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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Fifty-Five

Updated on July 13, 2015

Happy Monday to You All

I went swimming last night and then I fed the baby goats. Welcome to my world!

The thing is, I love my life. When I’m not writing, a pastime that I cherish, I’m taking care of my farm critters, a pastime that I cherish. If there’s a negative in my life I’m not aware of it, and how many people can say that?

So now I get to do something else I love doing….answering your questions to the best of my ability, and we’ll start this Mailbag off with a question from Babbi.

Welcome to the Mailbag
Welcome to the Mailbag | Source

Collaborative Efforts

From Babbi: “Catching up. Another great installment Bill. Thanks!! Here are a few related questions. They may bring up more than questions than solutions. How successful or unsuccessful are collaborative non-fiction works versus novels? On the surface, non-fiction seems easier than a novel. You can just divide up the work according to expertise and put it all together. A novel, well is a bit more complicated. Can a friendship whether the ups and downs of working together on a novel? Considering the different strengths brought to the table, might it be worth it?”

Babbi, this may be out of my realm of expertise if, in fact, I actually have any expertise. J I’ve read countless non-fiction books that were collaborative efforts and honestly I couldn’t tell that more than one writer worked on them. They were that effortless in appearance. What you said about them makes sense to me. I would think it’s just a matter of division of labor according to knowledge, and put it all together into a book that is cohesive.

On the other hand, a collaborative effort in fiction seems like next to impossible to me, but I’ve seen quite a few of them done well, so obviously it can be done. Speaking just for me, I would have a tough time giving up control on part of a novel.

There are a couple of husband/wife teams that write novel after novel and sell well, so those people don’t suffer from the problems of control or if they do, they manage to work it out.

Blah, blah and more blah…bottom line is that it obviously can be done but I don’t think I could do it.

Is my muse a spiritual being?
Is my muse a spiritual being? | Source

Gilbert's video on inspiration

INSPIRATION

From Buildreps: “I watched the video of Elizabeth Gilbert, which is really awesome. Then I have a question for you, Bill. Do you also think that your inspirational being is controlled by a distant spirit, like Elizabeth Gilbert believes? Thanks:)”

Buildreps, you’re venturing into the realm of the “other world” which I rarely talk about. Let me say this: I don’t think we, as humans, have even scratched the surface in our understanding of all the forces at work in our existence. Or to put it another way, I don’t think man has a clue about life. Do I believe there is a spirit world? I am more inclined to say yes than no. If man is the highest form of life in this universe then we are all in trouble. J

Speaking just for myself, I can say without hesitation that I never considered myself to be a creative person until about five years ago and then my creativity just appeared. That moment coincided with my acceptance of life and my willingness to open my mind to all possibilities. Was that a spiritual transformation? I believe it was. Today I believe I’m a spiritual being having a human experience, so if I’m a spirit then there hopefully there are others out there. J

HUBPAGES

From Ann: “A question regarding hubpages: What do you think about telling the writer which way you vote on a hub? I always vote but I don't always say how I voted or even if I voted at all. To me, it's not necessary and the only time I mention it is if I feel it's relevant to the hub or if it's touched me in some outstanding way. What do you think?”

Hi Ann! Thanks for a question I’ve asked myself from time to time. I’ve never done it. Like you I don’t see the sense in it. My comment always tells the writer what I thought of their article and their writing, so I don’t understand why I also need to tell them which votes I cast. I do cast those votes but I think they’re a bit silly. All they do is affect the hub score and I really think hub scores are ridiculous, so what does it matter?

To summarize: in three-and-a-half years, I have never….never….looked at the voting total on any of my over-1000 hubs. I simply don’t care how many “interesting” or “helpful” or “awesome” votes have been cast. Leave me a comment and it will mean much more to me, because a comment is a human connection and I’m all about human connections.

