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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Eighty-Seven

Updated on February 29, 2016

Busy Days and Busy Nights

I’m managing to keep up with my writing despite being pulled in far too many directions, so I’m happy about that. We’ll see how long it lasts. All I know about the future is that there is one, so I guess I’ve got that working for me.

Let’s just get right to it. The Mailbag is full today and for that I’m grateful.

GENRE DILEMMA

From Molly: “I may be able to help fill out the question roster for next week. I'm writing a novel that, while not actually being a romance, has much of the trappings that people would associate with romance. The reason it's not a romance is that the main characters do not (and can never) love each other. This novel is going to be self-published. How could I make the actual genre clear to potential readers without bright bold text saying "It's not what it looks like" on the cover? Even if it's in the correct genre on the self-publishing website, I'm worried people may pass over it due to the conflicting genre elements.”

Mary, congratulations on asking a question never asked before, and it’s a good one.

Welcome to the dilemma most of us face with genres and fiction classifications. I understand completely your question and problem, but I don’t have a “one size fits all” answer. The best you can do is put it in the genre you believe it most closely resembles, and then…and this is important….on the back cover, and in the book description that will be seen by prospective buyers, write a paragraph, or two, in such a way that the true nature of your book is known and understood. The jacket blurb is your best friend when it comes to revealing just enough about the book to create interest in it.

I hope that helps.

Welcome to the Mailbag
Welcome to the Mailbag | Source

Submission Guidelines

From Mary: “Another question for a mailbag , if you deem it worthy. I was looking at a magazine's article submission page recently and their guidelines were strict. In essence they said unless you had had a best seller, using the traditional publishing route, don't bother submitting anything. My question is do you think that the arrogance in this is justified? I know publishers hold a lot of credibility. I also know there are some self published books which aren't great (your quail marketing book for example). How can people who self publish get that credibility? Is it only through sales, a strong online presence, or perseverance and perspiration?”

If I deem it worthy? LOL It’s definitely worthy, Mary, and I thank you for the question.

Is it arrogance or is it the reality of today’s publishing world? Traditional publishers have it tough these days. Competition from eBooks has taken a 30% bite out of profits and they simply can’t afford to allocate marketing and publishing funds for “borderline” books by unknown writers. I really do understand that from a marketing standpoint, and so, by extension, I understand them just taking on established best-seller writers.

The second part of your question is the important matter….how do those who self-publish gain credibility, and the answer can be found in all three of the answers you provided plus a huge emphasis on one other….MARKETING!

There are self-published writers each year who make it big and then are picked up by traditional publishers. The key is to make it big first, and that only happens through great writing and a solid marketing program. If a self-published author thinks they are going to set the world on fire with their brilliant novel without doing some marketing they are sadly mistaken. Sit down and decide how you are going to market your book, then brainstorm with friends for their marketing ideas and then….and this is huge…then DO IT!!!!!

The fastest growing genre:  young adult
The fastest growing genre: young adult | Source

21st Century Styles and Genres

From Brad: “The question now that I have made you dizzy is can you read a novel and categorize the style into a limited number of possibilities? For example, you see the sentence..... It was a dark and stormy night.....You recognize it as being the work or style of some famous author. What are the styles of the 21st century, that set this century apart from all the rest. Or is there just an endless continuum for existing styles across the centuries?”

It’s an interesting question, Brad. I don’t know that there is a definitive answer to it. I’ve given it some thought and I honestly don’t think there is a defining style in the 21st Century. There may be greater emphasis on teen lit or young adult than there once was, but I haven’t seen any drop off in the number of thrillers, mysteries, historical fictions, biographies or fantasies.

If you look at the top five selling genres in literature these days, it hasn’t changed that much since the last decade or the decade before that….with the exception of young adult on the increase, thanks in part to books like The Hunger Games.

So my answer to your question is I don’t think there are styles that set this century apart. Writing is writing is writing…new plots, new ways of writing established styles….same basic plots recycled….and still entertaining and enjoyable for those of us who love to read.

