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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Sixty-Six

Updated on September 28, 2015

Another Monday Another Mail Delivery

And good morning to you all! How’s it going in your life? Is your muse treating you with love and respect?

I don’t know if you saw it on the news but there was a horrific bus wreck in Seattle yesterday. Several dead, many injured. A busload of college exchange students was hit broadside by a tourist bus. In the blink of any eye, lives were gone.

That got me thinking just how lucky I am to be a writer. If you don’t see the connection then you’re not trying hard enough. J

Let’s get started with a question from Audrey.

Welcome to the Mailbag
Welcome to the Mailbag | Source

Kindle Scout

From Audrey: “So what is Kindle Scout and how is it a win win? The curious want to know--and on the issue of self publishing? Once a book is self-published, will an agent still take it?”

Audrey, I’m going to let the Kindle Scout website tell you: Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

In other words, if your ebook is chosen, you can receive a publishing contract from Kindle, and I believe the selections are made based on sales. Instead of publishing a normal ebook on the Kindle site, you download your ebook on the Kindle Scout site and you are automatically eligible. It seems like a win-win to me. Any old way you look at it, you have your ebook published, and you just might end up with a publishing contract and a cash advance.

Now for your second question…..yes, it has happened before and happens every year, that an agent will take on an ebook and pitch it to a traditional publisher. It also happens that traditional publishers will offer a contract to an ebook author…but….there has to be a proven track record of outstanding ebook sales before that will happen. Publishers and agents are not stupid. They pay close attention to ebook sales, and they are more than willing to swoop in and gobble up a book that is performing well.

Take your book out there and market it
Take your book out there and market it | Source

Book Signings

From Bill: I didn’t copy and paste his question so I’ll have to paraphrase…..

“Thanks for answering my last question. About book signings….how do you determine the cost of the signing, or what is the percentage given to the bookstore?”

I did a horrible job of paraphrasing and I’m sorry. What Bill is asking about, obviously, is a book signing. He wants to know who gets how much money from the sale of a book, and how is that determined. This is one of those little “nuts and bolts” questions that will stump many a person until they actually do a signing and then it’s like “oh, that wasn’t so hard.”

The answer to Bill’s question is determined by the place where the signing takes place. It changes from place to place. Some independent bookstores will charge a 60/40 split, or a 70/30 split. You, as the author, negotiate that split in revenue. Some places, like a coffee shop, may not charge anything at all, or they might charge something like $25 for the use of their space. It really just depends on the place and what their policies are. I’ve had it happen where it was free for me and I’ve had 60/40 splits….it just depends.

Trade journals
Trade journals

Trade Journals

From Marie: “Bill, can you tell me what a trade journal is, and are they worth writing for? Oh, and how do I find a listing of them?”

Well sure I can, Marie.

A trade journal is a magazine (publication) that targets a specific segment of the population…..for instance bird lovers, or autoworkers, or hunters. Are they worth writing for? Of course! Trade journals pay the same as most other magazines, and if you are knowledgeable in their subject matter then you should go for it. As for how do you find a listing of them, my first two thoughts are “The Writers Market” and “Publishers Weekly.” Either one should give you some help.

The Use of Numerals in Fiction

From Peter: “I’m confused. When do you use numerals in a short story or novel, and when do you write out the number using words? I’ve seen it done differently many times and it gets a bit confusing.”

Well, Peter, you got that right. It’s confusing as hell. The general rule is numbers 0-100 should be written using words; numbers larger than one-hundred should be written in numerals. But then you can go online and ask that question and you’ll be amazed by how many secondary rules there are, some conflicting opinions by people who are supposedly experts in the field.

I’ve read many a novel during my lifetime and I’ve seen authors…famous authors….do it either way. One will write 10 while another will write ten. One will write one-hundred and twenty while another will write 120. One rule that seems to be consistent is when you have a number with a decimal point. In that case numerals are always used….as in 10.5 million.

Who is correct? Which way is acceptable? I’m sure people will weigh in on this, and someone will surely mention the AP style, but the bottom line is many a published author has defied the rules and done it their way. My best suggestion…be consistent. If you ever get published by a traditional publisher they will have you change it when they edit it. If you are self-publishing, then be consistent and if someone gets their nose out of joint over it, tough!

