The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Ninety-Seven

Updated on May 18, 2016

And the Beat Goes On

Last week the Mailbag was overflowing. This week it’s hardly flowing at all. Such is life. We’ll take what we’ve got and move on to next week. In other words, nothing can stop the mail from being delivered.

Thanks to those of you who asked questions this week.

NICE WEATHER

From Angela: “How do you continue to write when the weather gets nice and the outdoors is begging you to join it?”

Well, Angela, who says I do?

Seriously, I’m a pretty goal-oriented individual, so it really isn’t that hard for me to soldier on no matter what the weather is like. For me, writing is a job of passion. Now there are two words in that last sentence that are important. Writing is a job for me and it is also a passion. I love to write and I love making money from writing, so that love allows me to do something I enjoy doing whether it’s snowing or eighty degrees and sunny.

Having said all that, if the weather is wonderful and I have a need to get out and enjoy it, I have no problem stopping and going outside. I think it’s necessary for writers to take breaks and enjoy the little pleasures of life, and a sunny day is definitely a pleasure.

I just don’t do it often. LOL

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

SELF-PUBLISHING

From Adam: “I just self-published my first novel on CreateSpace and Kindle. What little tricks are there to increase sales? The book is barely selling at all and I’m not sure what to do about it.”

Adam, I’m probably going to sound blunt in my answer, but I’ll risk it. There are no “little tricks” to increase sales. Sales come from a) having a good product and b) learning how to market that product.

Successful writers, and I’m talking about good writers who sell bunches of books, have two things going for them: they have learned their craft and they market their product continuously. There are no shortcuts in this process. Pick the brains of some successful writers and ask them how they market their books. Build a platform and continue to add on to that platform. Continue to write and improve as a writer, and then when you are all done doing those things, go back and do them again, and again, and again.

Overnight successes in this business are very rare. A miniscule percentage of writers do well with their first book and that’s just the real of it.

I have a total of two reviews for this book. Is that good or bad?
I have a total of two reviews for this book. Is that good or bad? | Source

REVIEWS

From Sharan: 'How does writing a 'book review' or a 'movie review' help in a writer's career?"

This is a very interesting question, Sharan, and I doubt seriously that there is a definitive answer to it. At first glance, one would think that a positive book review would help a writer….but…..

Of late, there have been accusations made against Amazon about phony book reviews on their site, which of course calls into doubt all book reviews on their site. Honestly, and this is just me, I pay no attention to book reviews on online sites. I just don’t know where they came from, if they are real or if they are a marketing ploy. Let’s face it, I could pay you to write a series of reviews about my book and never have you read the book at all. So I have some skepticism here.

If I want to know about a book, I read the synopsis on the inside cover and I read the first few paragraphs. That’s enough for me to determine if a book has value to me.

Having said all that, I do think a number of positive reviews helps on sites like Amazon….over 20? Over thirty? How can it hurt? Even if I’m correct and there are phony reviews online, I don’t see how a positive book review could possibly hurt a writer.

I assume the same can be said about movie reviews, but since I’m not a movie star, I think I’ll refrain from commenting on that aspect.

I tried for a dynamic introduction with this novel
I tried for a dynamic introduction with this novel | Source

INTRODUCTIONS

From Pete: “I’ve read articles by you, and others, about the importance of a dynamic introduction or opening paragraph. I believe you called it the “Ten Second Rule,” meaning a writer has ten seconds to capture the attention of the readers or they might as well forget about it. And yet I have read some “classics” that have terribly boring first chapters. So which is it, dynamic or boring?”

Really, Pete? You really need me to answer that question? LOL

So, your question is dynamic or boring? Did I get it correct?

I’m having fun with you, Pete, so forgive my silliness.

I am a firm believer in the Ten Second Rule. Are there exceptions to the rule? Of course there are. One of my all-time favorite books, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” does not have what I would call a dynamic opening and yet it is a classic. On the other hand, declaring a book to be a classic is a bit nebulous at best, don’t you think? It’s a purely subjective classification. I’ve read a great many of the so-called “classics,” and there are quite a few of them that have bored me to tears. So what can I say?

