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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Twelve

Updated on September 15, 2014

Here We Go Again!

If it’s Monday then it must be time for The Writer’s Mailbag!

This series will continue as long as there are questions to answer, and judging from the backlog of questions, it will continue for quite some time.

Thanks to all of you who asked questions this week. If you don’t see your question here, it’s simply because there were too many, but I’ll get to the rest next week.

Ask your questions in the comment section below, or email me at holland1145@yahoo.com, or on my blog at www.williamdhollandauthor.com.

And if you want to go anonymous, that’s fine too. Just let me know and I won’t add your name to the question.

Remember, please, that many questions ask for my opinion, and what I state is merely that. Others may do things differently and that is fine. I don’t believe there is a “right way to write.” There is only the right way for you.

Shall we begin?

Source

The Voice

Nancy asks: How do we know when we've "found our voice?" I know my writing has improved in the last 10 years, but I still don't feel I've found mine yet.

Here is one of those subjective answers. I don’t think there is a quantifiable way of knowing when we have found our voice. I believe that moment comes when we sit back, read something we have written, and feel all warm and fuzzy about it. That’s about as close as I can come to describing it. I just knew when I found mine, and I have heard others say that as well.

Mind you, I believe our voice changes over time, just as we do as writers and human beings. My writing voice is like an old friend, or my favorite pair of slippers. I’m always comfortable with it, and when it is missing, I feel an emptiness to my writing.

How’s that for a metaphysical answer to a simple question?

How many main characters is too many?
How many main characters is too many? | Source

Two Is Company and Three Is a Crowd

From Lizzy: “How do you know how many characters to have in a story? How do you know when you have too many or too few?”

Great question, Lizzy, and one I’m sure most novel-writers have considered.

If your name is Tom Clancy, then there is no such thing as too many. I’m being silly now, so forget that last sentence.

It is recommended, and remember that recommendations are not etched in stone like the Ten Commandments, but it is recommended that a novel not have more than three or four MAIN characters. The key to that suggestion is the word “main.” Secondary characters can come and go as you like, as long as they add, in some way, to the story. But main characters require character development, and in an average novel of 75,000-100,000 words, you really only have space for three or four character developments.

As for the second part of Lizzy’s question, the story should dictate how many is too many or how few is too few. More than four tends to muddy the waters; less than three and you are treading on thin ice and you risk the danger of producing a rather thin, drab little book. How will you know? You may not, but if you have trusted friends and an editor read your work, hopefully they will tell you their thoughts.

Supporting Oneself As a Writer

Ally asks: If you don't mind me asking, how do you still have the finances to support yourself if you quit your job? Or, on the flip side, how would you suggest that people be able to literally afford this? I'm only 22 and still live with my parents for now, and I know I definitely don't have the means for that! I so wish I did, though.

Ally was so sweet in the way she asked this question that I really didn’t mind the personal nature of it.

I didn’t turn “pro” until three years ago, and that happened to coincide with my turning 62, the magical age when I could start taking early Social Security. I had already cut my expenses to the bare minimum. I’m frugal by nature, so I had put myself in a position where all I needed to get by…rent, food, miscellaneous expenses…was about $1,400 per month. My SS met that, so anything I made from writing was a bonus.

Having said that, within six months I was making enough, just from writing, to get by without SS. Was I lucky or diligent/determined? Probably a little of both. I worked hard to find customers, and I provided good copy for them, and one success led to another and here I am, three years later, living the good life. I am not rich by any means, but I’m also not worried about the state of the economy.

Protection Is an Illusion

From Michelle: So as I thought long and hard I came up with a question of my own. I am recognizing that many writers post a disclaimer and copyright notification on their HubPages profile. I have thought of doing this myself, though I realize this does not completely protect me from others plagiarizing my work. Can you tell me the benefits and consequence of placing or not placing a disclaimer and copyright notice?

This is a wonderful question by Michelle, and it is also a difficult one.

Since 1989, it has not been necessary to attach a copyright notification to an article. You are automatically “protected” by copyright laws once you publish an article.