New Writers

From Elaine: “Do you have any advice for a new writer who is just starting out?”

I hate the word “advice,” Elaine, because it sounds like I’m a know-it-all and I really do try to avoid that…but…you asked the question, so here goes.

New writers…..a couple things come to mind immediately. One, practice your craft. I read an interview with Eric Clapton once, and the interviewer asked him how long it took for him to learn to play the guitar? He laughed and said he was still learning. This coming from someone considered one of the great guitar players in the last half-century. I’ll bet B.B. King would have said something similar. The point is obvious, isn’t it? You can’t succeed in any of the Arts unless you move from beginner to apprentice to journeyman to master. It is a progression we all have to follow. Some never do and fall by the wayside. Others understand the importance of practice.

Secondly, don’t quit your day job. That should be self-explanatory.

Third, go out and experience life. When I read a book I want the author to take me places, do exciting things, teach me things I don’t know or blow my socks off with exceptional writing that is only born from experience. Writing is one of the few endeavors we get better at as we get older, and I think that’s true, to a certain extent, because the older we get the more of life we’ve experienced.

Live long and prosper….and then write about it!

More on Self-publishing

From Eric: “About that publishing and book signing deal. Could you publish a little book with me as the author -- the book signing sounds fun but I really don't want to work that hard to do one myself. There really must be a how to book written that shows us how to get the perks of being a writer without the hard work. I already got the tweed coat with leather elbow patches and a pipe. And of course the turtleneck.

Which brings me to my question. Sometimes I read a piece and I can feel the author's soul being wrenched out right before my eyes. Admittedly I have been there. That kind of cathartic writing takes a toll. I suspect you have been there. Advice is one thing, but what do you do to stay so even keeled?”

I actually told Eric in a comment that he already has a book written and he doesn’t know it. If he took all of his “Sunday Sermon” articles and treated them as chapters, he would have a book.

As for his real question, cathartic writing does take a toll, and I had to back away from it because of that. I don’t do nearly as much of it as I once did. I still do some of it when I’m writing a novel, but if it starts to get too heavy I walk away from it until I can handle it again…so you see, I’m not nearly as even-keeled as I appear.

Thanks for joining me
Thanks for joining me | Source

That’s All for This Week, Folks!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go live life like my tail feathers are on fire. There’s a lot of life left in these old bones and I want to experience it all…and then write about it!

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 22 months ago from New York, New York

      As always great advice, especially to new writers, because you are the source that I would recommend any and all writers, including new ones to listen to. Happy Monday Bill and here is to a great week ahead now!! :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 22 months ago from New York

      Do you ever get sick of hearing how wonderful this series is? Each question, even if it is similar to one before, gives new perspective. The conversations here, for they aren't just questions and answers, are ones we can treasure as little gems to use in the future and points to guide us along our way.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine and Happy Monday to you....I appreciate you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Actually, Mary, no, I never get tired of hearing that. LOL So thank you! I never dreamed it would last this long but I love it!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 22 months ago from SW England

      Excellent, bill! We do ask advice because you do not know it all! At least, you know a great deal and you're always honest when you're not sure.

      It does take it out of you when you write something heart-rending or deeply serious or controversial. I try to steer away from the controversial because I can't take the stress, apart from the occasional one if I'm really passionate about it; even then, it takes its toll so I know what you mean.

      A question: Do you get so immersed in your writing that you have no idea how long you've been sitting there at the keyboard?

      Ann :)

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 22 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      All very good advice and information.

      Question: Would it be feasible and cost-effective to self-publish a novel in parts in imitation of Charles Dickens?

      Google on:

      Dickens serial fiction OR novels OR publication

      The Project Boz website says, "Most of Dickens’s novels were published in twenty stand-alone monthly parts. Each number or installment (after the first two installments of his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, when Dickens and his publishers were still experimenting with the form) contained exactly 32 pages of text, along with two engraved illustrations; each installment also contained 16 or more pages of advertising. These serial parts cost only a shilling. The final installment cost two shillings, and was a double one, including a more generous amount of text, four illustrations (including an engraved title page and frontispiece), and front matter--preface, dedication, table of contents, a list of illustrations, and so forth."

