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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Ninety-Nine

Updated on May 23, 2016

So Here’s the Thing

We have one more Mailbag to reach one-hundred. Who would have thunk it possible, to quote my grandmother?

Now I mention that because I don’t want you folks to leave me hanging without any question…so let’s strain those brains and make sure next week’s Mailbag is overflowing with letters.

And thank you so much for keeping this series alive. One-hundred weeks! I don’t even know when we started doing this…..2014, in the fall? Late summer? I’m sure one of you will do the math for me. All I know is I’m grateful to all of you.

So, as my late uncle was fond of saying, let’s do it to it like Sonny Pruitt!

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

Ebook Edits and Annoying Others

From Faith: “That is good to know about one being able to edit an e-book either by adding to or taking away from it. What if you've already published the e-book and decide to edit it later on after copies have already been sold; is that unethical or still your right to do so? If I'm hearing you right, it does not matter if copies have already been sold, edits are still okay, right? You make it sound so easy.

“I can see how one's friends on Facebook would grow weary of constant advertising. You state that you built up interest in your book via Facebook? So, how often did you build up interest without overwhelming your friends on Facebook?”

Look at you, Faith, two questions in one. Thank you!

Editing an ebook is as simple as downloading a new document online….click and it’s done. I kid you not. The whole process takes five seconds and yes, it can be done after books have been sold. But you asked “is it ethical?” and my answer, and it is purely my opinion, is yes. I’ve seen well-known popular writers release second, third and fourth editions of bestselling novels with additional material in each edition, so if it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for me. I know, that has nothing to do with ethics, but that’s my answer and I’m sticking to it. LOL

Seriously, why would that be unethical? I don’t see it as being deceptive. The author wrote a book, sold it and then thought of things he/she wanted to add to it for the next printing. That in no way detracts from the original novel, and the intention was never to confuse or cheat, so I just don’t see it as unethical.

As for your second question, I really think advertising on Facebook is like walking a tightrope. I cherish many of my friends on Facebook, and I sure don’t want to fill up their news feed with my books or article announcements. I post a new article and then I’m done with mentioning it on Facebook. Even when I publish a new book, I generally will only announce it twice on Facebook. I have other media sites where I can do other announcements, and I sprinkle my book announcements as Amazon announcements on my articles, so I have other options besides Facebook…..and….

I will go to my grave believing that the most effective marketing tool a writer has is his/her quality of work tied to word of mouth. If I write high-quality work, eventually word will spread that there is this author in Olympia, Washington who will knock your socks off with his words…and when that happens I won’t need Facebook. LOL Or I’ll die as one of the great writers nobody ever heard of. Double LOL and I’m being facetious in every way in that last statement.

Do busy people have time to read newsletters plus a blog?
Do busy people have time to read newsletters plus a blog? | Source

NEWSLETTERS

From John: "What is the value of having a regular newsletter attached to your blog or website"

What an interesting question, John. I wish I had an interesting answer. Let me go research this a bit. I’m a little confused by the question, to tell the truth.

Okay, I’m back. From what I’ve read, newsletters are a common tool for bloggers who are early in the blogging process and don’t feel they have that much to say. It is also a way of increasing interest in your blog with a minimal amount of effort on your part.

What do I think of the idea? I’ve never had a problem with lack of things to say, so it’s not for me. My main concern with newsletters is when they become too “busy” and for me become an overload for the senses. I’m an instant gratification kind of guy when I’m online. I don’t want to slog through too much stuff, and newsletters, to me, are too much stuff.

But that’s just me. There are a lot of newsletters out there and a lot of writers using them, so obviously someone is reading them and there is value in them.

NOVELLAS

From Bob: “I was curious how your Billy the Kid series of novellas is doing? Do you see value in publishing novellas?”

Honestly, Bob, I think it’s too early to tell if the series is doing well. Sales have been constant but not spectacular, but I honestly think sales for the entire series will increase as more are published and especially when the new novellas are published, the ones not previewed earlier on HubPages. The first new installment of that series, “Home is a Dangerous Place,” will be released in June. After that I’ll have a better answer to your question.

Is there a market for novellas? I believe there is and statistics from Amazon confirm that belief.