However….

That does not mean you are totally protected.

Confused yet?

No one is truly protected. The internet is so vast, and there are so many articles published daily, that it is practically impossible to keep thieves from stealing your article and using it under their own name. Anyone who has written for online sites like HubPages understands this fact. I currently have fifteen articles that have been copied and used by other writers. I’m sure that by this time next year I’ll have fifteen more copied. Can I stop that from happening? Not really! Of course I can fill out forms, notify sites, and eventually it will be rectified, but the time it takes to do this is almost not worth the effort…and…while I’m doing all that, others are copying and using more of my articles. It’s like trying to stop an avalanche once it picks up momentum, or, if you prefer, like putting out a forest fire with a squirt gun.

So, while the law is on your side, the reality is that the law is a bit toothless.

As a force of habit, I always include my copyright notification at the end of my articles, but I only do this to make myself feel better. I know in my heart of hearts that I’m really just taking a placebo.

Thanks for the  questions and I'll see you next week
Thanks for the questions and I'll see you next week | Source

More Next Week

I’m enjoying this series, and by the responses I’m receiving, I know you are as well, so let’s keep it going. Send me your questions and I’ll do my best to answer them next Monday.

Until then, have a great week of writing. Remember to enjoy what you are doing. Writing should, above all else, be fun. Creativity should be joyful, and that is what I wish for you…oodles of joy.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Wow! I am the first to share my views here. I so agree with you all points.

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

      Thank you, DDE, for being the first, and for always being someone I can count on.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      As always wonderful writer's tips and thank you again for sharing and answering. Happy Monday, Bill!

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

      Good morning Janine. Thank you as always my friend, and have a great day in September.

    • Ally Lewis profile image

      Ally Lewis 2 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Thanks for answering my question! I was so surprised to see my own name haha I feel like a celebrity talked to me. I hope I'm as lucky as you someday!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      I KNOW you won't take this the wrong way, my sweet man friend...but I feel like I am sitting at Granny's knee listening to good old fashioned advice from a trusted and sage source.

      Now, mind you, we are a few minutes apart in biological age (LOL)...but you have 'got it going on' in the experience and sharing department.

      I love your transparency with us. You have a beautiful heart, Bill.

      Voted UP and UABI and sharing. Love, Maria

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy.

      I love reading other people's questions and reading the answers. Sometimes, something you writes sparks another question, so mine for you this week, is related to something you wrote above, ' I worked hard to find customers'

      What was your approach when you first started to look for potential customers? Do you think that by concentrating on niche subjects you are more likely to get repeat business, such as for instance, a monthly column or do you write on a variety of subjects? Perhaps you might like to enlarge on that for us!

      Thanks again Billy.

      Sally

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      My question is, is it good to be a niche writer or to write on various topics?

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Some very good questions this week Bill and equally helpful answers. Great job again.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks again for another great installment Bill. I also really appreciate how much you are willing to share of your personal journey. We already know you are "wise and all-knowing" but hearing your personal experiences really adds extra credibility. We know you practice what you preach!

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      I think websites and gurus are purposely vague with their advice and "columns on how-to's" - it's almost as if they don't want to share the family secrets or something. lol

      I'm finding that as long as their answers are surrounded by murky waters, writers will always have more questions. We need venues like your mailbag to answer them truthfully and without mumbo jumbo.

      Keep up the great work.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      I really enjoy this series, thanks for publishing it.

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

      Ally, keep working, and if you have any questions about how to make it as a freelancer, drop me an email at holland1145@yahoo.com and maybe I can help.

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

      Maria, I've got granny's gray hair, so how can I take it the wrong way? LOL I love this series. It gives me a chance to teach without seeming to preach. :)

      Thank you for your kind loyalty

      love,

      bill

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

      Sally, that's a great question. I could write a hub about it...and maybe I will...but I'll also answer this in next week's article. Thank you my friend. There is a playful quality to your written word...I like it.

      bill

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

      Thank you Michelle. I'll answer next week. I appreciate you tossing a question my way.