"Pretty as a picture" may be an accurate simile, but it's also a boring cliche
"Pretty as a picture" may be an accurate simile, but it's also a boring cliche | Source

Similes and Cliches

From Mary again: “A few thoughts about today's mailbag. In the question from Theo, I think that is a brilliant idea about people watching for inspiration. Regarding the similes though, how can we be sure they will be understood by the target audience and not sound like a cliche?I read so many metaphors and similes on the internet that I just don't get.”

Great question about the similes and my answer to you is if a writer uses metaphors or similes that his/her audience doesn’t understand, then that writer has failed. You are absolutely correct in what you say. Using similes and metaphors must be done with a purpose in mind, and once it is decided to use them, they must be obvious and clear or that purpose is lost. As you correctly stated, the target audience is the key. If I use a simile that was popular when I was a kid, which had significance when I was a kid, it might be totally useless and meaningless to today’s audience…..so the onus is on me, the writer, to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Getting Stuck

From Eric: “Which reminds me to ask you. When you get stuck on a particular line or paragraph and it just isn't gelling right do you just keep going and come back to it or do you keep pounding until you get it right? Or is it a mix?”

Nice nuts and bolts question, Eric. I think this is purely subjective. For me personally, if it doesn’t come to me in ten or fifteen minutes I’ll just move on. Chances are excellent that it will come to me on the second or third rewrite. At least it has in the past. I say that because I don’t believe in hindering creativity and flow, and fretting over one line or paragraph for too long, for me, is the opposite of free-flow writing.

Unwanted Ads

From Stages of Me: “As always wonderful tips and advice, hope it is okay to ask this question here? You are so full of wisdom, so do you have tips on removing ads that may not be appealing to an individual hubber? Any help appreciated Thanks as always prayers and blessing to you.”

Stages, it is always okay to ask a question, and thank you for this one.

Honestly, my friend, I am so out of touch with the HP guidelines, and the Adsense guidelines, I simply don’t know the answer to this question. My gut reaction is there is no way HP or Adsense would allow anyone to recommend different ads, but I could be completely wrong. Let me go do some research. I’ll be right back.

I’m back and I can’t find it anywhere on HubPages. The way the ads are decided upon leads me to believe you can’t change them once they appear but again, and I hope one of our readers knows, I really don’t know for sure one way or another. If I’m not mistaken, the types of ads are determined by subject matter of the article and keywords in that article, and I don’t see a mechanism in place where the writer can change an ad or even suggest a change.

Sorry!

My writing guide available on Amazon

That’s It for This Week

And a huge thank you for all the great questions. I’ll see you all next week as the march to one-hundred continues

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 14 months ago from New York, New York

      Love that you are able to keep up and another wonderful week of questions and answers from you, as always Bill. Happy Monday and wishing you a fabulous week ahead now!! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday Janine and thank you. I'll be by your site shortly.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      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.

      As I don't read novels, I just wondered if I would see something new and exciting. Maybe, it is as simple as how we describe technology which didn't exist last century and earlier that defines this century.

      As they say in Mission Impossible, you don't have to accept this assignment. lol

      BTW, there was a classic scifi movie called, "This Island Earth", and there was a word they used in it," Interrocitor." There was no such device then or now, and it was intriguing to me.

      I may be trying to fly to close to the Sun, another common phrase, and thanks for humoring me.

      :)

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 14 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for answering my questions in today's mailbag. I hope that your other readers will also find the answers useful.

      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?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, you crack me up. MY BAD!!!! Sorry I misunderstood the question. I'll do better next time.

      Interrocitor? Nope, not in my home. :) Most of my relatives spoke in two syllable words on a good day. LOL

      Have a great Monday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, believe it or not, I've not seen that kind of collaboration, but I love the idea.....I'll mention this in next week's mailbag and hopefully some of the readers will take that ball and play with it. :) Thanks my friend.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 14 months ago from Alton, Missouri

      Hi, Bil, another great week of questions. Have a great week!

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      I am glad that you enjoy my comments, as you are the 1% of that category.

      I grew up in Manhattan, and there was an abundance of short one syllable words that made up very short sentences. Perhaps, that is the reason why, I really like the word, Interrocitor.

      As it might come up in future political debates, "To be or Not to Be", what was the question again? lol

      I just thought of a new spelling for an old word.

