- Books, Literature, and Writing
The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 150
It’s really hard for me to tell because it looks like mid-February, but hey, it’s great writing weather so there you go. There’s always a positive, right?
All is well in my world. How about yours? I’m glad you found the time to visit the Mail Room today. I hope you leave with some knowledge you didn’t have before the visit. At the very worst, you had the opportunity to visit some other writers and share in the ambiance here, so it’s all good.
Let’s get started!
Great Source for Photos
From Kristen: “What are great websites to get sourced photos for our articles? It seems to be my downfall, when my hubs are declined for niches.”
My friend Denise chimed in with this answer:
“I was reading Kristen's question about credited photos and I know a few sites that are good if you are interested. There used to be some really good ones that were unfortunately swallowed up by the big corporate for-profit stock photo sites and now charge money for each photo so my favorite sites are narrowed to just a few. Pixabay.com is still free and very good with the quality of photos and the names of the contributors so you can credit them. I also like MorgueFile.com and FreeImages.com. The Morgue file has great quality and large numbers but the site is covered with ads and sponsored for-profit photo sites so it is hard to navigate where the free photos are. You have to really watch the small labels at the top of each row of photos or you'll find yourself sent to a different website asking large prices for each photo. StockSnap.io has come a long way in offering really good photos. Then there is New Old Stock at nos.twnsnd.co. Really lovely old vintage photos from all over but the search is poor and the attribution is all to Townsend. I suppose it's likely that one person would have such an archive but I don't know why he is offering all that for free. Maybe someday soon he will start charging for the photos. Who knows.”
Honestly, Kristen, I can’t improve on Denise’s answer, so I won’t even try. Since I used all my own photos anyway, any answer I give would be supposition. Go with Kristen on this one, and perhaps some other writers will add their two cents worth in the comment section.
Comparing Publishing Options
From Lori: “Hi Bill, for your next mail bag I have a question. In regards to publishing a work through create space or other self publisher, what can you tell us about books versus e-books? Is one form more likely than the other to be purchased? Is the process and cost of publishing both the same? What has been your experience?”
Thanks, Lori! I’m only going to refer to CreateSpace for this answer since I use them almost exclusively. Regarding the cost of publishing, there is none whether it be e-books or soft-cover. I’m talking just about the actual publishing when I say that. Naturally, if you have to pay someone to do a cover for you, or you pay for editing, there will be a cost, but the actual self-publishing doesn’t cost a penny unless you opt for some of the premium services, which I never have.
Is one more likely to be purchased than the other? It was interesting doing the research for this. According to the latest figures of Amazon sales, ebooks outsell print books in units 61% to 39% . . . that strictly refers to the number of books sold. However, if we are talking about revenue, print books outscore ebooks 70% to 30% in dollar sales.
So the obvious conclusion is ebooks far-outsell print books, but more money is made selling print books.
And I’m going to toss in this carrot for your munching pleasure: no matter which you do, I still believe, and will always believe, that quality of writing should be the #1 consideration of any writer.
Exodus From Hp
From Lori: “So there has been mention here of readers leaving Hubpages. What are the reasons? Since they put up the niche sites most of my work goes there where I have more readers and more frequent payouts, however measly. And where are the people moving on too? Just curious.”
Oh, Lori, I could ramble on about this forever. I guess, after almost six years, I am now considered an old-timer on HubPages, so I do bring a little perspective to this discussion.
I don’t think there is one particular reason for many of the original writers leaving HP. Some left because the payouts were horrible. Some left because they felt underappreciated by HP staff and management. Some railed against the wholesale changes to the site. Some quit because of HP’s capricious editing and censoring methods. Many went to different sites like The Creative Exiles, and many went to their own blogs for more creative freedom and hopefully more money.
My own viewpoint is this: HP has become, over the past six years, very impersonal and not nearly as fun to be with. When I first started out, HP held contests throughout the year, and those contests paid cash prizes. The staff was very accessible and very personable. It was like a home away from home for writers, and there was a very nice sense of community.
I don’t feel that as much today. The contests are gone. The requirements are stricter, and the platform is harder to use. There are numerous hoops to jump through, all for less money. I simply don’t see many enticements to make a writer stay at HP. The money they pay is, to me, insulting. The only reason I remain here is because I still have friends here and I enjoy interacting with them and supporting them. I refuse to play HP games. I don’t care if my articles are put on niche sites or not, and I don’t care if my articles are awarded with some nebulous designation that means absolutely nothing regarding quality of writing.
I’m here because of you and others like you. Period!
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Helping writers to spread their wings and fly
And I Guess That’s All for This Week
I see I’m short of HP’s suggested 1,250 words and thus will not be featured or make a niche site. Sigh! How will I ever go on with my life knowing I’ve fallen short of that random bit of nonsense?
Here’s the last thing I’ll say about all of this HubPages b.s. I’m a writer. I’m not some beans counter, or tech genius, and I don’t give a damn if Google likes my formats or not. I am a writer, a serious writer, and I can’t be bothered with this rubbish. Other writers on HP are really into it, watching their Hubber scores closely, re-writing their articles to make HP happy, doing this and doing that to appease the SEO gods…but I’m just a writer who only concerns himself with improving the craft of writing.
That will just have to be good enough for all concerned.
2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”