Let me put it this way: in today’s world, where instant gratification is the norm rather than the exception, I believe the Ten Second Rule is important. People are much too busy to wait for a writer’s brilliance to manifest itself in Chapter Six….they want to see that brilliance immediately….so I say give it to them! Is it possible to write a good novel and ignore the Ten Second Rule? Of course it is, but why take the chance?

That’s All We Have

I could make this Mailbag longer but that would require me making up some questions and posting them to fictitious people, and that seems a bit deceptive to me. LOL Let’s just end it where it ends and be done with this week.

Remember, if you have a question for the Mailbag, you can include it in the comment section below, or you can send it via email to holland1145@yahoo.com.

Thanks to you all for joining me this week. Have a brilliant week of writing and living.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Sha! For a variety of reasons I don't trust Amazon. I think, all too often, we are getting scammed by them. Call me a cynic. I can live with it. LOL

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      Shauna L Bowling 18 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, paid reviews are becoming more and more common. I once had a client ask me to write a review for a product I'd never used or tried. I flat out refused.

      I check reviews all the time - more for products and services than books. However, I never read the reviews on the company's site or Amazon's, for that matter. I always look for reviews that are posted elsewhere. I like to think those are more genuine.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm having a blast, Manatita, and I thank you for sharing in it with me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And they are fine thoughts, Lawrence, and I thank you for them.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 18 months ago from london

      Another great one, William Dale... we're getting closer to that doable milestone. Keep having fun!

    • profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 18 months ago

      Bill

      Really good and food for thought. We may not be successful at first, but let's keep 'plodding on' and improving our craft.

      Those are my thoughts

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that, Deb. You had me smiling!

    • profile image

      Deb Hirt 18 months ago

      Over every life, a little rain will always fall, but the end results make it worth it. I remind myself that this is a bumper crop for both Broad leafed dogwood and mulberries at Boomer Lake!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You just hit on the reason, Ann, that I am fairly pleased with the drizzle. It just means that much less watering of our seedlings. One less chore for me this week.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 19 months ago from SW England

      Drizzle can be comforting (but not often)! At least it helps the plants grow.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, I am so appreciative of you always being here. Thank you and Happy Sunday to you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 19 months ago from SW England

      I always love reading your responses to our questions, bill. There's always a great conversation.

      As for the 10 second rule, I quite agree. I've read so-called 'best sellers' which I've found do not hold my attention at all, sometimes not in the first chapter, let alone the first paragraph. If I'm in a good mood, I carry on just in case but if I'm not, then I don't bother after the first few words.

      I belong to a book club and other members often recommend books or choose the next one for us to read. Some I love, some I find tedious either in subject matter or in style but it's all subjective isn't it? If not, what a boring world this would be.

      Carry on delighting us with your first paragraphs which 'grab' us and keep us moving 'til the end of the story.

      Today is a great sunshine Sunday; we're revelling in unusually warm days now and it's amazing how many more smiles you see out and about, even indoors! Hope you're having a sunshine Sunday, bill!

      Ann

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton

      97 ... wow.. and I still find the time to capture your mail bag.. the ten second rule.. I thought was a good question brought to the table.. hmm.. thanks for continuing the share.. see you into the next century..:)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, you can butt in any old time you feel like it, and you don't have to go POOF so quickly afterwards. LOL

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 19 months ago from Oakley, CA

      Thanks, Bill; glad I was able to provide a chuckle. I'm at the point here where if I don't laugh I'll cry, as I'm so sick of "Mr. Murphy" and his n'er-do-well antics.

      However, I wonder if I might "butt in," and offer this semi-precious gem gleaned from the middle of one of my own hubs, on the sad state of our schools. I think it works as general advice, even out of context of the article. ;)

      " Carpenters have a saying: "Measure twice; cut once." Writers should use a similar adage: "Write once, proofread several times, print once!" "

      And now, before I embarrass myself by making a typo, I shall take my leave.

      :: POOF !! :: :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, Martie, it really is my pleasure. Thanks for the kind words. It was good to hear from you.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 19 months ago from South Africa

      Another very insightful and usable installment of the Writers Mailbag. I hate missing these installments!

