The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 136

Welcome to the Mail Room
Welcome to the Mail Room | Source

Making 2017 Count

What are your goals as a writer? It’s just something to think about as this New Year unfolds. I find it helpful if I’m always focused on a particular goal. I can’t handle ten goals at a time, but I can sure zero in on one or two. Again, it’s just something to think about.

And here’s more to think about . . .


From Ann: “That was a long way round to asking you a question: Do you write in your head? I mean, make up your stories as you walk around the countryside, without writing anything down, taking instant inspiration from your surroundings. Can you hold those ideas until you get home to write them down? The reason I ask is that if I stop to write down an idea, sometimes it interferes with the creative process. My mind's too fast for my fingers and I can't bear to stop the flow. (I have to say that doesn't happen all the time! If I don't write things down most of the time, my brain can't remember all the details; poor old fogey!)”

Actually, Ann, that’s exactly how it happens for me. I always have a pad of paper and pen with me, but those are for writing down particular scenes I might see, or an interesting person I come across, or a line of conversation I hear. My ideas come to me while I’m going about the daily business of living, and so far, despite my advanced age, I’ve been able to retain those stories until I get home to write them down.

My creativity happens when I least expect it and when I’m making no effort at all. I’ll be gardening and a scene will come to me, or the next chapter of my current book will just write itself while I’m taking out the trash. I can’t explain it any better than that. My mind seems to always be in creative mode.

Marketing Strategy

From Jo: “I'd like to know more about your marketing strategy.”

So would I, Jo! LOL

My marketing strategy is to reach as many people as possible with little money. I have no marketing budget simply because I have no money, so I’m into guerrilla marketing big time. Social media is free, so of course I use that. I have a website which I use. I try to follow other blogs and get my name out there by doing so. I do readings, book signings, and get my books out on the market in person. I want to teach some classes, and speak to schools, but that is on the back burner. I also want to do some podcasts but again, time has been my enemy so far in doing that.

I’m like the majority of writers, Jo: I have to continually try and find ways to market myself without spending money, and it isn’t easy. I’ve seen gains but it is slow-going at best.

And my best marketing tool, I believe, is my writing. If I do an excellent job or producing a product, then word-of-mouth will be my best marketing tool.

All books by CreateSpace
All books by CreateSpace | Source

Self-publishing Questions Galore

From Linda: “Your pick, but here's the question(s):

“My head is spinning. As you know I have always wanted to publish a cookbook, but theorized that doing so is not possible without being “known.” And how does one do that, you ask? Well, become a columnist and get your name out there. Sounds easy enough, and so that is exactly what I started to work on in 2017.

“Now, out of the blue, a friend has said to me (paraphrasing here) – ‘You have over 200 recipes. Publish that book now; get it done by end of February and then plan on selling at the farmers market.’So, I down-shifted and started to look into self-publishing, hence the spinning noggin. Who to choose as a publisher? The top ones I have seen are (1) CreateSpace with no upfront cost to distribute print copies via Amazon; (2) IngramSpark with a fee to distribute print copies outside of Amazon; (3) Amazon KDP with no fees for ebook distribution, and (4) Draft2Digital (also no fee) for distribution outside of Amazon. Which format? I will assume that most readers will want digital rather than print copy. BUT color and illustrations (which I feel are needed/expected for cookbooks) don’t translate well to digital format. What format to use to upload? Do you use PDF or can publishers convert a Word document? And don’t even ask what I’ve read about designing your own e-book cover. How does a simple little city gal like me sort this all out? I'll assume you've been down this path.”

I’m laughing, of course, because I’m the fool who told you to publish your cookbook. Sorry about that.

I use CreateSpace. I’m comfortable using it and I find it very easy to use. I’m not endorsing it over other self-publishing sites because I haven’t used the others, but I do recommend CreateSpace based on personal experience. If you use CreateSpace, you will have the option of hard cover, eBook, or both. I always do both. No reason in the world why I wouldn’t, since it doesn’t cost me a penny to do so.

Now, cookbooks are a special kind of animal, and you do have an issue regarding color pictures. If you add color to the interior of your book, your price per copy skyrockets. I’m not all that certain it’s necessary to do so with a cookbook, but I’m no expert in that genre. Just be forewarned that if you download color photographs you are going to pay for it in the end.

