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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Eighteen

Updated on October 27, 2014

This Is How It Works

And I have no idea why I’m in bold right now!

Anyway, in case you are new to this gig, you ask questions and the Writing Guru will give you answers. Will they always be the correct answers? We sure hope so, but if the Guru is wrong you can count on his followers to set the record straight in the comment section. One thing about writers is they are never short on opinions.

So, leave your questions below, or you can also ask questions on my website at www.williamdhollandauthor.com and I’ll get back to you soon.

Let’s begin so I can get out of this bold style.

Welcome to the Writer's Mailbag
Welcome to the Writer's Mailbag | Source

QUERIES

From Lea: “I DO have one question...and since I am behind in some of your 'installments' I apologize in advance if this question has already been asked...here it is.

“When approaching a book publisher with a query regarding your completed manuscript, is it permissible OR tacky to include a list of your current writing credits? Do they want to see if you have published in the past? Are they interested in a short bio? (such as being a member of writing organization...stuff like that). I have a list of my writing credits on file... No rush with an answer. Just wondering.”

No need to apologize, Lea, it’s a great question.

The secret to any query letter is to get as much bang for your buck in one page. If you haven’t sold the publisher in one page you ain’t never going to sell them, and yes, I meant to write poor grammar there.

Listing all of your writing credits will only hurt you. List several and make them pertinent to the business at hand. If you have been published by a publisher in the past, by all means highlight that. If you have self-published, mention it briefly. Traditional publishing houses are not impressed with self-publishing, and I think that is understandable.

And yes, always include a brief bio, with emphasis on brief, and only make it pertinent to your writing experience. For example, if you have a college degree in Marketing, publishers could not care less. If your degree is in Creative Writing, then you have something to mention.

I hope that helps.

Don't be afraid to allow your readers to know you as a real human being
Don't be afraid to allow your readers to know you as a real human being | Source

Social Networking

From Iris: “Here's a question for you. You are everywhere (OK, that's a statement but bear with me). You're often the first to post a comment when I publish a new article. When I log onto Facebook, there you are posting regularly. You're very social, and your connections are impressive (and genuine). What advice do you have for those of us who are trying to branch out and connect with other writers as well as promote ourselves. There are only so many hours in a day. What are the best ways to increase our readership and find other writers with similar vibes? How much time per day would you recommend budgeting for these social media type activities?”

This is a question I’m asked quite often. Let me answer the last part first: the amount of time you budget for social media depends on your lifestyle. People who have full-time jobs cannot spend the amount of time I spend. No matter how busy you are, however, I do suggest you budget a portion of your spare time to social media.

Now for the first part of the question. I can only tell you what I believe is true regarding my connections and followers, but since this is about me, who better to tell you, right?

I’m sure some of my loyal followers are with me because of whatever writing ability I might have, but I think the majority of followers, and I mean loyal followers, stick with me because I am a real person to them. I made the decision early on to connect with readers on a very human level. What you see with me is who I am. There are no pretenses. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I show my warts along with my smile, and I allow people to know who Bill Holland really is. I think that appeals to people, and I think that appeal has shown in the following I have. When people read my work it’s like sitting in a room with a friend having a chat, and that was a goal of mine early on in my writing career. Readers are not numbers to me; they are real people and I’m interested in them, and I think they sense that. I know about their lives. I know about their family members, and I’ve made it a point to send an email to those who might be down or who have had a tough time in life. That’s what human beings do. First and foremost I am a human being. I’m a writer second.

PRODUCTIVITY

From Jamie: “Any tips on how to produce so many hubs each week? My goal is five but I'm lucky if I can punch two out!”

Jamie is one of my new followers, and I appreciate the question.

I’m a very organized writer, and I think any writer who wants to reach a level of success needs to be organized as well. I have a schedule I follow weekly, and the schedule is broken down to each hour of the day. Now mind you, I’m not a stay-at-home mother like Jamie is, so I have more time to devote to writing, but even if I were a stay-at-home parent, I think it would be crucial to make a writing schedule and then stick to it with fervor. I don’t know of any other way to avoid the distractions that are natural in any given day.

A Professional Face

From Brian: “What words of advice would you give to someone just starting out as a freelance writer?”

Well, Brian, that could be an entire article all by itself, so I’m going to give you what I believe to be the most important step you can take. Are you ready?

Believe you are a professional writer. In other words, fake it until you make it. If you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities, how do you expect customers to believe in you? You have to approach this like your financial livelihood depends on it, because for many people, it does.

