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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Nineteen

Updated on November 3, 2014

How It Works

You ask a question and I answer. That’s how it works….and again I’m in bold mode and have no clue why….but we won’t let that detour us. Let’s do it to it like Sonny Pruitt, shall we?

If you have questions for future mailbags, leave them in the comment section below, or email me at holland1145@yahoo.com.

And now, this week’s question and answer session.

Source

Blog Idea

From Rasma: “Here is a question with explanation - I started writing about certain places on my free blog in WordPress. One thing led to another and people liked it that I gathered information from the net and put it all together for them to have an idea about a certain place. I always add references and usually Google images. Questions is What do you think about writing about different places in the world in this way? I have not traveled the world and right now I'm writing about certain European cities going country by country. Sure would appreciate your opinion. My blog http://yamarella.wordpress.com Thank you and passing this on.”

Thanks for the question, Rasma, and what you are going to receive is a purely subjective answer, one based on a little marketing experience and a ton of gut reactions.

I think a good many writers have done quite well with sites like the one you describe, so it is possible to make money doing what you are doing. I like the fact that you have not traveled the world. I mentioned last year in an article that many travel writers have not travelled. In today’s world, with so much information at our fingertips, it just isn’t necessary for a travel writer to travel. What is necessary, however, is that the travel writer be able to write in a captivating manner.

The only problem I had with your blog, Rasma, was its name. Yamarella means nothing to me, and I’m quite certain it means nothing to the search engines as well. If you were going to do this seriously, and try to make money doing it, then you would need a new blog name, one that can attract readers who are doing Google searches for travel articles.

Those are my initial thoughts. Hope it helps.

ANGLES

This isn’t a question by Will, but it demonstrates a point I want to make:

“My first love is the western story, but there's almost no market for that genre any longer, so I'm submitting work to sci-fi magazines. So far, no accepted work, but no rejections either. But no matter what happens, work on improving your skills, and keep on submitting. As you say, one success can open the door, and your submissions will be probably flagged after that and fast-tracked.”

First, I want to commend Will on his attitude, an attitude that is so important to have. We cannot let rejection derail our plans. If possible, learn from the rejection, and then keep writing.

But that’s not why I included Will’s comment. The first thing I thought of when I read of him moving from western to sci-fi was a television series that is now a cult classic. “Firefly” was only on the air for one year, but it left an impression on me because, well, it was entertaining, but also because of its format: a western theme in a sci-fi show.

I love that Will is willing to switch gears and head in the direction of sci fi. I think all writers need to be flexible, but I also think there are opportunities out there for the forward-thinkers, the ones who will seek out a new angle and be willing to try it…..a western in a sci-fi setting. Sounds bizarre for sure, but in this case, bizarre was very popular.

Just food for thought.

Try to mix social and business on the social websites
Try to mix social and business on the social websites | Source

Social Networking Question

From Melissa: “I was wondering if you use either Pinterest or Twitter as a professional or social outlet?”

I use them both, Melissa, and I use them both exclusively as a professional outlet. Facebook is the only social site I use as both a personal and professional outlet.

It’s an interesting question, and I think the answer is a matter of personal tastes. I know many writers who use both Twitter and Pinterest primarily for personal communication. I know many writers who only use those two sites for professional pursuits. I don’t really have an opinion on which is the better approach. I do quite well in Pinterest and not well on Twitter.

I’m most comfortable with Facebook, and I try to make it a combination of personal and professional. I think my friends would grow quite tired of me if all I did was promote my writing product, so quite often I mix in some anecdotes about my personal life. I get as tired as anyone else of marketing. We are bombarded by it, so I try not to add, too greatly, to that bombardment.

Hubpages Vs Blogging

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

This question was in response to an article I had written the day before. In that article I mentioned that writers should not mention their participation in HubPages because, sadly, HP is not taken seriously by editors, agents, and publishers.

This is really a matter of perception within the writing community. For whatever reason, and I suspect there are several, professionals do not look kindly on HubPages. This is not my opinion but rather the opinion of the agents, publishers, and editors. On the other hand, blogging is looked on favorably by those same people. A blog is considered a crucial part of any writer’s platform. HubPages is considered a content mill, and the content at that mill is considered to be, too often, of poor quality.

I never mention HubPages to any professional in the writing community, and if I submit a Hub for publication in a magazine, I never mention that it was once a Hub. It is just an article. On the other hand, I always mention that I have a blog and website. Those are symbols of a professional writer. HubPages is a symbol of….well, whatever.

Don’t shoot the messenger!

Novel writing keeps me quite busy
Novel writing keeps me quite busy | Source

Book Ideas

From Bill: “Have you thought about putting all the questions and answers in book form?”

