The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 178
Thanksgiving in the Rearview Mirror
We made it through another one, hopefully safe and sound. I know I’m having a little trouble breathing this morning after packing away a few thousand calories yesterday but oh well! There is no way I’m showing restraint on Thanksgiving.
Speaking of which, Happy Thanksgiving to you all! A little late but better than nothing.
Bev and I ran to the store three times yesterday while preparing the meal. No matter how prepared we think we are, we always forget something . . . in our case, yesterday, we forgot three “somethings.” And each time we ran to the store we passed by some homeless people.
A sobering vision!
I’m trying to think of a worse Thanksgiving than standing on a street corner with a sign in my hand asking for food or money. I guess death would be worse, but . . .
And of course that led to reflection, and my reflection was just how damned lucky I am. I am privileged enough to spend my days writing stories and articles, and rubbing shoulders with some incredibly talented people . . . you . . . and when my day is done, I have my critters and a loving family.
Yes, damned lucky!
Let’s do this!
From Rasma: “I am working on getting my e-book out. Speaking of that I have many hard hours of work ahead of me. Once I get it all done what is the best way to make my announcement. On all social sites, on my poetry blog and can I also do it on HP?”
Well, Rasma, first of all, congratulations on getting to the point where you are preparing to format the e-book. That is great news and I’m proud of you.
As for your question, I’m not sure there is a best way. Some will argue with that, and they may appear in the comment section, but I think a writer has to learn what works for her and what doesn’t work for her. I announce mine on Facebook and my blog . . . period! I know some writers who make announcements on five or six social sites as well as a blog as well as a signing party.
Whatever floats your boat!
Can you do it on HP? I don’t know if there are regulations on that or not. I’ve done it and never gotten in trouble for it. Write an article detailing the process you’ve gone through while putting together the information for the book. That way it is informative as well as self-serving. Quite a few writers, myself included, have done that and never heard from the HP gods about violations, so GO FOR IT!
Songs to Use for Videos
From Louise: “Hey Bill, I was wondering if you knew of any sites or songs that aren’t copy righted to use for videos on blogs. I’m having trouble finding songs for my fitness videos.”
If you don’t want to go that route, contact some local musicians in your area and ask for free loops. Some, like our son, will be happy to share a few chords or verses for free in exchange for their name being mentioned.
There are quite a few other sites online where you can find what you want, more sites than I was aware of.
Changing My Style
From Kaelin: “Hey, Bill, I recently picked up a new customer for my content writing business, which should be good news, but the customer wants to micro-manage what I write. She doesn’t like the “voice” at times, so I’ll get emails from her suggesting changes. What do you think I should do?”
You have two choices, Kaelin: either give the customer what they ask for or drop them as a customer, and I’m not being flippant when I say that.
The customer is paying you for your service. It is a service which directly affects her business. It is your job to provide the product your customer is asking for. This is a straightforward business transaction, my friend, and if you feel insulted by the suggested changes then you have a decision to make: stay in the game or get out with that particular customer. How badly do you want the customer’s money?
I’ve had to drop customers before because they have asked for far too many rewrites, and it became a losing proposition for me. My time is valuable and if, after one rewrite, my customer is still not satisfied, it isn’t worth it for me to continue. So you’ll have to make that same decision.
To avoid this happening in the future, I suggest you make sure your new customer has seen samples of your writing. Let them get a full taste of your style and voice. Perhaps that way you can weed out the micromanagers.
From Pearl: “I know you’ve been here quite awhile, and from the looks of it, you receive a lot of comments. I’m pretty new, and I came to HP with the purpose of having a site where I could publish my articles, and nothing more than that. Can you tell me why I should bother with all the commenting? I’m not sure I see a value in it.”
Pearl, first off, welcome to HP!
There may not be a value in commenting for you. If your purpose is to simply have a site where you can publish, and you don’t care about establishing friendships or increasing your views, then I see no reason for you to get involved in commenting. I think you are missing out on a lot by not doing so, but considering your limited goal I don’t see commenting as a value for you.
But there is value in commenting!
Some of my best friends, and I mean that sincerely, are friends from HP. Those friendships would have never happened if it were not for commenting.
And commenting leads to sharing, and sharing leads to more views, and more views lead to increased exposure and increased revenue.
But if none of that is important to you then don’t comment.
But I’m happy you are here!
This might be the shortest Mailbag on record, but that’s okay. I’m a little sluggish after eating so much on Thanksgiving, so cutting this short is just fine with me.
Sluggish from eating too much . . . yep, I’m blessed.
This is the 178th installment of this series. I know for a fact quite a few of you have read all 178 installments, and I find that remarkable and humbling. Thank you so very much!
I’m going to the doctor this afternoon for my annual checkup. I expect a clean bill of health, so there’s a good chance you’ll be stuck with me for quite awhile. J
P.S. back from the doctor…slightly elevated levels of cholesterol….blood pressure and heart rate fine….all in all, not bad for an old man. J
2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”