Bottom line: write well, market hard and hope for the best.

Quotation Marks

From Margaret: “Quotation marks and their proper use confuse me. For instance, if your character is speaking, obviously there is a quotation mark at the beginning of his talk, but what if he speaks so much that there is a second or third paragraph? Do you put quotation marks at the end of every paragraph and at the beginning of every paragraph?”

Margaret, you aren’t the only one who gets confused by quotation marks. Your question is a common one, so obviously many people want to know the same thing.

For multiple paragraphs of speech, put a quotation mark at the beginning of every paragraph and one at the end of the last paragraph.

Easy Peasy!

Don’t ask me to explain why!

Don't be sad. I'll be back next week!
Don't be sad. I'll be back next week! | Source

New Website for Writers

My buddy John on HP has started a new website for writers....check it out here....http://creativeexiles.com/ and please give them some support.

Short but Sweet

We failed to meet HubPages’ standard of 1,250 words. Ask me if I care! LOL

Thanks to those who asked questions. I hope all of you found it helpful.

I’ll see you next week for #100. I think we should have some sort of party, don’t you?

You bring the snacks and I’ll bring the sparkling cider.

See you next week!

2016 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 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is too funny, Sha!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 16 months ago from Central Florida

      It's stuck in my head ever since I commented yesterday. I was singing your silly song on my way to work this morning!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I love that...so cute and clever. Thanks for the smile on my face this Friday morning.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 16 months ago from Central Florida

      Sing with me, now:

      Ninety nine bundles of mail in the bag,

      Ninety nine bundles of mail.

      Add one more

      It won't be a chore

      One hundred bundles of mail in the bag!

      :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, it did bring a smile, my friend. Thanks for sharing it and thanks for reading the article.....you're a good man.

      bill

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I agree with you about the best form of advertising!

      "Quality will always sell itself" was one thing my Dad used to say.

      On a lighter note just sold a book because I was reading this article in our break room earlier!

      Someone asked me what I was doing? So I told them "reading an article about writing books"

      About ten minutes later they were saying "Hmm, I'll have to download that book!"

      Thought that might bring a smile!

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I don't know what the hell it is. I don't pay much attention to the creators of HP. LOL

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 16 months ago from United Kingdom

      1250 word standard? Pah, I make my own standards. lol

      Seriously, though I thought that was a guideline not a hard, fast rule.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that very much, Deb! And I appreciate you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 16 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Congrats on number 100 upcoming. This is a valuable series with a lot of answers to everyone's questions.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you sir! Toasting good friends from 6000 miles away.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 16 months ago from london

      Ha ha ha. Who else deserves this if not you, Bro. Here's my non-alcoholic cranberry juice....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      A toast it is...I raise my orange juice to the east and share in it with you. Thank you Manatita!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very kind of you to say, Rajan. Thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, what, me worry??? Not a chance....and thank you!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 16 months ago from london

      Well, I did promise some sort of celebratory gesture, didn't I, and I'm a man of my word. You, me, Surabhi, Bev and the family, Hubbers....we'll all have a toast of the Heart plus. Perhaps the best kind there is.

      Another great Mailbag. Holiday here in London, UK. Have a great day!

    • rajan jolly profile image

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

      A worthy milestone within touching distance now. Well, I believe all of us here wish you keep this series going. It is a goldmine of useful tips. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, I wish I had more time to write more about urban farming. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I'll whip one out next week.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 16 months ago from USA

      I wouldn't worry too much about word count. Say what you need to say and that's it. Congrats on almost 100!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Your mailbag is a lot heavier than the one I carry every day, from what I can gather here. Thanks for being a mentor, and somewhat of a urban farmer hippie guru here. Great work!

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

      Thank you Larry! I appreciate you being here.

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

      Ann, probably by next summer we will be swimming in berries and I can't wait to graze on my own land. LOL

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 16 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great mailbag this week.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 17 months ago from SW England

      That's great! Will look forward to your answers.

