Plan For Success In Your Indie Author Business And TikTok Marketing With Adam Beswick

How can you plan for success as an indie author even early in your writing career? How can you create multiple streams of income and multiple marketing channels, while still writing your books? Adam Beswick goes into his strategies.

In the intro, Kickstarter announces new functionality to help creatives;Watch out for a scam email about ALLi [Writer Beware]; Gary Vaynerchuk on the shifting marketing arena [Marketing Against the Grain Podcast]; Day Trading Attention by Gary Vaynerchuk; Camera free video options [Brave New Bookshelf]

Plus, Microsoft Build event with new AI-enabled PCs and Copilot agents [Microsoft]; My thoughts on seeing Hamilton; and Spear of Destiny coming this week!


Today’s show is sponsored by ProWritingAid, writing and editing software that goes way beyond just grammar and typo checking. With its detailed reports on how to improve your writing and integration with Scrivener, ProWritingAid will help you improve your book before you send it to an editor, agent or publisher. Check it out for free or get 25% off the premium edition at

This show is also supported by my Patrons. Join my Community at 

Adam Beswick is the best-selling author of the Levanthria series which has taken readers on epic journeys from corner to corner of the world. While mastering the craft of fantastical storytelling, Adam simultaneously embraces the rewarding challenges of family life as well as being an authorpreneur.

You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below. 

Show Notes

  • Setting the foundation for your author business
  • Having the confidence to financially invest in yourself
  • Wrestling with the “importance” of choosing a writing career
  • Creating multiple streams of income
  • Overcoming the initial fear of creating video marketing content
  • Staying consistent with your TikTok marketing and growing your viewership
  • How to diversify away from reliance on any single platform

You can find Adam at

Transcript of Interview with Adam Beswick

Joanna: Welcome to the show, Adam.

Adam: Hi there. Thanks for having me.

Joanna: I’m excited to talk to you.

Tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing and publishing.

Adam: Well, I started writing around 2017. I was a mental health nurse, working silly hours in really stressful environments. I absolutely loved my job, but I needed a bit of an outlet at the end of my day.

I started writing bedtime stories for my children. Then it was my eldest daughter who challenged me to write a proper story, as she said at the time. I was joking with her that by the time I’ve written it, you’ll probably be old enough to read it. Lo and behold, two and a half or three years later, I had a story that was written.

I’d published my first book, which was Arnold Ethon and The Lions of Tsavo, which is now known as the Spirit Beast Series, as I’ve rebranded that story last year.

So that’s really how I got into writing. I wrote a couple of books in that series, they were kind of YA urban fantasy. It was a bit confusing what genre it was in. Then I spent the next two years figuring out how to actually publish them.

I was listening to all your podcasts, listening to Jenna Moreci, Bethany Atazadeh, and quite a few different indie authors to get hints and tips on how to publish those books.

It wasn’t really until 2022, when I pivoted and released a new book in a new series, which was A Forest of Vanity and Valour, which was a dark fantasy retelling inspired by Robin Hood, that my career started taking off.

Joanna: Oh, so interesting. So first of all, I love that you come from healthcare. I mean, as a mental health nurse, I feel like you bring an attitude of caring from that job. I’ve seen you speak, and I think that comes through in the way you are in the community, which I really appreciate.

I wanted to ask you about how you went full time as an indie author in 2023, and we’re recording this in 2024. So this is a big decision. So you left that job, and—

Can you just tell us how you made the decision to leave the job and how you’ve dealt with that shift?

I know it’s a big deal.

Adam: So the hardest part was convincing my wife that it was a stable career choice to be making. So, yes, throughout 2022, my books’ trajectory started increasing.

It was late 2022 when I sat down with Mrs. Beswick and kind of laid out the financials and told her my intention that I really wanted to go full time. I did really enjoy my job. I was in a band 7 post in the NHS in a complex care commissioning team, which I did really enjoy.

