Self-published author Adam Croft has been snapped up for a publishing deal by Amazon imprint Thomas & Mercer after releasing what he says is the biggest-selling book by a self-published author in 2016.
Croft self-published his ninth book Her Last Tomorrow in December, and has sold around of 150,000 units so far in the UK, around 500,00 including international sales, and is on track to sell more than £1m worth of books this year, mainly through Kindle, according to the author.
As a result Croft has grabbed the interest of Amazon Publishing imprint Thomas & Mercer, which signed a deal for worldwide rights for paperback, digital and audio, English plus translations, directly with the author to edit and republish Her Last Tomorrow in October 2016 in digital, with the paperback coming in November 2016, and publish another novel from him, Only the Truth, in the first quarter of 2017.
Croft told The Bookseller that while he couldn’t go into details about the terms Amazon deal, it has “paid my mortgage off at the age of 29…that should give you an idea of scale”.
He said Facebook advertising had been a big help in boosting his sales of the title, which tells the story of a man's five-year-old daughter who is abducted from his own driveway, and the kidnapper gives him an ultimatum: He can have his daughter back, but first he must murder his wife.
Croft said: “I took Mark Dawson’s online course and very quickly came to realise that Facebook advertising could be a very powerful way of finding more readers and selling more books. I created some adverts for my existing books and got some half-decent results. Nothing to set the world alight, but early results were promising. Then I remembered Her Last Tomorrow.
“…I released the book in early December and didn’t expect too much to happen. I’d been disappointed many times before. But when the results started to come through, I very quickly realised this was going to be life-changing. Within weeks, the book was earning four figures a day and topping a number of online charts.
“I’ve gone from scrimping and saving to enjoying around £2,000 a day in book royalties. We’ve paid off the mortgage, and that’s just the first twenty weeks.”
He added that there are “even bigger things to come,” following the Thomas & Mercer deal, with film and television agencies “knocking and I’m in talks with them as we speak”.
He has sold 80% of sales for the title through Kindle, 10% through paperback and 10% split across other platforms. The Kindle Direct Publishing Platform offers royalties of up to 70%, depending on pricing.
Eoin Purcell, UK leader of Amazon Publishing said: “We're delighted that Adam has chosen to join the Thomas & Mercer imprint -we’re looking forward to helping bring his pacey, dark thrillers to a wider audience. Adam is an exciting voice in one of the most interesting genres in crime writing right now, whose work really explores the psychological depths of his characters. We’re excited to help introduce him to new readers.”