The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 175
The Fire Is Crackling
Up at six this morning, I was, as is my norm. To my surprise, Bev was already up and had the woodstove fire already drafting and burning.
What a lovely surprise!
I love me a good fire . . . as long as it’s contained, of course. There is something very relaxing and comforting about a fire inside while fall/winter roars outside. It’s a great way for me to begin my writing day.
And that’s what I wish for you, today and always . . . a great writing day! Be proud of what you do. Whether you know it or not . . . whether you doubt your abilities or not . . . whether you have sold one damned book or not . . . you are an integral part of this society!
So carry on!
Responsibility to Write
From Eric: “Are you in a state where that talent within you is a responsibility to others? What you write you are obligated to share? And you are obligated to write?”
Eric, I absolutely love your questions, and I can tell from them that you are riding a “writing high.” There ain’t nothing like it, is there?
Yes, to answer your question, and I feel strongly about that. There are few out there among the seven billion who inhabit this planet who can do what we do. We have a gift, and gifts should not be squandered and wasted.
When I was a junior in high school, the star pitcher on our baseball team was drafted by the Houston Astros. He received a signing bonus, and it was a big deal in our town, local boy heading for the big time, yada, yada, yada. So he packed his bags, boarded a plane, and went to Houston’s training camp. One thing led to another and that teenager ran afoul with alcohol. He drank himself out of professional baseball in two years.
Such a waste!
We owe it to our community . . . to our society . . . to use our talents and write. I also believe we owe it to ourselves, and to everyone, to be the best writers we can be and to never stop tending to our craft.
Just my thoughts!
Stealing Our Work
From Venkatachari M: “This week all questions are centered around book writing and publishing and are very useful for me in writing my book. But, I am afraid if anybody stealing the contents while proof reading. Isn't it possible?”
Yes, Venkatachari M, it is possible and does, in fact, happen. I choose my beta readers very carefully. They are people I have known for a number of years and I trust them . . . but still, several are online friends. I have never met them. It is entirely possible that they would steal my work and then the headaches, and heartaches, would begin.
You can safeguard against such theft by having proofreaders and beta readers sign legal documents but really, what safeguard is that? The bottom line, and a truth we all have to live with, is that there are disreputable people out there who would not hesitate to steal your work. It happens with articles daily, so why not entire books?
And realistically copyrighting your work does not stop thieves.
So cross your fingers and hope that you know, or hire, reputable people to read your works.
From Dana: “Hey, Bill, I was taking some photos in public the other day, and I was going to use a couple of them in a Hub, but then I started to question whether I could use photos of people without their permission. Do you know if that is legally allowed?”
Yes, it is!
People out in public have very few “rights of privacy.” You may not go onto someone else’s property to photograph them. That is called intrusion and that privacy is protected. You cannot use a photo of someone in a false way or an unflattering way. And you cannot continually harass someone by following them around and taking a constant stream of photos. That is called stalking and harassment.
But people sitting in a coffee shop, or walking down the street, or sitting on a park bench . . . you may photograph them without legal concerns.
Below this is a photo I’ve used often in articles of mine. I took it at a street fair, and the subject of the photo, the lady in blue (purple?) captivated me with her smile. Sorry, lady, but you have no right to privacy regarding this photo. J
From Robert: “What happens if, after you have published your book through CreateSpace and Amazon, you notice a mistake in the manuscript? What can you do to correct that mistake?”
It really is not that big a deal, Robert. Go into your manuscript, which I assume is on a Word Doc, and correct your mistake. Then download a new doc on the CreateSpace website. You can edit your self-published books any old time you want to and it doesn’t cost you a thing. The only thing it’s going to cost you is time, as in a couple days while CreateSpace formats the new book Doc and announces that it is ready for purchase.
Better Sites Than Hubpages
From Alyssa: “You’ve been on HP for some time now. I’m here now but thinking of changing. Have you heard of any other sites which maybe pay more? Money is an issue for me, and it seems to be fairly difficult to make a payout on HP.”
Here’s the thing, Alyssa: it’s reasonably difficult to make a FAST payout on any content site. I’m sure there are other sites, like HP, out there, but I doubt they are much easier to make a payment. It takes time to see decent money on these sites. They are not in business to give the writers the majority of the profits. That is a reality you need to grasp, and I don’t say that as a slam on HP or as a chastisement to you. That’s just the real world! HP does not offer a 60-40 split, nor do any other sites. It’s more like a 98-2 split with you getting the 2.
In all fairness, if you pay your dues, put in the time, and write quality articles, it is still possible to make decent money on HP. I know writers . . . friends of mine who I trust . . . who are still making money on articles they wrote for HP eight years ago. Every month they get a payout from HP, and they haven’t written an article for HP in a couple years. I know a couple writers who make over $400 per month on HP.
So pay your dues, and if I hear about some miracle site which pays us a 60-40 split, I’ll let you know.
And Now Back to Life
The fire is still burning. The animals have been fed. A gentle rain is falling and all is right in my world.
Thanks for joining me in the Mail Room. I hope the rest of your day is fulfilling. Remember, you are one of the chosen few, and that alone is reason to celebrate!
And no, you aren’t going crazy or growing senile . . . Daylight Savings Time has ended!
2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”