      So why not publish a novel as a series of short ebooks of a few chapters each? I'm not sure about advertising or about illustrations or about subscriptions. As a customer, I would want it to be easy, simple, inexpensive, and convenient to obtain and pay for each part and to have the option of canceling my subscription at any time before getting the last part.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 22 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I always learn something new when I read the mailbag. What you said about living life rang loudly to me. Living life to the fullest allows you to bring true emotions to the story. This is something you do quite well.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 22 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday! Always glad to see a new mailbag waiting for me. Great questions and answers, as usual.

      Hope you have a great and productive week!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 22 months ago from United States

      As always interesting reading Bill my friend. Thanks for the writing tips, whonu.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 22 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Another wonderful mailbag Bill. You are very knowledgeable about the art of writing that is for certain but the best thing (I'm sure you'd agree) about this series is that you actually have to research some of the answers, so even you are learning from it...not jut us readers, Great job.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Ann!

      I just did it as a matter of fact, but i'll give you a better response on Monday. Thanks for your thoughts on the heavy writing. I'm doing some today and I'm exhausted. :)

      Happy Monday dear friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great question, Brian, one I've thought about before...I'll whip up a reasonable answer for you next Monday, so thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Marlene. I suspect you've lived a little life yourself, my friend. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Melissa and Happy Monday to you. It's getting cold here....hopefully we still have a few warm days left. Have a great week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you whonu..I always appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, you got that right. I've been stumped a few times now and the research has helped me greatly. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 22 months ago from Iowa

      Hi Bill, Long time No Communicate. I have returned to Hub Pages and You in particular, to try and get any answers to my dilema.

      My dilema, as it appears to me... as if "me" is in anyway the slightest best indicator of reality...is that I can't make myself believe that my tiny contribution of words to the World would...Make any difference to Anybody???

      For me to even contemplate writing as a possible new life experience, I think I have to get beyond the extreme mental block of not believing my almost infintestibly small contribution would be of any real positive contribution to anything.

      Thanks for Any and All Feedback!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Allen my friend, welcome back and thanks for thinking of me. If you can hang in there for one week, I'll respond to your question in next Monday's Mailbag. I suspect what you've asked is asked by many writers. It's good to have you back and thanks for being here and asking such an honest question.

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      social thoughts 22 months ago from New Jersey

      I like these questions! I was most surprised by the one about trade journals. I hadn't even considered that. I may have to look into it, now. Thank you for teaching us all new things, each week!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 22 months ago from SW England

      Did you? Sorry! Don't answer again, it's not worth your time. I'll think of a better question for next time!!

      Enjoy your evening, bill!

      Ann

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 22 months ago from Hollister, MO

      A fun part of the mail bag is that often two or more questions (and answers) work well together. Today, the 'how to get started writing' and 'trade journal article' can go well together. What are you good at? What do you know well? There are many trade journals in that area (the number of them is staggering - have you perused a 'Writer's Market?' Back in the 80s, I did, and published over 80 paid articles on 'business acumen' - amazing, fun, fair pay, and fantastic experience working with editors! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 22 months ago from The Caribbean

      The Kindle Scout does seem like a good idea. Thanks for explaining that and everything else.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It really is my pleasure, Kailey, but this series would have died a long time ago if it were not for people like you, so thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      What? Oops, I need to go back over your question, Ann. Sorry about that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I love to hear from the voice of experience. Thanks for sharing that about trade journals. I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you found it helpful, Dora. Thanks for yet another visit and comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, I see Ann....no worries...I'll answer it on Monday because I think it's always relevant. Thank you!

      bill

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 22 months ago from United Kingdom

      Great information this week, Bill. A quick word on cathartic writing: it's therapy for me. Sometimes my head gets so full of stuff it stops me from doing anything. I find once I write it down whether in a story or in a journal, it seldom troubles me anymore and I can move on. I agree it does take its toll but it better than lugging all those emotions and negativity around. Take care.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 22 months ago

      Bill, the rule I was taught in feature writing and magazine writing classes was to spell out any whole number under 10 and to use numerals for 10 and above. I’ve never taken a class in writing novels, so I don’t know what they use, but I’ve seen most professional writers use the magazine rule. Is it “Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall” or “99 bottles of beer on the wall”? My professor would say that it depends upon whether you are beginning the sentence with the phrase or putting it in the middle of the sentence. I do know the hard and fast rule is that you never begin a sentence with a numeral.