I had a good sense of purpose, but the hours compared to the time it was allowing me to write and keep on track of everything for my indie author side that was really gathering momentum made it quite difficult to juggle the two.

Luckily, I managed to convince Mrs. Beswick that it was a good idea for me to go full-time. I think it was the 14th of February 2023 that I was able to leave that role in the complex care team in the CCG and become a full-time indie author. It was something that was incredible. I never thought it would ever happen.

So 2023 was more about working on my foundations which I had been putting into place in 2022. So making sure the foundations were right, and that that way I could progress and move into my 2024 plan, which was around growth.

So 2023, my primary focus was getting into a good routine, a healthy routine. I was making sure I was still being able to write books that people would enjoy, as well as planning far enough ahead to make sure there’s plenty to look forward to keep me motivated as well.

Joanna: Well, on that, let’s dig a bit more on what is working on foundations. You mentioned there a healthy routine and some planning, but—

Give us a sense of what foundations you were working on.

Adam: Okay, so the entire time before I went full time, in 2022 when A Forest of Vanity and Valour first started taking off, I had to learn fast with the networking side. What I mean by that is kind of replying to feedback and emails and comments on social media from readers and trying to build that engaged audience.

So 2022 and 2023, there was a really big focus on building those platforms and working on my newsletter. Making sure that my business was set up correctly has been absolutely key.

As we’re all indie authors, our focus a lot of the time is just on writing the books.

What we actually forget is writing the books is only a part of that indie author career.

We’ve got to be marketing experts, and there’s so many different hats that we have to wear, that one of the factors there as well was making sure that the business side was set up.

At first it’s quite overwhelming, but making sure that you’re set up for success from the beginning is absolutely key so that you’re not caught chasing your tail.

Joanna: Well on that, again, you come from healthcare, so how did you learn how to set up a business correctly? I mean, I worked in business, and I ran my own businesses, so that’s always been easier for me because I had that experience. So how did you learn that?

How did you make sure you had the right [business] setup?

Adam: So as a nurse, one of the things that is drilled into you from the first day of your training is to be a reflective practitioner. A lot of those skills that I’ve kind of adapted as a nurse, I’ve transferred into my indie author career. So that reflexive practice is something that I’ve always done.

Seeing what’s working, what can I change? If I were in that situation again, what could I do differently? How could I improve my responses?

Running the business is very much the same. You’re not always going to get it perfect, but you have to be susceptible to feedback and being able to adapt, and be quick on your feet and pivot if things aren’t going correctly.

What I made sure I was doing is that I got a good accountant that was able to advise me very well on how to adapt and change as my business continued to grow.

So for example, going from a sole trader to a limited company, how to set that up to go into being VAT registered. There’s a lot of background stuff that can be quite overwhelming if you haven’t got the right circle of people around you.

So in having a good accountant, they were able to explain everything to me, answer any questions that I might have. Obviously, I work more and more with them as my books have done better and better, as I’ve needed more and more support on certain elements of the business.

Joanna: I love that you did that because I also did that when I decided to leave my job as a consultant and do this. I planned to be successful, and I made a business plan for a six-figure business. It was something that is actually very rare, so well done for doing that.

Now for people listening who are like, “Whoa, Adam did that quite quickly.” So how do you have the confidence—since you started in 2017, really, but 2022 was when it really took off—

How do you have the confidence to spend the money on things like an accountant earlier on in the career when you don’t necessarily know that things are going to carry on growing?

There are people listening who just don’t know how they can make that step, I guess. So any tips around that?

Adam: So first and foremost, I invested in myself. It was easy to do when I was earning a full-time wage. Obviously, my time was spread a lot thinner, but when I was still working full time as a nurse, I had an income that covered all my bills.

So any extra income I was making through my books, I could just reinvest straight back into the business. So while I wasn’t full time, and still had that main source of income coming in, I was using any money that was coming in to invest into those foundations I spoke about earlier.

