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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 188

Updated on February 5, 2018

Happy Happy, Joy Joy!

I’m doing the Happy Dance as I type this.

February is here, January is gone, and spring is closer to reality.

I’m a bit tired of the mud and that’s the reason for the dance.

No, it’s not a blizzard, and we haven’t had to deal with extreme cold temperatures, and we haven’t had any power outages. I get it, many of you have it much worse.

But I’m tired of the mud!

So while you read the rest of this, I’m going to do my dance and sing a song of my own creation . . . “One Step Closer To Spring!”

THE MAIL IS HERE, THE MAIL IS HERE!

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room! | Source

AMAZON

From Paula: “What do you think of Amazon, and Kindle, and the whole self-publishing scene? I ask this because, for some reason, I’m suspicious and distrustful of the whole process, and I was wondering what you thought.”

It’s weird, Paula, but I was just thinking about this topic yesterday.

I live fifty miles from Seattle and the Amazon Corporate Headquarters, so that particular company is featured on our news quite often. Yesterday there was a story about the new Amazon convenience store, the one without any clerks or checkout. You just walk in, grab your items, and walk out. Everything is scanned, including you, and people love it because it is so fast and it saves them so much time.

And then there was a story about Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owning the Washington Post . . . and then a story about Amazon opening new office space in Seattle called The Spheres . . . and their space program . . . and record profits . . . and Bezos could become the first Trillion Dollar Man . . . and the search for a location for their Second World Headquarters, probably in Washington D.C. . . and quite frankly the whole thing makes me a bit nervous. I’m reminded of the novel “The Day of the Locust.” If you haven’t read it, that reference means nothing to you.

Here’s the thing: I’m naturally skeptical of huge corporations, so when I see one increasing its power at a frightening rate, like Amazon, my warning antennae rise and start shrieking. Amazon makes me very nervous. I think they are the P.T. Barnum of the 21st Century, all glitter and amazement for the public . . . but I don’t trust what’s going on behind the scenes. As a species, we don’t seem to learn from the past. We’ve been duped before by glitter and amazement. Our need for inexpensive and our thirst for convenience have hurt us in the past and they will hurt us in the future.

As for Kindle, our choices as writers are limited. For me, personally, I wish the Kindle phenomena had never happened. I think it opened the flood gates and allowed the market to be inundated with crap, driving down prices for serious writers, and lowering the standards of good writing for all.

Aren’t you sorry you asked, Paula?

Yes, I use it, but I don't like it
Yes, I use it, but I don't like it | Source

Another Kindle Question

From Keith: “What do you think of the pricing policies on Kindle? They suggest prices whenever you self-publish, but I’m never quite certain those are the correct prices for my books. What do you think?”

Here we go again!

I don’t trust Amazon! I know I’m sounding paranoid but so be it.

I have a friend . . . an acquaintance, really . . . who has self-published fifty-two “books” on Amazon Kindle. I use the word “books” with reservations, because each one is a twenty-page pamphlet about things like “Being A Better Parent,”and “Finding Happiness.” He sells each one for $.99 and he makes a lot of money doing that, and I’ve read a few of them and they are dog doo-doo. That annoys me. In my opinion, Amazon should suggest a price of $.05 for each, but they suggest $.99 to make money.

They suggested I charge between $4.99 and $7.99 for my last coloring book. I priced it at $8.00 just to be stubborn. There is something about Amazon that just doesn’t sit well with me. Can you tell?

In a perfect world, I would take my books to a printing company, like I did with my first novel “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today,” order 100 of them, pay the $6 per book fee, and have complete control over the pricing of it and the marketing of it.

But this isn’t a perfect world, so we are all forced to play the Amazon game.

I’m sure some of you will disagree with me on this, and that’s fine. Just know you won’t be able to convince me otherwise about Amazon.

My feelings towards the quality of self-published books in 2018
My feelings towards the quality of self-published books in 2018 | Source

And More About Publishing

From Brianne: “When is the best time of year to release a self-published book?”

Brianne, we are told by many experts that the best time for book release is September and October. That way your book is in the minds of people as they prepare to do their Christmas shopping. From a marketing standpoint that seems logical to me. Conversely, the worst time, for marketing and sales, is early summer. People are far too busy to purchase books to read when the weather improves. That’s not to say books don’t sell in the summer, because they do, but they sell better in the fall.

