USA Today bestselling British novelist Adam Croft is currently one of the best-known and most successful indie authors around. As he describes in this inspiring interview, his self-publishing success wasn't really an overnight sensation, but the result of a huge amount of focused hard work over a very long time. His dedication and determination – as well as his excellent books – make him an inspiring and realistic role model for aspiring writers everywhere.
What is the secret of your success?
Unfortunately, six or seven years of sixteen-hour days!
There really is no magic potion, much the same as there isn't in any industry.
Most authors will have a book that puts them over the tipping point, but that'll rarely be the first book they release and never be the first book they write.
It's a craft and a business that has to be learned.
As with most things, success is a reward of a hell of a lot of effort. I live and breathe what I do, and I'm always working in some capacity. I never switch off.
What was the single best thing you ever did?
Finish writing Her Last Tomorrow. It was the book that was the difference between the ‘doing alright' that I'd been doing for the previous five years and into the realms of ‘doing really quite alright'. It sat unfinished in my desk drawer for about six months. I hated it, I couldn't get from the midpoint to the ending in a satisfactory manner and I didn't think much of it as it wasn't part of my two main series. But as it was mostly done I thought I should probably finish it and put it out there on a quiet release. The rest is history.
How do you get/stay in a creative mood?
Simple: I never leave it. If I'm not physically writing I'll be reading, perhaps watching a film or TV drama, plotting and planning or even people-watching when I'm out and about. This is all I've ever wanted to do, so I live every second for it.
How do you prioritise?
First of all, I need to hit my minimum word count for the day. That's gospel, and there's no two ways about it.
Equal to that, I always make sure I reply to every message or email from readers. Readers get in touch with me quite a lot on a daily basis, and many of them will want to chat about my books or just let me know what's going on in their lives. I love that direct connection, and it's something you just don't get anywhere else.
I used to split my days 50/50 in terms of writing and marketing, but my wife now works full-time with me and she takes care of most of the marketing and promotion, as well as the business side of things. That frees me up to write more, which means my productivity has increased quite a lot.
Quite a lot, as per usual! There are lots of things I really wish I could say, but I can't. Contracts and stuff. But needless to say it's going to be a very exciting year. In terms of what I can tell you, I have six books planned for this year, am catching up and getting all of my back catalogue recorded as audiobooks and I'm in discussions with regards to my books being adapted for TV and film. Oh, and I've got my first child due to be born in four weeks. Good job I enjoy being busy…
What’s the highlight of being an author – publisher for you?
Everything. Absolutely everything. The buzz of writing, the bigger buzz of launching a book and seeing it out there on the shelves, the contact with readers, being able to let my hair down and do some media stuff occasionally… The list goes on.
I'm really enjoying narrating my audiobooks at the moment, too. It's nice to revisit my books from a different angle.
What are your top tips for other indie authors?
Keep going. It's a tough business, but it's ultimately rewarding if you put the effort in.
Don't expect instant success. The papers are full of stories about know-it-alls like me who just popped up and made a mint by writing a book. It isn't true. It took us all years of hard, solid graft and a shedload of heartache.
An inspiring interview with #selfpublishing superstar @AdamCroft, indie #author role model Click To Tweet
But I promise you, if you get there, it'll be worth every second.