      Freedom is now Freedumb.

      They both sound the same, but ,, you know the rest. ha.

      Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Donna! You do the same!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, I've watched the Republican debates so yes, I understand the new spelling of an old word. :)

      I hope your week meets your expectations!

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 14 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      I agree on your first point Bill. Oh yeah, and sorry I've been silent these past few days. Been workin overtime, buddy, so I understand the time-management. Gotta get better at 'networking'/marketing --as these slick-suits with forty dollar haircuts love remindin me, as I slap some dough around.

      A message to Molly: throwing something into the genre that is not archetypal can work really well!

      I needed Mary's question this morning. My metaphors run wilder than a wet hog.

      'Free-flow' for sure. That's why your voice is honest and endearing to me, Mr. Holland.

      God bless ya man. Great Monday mailbag (again),

      -E.G.A.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eldon, it would be a sad day if your literary voice were silenced to toss dough around. Keep on keeping on, my friend, and I'll look forward to your next piece of exquisite writing.

      bill

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      Melissa Propp 14 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! And it's a special Monday, considering we don't see this particular day but for every 4 years. Happy Leap Day! Thanks for all your advice on this lovely day, as always it is appreciated and very insightful.

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      Linda Lum 14 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Brad's question about certain phrases or statements that will define books from this century is a good one--and one I'm not sure we can answer.

      Although the Harry Potter and Midnight series (for example) are wildly popular, I don't think they are very well written. There are few if any (in my humble opinion) current authors who can outshine Dickens (he who wrote "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times), or Shakespeare. L'Engle is the only one who comes to mind. Even Harper Lee, who wrote my favorite book (TKAM) had only one book to her credit. (Yes, I have read Set a Watchman and my statement stands as written).

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 14 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Bill,

      The bag seemed a little heavier today. Thank you for sharing its weight with us. Enjoyed the video as well. Thanks for another Monday!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 14 months ago

      You had some very good submissions and answers this week, friend Bill. Let me say first that the question by Stages of Me about offensive ads was addressed recently in the Questions on HP. I think I know which ones she’s talking about, and those were very objectionable, especially on religious hubs. I’m not sure what the answer really was except that Google wanted these ads and there was nothing HP could do about it. I think that one really did get pulled, so hopefully that question in the Q & A got results. Maybe somebody else has a better memory than I do.

      Mary’s comment about the arrogant guidelines stirs up a memory of mine. There used to be a slick magazine published in Little Rock that used similar guidelines. In other words local writers, no matter how good they were, didn’t stand a chance, well, maybe John Grisham if he’d been around then. Their favorite seemed to be Fannie Flagg. The magazine lasted a few years and then transmogrified into a weekly liberal newspaper. Guess they ran out of best-seller authors willing to accept their fees when the top authors could make so much more elsewhere. So much for arrogance, it can die from attrition.

      Hope you, Bev and the chickens have a good week. Spring is almost here (spring chickens, you know), and it is spring-like in my area right now.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Melissa! Funny, but it seems like any other February day to me. :) In fact, it seems just like the last Feb 29th. :) Just being silly...have a great day and thanks for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I have to give that some thought....it seems like our era is not that memorable in literature, but maybe every era feels that way when it's happening. Know what I mean?

      I didn't bother to read "The Watchman." Why bother?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      An excellent installment. Amazing the wisdom one man can impart to many. Has HP contacted you about putting you on staff to help develop writers?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill. I'm tried from carrying the bag around. I was glad to unload it and let you all sort through the mail.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 14 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I see you're still going strong and that's good. I learn from the questions and your answers. I will say that I'm glad that picture of the boil or whatever on someone's ass is long gone.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 14 months ago

      You are the only person I know who can do a million things at once so incredibly well!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, as always, thank you! I hate to wish ill of others, but I think that magazine got what they deserved. Too bad, but you sow what you reap, right? :) Spring is here...not terribly warm but not freezing, either, so we take what we can get.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Surely you jest, Eric! LOL HP could care less, my friend. It's just me and my homies doing our thing.