And That’s It for This Week

Sometimes there is an overabundance of questions for the Mailbag, and sometimes, like today, there is hardly anything.

That’s okay! I have other things to do, like clean the mud off my boots.

Have a great week!

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you did, Lawrence. Thank you for sharing with us...good news about taking Amazon to court. I like to hear stories like that.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      6 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      All I can say about the marketing strategy is I'm in deep 'Pooh'! Fact is September through December is spring- summer here, just the time when people are too busy planning their holidays.

      Most are away for Christmas, but so what, I'll publish anyway.

      I see where you're coming from with Amazon, but I'm not sure I totally share the same sentiments, I think there's enough competition out there to force Amazon to 'wise up' and play by the rules.

      By the way, a couple of months ago some independent publishers in Europe took Amazon to court in the European court and won over the right to be able to advertise their books on their own sites for cheaper than Amazon can sell it for. So if your books are with them, then they can advertise them on their sites for cheaper, not that I'm with any other!

      Sorry this seems a bit long but thought I'd add my 'twopenneth'

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Frank! I appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There are a couple other sites, Nikki...Hulu for one...I'm not sure how much better or worse it is, quite frankly.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      8 months ago from Shelton

      The Kindle questions were very realistic and your response, just as realistic.. bravo

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      8 months ago from London

      I loved reading this mailbag Bill,,I have checked Amazon for publishing my first book and process is confusing but still we don't have any choice except Amazon as this program is easy one rather than finding a publisher and taking headache.

      But still I think self-publishing is better than Amazon thing.And yes,,I am anxiously waiting for spring to come as tired of this freezing cold and chilling winds.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the comment, Alyssa! I'm just a grumpy old man who doesn't like change, I guess. :)

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      8 months ago from Ohio

      This was really helpful! Side note: we saw that same segment about the scanners and no check-out story on the news here in Ohio. Technology has come a long way.. but I'm very hesitant about putting my financial information on my phone.. and using it like my bank card. I enjoy going to the grocery store and shopping, but I must admit, I often use the self-checkouts vs. going through and having a cashier. I'm also one of those people who enjoy the drive-thru vs. going in to a fast food restaurant haha! I do enjoy some conveniences. But I suppose I'm getting off topic and rambling. Back to the point -- I agree with you on the Amazon store and the Kindle. There's nothing like having an actual book in your hands. Anyway.. thank you for the helpful tips! :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! I hope you had a great time in sunny Florida! Welcome back to winter!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      8 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Sorry for the late reply, we are just getting back from a visit to my in-laws in Florida. I completely agree with you concerning Amazon, seems to me they are getting way too big, and controlling. Hope you had a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad,Rodric! Best wishes on that book. I love the title; it's an eye-catcher for sure.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      8 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Bill, I am still working to republish my book Moroni Saw Me. I am doing it through CreateSpace. Your advice about publishing it in September or there about is timely. I still have much work to do on it, but I have to get it out. Also, your insight about how trash and treasure can get the same treatment opened my eyes a bit to the potential risk to my literary creativity using the platform. I feel educated.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Peggy, just the fact that Bezos could become the first Trillion Dollar Man makes me nervous, but I'm sure part of that is my natural distrust of corporations.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      That makes sense to me that books sell better in the fall rather than the summer. People who like to give books as Christmas gifts are more prone to purchasing them in the latter part of the year. I always enjoy reading your posts.

      As to Amazon...it is amazing how fast they are growing and expanding into other categories. We will see what that portends.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing that, Mary! There is no doubt Amazon fills a need...they just make me nervous, a natural distrust of corporations.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Irish, good to hear from you. When are we going to see a hub from you about the move to Italy?

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      8 months ago from Brazil

      I can understand your feelings with regards to Amazon. For us, though we have used them for farm machinery parts. It is easier for us to order from the US and wait than try and source it in Brazil. If I ordered it from a shop in Brazil, I would wait 3 months. From the US, 1 month.

      I also had a design stolen and the thieves put it on Amazon for sale. When I contacted Amazon, they had it off their site in a few hours.

      Another thought-provoking mailbag.

      Have a wonderful weekend.

