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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 154

Updated on June 12, 2017

CLARIFICATION

You know, for a professional writer, there are times I’m woefully inadequate at getting my point across. Sorry about that! I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I had a goal of writing the Mailbag for three years, and that goal would be met soon. I in no way meant to imply that I would end the Mailbag at that point, but that’s what many surmised from my statement.

Rest assured the Mailbag will continue as long as there are questions and interest in it.

With that out of the way, we have two more installments and then my three-year goal will be met. Then I’ll have four years as my next goal.

Shall we?

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

Historical Fiction

From Linda: “Writing historical fiction - Bill, you often write stories for us that take place in another time; right now you are leading us on a journey along the Oregon Trail. How much research do you do to ensure that they are historically accurate? Place names, distances, patterns of speech--all of these come into play in a story that occurs in another time and/or place. I want to write a story (it's buried in there deep, but wants to come out), but it would occur in a time I can barely imagine in a place I have never been. Am I nuts to even consider such a thing?”

I’ll speak for myself first, Linda, and then speak about your particular situation.

I’m basically a lazy writer with regards to research. I only write about topics I know extremely well and locations I’ve actually visited. As a teacher I taught a unit each year on the Oregon Trail, so I really needed no research for this current series of short stories. The locations are places I have seen, so no research needed there as well. The only location I have written about that I have not seen is the location in the novel I am currently working on . . . “Shadows Fall on Rosarito” . . . I have never been to Rosarito, Mexico, so I’ve had to do a bit of research on that.

For you, my answer is this: authenticity is very important. You will have your hands full with research, but I think without it your book will suffer. I have a friend who spent two years writing a sprawling novel about World War 2. A good portion of that two years was research, and it shows in the detail of her book.

Are you nuts to consider such a thing? Not at all, but you’ll need to be willing to put in the study time.

SUBSCRIPTIONS TO YOUR OWN WEBSITE

From Rasma: “Suddenly a light bulb went on. Here's something to ponder. Is it possible to create my own website to which people must subscribe in order to read anything and why would they want to subscribe? I find this an interesting thought.”

Rasma, I’m going to let my good friend Heidi answer this one, since her comment is exactly what I think about this:

“Some bloggers have taken a stab at "pay to read" subscription monetization models. But I don't see that as viable for the long term since people can find so much information for free on the web. Plus, it's often cheaper for readers to buy books, online courses, etc. than to pay a never-ending subscription fee of say $10 to $20 a month.”

I totally agree with Heidi on this one, Rasma. I just don’t see many people paying to subscribe to your blog. The same can be said for my blog. Why should they, unless they love you dearly and that isn’t even a guarantee. I don’t think any of my family members would pay to read my blog . . . maybe my wife would, but she would feel obligated to do so. LOL

No research necessary for this sprawling, semi-autobiographical novel.
No research necessary for this sprawling, semi-autobiographical novel. | Source

What About Book Signings?

From Lyssa: “Do you think book signings and readings are worth the time and effort to set them up? I have my doubts!”

So do I, Lyssa! Now I’m going to upset the apple cart with this next statement, and I fully expect people to disagree with me. So be it! I just don’t think book signings are as valuable as they once were. The romanticized vision of a crowd of people standing in line to buy your books is a thing of the past. The reality is maybe two or three people stopping by your table, picking up your book, asking a question, and then moving on. Sure there are sales occasionally, but the norm is the opposite of the romanticized vision. And of course there are writers who sell a fair amount of books at book signings, but I firmly believe that is not the norm.

Are book signings totally invaluable? I don’t believe so. I believe any time a writer can get out in public and talk about writing it serves a purpose. It may lead to a sale later on. It may just help an introverted writer to actually come out of his/her shell. It’s all marketing, whether you are selling anything or not, so from that vantage point I think it is valuable.

Just don’t expect mammoth sales to come from it.

I know fairly successful writers who make decent money on their books and never do public appearances, and I actually think that is more the norm than those who find success from book signings.

My suggestion: do one and see if you like it. I think it’s good experience even if you sell nothing. Just don’t put all of your horses in that one corral and no, I’m not talking about ranching with that last statement.