So I was paying for future books to be formatted and edited. I was covering the cost of my audiobook narrator for multiple books in advance while that money was there.

Once all that stuff was paid for, and I could see that the royalties were kind of going beyond what I could spend on the business, that’s where I started saving that money to one side to make sure I had six months wages saved up for the day that I did go full time.

Joanna: That six months, I also did the same thing. It’s really interesting, I said to my husband, Jonathan, if I can’t make this work in six months, then I will go back to my job. I imagine you said the same thing. In fact, you could go back anytime, right?

Adam: Well, it’s quite a surreal moment, really. So obviously, being a nurse, I have a yearly PIN that I have to register with the NMC. Last year, I renewed that, and it expires tomorrow, and I’m not going to renew it. It is a bit sad, but I haven’t been practicing as a nurse for 15 months now.

I have the belief that my books and my publishing company will go from strength to strength.

So I guess you have to have that inner belief that you are going to succeed because they’ll always be that seed of doubt. If you’re not backing yourself, who else is going to back you?

Joanna: I agree. Well, then I’m going to ask you a question that came up a lot during the pandemic, and I’ve thought about it too.

How important is writing story when we maybe could do something “more important”?

Like people would say, oh, I should save lives, I should become a doctor or a nurse instead of writing stories. So I wondered if that’s something you’ve wrestled with or any thoughts on that?

Adam: I think one element of how you could look at it is that in a way authors were kind of key workers in that pandemic. Everyone was trapped and isolated and alone, and there was a resurgence in books, in general, because more people were suddenly reading because they had nothing else they could do.

They couldn’t socialize. So actually, if those stories didn’t exist, a lot of people wouldn’t have been able to find the escapism that they did during COVID. I continued writing.

I was running an extremely complex service-learning disability service near where I live when COVID hit. We were a week away from opening when we went into the first lockdown.

So I was working with some incredibly challenging and complex individuals with autism, mental health needs, challenging behaviors, and we had to carry out all that work during lockdown conditions.

So we were going into hospitals, working with individuals, transitioning them from one state hospital into living in their own flat in the community with the right levels of support.

Writing was a release to what was an incredibly stressful time for me. So that was my escape.

I was sitting down first thing in the morning, not so much last thing at night, and I was just up an hour before anyone else in the house got up. That way there was no time lost with my family, that my writing wasn’t impacting my family life.

I just kept writing. The more motivated I got with stories, the more I found my stories were coming together a lot quicker.

Joanna: I love that. I actually have a quote on my wall. I only read it recently, but it helps me, which is by the horror writer, Adam Nevill. It says,

“If you are gifted with an imagination, it must be used.” Adam Nevill

I love that because you’re obviously someone who also is gifted with imagination. You’re also gifted in other ways, but I love that you’re using it.

As you say, we help people through our stories. I know that took me a long time to really accept, and it’s something I still think about. So yes, I love that.

So let’s just come back to something else you said, which was in 2020, you pivoted. So you had The Spirit Beasts series that you rebranded, and then you moved into the dark fantasy retelling.

Why pivot? Is this about writing to market? How did you decide to do that?

Adam: It was a bit of both, really. So I was in the build up to the second book in my Spirit Beast series, as it was called then, and sales weren’t anything breathtaking. Outside of family and friends, I was finding it incredibly hard to market.

Writing and releasing the books was difficult, in the sense that we’re having to scrimp and scrape every penny we had to do the formatting and the book cover design. So I was kind of limited to releasing one book a year.

So I was actually sat watching the latest Robin Hood film with Mrs. Beswick, featuring Taron Egerton. At the end of the film, I was having a bit of a grumble that I didn’t like it, and Mrs. Beswick lost it with me and just kind of said, “If you think you can do better, why don’t you write it?”

So I just got the bit between my teeth and was like, right, okay. Then I sat down and thought, well, what if it wasn’t Robin Hood’s story, but more a retelling?

