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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Eighty-Nine

Updated on March 14, 2016

The Wheels of the Bus Go Round and Round

I’ve got that song stuck in my head today. Annoying at best, so I thought I’d share it with you. Don’t try to thank me. It is my pleasure.

Here we are again, thanks to all of you with questions.

And while I’m thanking people, thanks to all who purchased my first novella/pulp fiction, The Billy the Kid Chronicles. Sales are going well and I greatly appreciate it. You can find the book as an eBook or paperback on Amazon.

Now, after that shameless self-promotion, let’s get it on with some more great questions.

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

Kindle Scout

From DDE: “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?”

Let me share with you the promo written on the Amazon website regarding Kindle Scout:

“Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

“Authors can submit their full manuscripts of 50,000 words or more (including cover art, various metadata items, and an author photo), about 5,000 words of which are posted on the Kindle Scout website for a 30-day "campaign". Readers can then browse books and nominate their favorites. If a manuscript they've voted for gets published, they receive a free ebook.”

Pretty straight-forward, right?

Here’s my only problem with the Kindle Scout program, DDE, and remember this is just my humble opinion. It’s too new and I don’t think all the kinks have been worked out of it. It’s also a rather complicated system of “rights,” and reading all of the fine print might be confusing to many writers. On the one hand it would be cool to get a $1,500 advance, and to also get the marketing of Amazon behind your book….on the other hand, it is by no means a sure thing, and it seems to hover somewhere between traditional publishing and self-publishing and can be terribly confusing legally…and when you’re talking about the writer’s legal rights to his/her own work, I don’t want any confusion at all. Do you?

I’m sure there will be more opinions in the comment section, so let’s see what everyone else has to say about it.

My Shadows Series Volume 1

Writing a Series

From Mary: “I have a question for you, here or in the mailbag. If you are writing these as a series, how long do you allow between each new novella. Obviously you want to keep the interest going and not allow your fans to forget about you.”

Mary, another great question from you, and I thank you for it.

I doubt there is a “traditional way” to do this series thing. As you said, I think it is crucial to keep the interest going. I’m shooting for one per month, but I may have to be realistic and make that once every two months, or once every six weeks. I sure don’t want it to go much beyond that for the reason you stated.

I was a kid at the tail-end of the “serial” craze. Each week there would be a new serial in print, on the radio or in the movies, and I remember looking forward to reading them, hearing them or seeing them. This may be the year 2016 but I think that interest can be recreated in today’s world if the serial is good enough and interesting enough.

But I think it’s crucial that it appear on a regular basis. I don’t have much faith in the attention span of the average reader. If I let six months pass by before the next installment of the series, I’m afraid I’ve really stretched the limits of memory for many readers.

Did that sound sarcastic?

Take time to observe
Take time to observe | Source

Observing People

From Edith: “I’ve read about your suggestions on how to observe people, like taking a notebook along with you, or taking pictures while you’re out and about. My problem is I don’t remember to do those things when I’m out for a walk or running errands. Is there any way you know of to train myself to do those things?”

Sheez, Edith, I’m not a miracle worker!!!!!

All kidding aside, I understand completely. What I suggest is not normal for most people. We go about our days and yes, we observe, but we don’t observe things in-depth. A blond walks by me and thirty seconds later I can’t tell you a thing about her. An old man bumps into me, I turn and say excuse me, and when I get home I can barely remember he was stooped over and had thinning hair.

I don’t have a sure-fire way of training you to do those things. My best suggestion is to set aside a specific time where your only goal is to observe. Go for a walk specifically for that purpose, to take pictures of people or to write down descriptions of people. Two or three times a week go on your “writer’s walk,” and that is the purpose of that walk, to observe and to record those observations.

It would seem like the most natural thing in the world, people observing people, but we get so carried away with other things, so busy getting on with life, so distracted by other thoughts, that we shut our observation skills down and just get on with life….so stop the daily madness and set aside observation time.

Just a thought!

Are there new nature niches?
Are there new nature niches? | Source

NICHES

From Marie: Are there really new niches that writers can write about? I know you’ve mentioned in articles before that for some writers, finding a unique niche is the key to getting magazine articles published, but I’ve strained my brain and can’t think of any new approaches.”

Oddly, Marie, my friend Lawrence recently mentioned this same thing.

Are there new niches? I guess in a very general sense no, there are not. Millions of writers over the decades have pretty much managed to write about every possible topic, don’t you think? But…..

