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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 201

Updated on May 7, 2018

Big or Small, We Do Them All

Some weeks are like that . . . very few questions, a very small Mailbag . . . like this week!

Other weeks the bag is splitting its seams it is so jam-packed with mail.

We do them all! This will be one week where you can read it quickly and then move on to something else.

It’s all good! I’m busy . . . you’re busy . . . and none of us has the time for fluff for fluff’s sake.

Let’s get this done and then go enjoy the rest of the day.

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

Do I Get Criticism?

From Eric: “I haven't looked for it. Do you have unfriendlies comment on your work. I get helpful criticism but what about down deep nasty? Do you ignore it or do you contemplate it, what effect does it have on you?”

Oh my, yes, Eric, I get criticism. Truth be told, not as much as a lot of people, but then I stay away from controversial topics. I just got one a couple weeks ago, and that was one of the few times I did not ignore it. Usually I just thank them for their comment, but that time I actually engaged, briefly, and then moved on.

I’m not like a lot of folks here on HP. I’m only here to support writers and to help them be better writers. I don’t care about their political leanings, or if they are Catholic or atheist, and I really don’t care what their convictions are about abortion, immigration reform, or any other social agenda. I’m just here to become a better writer and to help others do the same. For whatever reason, that annoyed one guy a couple weeks ago. Too bad, so sad. My job is not to keep him happy. My job is to be the best person I can be. Period!

A few years ago I did an article about child abuse on an Indian Reservation in North Dakota. I received a death threat for that one. Does that qualify as criticism? LOL

Does negativity affect me? It affects everyone, doesn’t it? That’s why I don’t hang with negative people. I don’t have time for dark clouds overhead. Life is too short, and much too precious, for me to spend time with naysayers and bitchy people.

End of my rant!

This is for those who love to criticize!
This is for those who love to criticize! | Source

Footnotes in Fiction?

From William: “Bill, I'm working on a new story and have done research on the topic that I'd like to include in the story. Is it ever proper to use footnotes in fiction for the purpose of crediting sources? If not, how is it best handled?”

Great question, William!

Footnotes in fiction? Rarely if ever!

Good writers include research in their fiction through good writing. Michener was a genius at it. Bruce Catton was entertaining but always informative. It is quite possible to incorporate research in the prose, but it takes practice.

If you want to make note of where research came from, you can do that at the end of the book in some section like EDITOR’S NOTES, or ADDENDUM, but I would stay away from footnotes.

Publisher or No Publisher

From Nikki: “I’ve a question, is it worth hiring a publishing company to get your first book published or it’s better to just write it in Word Doc and upload it on CreateSpace? Which one works the best? it’s fine with me to get the answer in 201th mailbag next week.”

Nikki, the wording of your question is a bit tricky. By “hiring a publishing company,” do you mean a traditional publisher like Penguin? If so, they hire you; it’s not a matter of you hiring them.

If you are talking about paying Amazon experts to download your book for you, I wouldn’t do it. It is much too easy to download a book on CreateSpace. Why spend money to have someone else do it?

Or perhaps I am completely missing your point on this question.

One other note: in today’s world of self-publishing, I’m not sure there is a “better way.” It is a dog-eat-dog world today in the publishing and writing arena. The best you can hope for is to write a quality book and, after publishing, you feel good about your efforts.

Best wishes to you always!

All published through CreateSpace/Amazon
All published through CreateSpace/Amazon | Source

And That’s All

A little over 700 words. Heck, HP will frown on this one. Now ask me if I care what HP thinks. LOL

Have a great week and thanks, as always, for being here.

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

      Thank you Rajan....those who criticize suck the energy from a space, and i have no time for such foolishness.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I agree with you on ignoring those who criticize just for the fun of it. Don't wish to spend time or energy on it. I always learn something from every mailbag I read. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I have not run across that before, Lawrence, but now you have me curious. Thanks...I'm on it!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      11 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Maybe short, but still excellent stuff.

      I've got a question, it might be a bit of a strange one, but it might also be 'enlightening'

      See the last few days I've been doing some marketing research on my books and discovered something strange.

      For one book on the Amazon USA site there's one review (five stars) but when I went onto the Amazon UK site the same book had two five star reviews, different reviews to the USA one!