Self published through CreateSpace
Self published through CreateSpace | Source

Self Publishing

From Mary: “Great installment as always. I do love the way you answer the questions. Now I have one you may or may not want to use. I'm looking into self-publishing my children's book and I'm floored by the amount of royalties. For example, a book that sells for $8.99 nets the author $1.56. Is that right? Guess you have to sell a lot of books!”

Mary, I don’t have the Amazon payment schedule in front of me, but I’m fairly certain you are close in your statement. The percentages change depending on what you charge for your book but yes, you have to sell quite a few books to make any sort of money at all.

The other route to consider is to have hard copies printed by CreateSpace. The last time I did that the cost to me was around $6.80 per book and my book sold retail at $11.95. I think you’ll agree that is a much better profit margin….but…to make any money that way, you would have to market your book like crazy. Hold book signings, book readings, etc.

So it all boils down to what you are comfortable doing, I guess.

Publishers and Agents

From Peter: “I have a friend who recently acquired a publisher, and she was surprised when the publisher told her she needed to increase her online presence and increase her efforts with local book signings and book readings. It sounded to me like the publisher was asking my friend to do all the work. What’s the point in having a publisher or agent if the writer is still expected to do the marketing?”

Well, Peter, welcome to the publishing world of 2015. Times they are a’changin’.

I think there are two levels of writers out there. There are the established giants like King, Patterson, Burke, etc, and I would imagine that most of the marketing for their books is handled by the publishers and their agents. Just a guess on my part.

Then there are the other 99% of authors who get “published” by a traditional publisher. For them, the majority of a marketing campaign is still up to them to do.

There was a day, not too long ago, when an author would receive a cash advance on a novel, an advance in the tens of thousands of dollars, and then the publisher would devise a marketing campaign and they would go from there. Today, that cash advance might be a couple thousand, and the author is expected to spearhead the marketing campaign.

That’s just the way it is, my friend.

I Guess That’s It for This Week

I was going to squeeze one more question in but I didn’t have one. LOL You’ll have to be satisfied with an abbreviated Mailbag this week. If you want it longer next week then for goodness sake, ask a question.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the goats want some grain and I’m the Chief Grain-Provider.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I'm sorry. I respect you greatly, but there will be no collaborative effort with me on a craft article. I know, I know, big shocker, right? LOL

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 23 months ago

      Like you, I think a collaborative effort would be extremely difficult for me, but hey, if you want to help me write a craft article we can give it a shot! Just kidding, but I have read books that were collaborative efforts and it didn't really make a difference to me. I also agree about the votes...while I appreciate it when people mention that they voted and I always thank them, I've never paid much attention to those statistics on my hubs. I did use them for other hubs though. Funny because when I first started here I would mention that I had voted a certain way in my comments on hubs. I think mostly because others mentioned that on my hubs and I thought that was what was supposed to happen.

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

      Lawrence, I totally agree with your last statement....it's something we love doing, and that makes it the greatest job on Earth. :) Thanks my friend and Happy Monday to you.

      bill

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      At least I'm reading this on a Monday! The fact that I'm a week behind is immaterial!

      Really enjoyed the hub and the questions.

      Its interesting about the Royalties as I've worked out hubbers get 1c per three visits! That means an awful lot of visits to make the $1.50 you make on each book sale from Amazon!

      Good job it's something we love doing :)

      Lawrence

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

      Heidi, thanks as always for your insights....retail??? for a published author???? Now I've heard everything. That makes CreateSpace look pretty darn good by comparison.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Catching up on the Mailbag! Whew, it's been a crazy good few weeks. I've given a talk on self publishing, led a writers workshop on self publishing platforms, and helped an author get her book done.

      Anyway, on to the Mailbag...

      Re: Self Publishing Royalty Rates. Yes, the royalty rates can be low, depending on several factors, including what self publishing platform is used and where it's sold. Writers get much less for "expanded distribution" which is through bookstores, libraries, etc. due to higher sales and handling costs. If using Createspace, authors get the most by sending readers to their CS eStore page and a bit less if sold on Amazon.

