The self-published best-selling Amazon author’s secret revealed. And it’s not rocket science.

A mate of mine, Kerry Wilkinson, has been in the news this week – well, if you’re into news about books, he is.

Kerry, a sports journalist who I’ve known for a few years, was the top-selling e-book author on Amazon UK in the last quarter of 2011, shifting 250,000 copies in the UK.

Kerry has released three books – a detective series based around a copper named Jessica Daniel – and is currently writing two more.

What makes Kerry’s success stand out is that he is a self-published author. No publisher – the ability to e-publish has meant he could get his work straight out to an audience. And it’s quite an audience he’s found too.

Kerry first told me about his first book late last summer and I bought it – through iBooks as it happens. It was very good, and so was the second one, and the third – which is being read when the baby isn’t waking up at night, so slow going – is also excellent.

There has been a flurry of activity around Kerry’s success this week on the back of Amazon’s press release – if only those journalists read my reviews on Amazon, they’d have been ahead of the curve (joke) – and one of the more eye-catching blogs is by Criminal Complex, which has a post called THE KERRY WILKINSON GUIDE TO KINDLE MEGA-SALES (Sort Of) (sort of being the key phrase there).

It lists five reasons why Kerry’s books have been a success. It misses the real point though. Kerry’s modesty in this Telegraph article also means he doesn’t mention the key point about the success of his books. They’re good. Anyone can self-publish – they always have been able to, it’s just easier and cheaper now. Working on local newspapers, I’ve seen, and been forced to read, dozens of self-published books. On the back of reading Kerry’s books, I’ve intentionally sought out other self-published authors in ibooks and on, and by god there is some crap out there.

And that’s the point: Kerry’s books are very good. In fact, some of the best crime novels I’ve read. There’s that old saying that every journalist has a book in them. Which may be true, but it still needs to be good. And many aren’t.

So, book journalists of this world, please stop distracting with interview requests. He’s got books four and five to write yet.

4 thoughts on “The self-published best-selling Amazon author’s secret revealed. And it’s not rocket science.

  1. David:
    Thanks for the kind words about Criminal Complex. As burgeoning writers ourselves, we are more than happy to get this sort of news out there. I will say as far as Kerry’s books being any good or not, I think the only reason Cameron didn’t mention that directly is because he (and the rest of us) had only just heard of Kerry after that Telegraph story, and so haven’t had the opportunity yet to read any of Kerry’s stuff. But I think that overall point about quality comes through in Cameron’s article, since it’s implied that if the books weren’t any good, that if Kerry hadn’t worked so hard to see to it that they held a certain level of quality, then they wouldn’t be selling so well. Y’know? Water finds its own level and all that. But still, thank you again for the kind words and the link back.

    1. Hi Jimmy,
      Thanks for your comment. I wasn’t meaning to be critical to the post on your site – I was just keen to link to posts which were beyond the mainstream media.

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