Bill is referring to the Mailbag series, and he’s wondering if I ever plan on making the series a book. This may come as a shock to some of you, but I don’t know how I would find the time to do that. Having said that, if it was a priority for me, I would find the time. The same is true for all of us, right? What’s important is always done; what is secondary has to wait its turn.

Of course I’d love it if this series became a book. The next question is traditional publishing or ebook? I’m having philosophical issues with the ebook industry of late, and that means fighting the battle of agents and publishers for a traditionally published book, and that means finishing my current novel and then compiling all of these into book form, and….well, maybe someday.

Hubs Transitioning to Articles

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

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

This really is a very good question, but that’s what I expect from Jaye. Let me point out one minor item that I think is important: it’s not that editors don’t care about our Hubs; it’s that they don’t care about HubPages as a serious writing site.

Now, to answer the question, it makes a difference which magazine you are submitting your Hubs to. The smaller publications are happy to receive a query for an article that is already completed, and that’s what I do when submitting Hubs that I have done in the past. In that case, I don’t change them at all. I’m not submitting an idea but rather a completed article. If I were to submit that article to several magazines, it might be necessary to change it a bit so it better fits each magazine, but oftentimes that doesn’t even apply.

Without getting long-winded, the quick answer is it depends on the magazine you are submitting to, and what their requirements and needs are.

Is this series helpful to you?

See results

Until Next Week

Really great questions this week, gang. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have the greatest followers on the planet. Keep those questions coming so this series can continue in its present form; the book will have to wait.

Thank you!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

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    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Yet another interesting and helpful hub from the teacher Bill. Dare I ask where is the other Bill? The philosopher, the observer the commenter on life. Those videos were great, we would sit and spend some time with a valued friend and listen to considered opinions fair and square. I hope you don't mind me asking Bill, I'm sure others are thinking like me.

      Best wishes.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, a fair question my friend. I write in streaks. I've always been like that. I'll grab a particular bone and chew on it until there is nothing left to suck, and then I'll move on to the next bone. I'm sure the philosopher will return...he does, from time to time, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Perhaps tomorrow? :) I appreciate the question my friend. Have a great week.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, such great sound advice always and definitely agree with you not he blogging questions and must everything else, too. Happy Monday and thank you always!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Thanks Bill.

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

      Thank you, Janine, and Happy Monday to you my friend.

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

      You are welcome, Graham. I appreciate you asking that question. I've kind of missed that guy too. :)

    • Zainab Tarawali profile image

      Musu Bangura 2 years ago from Nation's Capital

      Wow, I didn't realize Hub Pages wasn't taken seriously by editors. It makes sense now that I think about it. I'm glad I use more than one outlet for my writing. Thanks Bill!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Who doesn't love getting Mail? That's what this series is like, our own mail coming directly to us every week. Learning and entertainment hand in hand. Keep me coming Bill, we're all reading.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Interesting as always Billy and something for everyone - you are valued.

      Have a great week

      Sally

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      bill, this won't let me use the voting line; tried a few times so I don't know what's up.

      Interesting questions. I know my hubs are not as widely read as they could be because of my lack of expertise on twitter (no idea what I'm doing!) and my reluctance to have a blog or participate in facebook (ugh!). I spend far too long on my computer as it is! I guess if I really needed a wider audience I'd have to bite the bullet.

      I like to read this chatty series of yours; great fun.

      Ann

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      You certainly do have great followers Bill. Deep thinkers who pose great questions.

      I think Graham may have been referring to the videos you make sitting in your comfy chair talking to us about your thoughts. I miss those, too.

      I think it's time for a new one with your hippie, urban farmer self reflecting and giving us food for thought. What do you think? Are you up for it? Maybe take us on a walk-about in your gardens, introduce us to the chickens and quail up close and personal.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I'm so glad you posted Rasma's site. I went there and left a comment on Kimmie's blog. ( She highlited Rasma's poetry. ) I had no idea that she wrote on so many sites. Thank you again for all you do to help hubbers be better writers...

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

      I'm glad you do too, Zainab. Best wishes to you and thank you!

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

      Mary, I'm glad you look forward to this series. I had doubts about it when I first started it, but no longer. Now I look forward to writing it each week, and how cool is that? :) Thanks dear friend.

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

      Thank you Sally. Every writer wants to know they are valued. That was very kind of you to say.

      bill

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

      Ann, a part of me hates social media and the work it makes for me...but I've finally come to realize this is the way of the writing world now. There will always be a place for exceptional work, and word of mouth will always be with us, but most writers must play this game of die in obscurity. :)

      Have a great week my friend, and thank you.

      bill

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

      Sha, believe it or not, the problem with the videos is the new camera we have. We have not had the time to figure out how to download and convert to a YouTube video. There is something about this camera that has us both confused. We'll figure it out eventually. Thanks for requesting it. I'd love to take you on a tour...soon my friend.