      Thanks, homie!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....I'm sure you are, Ruby! Thanks for being here through it all, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, I think you're giving me too much credit, but thank you!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 14 months ago from SW England

      What amazing questions people come up with! What great answers you give them! Always, always, this is entertaining and instructive all at once. I think of questions when I'm concentrating on some writing, then forget them when I need them! Will do my best to come up with more.

      Just completed on my house purchase and got the keys!! Hooray! I'm on cloud nine but now the hard work starts - de-smelling, throwing all sorts in a skip and then, the good bit, refurbishing. Who knows how long it will take but I don't care - it's mine!

      Hope you're having a mind-blowing Monday, bill.

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Ann, I'm not having as good a day as you are....CONGRATULATIONS on that new home. Very exciting for sure and yes, it will be work, but it's ALL YOURS!!!!!!!

      Very happy for you, Ann! Enjoy!

      bill

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 14 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. A full mailbag this week with great questions and answers. It's an education every week, thank you. Have a wonderful week.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 14 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday, Bill,

      The genre dilemma question is interesting and I can understand why it would be so confusing for sure, as one wants the work to be in the right genre. Did Mary or Molly ask that first question? You answered her as Mary, so just curious, as Mary asked the following couple of questions.

      Talking about unwanted ads, all I know to do is turn off ads but otherwise they will be there for sure. I remember when I first joined HP and Google put a wine ad on my three-legged dog Ode and it just burned me up. I remember writing a comment on my hub to Google to please match the ads up to the topic of the hub, and my dog does not drink wine! LOL I left it for the longest time, and then made it invisible after several months when I went back reading comments and had to laugh. Oh, last year, I think it was, there was actually an ad on every hub it seems of ...no kidding ...bouncing boobs and pulling down bikini bottoms Hahaha. What was so bad about it was that once those boobs started bouncing your head would automatically bounce up and down with them. Hahaha

      Peace and blessings

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 14 months ago from Hollister, MO

      I'm the slow one, today. Read this earlier, but so many good topics, didn't post a reply. I think my favorite was probably MARKETING. Cannot lose with that. We all need the reminder... over and over and over again. Zero sales without MARKETING! Thanks for the great mailbag. ;-)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 14 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Good Q and A again this week Bill. You must have the best time management skills. Mine suck sometimes, and at the moment my wife and I are recovering from a snake vs chicken encounter during the night. Maybe I will include the incident in a future hub. I enjoy reading the comments on these mail ages almost as much as the questions and answers, so it is good to be a little late reading them.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 14 months ago from Europe

      As always, a very interesting mailbag. I love the way how you deal with all the questions. Maybe I can add something about the ads. All people accept cookies on their browsers. Switch off 'accept cookies', and you will see that HP doesn’t work. When people are wondering why they get the cookies they are seeing, it's in your cookie history. And if you have gmail, twitter, facebook account it gets even worse. Information from these sources are put in the blender as well.

      There's only one way to influence cookies: delete your browser history every day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Bill! You've been here all the way and I appreciate it.

      Happy Tuesday my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, you had me howling over the bouncing boobs. Thanks so much for the great laugh.

      Mary or Molly?:Probably Molly. One of the nice things about being 67 is I always have an excuse. LOL For anything!!!!!

      blessings always my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You betcha, Bill, zero sales without marketing.....thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I think a snake vs a chicken encounter is a good reason for being distracted...at first i thought you wrote children instead of chicken. :) Anyway, I am focused for sure....annoyingly so, at times, if you ask my wife. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, great information about the cookies. I just cleared my browser history yesterday....pretty proud of myself right now. LOL

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 14 months ago from The Caribbean

      Seems like the mailbag got a revival this week. Molly's question clicked for me, because even in writing articles, sometimes there is no established topic that is a perfect fit. Thanks for all your wise answers.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 14 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      It's too soon to choose defining quotes of the 21st century. Ones that come to mind for the 20th century include Vonnegut's, "So it goes," Beckett's, "Think, pig!", Baum's, “I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore,” and Towne's, "Forget it, Jake; it's Chinatown."

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 14 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There were some good questions this week. Once again, it was interesting to read the answers. The comments on your mailbag hubs are always interesting, too!

