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Blog by Ron Do You Watch Your Word Usage

Do you watch your word usage?

Word usage plays an important role in writing. Consider the following:

  • Short words tend to speed up a story
  • Long words tend to slow down a story
  • Some words are more difficult to understand; use clear, concise words
  • Some words have different meanings in different contexts
  • Some words are more difficult to pronounce than others
  • Use verbs and adverbs wisely (check grammar book)
  • Don’t use long sentences unless necessary
  • Short sentences tend to speed up a story
  • Normally try to stay at or below 8 sentences in a paragraph
  • Check your spelling

More on this subject after the break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond.

Now, back to the subject of Word Usage.

Word Usage means more than Grammar

While grammar and spelling are important factors, you should consider other things as part of word usage. For instance, keeping track of a character’s speech characteristics.

That may sound odd, but if a character first appears as one who stutters, then you need to have that character stutter throughout the book. Which means, you will need to track the character’s speech to make sure he or she always stutters at least up to the point to where the stutter is cured.

What else should you track? How about a character’s:

  • Favorite slogans
  • Difficulty pronouncing certain words
  • Use of slang
  • Overuse of words and/or phrases

These may seem minor, but getting them right can make all the difference in your writing.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

If you would like to review any of our books, contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, and your name, and we will send a PDF of the chosen book to you.

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Blog by Tess – Preparing Easy Recipes

Preparing Easy Recipes for your personal pleasure.

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve needed a quick easy recipe to prepare? Maybe some company was coming over, you were invited to an event and needed to prepare something to take, or you just weren’t in the mood to mess up your kitchen while preparing the food/appetizer.

I’m going to share some of my ideas with you. Some I found on the internet and came up with my own version to prepare. Others have been handed down to me by a family member/relative. I use a large skillet to combine everything when cooking, so I don’t mess up a lot of dishes. 

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

Authors Basic Training is a basic writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Easy Recipe of Bean and Hamburger Dish.

This is the first meal I prepared for my husband before we got married. He loved it.

Needed:

  • 1 pound of browned hamburger meat, with grease, drained off.
  • 1 can of beans of your choice – I use Bush’s baked beans. (Note – use any size you want, depending on the number of people you’re cooking for.)
  • Barbecue sauce (enough for flavoring).

Directions:

  1. Combine the beans in the skillet with the prepared hamburger meat.
  2. Let simmer until thoroughly heated through, stirring often.
  3. As the mixture simmers, add the barbecue sauce, a little at a time, until you get the consistency that you want.
  4. Serve while hot.

Easy Recipe of Sausage Balls.

This is a nice appetizer to make to an event or to just snack on at home. I make them the way my mom always did.

Needed:

  • 3 cups of Bisquick.1 pound of pork sausage (regular, sage, or hot – depending on your preference. I use the regular.)
  • Up to 1 pound of grated or shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Enough water to hold the ingredients together.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  3. Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl, until well blended.
  4. Place each ball on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes.

My Own Easy Recipe for Hamburger Stew.

Needed:

  • 1 pound of hamburger meat browned and drained.
  • 2 cups of vegetables of your choice (To save time I mix frozen vegetables together: carrots, corn, green beans, and potatoes).
  • 1 can of Stewed or diced tomatoes.
  • A half of a package of an onion soup mix, to give the mixture a little flavor.
  • Extra water to cover the vegetables with.

.                                                                            

Directions:

  1. In the skillet with the browned hamburger meat, add the two cups of vegetables, the tomatoes, the onion soup mix, and enough water to cover up the vegetables so they won’t dry out while simmering.
  2. Let simmer until the vegetables are done, stirring constantly. (Note: add more water if you need to during the simmering.)

My Mom’s Easy Recipe for Goulash.

Needed: (Note: the amount of each ingredient that you use will depend on how many people you’re preparing the recipe for.)

  • 1 pound of hamburger meat prepared in a skillet until no pink shows. Drained.
  • 1 cup of macaroni.
  • 1 cup of fresh tomatoes, cut up.
  • 1 cup of homemade tomato sauce (which my mom used. I use store-bought.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

  1. In the skillet with the browned hamburger meat, add the macaroni and tomatoes, and sauce.
  2. Let it simmer, stirring often. Add salt and pepper for taste. Simmer the mixture until the macaroni is cooked.  (Note: a little water may need to be added so the mixture won’t go dry.)
  3. Hint: I like adding a little garlic to my recipe for an added taste.