I write all my books on a Word Doc and then CreateSpace converts that to a PDF, or you can simply write it as a PDF and download directly. It makes no difference which you choose. The formatting is very easy and I would suggest you pick up a copy of the book “Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Bookseller,” written by Chris McMullen. You can find it at the library if you don’t want to purchase it, but he does a great job of taking you step-by-step through the whole process……

Including the process of creating your own eBook cover, which I don’t do. I simply choose not to tackle that headache and instead turn it over to my buddy, and fellow HubPages writer, Mike Friedman. For a pretty reasonable price Mike will design a cover for you.

And that’s all there is to it! LOL Maybe someone will have an opinion regarding color pictures in a cookbook. I just don’t feel qualified to answer that one, Linda.

Build your writer's platform from the ground up, adding layers as you go
Build your writer's platform from the ground up, adding layers as you go | Source

Different Sites for Different Writing

From Brian: “How do you choose whether to post a new article to HubPages or to Niume? Short ones to Niume? Certain topics to one and certain other topics to the other?”

Well, Brian,. I think you’re just asking how I do this, because I can’t think of any answer that fits everyone.

I only post two articles each week at HP…my Mailbag series and whatever short story I’m working on at the time. Niume I’ve kind of reserved for Urban Farming articles lately. My Urban Farming articles have not done well at HP so I’m trying them at NIUME, and they are doing better over there.

Other than that, it’s really just a crap shoot, so to speak. If I had time I would do new creative work at “The Creative Exiles,” a great site for creative writers, but so far I haven’t found the time.


Hey, if I don’t support friends what good am I, right? If you are looking for a quality cover for your book/eBook, I strongly suggest you get in touch with Mike Friedman of Mockingbird Books. Mike does all of my covers and he has never failed me. He is patient and is painstaking in his work…and he’s a good man!


Remember, if you have a question for the Mailbag, include it in the comment section below, or shoot me an email at and I’ll include it in the next Mailbag.

As always, you are appreciated!

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc0

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

More by this Author

Comments 78 comments

Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 3 weeks ago from New York, New York

Another Monday and definitely always happy to see a new Mailbag from you. Loved your answers as always, especially the writing inside your head as I do this all the time, as well. Seriously I will find inspiration often and in the craziest of places, as well. Thanks always and happy Monday now, too!! :)

pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 weeks ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

As always, you have not disappointed your followers. This piece was a great read and filled with a plethora of information. I'm going to share this on Facebook. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Thank you.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you Janine! Great minds think alike, right? LOL Happy Monday to you on this snowy Monday.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Pages, thank you so much for sharing. You are appreciated, my friend.

mpropp profile image

mpropp 3 weeks ago from Minnesota

Happy Monday Bill! I'm one of the few people, judging by the traffic, who didn't call in sick on the day after the super bowl! So, I'm very happy to see that my always dependable mailbag was waiting for me. And what a great variety of questions (and answers) this week! Hope you have a fantastic and productive rest of the week!

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 3 weeks ago from Brazil

Hi Bill,

Regarding cookbooks, I have several which do not have pictures. I love cookbooks and have several. In fact, two of them are spiral bound and these are always in my kitchen and used weekly.

For a first cookbook, I say publish without images.

Plus I have a question for a future mailbag.

Do you think people are born with a talent to be writers or is it something we can all do with enough perseverance? Is it like singing or drawing, you either got it or you don't.

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 weeks ago

Some good questions, Bill, but you asked the best one yourself about writing goals. So far I have two books in the work, supposedly editing projects, but I'll probably end up ghostwriting them both. And yes, don't we do our best work in the strangest places. Some of my best creativity comes while doing mundane tasks like loading the dishwasher or doing the laundry. I think I've missed a mailbag or two that I'm going to have to go back and read. Sorry. Have a great rest of the week, my friend.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Good morning Melissa! I didn't even watch the Super Bowl, so no sick day for this Mail Man. LOL Good to see you, always. Have a great week and thank you.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Mary, that's very helpful to know about cookbooks. Thanks for sharing that and thanks for the question. See you next week, my friend.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

MizB, never apologize. I'm just happy when you do arrive...thank you! Yes indeed, writing while doing the laundry, or at least creating while doing it....i rode public transportation I would think that would be a gold mine of ideas. :) Happy Monday to you!

Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 3 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

Bill, thank you for including my question in your mailbag. I do hope that you receive comments from others on the issue of "color photos, or no photos" in cookbooks. I have over 200 cookbooks in my collection (yes, it's time for an intervention), and honestly when I look at that section in the bookstore, the first thing that gets my attention is the cover and title (pretty all one piece of info in my little brain), then I flip it open. If it's just text, blah blah blah, I place it back on the shelf. My younger daughter is the same way. Perhaps it's because we are both artists and are looking for those visual cues.

I laughed when I read the question about creative flow. I keep a pad of paper and pencil on my nightstand. Some of my best phrases come to me in the middle of the night. If I don't jot them down they are either gone by morning, or (more likely) keep me awake the rest of the night obsessing.

Thank you for another great one, and thank you for your encouragement. I'm formattig my little fingers off today.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Linda, I'm still not sold on the color photo idea...I'm afraid it's going to price you out of the self-publishing nook.....but you know best, I would think, what sells in that genre, so don't pay much attention to me. LOL

Enjoy the snow, my friend. It sure is beautiful here.

heidithorne profile image

heidithorne 3 weeks ago from Chicago Area

G'morning! Lots going on in the Mailbag today.

Re: Going Old School for Notes. I'm a pad and paper person, too, when it comes to flash inspiration. But if I have time and it's convenient, then I do more copious notes on my iPad. Afterwards, I email the notes to myself so that I can copy and paste into Word or HP.

Re: Money-less Marketing. Yes, most writers are money-starved when it comes to marketing. And, yes, the best way to market is to keep writing. One book market your other works, especially if you've got an Author Central profile on Amazon.

Re: Cookbooks and Color. I agree that Createspace is an awesome platform. Like you, I haven't dabbled with the others because it's just too good on Createspace.

You are so right, regardless of whether you print and sell or sell through Amazon, printing color photos is VERY expensive. That also means that the author will make less money on a full color printing of the book.

For some recipes, it just doesn't matter if photos are included or not. For those where complex techniques or artful elements (cake decorating for example) are explained, it might make more sense. Keep in mind, though, that for years in the past, cookbooks rarely included photos. It all depends on the expectations of the market and the demands of the recipes.

The questioning cookbook author is also planning to sell the book at a farmers' market. While Createspace will create a professionally printed product, it will be perfect bound which is a problem for cookbooks in general. Cooks need to keep the book open to the recipe while they work with it. So maybe a spiral bound work (done at a quick print shop) is a better option. That would not be possible through Createspace and would not then be available through Amazon (except through fulfillment). But does that matter if it's sold at a farmers' market?

Re: Different Sites, Different Work. I do think that using multiple sites might be an option if the author's work is a good fit with the site's genre. Be cautious of posting everything on EVERY site. This could result in Google penalties for duplicate content. Understand why you post where you do.

Okay, that's enough for today. Great questions. Have a wonderful week ahead!

Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 3 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

Bill, two more comments. About different work on different sites. I started writing on HP -- everything. Now I am reserving HP for food-related articles only.

Travel and articles on authors/artists are being moved to Niume, short stories are being moved to Creative Exiles, and short recipes that aren't getting any traffic here are being moved to my personal blog. Crafts (sewing, quilting, crochet and gardening) are going there as well.

And on cookbooks -- spiral bound would be best, but I think that many people/cooks (my daughter, for example) don't use a paper copy cookbook in the kitchen. It's on the E-reader of choice. Easier to keep clean and scroll up and down with the swipe of a flour-covered finger. Today's food enthusiasts are accustomed to seeing several (dozen?) color photos on food blogs and will want that on their E-book as well. BTW, the price of color vs. black and white is about double on CreateSpace (I've checked).

OK, over and out.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

Writing goals - ah yes! Working on this. Finding time to devote to HP hubs, commenting on hubs, writing for Niume, being an active participant, editing - when do I find time to concentrate on my book? I teach everyday, perform piano, practice, work on my website, go to the Y, errands, and on and on. Help!