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 14 months ago

      Another informative set of questions and answers. Thanks for sharing!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 14 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Great questions and excellent from the heart answers. This is what I personally love about this series being so educative. Thank you my friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 14 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi billybuc your writing truly inspires all writers and that is why I stop by. Thank you for this read.

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      manatita44 14 months ago from london

      I think that you do an excellent job, in spite of having to keep up. What with family time, new job, book commitments, farming, Hub Pages ....you know the drift yourself.

      Some really nice questions, and a steady march closer to the goal. Praise be!

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 14 months ago from New Jersey

      Hi, Bill,

      Interesting questions. :)

      I really like the "Getting Stuck" one. That happens to me a lot. I'll obsess over a single line for a while. I can't move forward until that one feels right. Maybe, I should try your advice. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, the Mailbag has a life of its own. I'm so happy the questions keep coming in, and thank you for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Love them all, Brian! Thanks for the reminder and I agree with you about the 21st Century. Let's hope there are many memorable quotes from this century.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I love the comments most of all. That's where I learn.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Swalia!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm so happy to hear that, Rajan! Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is very kind of you, DDE! I appreciate the kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita. It's getting harder for sure, but I continue to try.

      Peace my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Maybe, Kailey, but then again, maybe I'm just full of it! LOL Thanks for being here.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Thanks again for the visit down under, you know the political scene. lol

      I was talking to my wife about my 21st century writing question, and she drew a blank. She is the reader of novels in this family, and she couldn't think of anything to answer the question. She asked for time to think about it.

      I guess the real conundrum of answering this question is how many different ways can you describe a scene that hasn't already been done?

      I like the imagery of descriptions like,"It was a dark and stormy night."

      It is sort of like the Christmas story, " And all through the house not a creature was stirring."

      Can the authors of the 21st century create something as memorable as those types of examples?

      The night was on its way, the long shadows were disappearing towards the horizon. As the sun slowing set in the distance, I could hear the silence. The glow of the sun was creating a virtual painting filled with vibrant shades of red and orange. Then, the sun became a faint memory of light and color, as the night sky painted a new picture. The moon had replaced the sunlight with colors of blue, black and white lights. The silence of the night was broken with the sounds of creatures not heard during the day. Daylight felt like a close friend even if there was no one in sight, while Moonlight created the feeling of being alone even though creatures abound all around you.

      Ok, so where do I get this work of literary magnificence published? It seems like you are describing some large round container. Is this some sort of transport device to the publisher?

      Maybe, I should put my contact information on this creation, so they will know who they should accolade.

      The process seems fairly straight forward, and simple.

      You say that this method of publishing is very popular and that most creations of this kind find their way easily into that transport container.

      I will be watching my mailbox for my royalty check!

      Have a great day, hoped this amused you.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Thanks again for the visit down under, you know the political scene. lol

      I was talking to my wife about my 21st century writing question, and she drew a blank. She is the reader of novels in this family, and she couldn't think of anything to answer the question. She asked for time to think about it.

      I guess the real conundrum of answering this question is how many different ways can you describe a scene that hasn't already been done?

      I like the imagery of descriptions like,"It was a dark and stormy night."

      It is sort of like the Christmas story, " And all through the house not a creature was stirring."

      Can the authors of the 21st century create something as memorable as those types of examples?

      The night was on its way, the long shadows were disappearing towards the horizon. As the sun slowing set in the distance, I could hear the silence. The glow of the sun was creating a virtual painting filled with vibrant shades of red and orange. Then, the sun became a faint memory of light and color, as the night sky painted a new picture. The moon had replaced the sunlight with colors of blue, black and white lights. The silence of the night was broken with the sounds of creatures not heard during the day. Daylight felt like a close friend even if there was no one in sight, while Moonlight created the feeling of being alone even though creatures abound all around you.

      Ok, so where do I get this work of literary magnificence published? It seems like you are describing some large round container. Is this some sort of transport device to the publisher?

      Maybe, I should put my contact information on this creation, so they will know who they should accolade.

      The process seems fairly straight forward, and simple.

      You say that this method of publishing is very popular and that most creations of this kind find their way easily into that transport container.

      I will be watching my mailbox for my royalty check!