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

      Thanks John. I'm having fun with this series.

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

      Thank you Melissa. I always know I'll get to see you on Mondays. It's nice sitting down with you over coffee and talking about writing. :)

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

      Thank you so much, Rachael. I agree, I've seen the same murky sites out there. Nothing murky about this site...I just calls 'em as I sees 'em. :)

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

      Thank you Brie. So do I.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Such interesting questions this week, especially the copyright one. I often wonder about that myself.

      I think we'll all keep you in questions for years to come because there's always someone with a slightly different angle even if the question's similar.

      I hate to tell you but we're off on hols again on Wednesday; I'm revisiting my 'home' in Sussex first then off to France again for just a little while! Have a wonderful week, bill.

      Ann

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Thanks Billy:)

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Another good one, Bill! In addition to enjoying your hub, I find that I get a lot out of the comment section, too!

      While I am not happy that you are having articles reprinted, I am glad I am not fighting this same battle alone!

      Thank you, Bill! Have a great week!

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I think this happened before you came on the scene, a foreign site stole a lot of hubbers stories/ Poetry. I checked it out and found nothing of mine, so I wrote a fun hub about being ignored. Hee. I still can't highlight words in blue ink. I tried as you instructed, but it didn't work. If anyone reading this can help me I would be a happy camper.. Loved this installment. Keep ' em coming...

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

      Ann, when I grow up, I want to be just like you, travelling the countryside, enjoying the heck out of life. :) If I ever get over there, I know who my tour guide will be.

      Have a great week, Ann, and thank you.

      bill

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

      You are very welcome, Sally, and thank you.

      bill

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

      Randi, there are some fights I can't win. This is one of them. I just keep on writing with my eye on bigger prizes. Why sweat the small stuff?

      Thank you as always my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheez, Ruby, if I had a head for technology I would give you the answer, but I don't. I'm just happy to see you here again.

      bill

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, this is a great forum for engaging your readers and having them assess their roles as writers. You're obviously getting people thinking and that's always a good thing. I love this series!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Who wants to grow up?! Happy to be your tour guide any day, bill!

      Ann

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Dang it all! My typed comment disappeared right before my eyes. It was just the best comment, ever, Bill. Now, I cannot find it.

      Things like this drive me Friggin Nuts!

      You would have love it. It would have been the best comment of the day!

      Now, it is flying off in cyber space - no home to go to - no way to return.

      If you see something circling overhead, that is probably my comment.

      If it poops on you, then it was only a bird.

      Oh, yea, Great Mailbag, today.

      DJ. NAHC (Not A Happy Camper)

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Ruby @always exploring. I'm not sure if this is what you are asking so if you already know this, I apologise. The highlighted words are for links. If you want to link another hub or article in the body of your hub. Just type the word/phrase that you want to use and highlight it with your cursor. In the tool section of your capsule, you will see the "link" symbol (like a sideways 8) Click on that. It will open a box that you can paste the URL of the hub/article that you want linked. When you close this box, your word or phrase will be highlighted in blue, letting the readers know that there is a related article. I hope this helps.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Great information this week. Thank you for answering my question. For me adding a copyright looks more professional despite it being quite useless. I can only hope to pull away from my full time job so that I can write a little more so I am right there with Ally.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 2 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I always did think of you as my Moses.

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Thank you for providing this great service, always something helpful in it.

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

      Thank you, Sha! I admit to being a bit surprised by the popularity of this series. Glad to report I was wrong about this one.

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

      Simply lovely, Ann!

      bill

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

      LMAO...DJ, I have nothing to add. This is the perfect comment.

      bill

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

      Thanks, Randi! I love it when my followers and friends do my work for me. LOL

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

      Michelle, it really does take time for most writers. Develop a five-year plan and work hard. I was lucky, but most writers are not nearly as lucky as I was.