    • profile image

      Suzie HQ 

      8 months ago

      Hi Bill, Interesting thoughts about Amazon. I saw on Sky news about the shop opened by Amazon which had good and bad points. We had ordered some dvd's to be sent here (always seems an issue posting to Italy on numerous sites) and for a few gifts to Ireland which all arrived perfect and quickly which I was pleasantly surprised with. Great selection of questions and answers my friend, so happy to see signs of Spring here too, roll on some heat and bye-bye cold, mud and rain!!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's a big toilet, Nell! There's more than enough room for your books and mine. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I understand your logic. I'm just a repeater of this information, not an understander. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No it's not, Jo, nor has it ever been. Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate them and you.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 months ago from England

      Hiya Bill, I do get what you mean about Amazon, but saying that, my book has so far done pretty well. I will not however make any more kids books as they go straight down that toilet you got above there! LOLOLO!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      8 months ago from United Kingdom

      I find it interesting that fall is a better time to publish than early summer. I would have thought people would want something to read while they're lounging on the beach or by the pool while on holiday.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      8 months ago from Tennessee

      Bill, I live in the woods in Tennessee, a long, long way from the Amazon headquarters and I love Amazon. Me and the UPS man have a thing going. I love the a fact that with click of my keyboard I can order just about any thing I want. And I also love my kindle and the fact that I can instantly download just about any book I want to read. The kindle is also great for travel, but it will never take the place of real books for me. And I can identify with your distrust of large corporations, monopolies, and automation that cause a loss of jobs. So it's not a perfect world.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi from cloudy Olympia, Kathy. I'll be over to read your work shortly, as soon as I wake up.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do remember it, MizB! We may be two of a handful of people who do.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, you can't trust a groundhog. LOL Stay warm and safe, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All true, Peg! It reminds me of the Industrial Revolution and the problems with anti-trust.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      A job well done,Michael my friend. :)

    • KatWin profile image

      Kathy Burton 

      8 months ago from Florida

      Well, I’m going to read “ The Day of the Locust” just because you have caught my interest with your reference. If I don’t do Kindle (and I understand your reservation there), I will go to our local library for the book. Hopefully, the library will have it.

      Well, I enjoyed your article so much I am off to read another one.

      Oh and Hi from sunny Florida.

      Kathy

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      8 months ago from Beautiful South

      I sure do remember that movie, Bill. I was actually referencing it's title song "Beware of The Blob," written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David, which hit Billboard in 1958. Remember the song? I was a teenager, but you were just a young squirt then.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      8 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Ah, yes! The smiling toilet. As you look forward to warmer weather, Bill, just know Central PA is experiencing the snow of the season. I blame it on the groundhogs (Punxsutawney Phil only in PA).

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      It was good to hear your opinion about Amazon and the direction that big corporate business takes us, like it or not. I can see a future where the little businesses get pushed out by corporate giants that can then set the price wherever they want. Reminds me about what happened to TVs made in the USA like Philco and Zenith and Curtis Mathes.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 

      8 months ago

      Bill my friend, what else shall I do? If do not have anything to say (positive), I am trying to say at least something (positive) anyway.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know the answer right now, Eric, but I'll find out by Monday. Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Chitrangada Sharan! Let's hope spring arrives sooner rather than later.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, I for one would love to read that hub. I'm afraid too many people are eager for convenience no matter the cost. We humans are our own worst enemies.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I completely agree with you, Mike, at the risk of sounding like some old codger who can't stand anything new after the birth of the Industrial Revolution. :)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill just a straight up HP question. How do you keep the disgusting ads of you articles. In between my ending and comments are some real gross ones. You know photos of an awful condition to sell you the cure.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great installment of Questions and Answers!

      The discussion about self publishing on Amazon and kindle clarified many points.

      Thank you, and like you, I am also eager to welcome the spring.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, a wonderful simile about the big fish...I love that. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face this morning.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, MizB, if you and Nadine like Robin Hobb, I think it's worth my time. Thanks for the tip...like the Blob...remember that horror movie by that name when we were kids?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great comment, Nadine! Thank you! I, too, go to the library for a book I can hold.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear that, Kari! Thanks for being here.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ugly weather you folks are having, Pop! Best of luck getting through it all.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Devika! It's a game we learn to play if we want to self-publish.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita! Great line about Judas! Bezos for President? God help us all!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Karen! Best wishes on that book, and thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Linda. Thanks for listening to my rant....and crocus are showing up in our gardens, always a good sign.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! Sorry about that little rant of mine.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      8 months ago

      I am too frozen to dance, and I lost my electric yesterday!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      8 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Your answers about AMAZON got me wondering about their prices. Interesting and lots to think about from your useful points here.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      8 months ago from USA