      Glad you've got loads of berry bushes; isn't it great to be able to eat from one's own land, however small? I can't wait to move now; shouldn't be too long.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I have considered it, Brian, but time is my enemy right now. I just don't have the time to devote to my writing and my quail farm, so some things are falling by the wayside until summer ends and it's just writing again. Thanks for the suggestion, my friend.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 17 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Have you considered crowdfunding the costs of self-publishing your books? Google on: crowdfunding authors OR writers

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, nobody is as surprised by the success of this series as I am, and thank you so much for being here each and every week. That's what I call loyalty!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Ann, the Mailbag is overflowing this week. I'll lead off #101 with your questions the following week, okay?

      I'm excited for you and your new back garden. Exciting times for sure. We have our front yard loaded with berry bushes and next year we will have a bounty. Can't wait!

      Talk again soon!

      bill

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 17 months ago from Shelton

      wow I almost missed number 99.. wasn't getting emails.. so I thought everyone was on holiday.. would have been sadden if I missed 99.. :( followed every single one and to gas out now would have been hurtful.. so glad I saw it on the feed.. again good answers to the questions asked.. even the novellas.. maybe we can see how your doing in mailbag 150...:)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 17 months ago from SW England

      A party indeed! That's definitely on the cards but that's me; any excuse for a party. We have our bank holiday weekend Sat/Sun/Mon (used to be called Whitsun holiday but I guess that offends now!) and we're keeping off the roads - nightmare.

      Am I too late to pose a question for the 100th? Anyway, here it is:

      What do you do when a series comes to an end? It occurred to me that one could use a different character in the series and see the same story from his or her point of view; would this work? I think it might be too complicated but I'd be interested to hear your view on the matter.

      Another question: During your book signings have you ever had anyone who's been confrontational or rude about your work? On the other hand, has anyone been so complimentary that it's bordered on embarrassing? Just wondered how people react first-hand to your fame - or is it notoriety? Just kidding, notoriety of course!

      My 'new' back garden now looks like a garden and we've found all sorts of fruit trees which I was thrilled about. I'm learning names of new plants too. Never too late, is it? Well.... maybe.

      Have a superb and hopefully sunny weekend, bill.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Fantastic, Brian, thank you for that. I had believed the urban legend that there really was a Pruitt...great information, my friend.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 17 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      The Best Answer to the question "Where is the saying " Do it to it like sonny pruitt" from?" on Yahoo Answers was that Sonny Pruitt was a character on the 1974-1975 TV show 'Movin' On' and that the phrase is from the end of C.W. McCall's 1976 "trucker" song titled, "Round The World With The Rubber Duck." The song is on YouTube. A Google search finds the lyrics.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, that is a first for the Mailbag: a philosophical question about life and writing. Thank you for something a bit different for a change of pace, and thank you for always being here. Answer on Monday!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, I'll be laughing about your comment the remainder of the day. Carry on, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Christy! Time will tell how smart I am, but I'm enjoying myself so that counts for something, right?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, the quick answer to your question is yes, I think that's a similar problem, but I'll expand on it Monday in the 100th Edition.

      Thank you for your thoughts and your friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Live and learn for sure, Rasma! I've forgotten about half what the nuns taught me, so I'm learning all over again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, ChitrangadaSharan, for the congratulations. I have greatly enjoyed this series and I hope it lasts a long time into the future.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 17 months ago from Europe

      Looking forward to your cider, billybuc. This was a short but very entertaining installment! I want to toss in a question for this anniversary. Yeah, I do! Here it comes: "Hey Billybuc, I am so happy to have you on Hubpages. I'm not always reading every post of you on HP, so please forgive me for this. But I believe I haven't missed much installments. And I love your Billy the Kid series very much as well. The question is this: What do you think about this quote of Teilhard de Jardin? "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." What do you think? Is there an answer to this question? And how does your answer relate to your work as a writer?"

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 17 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Bill, the hollow laughter I mentioned was from the editor's office, not this side of the Pond. We'll pay for our little indiscretions, I don't know how but... Hear that hollow laugh again? Tin hats on, lad. It'll rain adjectives, prepositions and verbal inquisitions soon, mark my words. What was that at the window...? Aargh!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 17 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi Bill,

      I think you're smart to publish novellas as you get readers hooked on the story and consistently publish content for your audience. This 'kid' hopes the series is doing well! Congratulations on #100 of the mailbag too!