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

      Lizzy, I'm just parting the seas so you have a dry walk. :)

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

      I'm glad to hear it, Eric. Thank you!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Hi Billybuc-a-roo, great questions and answers. As to the final question I don't know if many are award of it but there is a feature called Display Options to the left of your hub below the other capsules like Text, Photos, video, etc. It will tell you your ads are on, but if you don't want them on you can turn them off. It also allows you to categorize your hub group, like poetry, short story, whatever you want it to be. Finally you can put a notice of copyright and it will show up just below your hub like mine © 2014 Lori Colbo. The only negative is the copyright notice is paler. It's not bold black but it's still noticeable (no pun intended). I share this as an FYI in case someone would like to use it.

      People may feel like doing what you do and put their own copyright at the end of their hub. I always like the way yours looks Bill.

      In years past I followed a few hubbers who were so concerned about theft that they put a very stern copyright notice at the beginning, some in bold letter, capitals, etc. It was so unfriendly looking I was taken aback. In as friendly a manner I could I contacted them privately and suggested they put the notice at the end because potential readers might be off-put and decide not to read the hub. They always thanked me and changed the location to the end. At the end of the day, it is like you said, no matter what kind of notice one puts up theft is just as possible.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Here's another helpful 'mailbag' of good questions with informative answers, Bill. The comments (and your responses) for this series also add to the cache of knowledge for writers. For example, even if you answer Sally's question about building your freelance client base in the next issue, I hope you also devote a full-length hub to the topic.

      Voted Up++

      Jaye

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Your answer to Michelle's question hit home for me. There is so much theft on the Internet that I don't even spend time trying to thwart it anymore.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank you so much btrbell! I will try it...Cheers..Hi Bill..

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

      Thanks Lori. One of the things I love about this series is the interaction between us all. Between all of us we manage to answer any question.

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

      Thanks Jaye. I'll get on that today and post it Friday. As always, you are appreciated.

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

      Nope, Marlene, I'll leave the weeping to others...I'm much too busy writing.

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

      I hope it works, Ruby!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Interesting stuff as always Bill, I did smile when you said about how many characters because my mind shot straight over to Stephen king and his huge amount of people that you can't keep up with! and that's one of the reasons I gave up reading his stuff long ago! wise words as always, nell

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Bill

      The copyright issue is a biggie...I have had 5 hubs lifted right here on HubPages and the powers that be were kind enough to let me know. Of course I followed the directions that were given but I am not sure it did any good. I refuse to stop publishing just because there are thieves around.

      As you know this is series answers questions that we really want to have answered.

      Have a lovely afternoon.

      Angels are wining their way to you this afternoon. ps

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

      Thank you, Nell, I have a short attention span, so if an author throws too much at me, I'm lost, confused, and gone. :)

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

      Thank you PS. I've got better things to do than to be the online copying police. I'm a writer. I write. That's what I do. I can't be bothered with the copying of my articles. There are many who disagree with that, and that's fine.

      Thanks for those angels my friend.

      blessings always

      bill

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      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I always enjoy these installments. I get answers to questions I didn't know I had! Voted up, useful and awesome.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Thanks Bill.

      Another great and useful one. I would not be surprised if our work ended up in China. Many are less scrupulous these days. Great Hub and sound advice.

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

      Thank you breakfastpop. I'm having a blast with this series.

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

      Mantita, I suspect you are correct, although I've seen quite a few copiers from India as well. Anyway, thank you for the visit.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      I enjoyed reading the answer to the question about the number of characters in a book. There have been times I've worked on a novel and thought I had too many characters and would confuse the readers. At other times, I feel as if I could've used more. Because of your answer, I think I can better decide how many I should use for any given story.

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

      Sheila, it's really a tough decision. This is just an average figure based on the thoughts of agents and publishers, but it isn't gospel by any means. Thanks as always for the visit.

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      Simon 2 years ago from Ireland

      I really enjoyed this article. I am very new here and only learning my way around but I am really enjoying the articles you are posting up Bill.

      Have also subscribed to your blog and am loving it.