Then it kind of escalated to, oh, what if it was a fantasy retelling? So a completely new fantasy world, but it’s more of the trope of Robin Hood that you recognize.

Then I was like, oh, what if Blackbeard lived in this world? What if there were witches, and King Arthur, and Merlin, and St. George? Then my mind just kept escalating.

I was like, oh, these could all be standalone stories that interconnect with characters that appear. Like in the first book there’s a bit-part character, but by book three, they’re a main character with a book around them. Then it just grew from there.

I think I wrote that book in a few months, and it was the quickest I’ve ever written a story because I was hyper-motivated once that concept started to grow. It all came about because Mrs. Beswick decided to challenge me because she was sick of me grumbling.

Joanna: I mean, there’s lots of ideas that come up like that. So you wrote that book, but did you keep in mind the marketing?

How did you then discover that this was going to be the thing that would sell more easily?

Adam: I didn’t. So at first, I was looking at how I could speed up the process of publishing, from a cost perspective, and I came across a platform called Kickstarter. I’m sure everyone is aware of it now.

I’m proud to say that my first Kickstarter finished about a month before Brandon Sanderson made it widely known that Kickstarter is a fantastic platform for publishing books.

The money that I was able to raise from that Kickstarter meant that I could publish A Forest of Vanity and Valour, and I had enough money to cover the costs for book two.

That meant I could release that three months after the first book came out, rather than a year. Up to that point, my books were taking me about a year at a time to release.

Joanna: So just tell us there so people get an idea, because you mentioned Brandon Sanderson, and, of course, his money on Kickstarter is ridiculous.

How much money did you make on that first Kickstarter?

Adam: Around two and a half thousand pounds.

Joanna: Okay, so let’s say that’s around three thousand US dollars. So this is not a Brandon Sanderson amount of money, but that was enough for you to take that and invest that in the books.

So then, let’s talk about how you drove success from there. I feel like you talked a bit earlier about how you were building your engaged audience, and you mentioned a few things, but you’re kind of well-known now around TikTok and using that platform.

Talk about when you started to use TikTok and why you decided to go that way.

Adam: I think it was January 6th, which was a week before A Forest of Vanity and Valour came out, that one of my friends who was my accountability partner, we’d had a conversation to say we’re going to make 2022 our year.

To do that, I knew that I needed to say yes to more opportunities and stop being overly cautious and avoiding scenarios. I was always worried about what was going wrong, or what could go wrong and the risk, rather than looking at what the reward could be.

So my mantra was kind of as long as it doesn’t put my family at detriment, then it’s a risk that I’m happy to take, regardless of how uncomfortable that may make me.

Rob challenged me to join James Blatch’s TikTok for Authors group, where they were doing a five-day TikTok challenge. It was designed to get yourself on camera and start talking about your books on a video format.

I was absolutely terrified. I couldn’t hold the camera.

I tried filming myself, and I was shaking that much. It was ridiculous, it was only me in the room.

So I did the challenge, I filmed a video, and I think I released three videos a day, every day for five days. I became hooked very, very quickly. I started posting about A Forest of Vanity and Valour, letting people know about it, letting people know about me, introducing myself, trying different kinds of videos.

By the end of January, I’d made 100 pounds without spending a penny on advertising. That proved to be a pivotal moment and probably the most important part of my career so far.

Now, a lot of people might think that’s a lot of work to do, and look and think, well, you’ve only made 100 pound profit. Whereas my mindset was that I’ve made 100 pounds without spending anything on ads. So I did a deep dive — 

I looked at the content that was generating engagement, and I just started tweaking it like you would a Facebook ad, doing your AB testing.

I kept trying different types of videos, and then continued posting three videos a day, until I think it was the back end of April, or middle of April, that I had my first semi-viral video. That meant that from two books I made just around 2000 pounds.

That really opened my eyes to what was possible from a video, from a content-making point of view. So that was all the motivation I needed.

