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Blog by Ron – Turning Loss to Gain

Turning Loss to Gain can have various meanings. But in this blog I am talking about losing your soulmate.

How can such a loss be turned to gain?

My wife, Teresa, and I were married 41 years and 5 months before she went home to be with the Lord. It was a happy marriage founded on our mutual love for God and for one another.

Eight years older than her I never figured she would go first. She considered that possibility, but always claimed she would die in an automobile accident. It didn’t happen that way.

Turning Loss to Gain Begins with a Loss

In 2018 Teresa was diagnosed with cancer. It was quite advanced, requiring massive doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but she beat it. In 2019 she had it again. This time it was chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. She beat it again and remained cancer free until 2022.

Although diagnosed in 2022 with cancer, it was small and wasn’t the cause of her death. All the radiation she had reopened the surgical wound and on February 19, 2023, she bled to death in her sleep. She suffered no pain, went to sleep here on earth and awoke in heaven.

Yesterday, February 19, 2024, was the first anniversary of her death. It had been a sudden and unexpected loss. I lost the love of my life, my confidant, and the number one supporter of my writing career.

Turning Loss to Gain Can be Bumpy.

I regularly thank God for the great memories we had together. But I also thank Him for the family of God, Christian friends who support me in prayer, and acts of kindness.

In 2014, Teresa (aka Tess) and I had founded T&R Independent Books with the sole purpose of publishing our own books. Aside from laying a firm foundation for the new business, we had to deal with my heart attack in the same month, her cancer, and other issues. But in 2022 we published the most successful book we had ever published up to that point. Titled Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence and Provision, it was a hit and made 2022 the best year ever up to then.

In 2023, after her death, I published another hit. This is The Best of Tess which was a collection of her Ladies Devotionals plus an unfinished work that I finished with a postscript of our last 2 months together.

It was a bumpy time from 2014 through 2023, but God demonstrated His love and care throughout. When Teresa passed from life to glory, it suddenly grew very bumpy. Yet Christian friends, the family of God, stepped forward and wrapped their collective arms around me. Through them God comforted, supported, and guided me.

As a result, I trusted God, His Word, and my faith grew. Instead of being overwhelmed I was strengthened.

A New Direction

Earlier in 2022 I had written a course for the purpose of teaching people how to write. But it languished as I paused everything to care for my wife. After her death God began directing my thoughts back to that course and ultimately to launching it in 2023. He did this through Gordon Duncan who took over Christian Authors Community & Service or CACS after the founder Tom Blubaugh had died.

Aside from heading CACS, Gordon has another business called Capitalize Your Best which helps companies grow to new heights. I signed up got his course and his coaching. This resulted not only in the launching of the course, Basic Authors Training, but also the launching of Ministry Publishing.

Ministry Publishing is a publishing service to Christians who serve their local church whether paid or volunteer. It had an immediate impact.

Turning Loss to Gain is Exciting.

It wasn’t long before I had clients for the Ministry Publishing. My first clients is a husband/wife missionary team. They minister to men, women, and juvenile prisoners by taking the gospel to them. They are now in the process of writing a 365 Daily Devotional. This is an exciting project!

Another client is rewriting his biography. This one will tell more of his story than previously, plus it will be published by T&R Independent Books. Having crisscrossed America with the gospel, it is a story I am excited to see in print.

Turning Loss to Gain is A Work of God

As Christians we live in a world of loss, injury, and wrong. We suffer for a variety of reasons. But God doesn’t want us to mope and feel sorry for ourselves. Whatever grief or obstacle we may face in this life, He wants us to turn to Him and let Him turn that loss to gain.

Our God is a loving God Who has in many cases called us to use our writing skills for His use. He wants us to lay our troubles at His feet and allow Him to lift us up, to turn our loss to gain, and use us to His glory.

Thus, our loss when submitted to His care brings us great joy. Moreover, it allows God to transform our lives in ways we didn’t foresee. All God asks of us is that believers trust and follow Him. He will give you back so much more than you lost!

___

R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com).

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Blog by Ron – Getting Published is Fun

Getting Published is more than a headline or a cute phrase. It can be and is a vital part of your writing career.

If you have been following my posts, you are aware that I am a Christian author and publisher. That means that I have gained insights over time and can thereby help you navigate the roiling waters of writing.

Getting Published Posts

To teach authors about writing and getting published I invested a great deal of that knowledge plus time, sweat, and tears. I guess that is a little over dramatic, but it sounded good.

The truth is that while I was joking, I was also telling the truth. I learned to write the hard way. You may have heard me talk about the School of Hard Knocks. It is one fact of my life that propelled me to write the course. I don’t want you to go to that school, or if you are currently in it, I don’t want you to stay there.