      Re: Publishers and Agents. Yep, authors today need to actively market their work, regardless of whether they are self or traditionally published. A friend of mine has to pay retail--yes, retail--for copies of her book that got published by a traditional publisher. Yikes!

      BTW, even though you don't really care, I voted this hub up and useful. :) Happy Weekend!

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

      Thank you for sharing, Peggy. I appreciate that very much, and it was good to see you.

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

      PS, our grass gave up the ghost many weeks ago. No rain, very warm...I think I'm wilting. LOL

      I appreciate you stopping by, but you know that. Hugs and blessings coming your way.

      bill

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      I'll be forwarding this article to a neighbor who is in the process of writing his first book. He can check out your many other articles regarding this subject of which you have written many. Thanks for all of the tips and insights.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Missed this last week so stopped by just to say 'hi.' I always enjoy reading these because of your candor, mainly.

      I do find tidbits and more that I can use and pass along as well.

      Hoping all is good out in your little neck of the woods.

      We have high 90s and daily rain so my grass thinks it is obligated to grow....: D

      Hugs and blessings and many Angels on the way to you and Bev....ps

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

      Deb, I'm with you 100%. One of my relatives asked me if I wanted a Kindle for my next birthday....I laughed and said "over my dead body." Enough said.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The times really are changing, but I will never waver from holding a book in my hand. After all, I am a scientist, a researcher. If I can't have several books open to a given topic, I cannot effectively research nor make comparison queries. Where would that leave me? I dare say, quite ineffective.

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

      Au fait, you raised some great points and I thank you for them. What you say is true in my mind. Obviously people make it work, two or more on one book, but I don't understand how they do it. As for making money, this is a marathon....there are no get-rich-fast solutions in writing, or at least I haven't discovered them yet.

      Thank you for your visit and kind words.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      From my perspective it would seem difficult to me to keep the novel flowing on track if more than one person were involved in its writing. I can often see a difference in my own writing from morning to afternoon or evening. In other words, my mood changes and so my writing changes and it's almost like 2 different people wrote the one piece. The tone is different. I wonder how that can work out with 2 or more different people all having their own mood changes from morning to evening, day to day.

      I guess it works, because as you say, the books come out just fine. They don't seem pieced together.

      A person must sell thousands of books to make any money, but if you can sell 20,000 copies, that's several thousand dollars. As an author becomes more popular they should seemingly sell more books more easily. Writing is a job even when you love it. If you don't treat it like a job (taking it seriously), it will never be more than a hobby making a few dollars here and there at most.

      I think it's just great that you've carved out a niche for yourself and you make a wonderful example for the rest of us.

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

      I'm afraid that's true, Flourish. Oh well, we do it because we love it, right?

      Thank you!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Those profit margin stats are not exactly uplifting. Starving artists and writers, too.

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

      Eric, I can handle snarky. Bring it on! You have a right. I'd be snarky too if I had water damage in our home. Good luck, buddy....LOL on the "does not play well with others." How did you know?

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Wow! You can see the voting on hubs? Very interesting for 3 seconds. Just as I suspected, you had on your report card "does not play well with others" , you claim you do not collaborate, yet you take people's questions and respond in your hub ---hmmm.

      Wondering about that writing spirit of yours. Perhaps it is time you gave it credit and acknowledged it fully.

      Rather snarky today aren't I? Oh well it comes from having your home torn apart due to water damage.

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

      Thank you Kailey! I always like seeing you pop up in my neighborhood. I've had some great talks of late with other writers about inspiration and the muse....it really is a gift we have, and I would hope we never let that gift grow stale. :)

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Great questions and answers. I learned some new things, so thank you! It's unfortunate authors make so little unless they really take off. I figutered it wouldn't be a ton, but damn! It's scary, too, considering how hard one works to complete a piece of literature. I love the inspiration question the most! Lovely!

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

      Babbi, you speak the truth...our passion and belief in our validity will have to carry us through....and my passion is more than enough to keep me going. Thank you always!