I started thinking in small term goals. Let’s aim to continue to get at least X amount of sales every day for a whole month, or X amount of page-reads. Then it was if I can do 2000 pounds a month for six months, that shows this is sustainable.

I just kept repeating that, trying different kinds of videos, releasing new content, but most importantly, keeping writing books, keeping the audience engaged and showing them what is coming in the future. As, obviously, it was a series that I was writing.

It just kind of went from strength to strength with the video marketing. In August of 2022, I had my first viral video, truly viral video, which was about 2 million views.

By that time I had two books out, but I also had had the audiobooks produced with the money I’d made that year from my books taking off on TikTok. It was just in that cycle of posting content, and I wasn’t really chasing virality.

Virality, it’s fantastic when it happens because it can set you up for more than a few months, but the focus for me was keeping posting content, keeping engaged, keeping motivated, keeping growing that audience for the remainder of 2022, and beyond into 2023.

Joanna: All right, a couple of things I want to come back on. So first of all, your business model around platforms and things. So you’ve mentioned Kickstarter, but then you also just mentioned page reads, and I think you also have your own store.

What kind of setup have you got around sales? How are you driving most of that revenue?

Adam: Okay, so obviously, I heavily use video marketing to direct traffic and sales. As everyone knows, with platforms like TikTok and Instagram reels, for example, you’re not guaranteed that engagement. So your sales can’t be as consistent as you might like.

So again, this is why the foundations of having your own audience to tap into is key. So last, I think it was 2023 about August time, I wasn’t really happy with the page reads, what I was getting paid for page reads. My page reads weren’t necessarily groundbreaking, I have a lot of people that will buy the physical copies of my books.

So in September, I set up my own store. I took all my books out of Kindle Unlimited, and I took all my audiobooks from exclusivity with ACX.

I set up my own bundles on my store and started working with a company called Bookvault to print my books.

They will print the books, and they’ll distribute books, so I don’t have to worry about having a huge amount of stock, and they’re print on demand. I started letting my followers know about it. Between September and December, my store just completely blew up. It was absolutely insane how well it was doing.

People were really interested in that story, it wasn’t just the books they were interested in. It wasn’t that I was completely unhappy with Amazon, but I think I’d be lying if I didn’t say we all have grumbles that things could be better with royalty rates, things like that.

It just felt like everywhere I went to, the indie author and the creator who has put all this money and invested all this time into the product, was actually getting the smallest piece of the pie. Which again, when I get the bit between my teeth, it kind of sends me into hyper focus.

So my store became my priority. So I still left my books on Amazon, but all my links, everywhere I directed people, was just to my store.

I started hitting five-figure sales on my store within that first month, and that’s continued ever since.

What I was also surprised by was my Amazon sales were kind of matching what my store was doing. It was kind of neck and neck for the rest of the year, which is something that I really didn’t expect.

So I’ve just gone from strength to strength, and my focus now is having as many income streams as possible. I’ve got a wife, a family, and children to support, so I need to protect them as best as I can.

The best way I can do that with my books is to have as many different revenue streams as possible. It doesn’t matter how small that stream might be trickling in because it all adds up down the line.

So I’ve got some audiobooks on YouTube. I’m just in the process of setting up Ream, which is a subscription platform like Patreon. That’s something I’ve only started doing recently.

I’m on Amazon. My eBooks are wide now from Draft2Digital. They’re on Findaway Voices, my audiobooks, and they’re on ACX as well, just on the frustratingly lower end of the royalty scale.

Joanna: I love that, and I really think this is something that a lot of people don’t realize with selling direct. As you’ve done, and as I’ve done, is that directing all the traffic to your store means that people will still look at it, but a lot of them will just buy elsewhere. So that’s what you’ve seen.

Let’s come back to the video. So you said, originally, you were in the room on your own, you were terrified, you had anxiety, and you were worried about it. Look, I am someone who has not done much video because I just don’t like it. I just don’t want to do it.