      I’ve got pretty strong opinions about Amazon from another perspective—that of someone who lives near one of their massive ginormous ever expansive distribution facilities. It has ruined our way of life here locally and I’ve considered writing a hub with photos explaining exactly how, but I figured it wouldn’t be popular or interesting to the majority of people. All that glitters (jobs, jobs, jobs) is ... well you know.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Bill - Kindle, #@$$%@#$^&%%%%, but that is just the opinion of an old, used book dealer. Used book dealers are going to completely disappear because of Amazon and Kindle and Nook, etc. Major book publishers are disappearing as the consolidation in the industry continues. Printed matter, will eventually disappear. There are so many problems with digital 'everything'. The 'every writer' on their own is a big problem for those with minimum marketing skills.

      I could go on, but will just sit and listen to the mud dry.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 

      8 months ago

      Oh Bill imagine me living next door, I would come to clean the mud of your boots to free you for more time writing augmented story on Amazon / Kindle bewitching practice in what way a big fish feeds on gulping down the small fish.

      Peace and blessings.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      8 months ago from Beautiful South

      Loved your mailbag today, friend Bill. It was quality over quantity. You are right about all the dog doo doo being published on Amazon. I've read my share free because they use the Kindle Owner's Lending Library on Amazon Prime to introduce new writers. The way it works: You get to read the first one free, but most new novels in a series costs regular price, so if I like a new author, I then pay to read their latest publications. I think it's a pretty good idea for us who like ebooks.

      Another thing I like about their ebooks is that a reader can download a sample of selected books. If you don't like it, you don't have to buy it.

      And again, I agree with you on the Amazon corporate expansion. Amazon is like the Blob, it creeps and leaps across the floor and out the door. Be careful of the Blob!

      @Nadine: I see you're into one of my favorite authors, Robin Hobb. You go girl!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      8 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Great post Billy. I agree about being nervous when a cooperation like Amazon is increasing its power at a frightening rate. I read that all countries are co-operations except a few. Some say that Libya, Syria Iran, North Korea are not. Who knows what is true and what is not anymore. I still go to our local library to take our books. Lately, I'm into fantasy fiction by Robin Hobb. What a great writer. Always look forward to my reading time at the end of the day, in bed.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      8 months ago from Ohio

      I also am looking forward to spring. Thanks for the input on Amazon and Kindle. I learned a lot today!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      8 months ago from london

      You're telling it like it is, bro. Quiite frightening really. Bezos was mentioned or put forward to run for President next time round. It's now all a money game and its gone crazy. Judas helps us! At least he found Christ. Ha ha. Made that one up.

      Short, succinct and straight, Bro.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 

      8 months ago from Georgia

      Oh I am so glad that I read this installment of the Writer's Mail Bag Bill because I never knew what the best time of year to publish a book was. Thanks for the tip, and that gives me enough time to get writing before September!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm looking forward to spring, too! Some of the catkins are opening up here, which is a good sign. Thanks for sharing your interesting thoughts about Amazon and the useful information about the best time of year for publishing a book.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      8 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing your opinions on Amazon and Kindle. I've fallen in love with Kindle because it is convenient for one to carry and read. I still don't know if I want to publish on it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm sorry to hear that, Venkatachari M. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and best wishes in the future.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Unfortunately, Martie, that's the name of the game we are forced to play. Thanks for your input.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      8 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's amazing to see all questions in this session related to Amazon and Self-Publishing. Nice questions and good answers.

      I too am a prey of Amazon. I wanted to price my kindle book @$0.99, but Amazon didn't allow it saying all books of this category should be priced above $3.99 if I wanted 70% royalty. So, I opted 35% royalty and had to price at $1.99 per copy. And, my print edition has to be priced at bare minimum $4.99 to get 35% royalty minus printing cost. Helpless and not a single copy sold.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 months ago from South Africa

      The fact that Amazon is doing so good while writers get only a very small cut of a book's price makes me downright angry, never mind uncomfortable.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bottom line, Sha, because I'm lazy and don't like change.

      I don't have to like the devil to dance with him.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All true, Linda, especially the part about Brady! LOL....Oh my, shoveling doo-doo, were you? I'm getting nauseous thinking about it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kristen! That's about what it's worth, two cents, but I appreciate it.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, if you're so disenchanted with Amazon, why don't you choose a different self-publishing platform?