FARMERS MARKETS

From Elvin: “I know you’ve said that you sell your books at the farmers markets that you do. How are those sales doing?”

Same answer as the one for book signings, Elvin. I just don’t sell many books that way. Does that mean I’m wasting my time? I don’t think so. I like meeting people, and the ones I meet talk about books and writing with me. Hey, I have to be there anyway, selling other items, so I might as well display the books and see what happens. Again, it’s all marketing, and one conversation may lead to sales down the road. At least I’m getting out there and meeting with the public and introducing them to the name William D. Holland. Plus, I just like the markets, and I enjoy spending time at them, so for me it’s a winning proposition whether I sell anything or not.

I wrote on Facebook last week after my Tuesday market that I had given one coloring book away and sold none that day. Some people felt the need to console me, and that was sweet of them to do so, but actually I felt it was a winning day from a marketing standpoint. I talked to twelve people about writing, and I made one twelve-year old girl very happy with the free gift, so that is a very good day.

Not exactly a hotbed of sales for writers
Not exactly a hotbed of sales for writers | Source

Nasty Discussions

From Pat: “I was on the forum a couple weeks ago, and I posed a political question, and it was amazing to me how many mean comments there were. I mean nasty, personal comments ranging from just calling me names to being almost obscene. I’m fairly new here and I’m wondering if that is common behavior for writers on HP?

Pat, I can tell you with certainty, I don’t hang out in the forums and I don’t take part in them, for exactly that reason. A part of me understands it. People are afraid and unsettled about the political and economic reality we all face, and I think that fear translates into anger. I get it, but in no way do I condone it, and I won’t put up with it. A part of me is like “why do they care what I believe? Why are they so intent on telling me, in an angry manner, that they are right and I’m wrong? I don’t give a damn what they think, and their views don’t affect my life at all, so why do they get so worked up over my beliefs?

In the end, Pat, I decided that people who leave snarky or mean comments are just very unhappy people who have not matured much beyond middle school.

Hope that helps!

More Next Week

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you learned something, or found something interesting. The Mailbag is only as good as the questions, so leave those questions in the comment section below, or you can email them to me at holland1145@yahoo.com.

Have a great week of writing and living!

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha! You know, giving a book away, cost $3, is quite a bargain for the smile that was on that kid's face. I think I came out the winner. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 months ago from Central Florida

      I learned a long time ago not to discuss politics or religion. When those conversations come up, I quietly listen or simply walk away. When they show up in the forums, I choose to not read them. Those topics breed negativity and I avoid negative people and the effect they leave behind.

      I think it's sweet you gave that little girl a coloring book. I'm sure you made her day. Just think how special she feels when she tells her friends the author actually gave it to her as a gift!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good advice there, Lawrence. For sure it is possible. I suspect I'm just a bit too lazy. :)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 3 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Really good stuff here, especially about the 'book signing' information. Just getting the opportunity can be a major breakthrough, and like you say, it gets you 'out in public'

      I agree with you about the research, it really can make or break a book, but if it's a place the author hasn't ever visited but would love to (but can't afford to go) why not read up and research as much as you can? It's about enjoying 'the ride' and maybe the place you write about becomes a fictional place 'resembling' the place you wanted!

      Don't let lack of geographic knowledge hold you back.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All true, Vellur. I would write more of it if it weren't for the fact I don't like research. Fiction was made just for me. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, I have yet to really dabble in Twitter. I have no doubt it would be helpful, but as of yet it is not on my list of things that must be done. As the teens say over here, My Bad! Sounds like you made a great connection. I find social media marvelous. I love the connections with people I make from all over the world. It kind of shrinks the world a bit, and makes it much more accessible.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 4 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      What Heidi mentioned about Facebook, LinkedIn etc is fairly accurate, although I did strike up one really fruitful correspondence with a girl in the Ukraine who fed useful bits of information about (King) Harold's daughter Gytha when she wed Prince Valdemar/Vladimir in Kiev and began a dynasty which reverberated around N. Europe through Sweden, Denmark, Hanover and Scotland and came to roost with Elizabeth II (her name originated in the east as Elisaveta, Harald Sigurdson's queen who wed Svein Estrithsson of Denmark after Harald was killed at Stamford Bridge near York in late September 1066...). The girl, Larissa, named after a Greek city, also sent a book about the Ukraine with masses of colour images. Fruitful, and probably of use in my next book that goes east with the Dane Ivar in WANDERER. Most of the other connections didn't amount to much, and I've long since ditched Facebook. I was told by someone to get onto Twitter to publicise my books, and use the initials ASMG to indicate the genre of books I peddle. Don't know exactly what effect the page has had, but I've lots of followers and it sharpens my precis-writing skills. Sum up a book in 90-odd characters and add an image = 120+ characters. Hones the skills no end!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 months ago from Dubai

