Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Top tips from self-publishing success story Adam Croft



More tips from self-publishing success story Adam Croft. Read his full interview in the November issue of Writing Magazine

The difference between writing a series and a standalone
• The series are something I can dip back into. I know the characters, I know the world. The characters kind of identify themselves. A lot of things come out that I hadn’t planned for. I don’t plan too far ahead. Readers love the series characters, particularly Knight and Culverhouse – they like to see the characters grow over time. When I’m doing psychological thrillers, everything – the characters, the location – can differ. Writing a series is like coming home from work and slipping into a comfy jumper. I wouldn’t say series are easier to write, but they’re more comfortable. I tend to flip between series and standalones – I get bored if I just do the one thing. I’ll write a series one, then a standalone, or even a play! If I do two of the same thing in a row I get bored – it’s nice to be able to chop and change.

Adam’s writing process
• I’m very much a plotter. Things do come in that I hadn’t planned on. I planned out the first book but there were things that changed. I’d say I’m 90 to 95% planner. I’ll brainstorn outwards and see what the beginning and end are going to be, then I’ll plot it out into a synopsis, then break it down into chapters. I use Scrivener, so when I’ve got a skeleton for my book I can pop in and write the chapters, not necessarily in order although I tend to do that. Including the planning and editing stage, a book takes two months – a month of actual writing, 2,000 words a day minimum.

Making it work in a practical sense
• I treat it as a business as well, I don’t do staring out of the window, book signings etc. I’m creating a product that people want to buy. It’s being pragmatic – I cant get by on one book a year. If I can put out 4, 5, 6 books a year, readers still want more. As long as the quality doesn’t drop – I need to keep that up. The structure I have and the way I plan and write means I can keep up the quality control.

Considering the reader
• I bear in mind what readers want – you can’t ignore it – but what I don’t do is base what I’m doing on what people say. I’ve got to go by what sells – what I get feedback on. The Kempston Hardwick books sell but it’s a small fanbase so it’s not commercially viable to write three in a row. The Knight & Culverhouse ones are what people want.

The importance of editing for self-published writers
• Editing and proofreading are about pride – you are asking people to part with money for this! It’s general business sense. Self-publishing isn’t a shortcut. The vast majority of self-publishers are very professional. We use the same editors as the professional publishers. A book will always be edited and have a cover.
I have a design firm I use for my covers, and I use proofreaders and editors. The first stage is I have readers who read early drafts and offer constructive suggestions. Then it goes through development editing, copy editing and proofreading. All the same stages as a traditionally published book. The money depends on who and what, but it’s not as expensive as a lot of people think - £1,000 will get it to market. I enjoy the whole process of getting a book to market. The covers are very important – they’re the first thing people tend to see. I put quite a lot of time and effort into that. The series have a very visual identity – almost a brand, really.

Getting better all the time
• I’m working all the time so that every book is better than the last one. I don’t mind having done my learning in public. I do cringe a bit when I look at the early books but it’s what I did to get where I am now

Back to "How to sell your work" Category

03/10/2016 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Coffee break exercise: Coins

Does your loose change add up to a new piece of creative writing? Cash in with this week's creative writing ...

How to write through grief and turn trauma into readable writing

Author Kim Sherwood talks about writing through different kinds of grief to create her debut novel, Testament ...

Coffee break exercise: Recipe

Use food memories to cook up a new piece of creative writing in this week's exercise ...

Top tips for writing a wartime romance novel

Saga writer Ruby Reynolds shares advice with readers ahead of her publication of A Wartime Promise (Orion) ...

Other Articles

Read more, write better! Writing Magazine bonus content, September 2018

Complement the new issue of Writing Magazine with audio extracts, background reading and more ...

Coffee break exercise: Perfume

Let scent evoke a new piece of creative writing in this week's exercise ...

Creative writing: How to write a novel by Richard Skinner

Richard Skinner, one of the UK's leading creative writing teachers, offers his top ten tips ...

Under the Microscope extra: Back to Forever

Read our suggested rewrite of a reader's first 300 words ...