      Have you come across where Amazon has different reviews on different sites within its network?

      By the way, I'm stoked about both, now how to use them in a positive way?

      Thanks for thinking about this.

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ain't that the truth, Dee? I love the people who surround me.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      12 months ago

      You are a true writer when you get death threats, Bill! Can't imagine what I would do but certainly not worth backing down about your beliefs. I find surrounding myself with positive people to very healthy. Blessings dear friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you always, Nithya!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      Interesting and informative. Learned about publishing platforms and how they work.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Heidi! Let the buyer beware, for sure. I suspect I will always be suspicious of online publishers. That's just me!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      12 months ago from Chicago Area

      Catching up in the Mailbag. Been a super busy couple of weeks with two author manuscripts, a bout of laryngitis (not good for podcasting pursuits), and a bunch of things going on at home.

      Re: Criticism or critique? Nasty comments are criticism. Feedback is critique.

      Re: "Hiring" Publishers. The self publishing companies abound. And now with Createspace backing out of the author services business, I think we'll see it more. Caveat emptor is always good advice.

      See you in the next catchup Mailbag.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Devika!

    • profile image

      DDE 

      12 months ago

      A good find indeed! You expressed in detail and helped every writer.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Genna! I'm a bit lazy when it comes to research. That's why my stories and books all take place in locales I have visited or lived in.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nikki,and the same to you. You made me smile, so thank you for that gift.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      12 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Very impressive Mailbag, Billy, and as usual, priceless in the help you provide us all. The quoting of research sources is so important. I now know why authors list, with gratitude, the experts that provided them with information that was essential in their work of fiction. To note them is of course vital, and a necessary element of writing etiquette and character. But the realization of why having these experts as resources was an eye-opener because I have learned that doing all of the research on your own can take forever. Happy Sunday. :-)

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      12 months ago from London

      Happy Mother’s day to you too Bill!

      Many Blessings always.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Always a pleasure, Nikki! Happy Mothers Day!

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      12 months ago from London

      Thanks Bill for acknowledging, and you are a great human being and a very good friend.

      Blessings Always!

      Yes Natalie, you are right different opinions help a lot to get some clear view of publishing field and which way is best.

      Many thanks dear!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree, Natalie. Different viewpoints will always help us to grow...in writing and in life. Thank you for that insight.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good to know, Mike...thanks for sharing that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bless you Nikki...you are a good person!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nikki, I love your last couple lines...don't give a damn to this and you just care about friends....perfectly stated!

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 

      12 months ago from Chicago, IL

      The question about criticism is a great one. Looking at it in terms of the bigger picture of negativity is a great perspective and makes it more than just a personal focus on a piece of work or specific skill. The question of using a publisher or not is also a question that always bears thinking about and different viewpoints on this helps us better decide which decision is best for each of us. Thanks for another great installment.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hi Bill - the last Createspace titles I have helped with, the authors have been asked about publishing rights. I think one author had additional delays, as some of her chapters were published here on hubpages. Not too complicated. Just a 'Declaration' from the authors.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      12 months ago from London

      Thanks Bill and I would wait for your next mailbag to see the answer of my question.

      Bless you and your family!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nikki, I really think that is the best route. I find CreateSpace to be reasonably easy to use...unless they have complicated matters in the last six months.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I did not know that....now I have something to think about, since I always use CreateSpace. Dammit, another complication!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great points, Brian! If anyone could add clarity to that conversation, it would be you. Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! Rain today here...enough said about that. As for your question...interesting! Catch you Monday with the answer.

      Wishing you a tremendously terrific Thursday!

      bill

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      12 months ago from London

      Many Thanks Melissa, Kristen, Manatita, Gypsy, Mike, Venkatachari ji, and last but not least Bill my friend.

      And thanks a lot to all my other friends who I didn’t mention, I appreciate all of your support which would enable me to actually publish a book :)

      And Bill since I’m with hubpages, I’ve had one recently who just commented like islam does this and muslims do that, I replied but that one never responded back.

      I’m just a writer, I’m not here to comment on others’ religions or on mine.