When I started out, I set up a website for my business, I got business cards, and I announced to the world that I was a professional freelance writer. Image is very important in any business, and I exuded the image of a confident professional writer. Mind you, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I knew I could write an intelligent sentence, but I didn’t know the first thing about making money as a freelancer. But there was no way anyone else was going to hear me say that.

You have to have that kind of confidence, because I promise you, if you appear scared or unsure of yourself, customers will know, and then you are doomed.

Hubpages Reference

From Sally: “I am curious - do you ever send prospective clients to HubPages to view your writing or do you always send an enquiry letter with the proposed project or article?”

This is a wonderful question by Sally, and it’s one I asked myself when I first joined HubPages nearly three years ago. The quick answer is an emphatic NO, and there are two reasons why I don’t tell editors/agents/publishers about my HP experience.

First, I found that those in the business do not take HP seriously. To most editors and agents, HubPages is one step above journaling. I know this because I asked them. I went to several blogs posted by agents and I asked that question, and their response was they didn’t care what I do on HP.

Secondly, all agents and editors are concerned with are bylines. Have I published my work in magazines or newspapers? That’s what they want to know, period!

Now, having said that, I have sold HP articles to magazines, but I never send an editor to HP to look at that article. Rather, I pitch the article itself in a query and leave any reference to HP out of the query.

I hope that helps, Sally.

More Next Week

Great questions this week, folks, and I thank those who sent in those questions. I’ll be back next Monday with another installment of this series. Thanks for following along.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So am I, ArtDiva. LOL

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      ArtDiva 2 years ago

      Looking forward to it!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ArtDiva, I assume you are talking about HubPages? If so, great question. Stay tuned for the answer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, although I love HP, I don't think it is something I will ever use on my resume. LOL I know you know what I mean.

      Thanks for the chuckle.

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      ArtDiva 2 years ago

      I keep asking myself, after reading this and other comments, what benefits are derived here? I see posts with claims of over 100,000 hits and complaining about traffic decline? How are numbers like this even possible? I am clueless since I don't write professionally. Maybe another Mailbag topic?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      With HP being a content mill just like any other, I can see why you don't use them as a credit to your expertise(laughing heartily). You have learned your trade by experience, and are making it so much easier for all of us. Thanks again for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MelRootsNWrites, welcome to the Mailbag, and thank you for the visit. I hope you find some answers that will help you.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      I'm fairly new to Hubpages (came over from Squidoo) so this is the first time I've read your mailbag. I really appreciated your honest answers. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Social, it is a shame, but that's just the way it is. We work with it and not let it work against us.

      As for the conversational tone....it's just me my friend. I can't be someone else, or sound like someone else. To do so would not be true to who I want to be as a writer...the same should be true for all of us. :)

      Thank you for your kind words. I've been saving your latest until things settle down around here. I'll be there shortly.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Bill, thank you for your words of wisdom!

      As a side note, I love love love that you write in a conversational tone. I am not sure if I have mentioned that in the past, but it is wonderful! I'm glad you talked about it in this article, too!

      Also, I always assumed "professional" people don't take HubPages serious. I say "professional" in quotes to mean snobby business people, meaning not actual professionals, who interview us and ask what writing we have done because they want us to have written for a particular type of publisher in order for them to validate our passionate and serious work as writers before they can hire us. So, thank you for confirming not to mention it in interviews and such. What a shame, though!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok. I can always count on you being here my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Graham! It's always good to have you stop by. I hope all is well in your little corner of the world.

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      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing us more of your advice and experience Bill!

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      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Tip top as usual. I particularly liked your points on time budgeting.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I'll whisper so I'm not too much of a distraction. :)

      bill

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Yes thanks bill. Getting back into the swing and staying put for a while. I have lots of family time to look forward to now and, yes I know, lots of writing to do! Your voice is nagging me to get on with it!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I think HP is going to have to travel a long distance before they reach that professional level. I guess it's up to us writers to raise the bar a bit. :)

      Hope you had a wonderful Wednesday my friend.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I found the last question particularly useful as I'd asked myself the same thing. I suppose HP is good practice and great fun but not 'professional' enough!

      Enjoy your evening, bill!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I like your new profile picture.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, SherriDW...thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the question, Bradmaster. The answer is a long one and I'll include it in the mailbag....bottom line, there is a place in the writing world for unorthodox, but too much of it will tend to confuse the reader.....maybe that's not a bad thing. LOL

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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Great advice and especially useful in this edition of your series, Bill. As always, thanks for sharing.

    • SherriDW profile image

      SherriDW 2 years ago

      As always your help is encouraging and useful. Thanks so much for your help in understanding what makes writing and marketing, etc work.

