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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Eighty-Eight

Updated on March 7, 2016

Let’s Do It to It like Sonny Pruitt

So many questions and so little time.

Some of you asked me when my new novella, “The Billy the Kid Chronicles,” would be available. The answer is this week, Wednesday at the latest. I priced it as low as I was allowed since it is a novella of 25,000 words. Thanks to those inquiring about it.

And now on to the Mailbag!

Welcome to the Mailbag!
Welcome to the Mailbag! | Source

Coining Phrases in This Century

From Brad: “Thanks for attempting to answer my illusive question, and after seeing your answer, I may not have put the correct emphasis on the ?. My bad, and English is my only spoken language, I know some computer languages, but they don't translate well into hp. Lol It is not the genre, but the descriptive phrases, that was my question. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times", was a phrase by, and I don't even have to reference the author, as we all know him. Are there any quotable phrases this century, that will be quoted next century because they are unique to this century? We still quote Machiavelli, and Shakespeare even though they are from the distant past.”

Brad, my bad! I completely missed the mark last Mailbag. Mea culpa!

My gut response is to say that acclaim takes a certain amount of time. For phrases to become famous and part of our cultural heritage, they must somehow stand up to scrutiny and catch on in common vernacular, or so it seems to me. My mind is blank right now….the only thing that keeps coming into mind is “to infinity and beyond” from Buzz Lightyear in “Toy Story,” but I think that points to at least the possibility that phrases have been written in this century that will become, or have become, a regular part of our culture.

So I’m going to say yes, for sure, and most likely yes right now, bypassing the “test of time” qualification. I just can’t think of any off the top of my head. LOL

How much giveaway is good giveaway?
How much giveaway is good giveaway? | Source

Giveaway Marketing

From Mary: “With regards to marketing, I have a website which promotes giveaways and sweepstakes. I see a lot of authors who have pooled their resources to offer prizes as a way of promoting their books. Sometimes there may be 25 authors who are promoting their books together in one giveaway. To enter these giveaways, people are required to share across social media and follow the author, join their mailing list etc. Any idea how successful this type of promotion is for authors?”

Mary, I was going to say I’ve never heard of it, but something is wiggling in the back of my mind, telling me that I have.

Here’s what I think about marketing for writers: I think writers who are serious about becoming successful need to think outside of the box. Find new ways of getting your work out there. This idea you mentioned is a great example. Is it, or will it be successful? I have no idea, but I know it doesn’t stand a prayer of a chance if not tried. I’m all for any new approach to marketing for writers. Who knows, right?

I know someone in Olympia who doesn’t “sell” their books. She asks for donations. She sets up a table at some business establishment, has her books stacked on the table next to her, and has a jar asking for donations for a “free” book. She rakes in the dough doing that. People have paid twenty bucks or more for her paperbacks.

Marketing…..think outside the box!

A product of CreateSpace
A product of CreateSpace | Source

CREATESPACE

From Lawrence: “On CreateSpace they have a facility that people can get feedback on part of their book from other writers (Kind of a review of a preview I suppose) but I'm wondering when is the best time to put something on this as it's partly to get people (other writers) to 'critique' the work and help you make improvements, but it's also partly to sell the work and as such you probably don't want too long a gap between the 'preview' (for review) and the actual do you?

“Is it best to wait until you've done the manuscript and 90% happy with it or do you 'Just do it' at first draft stage? What do you think?”

Lawrence, this is odd because I’ve self-published four books on CreateSpace, and I’ve never heard of this process. Let me go do some research. I’ll be right back.

Okay, I’m back. Well I’ll be darned. It’s just as you described. Okay, now I know what’s going on, so here’s my answer.

I’m very leery about sharing my work in public before publication. As you know from HP, it is so easy to steal the work online of others and not face any consequences, so what’s to keep readers on CreateSpace from stealing your ideas from the preview? I prefer to use beta readers of my own choosing before I publish a book….but….