      Historical fiction needs a lot of research and verification before beginning to weave a tale in those times. The facts stated in the story have to be accurate or else the book will not be well received. Another great installment of questions and answers, thank you for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good luck with that WWII research, Lori! I think that's one reason why I don't tackle stories that require too much research: it slows me down doing it. I'm just a lazy writer and proud of it. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill, and I hope your week has been a good one. Nasty comments? They come from very tiny people who are basically unhappy with life.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad that helped, Rasma! Keep on keeping on, my friend. Write for the love of writing. You are very good at it.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Well that clarified everything. As they say back to the drawing board. Thank you for your informative mailbag it certainly is great to have a place to go to get needed information. Looking forward to learning more. Hope your week is an inspirational one.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Concerning the forums I'm with you, no way I'm going there. I have 2 hubs that already get enough nasty comments so I'm not venturing into that. Have a great week.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 4 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great installment. I am writing a story that takes place in the 60s in my hometown. I need no research on that part, but in the story, I will be going back in time to WWll, thus I will need to research. I have often researched names from other countries when I have a character who originated in a foreign country. I enjoy the short research but not the long stuff. It slows me down.

      I love your answer and attitude about the snarky commenters. They rule the internet forums. They are cowards and bullies. Write something political or religious and you will often receive toxic people responding. Half the time they don't even read the whole article. I wrote a hub on this topic and the comments were interesting. Keep up the mailbag for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Larry! Thanks a bunch, my friend.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 4 months ago from Oklahoma

      It doesn't matter how long or how proficient we become at writing, there is always a chance at miscommunication:-) may you continue Mailbag many more years!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I really love that idea, Mary! I love it a lot. Thanks for the question and stay away from those damned forums! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's an interesting point, Bill, and probably very accurate. I have noticed that as well, but never really verbalized it. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      See, Mike, now that's an idea I had never thought of, and it's a great one. Thank you! The Mailbag once again earns its keep.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I'll be by to read your latest very soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aesta, you are not alone. I believe that is the number one problem with writers, a lack of confidence in their work. Best wishes to you, and thank you.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I enjoyed your story at the market. That is often what stops me from marketing my blog. I even seldom send it to my friends and family. I need to overcome that. I have read once here to have more confidence as a write and I keep telling myself that. Thanks for keeping on.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It was interesting to read your opinion about book signings, Bill. Once again I've discovered some new things to think about by reading the mailbag. The weekly installments are always useful.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 4 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - It is a certainty, that this is the place to gather on a Monday. W.D.H's Mailbag. You are on everyones calender. As for research my gut feeling is the characters carry the story, the place is just a backdrop, like in the theater. You show just enough and let the readers imagine the rest. Though even with short stories, I sometimes get comments regarding the place the story brought the reader, that never occurred to me.

      Have you ever considered running off some 8.5 x 11 color pictures of your book covers and suspended them from your Farmer's Market table? You might garner additional attention.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 4 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Another useful and interesting mailbag, Bill. Thank you, again, for sharing your valuable experiences each week. Of course, the questions asked are nearly as interesting as your answers. One can almost tell from the question how long the person has been in the 'writing way'... At one time, I recall thinking about each one of those questions. What fun!! Looking forward to the start of year four!! ;-)

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      I wonder if the reason many authors like sci-fi is because there will be less research. It can be whatever you want and once you get your light years and warp speed correct, you've pretty much cracked it.

