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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jan 16, 2020

In this episode Mark interviews Adam Croft and talks about the important and significant change in Adam's mindset that allowed him to become a successful best-selling author.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a marketing/release strategy tip from this episode's sponsor, Findaway Voices...

You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at

Mark then shares and talks about some of the comments from Episode 113 and reminds listeners of the chance to win a copy of Joanna Penn's PRODUCTIVITY FOR AUTHORS by commenting on that episode show notes at by Jan 31, 2020.

Within that comment talk, he shares a short clip from a podcast he had started in 2006 (and then abandoned in 2011 after only 18 episodes) called Prelude to a Scream.


In their conversation, Mark and Adam talk about:

  • How long it took to plan out the interview (based on both Mark and Adam being disorganized)
  • The beginning of Adam's journey into writing - from school and then 2008 when he wrote his first book and 2010, the early days of digital publishing
  • Adam's first book TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, and the planning of the 10th book in that series
  • How Adam spent 5 years floundering about and not really sure what he was doing in the early days
  • The recognition of how his writing itself was a small business, and not a hobby - and how that led to an important and significant change
  • The importance of changing his way of thinking, and bringing the business mindset into his writing
  • The value of taking courses and learning, such as Mark Dawson's Facebook Ads for Authors course
  • How a stand-alone book (instead of a series) was the first big breakaway for Adam, because of the dramatic and attention-grabbing/marketing hook: "Could you murder your wife to save your daughter?" (This was HER LAST TOMORROW)
  • Questions, and how they need to be psychologically answered, as a log-line/hook for getting a potential reader's attention
  • The tag line for TELL ME I'M WRONG: "What if you discovered your husband was a serial killer?"
  • Adam's translated novels in Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Korean
  • The comparison between sending Adam's son to pre-school and the releasing of a novel (regularly considered an author's "baby") out into the world
  • Trying not to have an emotional attachment to any novel, but consider it as a commercial/business enterprise
  • The "imposter syndrome" that continues to plague Adam with each new novel release
  • The two or three "life changing" books Adam has released that did blockbuster sales numbers, and the many other books which have done well, but weren't nearly as remarkable - and the candid nature he has always shared that
  • How Adam deals with the ins and outs and highs and lows of the waves of sales trends in publishing
  • The importance of preparing for the long term, which is an important element in the indie author mindset
  • The value of "evergreen" and a solid residual revenue
    - The partnership with Kobo to have a few of his books translated into Dutch (for the Netherlands market with Kobo's partner
  • The courses Adam runs as well as the Indie Author Mindset Facebook group
  • Why Adam has created simple and short courses, but why he isn't interested in creating any sort of "super" course
  • The more organic long term approach that Adam has taken with his writing business
  • Understanding the multiple paths to success and how different roads work best for different authors
  • The way that Adam balances his writing, his family, and helping other writers


After the interview, Mark reflects on something Adam said: "No book is going to sell a negative amount of copies." Of course, Mark manages to work in a reference to Monty Python during that reflection.

Then he shares a coupon code listeners can use to get 50% off of any of Adam's courses, as well as a giveaway. (Use the code "STARK" at checkout to save 50% off any of Adam's online mini-courses)

Mark then shares the opportunity for listeners of the podcast to win a generous giveaway from Adam for his course on Productivity for Writers.

----> Adam is offering one lucky listener a chance to win a free course. All patrons of the podcast will automatically be entered in a chance to win. And anyone who comments on this episode at by the end of day Jan 31, 2020 will also be entered into that random draw.

Patrons at the $1 per month level, will get 1 entry
Patrons at the $3 per month level will get 2 entries
Patrons at the $5 per month level will get 3 entries

Patrons that comment will get an additional entry.

All entries will be assigned a number and a random number generation will pick the winter. I'll announce the winner in a forhtcoming episode.


Links of Interest:


About Adam Croft - With almost two million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past few years, having sold books in over 120 different countries.

His 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow became one of the bestselling books of the year, peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

Adam lives in the UK with his wife and their child, and continues to write fiction, co-host the Partners in Crime podcast with Robert Daws and write books and create courses to help other authors.


The music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0