      I hope you will happy to hear you have been a good source of motivation to me and I have been buckling down a bit more with my book. I love how clear you make everything and you have made me believe more in myself as a writer and that writing in general can be a profession.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Another good set of questions and answers. Thank each of you taking the time share through Bill's mailbag. What fun! I've already said my 6th book in my "The Homeplace Saga" series will revolve around 6 alternating voices. The are not necessarily the "main" characters of the story, but we will see the 3 main story lines play out through the eyes (and over the shoulder) of those 6 characters. This is an ongoing set of stories in the same small town/rural location (valley in the southern Missouri Ozarks).

      Whether too many characters is something I've consciously decided not to worry about (even though I am certainly not Tom Clancy!). One point of view. Thanks, again, Bill for great mailbag answers. ;-)

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

      Francis, I read your comment with a smile on my face. I love to provide encouragement and motivation. That's why i write these articles about writing. Thank you so much.

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

      Bill, I don't think the rules apply in an ongoing series. Most of what I suggest only refers to single novels. Carry on with what you are doing, and thank you.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      More good stuff! Looking forward to # 13.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      So right about the copyright notices! It won't really protect you, but it can't hurt either. Kind of like a writer's lucky charm against magically malicious content thieves. :) Top o' the week to you!

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

      Thank you, Bill. I'm glad you are enjoying this.

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

      Thanks, Heidi. i always feel better when you agree with me. :) Have a great week yourself young lady.

    • ThatMommyBlogger profile image

      Missy 2 years ago from The Midwest

      Nice tips. I enjoyed this.

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

      Thank you ThatMommyBlogger. I appreciate the visit.

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      Tori Canonge 2 years ago from California

      Really enjoy the writer's mailbag! I always look forward to your latest and greatest edition! I always learn something new when I read through your hubs. Keep it up!

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Great advice Billy. Especially with that elusive voice. Sometimes I think I've found it and sometimes I don't.

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      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Another good one Bill. You are forever the giver of wisdom - the teacher. Ah yes, I recognize the signs. I seem to be the only writer working on an instruction book. For me, the only character is the reader. Can we talk? (borrowed from the late Joan Rivers.)

      I love you for what you are doing for others.

      Audrey

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

      Thank you Torrs. As long as there is interest I'll keep it up.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Wiccan. Sometimes we find it and don't even know it. :)

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

      Audrey, thank you kind lady. This is what I do....I teach...and hopefully I don't come off sounding like a know it all. :)

      love,

      bill

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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Billy, I can't help but to keep saying I enjoy the mailbag.. keep them fresh, easy to follow, and helpful.. thank you my friend :)

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 2 years ago from Earth

      Loving the mailbag, Billy. Now I need to go back and read the others~

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Its a wonderful series that you have started. So many questions are almost as if-- even I would have liked to ask.

      I liked Michelle's question and think it is quite relevant for everyone. And you answered it so well.

      Thanks!

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 2 years ago from chennai

      billy,

      Just like you I am enjoying your mailbag. Lots of answers to my doubts and lots of inspirations for my aspirations. One doubt I have. Is it costly to bring out an eBook. Do I have to promote its sales? Is the cover that important to make viewers buy it?

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      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Bill (and Lizzy), I have always loved David Foster Wallace's essays so I purchased a copy of his novel "Infinite Jest". I forced myself through about 300 pages before abandoning it. The characters were so numerous and disparate that I became confused and uninterested. It wasn't worth the effort. Of course his book is considered avant garde, so perhaps I am a troglodyte. Bill, thank you for mixing form with function by answering questions about writing technique and also questions about the business end. It is SO helpful!

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      Suzette Walker 2 years ago from Taos, NM

      Interesting questions and good answers. These mailbag installments are great ones and so helpful. Thank you !

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

      Thank you Frank! I love that others are enjoying this series.

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

      Thank you DealForALiving....I appreciate you stopping by.

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

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan. It's interesting that many of us have the same questions.

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

      Great questions, mathira. I will answer them on Monday. Thank you so much.

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      This is like an interactive Dear Abby! What wonderful questions and answers you have here...the better to help us with.