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 17 months ago from New Jersey

      Hi, Bill.

      With the question from Faith: Since I have never written an ebook, I find it interesting that all one needs to do to edit theirs is download a new document online. That is pretty awesome. I guess you're saying that once it has been edited, it would be known as a different edition? That makes sense.

      The question from John makes sense. You bring up a good point. Even if you look at the issues going on right now with YouTube, you will see how uploading too often can lead to subscriber loss. Would you say that's a similar problem?

      Haha Your humor at the end is appreciated. :)

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 17 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      I'm still laughing about those quotation marks. One time I was taught how to properly write a poem, then I was informed that it should be done differently and now many years down the line I have just been informed and taught how to add punctuation marks to my poems. Live and learn.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, any old time I can make you satisfied with my answers is a good time. Glad to be of assistance and thank you for two great questions. You and Bev would get along just fine, mindful of being fair, and I mean that in a very good say.

      I need some comfort food right about now, my dear. I'm looking forward to it.

      peace and blessings back atcha

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I've mentioned before, I did not envision this going past two weeks. I was just cleaning up some questions that had accumulated....now look where we are! Amazing! Thanks for being a huge part of it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, I couldn't agree more...padding is obvious...and I heard that hollow laughter from across the Pond.

      Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, thanks for your thoughts on newsletters. That's why I love the Mailbag, the interaction between writers, a safe place to pick each other's brain and discover our own way.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 17 months ago from New Delhi, India

      I believe 99 to be more exciting than 100!!

      Therefore I want to congratulate you in advance for this successful, helpful, informative (I can go on and on---) series. What a journey! A journey that has been enjoyed by one and all of the HP community.

      Great job, successfully done and I am sure you won't relax and must have already thought of some future writing plan.

      Thank you for this installment as well with some valuable information through your Q-A.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 17 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill,

      Thank you answering both of my questions! That is great to know that one can continue to edit even after books are sold. I guess I am one who is always attempting to be mindful to be fair as I was thinking when it comes to a book, it not really being like a regular product where they improve the product for one's use. I am thrilled to know that it is no big thing LOL! There is a specific reason I asked this particular question, and I am happy with the answer you have given and hoped that to be the case.

      I am not too fond of Facebook and do understand how friends do not care to be bombarded with such postings over and over. So, you see ...you've confirmed my thinking on both issues. So, thank you very much! I'm sorry to be a bit mysterious here.

      As to the newsletter question, I can see both positive and negative aspects, as you have discussed. Oh, I've visited the Creative Exiles site and it is so creatively designed and pleasing to the eye, as well, of course, great poets and creative writers' work to enjoy.

      Woo hoo, the BIG 100! I'll bring some good ol' southern comfort food which is always sure to please. See you at the shindig ...LOL

      Peace and blessings

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 17 months ago from Massachusetts

      A big congratulations on the upcoming 100th edition of the Mailbag. Amazing! Did you ever in your wildest dreams think this would go on for 100 weeks? What is even more impressive than this series going on for 99/100 weeks is the number of people you have helped along the way. A big thank you is certainly deserved.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Eric, I'll have to go check on that. I'll let you know in #100. Thanks for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, thank you so much. This series would not exist if it weren't for the great questions, so thanks go to all out there.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, from God's mind to your lips, or something like that. LOL Thanks for the professional confirmation....always a pleasure, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, Sonny Pruitt is kind of an urban legend....he was a long-distance trucker who was known by tens of thousands because of his late night CB conversations.....so there really was a Sonny Pruitt.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 17 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Several of my pages are less than 1,250 words long, Bill, but then many are way over. So maybe they'll take an average (hollow laughter from somewhere out of sight). Trouble is, adding to what's already there might affect the gist of the material. 'Padding' is too obvious. Sometimes less is more.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 17 months ago from Alton, Missouri

      Hi Bill, After what you said about newsletters, I had to check to see if you subscribed to mine or not and saw that you did. You even look at it on a regular basis. (of which I feel honored). I use my newsletter to keep track of people who are interested in my work and who might not have the time check every post. When I have a new book out I am also able to provide links to online sites or tell when I am going to be at a specific event. Since starting the newsletter, my book sales have increased by 100% in just six months.