Next week I’ll do a blog on quick no-bake dessert recipes that you can make with just a few ingredients.

Have a wonderful week.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/Tessriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – Interviewing Your Characters

Interviewing Your Characters is based on old blog I wrote years ago, but it is as timely now as it was then.

When writing your story you get well acquainted with your characters. In fact, you become quite knowledgeable about them, especially the main characters.

Have You Ever Thought About Interviewing Your Characters?

I suggest that you should do this for two reasons and at two different times. The reasons are simple enough:

  1. To develop your story.
  2. To market your book.

The timing is also simple:

  1. As you are writing the story.
  2. After you have published the book.

Developing Your Story By Interviewing Your Characters

Later in this blog, I will share an interview I did with Noah. As you know he is a major figure in the Bible. But in my novel Perished: The World That Was he was also a major figure. So, I interviewed him.

Now that interview was part of my marketing the book, but I could have had a private interview with him to help develop the story.

How So?

Noah was a real person who God used to save his family from the Flood and to start a whole new world after the Flood. And as such he has a lot to say. And since I was writing about him, he had a lot to say about the character in my book.

Interviewing Your Characters can be Beneficial

In writing Perished, I got to know Noah pretty well. And while I didn’t sit down and do an interview, I did consult with him throughout the writing. Not by spiritualism but by reading the Bible, studying him, and asking questions like, Why did you do that?

Nor did I hear voices, but the answers did come. The more I knew about Noah, the more my imagination answered the questions through him. And this enabled me to picture Noah in different situations and facing different problems. Not only did he face them, but he solved the problems.

When you use this technique, it can help you build your primary character and the supporting cast. It helps you flesh them out and make them real to your readers.

I’ll discuss the Interview on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Marketing by Interviewing Your Characters

Marketing is a difficult part of business. We often need help. One such help in interviewing the primary characters, so I decided to sit down and have an interview with Noah.

To help you understand how this helps you I will break the interview up into segments.

When Interviewing Your Characters, Introduce Them.

In my introduction I explained who Noah was, then I turned to him.

R. Frederick Riddle: “Thank you for agreeing to this interview. It is possible that some of our readers don’t know the real you, especially with Hollywood’s rendition of you. So, could you tell us a little about yourself?”

Noah: “Of course. I am the grandson of Methuselah, who lived longer than anyone else in the Bible and in history. My father was Lamech, but I was mostly influenced by Methuselah.

“Your readers probably have heard of me in relation to the Flood. I understand that some don’t believe that I am real. But I am, and I can tell you I am nothing like Hollywood portrays. In fact, I accepted this interview so I could correct the record.”

The Reason for Interviewing the Characters

R. Frederick Riddle: “I agree. My first question is, Why did you build the Ark?”

Noah: “The simple truth is that I am a farmer by trade, a grower of grapes by profession. I was not a shipbuilder, although I knew carpentry as it was helpful in farming. So, building a ship was not on my mind. I had seen smaller ships before, but my knowledge was limited.

“Actually, I was called of God. He appeared to me and specifically called me to build the Ark. He gave me what people today would call a blueprint.”

R. Frederick Riddle: “A blueprint?”

Noah: “Yes. While I understood it in general terms, there was much I didn’t know. For example, I knew what a cubit is, but I didn’t know all the finer details of shipbuilding. That’s why I needed a Master Builder such as you described in the book. Hiram did most of the work, but I had the final approval. And I must add that it was a fantastic ship!”

R. Frederick Riddle: “Could you describe the ship for us?”

Noah: “Of course. I have heard all sorts of descriptions from circular to a cube.”

R. Frederick Riddle: “Like in the myth of the Epic of Gilgamesh?

Noah: “Yes. That was written a long time after the Flood and bares little resemblance to the actual events. The Ark was a rectangular vessel 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. It had the same ratio as modern ships do, which is 6 to 1. People who say it wasn’t seaworthy simply don’t know what they are talking about.”

