The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Ninety-Nine
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!
This book, my first novel, was edited before the reprint.
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.
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.
My novella series
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.
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.
Don’t ask me to explain why!
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.”