There will always be new angles to take, new viewpoints and new ways of looking at the old topics, and I think that is crucial in getting published by magazines on a regular basis…..and…..

I also think it is crucial that you be a good writer. You can have the most creative ideas known to man, but if you can’t write in an interesting way, your “brilliant creativity” will die with you. I think a lot of writers forget about this first step…learn how to write well. Perfect your craft and never stop working at perfecting your craft.

New Site to Check Out

No question here, just a note from your loyal question and answer man. Bev told me to check out this site and I did, was impressed and now I’m sharing it with you. It might be worth a visit….that’s all I’m going to tell you other than there is a chance of making money on it….go check it out by following this link. Oh, it’s called HITRECORD.org…..that’s all! It was created by a famous actor….I’ll let you go there to find out who that actor is.

A Short One This Week

But that’s okay! My goal is not to please the HP editorial staff. I’m just here to answer the questions and keep the discussion advancing, and we’ve accomplished that this week.

So thanks to all of you. I’ll be back next week with Installment Ninety!

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 16 months ago from New York, New York

      Am so going to check out that site that Bev suggested and thank you for sharing that and so much more here today and always. Happy Monday now, Bill!! :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 16 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great thanks! I have 20 days left to my book nomination on kindlescout and just decided to try something different. Sounds confusing to me. Will see what happens?

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Very interesting cool stuff. Wow there sure is a lot to learn about in this writing endeavor.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 16 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy

      Very interesting this week. I agree with you about taking a walk just to look or listen out for potential images or snippet which can be used in our writing. Besides it is a good opportunity to have a little 'soul time' which I love. Have a great week Billy

      Sally

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 16 months ago from Europe

      You were an early bird this morning, billybuc! Interesting questions, and great answers, as always. Good to hear your book is running like the wheels of the bus. :) I hope I've time to read the great 'Bobby Fix-it' soon. Looking forward to it. Have a great day, Bill!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 16 months ago

      I ordered and received your novella and I am pumped . I checked out HitRecord and it looks fantastic! Thanks so much for the novella and the heads up about the site.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 16 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Good Morning and another notch in the mailbag.

      I went to the website.

      --------

      hitRECord Terms for Including RECords for Monetized Productions

      Last Modified: January 13, 2016

      --------

      These terms are 2,722 words in length.

      That ensures that no one will read them, and those that attempt to read them won't understand it. And those that understand it are probably the ones that wrote it.

      I am not saying that there is anything wrong in these terms, I am only saying that it is typical of terms of use agreements. Traditionally contracts were Negotiated, but Terms of use Contracts are one sided, take it or leave it contracts.

      It doesn't affect me because I have nothing to contribute to this site.

      Privacy Policy

      --- You are responsible for ensuring your continued acceptance of this Privacy Policy, and your continued use of hitRECord following a change in the Privacy Policy will subject your use of hitRECord following any such change to the new provisions of this Privacy Policy.

      New Uses of Personal Information. From time-to-time, we may desire to use Personal Information for uses not previously disclosed in our Privacy Policy. If our practices change regarding previously collected Personal Information in a way that would be materially less restrictive than stated in the version of this Privacy Policy in effect at the time we collected the information, then we will make reasonable efforts to provide notice and obtain consent to any such uses as may be required by law.

      2,580 words

      ---------------------------------------

      OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE NOTICES

      The mobile application (“App”) offered by hitRECord.org LLC may include open source software as further described below.

      680 words.

      -------------------------------

      It is not my intent to doom and gloom, just illuminate and bring it to the attention of those considering using this site.

      Note:

      I was told once that a company had put a notice in their terms of agreement that they would give anyone that read it $100. The story says that the company didn't have to pay anyone.

      BTW, we don't buy Software, we only have a license to it!!

      Delete this if you wish.

      Later

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 16 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Glad to hear about your book. I'll check out HitRecord. And thanks, of course, for the ear worm. I hope you have a great Monday. I'm on day 17 of a cold that won't die.

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 16 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      Always look forward to your Monday mailbag. I wonder, on the point of 'perfecting craft' whether perfection is possible. I once had a music teacher tell us 'perfect practice makes perfect', but I summarily scoffed. What is perfection, and who can claim to be a perfectionist? My teacher's maxim might be re-written like this: 'perfected means lead to perfected ends'. Yet once again, I am skeptical.