Encourage Your Character to Speak

R. Frederick Riddle: “Many people believe the Epic of Gilgamesh was written first.”

Noah: “That’s funny. That was written many years after the Flood. In fact, it was written after the Confusion of Tongues at Babel. It’s my personal opinion that Gilgamesh and other myths were based on faulty memories of the dispersed tribes. They weren’t concerned with accuracy, but with providing their own version of the Flood.”

Keep Your Interview of Your Characters Under Control.

R. Frederick Riddle: “There is a lot of evidence supporting your view, but let’s move on. In a recent movie you were presented in an unfavorable way. What was your relationship with your family and those who helped build the Ark? Were you as bad as depicted?”

Noah: “I had excellent relations with everyone. I loved my family and was prepared to die for them. My wife was valued, as was her wisdom. As for my sons and their wives, I could not have been more pleased.

“I was also pleased with Hiram’s crew. I required them to listen to my preaching and I really wanted them to trust God and go to safety in the Ark. But none of them ever did. It really saddened me then and I am still sad.”

R. Frederick Riddle: “That brings up another question, Did no one respond to your preaching?”

Noah: “A few did, but they all died before the Flood. In the end it was only my family and myself.”

Close Interviewing Your Characters on a Positive Note

R. Frederick Riddle: “Is there anything you wish to tell us before we leave?”

Noah: “Yes. Put God first in your life! You have the Bible which is far better than what I had. Read it and put it to work in your lives.”

R. Frederick Riddle: “Excellent advice! Thank you for your time, Noah.”

Interviewing Your Characters Should Provide Insights Into Your Story.

In the above interview I encouraged Noah to comment on current events that were relevant to his experience. The actual interview was longer and went into his getting drunk after the ship landed as well as other experiences.

Think about doing this for your own characters. By using an interview as your method of telling you can relate information from your book in an entertaining way. And you just might spark someone’s interest and create a sale.

– – – – – – –

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – What to do About Writers Resources?

Writers Resources. That is a question that I have recently been dealing with. It all began when I decided to use my knowledge of writing to build a Basic Training Course for writers. As I began developing the course, I realized that it would be one huge course if I prepared a lesson on each resource.

What to do about writers resources?

So, I decided to provide resources, aka tools, to my students as downloadable PDFs. I prepare these tools and then post them on the student’s page. But then I had another question:

What are these Writers Resources?

The word resources is rather broad, so I needed a narrower definition to work with. I have already used the word, so I will tell you again. It is tools.

Writing tools, to be exact.

Tools that will enable people to write effectively. But that was still somewhat broad.

So, I redefined it again, and arrived at: specific tools.

What are These Specific Tools?

Glad you asked. And I will get more specific on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Building a Library of Writing Resources

If you have never built a writing resources library, now is the time to do it. It is true there are professionals out there that can do much of the work needed for you to succeed. But I am a believer in learning how to do things even if I hire someone later to do them.

With that said, Let’s Build That Library.

A Resources Library is in my opinion a necessity. So, without further ado, let’s look at these resources or tools. You should have in your library (physical or digital):

  • Customs and Manners of historical times and places.
  • Dictionary.
  • Grammar book.
  • Grammarly.com (or something akin to it).
  • History books (if you write historical fiction).
  • Word processing program.
  • A Writing program, such as Microsoft Word.

These are just some of the resources you need. And if you plan to establish yourself as a business, then you need:

  • Information regarding setting up a business.
  • Programs or books on writing basics.
  • and more.

Some of these tools are easy to get hold of and relatively cheap until you add them all up. Building a library can get expensive. The good news is that there are places you can get that information relatively free.

For Example, Writing Resources are Available from this Blog.

I use blogs and social media provide information to readers like you. While I also have a Writers Basic Training Course, I believe in providing as much information as possible to people at no cost.

Which brings me to a tip: Build a Digital Library.

A physical library is important to have, but in this day and age a digital library is virtually a must.

How Do I Build a Digital Library of Writing Resources?

You begin by following bloggers like me who are willing to provide information free. Will you always need all the information that a blogger provides. No, but I was once told that if you go to a meeting and get one nugget of value from it, then that meeting was worth your time and expense.

Much of what I learned over the years about writing came from information I gleaned from bloggers, marketers, and others. I slowly built up my own digital library and I added then and still add material now to that library. It will help you immensely.

What Writers Resources Should I Start with?