      Hearing about that bus wreck brought back some bad memories. I’ve mentioned before that a bus wreck is the reason I’m in the condition my condition’s in. It is terrifying to do a somersault through a bus and break a seat with your back. I didn’t hear details of that wreck, but I can imagine what the survivors lived through. I’ll say a prayer for them. Have a great week, my friend.

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 22 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Great info and encouragement for another week of doing what we love - writing! Thanks, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Zulma. I totally agree with your assessment. I just try to keep it to a minimum these days...maybe because I don't have much angst left in me. :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 22 months ago from london

      Perhaps it's me, Bro, but this one is past brilliant, and so much education enclosed. Yes, much pranams to those who pose questions also.

      I believe you know my friend Doris Dancy. I actually introduced her to you. She does a lot of book signings. I won't push her as she is incredibly busy, but perhaps she can also give a quick input here.

      I have done the hard work of visiting stores, not for book-signing though. Again, things may vary in London, UK, but they take from 33 - 50 % with one coming at the higher end of the scale for being new to the market.

      About not promoting oneself, many Publishers out there are now quite slick at this and will help us, but at a price, let's say from 1400 - 1800 dollars.

      That's it, Bro. Truly excellent questions and great and loving responses. So many have asked how you do it? Well, I suppose you know. Peace, Bro.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for that, MizB! I've heard similar rules for numerals but then I've seen some rather famous authors shatter those rules, so who really knows? As for the bus wreck, I'm sorry you had to live through that.....was there a reference to Kenny Rogers and the 1st Edition in there? :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Babby! I appreciate your visit.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 22 months ago

      As always you inspire me.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I'm tickled pink that you still have life in your ' old bones ' your advice is much appreciated by many. Thank you..

    • Marion Drury profile image

      Marion Drury 22 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Another great mailbag. Thank you. I always learn something new and get encouraged to keep learning the craft.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the info, Manatita....1800 dollars for promotion? One has to sell quite a few books to cover that expense. :)

      Blessings always my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, that means a great deal to me. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Still kicking, Ruby, and a short story coming your way Wednesday. Billy the Kid will ride again.

      Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Marion. Thank you so much.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. More great questions and answers this week. Keep it going, a lot of people are looking to you for answers and advice and I can't think of anyone more qualified than you.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 22 months ago from San Diego California

      I just heard that the author of the book "The Martian," soon to be released as a movie, started out by publishing chapters on his website. Then he self published an ebook. It did really well and he got the book and movie deal at the same time. So as you say, writers should not hesitate to self publish. It can lead to bigger and better things. Great stuff as always!

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 22 months ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      I like Eric's description of the Writer - sounds a lot like me, except that I gave up smoking a pipe years ago. Another bunch of great answers, Bill - what a guy!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 22 months ago from United Kingdom

      I've just scrapped my 2nd attempt at writing the first chapter of my book. I'm going to try again today and hope it's 3rd time lucky. Does that happen to you? Do you carry on beating what may be a dead horse or do you just walk away and say 'Screw it.' How do you know when it's time to give up and move on?

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 22 months ago from jakarta

      That "advice" for new writers really struck a chord. Many a times I try to find new things to do, JUST so I have something to write. This might seem odd, but the upside is writing has encourage me to explore, so I guess it is a good thing. Great hub, my friend!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very kind of you, Bill. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great example, Mel. Thank you for sharing that. Much-appreciated!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks FatBoy....Eric is a kick in the pants, for sure...an enjoyable one. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, it has happened to me and I have walked away..and the rest of your answer is coming on Monday. :) Thanks as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      suraj, I love your statement...writing has led to exploration...fantastic!!!! Thank you for sharing that.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 22 months ago from south Florida

      Every 'Mailbag' hub you write, Bill, contains nuggets of tested advice for writers, new and old. HP is more than lucky to have you aboard. But I think I've already told you that . . . more than once.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You have, drbj, but I never get tired of hearing it. :) Thank you my friend.

