“There are no barriers to publishing; the only thing in the way is that you have to write the book.”
William Westhoven, author The Puddingstone Well
As a writer, are few things more enjoyable than talking books and the book biz with a fellow author: I get energized, excited, and educated. All three were in play when I had the good fortune to have a long library chat with William Westhoven. William is an award-winning journalist and editor — and more recently, novelist.
When a layoff provided the time to pursue a new writing horizon, William jumped into fiction with both feet. Building on his arts-and-music background, in a matter of months he had written and independently published One-Hit Willie: A Classic Rock Novel. Armed with some strong reviews, he came up with a strategy based on his analysis of successful indie authors: keep writing, publish, promote, and slowly build an audience.
With this in mind, William pulled out of a drawer a novel he had written 20 years ago — that’s right, 20 years! — then rewrote it in a matter of months and published it in multiple formats. Here are some tips from this committed and creative author:
1) Activate your assets: To generate coverage for his novels, William turned to his newspaper network.
2) Keep everything: You never know when something you’ve written a while ago can be polished and published.
3) Deadlines are sacred: As a reporter, William lived by deadlines and he decided to stay committed to meeting them in his freelance life: discipline delivers.
4) Be relentless: put out press releases, contact libraries, reach out to potential reviewers.
5) Be creative: When Sandy hit New Jersey, William came up with the idea of writing a book about it, Superstorm Sandy: A Diary in the Dark and donating the proceeds to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund. He wrote and published the book in 16 days. The results: lots of publicity, exposure for his other books, donations,
and new contacts, including Mary Pat Christie.
6) Don’t be discouraged: you’re in it for the long term, so keep going.
You can check out William’s work at (www.weekendwillie.com). Write on!