The reality of it is this: When I am sharing chapters of a book on HP I am also running that same risk, so really, what difference does it make? If someone wants to steal your work then they can find a way to do so. We all just roll the dice and hope we don’t get craps, right?

AUTHENTICITY

From Bill: “Maybe a question for the mailbag. I'm working on a story set in the 1600s's. Old English with its thee's and thou's ye's, eth and est suffixes would be the language of the day. .Perhaps this might make the story more authentic; however would it be too confusing to read here in the 21st Century,? I guess my question comes down to this - what's more important, authenticity or readability? Thanks in advance.”

Bill, this is such a good question and such a tough question, both at the same time.

I know with me as the reader, I will grow very tired of reading a book with too much of that Old English. For me, reading needs to be entertaining and effortless. I don’t want to work for my entertainment, and stumbling through ancient languages is work for me. There are many reasons why I don’t like Shakespeare; language is one of them.

But that’s just me and I recognize that fact. There is an audience for that type of writing. I think it is a smaller audience but it does exist.

My personal opinion: I would tone authenticity down a bit so the 21st Century reader can get a taste of it without getting a migraine from it.

I’m curious what others will say about that. I recognize this is just my personal preference and nothing more.

Magazine Submissions

From Kailey: “I have been thinking of writing for magazines, and I do volunteer write for a few online, but I am wondering if I need to write new topic-specific articles when applying for paid gigs to show my work or if I should just use what I currently have? I hope this makes sense. Thank you!”

It does make sense, Kailey, but there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer. The submission requirements and guidelines for magazines vary greatly from magazine to magazine. Some will give a topic and ask for a sample article on that topic. Some will just ask for a sample of your work regardless of the topic. Some will ask simply for article ideas and not the article itself.

See if you can find specifics with regards to what they are looking for and go from there. Maybe on their website they have more clarification. In the event you can’t come up with anything more from them, then send them the best sample of your writing that you have and let your writing speak for itself.

Self-publishing Companies

From Dream On: “What are the top three self publishing companies that you find the best in quality and price?”

Tough question, my friend, only because it’s impossible to determine what anyone means by “the best?”

Consumer reviews lists the top three self-publishing companies as “Outskirts Press”…..”Virtual Bookworm”….and “Books Just Books.” For me personally, because of my familiarity with the site, I would pick CreateSpace as number one…..so there you go. No help at all and I’m sorry. I would check out those three mentioned, find out what each has to offer and at what price, compare them to CreateSpace and make your decision.

And again from Dream On: “What is the best way to see how many of this particular book sold? “

Are you talking about the volume of a book you are selling? Every self-publishing company should have a way to track sales. I know Createspace and Amazon/ Kindle do, and it is easy to pull that information. I would be amazed if the other self-publishing companies don’t have a similar way of tracking sales. It’s something a writer would definitely want, so make sure your self-publishing company offers that tracker.

R.I.P. my friend
R.I.P. my friend | Source

More Next Week

Great questions this week! My goodness, you all kept me hopping and on my toes….how’s that, two clichés in one sentence? LOL

I’ll be back next week with Installment Eighty-Nine. Until then, remember to write with passion. If you can transmit your passion to your readers you’re a success for sure.

And let me also say R.I.P. to a writer friend of mine on HP….her writing name was drbj, and she was one of the funniest ladies I’ve ever found online. She was loyal, supportive and had a wonderful, witty view of life.

She will be missed!

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 16 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Informative and helped me on all aspects. Publishing companies are hard to find these days especially the good ones. You mentioned the best. Please I need to know more about kindlescout publishing?

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 16 months ago from New York, New York

      As always I can't thank you enough for all your wisdom and insight this current week, too. Hoping it has been a great day so far and wishing you the best Monday as it goes on, as well! :)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 16 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy

      Useful info as usual. I lean toward the articles which talk about self publishing, especially with HubPages now moving to niche sites. The big question is always whether there will be a niche for my own writing here or whether I will have to do what you have always suggested, go write an e-book so I had better pay attention.

