skip to Main Content
Self-Publishing Success Story: Adam Nicholls, Thriller Writer

Self-Publishing Success Story: Adam Nicholls, Thriller Writer

headshot of Adam Nicholls

Bestselling British thriller writer Adam Nicholls

In our Sunday Success Story feature, high-achieving indie authors share the secrets of their success to help you boost your self-publishing career. Today, our interview with bestselling British thriller writer Adam Nicholls reveals some interesting insights into his writing life, including:

  • how unpublishing, revamping and republishing his books transformed his hobby into his career
  • how his love of reading motivates and stimulates his creativity
  • how allowing himself time off helps him maintain his productivity

What’s your proudest achievement to date as an indie author?

This year I’ve made it to Amazon’s #1 bestseller slot with two separate books. I never thought something like this could happen for me, but seeing that orange tag inspired me to keep moving forward without looking back.

What’s the single best decision you ever made?

cover of You Saw Too Much by Jay Nadal and Adam Nicholls

First in Adam Nicholl's Lori Turner series

Late last year I decided to remove all of my books from publication, edit them, get new covers designed, and then republish them with new titles.

The results have been overwhelming, turning my (extreme) writing habit into a career.

What’s been your biggest surprise as an indie author?

It’s HARD. Seriously, it’s the toughest thing ever.

I used to think writing would be about sitting in a warm office and putting out a story while getting paid. Boy, was I wrong. There’s building a list, writing to market, consistently publishing, marketing, and much, much more.

What’s your greatest challenge – and how do you deal with it?

I never was very motivated, and that hasn’t changed since becoming a bestseller. It’s still tough to get up in the morning and make myself write. It’s still a chore to edit the trainwreck I wrote the day before.

But like anything, the more you do it the easier it becomes, and with that in mind I set out to make it into a habit.

I’ll let you know when that starts working for me.

How do you get/stay in a creative mood?

Mostly I just get on with it, but when I really can’t talk myself into writing, I sit down and read. More often than not I become insanely jealous of the author’s words and then set out to do better. This doesn’t always work, so when it doesn’t I try not to beat myself up about having a day off.

You can’t go full throttle all the time.

How do you remain productive/motivated?

Books. I surround myself in LOTS of books.

I read, talk to people, even nap if I have to. The longer I put my project down, the harder it is to get back into. I try to remind myself of this, which inspires me to get back in the office and start working.

What’s your favourite thing about being an author–publisher?

cover of Missing by Adam Nicholls

First in Adam Nicholls' Mason Black series

That’s easy: the freedom.

Nobody gets to tell me where to work, when to work, or how to work. There’s nothing better than waking up on a cold winter’s day and knowing I can take my laptop back to bed with a hot cup of coffee and a head full of ideas.

What are your top tips for other ALLis?

  • Keep going, even when it seems like nothing’s working.
  • If you need to learn Facebook ads you can do that, and if you have an awesome cover artist that’s great, but without the product you have nothing to sell.
  • Remember you’re in charge of your catalog and strive to make it a strong one. You won’t regret it.

What’s next for you?

I have a lot of co-authored works due to be published, and I’m even thinking of trying a new sub-genre. Until then, I really want to get better at going out and meeting other authors, attending events and doing anything I can to build relationships.

#Indieauthors - take inspiration and #toptips from our interview with bestselling #thriller writer Adam Nicholls Click To Tweet


Author: Adam Nicholls

Adam Nicholls has been creating stories since before he could legally drink. Inspired by the works of Stephen King, Karin Slaughter, and Gillian Flynn, Adam starts writing each new book by asking himself how best to shock his readers. In his non-writing life, Adam is a bibliophile and avid collector of anything made from paper (utility bills included). He loves warm nights, good wine, and the sound of rain hitting the window. Whenever possible, he likes to get out and see the world, visiting one European city at a time in search of inspiration for his next great novel. Find out more at his website: www.adamnichollsauthor.com.


This Post Has One Comment
  1. The more I learn about you the more in awe I am.Things you have to do to be a successful writer. All your following agrees.reaching out and listening to your readers is great! We love being able to talk to you your not the unreachable writer.Please keep up the great work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest advice, news, ratings, tools and trends.

Back To Top
×Close search