The answer to that depends to some degree on what genre you are writing. That said, I think it is essential that you have a word processing program with strong editing features, such as Microsoft Word or a program like it.

(One side note: Never allow editing software or a human editor to dictate your writing. Consider the advice, then you make the decision. It is your book, and they are merely tools to help you, not control your literary genius.)

Another tool not mentioned above is called a Beta Reader, which I will discuss in the future.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – Should I take a Writing Course?

Should I take a writing course? That is a question you might be asking yourself. And the answer is: You should consider it if you don’t know much about writing.

Our DNA

It is said that we all have a story in us. But while that may be true, it is also true that most of us are not born with a basic knowledge of writing. On the other hand, you may have been born with a desire to write as part of your DNA.

I believe that describes me. I was born into this world with a DNA that led me first to reading books and later a desire to write books. Unfortunately, I wasn’t born with the knowledge of how to write.

Later on when I asked Jesus into my heart and was born again, He gifted me with writing talents. But they were innate. That is, I didn’t sit down right after getting saved and begin writing books. I needed to be taught.

Writing Courses do Exist

There are plenty of writing courses available for you and they come at a variety of prices. Some are good and some not so much.

Have you seen the ads for writing courses that promise you four,-five,- and six-digit incomes from writing? Some of these involve copywriting, which we are not concerned with here.

But there are writing courses available.

School of Hard Knocks

Let’s say you google ‘writing courses’ and discover that they  either promise the world or are quite costly. You throw up your hands and say, “No way! I’ll do it myself!”

Well, you just signed up for the School of Hard Knocks, which I am a proud graduate. But I don’t recommend it.

Besides, why should you re-invent the wheel? Or in this case, why re-invent writing?

That is where writing courses come in. And it is why I write this blog and why I am now offering a writing course designed for your busy time and wallet. But before I talk about our course, I want you to be aware of others that are available.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Other Writing Courses

There are some excellent courses available. And there are others I would not touch. I am sure you have seen ads on Facebook and other social media where you are promised or perhaps guaranteed that you will write a bestseller within a very short time.

Consider this:

There are thousands of newly published books every week or two. That means that if you sign up for a course today, there are already multi-thousands of books and authors already out there before you get your first lesson!

What to Look For in a Writing Course

A good writing course will teach you the basics of writing. Some of your more expensive ones will teach you advanced writing skills. But what you need are basic skills. So, what are they? These skills are:

  • How to discover your genre (and what a genre is)
  • Character building
  • Scene development
  • Time and location of your story
  • Viewpoint
  • Grammar
  • Basic Editing
  • and more

As you can see there is a lot to know about writing, but don’t let that intimidate you. A good course will teach all of that in easily digested lessons.

School of Hard Knocks

The question is not what course to take if new to writing, but what course you will take. If you decide that you can’t afford to take a writing course or you have a strong do-it-yourself attitude, then you will take the School of Hard Knocks.

But before you decide on that plan of action, let’s take a look at the true cost.

  • Frustration – It is an extremely frustrating school.
  • Time – Failure is your primary teacher and consumes time and energy.
  • Wrong Tools – Wrong tools and wrong lessons learned.
  • No guarantee – No guarantee you will ever graduate.

Authors Basic Training Course

The killer for most people is the cost for these courses. I have seen courses that cost upwards of $1,000, $1,500, or more. I couldn’t afford them which is why I ended up in the School of Hard Knocks.

Earlier I said I would tell you about our writing course. We at T&R Independent Books started the Christian Authors Business Institute which offers the Authors Basic Training Course.

This six-month course covers all the items mentioned above and more. Each lesson comes with a brief video presentation plus a PDF lesson. All to be downloaded at your leisure and studied at your pace. Plus, these lessons come packed with additional tools that you can download and put in your digital library.

Writing Course Description

I am personally excited about this class. Registration for the next class has already begun and I will provide a link. But let me describe the class first.

One of the things I believe strongly is in a close relationship between student and teacher. Although we are not in a physical classroom, our digital classroom includes:

  • a brief video for every lesson
  • scheduled live Zoom meetings (two)
  • up to three student requested private Zoom meetings which will be private.
  • Downloadable PDFs for your digital library

Registration for Writing Course

If you are interested in a writing career and would like a no-nonsense approach that will provide you a level playing field where you will have the opportunity to succeed, then click on the ‘I want to Learn More’ link below.