      Thanks billybuc, for taking the time to answer all these nagging questions on a writer's mind.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree totally with you, DDE. Word of mouth advertising is the most valuable by far.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, peace be with you and apologies not necessary. I know exactly what you are saying, and I'm just grateful you take the time to comment on my articles. You are a good man, Michael, and I appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I've never had that question, Faith. I happen to know the answer...stay tuned, and thank you.

      blessings and hugs on this sunny Thursday

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 19 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Book reviews are helpful and one should consider this a lesson and to learn from that experience. Promoting a book word of mouth is the most useful way. Your hubs are informative and helpful to all writers

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 19 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      The questions may be few this week but they are interesting and the replies as well. I have myself wondered a number of times whether online product reviews are phony or not. How does one verify them?

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 19 months ago

      All great comments said it more adequately, my friend then I ever would be able to add right evaluate your true and valuable answers to a very important questions.

      Applicable in any field of enterprise "having good product'' not only in writing/publishing. Friends are recommending to friends by 'mouth advertising.' Overwhelming in my field. I need to quit, I desire to quit production seeing how it works agaist me: when my body is tired, my intelectual concentration is weaker and both work mockery against my spirit. I can go as far as reading an article only due to tireness witholding a comment. My apology to all you wonderful writers on HP.

      Good night and many blessings.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 19 months ago from southern USA

      Thank you, Bill.

      I hope you were able to decipher my question. Maybe you can clean it up for me!

      On another note, do you happen to know if one publishes an e-book and then later decides to remove part of it, is that something one can do? Seems like, being it is done via computer, it would be easy just to edit and add to or take away parts. This is not for me, but the thought did come to my mind for other reasons, and so I am just curious how that would work or not.

      Peace and blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, I believe that...word of mouth is crucial to success. There are so many ways to market a book...if what you are doing isn't working, look for new ways to get the word out.

      And thank you for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, thanks for your thoughts and a question never asked before. I'll have an answer for you on Monday...and good luck with that proposed book.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the kind words, and for always being here, Alicia.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, your last sentence is a gold mine of truth, and one all writers need to realize: it is impossible to please all audiences....so don't try.

      Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, honestly, I'm not so sure it isn't the norm. I think this writing gig takes a long time, and the overnight successes are so few as to be an anomaly. Just my opinion.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I'm laughing about your last sentence....New Age Touchy Feely Nonsense? I think I'll actually include that in the Mailbag next week. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Nell! I've got it now so I write in the morning and work outside in the afternoon...the perfect solution since it rarely gets hot here in the afternoons.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      ChitrangadaSharan, regarding negative reviews....one or two is normal and should be ignored.....but if a great proportion of the reviews are negative I would think the author should not ignore those...there is probably some truth in them.

      Thank you again!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, you had me laughing throughout your entire comment. Well done, my friend, and thanks for the chuckle. Russian authors are like a trip to the dentist without pain-killers for me. LOL

      Great questions. I'll have some semi-great answers for you Monday.

      You crack me up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great question, Faith, one never asked before. I'll have an answer for you Monday.

      Humidity? Maybe five days a year here....seriously. It's just not something we deal with, thank God!

      And thank you!

      blessings always

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 19 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I'm glad to have read your post Billy, especially after finding out that my novels I donated to the local library at the beginning of this year, have so far never been taken out! OK they added them onto the fantasy fiction genre,so less likely to be spotted. My Amazon book sales have also been very minimal this year. I will hopefully finish my last book (5th) in the awakening series, but no, to keep having steady book sales is difficult. Word of mouth is probably still the best. (I loved reading Paindrips story)

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 19 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Reading this some thoughts came to mind. Eventually and I think most likely toward September I will finally see about self-publishing a book of poems. I have had people urging me on and suggesting I do it. Now I wonder once I finally get it done will everyone really cheer? Interesting thought that. Leaves me but one question in regards to marketing the book - at that time should I create a Facebook page for it? Oh, yes and thank you for your response to my HP dilemma. At present I am in the process of deleting all of my unfeatured poems and articles just to clean up my space. At the moment I am staying put and taking everything in stride. As they say - time will tell.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 19 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There may not be many questions this week, but the answers are useful, as always, Bill. I must remember the Ten Second Rule in case I ever write a novel.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 19 months ago from New Jersey

      Hi, Bill,

      I like these questions. Some we have heard before, but I'll never tire of the discussions. I'm a fan of talking about introductions. I favor that question the most. It reminds me of Anne Rice, again. She is a known rambler; especially, in the introductions. Of course, some hate that. I love it because you can tell how passionate she is about her stories.