      And there was one other person, who followed me day and night leaving nice comments, so for me if I follow someone or somebody else follows me, it’s like a family.

      And then one day out of no where I accidentally noticed that he unfollowed me.

      I even left comment on his article, he deleted it I think, so was I after follower or hungry for a follower?

      Nope, for me a follower means to get a friend who’s work you like and comment and sometimes you get comment on back on your hubs too but that’s not very necessary.

      Anyway I learnt a very good lesson and ignored all, as I don’t give a damn to this.

      I just care about my friends and that’s it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You could say it, Eric, and it would probably be true. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rasma! Great information. I've never heard of Frostbite Publishing...really good information!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will do that, Nikki, in the next installment. Thanks for the question. I'm sorry I misunderstood the last one. On a totally unrelated note, you are a very nice person.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, as long as I live, I will never understand people like that. It's like they get out of bed itching for a fight...what a waste of life.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sherry trust me, the negative reactions will come. But write it anyway!!!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's exactly what I have found, Lori! Thank them, move on, and they eventually lose interest.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Isn't that amazing, Bill? I swear, people have lost the ability to hear any opinion other than the one they subscribe to....I would call them idiots but that would be negative of me. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Flourish! I have to admit, it took me a moment to recover from that threat. That's some serious stuff, even if it is an idle threat.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, if I played any part in keeping you around HP, I am one happy writer. Thank you for saying that, and for the grammar lesson, and just for your friendship.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, shoot, Marlene, it weren't nothing. :) it's easy for me to be kind to people like you. Takes no effort at all, and the feeling is mutual, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alyssa, thanks...on a totally unrelated topic, you have the most beautiful hair I have ever seen. :)

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      12 months ago from London

      Thanks Mike for your insight on this topic, that’s I was talking about Bill but you’re right as well because the publishers you’re saying, they hire author for some specific period and pay for this. I contacted on of the publishers to publish my book and to do the paperback also including book cover, and it would cost me around £250, the editor said.

      This didn’t sound much but as Mike is saying that it can be a bad idea.

      So I would stick up to CreateSpace to get it done, I’ve already registered my details and even book name and have done cover page so far.

      Just interior was bothering me, would try’n sort out somehow.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hi Bill - Keeping in mind, I don't know anything Nikki's question has an edge to it. There are Publishers you can hire. You pay them they 'upload' your book to some websites. Their contract turns the rights to your work over to them for some length of time. There are lots of them. I know a few authors here who have fallen for their sales pitch and lived to regret it. So, Nikki should certainly not 'hire' a publisher. But if Random House calls, she should take the call.

      I recently helped a person with the chore of Createspace navigation. Createspace is now asking authors to prove they have publishing rights. Turns out that they are taking a submitted manuscript and like some professors running it through the internet looking for plagiarist. This is tricky stuff. My backup plan has always been to obtain a U.S. Copyright on the work. Perhaps here in the mailbag, getting a copyright is a luxury.

      Somewhere in the Hugpage bylaws, it says the authors retain their rights.

      Anyway, authors beware. Createspace is getting a little more serious about their role.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      12 months ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      Vladimir Nabokov's novel PALE FIRE has endnotes, which are like footnotes except that they appear at the end of the work rather than at the foot of each page. The novel consists of a Forward by a fictional character named Charles Kinbote, a long poem titled "Pale Fire" by a fictional character named John Shade, and a section of endnotes called "Commentary", also by Kinbote. Kinbote's endnotes commenting on the poem are the novel. Kinbote is a lunatic.

      At the end of Margaret

      Atwood's novel THE HANDMAID'S TALE comes "Historical Notes on The Handmaid's Tale", being a partial transcript of a symposium on June 25, 2195.

      So if you see a reference note in a novel, suspect it is fictional, part of the novel.