      Have a great day, hoped this amused you.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

      B Leekley

      I think that 15 years into the century is enough time for 21st century authors to create a memorable style. I agree that the total picture for the century may have better or different creations. Maybe those authors are yet to be born.

      One of your quotes made his style in both the 19th and 20th centuries.

      Lyman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 – May 6, 1919),

      In any case, I enjoyed the quotes you provided in your comment.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Slowly

      My editor was on break

      I rarely read what I write. lol

      BTW, the old computer tape drives used to read after they wrote data, to verify that it actually was written.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, you definitely amused me. I'm in good company if your wife is stumped as well.

      One note: "Daylight felt like a close friend" is a great line...I'm really sorry I didn't think of it. LOL Seriously, that's a great line.

      You are too funny! You made my morning.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheez, thanks again, Brad! As for the royalty check, just don't hold your breath while waiting. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, Brad. I do think there are some very memorable lines written in the 21st Century, but it also takes a declaration of greatness to bring those line to public awareness....but then again, what the heck do I really know?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, if it's the same editor I have, he's always taking breaks.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Thanks, I am glad that my mistake in verbiage became so enlightening for you. I had to reread the line after you said it was good. I was then impressed that you were impressed. I really have to read what I write, and then it won't be such a surprise.

      I am sure that I must have plagiarized your work, if not feel free to use it. lol

      Can I take the royalty in hp dollars. Is the exchange rate still 10,000 hp to 1 uncle sam dollar? lol

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's about the right exchange rate for today, Brad, but tomorrow I'm sure it will be worse. :)

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 14 months ago

      Each mailbag is stuffed so tight they remind me of a stocking I had for Christmas one year . I remember having one so full I am surprised it didn't rip from the seams. It was more exciting that the gifts under the tree. You bring back that memory and all my good thoughts connected with it.I often find a book I enjoy reading. I wonder how successful the author was.I am curious to see how many other people find that type of book interesting.What is the best way to see how many of this particular book sold? People say you can find anything on Google. I have a difficult time finding the answer I am looking for. The secret has to be in how I phrase my question. So I make many approaches and still have come up blank. I remember reading about HubPages in trouble in a hub. Since then I have once again turned to Google to find out the number of people on HubPages daily and it's history. All I seem to get an early history but not anything current. Are your books in different languages and if so which ? With all the self publishing companies gaining thirty percent of the market why wouldn't a company set up shop in a Barnes And Noble or another book chain and have example of this is what we offer ? This is are work. People might sign up and work with a particular company. Then if the book is good enough the book chain might carry their book as it has in the past for certain authors. Then give a list of authors that it has helped. I think you are on to something really big. I don't watch too much t.v. I would rather read. I think it is time for a reality series about struggling writers and all the things you talk about in your mailbags. It is one thing to read about it then there is a whole different to see it on a weekly series. Where once again a good self publishing company can be contacted. What are the top three self publishing companies that you find the best in quality and price? I have said it before and It is worth repeating you are a leader and you are clearing a path for others to follow. Thank you so much for all your effort. There is so much dust from all the foot traffic I have made a few wrong turns. It's o.k. to be following the right way when you see so many other people stop and give up. Slow down and turn around. I was never the fastest but I'm a slugger and I keep going until I find what I want. Every time I read your mailbags I am not only amazed, thrilled and perk up like the first day of school. Have a great day and here we go again. Another dust cloud coming.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 14 months ago from Chicago Area

      Made to the Mailbag in the same week as publication! Whew. Was finishing my new book on networking (it's done!) and editing an author's manuscript.

      Re: Genres. For genres, I go through the same drill with my business books. They can often fit in multiple categories. So I have to think what would be the most logical reader and go with that. Before classing, I scour the BISAC category listings (on the BISAC website). I've noticed that some categories don't show up in the easy selection lists on Createspace.

      Re: Cliches. What's worse? Cliches? Or buzzwords? They both should be used sparingly, if at all. Plus, they need to be placed in context. The surrounding discussion in any work should make it understandable even if the meaning is lost to history. Heck, we still say we're going to dial a phone even though phone dials have gone the way of sun dials. :)

      Happy Thursday and have a relaxing weekend ahead! I know you're busy these days.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 14 months ago from Shelton

      Another week of useful questions followed by the usual useful answers.. Billybuc thanks for keeping the light on for us..:)

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 14 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thank you for more useful answers. This being my birthday week it just sort of flew by. So here I am catching up and wishing you a great weekend.