      I think a known fact as an author is that you'll never please everyone.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 19 months ago from Fresno CA

      Hey Bill,

      Once again a great set of questions and answers. My son has self-published a series of Young Adult Fantasy books and worked like crazy to self-promote. He had a facebook page and regularly posted comments on it. He visited schools (junior high mostly) and even gave away the first book in the series to get kids to read more... and buy the rest of the series. He got kids and parents to write lots of reviews and even created a website for the series. Finally after 10 years, his book was picked up by a New York publisher. I'm sure that's not the norm but it is great that self-promotion eventually pays off.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 19 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Regarding reviews, I think most people can tell a fake one a mile off. Usually people who write them, do as little as possible, and it shows. I just wonder if the author realizes this could be hurting their sales.

      I am with DzyMsLizzy regarding long term goals. I look forward to your answer next week.

      I was wondering if you have any mantras to keep you focused or do you think all that positive thinking stuff is just nonsense?

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 19 months ago from England

      Another great edition Bill, and I always appreciate your wise words, now get out in that sun! lol!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 19 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you Billybuc, for including my question in this edition of The Writer's Mailbag!

      I am happy to read the inter active discussion as well on the topic of 'Reviews' by fellow hubbers.

      When I see people writing 'reviews' about books or movies, I am a bit uneasy.

      I believe 'reviews' are personal opinions and if we are really interested in someone's work, reading by self is more desirable.

      Having said that I agree with you that positive reviews can help. But what about the negative ones!

      I usually do not get carried away by book reviews or movie reviews. But they are unavoidable and they keep on coming. There can be both positive and negative impact of this.

      Thank you for sharing another interesting installment!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 19 months ago from Oakley, CA

      So-called 'classics!' GAH!! Some of the most boring, uninteresting, dull and dry books I have ever read fall into that category. Most notably, most of those were books assigned for reading in high school. Not one was a book I would have read by personal choice.

      Offhand, I would say that, for me, both Hemingway and Steinbeck fall into that class. "Never again" would be too soon. But, as you wisely point out, such things are subjective.

      I also read (twice) Michener's "The Source," and found it fascinating. (This also when I was in high school.) However, I couldn't get 'into' any of his other books. They just didn't grab me as that one did.

      Now, my questions! ;-)

      1) Having just read your weekly "Artistry" e-mail, I have to ask, how do you actually manage to make and stick to a long-range goal? This is something I have struggled with all my life. I may make plans, but as Robert Burns put it, "...The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men, Gang aft agley..."

      It seems something or other (either Murphy's Law, or someone else in the household deciding that THEIR plans are more important/urgent than one's own) fouls things up royally, making it impossible or nearly so, to follow through. It has gotten to the point where I avoid making plans for anything further out than the next day or week; month or two tops.

      2) Another angle on the marketing question: How do you 'continually promote' on any or various platforms without pissing people off, and becoming such a pest so that when they see your posts, they duck into the nearest (virtual) doorway? "Oh, NO!! Here she comes again to ask us to buy her books!" On sites such as Face Book, you are liable to find yourself "unfriended," hidden or blocked--or, worst of all--reported for spam.

      Thanks for either question you decide to answer.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 19 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday, Dear Bill,

      The questions posed are really good for this short Monday Mailbag.

      So, when the Ten Second Rule is implemented, how far in the story do you level out a bit so-to-speak? What I mean is, do you keep up that momentum to build anticipation throughout the entire story to the climax or is it more of a give and take approach until you reach the mind-blowing ending? Hahaha Or is it just different strokes for different folks?

      Oh, I love Spring so much here because there is no humidity right now, but as soon Summer arrives, it is hard to even breathe when you go outside. So, I make sure to enjoy it now, and then again in the Fall. We have humidity so thick, it feels like you can cut it with a knife.

      Peace and blessings

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, John! I appreciate you always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, that's one more thing we have in common...simple brains. LOL Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh heck MizB, I love it when people disagree with me. I don't want to live in a world where everyone thinks like me. LOL Thanks a scary thought.

