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The Writer's Mailbag #1

The Questions Are Pouring In

Well, maybe not pouring, but there is a fine, steady trickle of them, so why not cover as many as possible in one article?

The Writer’s Mailbag is a new series that will appear from time to time. I am working from the assumption that if one person asks a question, then there are others wondering the same thing, so hopefully this series will help quite a few of you out there.

This is randomness at its finest. There is no central theme other than all of the questions pertain to writing. If you don’t see the answers you need, and you have other questions, then feel free to ask them in the comment section of this article, or you can ask me on my website at I promise to get to them in the order they are written and as quickly as possible.

Shall we begin with the Writer’s Mailbag?

Always finish the book before quering

Always finish the book before quering


Absolutely not!

How’s that for definitive?

Agents are busy people. They do not have time to waste on the promise of something great. They want to see that something. Let me take this a step further: not only do they want to see a finished manuscript, but they also want to see an edited manuscript that is ready for print.


Maybe you just need to be patient.

Most agents will respond to your query within three weeks if they are interested in it.

Some will not respond at all if they are not interested. That may seem rude to you, and I believe it to be so, but that is the reality of this business.

If you send out ten query letters, and you don’t hear back from half of them, it is time for you to update that query letter and make it more appealing.


I can tell you what my dad would say if he were alive… harder!

Seriously, there are good-paying writing gigs out there. You just have to be creative enough, and dogged enough in your approach, to find them. If all you are doing is going after content mill gigs then no, you will not find good-paying gigs. Content mills make the content mill money; not the writer. Bypass the middleman, tell the content mills to take a hike, and go out and find your own gigs. That way you get paid the big money and the content mill gets nothing.

Do you need a writing coach?

  • Hire Me | William Holland
    Let's work together to improve your skills. I was a classroom teacher for eighteen years, and I guarantee we can raise your skill level.


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How much time do you have for an answer?

Of course you can promote yourself on the social media, but I believe the number one thing you should do is become a real person to your audience. Let people know who you are. Reach out and connect with people on a very personal basis.

I have said this so many times before: you are the business and your writing is the product. Promote your business….you….by being a person that others would like to meet and become friends with.


Some magazines work on a year schedule. In other words, if you are writing a Christmas article, the best time to pitch it is right after the New Year starts.

For article writing, think at least six months in advance. If you are an online writer, remember that it takes a good six months for an article to circulate online. If you are a magazine writer, then pitch at least six months in advance and better would be a year.


Well don’t ask your relatives because they have to tell you that you are good.

You can hire a writing coach. You can find them online, and they can be quite helpful because their opinion is objective, and their goal is to make you a better writer.

You can join writing groups online, or sign up for a writing course at your local community college.

The key here is to obtain the opinion of someone who is not emotionally involved with you. Objectivity is the holy grail that you are after. Your friends will not want to hurt your feelings. Your family has to love you. You need someone who does not think you walk on water.

Expand your horizons through hard work

Expand your horizons through hard work


Work, and then work hard!

Read, and then read hard!

Write, and then write hard!

The Holy Trinity for writers.

Oh, you wanted more?

Writers improve by writing. Writers improve by reading good writing. Writers improve by taking courses, hiring writing coaches, trying to emulate the greats, and generally working their tails off.

There are no shortcuts to improving your writing, and I like the fact that I have to work hard to be a good writer. That means it is something special that not everyone can do and yes, that makes me happy.


What are your goals? Answer that and then you can answer the question above.

If you are low on funds, publish an ebook.

If you don’t care about sales, publish an ebook.

If this is just a personal challenge that you met, publish an ebook.

If you want to tear your hair out and feel inadequate, try traditional publishing. LOL


Try both!

Publish an ebook and query agents and publishers at the same time. Yes, it is legal and yes, many people do it.


Learn from the masters. Seriously! Read James Lee Burke and be prepared for awe.

Read Steinbeck and be prepared to feel inadequate.

How did they paint a scene? They wrote to the five senses. We all have them. Readers and writers share those senses, and it is that commonality that writers should be concerned with when writing scenes.

What do you smell when you walk into that scene? What do you see? Hear? Feel? Do you taste anything? If your readers can answer those questions after reading your scenes, then you don’t need any more of my help.


