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The £1m self-publisher
Writing Magazine

The £1m self-publisher

Posted October 6, 2016   |   7378 views   |   General Interest   |   Comments (0) Teaching himself the process from scratch, Adam Croft has grown to be one of the UK’s most successful self-publishers. Tina Jackson finds out how he did it.

Adam Croft is living the writer’s dream. He’s a bestselling novelist. He works full-time as an author. His most recent standalone novel, Her Last Tomorrow, sold 150,000 copies in twenty weeks and enabled him to pay off his mortgage. He’s on target for £1m sales this year.

29-year old Adam is one the UK self-publishing scene’s biggest stars. And it never really occurred to him to get his work out there any other way.
‘I finished my first book in 2010. I’d always wanted to do it, I had an idea and fancied giving it a go,’ says Adam. The book was his debut thriller, Too Close for Comfort. ‘I didn’t know anything about the self-publishing process at the time. I discovered you could self-publish so two weeks later I decided to put the book out myself on KDP. Traditional publishing was in the back of my mind but after a couple of weeks I saw the appeal of self-publishing. Financially it just didn’t stack up. All I wanted was for complete strangers to find it. I put it up by January 2011 and it was alright, I got some feedback.’ So far, so much like any other self-publishing newbie. But then something happened.

‘On 1 April I went to look at the sales and there had been something like 7,000 downloads in a few days,’ says Adam. ‘I didn’t know why that had happened so it made me interested in the marketing side.’
Between then and 2015, Adam published eight more books in his two series, the Knight & Culverhouse crime thrillers and the Kempston Hardwicke mysteries. The game-changer, though, was 2015’s standalone, Her Last Tomorrow, a seat-of-your-pants page-turner about the abduction of a child which lives up to the tense buildup of its strapline: ‘Could you murder your wife to save your daughter?’
 
‘Her Last Tomorrow was probably my breakthrough because of that hook,’ says Adam. ‘So far this year I’ve sold 150,000 copies. It’s paid my mortgage off and my wife’s been able to leave her job. It’s changed things permanently. This year I’m projecting about £1million sales.’


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