    • profile image

      bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

      billybuc

      My question is off topic for this hub, and it may have been previously asked and answered.

      I like to use Punctuation, and Capitalization for effect in my writing.

      This means, I over Punctuate, and Capitalize against the standard rules of Grammar.

      My thought on writing is Communication and Conveying Ideas, and Viewpoints.

      What is your expert opinion on my unorthodox writing style?

      Thanks

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lea. There is never pressure in responding to you. The baby quail have, so far, survived. We'll keep them inside for four weeks and then turn them loose in the aviary for the winter. :)

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      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Yes! You totally answered my question...THANK YOU! I will pray you meet your deadline with your customer. God bless, and I so appreciate your taking the time to answer this. Please don't ever feel pressured with me. I have had to deal with deadlines with speeches when I was in Toastmasters and also when I was teaching non credit courses at our community college so I totally understand. Sparklea :) PS: how are the baby quails doing? don't answer this until you meet your deadline!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, breakfastpop...thank you!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea, you always leave such wonderful comments, and I'm ashamed that I can't give this one the time it deserves. I'm trying to meet a deadline with a customer and I'm running out of time. Quickly....since next week's mailbag is already full...the smartest move you can make is, once you sell an article to a publication, just take it off HP. First rights or exclusive rights apply here. If you are selling reprinting rights then leave the article on HP. Does that help? I hope so.

      I hope you are having a fabulous day my friend. Thank you for always being here.

      blessings always

      bill

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      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      Once again I always learn something from you. If I submit a manuscript I will leave out my experience on HP. Thanks... Voted up, useful, interesting and always awesome.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Billy Buc, FINALLY made it to the computer!

      Whew! Not even going to tell you how 'hectic' it has been :) (spent Friday and yesterday with my wonderful daughter).

      THANK you for another wonderful hub and for answering my question, as well as, several other excellent ones.

      Thank you for clarifying what I suspected. That editors are not interested in lists of writing credits. I am assuming it is ok to maybe include two or three places you have published, but not a whole list...and make sure the query remains on one page only.

      I also like your reply about sticking to a writing schedule with fervor.

      I can tell you are extremely organized, and you are so genuine. It is so impressive the way you respond so quickly to your followers both on HP and FB.

      I also liked your statement that editors are not interested in Hub Pages. They want bylines. That clarified a lot for me.

      One more thing: Suppose I retype a hub I have published on HP and I send it to an editor and it is accepted? I think they refer to it as "first rights?"

      IF they learn it is on HP, is that like I am lying...since it is on the computer for hubbers to see and 'published?' Would that be considered a violation of first rights? Does this question make any sense? I have published in magazines and they seem fussy about it not being published elsewhere, unless it is Readers Digest...where they want actual clippings of something previously published.

      I'm asking because I thought I maybe would rewrite a couple of my published hubs and send them elsewhere.

      Finally, you are correct that your followers stick with you because you are a real person. I loved that. You are 100 % genuine through and through.

      Hope you are having a good day and THANK YOU for the birthday message on FB. God bless you always. Sparklea/Lea :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Catherine, I'm very happy to hear that. Welcome to my site and thank you for following me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, drives me nuts when I do that. I know how I do it; I just don't know how to correct it. Sigh! Good thing I know more about writing than I do about technology. LOL Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I always love your comments, because I don't have to add anything to them except thank you! :) Happy Tuesday indeed my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Iris. I appreciate you asking such a good question, and for always being here.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      What a great article . I will be careful to read everything you write. Yu have given me great ideas and encouragement.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Oh it just tickles me that you started in BOLD--talk about getting our attention!!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      1. Hmm... I can understand why a writer might not want to send prospective agents or publishers to HP. But I definitely send my social media links and "blog" link from my website here.

      As with everything else, it depends on one's objectives. Mine for HP is to have a container, community and test market for my writing that doesn't drain my company's resources like my self-hosted blog did.

      2. Yes, social media time must be "budgeted," regardless of one's available time. As you'll note from several of my posts, it's easy to drown in that black hole.

      3. No, just as one wouldn't put EVERY single job on a resume, don't put all writing credits in a query. I've seen people do that in their marketing bios. One guy I knew listed almost every industry seminar he ever attended. It makes you look like you're grasping. Relevance and recency are key.

      Happy Tuesday!

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Bill, thank you so much for answering my umpteenth question. And thanks to your other pupils for asking questions I didn't even know I had. Yet another Writer's Mailbag that I've bookmarked. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much DDE.