Question for the mailbag? :)

Love you tons,


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Heidi, how could I possibly have anything to add to all that, other than thank you! Great points made...I see Linda read them already, so good deal Truly, I value your marketing opinions, so thank you for taking the time to respond in such depth.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

There you go, Linda. You now know as much, if not more, than I do about self-publishing a cookbook. Good have the talent. Now you just need the right medium.

annart profile image

annart 3 weeks ago from SW England

Lots of interesting and useful information here, bill. I'm a fan of Mike too; his covers are great - I didn't realise he did yours and that makes my admiration for him grow even more.

Thanks for dealing with my question too. I think we are kindred spirits as your mind seems to work so similarly to mine!

Here we are in the cold, wind and rain again. I'm hoping it's better with you.

Have a mind-blowing Monday, bill!

Ann :)

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Oh Audrey, I already have an answer, but you'll have to wait for it....remember, when you read the answer, it is being delivered with love. :)

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

I'll remember Bill. I know where you're coming from you sweet man.

PAINTDRIPS profile image

PAINTDRIPS 3 weeks ago from Fresno CA

Hey Bill,

Greetings from wet, wet California. Although I'm happy the farmers have rain, rain and lots of rain, we are starting to see flooding problems and I'm ready for it to stop. Anyway I wanted to chime in on the color photo issue. I totally understand your reasoning behind the skyrocketing price. I published my craft book on Create Space and felt that the color photos were needed for crafts but the book doesn't sell well because the price is outa sight. I may have to go back and reformat the book with black and white photos instead to reduce the price per copy, but I sure hate doing that. Your friend is right when she says we gals look at the cover, flip it open and base purchase on the color interiors. Still print on demand books aren't all about finding it on a book store shelf as much as finding the info you want in an Internet search so maybe it doesn't matter as much as I think. I'll publish it in b&w and let you all know what I find out through the process. Thanks for another great Monday Mailbag.



Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 3 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

Very informative and good stuff here.

I get ideas when in the toilet most often. And, one fun fact is I get my phone calls also when I am in toilet or bathroom.

Your tips about marketing are great as I also can't spend any money on publishing or marketing. I published the kindle book at Amazon KDP dealing with Economics. But not a single copy sold even though priced at $2.9 only. I am thinking of another book on Accounts which is in the process.

I have seen your profiles at niume and creative exiles recently but didn't read the articles yet.

Thanks for this wonderful mailbag.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Ann, I never had any doubt that you and I were kindred spirits. That became obvious very early on in our friendship.

Six inches of snow here and very peaceful.

Have a superb Monday, my friend, and thank you!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

I will be gentle, Audrey! I promise!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Please do let us know, Denise. This is not an area of expertise for me. It's just a gut hunch of mine and nothing more, but one thing is certain: the cost does skyrocket with color photographs.

Thanks for weighing in. Wishing you drier days ahead, my friend.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Venkatachari M, do not be discouraged by the non-existent sales. The name of the self-publishing game is publish, publish, and publish some more. Keep writing books and keep publishing. It is a numbers game and one book is not enough.

Best wishes, my friend

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 weeks ago from South Africa

Your Writer's Mailbags are always encouraging and inspiring, thank you, billybuc. One of these days I am going to publish something at CreateSpace - mark my words.

Mike Friedman is an expert when it comes to online publishing and all it entails. The fact that he constantly advertise the writings of his clients is also commendable.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Martie, thanks so much, and I have no doubt you will publish a book soon. As for Mike, commendable is a great description of him...and a good friend.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

I have a desire to write SOMETHING, but I'm as dry as an old bone. That happens to me when it's cold and gloomy. I'm wondering if the weather affects others? Thanks Bill.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 weeks ago

I always get something out of the mailbag. Thanks....

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

My pleasure, Pop! Thank you!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Most definitely, Ruby, but I'll address it in more depth next Monday. Thanks, as always, my friend.

clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 3 weeks ago from Nibiru

Billy...It is amazing how much useful information you have packed in your brain as it relates to writing. 136 Installments. That is a Novel right there.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thanks a lot, Clive! It's been a great run so far and I'm still enjoying it, so we might as well continue.

Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier 3 weeks ago from Georgia

Hi Bill!