Getting Published is Fun – the VLOG

At the beginning of the year I began a VLOG (Video Blog) which is much like a podcast but strictly video. I use that VLOG to share tips for you in your writing, publishing, and marketing.

At the same time, I publish posts on Facebook and LinkedIn, which by some strange magic show up reinforce what I am teaching. Each post and each VLOG share similar hints, tips, and facts yet from a slightly different perspective. Moreover, they magically show up about the same time. Why? Aren’t I being redundant? Perhaps, but the old saying is that it takes repetition to teach. Besides some of you may only be on YouTube, others may focus on Facebook, and still others may be on LinkedIn. And others may be on all three. But the point is to get the information out there.

Getting Published is Fun is True

Let me list some of the ways I think getting published is fun. This list is not organized, just listed as I consider them.

  • Holding my published book for the first time

There is something special about holding your first book you have written in your hand. In fact, there is that same special feeling everytime you get published whether it is your first, or seventh, or tenth.

  • Seeing my name in print

When I got my first book and saw my name on the cover, I was thrilled. That may have been the moment I realized that my dream had come true!

  • Seeing my name in Google Search

That may seem odd to you, but when I searched for R. Frederick Riddle and got back a listing not only of the books I had written, but the other information about me as well. Try searching for your name, especially if you have an author’s name. Or a business name.

  • Getting a Royalties report

It is always a happy feeling when I receive a royalty payment no matter how much it amounts. It means somebody is buying and reading something I created.

  • That first sale

I wish I had written down the who, where, and when of my first sale. But I was so excited, I gave away books!

  • And every sale thereafter

Now that I am an Indie Publisher, I track my sales. And I am vain enough to go back and look at them. It always is a good feeling.

What is my Tip for you?

Be willing to invest yourself in whatever it takes to achieve your goal. I am not just talking about money, although that is necessary. I am talking about your time and energy. And I am talking about the effort it takes to change your preconceived ideas. That is harder, but often very important.

___

R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com). To find him on YouTube go to (159) TR Independent Books – YouTube,

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Blog by Ron – Course vs. Service

Course vs. Service sounds mysterious in a way. But basically, I offer to ways for authors to get published: a writing course called B.A.T. and a publishing service called Ministry Publishing.

Course vs. Service is Unique

I have talked a great deal about Basic Authors Training which is a writing course that teaches, provides one-one coaching, live Zoom meetings, email, and other methods of communication. In addition, a publishing/marketing plan is included.

The service is called Ministry Publishing and does not include the teaching of how to write a book, or set your business up. Ministry Publishing is strictly focused on publishing and marketing.

Course vs. Service is very Affordable.

Both the writing course and the service offer affordable ways of paying. Both provide 12 monthly payments or pay in full up front. This time period was chosen to alleviate the financial crunch that a full pay payment could impose.

The Service is Repeatable

This simply means that you can purchase this service on future books. Each book for the same price. The publishing aspect is covered completely by this price, whereas the marketing aspect is covered within the Author’s Book pricing, making it self-funded and recoverable.

What do I mean by recoverable? If you buy the book and resell it to customers you pay nothing in addition to your author’s price. Whatever retail price you choose is what the customer pays, you keep the difference between basic cost (author’s price) and retail price. Retail price is determined by you.

Course vs. Service is for Christians.

T&R Independent Books is a Christian business dedicated to publishing and marketing books. The worldview in either is Christian. It is strongly emphasized that students or clients not only be Christians but that you be involved in your local church ministry. Both are aimed at Christian authors.

Ministry Publishing has Limitations.

By limitations I am referring to the genre and to writing standards. There are genres that simply don’t fit the Christian worldview. We do not publish:

  • Evolutionary
  • Horror
  • LGBQ literature
  • Science Fiction (but we do publish Futuristic)
  • Pornography
  • and a few others (contact T&R when in doubt)

Which is Best for Me?

If you have never written a book before or are a novice in need of more instruction then taking a writing course would be best. There are things you need to learn, such as:

  1. Setting your business up
  2. Creating a website
  3. Plotting
  4. Learning how to edit
  5. and more.

If you know how to write or perhaps have written a book, then you don’t need the course unless you feel you need to improve your writing skills. The publishing Service is best for you because it includes:

  1. Editing (optional)
  2. Formatting
  3. Publish Ready
  4. Publishing
  5. Marketing
  6. Marketing tools
  7. and more.

It is Your Choice

Whichever you choose is the right choice for you. There are thousands of new books being published every week and month. It is important that you put your best work out there so that it will be noticed. And always remember that whether take a course or go straight to publishing, you are going to do most of the marketing. So, choose a company who will not only provide you tools for marketing, but will do some marketing for you through an online bookstore, a blog that is gaining readership, a vlog that reaches people interested in books, and in other posts generated by T&R.

As I say in my posts, be In It to Win It!

___

R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com).