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

      It really is my pleasure, Ruby. I hope these answers help a few writers along the way. Thank you!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks for answering my question Bill! There are so many social outlets that people suggest you participate in..doesn't seem like there would be enough time in the day to actually write. Enjoy the rest of your week!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Just stopping by on this Monday morning to say thank you for helping us to spread our wings and fly. Have a great week, Bill!

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

      Thank you, Melissa, and you just named the number one problem with all this social media...the time it takes out of your writing day. Thanks for the question and Happy First Week of November to you.

      bill

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

      It really is my pleasure, Bill, and I thank you! Happy Monday to you.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Keeping it real and forever honest in your responses to these questions that many of us have had at some point along the way...

      Love this series and love you too, dear Bill! Hugs, Maria

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

      Thank you Maria. It does little for my creative soul, but I love helping other writers, and as long as the questions come, I will answer.

      love,

      bill

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      "Monday Mailbag"!! My favorite day of the week!!

      And, today is especially calm. It is like some one who is embroiled in

      drama has simply moved along.

      Here I sit, drinking coffee, watching the dog scratch. Life is good.

      Wanted to say, "Great Hub, Today!"

      Wishing everyone a stress-less week.

      Thanks, Bill.

      DJ.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Does little for your creative soul? You're kidding me, right? I was always under the impression that helping all people who sought the wisdom of your experience fed your creative soul. If that isn't the case, then what does feed your soul?

    • tobusiness profile image

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

      Bill, another great Q&A session, I can't believe a week has gone by. I also took a quick look at Rasma's site, it looks pretty good, I'll be going back to follow her. I found the videos helpful, keep up the good work. My best to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I love it...calm...peaceful....in tune with life. Is this really DJ writing to me??? :)

      Happy Monday my friend, and thank you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, creative writing is my big turn-on. Teaching is satisfying, but my creative soul? I'm in heaven when I'm creating a story. :) And when I'm creating a story that teaches....Nirvana!

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

      Thank you Jo. I'm glad you took a look at her site. I think she's on to something good there.

      blessings always

      bill

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      I see, Sensei. ;)

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

      Zulma, you are a treat. Thank you!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Thanks for answering my question, Bill. I also found some nuggets in the other Q&A.

      When I have some free time (yes--I'm fairly busy these days, too), I'm going to review my hubs with an eye toward print publication. I firmly believe in recycling and repurposing all sorts of things. Why not articles as well?

      Voted Up++

      Jaye

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      The BillyBuc and Will Starr work stations look an awful lot alike! They're functional, but just a little 'man-messy', as it should be.

      And of course, the goose-neck lamp!

      I just received my first rejection from Asimov's Sci-Fi mag, so I'm getting another one fine-tuned for submission. Maybe I can wear them down!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, I'm glad you found this helpful. I look forward to hearing about the end result of that review you'll be doing. Thank you as always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, it's the only way I can work. Of course, I know where everything is, and if that's not the definition of a miracle, I don't know what is. LOL Thanks for allowing me to use you as an example.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Is that a good example or a bad example? ^-*

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Billy I love the way you have replied to all the people that have asked interesting questions. We often have to write to new writers who have submitted a manuscript, so we know that it can take time. These days it’s all about authors willingness to be active in social networking.

      We are almost ready to publish an ebook about book marketing, but we are still mulling over the title.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, I don't have a clue. LOL

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

      Thank you Nadine. I always love hearing your perspective based on your experience. Best wishes with that ebook.

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      You keep teaching me stuff I do not want to hear. Social Media marketing -- Yuk! But someday I will get to it and just do it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, that's what we teachers do, fill your heads with stuff you don't want to hear. :) Glad I was successful. LOL

      Thanks as always my friend.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thanks Bill for another week of information :)

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

      It's my pleasure, Michelle. Thank you!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      Your series is better than Writer's Market when it comes to answering questions a writer cares about. Voted up and awesome and useful.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Certainly another full "article" of great advice, and food for thought... I'm sure I see it that way, because I'm in one of my reflective periods - Am I really doing what I want to be doing, right now, in my retirement years! Heavy, huh?? ;-) Your input has been most useful. Your reminders keep me thinking. Hard to beat that! Keep them coming! ;-)

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

      My goodness, breakfastpop, that is high praise and I am honored. Thank you so much.