      But Google on: annotated edition.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      I just realized I never leave a note on my second visit to a Mailbag. I really like your people's comments.I did not say I get more from them than you. LoL

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, this may be tongue in cheek, but I'm going to use it in next week's Mailbag if you don't mind. Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good information and advice, Manatita, but I would expect nothing less from you. Thanks my brother!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! There have been a couple times when I wanted to miss, but it just seemed wrong to do so.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill,it really is my pleasure. Rarely, if ever, do I really disagree with you. For the most part, in religious articles, it's not disagreement as much as it is a lack of background/opinion.....I respect you greatly!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. Criticism comes with being a writer. There is no avoiding it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your input, Kristen! I sure hope Nikki wasn't talking about traditional publishers. That's a tough road.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      12 months ago from SW England

      There may be fewer questions this week, bill, but they're goodies, especially the footnotes one. I would always assume research would be dealt with at the end of the book, as you say.

      Interesting input from Gypsy too, as I'm a bit like that in that I'm scared of what doesn't really seem to be that easy!

      Enjoying a little sunshine today after a belter of weekend weather in temperatures which soared for the May bank holiday. Spent it with all the children - superb! Picnics outside, playing in the park, using muscles I didn't know I had and now trying to recover, albeit with a huge smile on my face.

      Question: If someone told you that you could only write one more novel/story/article, what would you write, or at least what genre would you write?

      Have a teaser of a Tuesday, bill!

      Ann

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      12 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Another interesting mailbag. In regards to the publishing question and Createspace. No matter how everyone says it is simple there are people out there like me who cannot for the life of them understand how to format. I tried many different ways and many step-by-step help guides. Finally, I did some searching online and found Frostbite Publishing. What they did for me was format my book after I sent it to them and sent back the formatted document for uploading on Createspace and then I even got my cover from them. It did not cost an arm and a leg and was grateful to them because I finally got my first book of poems out there. Just saying that this kind of help is also available to those, like me, who run into problems. Hope you are having a great new week.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      12 months ago from London

      Thanks Bill for your detailed answer,, I wrongly used it, there are many companies over internet which you can hire to upload your book on CreatSpace and to print it in paperback as Amazon isn’t doing interior anymore, it’s giving options to download fomatted template and then write in Microsoft Word, so I contacted one of the book formatting company which seemed alright.

      But as you’re saying that self- publishing is better and easy.

      Can you please explain how to do interior of the book please?

      Thanks for your unconditional support my friend, bless you and your family always.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      12 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Short mailbag but interesting questions. I have really only had negative feedback on two of my hubs (one of those being on Climate Change..which was understandable). On one I had used a photo of Einstein with a quote as my feature photo. This reader said that quote coundn't have been by Einstein so he would not read the rest of the article. He said I should do my research before publishing. I checked out the quote and it was actually something Einstein actually said in a book written by him, and quoted the reference. The critic never replied further.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 

      12 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I'm thinking about writing an article on a contraversial subject. I guess I should prepare myself for the possible reactions.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      12 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Never had a death threat but when I write on theological issues I get some argumentative and hostile people. Like you I thank them and move on. They might take another stab at it but I ignore it. I used to have lengthy discussions with them but finally got wise. They sometimes have no interest whatsoever in the topic, they're just out to pick a fight. If you don't bite they'll look elsewhere.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      12 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Short but informative. I’ve never received a death threat but I’ve definitely been called stupid and other similar insults. I have a couple of hubs on ranking the greatest tennis players of all-time and you would not believe some of the comments I have received. It got so bad that a few years ago I stopped responding to all comments on these two hubs whether the comment was good or bad.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 months ago from USA

      Death threats on an article is pretty ugly business.

      Don’t be swayed by ugly comments or attitudes. Based on the stuff you write, it’s their issue, not yours.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      12 months ago from Beautiful South

      Bill, death threats on an article? That is unreal! Or maybe not. When I first joined HP and up until a year or so ago, HP tolerated some real ruff-tuffs on this website. In fact some trolls were so discouraging that I almost said "to Hell with them." Then I stumbled onto you and your encouraging followers and decided to stay. Thank you, friend Bill, and the rest of you, too!

      I have to comment on Mr. Smith's question in his comment. Mr. Smith, you are correct, you "upload" TO the internet as in upload to Createspace, but "download FROM the internet, like a photo or video." I learned this because I had to both upload and download so many times in my career.

      I'm wondering about Nikki's question. My impression by the wording of "hiring a publisher" was paying one of these so-called "self-publishing" companies to publish your book. There are a couple of these companies advertising right now on TV to "hire us to publish and promote your book."

