I would like to introduce Adam Croft, author of Kempston Hardwick mystery series. I asked him to talk about how his career as and author has evolved.
How I Launched My Career as an Author and Why I’ll Always Feel Like a Fraud
I’m often asked what the turning point was which made me realise a career in writing was viable. That’s actually a far trickier question to answer than it seems. All I know is that I’m still becoming more and more certain with every day.
Writing is something I’ve always wanted to do with my life, ever since I can remember, but it wasn’t until I sat down to write my first book, Too Close for Comfort, that I actually started to act on that desire. Even when I’d finished writing it and published it on Amazon Kindle, I still thought it was just something quite nice to have done. It never struck me that I’d just launched a new career and way of life which was to change me forever.
The book was live on Amazon for a couple of months, doing not very much. It was 1st April 2011 when I woke up and checked my sales, as I told myself I’d do on the first of every month (after all, I was only getting a couple of sales a week so there wasn’t any point in checking more frequently). I thought it was an April Fool’s joke at first: the book had seen over 7,000 downloads overnight and was sat at the top of Amazon’s bestseller chart.
I get a lot of people asking me for marketing advice and help on promoting books. There’s a good reason why my blog doesn’t often focus on marketing and promotion: I don’t know any more about it than the next author. The truth of the matter is that I still don’t really know where all those sales came from. I wish I did, but all I could do from then on was to continue writing and writing. That’s still my biggest piece of marketing advice when I can give it. The best thing an author can do is write, publish and repeat (there’s even a very, very good book on author marketing titled just that).
My other big tip would be that you must treat writing as your prime (if not sole) focus in life. I dedicate absolutely everything to writing and drama in some form or another. It’s what I live and breathe. As much as you might only be able to manage an hour here and there to write, you simply must find more time for it. It’s a lifetime’s journey and you need to treat it as such. For me, this absolute dedication makes things even more exciting and keeps reigniting my passion for writing and drama, day after day. It took me a long time to realise that. In the meantime I spent two or three years in a deep pit of depression, during which time I seriously thought about killing myself on more than one occasion. Dark times, but I’ve since realised it was my mind telling me it absolutely needed to live and breathe writing and drama. Ever since I embraced that, the depression has all but disappeared.
Making writing your life isn’t just about spending as much time with pen on paper (or fingers on keyboards) as you can. It’s about being in the sphere; talking to other writers, voraciously consuming as many blogs and books on the craft as your brain can muster. I absolutely love it when readers and writers and anyone else with a passion for books and drama gets in touch with me. Writing is a lonely, solitary business and that small bit of contact with someone else who has a shared passion is invaluable.
In short, you have to ask yourself the question: Is being a writer the single most important thing to you in your life? Ponder it for a minute or so. If your answer is ‘yes’, the ball’s firmly in your court. Make the most of every second.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished the fourth Kempston Hardwick mystery, The Thirteenth Room, which is out on Tuesday and is available to pre-order from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TFFT6VA
Tell us a little about your previous works and how we can get our hands on them.
I write two main series — some gritty crime thrillers and a series of cozy British murder mysteries. You can find them by searching Amazon for my name or by looking on my website: http://adamcroft.net/books/
Where can we stalk–erm, follow your work online these days?