I have a question for you regarding CreateSpace. I have read some very negative reviews about CreateSpace in terms of their print books being unprofessional in terms of folded pages in the finished products, crooked printing, etc. Have you ever had those issues with the print versions of your books?

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Bill - I received a message from out of the country that I should come over and read this weeks Mailbag. Thank you for the shout out. I appreciate that. As poor writers and poor marketers it pays to help each other in the chore of shouting about our books and each others. I figure that most people think I am a walking commercial for books. That is OK with me. The avenues of social media is all that is open to us. I have see some national brands asking for $750.00 for a one time business card size ad. That is out of my marketing budget perimeters.

Lots of interesting questions again this week. The color pictures in a cookbook question is a tough one. There are people that can print 100 copies of a book. That still would be a financial risk for the author.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Hi Karen! I'll answer this in next week's Mailbag, but your quick answer is no. I've published twelve books now with CreateSpace and haven't had a single problem with any of them. Maybe I'm lucky, but I've been in contact with quite a few writers who have used CreateSpace, and not one of them has mentioned a problem.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thanks for mentioning that, Mike. The first book I wrote, I used an independent publisher near Olympia, and had to buy 100 at $6 each...I still have twenty of them six years yes, it is an option and yes, it is still a risk. :) The shout out was from the heart. You are a good man.

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 3 weeks ago from Oklahoma

Great Mailbag:-)

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

There's some very useful information in this edition of the mailbag. Of course, the mailbag article itself is interesting and helpful, but the comments and your responses are also useful. Thanks, Bill.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 weeks ago from USA

I received a book from Amazon (apparently self-published?) that was terribly misprinted. There were page numbers that skipped around, whole segments misplaced in the book, etc. it was very schizophrenic. When I complained and asked for the real book they wanted me to ship the misprint back for free as evidence I suppose. I received a free replacement. I wonder if this is the type of thing that Karen Hellidr is referring to. You just never know what your customers are actually receiving.

Homeplace Series profile image

Homeplace Series 2 weeks ago from Hollister, MO

I've published several books on CreateSpace over several years and found it very easy and with excellent results. I've also used and find them very similar in processing and have been very satisfied with them, as well. On the Cookbook, I'd also recommend getting it published without color photos, first, using it to build your platform. A color edition could be added, later, if you feel there is a demand from your readers.

aesta1 profile image

aesta1 2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

I always enjoy reading your responses. I feel you are down to earth and know what is more cost effective in terms of publishing. I hope to get some courage one of these days and start writing my book.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you Larry! Have a great week!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you, Linda! Stay warm and safe in the snow and I'll see you soon!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

That's very true, Flourish! I would hope someone would let the author know, but most times that isn't the case. Thanks for that input.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

That's a great suggestion, Bill, and I thank you for it and your experience self-publishing. It's always good to see you, my friend.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

I hope so too, wishes to you, and thank you!

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I was just reading out of a book by Steven Pressfield "War of Art". His notion is pretty clear that that which we most fear and resist is what we really are called to do.

In your time have you seen writers crippled by the resistance and fear who when they overcame were just fantastic writers?

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Eric, I'll include that in the Mailbag, but here's the short of it.....NO!

LOL...wish it were not so!

lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

I think this was one of the best mailbags yet (only my opinion, of course). Enjoyed all the questions and answers. Writing doesn't pay my bills Neither does the ministry, so I'm forced to clean office buildings in the evenings. I do just about all my scene planning without paper, pen, or keyboard. The thoughts come to me while I have my head in a toilet (literally), or while I'm throwing trash in a dumpster. By the end of the night, I have the next chapter ready to go. All I have to do is go home and type it. I know that's not the best way to do it, but through it all, I've learned to multi-task. lol

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 weeks ago from Riga, Latvia

It's always great to start of a week with your inspiration and advice. Some thoughts from this mailbag. I think you are right that there are sites where some articles do better and others where they don't so it is a matter of pick and choose. The one thing I have discovered and that is through your great ideas and suggestions that if you find something that works never give up on it and keep seeing it through. Hope you have an awesome week.

heidithorne profile image

heidithorne 2 weeks ago from Chicago Area

Carb Diva, you make a great point about e-readers and I think a lot of cooks are going that way in the kitchen! Or they're following it step-by-step with YouTube videos. I have a friend who's created a whole vegan cooking business online with her YouTube videos. Thanks for making that great point!