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      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great advise and your tips shine through perfectly.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jama, I've got the magic touch. It's HP paying me back for my saying nasty things about them. LOL Well thank you anyway. Effort and attempt is noted and appreciated my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! :) Let me know if it does, please.

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      Joanna McKenna 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Bill, thought you should know I submitted a comment here about an hour ago...or thought I did until I hit "Submit". Instead of it appearing with the opportunity to edit, I got the message "Your comment has been submitted but won't appear until the author approves it" (or whatever the exact wording is). At any rate, my "Comments you made" page shows that I did indeed leave a comment on this hub at that time, but clearly it went "Poof!", probably gobbled up by one of the ubiquitous HP gremlins. The same thing happened on another of your hubs (and only yours) a few days ago.

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Don't worry it hasn't and it won't!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary. My concern is always that I will seem like a know-it-all, and I sure don't want that to happen. :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Dear Bill, it often helps to be bold, especially in the writing business. What better way to introduce new readers to your wonderful mailbag. We can learn so much here from questions we might not think to ask, and of course the wonderful answers you give them!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Frank! I'm overflowing with questions, and that's just the way I love it.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always my pleasure, ChitrangadaSharan...thank you very much.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Sha, for verifying that. It may not be what some people want to hear, but it is the truth.

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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      18 and this mail bag just keeps getting more useful.. wanna just thank you for this Billybuc...:)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix :) I think, for that reason, HP is a great idea and a wonderful platform to work on our craft in preparation of bigger things. Most definitely.

      Thank you Zulma!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad they helped, Mona. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always, Vellur!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great questions and very helpful answers!

      Thanks for sharing your expertise!

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Great questions this week, Bill. When I was writing for CrowdSource, they had a list of sites they didn't want you to use as research sources. HP was one of them. So, yeah, no one but hubbers take HP seriously.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've often wondered about mentioning HP. I'm glad you addressed it here. So do you think HP is good practice for a budding writer? As a way to fine tune any stories one is thinking about submitting to an editor or publisher?

      I like this mailbag idea. It seems a good place to ask that question you think everyone is going to laugh at so you don't ask it.

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      You are the true Guru in all things, Billybuc. Thank you for answering these questions. Your answers were very helpful and encouraging, too.

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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Great series of questions and answers, useful and informative, thanks for sharing.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I am officially off of my toes and done for the day. Enjoy your evening, which is almost over, and thank you for always being here.

      blessings to you and yours

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No doubt about it, Flourish, but that is the reality in the publishing world. :) Thanks for being here.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Dora. Thank you very much.

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      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Great questions posed once again. I always wondered about what Lea asked too. Glad your mailbag was full again to keep you on your toes!

      Blessings always

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Editors may look down on HP hubs, but it's a great outlet. Gotta start somewhere. Today's was another interesting mailbag.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I found the social networking question very inspiring. Thanks for all your answers.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ArtDiva, I'm sure the suspense will be painful, but remain strong. :)

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      ArtDiva 2 years ago

      And, I too, will be looking forward to a full answer on Monday. The clock is ticking. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Jaye, I was looking for one more question to finish off next week's installment. Fine distinction: it's not that editors don't care about our Hubs...it's that they don't care about HubPages.

      I'll have the full answer on Monday. :)

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      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I have a question for you, Bill, as a follow-up to your answer for a question in this installment of 'Mailbag.'

      You mentioned that you sold some of your articles to magazines after they debuted on HP. Do you change an article significantly, moderately, slightly or not at all before selling it to a print publication? (Yes, I know that question seems like it came directly from a survey questionnaire. In my 'former' life, I designed those, so the format probably popped out of my subconscious.)

      I know we own the rights to our work on HP, so if magazine editors aren't interested in our hubs (and, in fact, appear not to take the site seriously), can we simply recycle a hub into a print article with little or no work other than ensuring it's thoroughly edited and polished?

      Voted Up+++

      Jaye

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, great comment and reflection. It is a tightrope we walk, isn't it? I'm still not sure I'm any good at it, but I am pretty sure I'm improving. :) Thanks as always.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I have the greatest followers on HP, and you are triple A as far as I'm concerned...and DJ is a hoot. :) Thanks dear friend....your requested hub about Hope is tomorrow.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, yes, her name is Jazz, for Jasmine! She has been with us for thirteen years, and she is a sweetheart. It will be a sad day when she passes on.

      Thank you my friend.

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      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      This week, I really liked your tip about having a "professional face". That's something I always try to do when I network. Even on sites such as Facebook, I try to be totally professional and also, like you, remain down-to-earth. I have to give some thoughts about how to take both of those into face-to-face encounters because I'm working on getting some book signings and other events set up.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill, of course I read your hubs to learn, but I also love to read other hubber's remarks, like DJ's logs.Hee. Have a prosperous week..