      Like you I have taken some 'real work' so might not have that much time to do the things I really like doing here but will still try to keep my hand in.

      Have a good week Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the question, DDE. I'll answer that one next Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Janine, and Happy Monday to you as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I understand completely, Sally. Best wishes on that job and I hope one day you'll have the time to write that eBook.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Awesome blossom. Great stuff, I learned a whole lot.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 16 months ago from Alton, Missouri

      Hi Bill, You're right this is another information filled hub! Regarding your friend Bill who was concerned with authenticity in his writing about the 1600s, you are right there is a fine line between authenticity and readability. From my experience in writing about the 18th century in The Locket Saga books, I find that there's almost no way of pleasing both the purist and the average reader at the same time. I think it depends primarily on your audience and the audience that you want to develop. If you're writing to a group of intellectual historians, you might want to err on the side of too much, but for the average reader, A more modern language will likely be better received.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 16 months ago

      Thank you for answering all my questions. Eight eight mailbags now that's a lot of mail. Every piece important and valuable. No junk mail here. The Billy the Kid Chronicles out this Wednesday wow. Fantastic! Have a great day and please let us know how your sales are going ? I love to watch as they grow. Cheering you along and supporting you like you have done for everyone else. May all your hard work finally pay off.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it, Eric. I learned I can always count on you to be here, so thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, thank you and I totally agree with your thoughts.....there comes a time when too much authenticity is a bad thing for the general reading public.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Dream On, for those kind thoughts. Best wishes this week, my friend, and thanks for the questions.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 16 months ago from Brazil

      Thanks for answering my question and you are right, try everything when it comes to marketing. I think asking for donations, is a wonderful idea, when you are face to face with someone.

      Regarding writing for a certain era, I too find it difficult if the language is 'Olde World'. A gentle blend of the two often works. A film which comes to mind is Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. They used a mixture of word styles which made it very watchable.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Mary! I can understand the desire to be authentic, but at some point, are the effort and desire worth the results? :)

      Thank you for the question. Have a great week in Brazil!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 16 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Can I just say that it is in the mid-60's here today, which is considerably warmer than average and I am loving it. Some warm weather, my favorite mailbag, and a nice iced coffee. What more could someone ask for?

      Have a wonderful week!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 16 months ago from England

      Hi Bill, yes I know what you mean about 'old speak' so to speak! trying to read Shakespeare etc at the best gives me headache, and the worse, the book goes out the window! But if I right a short story around that time, I tend to only add words such as 'Tis, instead of its, and Thee occasionally, so as not to blow peoples minds! lol! great advice as always, nell

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I can't think of a thing, Melissa....well, maybe a couple hundred thousand dollars would be nice. LOL Thanks for always being here; enjoy the heck out of that warm weather.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, I feel much better knowing someone from England has a problem with Shakespeare. LOL Thanks for that and Happy Monday to you.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 16 months ago from New Jersey

      Hi, Bill!

      The question from Bill made me smile. I am a Shakespeare fan. I would enjoy that sort of work. There will always be a market for that type of writing, I believe. Of course, I don't know how successful it is. Perhaps, it won't be like writing a teen Pop series, but people like myself would enjoy it!

      Thank you for answering my question. That helps!

      I'm sorry to hear your friend passed. I will be checking out drbj!

      Another terrific article!

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 16 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Thanks for the answer on my question.

      All I could think of after the Toy Story quote was "Up up and away", so I came up with one of my own.

      Read it at your own discretion. lol

      "Political parties take the dreams, goals, and aspirations of the people and methodically and clinically transform them into nightmares, and delusions of tomorrow"

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Very informative! I don't have much idea about self-publishing but I am learning through your hubs.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh goodness, Kailey, I know I'm in the minority on this Shakespeare thing. It's probably a lack of refined education growing up. LOL I spent too much time playing baseball.