Like “bzzzz” for a bee flying by, or “bam” for a gunshot….

Absolutely not!

Words like bzzz and bam are weak tools for weak writers. You have hundreds of thousands of words to use; why would you go for weak?

Describe what that buzzing sounds like using similes or metaphors. Your readers will thank you for it.


You don’t find time to write. You make time to write. If writing is a passion for you, then schedule time to do it.

Listen, I know you are busy. You have a job, and kids, and responsibilities, but the notion that there is no time to write is silly. Get up an hour early and write. Watch one less television show. Shut off your cell phone for an hour, lock yourself away in a room and allow no one in, and write. Schedule time for writing just like you do for anything else that is important.


“Bill, for agents who accept new authors, what experience do you relay to them? Is it advisable to mention HP and other sites where the author has a byline? How about blogs? And what does the new author do if none of this experience relates to the genre of the novel?”

Great questions, Sha! I hate to burst any bubbles, but HubPages does not impress agents. Sad but true. Agents want to know you have an online presence so yes, mention your blog. As far as mentioning HP, I would simply say “I have written x number of articles” rather than name HP specifically….and don’t worry about your experience not relating to the genre of your novel. Agents want to know that you have skill. Good writing is good writing is good writing, and you can take that to the bank.


“Thanks for sharing these great tips. I have a copy of the 2013 Writers Market. Do you suggest we buy a new one each year? And do you think it necessary or a good idea to have a paid membership through Writers Market?”

Thanks for the questions, Melissa. Agents and publishers come and go. It is a fluid business, and information that was good yesterday may not be good two months from now….so….yes, I would buy a new Writer’s Market each year.

As for a paid membership through Writer’s Market, I’m too cheap, but I can see the advantages to it.

See you next week!

See you next week!

More Next Week

I hope that was helpful for you. I aim to please.

Writers belong to a very select community. As member of that community, we should share what we know so others can learn from it. That is what I’m trying to do…share…and hopefully you, in turn, will share with others.

That’s what friends do.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 13, 2021:

I'm happy to hear that, Rodric! I think many writers stop writing because of negative reviews. I am happy to hear you will be encouraging them.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 13, 2021:

Sunday or the weekend, I hope yours is all you want it to be. Blessings always, Misbah!

Rodric Anthony Johnson from Surprise, Arizona on June 12, 2021:

Bill, your devotion to teaching the art of writing motivates me to write. You motivate me to be the best writer Rodric Anthony Johnson can be. I feel that. I want to also motivate.

I am too critical now. So, I will curb my critiques of someones writing until I can see past the mistakes and see a person's muse as you seem to see. I will try, anyway. Rupert Taylor seems to be doing well calling out the substandard. I want to join him, but I don't want to gang up on a potentially good writer when one person has already pointed out his or her issues. I like your method. You critique when asked. I remember you writing that to me a few years ago. I cannot find the reference, so take it with salt that you wrote it to me. I still like it.

Misbah Sheikh on June 12, 2021:

Sorry, Mr. Bill, I wanted to say Weekend just wrote Sunday by mistake. My Apologies!! I just noticed my error while scrolling the feed... Lol!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Misbah Sheikh on June 12, 2021:

Thank you so much, sir. There is still a lot to learn. Have a joyful Sunday

God bless you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2021:

Misbah, you are a wonder and a gem. I am in awe of your mastery of so many languages. Thank you for sharing all of that. Have a brilliantly happy weekend, my friend.

Misbah Sheikh on June 11, 2021:

Mr. Bill, English is my second language and Urdu is my native language. I have studied at the International School of Choueifat, Lahore, Pakistan. The school's curriculum is based on both the American and British educational systems. It's an excellent school and is private so most of the Pakistanis can't afford to study there. Most of my teachers were from the USA and UK.

In 8th standard, my parents changed my school as it was very far from our house and the second school was The City School, it was also private, English medium and an excellent school but the teachers there were Pakistanis and highly qualified. I believe I have learned a lot while writing and reading here at HubPages as well.

Other than English and Urdu, I can also speak Spanish, Punjabi, and Arabic very well. There are a few more languages that I can understand and speak a little like Pashto, Persian, Turkish. Getting such a beautiful comment from you is an honor for me. I am grateful to you.