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 2 years ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Another well-spring of wisdom for us to ponder Bill. Thanks for covering my question. Like others I will still be pondering whether to collaborate or not. At least on fiction novels. It's on the table for me and a long-time friend.

      Disheartening about the reality of today's publishing, but we'll just have to let our passion and belief in the validity of our work to keep us moving forward. It's far better not to be in the dark about these things.

      Again, many thanks Bill!!

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

      Dream On, thank you for that great question. I'll feature you next Monday. You'll have to wait until then for your answer.

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

      No doubt it can be done, John. I just doubt I could do it. :) Thanks as always for being here and you are right, you and Chris did a great job.

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

      Well thank you Michelle. You are always welcome here.

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

      Sha, all the critters have found harmony with each other. Tripod head butted the cat once and that was the end of that needed lesson. LOL

      Sorry about those files. What a pain in the ass that would be. Good luck!

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

      Thank you Dora! I don't fully understand the creative process but I'm glad it infects me from time to time.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 2 years ago

      Once again you are incredible without even trying, Answering people's questions with the honesty and experience. Thank you for all that you do. Do you ever feel the more you read the more chance you will unknowingly write the same way some of your favorite writers write ?Using their style because it feels so natural. I am afraid that I will copy someone else's ideas. I pride myself on being creative and thinking outside the box. My ideas just come to me out of the blue and my fingers just tap away. Have a great day.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This may have been a short mailbag but it was none the less interesting with great questions and answers Bill. In regard to the question by Babbi on collaboration. Chris Mills and I collaborated on a short story challenge "Dead Birds Everywhere" and I think it worked really well, so it obviously can be done well in fiction. I know Steven King and Peter Straub often collaborate well.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      I am coming by to read more mailbag instalments.....would be useful for me when the time comes!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      This week's mailbag was full of deep questions. I've often wondered how collaboration on a book would work out. I'm like you; I don't like relinquishing control over anything I write. It would be a great challenge to mesh the voices into one, I think. Then again, anyone who's good at ghostwriting could probably pull it off without a hitch.

      I don't know why, but I was thinking about your goats this morning. Have all your other critters adapted to the newcomers? How's Tripod doing?

      Gotta run. I'm having to manually transfer files from a backup to my laptop. What a laborious task! Hint: don't use Seagate as backup for your work. I'm having to go into each day's backup to find my files. Seems the only ones that show up are new ones. I thought I'd be able to access the latest backup and everything would be there. Not so. Who the hell designed this product anyway?????

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

      Good morning Ann and Happy Tuesday from sunny, comfortable Olympia.

      The quick answer to your question is yes, he said with relief. I thought I was the only one who had that happened. LOL I'll answer in detail on Monday. I need to go feed the goats now.

      Thank you as always...have a "brilliant" Tuesday.

      bill

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

      Thank you Sally! It's always good to hear from you. Regarding collaboration, it works...just not for me. :)

      Have a brilliant week!

      bill

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

      Thank you so much, Alicia, for always being here. I admire your loyalty and appreciate you.

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

      Thank you Faith! It really is a personal preference to vote and tell the writer about the votes. I can understand why you do it....bottom line is I'm just happy you stop by when you do and always leave such wonderful comments.

      Blessings always, my friend.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I especially like your answer under Inspiration; the coming together of your awareness and your creativity. Much food for thought, for me. Thanks.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Another mine of information! Thanks for answering my question. I totally agree with you and I never look at those numbers either. As long as I'm satisfied with my hub, that's fine! I do love the comments though because that interaction is what makes this site so special (and successful I think).

      Another question: Do you ever find that an idea for a hub (or novel even) that comes into your head during the day (let's say whilst you're mucking out the goats!) files itself in your subconscious and is mulled over throughout the day, to emerge as a working draft? I believe the brain works on ideas in our sleep and in our subconscious. Is the result all the better for that subconscious time? Or is that your muse?!