      Thanks for always being here. I'm glad my answer helped...and thanks for mentioning my friend. She was a good person.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, Brad, that's a good one and oh, so timely. Thanks, I think, for sharing that one. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Swalia. Thank you very much!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I know you are super busy with the new job and writing, yet you still take time to help others. You are one-of-a-kind. I already miss DRBJ. I knew she hadn't read my last two hubs, but I never dreamed she had passed. Take care my friend..

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 16 months ago from Europe

      Great mailbag this week. I noticed that I prefer to skip the question and go directly to your answer. Is it because I prefer your clear style? That must be it! I don't like Shakespeare either. I think it's terrible, and you need a mental disability to like it. :) Have a great day, billybuc!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 16 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for adding my question to the mailbag. And thanks to your readers for their input as well. Each week I learn more and more. Monday wouldn't be Monday without the mailbag. Thanks again!

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 16 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      I am glad that you like it, true as it may be.

      Have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I was surprised as well, and I, too, miss her. We need more good people like her, not less.

      Thank you for the kind words. I'm just doing what I was raised to do, just like you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, I'll be laughing the rest of the day over your description of those who like Shakespeare. Thanks for the chuckle and kind words. I'll be by to read your newest very soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for your question, Bill.....I do love the Mailbag and I hope it's with us for a long time to come.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will, Brad, and you do the same.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 16 months ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Bill... as always great advice and it comes from having your boots to the ground over the years... well done Bro.

      Hugs

      Rolly

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 16 months ago

      Here's my question. How in the world do you have the time to do all that you do?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, I chalk it up to tunnel-vision and an obsessive-compulsive personality. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Rolly! I have reached the point in my life and career where I feel I've paid my dues. :)

      hugs coming atcha

      bill

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 16 months ago

      Dear friend, Bill, I first saw it on this article, then I went back and read her daughter’s tribute. I can’t believe that Dr. BJ is gone. I’ll never forget how she offered me warmth and friendship on this website. I’ll miss her and her fun wit.

      I think a saying from this century that will live on to the next is "deja vu all over again". It is being said and said and said ad infinitum, ad nauseam, ad etc. I never hear "deja vu" by itself anymore.

      About pre-publishing one’s work…no, my answer isn’t about that because it’s a given, or else it should be, that someone may steal your work. This is an amusing, but not to me, anectdote about telepathy, coincidence, or whatever you make of it. I wrote a story several years ago that I am sitting on because I’m slowly writing short stories to publish a book of them. While I’m sitting on it, I’ve actually thought about doing a shorter version of it for HP. I put a twist into this story that I thought unique to me and my twisted mind LOL. Well, dang me, if someone on HP didn’t publish a shorter version of the same plot, just a different place and tragedy. Now there is no way she could have stolen my story idea. I’ve heard it said that there is no story that has never been written. Apparently, if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen.

      Good mailbag this week. Have a good 'un.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 16 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Wow, a lot of great questions this week, and equally great answers. Regarding the Old English question I completely agree with you on this one. Too much of that authentic 1600s language would be a major turnoff for me. Have a great week.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 16 months ago from Orlando, FL

      Number 88...That is amazing! Way to go, Bill! I also accept donations for my books, you just never know what someone will pay you. I received $100 for my trio of books, that was a nice surprise! :)

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 16 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Good questions and good answers, as usual. About authenticity—Playgoers don't expect a stage set to be made with a wall of real brick or a forest of real trees. A few painted flats and some audience willing suspension of disbelief are all that are needed to put the audience in imagination in a story set in a brick house in a forest. Just so in fiction. No need for a US Civil War novel to be written as though by Billy Yank just arrived from 1862 in a time machine. Just a touch of time-appropriate slang and vernacular and a few telling details will transport the reader to that (fictional) time.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 16 months ago from United States

      You have stated some important pointers, Bill

      Publishers and agents take my breath away and i am still in awe in finding one for myself :(

