Posted on Leave a comment

Blog by Ron – Learning from Others

Learning from Others can be instructive and encouraging to you. I recently visited the website of another author who I not only admire but consider a friend. Her vision and imagination show up immediately upon her website. I was immediately attracted to two items on her home page.

It was her menu which had two particular tabs that interested me. The first was Events and Engagements, while the second was Previews and Offers.

I expected to see a calendar on her Events and Engagements page but was pleasantly surprised by the attractive layout of what I will call Diary. It was actually two columns, Engagements and Events. The way she laid it out was easy to read and follow.

But what really caught my attention was her Previews and Offers page. When you click on that page you get another page like the Events and Engagements, but with three columns. These were a Preview of an upcoming book, Excerpts from a previous book, and a Special Offers column. I was and am impressed. Ideas flooded my mind.

All of this brings up today’s topic: Learning from Others. This is a key principle to writing success. It is a principle that I practice with every post, every blog, and every vlog I create; namely, learn from others.

Is Learning from Others Stealing?

Yes, in a manner of speaking. But it is ok. This is not doing something illegal, frowned upon, or unethical. Rather it is a foundation of all learning. You learn from others such as teachers, coaches, and the like. Not only from what they teach, but what they do and how they do it.

I have a coach who regularly puts out content that encourages others to make use of his advice. I study him and copy some of his approaches. I put on my own spin, but it starts with his teaching an idea or concept.

Learning from Others Sounds Complicated.

If you mean trying to take someone else’s idea and exactly replicating it on your own website, then yes, it is complicated. But that is not what I am talking about. I said earlier that when I saw my friend’s website ideas flooded my mind. These were on how I might incorporate them into my website. Change the word ‘steal’ to ‘hitchhike’ and you might understand better. Her setup blends to her page perfectly, but might prove difficult on my website. The key is the concept.

For Example:

My friend has one page divided into three columns. Because I have a longer, more complicated menu, the page name would have to be changed. Secondly, I could create submenu pages, one for each item. This would better suit my design.

Whatever I choose to do, it all springs from what I saw on her page. She didn’t create that page for me to see, but it inspired me to think about how to do the same thing without messing with my current theme, etc.

If I do that then I have learned and applied.

What Does Learning from Others Mean Then?

It means you keep your eyes open. You never know when or what you are going to learn something new. Don’t assume you know everything. In a sense, all authors face the same problems. The difference is the who, what, where, when, and how of the problem. We may solve these problems differently, and that is where we can learn from one another just by observing.

Another Example of Learning from Others is:

My coach’s methodology. He often creates posts while driving. That is not something I would encourage you to do, but it inspired me.


Because it came across as personal and relaxed to me. Perhaps it was the fact that his attention was divided. But it was very relaxed and almost like sitting beside him and listening to what he was telling me.

I was impressed, but Could I Do That?

Probably not. Most likely I would end up in a accident. But the real question was could I create a post the is relaxed and personal. The answer is yes. What I did was set about searching for the right mix. I tried different backgrounds which worked somewhat and found their way into my posts. But it was the simple tool of a whiteboard that clicked. Here I can be more relaxed, do my teaching or coaching, and make the entire post more relaxed.

I may change my presentation in the future, but I received one of the nicest compliments I could have imagined when I got this comment, “I like your relaxed presentation.”

Will You Start Learning?

I hope you will.

I suggest you make it a practice that when you visit a website, any website, you look at it with a critical eye. Does it get its message across? What one thing does it do to connect with you? Can you learn something new?


R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at T&R Independent Books. Visit his Facebook page.

Posted on Leave a comment

Blog by Ron – Publishing Comparison Chart

In this Publishing Comparison Chart, I am showing you the advantages and disadvantages of the three Publishing types available to you. In my VLOG, Becoming a Published Author is Fun, I address the same subject in a different yet complimentary way.

Royalty (% of net)8% – 35%35% – 60%35% – 100%
RetailSome controlControlControl
How PaidDirect DepositDirect DepositDirect Deposit
Submit – Publish2 yrs. +After ApprovalAfter Approval
Book CoverPubPub/YouPub/You
Final Edit to Publish48 hrs (est.)48 hrs.24 hrs.
Edit after PublishedNoNoAnytime
RepublishNoNo24 hrs.

As you can see in the chart above the potential percentage of royalties is best with the Indie Publisher. If T&R Independent Books is your Indie publisher, you can earn royalties up to 100% of net because you use the Authors Copy pricing and only pay Basic fee.

This article is not about Ministry Publishing, but the price of publishing your book is $1200 or $100 a month for 12 months. This includes whatever marketing is done on your behalf during this time period.

Back to the comparison chart.

You will notice that Edit is highlighted under Indie. This is because as the Indie Author you have full control. You can edit yourself with advice/guidance from T&R Independent Books, or you can hire someone to edit the book for you. This is a clear advantage for the Indie.