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      8 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Well, Bill you and I aren't shoveling snow, but mud isn't much of an improvement. Add to that the fast that last week the line from our house to the septic collapsed, and you know what we were shoveling (that's AFTER the downstairs shower erupted).

      Anyhow, it's nice to have some normalcy, and by that I mean your Monday mailbag. That plus a Brady loss and it's a good start to the week in my book.

      I totally agree with you about Amazon. They are also looking into the pharma market.

      I loved being able to put my book in print, but like you I shudder when I see some of the pulp that's out there. Like blogs--anyone can write, but is it worth reading?

      Even though it was short, this was a good mailbag my friend. Thanks always.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      8 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great mailbag Bill on your thoughts on Amazon and self-publishing. Very insightful to hear your two cents on it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, there is no way this boy will spend a winter in Minnesota. I bow in your direction. You are tougher than me.

      Happy Monday my friend, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy, I got it from the same source. LOL It's funny, because I hardly ever watched that show, but that line stuck with me.

      Winter in Toronto....you are made of tougher stock than me, my friend.

      Thanks for the visit!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      8 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I'm thrilled that January has passed as well...but because of the spot light on us for the super bowl, everyone knows we are still in the heart of winter! Come on Spring hurry up!! I think my toes are permanently numb...

      Hope you have a great and productive week!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      8 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Happy Happy, Joy Joy" - Haha! You're the first person other than myself who I have seen use this line. Personally, I got it from the "Ren and Stimpy" cartoon. Where did You get it from? Just curious.

      "We’ve been duped before by glitter and amazement." - I ask myself this often: can we just get over it (the glitter and amazement that is)? Haven't we had enough yet?

      Regarding self-publishing, it's a tough cookie to crack. I know a little about it from Mrs. Lynda Martin https://hubpages.com/@lmmartin - She put-up a bunch of hubs about it, some years back. The publishing game has changed a lot though, in the last ... I don't know, ten-twenty years I'd say.

      Alrighty, I'm gonna go shovel some snow maybe and leave You with your mud. Good Luck with it all! : )

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks as always, Heidi! I still don't like Amazon. LOL But they I'll never like a major corporation, so there you go.

      Minus three? You can have it! Sixty later this week here, thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I love that you hate the winter so much. Seriously, we are bosom buddies in that regard.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, The Man is Evil! LOL Thanks for waiting for the Mail to arrive. As for marketing, it never ends, buddy.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      8 months ago from Chicago Area

      Indeed, I read it in less than 5 minutes. So here's my take on Amazon...

      Re: Big Bad Amazon? Yes, their market dominance makes it almost impossible to not work with them. But what's the alternative? Do you want to go back to selling one book at a time to your neighbors? Or online and have to handle all the sales and sales tax issues? Do you want to go back to commercially printing your own books for lots and lots of cash? Even though Amazon is a behemoth, the blessings we as self published authors have gained from their presence is invaluable. I remember the bad old days of self publishing.

      Re: Book and eBook Pricing on Amazon. Their pricing suggestion tool on KDP is really helpful. With the unbelievable amount of data they collect, they're suggesting these prices when comparing it to other books similar to yours in terms of length, content, etc. So I've been going with their suggestions.

      Alternatively, you could actually do the research and come up with an ideal price by looking at every darn book in your genre or topic and then analyzing where you fit in that mix. But remember that when you're a self published author, you're an author-preneur, meaning that you're in business. And setting prices is part of your business. So that's why I go with Amazon's suggestions since it saves me the time and hassle.

      Re: Best Time to Publish. While I agree that summer is just awful for launching or marketing books (or anything!), I don't think it matters much when it's actually published. What matters is when and how you market it!

      Unless you unpublish it, your book will be available for a very long time. So be less concerned about the launch, and be more concerned about the long-term promotion of it.

      It's -3 this AM here in Chi-town, without wind chill factor. Yikes! Happy Monday!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      8 months ago from New York, New York

      I noted this morning that I heard actual birds chirping after my kids got on the bus to go to school this morning. So, I whole heartedly agree that Spring is indeed one step closer, which couldn't make this winter hater any happier if I could try. So I will take that we are finally heading indeed in that right direction. Happiest of Monday now, my friend ;)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      OK I admit it, I was actually sitting here basically waiting for this installment. I just learned a whole lot. Amazon is starting to be "The Man". And I do not like The Man.

      Now that you have a huge base of followers are you still "hitting the gym" of marketing here?

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