With more than one million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the best-selling crime and thriller authors in the world.
His 2015 worldwide bestselling psychological thriller HER LAST TOMORROW became one of the biggest selling books of the year with over 150,000 copies sold in the first five months, and has since been in development for television.
Adam joins Rekka and Brian to discuss his mindset shift over a career of 24 books.
Many of you will recognize Adam from his Facebook Ads for Authors infamy. He penned the ad tag line “Would You Kill Your Wife to Save Your Daughter?” This ad propelled his book HER LAST TOMORROW up the charts, even giving J K Rowling a run at best seller on Amazon.
Five years earlier, Adam published his first book to “just get it up there” and had almost immediate success self-publishing in a relatively empty self-publishing market.
He kept an eye on the markets as he was working on a new book, and when he was ready to try Mark Dawson’s Ads for Authors advice, he realized this book (HLT) was a great candidate to use in a new ad campaign. It was a question posed to the reader, and generated some great organic responses and boosting the ads via comments from readers who wanted to answer the ad’s tag line question?
It’s a lot harder now: Adam could sell many times more than his first best seller and barely break the top 100 on Amazon. When he started, there was very little information. Now, he feels that there’s too much information out there. It’s important for the long term that things are done properly.
The next crime thriller from Adam releases tomorrow: THE PERFECT LIE.
Kindle Unlimited and Free First in Series on Amazon are not the magic.
Things that are geared for the short term don’t last. Organic reach, newsletters, and writing new books are the long-term pie approach.
He’s not trying to copy what other people are doing. He started to look at his writing as a business so he can continue to support his family with the books he produces.
Your mindset is the foundation of your career. If you have that right, you can handle the short-term shifts and know where to put your time, effort, and money.
He knows that his marketing techniques don’t need to work every time because when they do work, they really work, and when they don’t, it’s not the end of the world.
Being in the right frame of mind allows us to apply science, and logic to our process. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into every success and we have to be prepared to do it, because essentially, that’s why we’re here.
Adam believes the KU exclusivity contracts are a bad deal for readers and writers. The subscription model isn’t the problem, it allows readers who otherwise couldn’t afford all the ebooks they wanted to read access a large range of books. Putting all your eggs in a worn, leaky basket is not a long-term plan for success. Forcing authors to keep their books exclusive to Amazon gives one company too much control. Kobo Plus, on the other hand, has a subscription model without the requirement for exclusivity.
What’s the number one thing you should be doing as an author to work toward future success? Adam says: Write more books.
He feels it’s better to have a book fail when it’s your first one out than to have great success and no other books to send readers to. “Fail when no one is looking.”
His writing work days are focused on whatever aspect he needs to put his effort into. If he’s working on a new book, he’ll spend most of his time drafting. If he’s launching a book, a lot of his time goes to his launch strategy, and so on. He looks at his experience over the course of a year to judge his effort and his success.
If a book doesn’t respond well to marketing, he doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to force it to sell better. He moves on and writes another book.
eBook structure as recommended by Adam:
Copyright notice isn’t as critical as people think. It’s not going to stop anyone from copying it. You are protected by the proof of your writing process (you do back up your computer, yes?)
Acknowledgements aren’t half as important to the readers as to the author.
Join the mailing list invitation is the most important thing: once you get them to sign up, you can hit them up any time you have another title.
The eBook platform will likely suggest your other books to the readers anyway. Focus on the mailing list.
The first chapter may sell the book, but then the reader has to re-read it (or skip through it) when they do purchase the next book. Put in a tease but don’t chew up the length of the book with pieces of a different book.
Separate your mailing lists between different and incompatible genres. Adam lists his non-fiction titles under Adam L Croft on Amazon to keep writing advice books from contaminating the also-boughts of his crime books.
Write more books. Read more books (especially Adam’s).
The Indie Author Mindset: How changing your way of thinking can transform your writing career
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