I feel like there’s pressure as a woman to wear makeup on videos, and I just cannot be bothered. Also, that’s not how I spend my time as a consumer. I don’t watch video. I’m not on TikTok, or YouTube Reels, or any of the YouTube Shorts, all of these things.

So I feel this massive resistance to video, but everybody seems to suggest that this is a very good thing to do. So if there are people listening who are like me, and they just do not want to do video, what are your thoughts on people like me? Should we even bother?

Are there ways we can do video without using our faces?

Adam: There’s tons of different ways of creating short form and long form video content. I suppose you’ve got to find the balance of what works for you.

Now ultimately, if you’ve tried it and it just doesn’t work for you, don’t push yourself. Ultimately, you don’t want to give yourself anxiety, but you’re going to have to look at other organic or paid ways to generate traffic.

Now, video content is a great way as a new indie author to generate that interest, and find new readers, and potentially create that small level of income that you need to invest back into your business to then start building that sustainable growth over a period of time.

It’s not going to happen overnight. There’s too many people that will post videos sporadically over a month, once every three, four, or five days.

With your video content, you’ve got to show up every day. You’ve got to be creative.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing because you’re constantly trying to figure out what’s working, what’s not working. Then when you think you’ve solved it, TikTok, Instagram, they all change their algorithms just to keep us on our toes.

So it is about adapting, you have to have a strong mindset and a belief that you can achieve it. You also have to be aware that it could take months, it could take six, seven months of putting the work in before you start seeing the results. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

I think if you were to have a video take off on day one, you kind of psychologically have that expectation that you deserve your video to go viral every single time you post. Ultimately, TikTok and Instagram, they don’t owe us any favors.

It doesn’t mean they’re punishing us when a video doesn’t go out, it just means that that given day, that given time, that video just didn’t resonate with people. There’s absolutely nothing to stop you reposting that video another time. Again, that might work, and sometimes it might not work.

At the moment, TikTok doesn’t seem to particularly like reposted content. The viral video I spoke about earlier that got 2 million views on TikTok in August 2022, on Instagram that same video has generated 10 million views.

It was posted quite a few times because there’s times where it doesn’t get views, and then there’s times where it just goes crazy and starts getting that engagement. Every time they do, it generates sales.

Once you’ve created the content, you’ve got it forever. So you can repost that as many times as you feel comfortable doing. If you don’t post about your books, people aren’t going to know about them. If you post about them, what’s the worst that can happen?

Joanna: Yes, and I think you’re right.

Everyone has to have some way of marketing, and whichever thing it is, concentrate on that.

I mean, obviously I have the podcast, I have a big email list. I use, I guess, more traditional methods.

I think, as I said to you before we started recording, I came into this 2006/2007, and I feel like I need to relearn a lot of things, especially as things change, as they do all the time.

That’s why I love listening to you, and when you spoke at Seville, and I listened to other people, and it’s like, things do change. So while some things stay the same, some things change.

I did want to ask you, so earlier you said that you were struggling to sell that first series and it was hard to market. So you only started doing TikTok on a series that did start selling. So is it that TikTok is not a magic bullet to sell anything, it needs to still be used for book series that are already selling? Or—

Have you tried marketing that other series that was hard to market?

Adam: I have tried. I have completely rebranded the other series. I’ve sunk quite a lot of money into having new covers designed, rewriting them, having them re-edited because I wasn’t happy with the editing the first time around. I’m happy with the books, but they don’t make any significant amount of money.

The readers enjoy it, which is what is important. I know if I stopped marketing my Levanthria Series and focused on my Spirit Beast Series for a couple of months, they probably would start shifting more.

There’s more books in my Levanthria Series, which means that’s my main income maker, so there is more of a focus. So I suppose I can be guilty myself of neglecting it.

