This episode was much more opportunistic than most. I saw on Adam Croft’s facebook profile that he was number 1 on Amazon in both the UK and US eBook stores, so I thought it would be interesting to interview an author at the “peak of their powers” to find out how he got to number 1 on Amazon. It’s an interesting journey from being a self-published author to being picked up by an Amazon imprint to getting to number 1 in the whole Amazon US store.
What do you think got you to number 1 in the US Amazon store?
In two words: Kindle First. He was both number 1 in the UK and the US, and reckons that he was also number 1 in the whole world for eBook sales on Amazon that day at the start of February.
What is Kindle First and how can an author get into it?
Kindle First is a program where each month 6-8 titles are offered to Amazon Prime members for free and to other people at a discount a month earlier than normal release. These books get massive exposure from Amazon. All the titles are titles from Amazon Imprints. Adam’s book was released by Thomas and Mercer. As Adam’s book was in this month’s list, he knew he had a good chance of being at least in the top ten on Amazon.
How woulds someone go about becoming an author in an Amazon imprint?
Adam says that a lot of Amazon published authors are self-publishers who have already done well on the Amazon platforms. He believes it might also be possible to get there via agents as well. But the best way is to get noticed in terms of sales on Amazon (who have access to the sales figures there).
Has been being published by an Amazon imprint increased your sales of your own self-published books?
Adam often usually makes more sales on other platforms, but certainly this month he has seen a surge in sales on Amazon of his own self-published books as well.
What was the point where you went from trying self-publishing to being a successful self-publisher?
Up until 2015, things had being doing ok, but at that point things starting to go stratospheric. He discovered facebook advertising just before his new book, Her Last Tomorrow, and then he started ramping up his investment in it. The book had a good “hook”, and Adam started increasing his budget and he was making his money back many times over. At one point he was making six figures a month, which caused Amazon’s imprints to start calling…
How much were you spending on facebook advertising at its peak?
At his maximum he was spending between a £1000-£1500 a day, trying to get money from anywhere he could, as he was getting back about twice as much money as he put in, admittedly with a gap between when the Facebook ads needed to be paid for and when the royalties were received, meaning he often had a cashflow problem.
What got you started in self-publishing in the first place?
Adam had an idea in 2008, which he finished in 2010, which was only 22,000 words. He had heard of self-publishing and put the book up on Amazon in 2011.
When did you start making reasonable money from self-publishing?
It had been growing since the start, the first time he was happy with the level of income was around the time his book Her Last Tomorrow was about to be released. He wasn’t prepared for just how well that book took off though.
What are your future plans?
Adam is carrying on with some of his self-published series, and also some thrillers that he may release via Thomas and Mercer.
When you come up with a book idea, do you write books to market?
Adam doesn’t pay much attention to what is hot or not, because he doesn’t feel comfortable writing a genre he doesn’t know, so he just sticks with what he knows.
How do people find out about Adam Croft and your books?
His website is adamcroft.net, he is adamcroft on Twitter, his Facebook Page is Adam Croft Books and his number 1 book, Only the Truth is available on Amazon (Amazon US) for free if you are an Amazon Prime member whileit is available on Kindle First (until the end of February I’d guess). For non-Prime members you can sign-up to the Kindle First scheme even if you aren’t on Amazon Prime and get the book heavily discounted.