Many Blessings to you, Sir

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2021:

Misbah, thank you for the very kind words. May I ask, is English your native language? I ask because you are a very good writer with excellent grammar, so if English is your second language I am more than impressed. I can't imagine trying to write, with excellent grammar, in a language not my native. Bravo to you if that is the case.

I have had similar comments from people about finding the time to write. If it is important to a person, they will find the time, even if they work. It's all about priorities.

You are a wonderful addition to the HP family. You remind me of many who signed on here ten years ago. It was a very tight group back then, all supportive of each other, always taking the time to leave meaningful comments. You are a joy for the HP community.

Blessings always, my young friend!

Misbah Sheikh on June 11, 2021:

Mr. Bill, that was an excellent start. I can relate 2 of the questions in this mailbag with me.

#1 HOW CAN I TELL IF I AM A GOOD WRITER OR WASTING MY TIME? In my situation, I would say my friends and my siblings always support me for my writings. My dad does it sometimes, but my mom NEVER. She's always hard to please, but she is maybe the only one who's telling the truth... Lol... Who knows?

# 2 HOW DO I FIND TIME TO WRITE? When I joined HP about 5 months ago. Some people asked me how I could find time to write every day. The questions were like, Do you work? It looks like you're free most of the time so you're trying to get busy so you write articles here... Oh, I mean seriously? Why can't you just assume that I'm making out the time to write here... Your response to that question in the mailbag made me feel better.

I respect you very much, sir. May God bless you and keep you strong, happy, and smiling. Amen! You are a source of inspiration for many of us. I have learned a lot from you and am still learning a lot from you.

My warmest Congratulations on the 7th anniversary of the writer's mailbag. I wish to see a new writer's mailbag from you every Monday as long as I'm alive. I feel bad for the ones I have missed. Thank you for being so thoughtful and kind. I am glad we met here. Much Gratitude. Keep smiling!!

Blessings always...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2021:

Rodric, your tribute to the Mailbag series touched me deeply. Thank you sir!

Rodric Anthony Johnson from Surprise, Arizona on June 10, 2021:

Looking at these old mailbags just lets me know how much you really care about writing and answering questions for us. You have answered the same questions multiple times! That is the patience of a teacher.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 18, 2019:

Charlie, thank you for the follow, and thanks for the effort it took to find this very first Mailbag.

Charlie Halliday from Scotland on December 17, 2019:

Hi Bill I have read a few of your recent mailbags,but I scrolled down to number 1 to comment. You have a lot of very informative and helpful articles and I look forward to learning from you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 08, 2017:

Thank you Anusha! I can't believe you scrolled down to find this one. I really appreciate the effort, my young friend.

Anusha Jain from Delhi, India on November 07, 2017:

You won't believe how difficult it was to reach here. I mean Google search wasn't helping so I had to scroll down... way down. Haha.

But I see it was definitely worth the effort.

Since I learned a lot from the recent most mailbags (173, 174, 175) I thought, why should I miss on some great advice? So whenever I have time, I'll check out the older ones, and while I am at it, why not follow the order? That way I won't miss anything.

There is a lot of inspiration here. A lot of positive vibes from the new writers.

But it's funny how the brilliant advice might not be totally applicable for all. Actually, I am quite fortunate (?) to have a highly critical family. :D They don't mean to be harsh, but most of the times, it is their way of being. :)

And hey, I really loved this - you are the business and your writing is the product. Thanks a lot, Bill.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 29, 2015:

Well I appreciate it, Kevin. Thanks for following along. The series is about 49 installments longer than I had planned. LOL

The Examiner-1 on May 29, 2015:

After reading #47 I figured I would start at the beginning to see if I had missed anything. The quiet videos happened in many Hubs of others I have read.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 28, 2015:

Wow, Kevin, all the way back to #1. Thanks for looking for it. Sorry about the videos.

The Examiner-1 on May 28, 2015:

This was useful and interesting Billy. I tried to watch the videos only I could not hear them when I did. I voted it up, shared and pinned it.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 27, 2014:

whonu, I'll include your question in a mailbag down the road, but the quick answer is you own it and you can certainly include it in a book of poetry. Thanks for the question.

whonunuwho from United States on August 27, 2014:

Bill if you write a series of poetry on hub pages, may you use your own work later in a book of poetry? Who owns your work? whonu

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 26, 2014:

lyns, that is a great question and most definitely, use words leading into the story...your example is right on.