      I may not get here on Monday but you know sooner or later I will because I have to read it. Not only do I enjoy it but I learn from it. Thank you and keep em coming.

      Voted up, useful, interesting, and pinned.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Iris, I doubt, seriously, that you are troglodyte...great word by the way, but no way you are one....that's what an author risks when the introduce too many characters. I feel the same as you.

      Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suzette. I'm having a blast with this series.

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

      Thank you Mary. I am surprised by the response but also by how much I'm enjoying this. Have a great week my friend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Great installment. I liked the response to Ally. Perhaps others will chime in and offer information and advice for the pre-Social Security set to aid her in her quest.

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

      I do too, Flourish. I don't know of any advice to give her, other than to work hard and take it one step at a time. Thank you!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Hey, Bill! Writing online and inaccurate family history data have one aspect in common when it comes to content copying. Once someone - usually but not always a newbie - has posted incorrect "facts" somewhere, it's an exercise in futility to get it removed, so I don't even bother trying anymore. I've come to much the same philosophy about copied content.

      I'll be looking forward to your answer to the questions about niche writing, although my personal experience has been that very few "nichers" start out writing for a specific audience. Many times it's just a case of putting stuff out there to see what "sticks" and not bothering to write about whatever doesn't.

      Have a great week! ;D

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jama, I love your attitude and outlook on life.

      I'll have that niche answer on Monday. Hope you can wait that long. LOL

      So far my week is fine. I hope yours is as well my friend.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Another awesomely useful hub, Bill!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I like this series Bill--I don't make the money you do here, but appreciate your candor about how you made this work for you financially. I am just starting to pull things together for a book of poetry though--and thinking about using Create a space--any opinions on pros and cons of self publishing platforms??? I am thinking that I want to make use I have a link to Amazon--and maybe have them print on demand--so that I can have both e-book and physical publishing????

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

      Audrey, I wasn't sure when you wanted the answer to this, but I'll give it now. I found CreateSpace to be a very easy site to use for physical publishing and the ebook...very user friendly and prompt in setting up the book. Price-wise they are competitive, and I would have no problem recommending them to other writers.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you ill! Good to know!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Bill

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

      You betcha, Audrey. I'm also going to mention this on next week's mailbag, so thank you.

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

      and thank you again. :)

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Hi Bill.

      When you sees us flying at higher altitude , be assured, your answers to the most urgent questions of he day made trip safer.

      Another up and useful.

      Shalom my friend.

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 2 years ago from USA

      Hey! I just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on your Hubbie Awards this year, and to thank you for taking the time to read my work even when I am not as active on this site as I would like to be. Hat's off to you, my friend and neighbor!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, thank you very much. I just know some good people. :)

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

      Michael my friend, thank you! I'm here for you if I can ever be of assistance.

      Peace my friend

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Oh Bill, many times I came close to ... however in viw of high respect of your business my conclusion's best answer I have found in this Aramaic transl." Yes, my lord, even the dogs eat from the crumbs that fall from their master's table and they live."

      Forever grateful,

      michaEL

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

      Michael, that is a classic. Thank you for the smile this evening.

      bill

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for another interesting and useful list of answers to questions, Bill.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Thanks again for another first class hub. I think your placebo works in many cases but then is it a placebo? :) Tip top.

      Graham.

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

      You are very welcome, Alicia. Thank you!

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

      Ahhh, great question, Graham! I'll have to think on that. :) Thanks my friend.

    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 2 years ago from Indiana

      I love reading your installments! I love to write, but I feel like not many people see my writing. What are a few good ways to get my work out there for people to see? I write on HubPages and Bubblews, but only a handful of people see me. Also, thanks for mentioning me! (-:

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Casey, it takes time. I know for a fact, the more active you are commenting on the articles of others, your views will increase. I'll answer your question in the mailbag, but you can also email me at holland1145@yahoo.com and I'll tell you in-depth what I did.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I am positive that you placed the statement about Tom Clancy just for me! lol Another useful hub, my friend. I was wondering about copyrighting myself. Also, congratulations on your all-round hubber award, one well deserved.