      Bev had a wonderful Mother's Day and I hope you did as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I'll be glad when #100 is behind us. I'm tired of looking forward to it. LOL

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Short but sweet, Bill. I enjoyed the questions and answers this week.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Pretty good questions and answers for what was considered a light week. I absolutely agree with the ten second rule. If I'm not captured in that first paragraph I'm usually history. Of course this is just how my simple brain works. Have a great week,

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 19 months ago

      I agree with the 10-Second rule, Bill, but I try to give an author a little scrouge. Usually, if the book hasn't gotten interesting in the first 50 pages, I drop it. The only time I make an exception is if I've read a fantastic review on Amazon that goes something like this:

      "This book gets off to a really slow start, but after Ms. Protagonist lowers the boom on Mr. Antagonist in a most alarming way, the book zooms off to an exciting conclusion. It makes it worth the wait."

      So you see, I kind of disagree on online reviews. I fall for them like the sucker that I am.

      Hope Bev had a great Mothers Day!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 19 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Short, but sweet, and good. I think we're all saving up for mailbag 100. Still, you gave us good pointers , so I thank you , my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The voice of experience, Bill. Thank you....work, work and work some more. It's the only way I know of to get results.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very good point, Dora, and I thank you for it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, four is better than zero and I thank you for the kind words. 100 it shall be, my friend.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 19 months ago from Hollister, MO

      It is always a positive to have positive book reviews of your book(s) but they will only sell if the author follows your great advise and gets out there and sells/markets the book. I've had it both ways, and being out doing everything possible to sell a book is the only way that gets results. Great mailbag. Thanks! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      Two reviews for your book may be just a start--that's good! Thanks for some more useful advice.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 19 months ago from Europe

      That wasn't so short, Bill. Still four questions, and some even not so easy. I love this series. Let's go for the hundred! Have a great week. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, you are very kind and I thank you. I'm currently working on the brand new Billy the Kid, going back to New York to help his hooker friends, and I'm constantly reminding myself that I need to make it fresh and entertaining. So I agree with you about many authors. As for the classics, I've read a good many of them, and some of them leave me shaking my head wondering if maybe I have a screw loose and can't recognize genius when I read it. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! I pay practically no attention to reviews, especially after finding out many of them are false or were paid for...kind of took the luster off of them for me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe that to be true, Flourish. Some would disagree but hey, I don't have to hang with them. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I knew I could count on you to provide a voice of reason regarding reviews. Thank you and I hope this week is the best so far.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 19 months ago from United Kingdom

      So true about boring 'classics'. You may recall I am reading 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens. Now I understand that back in the day, readers had more time on their hands since they weren't distracted by TV, movies, Facebook etc. Writers could take their time with character/plot development and go into rhapsodies about settings before they got to the juicy part. So I'm quite patient when I sit down to read these types of books. But, OMG, I've never read anything quite so tortuous as this 'classic.' And I've read 'The Mill on the Floss'.

      So was the secret to this book's longevity the fact that it was written by an author with a good reputation? Or, perhaps, that it was possibly published in bits and pieces so it didn't seem so bad? Who knows?

      Of course, the reverse is true. I've read some books that started out promising then somewhere along the line it seemed like the author lost interest and just wrote on for the sake of finishing it.

      Mercifully, you're not 'that guy' and I've enjoyed watching you progress in leaps and bounds. Thank you for sharing your pearls of wisdom with us.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I must admit my muse insists on being outside when it's warm. I've read more than one review and was disappointed when I read the book, so I don't pay much attention to them. I'm interested in Eric's question too. See you next time...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 19 months ago from USA

      I agree with you on the ten second rule as readers have attention spans that are short and thus beg to be drawn in immediately.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, you had me chuckling several times there...good to have you back and thank you.

      Published a book? Me? Actually, five and three novellas. Yes, I've been busy, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, I read your comment and I shuddered thinking "it can't be all that bad, can it?" but then I realized it is.

      Let me give your question some thought and tackle it next Monday. Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, a sigh of relief leaves my lips as you agree with me once again. LOL Thank you!

      Seventies and sunshine all this week. In other words, Paradise!

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      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Sally! Great week here for weather. I'm going to write for four more hours and then go outside and enjoy the world. I hope you do the same, my friend.