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      mckbirdbks 22 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill. Just taking a 10 minute break with your Q & A and of course the comments. You are fielding some tough questions.

      I'm suppose to have a tweed jacket with leather patches on the elbows? haha

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

      Happy belated Monday, Bill : )

      I am intrigued about the Trade Journals and learned something new.

      Your advice to Eric is great and I think he should go for it! Those are exactly the kind of books that are being published because they sell.

      Yes, there is nothing like the truth of the human experience.

      What do you think is necessary to reach that oh-so-satisfying conclusion in a novel? Many times, I know for me it happens when a writer builds up the series of scenes that show how the hero is applying what he’s learned.

      I hope the rest of your week is peaceful.

      Blessings and hugs

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago from Texas

      Great info Bill as usual. I will have to read and re-read this over and over.

      Blessings as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I always wanted one of those jackets. I'm at the right age now. LOL Maybe I'll get one for my birthday.

      Thanks for everything, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shyron! You are always appreciated here.

      Blessings always and Happy Wednesday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, good morning, and thanks for commenting on all the major points. As for your question, you'll just have to wait five days for an answer. tee hee

      blessings coming your way

      bill

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      Billybuc, another bag of sound suggestions.. since you don't care too much for the word advice..:) The suggestions you give for new writers is dead on, and still can be true to old writers.. or I should say season writers.. keep the bags coming..hmmm, mailbags coming... :) Frank

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 22 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      In S Ca, the local news is really a body count, and I choose not to view it, well along with all the other TV "News?".

      As for the numbers, 1, 2,3 etc versus One, Two, and Three, my opinion is that it should depend more on the significance of the number, as to what part is it playing in the story.

      If we have learned anything from the 21st , or Twenty First, Century, it is that rules are being broken all the time. And writing is the epitome of that rule breaking. Yes, epitome, and not pinnacle.

      I think that numerals stand out, as if they were bold, and they can highlight the number. It is classier to use words rather than numerals, but numerals are easier to spot.

      I turned the corner of the street, and I saw the flash of six (6) shots down the street. The sounds that followed the flash were like the string of firecrackers that we set off when we were kids.

      My point is that if there is a difference between five 5, or seven 7 shots that critical to the story, then I prefer to see, 6 and not six. The question is what is the significance of the number of shots to the story.

      I liked the question, while many people might not like my answer.

      I would say that, I spent decades writing and reading technical documents, while hardly any fiction. So, for me , the value of a statement is critical to the understanding of the writing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, you are too funny...suggestions, not advice....I need to keep repeating that. :) Have a great Wednesday, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, I can't imagine not liking your answer. I honestly don't know the history behind the AP Style preference of using numbers up to 100 and then using numerals. I'm not sure what the justification for that is, but I see that rule being broken in almost every book I read, so obviously it's not too damned important to too many writers these days.

      Thanks for the visit....and your input was right on!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 22 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I hope you do not mind but; There will be a strange little man coming by your house tomorrow. I asked him to bottle up some essence of Bill so I can douse myself with it and "be like Bill". You just can't buy the great stuff you are giving away for free here. thank you. And reading through the comments is like synergism on writer's steroids - just great!

      Now I got this buddy who has fired me up to compile my Sunday Sermons into a book. There are a million things to be done -- see my problem? My experience in life tells me that I need a plan. You have done this so I ask you. Should I make up a plan that looks like a Pro Football pre-game plan (game plan) or should I make up a plan that looks like an initial public offering (IPO or Business Plan)? And of course the sister question; should it be chronological or more fluid? If you tell me to do what works best for me, I will cry because how the hell should I know.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I'm laughing too hard to answer....you'll have to wait for the next Mailbag. It's your fault for making me laugh and snort milk. :)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 21 months ago

      Bill, as for your amusing question, I think that predates Kenny Rogers. I remember a C&W song about "the condition my condition's in" when I was a kid, but I don't remember the artist. I tried to look it up, but Kenny Rogers is the only one given credit. I think it may have originated in an old Hank Williams' song.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting, MizB. I only remember the First Edition singing it while I was in college.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 21 months ago from Central Florida

      I apologize for being so late to the party. I had to work Saturday AND Sunday. I'm so far behind in my reading I don't know if I'll ever catch up!