It is part of my plan over the next few months just to start giving The Spirit Beast Series the attention that it deserves. Whether that be looking at the more conventional ways of marketing, like email newsletters and stuff like that, paid promos, Facebook ads.

I think what my focus is going to be is kind of splitting my time better. So I went to SPS Live last year, and Marc Reklau gave a fantastic talk. One of the take homes there was his 80/20 split.

So I’ve kind of broke that into different segments. So for example, this week, 80% of my time I’ve set specifically for writing because I’m writing a new book. 20% is the business and marketing side of stuff.

Now, within that 20%, 80% of my marketing will be focused on The Levanthria Series, and 20% will be focused on other things that I’m working on, other books or other projects or new things that I’m releasing, if that makes sense.

So it’s just about balancing that time right to make sure that I’m able to market other series more, but it’s always hard. Again, it’s a mindset thing. You can put a few videos out, and if they don’t take, you kind of get deflated. Then I’ll naturally go back to my series that I know sells, which I can be guilty of.

Joanna: Well, the fact is, it’s true, and many authors don’t like it, but in every business—

80% of the revenue comes from 20% of the books.

Or 20% of the work. I mean, that 80/20 rule works for so many things. In a traditional publishing house with millions of books, only a small number of those are going to be the money drivers. The same is true for us, as authors, I think.

Out of my catalogue, there are books that barely sell a single copy in a month. I mean, it really is concentrate on the ones that do make money, and then put time, as you say, into new series and other things that might be more experimental.

I did want to just come back on one thing. We’re recording this the end of April 2024, and in the US last week, President Joe Biden signed into law the ban of the app TikTok within the next, let’s say, nine months, unless it’s sold from the Chinese owner.

It might not happen, or there might be a sale to somebody, maybe Mark Zuckerberg or whoever. Like whatever happens, there are going to be some changes. I mean, even if it doesn’t sell, there are always changes in the algorithms, as you said.

What is your advice to authors who might be worried about what might happen to TikTok if they’re relying on it for a lot of traffic and sales?

Adam: Yes, so you’ve got to have a backup plan. Now, TikTok has kind of blown up again in America with TikTok Shop. Now, we were fortunate enough to get that around six to nine months before it kind of landed in America.

I know so many indie authors in America who their careers are thriving because of TikTok Shop, and I absolutely get why they would be worried. TikTok Shop enables people to literally watch a video and buy a physical book, there and then, while still watching the video. That level of integration can really drive sales.

I used to TikTok Shop, but I’ve kind of pivoted to focus more on my store. That’s, again, just because the profit lines are better, and they work for me. So again, it’s just about how you want to manage that.

I like to have my eggs in multiple baskets, rather than all being in one.

I used to just be on Kindle, and Amazon, and KDP, and it was just over a year ago when all the horror stories were coming about.

People’s accounts were just being banned out of the blue, the crime being their books had been pirated by other people, which they’ve got no control over. It frightened me, especially because I was quite damn dependent on my income from my books.

So I made the decision then to start exploring wide options. It wasn’t until three or four months later in September, having spoken to a friend of mine and her husband, Laura and Ross Bertie, where their focus was direct selling, that it really opened my eyes.

Even after having that conversation and the difference it made for them, it still took me a couple of months to actually start implementing that change. We’re all scared to change, but we kind of have to embrace it.

The worst thing we can do as creatives is get stuck in a monotonous routine because it’ll just affect how we write, how we market our books. So just explore in different ways, in different avenues of advertising.

For example, we’re on TikTok fire. It’s a free platform for marketing our books, which is great, but that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be free. You’ve got to be ready to pivot and change at the drop of a hat.

It’s us that has to change, not the platform.

So use it while it’s there. Use any upcoming platforms that you think might make a difference. Again, I’m in the UK, so it’s not as scary for me, but I’ve got a big readership in America. Like 70% of my readers are based in America, so it could impact me massively.