Thanks for the visit.

Lynn Jones from USA on August 26, 2014:

Question Billy, you stated shouldn't use words like buzz etc., is it okay to use words leading into the story like, quietly she stands to her feet and a gusty winds brushed across her tiny forehead?

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 04, 2014:

Enjoy your summer day, Lea. I hate to even think that winter is right around the corner. :)

Sparklea from Upstate New York on August 04, 2014:

Thanks Bill, yes my irrational moody computer notified me you had responded to this hub, and thank you! Gave me an opportunity to vote which I failed to do...voted up, useful, and awesome. Just visited Installment #2 and hope to get to more later. God bless, Sparklea :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 04, 2014:

Lea, I'm so sorry you are having problems with your computer. I would be flummoxed beyond belief if that happened to me...crossing my fingers as I write this....which isn't easy. LOL

Thank you my friend. I'm here when you need me. Now, have a wonderful Summer's day and I'll do the same.

blessings always


Sparklea from Upstate New York on August 04, 2014:

Good morning Billybuc! I think my computer has a mental deficiency, I have been having an awful time with it...getting many, many phishing emails that I even have an awful time deleting. Yesterday every message in my inbox vanished!

In my inbox I have kept your hubs to remind me to read...Lost all the Artistry For Words, but I will track them down.

I have kept these installments in also, and today I begin with this Installment # 1...It is wonderful that you are doing this!

I especially appreciate your answer to the question about time. Also the one about making sure your book is finished before you approach an agent.

I WILL be emailing you about being a writing coach, I am extremely interested in doing that because you are so genuinely honest...and I TOTALLY agree with you NOT to show your material to your friends or family.

I hope to get to your other installments this week, and I AM making time to work on my book...I will present to you as soon as possible.

Blessings, Sparklea PS: PEPSI? My husband will love you! We do not mention the Coke word in this house.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 21, 2014:

Thanks, Rolly. It's always nice to see you stop by for a cup of coffee and a chat.

hugs from Oly


Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on July 21, 2014:

Hi Billybuc... as always packed with much information and informative helps for any and all writers... well done my friend. Always love to read not only of your expertise but also of your life accomplishments as well...

Hugs and Blessings from Alberta

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 14, 2014:

Thank you Cecile! Much-appreciated my friend.

Cecile Portilla from West Orange, New Jersey on July 13, 2014:

Really like what you are doing to help others billybuc. Great tips. I have learnt at lot. Voted up!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2014:

Peg, it really is doable when you break it down like that. I was thinking I hadn't made great progress on this new book, but I looked yesterday ant 18,000 words were done. Just a little bit at a time.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2014:

Thank you Jo! I'm enjoying this series. As long as the questions keep coming in, I'll keep writing it.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 12, 2014:

Billybuc, This informative series of Q and A will undoubtedly help writers stay inspired and learn from someone who knows. I like your answer to "How do I find time to write?" Zig Ziglar, master motivator, says if you write one page per day, at the end of a year you'll have 365 pages. If you write more, then your book will finish even earlier. That always stuck a chord with me.

Jo_Goldsmith11 on July 12, 2014:


This is so you! I love every minute of it. :-)

I do hope you will continue this.

I learned so much and I agree it takes hard work to get noticed.

And just because we might not get it right the first time.

We can't allow our self to get discouraged, we need to keep trying. awesome message!

Wishing you all the success with this new creative genius of yours.

Up all the way! shared and voted in your poll!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 11, 2014:

Well I hope you are right, Faith. As long as people like it I'll keep writing it.

blessings on this weekend my friend


Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 10, 2014:

Dear Bill,

What an excellent idea here! You are always coming up with something new, creative and fun to help others. I can tell just from reading this first mailbag installment, it is going to be a wonderful series.