      Sorry to know about drbj...she was a good writer. R.I. P

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 16 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Great mailbag, Bill. I must limit my comments. Love to see the variety of ideas that appear on marketing. Anything legal and ethical that gets your work before new eyes should be tried. I love the 'donation' idea, as well. You were 'right on' in my view on the magazine writing. Following the magazine guidelines is the most important, and just send your ideas. If you do that well, they'll like it or not. Accept it, of go on to the next one. A numbers game, like all the rest. Keep them coming. Love very mailbag!!! ;-)

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 16 months ago from Nibiru

      great hub. marketing skills is needed to be a successful writer. Donations for books will take you only so far.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 16 months ago from USA

      I agree with the thees and thous. Less is more.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB,. thanks for your thoughts. That anecdote about your story is hilarious...who would have though it possible? My goodness, now I'm afraid to publish anything else for fear of being sued for plagiarism. LOL Thanks for sharing that...amazing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I'm so glad others agree with me on that Old English matter. I thought for years I was just uncultured. LOL Have a tremendous week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LInda, thanks for stopping by....great to know about the donations thing on books. See, everyone, it works!!!!!!!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 16 months ago from southern USA

      88 is great! Happy Monday again, Bill! Seems Mondays are rolling around faster and faster.

      The giveaway marketing idea sounds interesting and so does the donation idea. I think you nailed it that coming up with some new and interesting way to market is best in this day and time. Stand out from the others by being creative and unique, but there better be some great writing to back it all up!

      I will miss our dear friend drbj. She was one fine and talented lady who made me laugh out loud whenever I read her work.

      Peace and blesskngs

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree, Brian, but it's always good to hear confirmation from someone I respect. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, best wishes in your search for a publisher/agent. I'm afraid I've given up the search.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Bill, a numbers game. So many writers I have talked to don't understand this fact. You just keep submitting...submitting...submitting...it's like good hitters in baseball fail seven out of ten times but they are considered exceptional. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Totally agree, Clive...and yet so many writers spend no time on marketing. Go figure!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is for this boy, Flourish. I'm too old to gain an appreciation of Shakespeare or anyone trying to be him. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I'm so glad you mentioned that the writing better be great to back the marketing....so, so true.

      As for drbj, I will miss her.

      Thank you dear friend!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 16 months ago from SW England

      Lots of interesting issues here, bill.

      I agree with you regarding archaic language. I tend to think the phraseology gives a good sense of 'era' - a quaint turn of phrase etc.

      As for magazines, I've submitted a few articles and stories and I've found that all of them so far issue guidelines of dos and don'ts, so it's a good idea to contact them for those. They are really useful, in fact I think they're essential.

      Have a wonderful week, bill!

      Ann :)

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      John Hansen 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Great mailbag this week Bill. Most memorable phrases for the 20th Century would be "Hasta Le Vista" from Terminator, or "Go ahead Punk..make my day" by Dirty Harry, "That's not a knife. This is a knife," Crocodile Dundee. There are probably a lot more I can't think of.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, it's always good to hear from you. Thanks for your thoughts....just got back from working and now I'm playing catch-up. Have a great evening, my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, those were great ones for sure....it's weird, but I just can't think of many recently. I doubt that means there are none....it simply mean my memory is fading. :)

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      Mary Norton 16 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Another instalment of information. I particularly like the book marketing side. I have not written any yet but am interested. On another point, just like you I also like effortless reading as I spend reading technical papers during the day or writing so I enjoy for my bed time reading, books that I can truly enjoy not make me work.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 16 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Marketing is one of the hardest parts of writing. We writers love our craft, but it's a totally different thing to be good with the business side. Thank you for your suggestions.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 16 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, another good one (again, sorry I'm late. Long story). Anyhow, I know I should appreciate Shakespeare (and I do) but I don't enjoy reading it. Makes my brain cramp. Sad to hear about DRBJ. How much more humor and love of life could she have shared. She was really an original and will be missed. I'm still trying to come up with a 20th (or 21st) century quotation from literature that will be timeless. Stay tuned.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton

      88, and I still come out of your mail room schooled, learned, and satisfied with what you offer in answers.. bravo my friend :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Aesta. As a former teacher, I've read my share of technical books....I need to escape when I'm reading for pleasure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very, very true, Blossom. If we can get over that hurdle, as writers, then we have a chance of making it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will stay tuned, Linda, and thank you! I like how you described Shakespeare...yes, I appreciate him...I just don't enjoy reading his works. Perfect!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, as always, Frank!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 16 months ago from South Africa

      Your The Writer's Mailbag series is truly very informative and inspiring. Thanks, billybuc!

      Oh, I do like that phrase - “to infinity and beyond”

      Also the one in The Lion King - "Hakuna Matata" - A greeting: "No worries for the rest of your days!"

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 16 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      As always an informative and educational read. Thanks for keeping this series going, Bill.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 16 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Congratulations on installment 88 in this great series, Bill. I love the idea of going "to infinity and beyond"!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 16 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      More food for thought. I think that as time goes on it becomes more difficult to find niches and spaces that have not been already occupied by hundreds of others. You should see the expression on my face when I get another content writing assignment and they tell me that the work must be completely original but the topic has been done, redone and overdone millions of times. Anyway all of this extra writing I think is making me totally more creative and innovative and I'm beginning to rhyme. lol

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great phrases, Martie. Thanks for sharing them....I guess I just haven't paid attention, or else my memory is fading. :)

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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Rajan1 Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, thank you! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all did that? :)

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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, I agree with you on a couple points. It is more difficult to find an original niche, and content writing made me a much more creative writer. Thanks for mentioning those two things.

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      Deb Hirt 16 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      It continues to amaze me how much I DON'T know, and how well you and the other readers manage to teach me more. Thanks to all of you.

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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I like to think we all learn through this series, so thank you for teaching me as well.

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      Lawrence Hebb 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Thank you for the reply and thoughts you gave about my questions, they're pretty helpful and I can see what you're saying about the 'stealing ideas'

      Actually I've got a few 'self appointed' beta readers that are really enjoying the series at the moment and they're doing a really good job with regard to picking up on mistakes and grammar errors (what's been going out on HP has been the 'unedited' first draft.

      Actually I got a note from CreateSpace the other day that was a quote from Steinbeck "Never start an edit or re-write until the first draft is finished!"

      I just tried to read the stuff on CreateSpace about formatting and had to give up and buy a 'hardcopy' book you advertised here.

      Great stuff here.

      Lawrence

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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, same thing with me and CreateSpace. I tried their formatting information and my eyes crossed...that's when I got that book and magically my eyes uncrossed. Go figure. :)

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      Shauna L Bowling 15 months ago from Central Florida

      I agree with you on the Olde English issue, Bill. It's very cumbersome to read, let alone comprehend. I think if the author did a great job of creating the setting, showcasing the culture, ways of life, etc., there'd be no need to complicate things with antiquated language. It would be creative of the author to have his modern day reader feel as if s/he's been immersed into the pages of history. Sort of like going back in time but with today's knowledge at hand. I don't know if I'm properly conveying what I mean. Guess it's been too long since I've written....

      Bottom line is, I think the author can create an authentic story without using language that will cause readers to close the book and never experience the adventure. But that's just me. (I never got into Shakespeare, either. It's too hard to figure out what the words mean. In today's version of English, context is a big help when we aren't familiar with a word. Not so with the old stuff.)

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Sha, for your thoughts on it. I try to remember exactly that when I do period pieces....always, always, it's the characters and the story that are important. Or as many have said, K.I.S.S.....keep it simple, stupid. :) Have a great weekend my friend.

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      Larry Rankin 15 months ago from Oklahoma

      Always nice to have something familiar to come back to.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Like a favorite pair of shoes...that's me, Larry, old, dusty and reliable. LOL Thank you!

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