      A language, or way, that does not critique itself, leads itself into mythologizing, and thus self-reverence, towards a War of Words. My opinion is that the craft of writing is an imperfect medium, otherwise we would be able to point to a perfect piece of writing. It is not my claim that a level of high-proficiency can't be attained; rather, honesty with one's self about his or her abilities creates the conditions to become better, foremost as humans with wisdom; secondly, through the use of language.

      Honesty and humility are the cornerstones of your literary voice(box), Bill. If there's any grandiose fluff floating through the words, I remain unaware of it.

      Praise our imperfections, I say. No species evolutionally achieves perfection. The Upward Way is not towards perfection, but self-enlightment (excuse the buddhist). Adaptability, to me, is mankind's most important ability, as is love.

      This might sound like dissent, but it isn't. I think the reason we visit your mailbags each Monday morning is precisely because we realize the imperfections, and learn to rely on honest individuals, such as yourself, to present us a more pragmatic approach. That's why I return to read.

      Hope this message finds you well,

      -E.G.A.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 16 months ago from Chicago Area

      Good Monday Morning! I'm so ecstatic I'm actually here on Monday AM. Anyway...

      Re: Kindle Scout... and every other publishing contract offer. Good advice to really check the terms and rights! Please, people, don't be so desperate to get a publishing "deal" that you sign away your future.

      Re: "New" Niches. If you're looking for "new" niches, you haven't really figured out who you are, who your ideal reader is, and the value you bring to the market. Look inside first. As well, if you're not already doing reading in these "new" arenas, you'll have a very hard time developing works for them.

      Glad to hear your new book is selling well at the outset. And thanks for the ear worm. Happy Monday!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 16 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! We continue to have some lovely unseasonably warm weather here in MN and I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts. I hope your strong winds passed without too much damage? I'm off to check out that website. Have a great rest of the week!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 16 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hello Bill,

      Excuse me, I have one more verse of The Wheels on the Bus to sing.

      Okay, I'm done. Thanks for another mailbag, and the new website to check out. I've not been there yet, but I will be. I see there's already some negative thoughts about it, but I'll look at it for myself. Have a great week, Bill!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 16 months ago from United States

      Interesting!

      Glad that with writers like us, we don't end up walking in the dark tunnel :)

      Looked at the above recommended site...it's promising.

      Happy Monday, Bill

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 16 months ago from Hollister, MO

      A "writer's walk" is also great for your health. Great idea. If each person writes well, in their own style, that is actually a 'niche' as discussed here, actually. One opinion. Go for ninety! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 16 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, you're doing a great job. I especially appreciate the Kindle Scout details this week. Thanks again and again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Always first, Janine, and I always appreciate it. Thank you and Happy Monday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well good luck, DDE. I hope things work out for you and your book. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I say to heck with it....just write!!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Sally! It's what is called a win-win situation. :)

      Always good to have you drop by. Thank you and Happy Monday to you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Buildreps. I had to head off to the other job, so I posted early today. I appreciate you reading the "early bird" special. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, I really appreciate you buying the novella. Let me know what you think, please. And thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Why would I delete this, Brad! I love your comments and observations. Thanks for counting words and illuminating....and you are right...no way am I reading all that crap. LOL

      Have a superb week. I just saw an ark float by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, in this weather? A cold? How could that happen? LOL Sorry, I couldn't resist it.

      Get well soon and thanks for spending time with me even when you aren't feeling well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eldon, a bit strange, but you were the second to reference Buddhism in five minutes. The other was my best friend from high school, college and beyond......in my humble opinion, perfection is highly overrated and certainly not something I ever believe I'll attain. I just want to be good enough to be satisfied with my work...and quite frankly, I don't know if that will happen either. :)

      Thank you for the kind words. I humbly wish you a fantastic week of self-enlightenment.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, you're early today and I'm late. The world is upside down. :)

      The ear worm comes free, of course, and my thanks are effusive. I always enjoy your reflections.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Melissa! The rains have stopped and we escaped the storm without damage. A lot of people weren't so lucky. I hope you find that website as interesting as I did. Happy Monday to you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Bill! Sorry about that song. I needed to pass it along and get it out of my head. LOL I hope you have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for stopping by, Ruchira! That new site needs some more study but at the very least it is interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Bill! Writing well, to me, is always a great place to start as a writer. I'll be by your site shortly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Dora, and thank you for your loyal following and friendship.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 16 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      You are probably trying to find some nice words about my comment.

      Lets just delete it.