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

      I'm glad to hear that, Bill, and yes, that is heavy thinking indeed. I think I'll avoid that particular question. LOL

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      Another great installment of questions and answers!

    • CarolynEmerick profile image

      Carolyn Emerick 2 years ago

      Thanks for your thoughtful advice. Upvoted :-)

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

      Thank you, Sheila. Have a great week my writer friend.

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

      You are very welcome, Carolyn. Thank you!

    • John Messingham profile image

      John Messingham 2 years ago from East Kilbride, Scotland

      Once again, your advice in this series is helping me move forward with my writing.

      Thank you Bill.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Another great installment. As others have mentioned I was not aware that HP is considered a content mill. Interesting!

      I particularly enjoyed the question and answer about submitting hubs to magazines. I hope to be worrying about this someday. Another great job. Keep them coming.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I've had several conversations with folk who want to use their name or some other fancy word as their web name. Glad you emphasized the search engine factor. This and all the others answers offer great information, as usual. Thanks!

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

      I'm glad to hear that, John. Thank you and best wishes.

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

      Bill, your writing style and subject matter were made for magazines. You'll do fine my friend.

      Thank you and Happy Rest of the Week to you.

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

      Dora, you'll notice mine is billybuc on HP...that was a huge mistake and there is no turning back now, but I definitely think I hurt myself in the search engines.

    • profile image

      bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

      billybuc

      What is the extent and scope of the topic sentence today?

      Thanks

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Brad. I needed another question. Both of yours will appear in next Monday's installment.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Your advise is always sage, Bill. But today I'm going to comment on your readers and those that ask questions this week. I am struck by the quality of your followers. It's really wonderful that all of us get to relax and not have to be too concerned with asking all the right questions because so many people as such great questions. I always walk away from these mailbag posts thinking, 'Huh, I hadn't thought to ask that. I sure am glad someone did.'.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 2 years ago from Indonesia

      This is very interesting. I learn a lot from other people's questions including the name I should use in writing a blog.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      Thank you for another fact filled lesson. I find it really sad that HP has such a seemingly non-salvageable reputation in the professional community. Having said that, I'm really glad you pointed it out. Now, for a new question that most probably know the answer to. Since blogging seems to be the way to go, do you have a free blogging site you recommend? Word Press seems rather complicated from what I have heard. I checked out Weebly and love the look but found you can only have five clickable pages within the free site. I don't think that would work. I'm looking for a free site that I could load about 200 how to upcycle articles. Got any recommendations?

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

      Iris, I'm with you all the way. I've said before that I have the greatest followers online. Their questions are always so insightful, and they definitely keep me on my toes. Thanks for recognizing that and giving them a spot in the limelight.

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

      I'm glad to hear that, augusfanani. Thank you for being here.

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

      Rhonda, I'll cover your question in depth on Monday, but I gotta tell ya, I've had five blogs on Wordpress and found it very easy to navigate, and I'm as close to brain-dead as they come in the tech department. I figure if I can do Wordpress then anyone can because seriously, I am lost when it comes to downloading stuff on a site. Anyway, I'll have more on Monday. Thank you my friend.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Interesting stuff in your mailbag this day, Bill, as always! I love what Rasma is doing and thank you for sharing her site. That is so wonderful too how Will is adjusting to these times that are a changing for sure.

      I hope your mailbag will continue to overflow.

      Peace and blessings always

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Valuable information and always helpful to all writers.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      More great questions and answers Bill. In regard to Will's decision to submit writing to sci-fi magazines because there is no longer a big demand for westerns. You mentioned "Firefly"...one of my favourite shows of all time, and as you say really a western in a sci-fi setting. I also point out the movie starring Daniel Craig (the latest James Bond) and Harrison Ford called "Cowboys and Aliens"...I found it very entertaining (though a little corny in places) , so a combination of the two can definitely work.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      I find the blog idea very useful.. what..wait? 19 Mailbag pieces? Have I missed any..gotta check.. anyhow Billybuc.. thank you for your peace of mind via Mail-bags.. bless you bro :)

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

      I agree completely, Faith, about both Rasma and Will, and I love the Mailbag. Great fun interacting with my followers and friends.

      blessings to you on this rainy Tuesday.

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

      I'm glad you liked it, DDE. Thank you!

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

      Thanks, John, and I had forgotten about "Cowboys and Aliens," but a perfect example.

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

      Thanks Frank....I have a small mind so it's a small piece of mind. :) Blessings my friend.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm learning so much from your mailbag series, Bill. Thanks for another edition.

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

      I'm so happy to hear that, Linda. Thank you!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Okay, where should I start?