      Thanks for your short, but informative, mailbag today, my friend.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      12 months ago from USA

      One of the first writing arenas I entered was HubPages and, one of the first writers I met here was you, Bill. You were so kind and helpful and I appreciated that a lot. At the same time, some of the worst things that have ever been said to me were said on HubPages. I learned early in the game to develop a very thick skin and not take things personally, but the best lesson of all is that I learned to stay away from negative people. Now, I won't give a negative person the time of day. There are way too many good people in the world to spend even a moment with bad people. You're one of the good peeps, Bill!

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      12 months ago from Ohio

      I completely agree with you on negativity! Life is far too short for that ordeal. Have a great week!!

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      12 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Symantics: I upload my files to Create Space, whereas you download your files to Create Space. What say you? Is there a right or wrong way of expression? With a smile... ;-)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      12 months ago from london

      Great stuff!

      Sometimes I write a piece on the difficult stuff and sometimes I leave it alone. Sometimes I send an answer so positive, that it affects the writer who wants a negative feedback.

      As regards Nikki's work, Vanity and other proffessionals are increasing. They will charge her let's say $1000, to take the manuscript and Publish her work. They are in contact with Ingram, Waterstones and all major outlets.

      They do stuff in India and China and are familiar with book fairs and marketing. I like your style.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      12 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I enjoy reading even the short editions of the Mailbag, Bill. Thank you for never missing an installment.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      12 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Short but sweet, Bill. And shame on your not having a 1200 word count. lol. Hey, it's about information, not the length to impress, right? Anyway, the information, as always is good, and thanks for taking my question.

      And thanks for being here to support us as writers. I hope it's okay to say this (I'm going to anyway). You have been so supportive of me as a writer, Even if I write some things you disagree with from time to time, or a piece that is just absolutely boring, you always have something positive to say. Without exaggeration, I could count the times, on one hand, you failed to comment. You're just always there, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that sees that. So, thank you, Mr. Holland.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      12 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's very pleasing to see the 201st mailbag of yours today.

      Eric's question is a worthy one. How to deal with criticism? I often receive criticism as I keep commenting on politics and social issues that affect the human values and ethics of the society. But, I ignore them mostly, even though at times, I may put some befitting replies with a cool mind.

      I am hearing about Footnotes in Fiction for the first time.

      Nikki Khan's question may be about finding a local publisher for her book, not hiring the publisher. She worded it in a confused state, perhaps.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      12 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great mailbag Bill. For Nikki's question, if she chooses to go traditional, she would need to research agents and send out query letters. Have a synopsis or sample chapters publish-ready. Only a few traditional publishers will take on unagented subs. She could choose to do small or indie or e-pubs that take unagented subs as well. As for William's comment on criticism, I've been told to take what you want and disregard the rest like a grain of salt (as to receiving feedback).

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww thanks Mary! I love it when my advice helps others. Thank you for remembering my words,and I'm glad you enjoyed the photo.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It was an eye-opener, Peggy, that's for sure. LOL Never in my wildest dreams would I think I was a threat to anyone.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I receive much more than I give at HP, but thank you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I tend to agree, Larry. At least that's what I try to do. Thanks for that.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Though short, I still get tips that are helpful. You know your why here in HP and it's admirable that you kept on with the mailbag. I was just talking about you last night with our daughter in law who is writing her dissertation and funny, I remember much of your advice here. So, thank you and yes, love that picture the negative people got from you.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Like you I try to avoid writing about controversial subjects. To this date I have never gotten a death threat and thank heavens for that. It must have been truly scary for you and your family as well. That takes criticism to an entirely different level!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, thanks for sticking to your purpose here on HP. You deserve much admiration and appreciation.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      12 months ago from Oklahoma

      In my opinion criticism that isn't constructive is best met with kindness or indifference.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pretty funny, Verlie, right? That's exactly what I was getting called out for....in cases like that, there is no winning. Time to move on immediately. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Melissa! Perhaps that's what Nikki was asking.I should have clarified her question before tacking it.