      Have a great DST night.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 16 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Interesting questions this week. To Edith's question, I treat my down time at home just as I do when I am on vacation. When on vacation I am always looking for possible things to write about and I rely on my camera to freeze those moments so I can refer back to them. At home I do the same thing, I take my camera almost everywhere I go and if something looks like a possible hub in the making I will take pictures. I remind myself to do this by keeping my camera out and handy. Eventually it becomes as routine as grabbing my keys and wallet before heading out.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, compared to other comments over the years, yours was vanilla frosting on vanilla cake. :)

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 16 months ago

      Well dear friend, A Mailbag containing some more than usually 'invisible' fine print ; (could be me only ?!) Thanks for many useful informations.

      Peace .

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 16 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday, Bill!

      Great advice there to Devika. We sure don't want to give away the farm! Yes, read the fine print.

      As far as niches, I think it lies with the interests of the individual

      ...what is their "thing" so to speak or what are they passionate about in this life such as gardening, for example, then maybe focus on a specific kind of gardening.

      As far as people watching, I think one has to find a spot to just sit and observe. When my daughter was small, she loved going to throw pennies in this huge fountain and I enjoyed observing all the people.

      Payday is Wednesday, so I will be purchasing your novella!

      Peace and blessings always

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 16 months ago from New Jersey

      Hi, Bill,

      Like other writers, I relate to your experience of seeing something interesting, and in a flash forgetting what you saw. I hate it; however, I do love the idea of setting aside time specifically for observing people. That sounds like a lovely idea. :)

      I am going to try out that site. It looks very interesting. It's sweet of you to share it. Thank you. :)

      I'm looking forward to what questions next week will bring!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 16 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've learned some very interesting things this week, Bill. Thank you!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 16 months ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Great interest as usual. I think we should all observe and listen more in life. In this way things can proceed much quicker as we travel life's road.

      Graham.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 16 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you for another helpful hub. I found Q-A by Devika quite informative.

      The discussion on Niches is also very relevant for writers.

      Thanks again for sharing your advice!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, great help with your comment. Thanks for sharing that. I've suggested that in the past and it really is a matter of training ourselves to do it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, invisible, visible, I'm happy you were here and enjoyed it. Thank you and blessings always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Faith! Payday is indeed Wednesday. I need supplies for a new quail aviary. :) And you are buying my novella, and I couldn't be more thankful.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on those questions, and for buying my novella and for being my friend.

      hugs,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Kailey! Thanks for being here, as always. Yes, take a look at that site...maybe you'll find something interesting...maybe not....let me know if you do.

      Have a super Tuesday!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 16 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have not read a novella in years but will definitely get this one. I will enjoy reading it here in Cambodia.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton

      this edition proved so useful, DDE question and your answer was helpful.. made me do a little research again thank you for continuing this series Billybuc :)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 16 months ago

      Don't worry about your article being short this week. We are all pressed for time, and that includes yore's truly. In fact, I've gotta dash off for a haircut during my lunch hour, but I still stopped to read it because I enjoy your mailbags so much. Still good advice even if it is short, and I know where I can go back for reference if I need to. Have a good rest of the week, Bill.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 16 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Going to check out that hitrecord site. Also this reminded me of someone who wrote wonderful stories just by observing people and then creating wonderful characters. Again food for thought. Hope you have a progressive week and thank you for replying to my inquiry.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 16 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for answering my question in this week's mailbag.

      Interesting about the niches, it makes me think about the man in the patent office who said, there was nothing left to invent.

      Yes we see time and time again the same thing on the internet but... we have to remember there is always someone wanting to do something a better or quicker way. I think life hacks are a great niche. Also the narrower the niche, the better.

      I love the idea of an observing walk, I do know people can get a bit irritated if they see someone with a camera randomly taking photos.

      It might be worth taking business cards or something which say, Bill Holland (author).

      Possibly wearing a t- shirt which says, "you could be in my next novel!"

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Alicia. Thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, I totally agree, my friend. We need more listeners and observers and fewer shouters and demanders. :) Thanks for your observation.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, ChitrangaSharan. I appreciate you being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aesta, thank you so much. I did not know you were in Cambodia. Duh! I thought you were in Canada. :) Well thank you for buying my novella.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 16 months ago from England

      Thanks Bill, your advice is always spot on, and I am off to take a look at that new site! exciting stuff! and congrats on your book!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Frank...I'm as surprised as anyone about the success of this series.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks MizB. I just got home from my other job and I'm playing catch-up. I appreciate you taking the time to visit me...Happy Tuesday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Rasma....great idea about observing and creating....inspiration is all around us if we pay attention.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Mary! You are very welcome. I love your last suggestion...."you could be in my next novel".....I think that might be very appealing to people, don't you? And probably sell a book or two in the process. :)

      Happy Wednesday to you!