    • jo miller profile image

      jo miller 14 months ago from Tennessee

      One of my favorite little books on time management is called 'How to Live on Twenty-four Hours a Day'. I think you must cram a lot into each and every one of yours. I'm impressed with all you do.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 14 months ago from New Jersey

      Hi, Bill,

      I thought of a question you may or may not be able to answer by Monday:

      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!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's my pleasure, Frank, and thank you for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Happy Birthday Rasma and I hope your weekend is a great extension of your birthday week. Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo! I have no explanation for it...it's just what I do. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Kailey, I do believe I can answer that one...stay tuned....and thanks!

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 14 months ago

      Bill, you have created a writers movement.One that is appreciated now and years to come. When many people left HubPages you stayed. I am sure the HubPages staff could learn a lot from your work. If they could only have their own mailbag ready to answer hubbers with honest and truthful advice and support. HubPages could go in a whole new direction. Working hand and hand with it's writers. Making it more profitable and enjoyable for everyone. Have a great night.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dream On, there are several questions in your comment that I have put in Monday's Mailbag. Thanks so much for your thoughts....my dad would have liked you. He always favored the sluggers over the speedsters. :)

      Thank you as always for your support and your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, making it in the same week is an accomplishment, considering how busy you are, so thanks for your efforts and thoughts, and good luck with that new book on networking.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dream, thank you! I've often wondered why HP doesn't do something like that. It seems like such a simple way of building community and making the writers feel like they have value. Sigh! I guess they don't think much of my idea, or yours. What a shocker!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 14 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      That's more top notch information for the week. Readers have such great questions to keep us all learning more and more. Thanks for helping out in this sea of learning curves.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 14 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      Lot of information to use from this series of hubs, Bill.

      I know it is going to come in handy for me.

      Regards,

      Suhail

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 14 months ago from USA

      Good question and answer on getting stuck and I share the frustration with the ads but whatever. HP is in such a wierd place right now, no strategic direction.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I agree about the questions. Each week I learn something new thanks to all of you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope so, Suhail! It's been a lot of fun for me over the many weeks to do this series.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree with you, Flourish! It sure isn't the same place I joined four years ago....but as long as you and others stay here, so will I. Thank you!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 14 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Excellent stuff here! With regard to Molly at the beginning Eddison said his inventions came by "99% perspiration 1% inspiration" and look what he achieved!

      Thinking of that I'm wondering how much of that statement is true for others?

      I know for me there's a lot of work ahead to bring it to fruition so it'd be good to know what others think.

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe in what Edison said, Lawrence, and I know I, for one, have a great deal of work still to go. My best to you always.

      bill

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 14 months ago from Central Florida

      Congratulations, Bill on the Mailbag going strong for well over a year and a half! What a feat!

      As I was reading your answer to genres and the fact that YA has a stronghold on the market, I had to smile. That means our young people are reading. When you and I were young, reading was an escape, a pleasure. Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys had our attention and took us to higher levels of intrigue as we grew older and discovered more authors who could send us on a voyage or develop fantasies we didn't know we had. It's nice to know the younger generations are hungry for books (or Nooks). Whatever it takes to get them reading, right?

      As far as the ads go, HP is the owner of this site, so we're at their mercy. I know on my own website I can choose which ads (or types of ads) to run and which ones I absolutely don't want showing up. That's done through the Google Analytics that's attached to your webpage, through the authorship association you create. Since we're contributors and not owners of the HP site, we don't have the luxury of picking and choosing. However, we do have the option of clicking on "no ads" on the right side of the page when we're posting. At least that's the way it was in December 2015, which was the last time I posted anything new here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, thanks for adding your observations about the ads. I didn't know any of that....I'm not exactly a poster child for HP procedures. LOL As for YA I agree...whatever it takes to get them reading for sure..and I loved the Hardy Boys!!!!

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