      Regarding forums, gadzooks! I have even asked a question asking the correct way to do something on Hubpages and got a blast from some female dogs.

      I think book signings have had their day, unless, as Dora says you're a celebrity.

      What do you think of the idea of putting anyone who buys a book into a random draw to be a character in your next book? Could this be the newest marketing gimmick? You can keep this for a mailbag question if you like.

      Have a wonderful week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, not only an erudite comment, but one that is right on in my opinion. I love historical fiction, but I have read some that is harder to digest than a Russian novel. A balance is indeed needed or the career will be a short one.

      Love it...free vets for low income families. I can live with that.

      Thanks, Alan!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree, Ann! The book industry is changing rapidly and drastically. I'm not sure I want to play the marketing game to the extent that it takes over my life.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I love your take on forums. If it serves me no purpose, or value, then why bother? I can relate totally!

      Virtual punch and cookies? Count me in!

      Happy Monday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, for sure, self-transcendence, and more and more is for sure on my schedule.

      Thanks my friend. Doris Dancy, you say. I'll check it out. As for your question, my short answer is yes, but more next Monday.

      As always, peace my friend, and thank you!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 months ago from london

      Well Bill,

      Your comment on a recent post of mines, was one of the few decent ones I saw and it gets much worse on Questions and Answers. People of the same and similar faiths with a very long tit-for-tat that goes on and on ...then we say that life sucks. Ironic, isn't it?

      You know that I'm definitely going to like this bit, Bro:

      "I wrote on Facebook last week after my Tuesday market that I had given one coloring book away and sold none that day. Some people felt the need to console me, and that was sweet of them to do so, but actually I felt it was a winning day from a marketing standpoint. I talked to twelve people about writing, and I made one twelve-year old girl very happy with the free gift, so that is a very good day."

      Any self-giving day is a winning day in my books and especially for a 12-yr old.

      Doris Dancy is exceptionally good at marketing. She seem to have a large circle of Christian friends and does many book signings. At Poetry Cafes, many poets are used to selling and promoting their work. One guy is particularly good at it, but it means going to lots of poetry events.

      Yes, some types of farmers markets, or let's say locations, can be very good depending on the genre.

      Excellent work. We believe in self-transcendence, you and I. let's do more and more ...

      Question: "Do you think it's advantageous to have paid personal, marketing on your behalf, or rather pitching your book, at say, the great upcoming American Book Festival?

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday!

      Thank you for referring to my tip about "gated" (paid) content on blogs. Honored to be a part of the Mailbag community!

      Re: Forums. The Mailbag is about as close to a "forum" as I can handle. Questions are focused, positive, and practical. When I see discussions on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., I truly evaluate whether I want to spend (waste?) my time. If I can't add value or receive value, I ignore them altogether.

      Two to go 'til the 3rd Mailbag Anniversary Extravaganza. I think virtual punch and cookies is in order. :) Cheers!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 months ago from SW England

      I think Dora's right about the celebrity authors; people only want their signatures. Not long now then, bill!

      Ann :)

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 4 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      If you write historical fiction the more research you do the more authentic your writing will come across. However - there's always one of them - you don't plaster your stories with all your research. You keep some back. How much you use and how much you hold back is in your hands. It's not just historical fiction though, political fiction needs that extra weight but not the whole tonnage. Remember 'The Day Of The Jackal'? Frederick Forsyth plonked the whole gamut of his research into the book and it read like a concrete mixer instruction manual. On the other hand, in a similar vein John Le Carre's spy novels zing along because he doesn't weigh you down with detail. The mix has to be easily digested by the mind without giving the impression you're reading chick-lit.

      On the book-signing front, at the moment I only go to Battle Abbey in mid-October for the re-enactment weekend (1066 & All That), to give talks and sign books. My writing definitely doesn't read like chick-lit. In the world of cakes it would be a chewy Dundee cake, not a Victoria Sponge. It pays to know the background, and to understand some of the terminology.