So again, it’s using the time we’ve got to inform people, let people know what your concerns are, try and build that connection to say, “Well, we don’t know what’s going to happen with the app. There’s a link to my newsletter in my bio if you want to keep in touch,” in case anything happens to you.

Or you can set up a store with the integrations, for example, like Shopify. Then you’re not as reliant just on TikTok Shop or TikTok driving the traffic. If you are making money, make sure you are investing that back into your business.

So for example, for the last four or five months, I’ve been investing money into Facebook ads, which are the bane of my life, I absolutely hate them. I think paid marketing is the biggest con going because, again, the marketing companies make money more money than we do.

I’ve had to kind of bite that bullet because I need to find a way to get ads working for my Levanthria Series because I know that’s the only way I can focus on a new series that I’m writing or other projects that I’m working on, from a video marketing perspective.

Otherwise, my attention is always going to be split between books. So I’ve got the video content I know that works, so I’m pivoting by running paid Facebook ads to my store to try and keep those sales coming in for one series.

So then I can focus on my other platforms, not just TikTok, and any other growing platforms. So for example, the last two weeks, I’ve been more heavily involved on Threads because there’s quite a big author community growing on there, which is great.

So it is just that. Don’t get sucked into just having one avenue to generate traffic or generate that engagement.

You need to be active over time, over multiple platforms, which in itself can be quite overwhelming.

So you have to find a balance that works for you and that isn’t a detriment to yourself, your family, or your mental health.

Joanna: Absolutely. Everything we’ve learned, since I’ve been an indie author as well, is that things change, and often they move from free to paid.

So Facebook used to be free to reach people, and then it ended up being mostly paid traffic. A lot of the stuff on Amazon has changed. You mentioned ACX. I mean, when that first came out, the royalties were much, much higher, and then they kind of ratcheted lower over time.

So I think you’re right. Everything that we do, you can’t take it for granted that it’s going to last. I mean, Twitter/X also is another example of something that completely changed under new ownership. So, yes, very good to think about. We’re almost out of time, and—

You have been working on a new project. So tell us more about that.

Adam: Yes, so, I’ve got a few projects because I like to keep myself busy. So not only am I writing a brand new series in a brand new genre, which is LitRPG, which I am having an absolute blast with that. It is probably the most fun I’ve had writing a book in a long time.

I’ve also set up a publishing imprint to start publishing books by other authors. I’ve been working with a bestselling author Cara Clare, creating a new pen name for a dark fantasy romance series that she has written.

That we will be publishing through my new imprint, which is Arcane Passion Press. That comes out on the 28th of May.

Joanna: Yes, so as this goes out, it will be tomorrow. So hopefully by the time it goes out, people can go and have a look at that. So do you have a whole new sort of website and a whole new sort of place for that? Or is that still through your main website?

Adam: Yes, so Mrs. Beswick started working full time with me at the beginning of this year, as it was just too much for me to do because I like spinning plates, but some were starting to smash on the floor.

We’ve been busy behind the scenes kind of getting, again, all those foundations set up. So the website is live now,

We’ve got a profile on Ream set up where you can actually read the story for free at the moment, but when this goes out, you won’t be able to anymore as the book will be launching on Kindle Unlimited. The book is called The Jester, which is a fae fantasy romance.

Joanna: Tell people where they can find you and everything you do online.

Adam: So my store is, that’s where I drive all my traffic. My books are also available wide on Amazon, and digitally through Draft2Digital across a lot of other platforms. Same with my audiobooks, they’re available wide.

I’ve got a website in development which will start integrating the novel games community, which is the social media marketing side of things that I do, because I just like to keep myself busy, apparently.

Joanna: Fantastic. Well, thanks so much for your time, Adam. That was great.

Adam: Thank you.

The post Plan For Success In Your Indie Author Business And TikTok Marketing With Adam Beswick first appeared on The Creative Penn.

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Author: Joanna Penn

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  • May 26, 2024