      I agree with you on renaming that travel blog for more search friendliness. However, some travel and hotel sites have done well with made up or non-travel names. But then those sites are willing to dump a cruise ship (more than a boatload) of cash into brand development which is usually out of the range of most independent bloggers. The question is how much do you want to invest in branding?

      Next, you're right, not all social media channels are suitable for everyone. Just did a hub on that. Pick and choose and USE what ever sites work best. USE is in all caps because you need to be active on social media to have social media be an active marketing engine.

      I think the western-cum-scifi genre is one that is getting attention (though it doesn't do anything for me personally). Firefly (which hubby liked, but I didn't) and the movie Cowboys and Aliens are definitely examples that a writer trying to break into this arena can use as role models.

      As for the HubPages stigma, I don't really "sell" that I'm on HP. It's just where my blog is parked. I just direct people to "my blog" which just happens to be located here. And let's be honest, does anyone think that everyone who has a Wordpress.com, Typepad or Blogger blog is a superior blogger? Um, no. To me, HP is just a program, not a place or a pedigree. And if you're leaning toward a self-hosted blog, realize it's a HUGE investment in maintenance in dollars and time. I'll gladly turn that over to the HP staff.

      While I know your misgivings about bookifying these writer's help articles are due primarily to issues with ebooks, I think my hesitation would be more of whether the material is evergreen enough to warrant the investment in creating it. While Q&A material may be relevant for many people and many years, some of it (e.g., the social networking stuff) could change in heartbeat, necessitating updating the book. Just my two cents about spending the two cents to do this.

      Thanks for being there for all of us! Happy Tuesday!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I always love your perspective and 99% of the time I agree with you. I don't know when that 1% happens, but I'm hedging my bets. Thank you for the great advice...from the mouth of experience.

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      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I will always be your student Bill. I can't seem to get enough of Bill Holland and his expertise. The motivation from you that fills my 'empty chambers' of knowledge is the missing parts of my own puzzle. Thank my friend.

      Love,

      Audrey

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      Shannon 2 years ago from Texas

      I think you hit the nail on the head. HP isn't taken seriously by the professional writing community because it is a revenue sharing website and promoted as such. Notice vthat hubs not written for Google (which are most of mine) do not earn much money. Even the editors on this site do not really encourage total creativity. The focus is on a hub format that Google searchers prefer. The reason, it's an ad based revenue sharing and not a revenue based particularly on the creative aspect of the writing. Those of us that enjoy creative writing are here mostly for the community benefits and not to earn from the writing, at least not on this site.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, what a lovely thing for you to say. Thank you! I think we all need inspiration, from whatever source we can find. I am very happy that I offer that to you.

      love,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shanmarie, you just hit the same nail on the head. Right on my friend. That is the reality, and most of us stay here because of people like you...we share our creativity and provide support, and for me, that's enough. Thanks for your thoughts.

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      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      You answered two important questions for me regarding magazine articles and importance of having a blog. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Dianna. Thank you!

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      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      You give out great advice, Bill!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you, vkwok! I try. :)

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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Learned a lot from reading your hub, thank you for sharing this.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Music to my soul, Vellur. Thank you!

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      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Great Book to have, The Writer's Market.

      Have travelled extensively. Many of the writers of Travel Books that I read do travel also. I suspect that there can be a bit of a void inside if one writes, say, about Kilimanjaro, and has not really seen the place. Still, I wish Rasma well. As you say, the writer with skills does attract.

      Another great Hub and one well worth savouring. Much love.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you manatita. I think you might be surprised by the number of online travel writers who do not travel, but I still say, quality writing plus experience is the best of all worlds in writing.

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      Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Interesting - you putting all of these into book form. Not a bad idea. Gives you another idea for a book - not that you needed one, right?

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I obviously do not have enough time for all my ideas for books. I need another lifetime. LOL Thank you!

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      Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Sorry, Bill, we only get one shot! Perhaps you'll still have time.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, oh well....I'll have to ponder my next move. :)

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      Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Well, the Bible says we'll all be working. Perhaps the Lord recognizes your need for writing and that will be His delight as well. Just think, you'll be writing for angels and God's chosen. How about THAT??

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I've written for much tougher customers. :) That would be a great paying gig, don't you think?

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      Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Yes, it certainly would!

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I learn more and more each week with the questions. Thanks again for the great work.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I actually do too, Deb. I love the questions I get.

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      James Bowden 2 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Well Bill;

      A second article of your mailbag installment series read from beginning to end. And I've found this one just as useful and interesting as the last.

      Thank you for sharing as always.

      Jl

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you,Jim! I appreciate you wading through this series, and I'm glad if you find something useful.

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