      Keep up the 'surgery' Bill, it's a worthy cause (like free vets for low income families).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, it is interesting that book signings are not known in India. Another cultural wall I was not aware of. I will clarify next week, my friend. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Flourish! I have some very strong feelings and opinions about the HP forums, but it would serve no purpose in me sharing them publicly. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I feel the same way, MizB! Bev might pay me to read my blog, but I'm not betting the farm on it. LOL

      Thanks my friend and Happy Monday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, first of all, thank you, and secondly, I will do exactly that at the market. Who knows, right?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I suspect, Dora, that you are absolutely correct. Very astute of you, my friend.

      Thank you!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I suspect that book signings may produce more for authors who have become famous for any reasons. People want celebrity autographs, not necessarily a book to read. Insightful answers, as usual.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      Billybuc, I am in awe of your ability to keep up with the goals you have set for yourself. This series can continue forever. You can actually turn all the chapters into an encyclopedia.

      I agree with all your answers in here, and suggest that you always have a supply of books with you at the market, nicely display.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 months ago

      Very good mailbag today, Bill, especially questions from Linda and Rasma. And good answers, too. I can't imagine anyone wanting to pay me to read my blog, if I had one. Glad you are continuing the mailbag. It gives me something to look forward to on Mondays, my friend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      Your advice on the forums was right. I try to stay away, especially with political issues. It's not like any minds will be changed so what is the point? I have also noticed that people who don't publish much here hang out there and ask slanted and stupid questions I think just to keep their score above water.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I have thought about it, Bill, but it's so low on my priority list right now, I'm not sure it will ever happen. Still, never say never, right? :) Thanks for the suggestion.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Harishprasad, I'm just grateful you made it here today, and I thank you for your kind words. I do think that acts of kindness find their way back to the giver. I want to believe many others believe that as well.

      Blessings my friend

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      An interesting mailbag as always with good questions. Your answers are always intelligent and convincing.

      I do not get a clear view of the book signing process even though you answered it in some previous mailbag also. What is it? Why is it termed as a signing? I hope to get some clear perception in your next mailbag.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, it's a question this introvert can appreciate. Thanks...answer coming soon....and you are definitely a huge part of this community.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, truth be told, I find the entire book industry a bit sad. Maybe that's my age speaking, or nostalgia clouding my thoughts, but I don't think so. :)

      Thanks so much and enjoy your week.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree with you about forums, Linda. You won't find this boy there, ever! As for book signings, sorry about that. I do think they have a value, but I don't think that value is obvious in sales immediately. For sure do one and find out The more exposure the better, my friend, especially locally.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Of course I talk to my plants, and our animals...I love that they can't argue with me. LOL You are in an alliterative mood today. I love it.

      Forums? No way this boy is wasting his time with that nonsense. Like you I enjoy one-on-one time, face-to-face....must more satisfying.

      Wishing you a wonderful time in the garden. I'll be out getting dirty in about two hours.

      bill

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 4 months ago from India

      Bill, I loved going through this hub. I especially like your humanitarian approach. The little girl who received a free gift from you will not forget you in her life time. Your generous heart is reflected in your beautiful writing.

      I've not read all the installments of the writer's mailbag, but now I realize that I should have gone through them all. Nonetheless, I'll find a way out to have them savoured one by one.

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      Ann Carr 4 months ago from SW England

      Another superb mailbag, bill! Good that they'll just keep on coming.

      I can't understand why anyone goes on the forums either. It's bad enough when people write rude comments on hubs. I agree that they're just sad people but it still leaves a bad taste. I haven't got time to discuss stuff on line; I'd rather have a good chat to my friends, face to face, real or here.

      A mad Monday in the garden, a plethora of pots on the patio and new seeds submerged for sensational sights soon! Gardening puts me in a good mood - and, yes, I do talk to my plants. Do you?

      Ann :)

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      Linda Lum 4 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, good morning and thank you for answering my question. Will I have/find the time to do the research? I hope so. This has to be done well or not at all. Stay tuned (...don't hold your breath, this will take a while).

      Your thoughts about book signings have me pondering what my next step should be. Hmmm.