      Can you believe that next week is your 100th Writer's Mailbag? Who cares if it doesn't reach the magic word count. This series does bring in lots of traffic for HP.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 17 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I was just wondering if the "How to" articles are still the most fancied by search engines. Because you have clearly written 99 articles that could be labeled just plain old how to write.

      You have really taught me a whole lot through this series. Thank you very much.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 17 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I wish you continuing success with your sales; my support is on its way. Thanks also for these very useful tidbits we learn from your answers every week. Thanks also to the questioners who keep the series going on. One hundred is certain!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 17 months ago from Chicago Area

      Sing it: "99 Mailbags are up on HP, 99 Mailbags I see..." :) Happy Mailbag Monday!

      Re: Post-Publish Ebook Edits. I like to think of ebooks as "products." If a product you sold was not right in some way, would you keep selling an inferior product because you were stuck with keeping it in its original form? Of course not. Onward!

      Re: Newsletters. The value in newsletters, updates, tips or whatever you call your emails is in that they help build your author platform. A dedicated fan base that wants to get your info is a true asset for authors.

      However, I'm inclined to stick with one topic per e-newsletter. One particularly jumbled newsletter I get from a fellow writer immediately comes to mind. There are maybe 10 items in each week's email. I never know what her main objective is.

      What I've found successful is having a killer subject line that makes them want to open the email, then ONE link to a featured blog post or offer. You get a good sense of what topics really resonate with your audience.

      Well, I'm looking forward to the 100th Mailbag next week. Should I bring cupcakes?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      First I must ask, who is Sonny Pruitt? You cleared up the quotation marks for me. I was never sure. Thanks again...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I've never tried one. Doubt I will...too much else to do and I'm sure you understand that.

      Thank you Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's very true, Yecall, and thank you for mentioning that....they are there for those who want them.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I'm glad to hear you like the writing site...I'll pass that along to John!

      Thank you my Norfolk friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, save me a party popper please, and thanks for the question. As always, you can count on me to have an opinion. It may not be correct but I'm at least reliable.

      Have a great week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I would be very happy with those cupcakes. Just toss them on a UPS truck heading south, please. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday, Melissa, and thank you! You and Janine are two who are just like a great Swiss watch. I can always count on you to arrive on time.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 17 months ago from Hollister, MO

      I tried a newsletter again last fall. Did a 'nice job' with it... but only 30-some subscriptions... was just duplicating same info to same people. It is on 'hiatus' at the moment. Congrats on 99!! ;-)

    • yecall profile image

      yecall 17 months ago from California

      I think Facebook is very important for online writers. However, one can't "push it," as you point out. One option is to simply consider a wide variety of FB groups and some are more amenable to marketing than others. A few groups exist simply for the sole purpose of selling things and everyone helps each other.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 17 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy,

      One more to go! Fantastic! I don't expect that anyone has ever accused you of being an overachiever have they?:)

      Love the new writing website. It might very well be the incentive for me to tackle some 'real' writing sooner rather than later. It definitely has a touch of class.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 17 months ago from Brazil

      Hello Bill,

      Regarding the editing after publication, I see no problem with that. I have seen books that I previously purchased with a flash across the front saying 'updated' instead of second edition. Not sure what the difference is but it isn't enough to make me part with money twice.

      Like Margaret, I too find the usage of quotation marks confusing. For me, when there are several characters saying a short phrase which is followed with a shorter response, it almost looks like hieroglyphics with all that punctuation being used.

      A question for next week's mailbag. What are your thoughts on email marketing for writers. I know you have covered FB, do you feel this is too aggressive or just good marketing?

      I'll get my party poppers and noise makers out for next week's mailbag.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 17 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I feel that #100 will be a doozy. Thank you for another great mailbag and phooey on the golden standard 1250 words. (I have noticed dozens of Editors Choice that are obviously well below that magic number).

      I hope to find my thinking cap and come up with some fodder for your milestone hub. (If it--the cap--continues to be MIA I'll just bake cupcakes for the party).