B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 weeks ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Thanks, Bill, for answering my question re HubPages and Niume.

In your reply to Linda, you said that Create Space has hard cover or e-book options, yet your books shown in a photo are paperbacks, not hard cover books. Is there a term that refers to all forms of printed on paper books—hard cover or hardbound, trade paperback, mass-market paperback, bound in boards, leather bound, spiral-bound, self-wrappers, and so on—as distinct from e-books? 'Hard copy' refers to any printout of data, even on a single sheet of paper, so it is too broad a term for specifically books. Printed with ink book? Dead tree book?

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

The term is printed.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 weeks ago from The Caribbean

I'm still dragging my feet on publishing, though I've done so in the long past. Anyway, every mailbag gives me a nudge. Thanks for the tips from both the questions and answers.

Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

You aim for writing two hub page articles in a week, wow. I'm lucky to post two article in a month! Your mailbag tips are great for any writer. Thanks for your dedication.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

Another fine mailbag, Bill. thanks for the shout-out for The Creative Exiles. The site has recently had a makeover and is looking and working better than ever. Mike designed the cover for one of my first books and I actually think the cover is better than the content :)

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Bill, it's the best way if it works for you, and I completely relate to that process. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

Thanks my friend.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

You are talking my language, Rasma. Never give up. Writing is what we do, my friend.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thanks for the return comment, Heidi!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Brian, I'll be laughing about the "dead tree" line the rest of the day. You know, I don't know the answer to your question, but I'm going to find out. Thanks!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

And there you go, Mike...thanks....Brian, are you listening???

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

One nudge at a time, Dora, until we finally take the leap. I'm pulling for you!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Nadine, I'm feeling guilty. I first started out doing 5-7 a week....glad to know I can relax. LOL

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

John, thanks for the heads up about Creative Exiles. And yes, Mike does good work....and I appreciate you both.

Coffeequeeen profile image

Coffeequeeen 2 weeks ago from Great Yarmouth

Hi Bill. thanks for posting this hub. It's definitely worthwhile writing in word doc first. I've not tried writing on other websites as yet, and am fairly new to Hubpages. But I do enjoy writing and reading your hub has given me some useful tips, thankyou.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Hi Coffee, thanks for the comment and welcome to HP. I'm glad you enjoyed this. Don't be a stranger now. :)

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 weeks ago from California

Marketing seems to be the name of the game! sigh! Great mailbag!

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billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Unfortunately, Audrey, it's probably the major percentage of the game. :) Thank you!

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 2 weeks ago from Massachusetts

Hi Bill. Great mailbag this week. I have yet to venture over to Niume but I was wondering if you have any idea how travel articles do there? I'm not really looking to leave HPs, just curious.

We've had an interesting week here in Massachusetts. Yesterday was sunny and 50 degrees. Today, 20 inches of snow and a wind that won't stop. Looks like spring will have to wait.

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Carb Diva 2 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

Bill, if I may be so bold, may I jump in and give my two cents worth on travel-related articles on Niume? I have about 6 travel articles on that site and they have received more views and more hype than anything else I have written on Niume. I'd suggest try one and see what happens.

jo miller profile image

jo miller 2 weeks ago from Tennessee

Thanks for the information on marketing. And it's good to know that the best strategy is writing. That fits my desires and skills much better than the other stuff.

BTW, I'd be interested in your urban farming articles.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Bill, honestly, I don't miss the weather of the east coast at all. LOL Stay safe and warm. As for NIUME, new information just surfaced about that site, so I'll update you on Monday. Thanks for the question.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you for being bold, Linda. LOL

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thanks Jo! I'm moving, slowly, my urban farming articles from HP to NIUME....or you can join my urban farming blog at


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 2 weeks ago from San Diego California

The advantage of the smart phone is you can write all your ideas down on it as you are wandering along. Lately, this has gone beyond note taking, and I do a lot of writing with my two thumbs. All the same, I have had a ton of good ideas blow away in the wind, and my data retrieval ain't what it used to be. Great stuff as usual.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA Author

You and me both, Mel, but I'm not as good with my two thumbs as you obviously are. :) Thanks for weighing in, buddy!

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