      I'm glad to know that this series will continue--looking forward to another year. Just when it seems there couldn't POSSIBLY be one more topic, someone tosses out something new and you always deliver.

      As for forums--like you I try to avoid them. Too much nastiness, especially on hot-button topics like religion and politics. I think if someone has made up their mind on an issue, nothing you say will dissuade them. I don't want to lose any friends over my thoughts vs. theirs. It just isn't worth it. Let's just love each other and try our best to coexist on this planet. (Wow, what a novel idea).

      Hope you have a great Monday and a great week.

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      Denise McGill 4 months ago from Fresno CA

      I feel like we are all in your "classroom" sitting under your tutelage, eagerly absorbing anything you may wish to impart. Thanks for imparting your well-seasoned writing wisdom today. I appreciate what you said about the glory days of book signings being a thing of the past. It seems to me only the really famous celebs get flocks of people at book signings. Therefore it's the name that brings the people in and not the book. Somehow I find that sad. Thanks again. Have a lovely week.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whahoo, so close to the big 3!

      I just realized that reading this every week keeps me in know about writing. I don't do much study in the area except stuff in the spiritual pertaining to creation of art.

      Your mailbag helps me feel apart of a writing community. And that is very cool. I certainly hope it goes quadruple for you.

      So a question. Do you think just hanging out with writers makes you a better writer. I like seclusion more than chit chat.

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      William Kovacic 4 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Another great week for the mailbag, Bill, as we move closer to the three-year mark. I love the answers you give to some fascinating questions. This isn't necessarily for the mailbag, but I was just wondering, have you ever thought about collecting the questions and answers from the mailbag and putting them into book form? Happy almost three years!

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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All true, John, and thanks for your thoughts. Marketing books is not easy. It is a long-range endeavor and can be frustrating at times, but I think it is crucial to endure and carry on.

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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heck, Duane, that was a pretty mild rant. LOL You are a braver man than I am, but I agree, it is important that your voice be added to the narrative. Carry on my friend, and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Melissa, I love the Mailbag too. It gives me a chance to see people like you weekly, and that is a very cool bonus. Congrats on working from home. I hope it works out for you.

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      Melissa Propp 4 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I am so thankful for this Monday morning mailbag routine. I just moved to a work-from-home situation for the first time in my life, so trying to establish a set routine..and at least this part of my day is the same! :)

      Hope you have a great rest of the week!

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      Duane Townsend 4 months ago from Detroit

      Another great Hub Billybuc!

      I especially resonate with your last question/answer about political forums. I write political Hubs and many of the dissenting responses amount to little more than "you take that back!"

      You should see the comments on HubPages that I don't approve.

      I will keep writing political Hubs because I feel it's important to for my voice to be in the narrative. But there is a definite reactionary, juvenile incoherence that must be endured.

      Anyway, end of rant, great Hub.

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      John Hansen 4 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I agree with your answers to each of the questions, Bill. I read elsewhere that book signings are no longer as important as they once were. I was actually invited as a guest speaker as a published author at the Kingaroy Writer's Club a few weeks back. That was an interesting first for me. I sold one book "Let the Words Speak" by the Creative Exiles, and received one book published by the Writer's Club as thanks. As for the Farmer's Markets, I think any publicity is good even if you don't sell anything directly..who knows what it may lead to down the line, and selling books wasn't your main purpose for being there.

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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No hot and humid here, Janine, which is fine by me. In fact,we are having perfect weather the past couple of weeks. Stay cool and thank you for always being here.

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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, ChitrangadaSharan...it's always a pleasure having you stop by, my friend.

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      Chitrangada Sharan 4 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for yet another interesting set of questions and answers!

      I liked the question asked by Rasma and agree with the answer.

      Other Q-A are also very helpful.

      Thanks and glad to learn that you will continue to enrich the readers with your wonderful series!

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      Janine Huldie 4 months ago from New York, New York

      Aw, so happy you are continuing the mail bag even after your goal is met as I do very much look forward to it on Mondays, my friend. As always your advice is spot on and truly appreciated from this writer. Happy Monday now from sunny, hot and humid NY (finally summer has found us!). Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!! :)