ve had little time for anything other than monitoring my Amazon ads to make sure they’re still getting results. I knew that if I wanted to sell more books (and I do) that I would have to do some marketing.

Podcast interviews are good, but I don’t presently have time to reach out to podcasters, get everything scheduled, then do the interview. I’ve given Facebook ads a few tries but haven’t seen any results. Then there’s the fact that I wanted to try something new.

A New Approach to Book Marketing with Instagram

I have had some success with having friends on Twitter with larger followings than mine to help me promote my books to their audiences. While I don’t have the same relationships with any such folks on Instagram, I am aware of several anonymous accounts who have largish followings.

I sent direct messages to six anonymous lawyer accounts asking if they’d be interested in sharing Stop Putting Out Fires with their followers if I sent them a free copy of the book. My DM looked something like this:

I published my second book in May, Stop Putting Out Fires. I think of it as a devotional for lawyers with ideas about becoming more efficient and profitable. If you’d be interested in doing a review for your IG followers, I’d be glad to send you a copy in whatever format you like. More about the book here:

Two of the recipients responded. The first said that for $25.00, he’d post to his Stories about the book. I haven’t done any paid reviews before, so I told him I’d have to think about it. So I slept on the idea. I became really curious what would be the effect of a post about that book that was visible to his 34,000 followers. A couple of days later, I sent him a copy of the e-book and asked how he wanted me to issue payment.

That night he posted to his Instagram Stories about Stop Putting Out Fires, as agreed. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was hoping for more of an endorsement, something suggesting some familiarity with the book, and maybe (I know this is getting a little picky here) no typos.

Regardless, my first experience book marketing with Instagram was live and starting to get clicks. Since Instagram Stories only last 24 hours, I knew my experiment would yield its results within a finite period.

Results from My First Instagram Book Marketing Efforts

I sent the Instagrammer one of my Amazon affiliate links for two reasons: (1) it allowed me to track the number of clicks and purchases, and (2) it enabled me to make a few cents of whatever purchases were made via the link – this netted me an extra $1.30.

The campaign launched on the night of August 7. Over the next 24 hours, there were 146 clicks and 3 book purchases through the link.

Honestly, it’s fewer purchases than I’d hoped for. With earning about $6.00 per purchase on KDP, plus my affiliate earnings, I made about $20.00 in sales. In the short term, I came out $5.00 in the red. But if just one of those three readers goes on to buy another book from me in the future, I’ll have broken even.

If not, this still netted more results than any of the Facebook ad campaigns I’ve run. As best I can tell, none of them ever resulted in a purchase. Overall, I am pleased with this first Instagram book marketing experience. I’ll definitely consider doing it again and will have a better idea of how I want to set it up going forward.