Hugs and blessings

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 10, 2014:

It really is my pleasure, Deb. Thank you my friend.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on July 10, 2014:

Sharing is wonderful. I just have to say that I have so much information that has helped me, if I don't get to be successful, I didn't pay attention. Thanks, Billy, you deserve a world of gratitude from all of us.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 08, 2014:

I know, Carol, and I wish I would write that book to do list keeps growing and I don't know why since I write eight hours each day. LOL Thank you for being here.

carol stanley from Arizona on July 08, 2014:

Even though I am not writing much anymore I try to stop by when notified..Sometimes I forget. What a cool thing to answer questions. Reminds me of my days with my Astrology column where I answered people's questions about their personal lives through astrology. Maybe a column off line...I still wish you would write this perfect book of writing stuff..Called "The Perfect Book of Writing" Just kind of kidding.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 06, 2014:

Anna, thank you. I'll answer your question this coming week. I really appreciate you giving me something to write about. :)

Have a wonderful week my friend.


Anna Haven from Scotland on July 06, 2014:

Hi Bill

What an excellent idea for a series. People love interaction and your advice is always gladly received.

I have a question too. Did you use a specific programme to design your latest book cover or is that something you outsourced?

Thank you as always for sharing your experience and wise words.

Anna. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 06, 2014:

Thank you so much, Jon! I hope you are having a great weekend my friend.

Jonathan McCloskey from Cinnaminson, New Jersey on July 05, 2014:

I've learned a lot from your articles, Bill, and I can only pass on a word of thanks from the time you take to write such articles. So, thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 05, 2014:

Thanks Flourish. I take weekends off and that has kept burnout at bay. Have a wonderful weekend.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 04, 2014:

Great new series, Bill. Keep it coming but be wary of burnout.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 04, 2014:

Glad to hear it, vkwok...thank you!

Victor W. Kwok from Hawaii on July 03, 2014:

Great advice, Bill! I think I'll try some of them out!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 03, 2014:

Thanks, Shelley. I'm not often called brilliant. LOL It's nice to hear.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 03, 2014:

My pleasure, Amy. It's nice to see you here again. Thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 03, 2014:

Thank you DDE. I appreciate you always being here.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 03, 2014:

Dianna, thank you for mentioning that you are writing well past midnight...a writer has to find the time, or it will never be available.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 03, 2014:

Thank you Frank. We'll see how it goes, but the first one did well for sure.

Shelley Watson on July 03, 2014:

A brilliant idea here Bill, one that is so useful for writers to fall back on. Again, thanks for sharing.

Amy Naylor from England on July 03, 2014:

This is gonna be one heck of a good series, I can see that coming! Thanks for doing this Billy, super informative.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 02, 2014:

Informative and always a great one from you

Dianna Mendez on July 02, 2014:

I appreciate this new series on writing. I have asked some of these questions myself. Yes, you make time for writing. Case in point, it's well past midnight and I'm plugging away at my desk. Have a great week.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 02, 2014:

Billy what a great idea.. you're right if someone asks a question there may be a few out there.. hope this goes well Ill be looking out for the next installment...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Thank you, Ruby, and you can find free dividers online any old time you want them....

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 02, 2014:

You are such a good teacher and you pull no punches. I like that. Now, how can i find the pretty deviders between sections of a story. I noticed Sha has beautiful ones, some are flowers, ect. I know i'm off topic, but i don't care. Hee

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

You are very welcome, Imogen, and thank you for your kind words.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

I'm glad you enjoyed it, John. I think I'll enjoy writing this one weekly. Thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

It is my pleasure to share, lyns...we are all in this together, and if I can help you then I'm sure the karma will return eventually. :)


Imogen French from Southwest England on July 02, 2014:

Fantastic advice, as ever. Thanks for sharing your hard-earned knowledge with us.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on July 02, 2014:

This is a great idea Bill. I think "The Writer's Mailbag" will be very popular. It is a great idea of you to answer questions readers have put to you and a help for many others as well.

Lynn Jones from USA on July 02, 2014:

This is some great information about getting published and approaching agents that we all can consider and know about, I didn't know you had written this hub until I seen your comments on mines, I'm very interested hearing about writing and publishing information from other writers that are willing to share, I find this one to be an absolute great information peace for all writers. Voted up & Plus.

Great Day. lyns 7214

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

I hope you are right, Torrs. Thank you for your kind words my friend.