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      Melissa Propp 19 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I guess people are too busy enjoying the beautiful weather and forgot to ask more questions! In regards to the reviews, one advantage to have a higher # of reviews is that some of the "better" advertising book sites only accept books that have a minimum # of reviews...so if you use sites like bookbub for marketing, then it will help your chances of being accepted.

      Hope you have a wonderful productive week!

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      Mr. Happy 19 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      " Honestly, and this is just me, I pay no attention to book reviews on online sites." - That's sad because I wrote this just for You: https://hubpages.com/literature/Book-Review-The-Ju...

      Haha, I'm kidding - it was a university paper which I wrote many years ago and thought I'd share it as an "example" of a "book review". What is interesting, is that I had a kid email me a couple of years ago and asked me if he can quote from it for a school project. I thought that was neat.

      "On the other hand, declaring a book to be a classic is a bit nebulous at best, don’t you think?" - I don't personally like "To Kill A Mockingbird" but I do have to admit it is a "classic". Whatever makes it a classic, put it on high-schools course curriculum (only I was lucky with a teacher that gave us a choice in what to read and I skipped it).

      Well, I've been missing from around here for the most part - I did not know You published a book. That's awesome - congratulations! I shall look into it. : )

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      Brian Leekley 19 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      So when I've read one of your recent novels or novellas and want to share with others why I like it, I should not bother to post a reader's review on Amazon, because no one trusts such reviews and no one pays attention to them unless there are lots and lots of them? Is there anywhere a review is worth posting or submitting? As a hub? In sites like Persona Paper? Anywhere?

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      Heidi Thorne 19 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday!

      Re: Tricks. Agreed, there are no tricks to selling more books on Amazon or elsewhere. You have to have an author platform (as we've talked about before) and market, market, market!

      Re: Reviews. Again, if you've built an author platform and fan base to support your books, people are less likely to be swayed by this or that review when buying online. It's not toothpaste. :) And, of course, the Internet is full of trolls who will write bad reviews for the most inane of reasons. Consider the source.

      Hope the weather is wonderful where you are so you can get some non-writing R&R! Have a wonderful week ahead!

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 19 months ago from Norfolk

      Oh yes, a little 'soul time' in the sunshine is what the doctor ordered. We had plenty during the weekend and it continues to shine. I feel lucky today and I hope you are getting a little of the same today. Have a terrific week Billy.

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      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, thank you. I'm just about to go read your latest. I know I won't be disappointed. Enjoy that sunshine!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Always interesting questions, Swalia. Thank you!

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      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All true, Donna, except our hens don't like to be petted. LOL

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 19 months ago

      As always, I get something out of this series. The sun is shining here for the first time in a long time, and I am still at the computer writing. I must have a strong work ethic!!

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 19 months ago

      Interesting set of questions and answers!

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      Cygnet Brown 19 months ago from Springfield, Missouri

      Many of us, the internet is the biggest distraction. I guess its all about making sure to have a daily plan and sticking to it at least to some extent. However, we shouldn't be rigid about our schedules. A few minutes pulling weeds or petting one of the hens are always a plus. I have heard that making plan that includes three and only three things that has to be done in a given day toward major goals does a lot over time and allows us to live our lives without spending all of it with our nose to the grindstone.

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      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I really do believe that, Donna. My problem,with this little farm we have, is making sure I don't spend too much time outdoors with distractions.

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      Cygnet Brown 19 months ago from Springfield, Missouri

      This spring has been the longest I can remember here in South Central Missouri! It started in February and has not ended yet! Needless to say, the outdoors has certainly been calling my name! Today it's BIC Day! Its supposed to rain so writing is the perfect activity.

      Getting away from the desk is important especially this time of year. It actually helps rather than hinders the creative process!

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      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, thanks for the question. I think you have a sermon I'm late getting to...mea culpa!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine...first as always, my friend. Happy Monday to you....let's all have a great week!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great addition. I really do learn a lot from this series. Here is a real simple question. I am working on some writing that deals with sayings people use. Cliche concepts. So do you put quotation marks around the cliche?

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 19 months ago from New York, New York

      Another great edition here and loved the nice weather question, especially and you know I truly have no problem pulling away from my writing and work now to enjoy it, too. But still always return to it all still after. Happy Monday to you now, Bill and here is to a wonderful week ahead!! :)

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