      Oh well....enjoy the heck out of life this week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for weighing in, Linda, on that issue. Good advice! As for that person in question I tend to agree: he is one unhappy individual. I don't need people like that in my life.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That, Eric, is an excellent question. Hopefully I can come up with an excellent answer by next Monday. In the meantime,enjoy the heck out of your life.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I really appreciate that, Pop! I love your passion for this country. It's not necessary for me to always agree with you on how to make this a better country. Patriots can always work together if they are willing.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      12 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Brief but always helpful mail bag today..I think a death threat definitely fits the definition of criticism--scary! In regards to hiring a publisher, maybe Nikki was talking about hiring one of the many out there who offer their services for a steep price, formerly known as "vanity presses". These publishers sound really legit, but can cost a fortune and most people never make any of their fees back...but they do get your book published.

      Have a great and productive week!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      12 months ago from Canada

      Morning Bill, I'm thinking things must be slow when you've got to haul out the poop pic. Are you trying to stir up some thing? If I'm understanding it right you've been taken to task for being too nice. That's almost a compliment.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, it was a slow week for me as well. I think the postman took a holiday mid-week.

      I too try to stay away from the hot-button topics. There is one person (you know EXACTLY who I'm talking about) on HP who is probably the most unhappy person on the face of the planet. He/she tossed out the question "how can I improve my score?" and like an idiot I offered what I thought was constructive criticism. Sheez-Louise did that ever start a sh--storm.

      William's question got my attention. I've been working (?) on a novel that takes place in another time period (fiction based on fact). To help the reader understand, I have written separate chapters that explain the traditions and practices of that time, or the geography/setting/climate then vs. now, etc.

      I hope you have a wonderful week. I know it will be a busy one.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Of course it was not me who was threatened but I remember the article and comments. It was more extremely interesting. A strange notion that one cannot be critical of a bad situation or it gets translated into derogatorily toward folks. Oh well.

      Isn't it just grand to have life interfere with writing. Did I mention that I have the attention span of a cat's eye marble?

      Bill I kinda like them articles/books where dat dar accent/dialect floats right in. Sometimes hard to follow. I am thinking you used it in "when the corn died" and some others.Like that train one with the "Momma" in da Bayou.

      Now I just did a couple of words there. What are the rules and how do you make it just flow?

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      12 months ago

      I can vouch for your support of writers. You support my love of writing even when you don't support my opinions. I love you for that!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww thanks Janine! Just doing what I was raised to do...a pretty good legacy from my parents.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is sweet of you to say, McKenna! Thanks so much...and yes, we are capable of bringing so much beauty into this world. Let's hope more do it!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's not critical, Frank...helpful yes, critical no...thanks!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Will do, Frank! And thanks always, my friend!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      12 months ago from New York, New York

      Short, but still so sweet! And can't thank you ever enough for helping out here and sharing always! Happy Monday now, Bill!! :)

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 

      12 months ago from Bend, OR

      That was a short but thought-provoking mailbag, Bill, about turning away from negative energy. That's so incredibly important these days, and I find myself getting better and better at it. When I heard about parents of murdered children from Sandy Hook Elementary who get trolled by those who say it never happened, I realized how truly evil people can be behind the safety of their keyboards. We bring so much beauty into the world with our words but also so much hate. Your intention to help people shines through your articles, Bill, and I'm glad we get to benefit from your wisdom and positivity. Thanks!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      12 months ago from Shelton

      Oh, I'm sorry for being critical.. but you may want to change received death threats to received a death threat.. so your readers won't be as worried as I was.. Yes?

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      12 months ago from Shelton

      People need to chill a lot.. and now that I do academy work I try to make the cadets understand it.. I'm glad it was just one.. well not glad I mean relieved... better? Take care of yourself Bill... please ..

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Just one death threat, Frank, but it sure got my attention. lol As for followers....people need to chill a bit, don't you think?

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      12 months ago from Shelton

      wow did you really receive death threats for writing that article? I only get stale comments from people who ask why I don't follow them.. several months ago I cleaned out my follow list and accidentally deleted a few followers and they made it so clear that I unfollowed them.. they wrote comments and sent emails... I just ignore and delete.. can't believe people are that desperate for followers.. but death threats... WOW... enough of this.. I'm just so glad you listen.. and then move on.. it's probably for the best... oh and 201...moving forward...

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