Tori Canonge from North Carolina on July 02, 2014:

Once again, another great hub by a great writer! I really enjoyed reading this and I do hope that you will continue to do The Writer's Mailbag. I bet you are going to start getting a lot more questions now that people know you are posting answers to them!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Ann, the sunny skies continue here as well. I love that you are barbecuing in England as we prepare for ours in Washington. Thank you as always my loyal friend.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Thanks, breakfastpop...I think I'll enjoy this series as well.

Ann Carr from SW England on July 02, 2014:

Invaluable advice, bill. I like articles like this that bring thoughts together. As you say, one person's question always applies to so many others.

Just enjoyed a great bbq and afternoon with friends under our continuing sunny skies. Hope your day is going well, bill.


breakfastpop on July 02, 2014:

I love this new addition. The questions are common to a lot of people and the answers are spot on and helpful. Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Very cool indeed, Kara....get on it! :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Thank you Deb, and I am honored that you go to me for answers.

Kara Skinner from Maine on July 02, 2014:

Thanks for the Hub, this was really helpful. I had no idea that you could query while have your book published as an ebook. That's really cool.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on July 02, 2014:

This is a great idea for a series, Bill. As you know, you are one of my go-to people when I have a writing question!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

I'm glad to hear it, Melissa. Thank you for the last question and just for being so loyal.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

All great points, Glenn, and I agree with you, it really is not expensive at all....and then the tough work starts...promotion. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Thank you MizB....anything in particular about them, or just a general overview? I'll see what I can do.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

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

Melissa Propp from Minnesota on July 02, 2014:

I love this new series! And I'm not saying that just cuz you mentioned my name... :)

I think you'll be getting plenty of questions from us, so I expect to be reading this series for a long time to come.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 02, 2014:

Bill, I think it would be helpful to a lot of us to include a discussion of online webinars in a future mailbag. My degree was before the online publishing age, and there are some of us oldsters who might profit. Pretty please.

dragonflycolor on July 02, 2014:

I think this is great. There are so many questions out there about writing and publishing and to find answers from someone who's been there in one collective space is truly effective and time saving. Thanks, Bill!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Awww, thanks Eric! I hope I don't burn out. :)

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 02, 2014:

Another great advice hub. Your awesomeness is shining bright!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Great points, Nadine, and I agree with you about the research. I like being entertained and learning something in a book, and I think most readers are the same. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Sha, I've already got a couple...this might just work. :)

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on July 02, 2014:

I always enjoy your hubs to do with writing. Indeed any fiction writer simply MUST read fiction, especially the best selling authors. I've just finished reading 'State of Fear' by Michael Crichton. What so very much impresses me about this author is his research about his topic. I love reading fiction no matter what subject if I know that the author knows it's topic. That way I acquire general knowledge while being entertained.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 02, 2014:

Hopefully you'll get some more. I tweeted this article and shared on Google+.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Keep them coming, Sha, and I'll have this series last forever. LOL tune in next week my friend, and thanks.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Maria my dear, you are too kind. Thanks for sharing. Have I told you that I love you today? Well I do. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Thanks Comfort...I'm glad you found this helpful.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

MizB, if that's a question for the mailbag I'll answer it in next week's edition...but a short answer....I think your degree is still applicable for self-promotion today.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 02, 2014:

Excellent first edition, Bill! Thanx for answering my questions. I like stating the number of articles written. Period. What do we say if an agent asks for whom the articles were written? There you go. Fuel for The Writer's Mailbag #2!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on July 02, 2014:

Awesome, Bill. I have learned a great deal and am immediately sharing with two folks I am working with presently...will also share on FB and twitter.

I look forward to future installments...Voted UP and UABI. Love, Maria

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on July 02, 2014:

You answered questions that some of us had thought to ask, but didn't know who to ask. Thanks Bill, another great work.

Voted up and useful.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 02, 2014:

Good article with good tips, friend Bill. I dropped my subscription to Writers Digest because after awhile it seemed to be regurgitating the same articles that I had filed away. I notice that they keep advertising workshops for hundreds of dollars, and I'm wondering if it is worthwhile to spend the money on some that allegedly teach promotion of yourself as a writer. I learned that years ago before the days of online writing, but my degree is obsolete in some ways. Voted up++

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Thank you so much, Janine. You are the best supporter a writer could ask for.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

Pepsi, Greg. LOL Thanks for stopping by buddy.

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