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Every mailbag comes with new, valuable information. Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell. Even if the book doesn't sell, I'm proud of it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Swalia. That is my goal.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 16 months ago from london

      Eleven to go!!Don't forget the celebration is coming! Ha ha. Nice one. This e-book thing is more and more puzzling. I hear that if we should leave this world, and come back in only 20 years, we'll struggle to understand it. Ha ha. Well done, my Friend!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 16 months ago from SW England

      Your idea of a designated writer's walk is a great one, bill. I find I'm too busy to notice much of what I pass on a daily basis but I also find that if I have my camera in my hand it's impossible not to use it!

      A quick click is more useful to me than writing something down as it's a visual reminder of what went with the photo or what someone said. I'm a visual learner so that's why it works for me; it might not suit everyone.

      Sunshine still rules here in Somerset; the slightly lower temperature that comes with it suits me fine. I can keep warm easily, keeping dry is a totally different kettle of fish.

      Great mailbag, bill. Have a wonderful Wednesday. Mine is just finishing and I'm exhausted after a day at the new house, gardening and shifting bricks! I keep telling myself it'll be worth it when we finally move in.

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, it is beyond me. I will leave those thoughts to those more intelligent than I. :) Thank you as always, and I will remember to invite you to the celebration. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, as always, good to hear from you. Moving bricks? I have so much work waiting for me this weekend...the weather has finally dried out,and Saturday is the first weekend day in quite some time to work outside...so I'll be straining this old body and complaining afterwards. :)

      I hope you are enjoying that new home.

      bill

    • rajan jolly profile image

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

      Another interesting and educational read. Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! I aim to please. :)

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 16 months ago from Brazil

      Hello Bill,

      I have another question for a future mailbag. This is actually a three part question so do with it what you will. This past week I received an email offering a trade, a free e-book for a review.

      Firstly do you think this is a valid way of marketing or do you think it is grasping at straws. I am also aware people pay for positive reviews.

      Secondly, how many reviews are enough before you can expect the general public to take notice of a book?

      and lastly, what are your thoughts about authors commenting on reviews? I have read that this can cause problems for an author more than the low rating on the review.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, great questions and I thank you! I'll have to give some thought to this....and do some reading of opinions. I know what I think but I'm curious what others in the business think....stay tuned and have a great weekend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 16 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I guess there will always be something new in the writing market. I think caveat emptor fits well here, for they are all not good for us. We have many choices to make and so little time.

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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Deb. With eBooks, caveat emptor definitely applies. Thanks for mentioning that.

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      Shannon 16 months ago from Texas

      Who would have imagined an advice columnist on HP? Yet every time I read your mailbag installments I learn something useful or reinforce something good I already know. Thanks. :)

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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shanmarie. It actually didn't start out as that...it was just a throw away hub to answer some questions that were asked of me....and here we are, over ninety later.

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      Lawrence Hebb 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that song!

      Congratulations on the sales, that's always good to hear. There's hope for us yet.

      What you said about being observant rings true, here's a challenge, next time you're out in a crowd just stop and take a look, how many are walking with their heads down looking at the floor? Probably 90% of them! Just getting into the habit of walking with our 'heads up' looking around makes a big differencein what we notice! (I actually learned this from an ex commando, they needed good observation skills)

      Great info here, thanks for taking the time.

      Lawrence

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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, you are right on. I've noticed that over the years...people don't make eye contact, and with iPhones, they are so busy texting or surfing the web, they never look up. Great point!

      Thanks my friend.

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      Shauna L Bowling 15 months ago from Central Florida

      I love the idea of scheduling a "writer's walk". Too often we're out and about an miss the perfect Kodak moment because we didn't think to bring our camera (for those of us who actually use a camera instead of the phone). A writer's walk would be inspirational and therapeutic. What's better than that?

      Now I'm off to check out your mystery link.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I find I have to do this. When I'm just out enjoying the day I don't think in terms of writing specifically....ideas will come to me, but still I think it's important to schedule those writing walks where the express purpose is to become inspired.

      Thanks so much my dedicated friend.

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