iUniverse author Bill Noel continues his blog about the Folly Beach Mystery series and his publishing experience. Bill’s Final Cut is a finalist at the INDIEFAB awards.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
It’s never too late to start writing. I was weeks from my sixtieth birthday when I started writing Folly. There’s a long history of authors who began their writing careers late in life. True, you may not be able to become a professional athlete, qualify for a career in the military, or win an Olympic gold medal at sixty, but you can write. Only you can tell your story.
Tells us about your plans for the series . . .
A few years ago, I read an interview with a woman who was the country’s oldest living citizen. She was something like 253 years old, or maybe it was only 113. Anyway, when asked the secret to her long life, she replied, “I guess I just forgot to die.” When I completed my first novel in 2007, I had no intention of writing a second book, much less, a series. To paraphrase that insightful, seasoned citizen, after eight more books later, “I guess I forgot to stop writing.”
Which leads me to First Light, the most recent book in the series. It was published earlier this year, and with luck, my health, and help from the publishing gods, the series will continue, at least for the foreseeable future.
Do you have any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned?
When I first started writing, I naively thought that writing the book would be the most difficult part of the process. I was wrong—way wrong! Marketing is by far the most difficult thing I have done related to my writing career. Regardless of how good, motivational, groundbreaking, or insightful your book may be, it means little unless someone reads it. You will be competing with literally millions of titles for readers. Is there one answer to marketing your book? Oh, I wish, but the truth is no. What success I have had has come through a combination of efforts. Social media, personal written correspondence with booksellers and other retailers, personally visiting potential vendors, sending complementary copies to potential retail outlets, are only of a few of the avenues I’ve tried. I prefer holding book signings not where books are sold, but where the people are. I’ve held highly-successful signings at restaurants, grocery stores, hotel gift shops, art fairs, and even farmers’ markets.
How would you describe your publishing experience?
The editing services provided by iUniverse are outstanding. Their services, beginning with a candid editorial evaluation, through the various levels of edits, to a final proofreading provided me with every opportunity to make my books better, more readable, and more marketable. And, they allowed me to be the best writer I could be.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
If I could impart only one piece of advice to an aspiring author, it would be to write, write, and write some more. Don’t waste time talking about writing, don’t waste time thinking about writing, and don’t continue making excuses about why you don’t have time to write. Just write! Many of us have the fear that whatever we put on paper won’t be good. It may not be, but remember, only you will see your first draft. Hemingway allegedly said, “The first draft of anything is…(let’s just say, excrement).” The key point is that you can’t edit a blank page.
Many thanks to Bill for such a great blog! iUniverse wishes him luck with the Folly Beach Mystery series, and congratulates him on being an INDIEFAB finalist.