Prepping to be Published According to the Comparison Chart

I do not know what restrictions the traditional publisher puts on final edits. It is likely worse than Self-publishing, but I have made Traditional and Self identical. Indie publishing is the standard 24 hrs. or less.

Unpublish or Republish.

With Traditional and Self-Publishing, you have no rights to unpublish or republish. That belongs to the publisher. The only way to republish a book through either one would be to rewrite it and submit it under a new name. It would cost you the same fee as the first, or more.

The Indie Author can unpublish or republish at any time. You may want to unpublish to edit, but the platform I use doesn’t require the book to be unpublished. Editing can be done while the book is active.

In conclusion, when you compare the differing publishing venues available to you, Indie Publishing stands head and shoulders above the others. You have greater control, can hire and fire extra help, or do it yourself. And, in my opinion, your right to unpublish, republish, and edit after publication provides the ultimate control you deserve.

T&R Independent Books is an Indie publisher founded by an Indie Author for Indie Authors. With T&R you can maximize your writing time without losing any control of the publishing process. It is a win/win for you!

Posted on Leave a comment

Ron’s Blog – Going Blog to Vlog

Blog to Vlog is my subject today. I have been writing a blog for a long time now and enjoy doing it. But the time has come for a change. However, the change won’t be complete. Let me explain.

The Blog to Vlog will include the blog.

What this means is that I will have a Youtube Vlog (video blog) called ‘Becoming a Published Author is Fun’ that will be posted on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But I will also continue posting a blog that may or may not include a related YouTube Vlog. For instance, this Blog has a video attached that speaks on the same subject but with a different perspective.

This is probably the way I will go.

What is a Vlog?

Essentially it is a video blog. The way I plan to use it is to speak to a larger audience about subjects that will also be in the blog. But it won’t be the same content. For one thing, I will be using a whiteboard and will probably be teaching. In the Blog I will be writing out my content. It will be specifically aimed at writers, whereas the Vlog may be wider.

When Does the Blog to Vlog move take place?


Are There Other Changes related to Blog to Vlog?

In the Vlog there is an introduction and explanation of its future. As for the Blog it will probably be about 400 to 600 words. It will continue to be focused on writing with some publishing and marketing, but the Vlog will be more focused on publishing and marketing.

Won’t Going Blog to Vlog Be More Work?

Yes, but think I can manage it. The Vlog will be hosted on Youtube which means I can schedule the sessions. Of course, it will then provide me with the content direction I will need for the Blog.

Will This Be Like a Podcast?

No. Here are the differences between a Vlog and a Podcast.

  • The content of a podcast can be in video, audio, or both formats, whereas the content of a vlog can only be in video format.
  • You can change a vlog into a podcast, but you can’t change a podcast into a vlog.
  • Starting a podcast costs less compared to starting a vlog. However, I don’t expect any associated costs except for promotion.
  • Editing a podcast subsequently takes less time compared to editing a vlog.
  • Vlogs have a bigger audience compared to podcasts, so it is better to start a blend of both for maximum reach.

I have no plans to start a podcast. However, the Vlog will be in conjunction with this blog. Hopefully, they will often touch on the same subject but with a different perspective.

This blog is published by T&R Independent Books.

Posted on Leave a comment

Basic Authors Training Seminar

Basic Authors Training Seminar starts Tuesday, January 9, 2024. This 2-day seminar includes 6 sessions focusing on information that can help you become a published author now.

Basic Authors Training Seminar is Free

There is no cost to view, download, or use these videos. Once released, you can access and download at will. The 6 sessions are listed in chronological order below with the time and date of release.

Basic Authors Training Seminar Session One

This is the introduction with a review of the 4 W’s of why you are attending this seminar. Some basic information to get you started.

Get video at

Released at 10 AM 01 09 24

Basic Authors Training Seminar Session Two

Host R. Frederick Riddle reviews Genre and Grammar, two basic and important subjects for writers to know.

Get Video at

Released at 11 AM 01 09 24

Basic Authors Training Seminar Session Three

Host R. Frederick Riddle closes the first day with a study of Plotting showing what it is with examples.

Get Video at

Released at 12PM 01 09 24

Basic Authors Training Seminar Session Four

The second day opens with host R. Frederick Riddle focuses on Editing. He covers hiring a professional editor and Doing it Yourself. A must see video.

Get video at

Released at 10AM 01 10 24

Basic Authors Training Seminar Session Five

Host R. Frederick Riddle covers subjects such as Avatar, Book Covers, and A.I. that have a big impact on writing.

Get video at

Released at 11AM 01 10 24

The Final Session

In this final video of the series, host R. Frederick Riddle closes with Publishing, Marketing, Basic Authors Training course, and the Deal. A valuable session that you will want to stay until the end.

Get video at

Released at 12PM 01 10 24

The Deal

The Deal has an expiration date, so take advantage of it while you can. You can share this deal with others.

For more information about this seminar contact T&R Independent Books at

There is more information on the course at However, the deal announced there is not as good as the deal in the seminar.