      Drizzly and grey today; just as the schools are about to start the summer holidays!

      Have a terrific Tuesday, bill!

      Ann :)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy

      Particularly interesting questions and answers this week. There are several mother-daughter writing collaborations, two of them were focused on a BBC radio program recently. I found it particularly fascinating and I am with you as regards the spirit world, there is far more to life than what we humans assume.

      Enjoy the rest of your week- especially on the urban farm.

      Regards,

      Sally

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

      Thank you Bill. I have considered it. I'm in the process of trying to rearrange my schedule so I can make time to do those things. Thanks for the kind words and suggestion.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for yet another interesting installment in your Monday Mailbag series, Bill. You always have some useful information to share.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Monday mailbags are coming around faster it seems! I learned a lot here about the profit margin when publishing ...quite shocking. I think being part of this wonderful community, it is essential that we support each other and vote up when we think the article is a good one and then share it. Having stated that, however, I can see how it is not necessary to say that each time, although I like to do it because others do so on my hubs. You're right about the comments saying the real deal, and then to support another while we are on his or her page, just go ahead and vote up.

      I hope the rest of your week with your critters is delightful.

      Peace and blessings

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. I always look forward to the Monday Mailbag and this weeks questions and answers are exceptional as always. Have you ever considered putting all of your questions and answers into a book for writers? You've probably answered a couple of hundred questions over the last 55 weeks and addressed a lot of concerns that writers have. I think it would make a nice reference guide for writers. Another great week.

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

      Thank you Maria! As long as we're learning and smiling then we must be living, right? And that's a darned good thing.

      love,

      bill

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

      Sis, let's spice it up. You lie about me and I'll return the favor. That should shake things up a bit. LOL I agree with you; you've been much too nice to me for a very long time. ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!

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

      drbj, the babies are whining right now. Seems I'm not playing with them enough. :) Thank you as always. The goats say hello!

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

      Thanks Mike! I've got conflicting feelings about the publishing world right now. I'm working through them. :)

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      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Always learning and smiling when I visit your corner, Bill ...

      Happy Monday and have a peaceful week. Love, Maria

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      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      "if there's a negative in my life, I'm not aware of it"........THAT'S what I like to hear bro! Great attitude. I'm not only proud of you, I'm thrilled you're happy and lovin life because you deserve to do just that.

      The only comment I have is~~ This must run in the family!!.......

      I'm really getting worn out repeatedly telling you that you're hubs are great and voting UP and sharing....this has been going on for 4 years now.

      I think I'll start telling horrible lies about what a bully you were as a brother. Things are too damned positive around here!!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      There will always be committed followers with interesting questions for you to answer, Bill. Now you just have to be sure to stick around to answer them.

      After you feed the lil baby goats.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Interesting questions and answers. Welcome all, to the world of publishing the written word.

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

      Thank you Rebecca! That photo seemed appropriate for some reason. :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks, Bill. Enjoyed, as always. Informative. Love the photo of the Spirit in the Sky.

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

      My pleasure, Rasma. Thank you very much!

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

      Thanks Clive! I appreciate you stopping by.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thanks for starting off my week with inspiration. Hope you have a great one.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 years ago from Nibiru

      another useful installment from the great billy buc

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

      Thanks Frank. I don't know if it is silly or not, but it is one extra step I don't have time for. :)

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

      m abdullah javed, it is good to see you back among us. Thank you for thinking of me and paying me a visit. Don't stay gone so long next time, and once again, thank you!

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

      It's a different world than the one we grew up in, Bill, and you are right on regarding marketing. The sooner writers understand this the better off they will be. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Monday? Oh yeah it is.. wow I got to this page on time! I like your answer to Ann's question.. I too cast.. but rarely tell the writer.. I too think it is a bit silly.. keep the mail moving my friend..

