“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!
Karin, Thank you for capturing & sharing Bill’s writing discipline to support other writers! You are a treasure!
Thank you — and you are so welcome! Bill and I had a fine chat and I learned a lot.
And Carl, you, too, are a treasure for creating events where we writers can meet
and share ideas. I’ve gathered so much from your Library Literary Lounge! I hope your
wife is doing well — and that my little post was helpful to the tribe.
Very useful and wise tips. I must remember them! Especially the one about deadlines! It’s all about commitment, isn’t it, rather than relying on luck and chance.
Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. You are so write, it all
really comes down to commitment, not luck or chance. I believe we need
to commit to ourselves and our love of craft. Someone once said that
commitment is even more important than passion, because commitment is
what you rely on when your passion flags. Think there’s a new post
there! And I totally agree, William’s tip about deadlines is one I
need to take to heart, too.