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      You are right Bill, either great questions this week, or you are getting even better at the answers. Actually I agree that the questions were very nice and so were your answers. Great read!

      As usual, you're great with the dog. I'll feel really sorry when Jazz, (did you say?) is gone. In Love and Light.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, thanks my friend, and the quick answer is yes, I have....now, what did I do with all my time? I can't seem to find it. LOL

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Ann, my warts and smiles thank you, as do I. Glad you had the time to visit today my kind friend.

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      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Must be Monday! Thanks for more ammo. You cover so much ground in a way we can understand. Thanks for the answers, and I'd like to thank those who send in their questions. Here's a question - not necessarily for the mailbag. Have you thought about putting all the questions and answers in book form?

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      Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

      They were great questions! And your answers, as always were helpful. And by the way, Bill, I like your warts AND your smiles!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo! That was my intent, to provide a resource page for other writers. It's good to know I'm on the right track. Blessings to you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It really is my pleasure, Bill. Thank you!

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, good to see you in such formidable form, you seem to get better with each new article, if that is possible.:) This is proving to be a great resource page. Up and sharing. My best always.

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      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Another excellent mailbag. Thanks for continuing to share your thoughts and concerns. Appreciated! ;-)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ArtDiva, blogs are considered to be part of a writer's portfolio, a professional online platform...HP is considered a content mill. Not my opinion, mind you, but one shared by a number of professionals in the publishing business.

      Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your comments.

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      ArtDiva 2 years ago

      "...those in the business do not take HP seriously." Seriously? So then, why are blog spots so popular with writers? This from someone wondering why blogs wouldn't be considered an equivalent to a a mini portfolio, especially these days of digital everything. Just asking.

      Good read, and educational at that.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...that seems, Eric, like a classic Catch-22 to me. I know, I was surprised that journaling isn't a word. Shows you what I know. :) Thanks my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sandra, I'm laughing because I do the same thing. I have tons of files with stuff I need to look at, but I keep forgetting I have the files. LOL Thanks for making me feel I'm not the only one who does that.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michelle. I'm in a unique position since I have so much time to devote to writing. Still, I think some sort of organization would help most writers. Whatever time you do have for writing needs to be budgeted for best results. :)

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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So sad to here our beloved HP is one step above journaling. (spell check says that is not a word -- morons) But it is great to know before using it.

      I did though use it once to prove that I wrote for a living. Funny because I do not make a living off HP.

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      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Hi Bill

      I think the most difficult and cumbersome drawback I face daily is the "free" help or seminar emails I sift through daily. Some are very good except I end up downloading stuff to "save" and then don't make the time to read it. My bad I know and a real time waster

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      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      This one Bill really answered many questions that bounce around in my head. For me Iris's question really resonated since I do connect with you because of your authenticity and realness. For all of us who are part of this group we call writers I feel it is essential that we have connections to one another. As for most of the questions I struggle with time and have to remind myself that I have other things going on and cannot devote as much of my time to writing as I would like at this moment. I will take the advice of the GURU and stand with confidence - have a great day :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Melissa, and Happy Monday to you. I'll include your question in next Monday's installment, but quickly yes, I used them both, and I only use them as a professional outlet.

      Thank you and have a great week.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And Sally, thank you for pointing out a mistake I made. I appreciate it.

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      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Great questions and answers, as usual. In regards to networking or promoting yourself, I was wondering if you use either Pinterest or Twitter as a professional or social outlet?

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      You are welcome:)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, we are log-less today; just for you my friend. :) I make no promises about next week, however. LOL

      Happy Monday, DJ

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, thank you for the question. I really appreciate you taking the time to give me something to write about. :) Best wishes to you this week, my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, it is not a decision to be taken lightly, and I'm glad you are taking your time. I know, if you decide to do it, that you will pour your heart and soul into it. Best wishes on that decision, and thank you.

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Oh, "Mailbag Monday".......You know how I love Mailbag Monday.

      Bill, this is a wonderful hub...."no logs from the dogs!!"

      You are a man of your word!

      Have a great week, my friend.

      DJ.

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy

      I really appreciate your answering my question Billy and the answer is exactly what I wanted to hear. It is always good to hear what works and what does not and I think you really nailed it there, excellent advice.

      Thank you

      Sally

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      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Really good and pertinent questions. I still, personally, haven't made a decision about going freelance...yet. But, I take all of the advice here to heart for future use! Thank you, Bill! Have a great week!