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

      Ann, thank you very much. I'm glad I could clarify the copyrighting situation for you.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I finally got a chance to get online today and glad I caught your positive flow here. I always come away with great ideas and feel rejuvenated.

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

      Dianna I appreciate you spending part of your Sunday with me. Thank you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You have definitely found success here. I am learning a lot from your answers. Keep on keeping on!

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

      Thanks, Deb. I'm enjoying the heck out of it.

    • Doris Dancy profile image

      Doris H. Dancy 2 years ago from Yorktown, Virginia

      You have given some great answers to these wonderful questions as usual. You are such a good writer and your VOICE is so easy going and laid back. I enjoy it greatly.

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

      Thank you Doris! You mentioned my voice...that is how I want it to be, like an easy conversation between old friends. :)

    • Doris Dancy profile image

      Doris H. Dancy 2 years ago from Yorktown, Virginia

      …and that is EXACTLY how it is. That's why I love reading your work. It's like sitting down with an old friend and getting wisdom at his feet.

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

      Thank you Doris. Now all I have to do is keep doing what I'm doing. :)

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I decided top go back and read more of your Mailbag Hubs. If you have answered such a question, send me to the proper HUB. Here is my question. I will eventually have 8 children's/adult series to release. If I end up on Amazon without a big publisher, what comes to mind for releasing the series? I'm getting opinions on this from other pros and I hope I can figure out the best approach. In all there will be 40 books involved as there will be full color, sketch editions, parchment editions and color books. Each book will have 3 editions for 4-8, 9-12 and 12- adult age level. This is an ambitious project that involves a staff of artists working 2 years to do the art. Any thoughts?

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

      Reynold Jay, first of all...MY GOODNESS! You hit the nail on the head when you said an ambitious project. Best wishes on that, and I hope you do secure a publisher.

      Now, your question...I'm not sure I understand it. "What comes to mind for releasing the series?" I don't know what you are asking me. If you can be a bit more specific, I'll be sure and answer immediately and in the next installment of this mailbag series.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I'm wondering about the timing of the release of the books. I would bet there may be a business model or study that would indicate the manner of releasing the books. All at once? Several to start and then the others a month apart etc. Maybe your readers have suggestions too. Let's consider the books 1-8 and assume the collector's books would be released at the same ( or nearly) time as the matching book. In other words All versions of book one might be released at same time. I suspect that the proper model for timing the release may very well make a major difference in the volume of sales. There is much more to it, of course, but this is really the driving question.

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

      Now I understand, Reynold Jay. Thank you. I'm going to tackle this one in next week's installment, but my quick answer would be to release all versions of one book at the same time....to me that makes the most sense.....the other option is to release all age appropriate versions one after another, and then move to the next age group and do the same...but for some reason, I like the first option better.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      We'll see what others say. I appreciate your thought on this.

      I would think option 1 is best and I do anticipate doing that. It is the spacing between 1, 2, 3, etc. I imagine we may see various good plans. It is possible I will ask the agents their thoughts and then I may contact my local chamber of commerce and see if they have any resources that might have a definitive answer based upon research. I must admit this is not done often. Hopefully all this may very well be theoretical if an agent and publisher get involved. I like to see a well planned road ahead. It will be next summer--plenty of time.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Here is a link to the art where the project can be viewed. It will give others a good idea what we are talking about.

      http://reynold-jay.artistwebsites.com/

       View illustrations in our art gallery

      Artists from around the globe have posted comments. Art is already beginning to sell and the books are not yet out. Our team anticipates walking off with many children's books awards with this project.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Reynold Jay, I wish you the best on this ambitious project. It will be interesting to watch it unfold.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I took at look at the artwork and it is fantastic. This looks like a project that has all the t's crossed and i's dotted. Well done!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 23 months ago from Oklahoma

      Discouragement certainly has destroyed many a writing career.

      Great response and subject matter.

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

      Thank you Larry! May you always be encouraged.

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