      Really interesting mailbag this week. I was trying to remember the link Linda Formichelli recommends for trade pub listings. She swears by trade pubs for getting your name out there. She also says they're easier to get into and the editors aren't as persnickety as the glossies or newsstand mags. They pay well, too, from what she says.

      Here's a link I found that provides listings of trade mags by industry: https://www.webwire.com/IndustryList.asp

      This should be a good starting point for Marie.

      Also, I recommend following Linda Formichelli's Renegade Writer blog. She's full of information and is quite awesome. I've emailed her a few times and she always responds. She and Carol Tice also put on some pretty informative webinars and offer classes on pitching, writing, setting up websites, querying and tons more for writers who are interested in writing for magazines rather than businesses. Of course, they cover that too, but both of them are six-figure writers who make their living from magazines and coaching.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 21 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm behind with my reading, too, but I always get to your mailbag hubs sooner or later. I enjoy reading your advice and ideas very much!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 21 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Bill - I like the Eric Clapton quote. We are all always learning! That's wonderful and makes life so interesting. I also like your chair. I have the same one (actually 2) but on mine, the painted part is dark green.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 21 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I always love reading your post Billy. Great advice as always!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information, Sha. Thanks for sharing that and, by the way, you're never late to my party.

      I have to go help Bev on her route today so I'll cut this short. Have a safe weekend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you do, Alicia, and I greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dolores, I'll remember that every time I sit down in my chair. :) Thank you for the visit. You are always welcome here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nadine! I always love writing them. :)

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 21 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      I thought this information might be of interest to you on self publishing.

      The Martian is a 2011 science fiction novel and the first published novel[a] by American author Andy Weir.

      ***************************************************************************************

      It was originally self-published in 2011 after which Crown Publishing purchased the rights and re-released it in 2014.

      ***************************************************************************************

      Described as an Apollo 13 meets Cast Away,[1] the story follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars and must improvise in order to survive.[2][3][4] The Martian, a film adaptation directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, was released in October 2015.[5]

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is of interest to me, Brad. Thanks for sharing it...encouraging for sure. :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 21 months ago from Oklahoma

      Always informative.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear it, Larry! Thank you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 21 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      As always, great material. You know what's funny? I stopped at the local computer store, and several people asked me if I was the writer of the Sunday column. I sheepishly grinned and said that I was. One lady even asked the clerk to take a photo of us together. Book signings and speaking engagements do the same thing if you're around long enough. Leave no stone unturned for publicity!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, now that is truly cool! I hope I write long enough to be recognized in a store. The pinnacle of our profession...recognition. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 21 months ago from USA

      Most of us experienced Hubbers probably have books we've already written but we don't know it. It's the realizing it that's the tough part.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree with you, Flourish. .Take twenty Hubs with a similar theme and put them all together with a table of content...instant book. :)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 21 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      There's a lot to digest here. I like the idea of Eric combining his sermons, they would make a very good inspirational book.

      I kind of thought about that with some of the hubs but thought the 'intending' to write on one subject might be pushing things a bit.

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, I can definitely see some of your hubs with a common theme being put into a book. I hope you do that, my friend.

      Thank you!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 21 months ago from south Florida

      Regardless of the number of questions you receive each week, Bill, your answers are always honest, straightforward and realistic. We all thank you for your knowledge and willingness to share it with the rest of us.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 21 months ago from Iowa

      I totally agree with you drbj, Bill has the patience of that dude in the Bible, And therein lies the problem with this Ole Boy!! I can't get the jets fired up every single day!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, drbj, thank you. I'm just trying to make a difference in this world one person at a time.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heck, All, then don't try to fire them up daily. Write when the muse speaks to you. If she's AWOL then go enjoy a walk in beautiful Iowa.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 21 months ago from Iowa

      You got the "Beautiful" right this t7ime of year Bill ! Funny how in the realm of nature, that leaves are about the Only thing that we classify as "Beautiful" as they are Dying??

      As always, thanks for your Help!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Allen, great observation and so true. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

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