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      After a long gap when I returned to hubpages I just desparately glanced through your musings which are honestly spiritual in nature. The way you look at life, simply rejuvanate us and added to this is your quench thirsting answers. Thank you so much. I agree with you that collaborative efforts for fiction is possible. We expect that at some point of time your views on this style of novel writing will benefit us.

      It's a great pleasure to be back, pray that I remain attached. Thanks for your valuable inputs.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      It continues to amaze me that there are persons out there "writing novels" who have not done the "basic research" to understand the current state of publishing. You will be marketing the book yourself. Period. Your answers were excellent, and show why this mailbag continues to provide great value to writers. Thanks, again, and again, for sharing your thoughts!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Jo! Good to see you. The quick answer to your question is no, but if you don't mind, I'll include it in next week's Mailbag. Thank you and blessings to you always.

    • tobusiness profile image

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

      Bill, another interesting and informative mailbag, keep 'em coming. I like the idea of collaborating with another writer, but I agree, there is the potential that it could go spectacularly wrong. Promoting my own book, scares me witless. :) Is there any good reasonably priced PR Services out there?

      Take care now, my best always.

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

      Thank you Larry! Just my opinion on that topic...I would much rather get a comment but that's just me. :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Found the information regarding voting up etiquette particularly interesting.

      Another quality installment.

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

      Excellent, Brian. Many of the early pulp fiction novels were written in this way as well. Thank you for that bit of information.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      An example of collaborative fiction writing was the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The "authors" of such series as Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, the Bobbsey Twins, etc., did not exist. The books were actually written by replaceable ghostwriters and "plot outliners" following the publisher's guidelines.

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

      DJ, that will work unless that's also the way they are entering...then you've got a problem. LOL

      Thank you! Sorry about the publishing answer. I'm sure it doesn't apply to you and your book. I expect you to be on the best seller list within weeks of publication so no worries. :)

      Bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well hopefully, FatBoy, we won't have to find out the answer to your question. :) Thank you so much!

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Bill, I appreciate all your great information, although I do not like the

      answers concerning 'self publishing, publishers and editors'.

      When I finish this novel, I expect publishers to be knocking on my door,

      begging me to allow them to be my publisher.

      BTW, I hired a news muse. We worked together really well for about a week. Out of the blue, she picked up her marbles, announced that this

      gig was just too hard and flew right out of the window. Not to worry. I have a solution to any similar problems that might arise with a future muse: Bars on Windows!

      Sometimes, I just amaze myself!!

      Happy Monday!!

      DJ.

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      Colin Garrow 2 years ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      Another bunch of great answers - you're such a fount of knowledge, Bill, I don't know what we'd do without you.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Bill! I appreciate you always being here. Have a great week.

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      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Moore great stuff, Bill. I always look forward to Monday mornings. Thanks for all you do!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, I hope this series lives a very long life....because that will mean I'm living a long time, too. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Buildreps, I hope you're having a pleasant evening. You are very welcome and thank you for the question. This series would dry up if not for people like you.

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      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      Don't ever stop this series. I have learned so much from your insightful advice.

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      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Good morning, Bill! For us here, it's already afternoon, no, it's even nearly evening! Thanks for answering the question. I like the way you defined it:"...scratched the surface in our understanding of all the forces at work in our existence...". Thanks!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome back Carol...the industry has changed so much. I wish I had tried for a publisher twenty years ago....it still wasn't easy to get published but it wasn't as hard as it is today. Thanks for the question. I'll have an answer for you next Monday.

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      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      Hi BIll: I have been away for a few weeks and little internet. Back in time to read your great mailbag.. What are the chances today of going with a traditional publisher? And I do know that now you still have to market your book as you wrote. As you say things have changed. About royalties esp. with Amazon---you are getting all that free viewership and they do all the work. Would be nice if you sold thousands of books.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! I can always count on you to be here bright and early Monday. You are appreciated.

      Have a tremendous week, my friend.

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      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      As always love your insight and also your life, as well. Sounds perfect to me. But still wishing you more fun and creative times ahead this week now, too Bill ;)