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      Melissa Propp 17 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I can't believe you are almost at 100. We should throw a party, right? Of course, it is going to land on Memorial Day and I'm going to be out of town....so please don't fret if some of us don't respond until Tuesday! :)

      Have a great week and thanks for continuing this great series.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, thanks for sharing that example of your son. You bought three? That's over and beyond the expected, I would say.

      Look to the north from Fresno. I'll send up the fireworks next Monday night. LOL

      blessings always

      bill

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, somehow I doubt that will happen, but I love the idea. LOL Thanks for always being here, my friend. Have a great week in Kalamazoo!

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      Denise McGill 17 months ago from Fresno CA

      I think I get the question about "unethical practice" to keep editing a book. As I mentioned before my son wrote a YA sci-fi fantasy series and has "edited" it several times now. Being a dutiful mom, I was one of the first to buy his first book. The second editing he did to break up the large book into 4 smaller books. He did it because his target was 10 to 14 year olds and they put in the comments that the sheer size of the original book seemed too daunting and prevented them from diving in. He wanted boys to read so he divided the original book into 4. Okay. I get that. Then he started messing with the content, changing the names and characteristics of mythical creatures the boys were fighting. Now he is on his 8 re-edit and rearranging the chapters because some of the boys commented that it was hard to track the action. After all this time, I'm refusing to buy a new version. I already paid for 3 and I'm getting tired of buying a new edition. But seriously, how many of the original youth have bothered to see a new edition after reading the first one? Precious few is my guess. The mom (me) is the only one miffed at all the edits! He wants to break the stereotype that teenage boys don't read... and after all, that is a noble goal. Thanks for another great mailbag. Looking forward to 100. What a milestone! Perhaps fireworks are in order?

      Blessings,

      Denise

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      Brian Leekley 17 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Good questions and answers, as usual. Thanks for the Creative Exiles link. On publishing and selling revised editions of books, that has been standard practice for as long as books have been published. There were at least six revised and expanded editions of LEAVES OF GRASS during Walt Whitman's lifetime. I wonder if the buyer of a first or early edition should get a discount on the purchase of a later edition, or, in the case of an ebook, if the revised edition should be free and just substituted for the previous edition.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, you had me laughing on the gluten-free cookies...not that they are funny in themselves, of course. LOL Thanks for agreeing with me. I always feel better when you and Heidi agree with me.

      Happy Monday to you and Mr. B.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, if I had 500 followers like you I'd be a rich man. Thank you for being here for all 99. Happy Monday my friend.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Congrats, John! You beat Janine, something few people have done. LOL Thanks buddy!

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I almost forgot to promote it. Next time feel free to remind me.

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      MizBejabbers 17 months ago

      Bill, I'm a little surprised at the question, "is it ethical?" meaning editing an ebook after it is published. I stand behind your answer. Now I'm actually wondering what kind of editing the person means. I think that a writer has a duty to edit out common errors that occur such as typos, grammatical errors and use of the wrong word. For instance, I read a pretty good novel, but the author kept saying that they were trying to make the line "taught" (taut meaning tight). Their very lives depended on making the line "taught". It wasn't his only error of that type, and although I pointed out the errors in my Amazon review, I don't know if he has corrected them in his ebook. I don't think that type of edit would call for labeling the book "2nd edition", but I could be wrong.

      However, I agree that any changes to the material should be labeled "2nd edition," third edition" etc. and the changes pointed out.

      As always, good mailbag, my friend, and I'm looking forward to 100 next week, I hope. I'll bring the gluten-free cookies. Have a good rest of the week.

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      Janine Huldie 17 months ago from New York, New York

      Awesome and can't wait for 100 next week, too! Oh an loved your advice on newsletters as I have been debating on bringing my weekly or even monthly back as right now I just send emails for blog posts, I post. so great to see your thoughts here for that. Happy Monday and wishing you the best week ahead now still to come!! :)

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      John Hansen 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This is the first time I have ever been first to comment on one of your mailbags...yippee!

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      John Hansen 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Only one to go, Bill, yes we should have a party. Thanks for answering my question and promoting the site.