ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 248

Updated on March 18, 2019

Spring Has Sprung

I always loved that silly little saying. I have no idea why I think it is so clever. It really isn’t, you know, but still it’s cute.

And it’s accurate for our neck of the woods. Spring has arrived with temps in the sixties and seventies, and it is glorious. If I could ask for the perfect location with the perfect climate, year-round, I would ask for Olympia in early spring. Give me year-round temps in the sixties and I’m a contented, happy man.

But then I already am a contented, happy man, so that would just be a bonus.

Welcome to the Mail Room! If you are looking for dissention you’ve come to the wrong place. If you are looking to bash the Liberals or the Conservatives, the Bible-belters or the atheists, you are in the wrong place. This is a place of support. I don’t have time for anything which further drives a wedge between the human race. If that’s your thing, stifle it, please, until you leave the Mail Room. This is a place of answers, of support, and of encouragement.

So let’s get started!

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room!

The Promotion Game

From Debbie: “Bill, I remember reading articles from you, a few years ago, which discussed how to self-promote a self-published book. Do you think that same advice applies today? I’m about to publish my second novel, and I’m wondering how I should approach the marketing. Thanks for any advice you can give.”

Debbie, this is truly a great question, and a timely question.

I published my first novel, gosh, seven or eight years ago. I had to look it up, out of curiosity. It was 2011 when I published “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today.” Shortly after publishing that book I started writing the articles you mentioned, articles based on my marketing education and efforts I was taking to market that particular novel.

If I published that book today, practically none of those articles would be written, and practically none of that advice would apply. That’s how fast the self-publishing market is changing.

Without turning this into a 1,500 word answer, I will summarize by saying you should concentrate primarily on social media, and under social media I am including YouTube, podcasts, vlogs, the whole ball of wax, metaphorically speaking. The world is rapidly changing, and we writers can either get on-board or be left at the station.

If I had the energy and the time, I would devise a complete marketing blitz using social media, and I mean it would be a battle plan comprised of creativity and maximum exposure. I would leave no stone unturned, and I would begin immediately, before I even publish that book. Start building up anticipation now….countdown to publication… event the likes of which you’ve never seen…be a part of this exciting literary event….

The beauty of social media is that most of it is free. You are only limited by the clock and your imagination. If you are really serious about making that book of yours a success, it starts NOW! Do some research on social media blitzes and start planning that assault.

And good luck!

So much I did not know!
So much I did not know!


From Annie: “Do you think it’s possible to teach someone to be a storyteller? A good storyteller? I’ve listened to some bad ones, and some incredible ones, and I’m wondering if that is something which can be taught.”

This is such an interesting question, Annie. It really is. Please remember, as you read my answer, this is simply my opinion. I make no claims on being infallible. I am far from infallible . . . but that doesn’t prevent me from sounding off occasionally.

I actually believe all people have the storyteller gene. I believe most people, if not all, have been storytellers at some point in their lifetimes. I think we are all capable of telling a story. But good storytellers? Spellbinding storytellers? I think that is a gift, and not everyone has that gift.

Look at it this way: in today’s world of self-publishing, literally anyone can “write” and “publish” a book. That makes them, by definition, writers and self-publishers. They can go ahead and print up business cards proclaiming to the world that they are writers because they are.

But that doesn’t mean they are good at it, nor does it mean they have even a hint of talent in the writing field. Can they be taught to be good writers? I believe most people can be taught to be grammatically correct writers but again, that does not mean they can be taught to be really good writers. At some point we have to give recognition to a thing called talent, and I don’t believe talent can be taught.

Just one man’s opinion!

My Grandma was a great storyteller
My Grandma was a great storyteller

That’s It for This Week

That was as small a mailbag as I can remember, but I thank you for the two questions, and I promise to see you all next week, good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise! Until then, I hope Spring arrives for you all or, if you are down under, I hope a lovely Fall is in order for you.

Please . . . Please . . . let love be your guiding light this week! It takes very little effort, creativity, or intelligence to be negative and degrading. Love is an action verb, and it requires effort. Please make that effort this week as you do this thing called life.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)