I Want to Learn More

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – Do I Need Multiple Streams of Income?

Do I need multiple streams of income?

Several years ago I learned about the concept of multiple streams of income and decided to try it out. But before I tell my story, let’s define something.

What Does Multiple Streams of Income mean?

In short, it means that you have more than one source for deriving income. For example, you could work more than one job. That is certainly multiple streams of income. But it is not recommended as it can wear you out.

But, at the very least, it gives you an understanding of the term.

My First Attempt at Multiple Streams of Income

One of the many blogs I followed pointed to Amazon’s affiliate marketing program. What you did was simple enough.

First, you set up a business account with them, get a code, put the code on your website, and wait for the sales to take place. Well, not quite. Actually the process was relatively simple, but you also had to pick authors you liked.

Then you needed to put those authors and their books on your own website. Once that was done, you then added the necessary code.

But lack of people visiting my website eventually caused Amazon to shut down the affiliate. It was a dud.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

A Different Approach to Multiple Streams of Income

Times change, and so do I. I am still interested in multiple streams of income because it makes sense. But how to go about it has changed, at least in my mind.

Instead of affiliate marketing, my approach now is to generate multiple streams of income from multiple products. Nowadays, I and my wife both write books.

That means that there are two streams of income, mine and hers. We have similar interests and styles, but we are also different and offer customers different types of reading experience.

A New Stream

This year we are offering a totally new idea for our business. I have experimented in the past with what I called an academy, but it never came to fruition. But this year we have launched Christian Authors Business Institute which has Christian Authors Basic Training focusing on teaching the basics of writing.

This is a six-month course in the basics of writing. It is a good fit for me since I have been on the other end of writing courses. I actually took a course for a short time but when I got temporarily laid off my job, I had to drop the course. I was never able to get back in, but instead attended the School of Hard Knocks (not recommended).

Now I have 22 years’ experience as a professional writer that I can pass on to others. It is an exciting venture that each month offers the opportunity for new, struggling, or even experienced writers to attend a class that starts the following month.

A Third Multiple Stream of Income

One of the bloggers that I follow mentioned a marketing trend called Low-Content books. It didn’t sound very interesting at first blush. But I investigated and discovered a something that is new and yet very old.

The term Low-Content refers to such things as journals, notebooks, diaries, and the like. One reason I had not heard of it before was because KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) didn’t offer it.

But now they do!

So, if you visit our website, you will discover a new department called, ‘Journals & More’. It is something that is:

  • Needed
  • Easy to produce
  • Practical

I have already placed one product online and have additional ones ready and still others in my mind to be produced. And it fits within our motto, We have Books and more.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Tess – My Author’s Journey Revealed

My Author’s Journey

For many of you my author’s journey is a mystery. It dawned on me that I am writing to people who may have never heard of me other than through by blogs and perhaps through my books. So, it is time I properly introduce myself.

My Birth and Early Childhood

I was born in Pontiac, Michigan, but grew up in what is known today as Rochester Hills, MI.  My love for reading books began when I was in the fourth grade.

My Education

My education includes two years at Oakland Community College (Auburn Hills, MI), a B.R.E. degree from Midwestern Baptist College (Pontiac, MI), and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Louisiana Baptist University (Shreveport, LA).

I worked in the secretarial field for several years until 2004.

Then a Major Turn in My Author’s Journey

In 2008 my husband and I moved to Port Charlotte, FL to take care of my mom 24/7. She had Alzheimer’s. We were her caregivers until she died in 2013. That is a story in itself that I may someday share. But it was shortly afterward that a major event took place in my life.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

Authors Basic Training is a basic writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

The Start of My Author’s Journey

While my birth, childhood, and education all contributed to where I am now, I want to focus on the author’s journey itself.

In 2014 my husband and I founded T&R Independent Books, of which I am the President, and he is the Vice-President. At the time, he was the only one writing books, plus he knew a great deal about websites, editing, and publishing.

But in 2014 he didn’t know a secret I had. This secret was a desire to become an author myself. When I told him, he was surprised but he also immediately supported my desire. Later that same month he had a heart attack which put both our writing careers on temporary hold.

Another Delay to My Author’s Journey

I started writing my first fiction book in 2017 but had to put it on hold when I was told in 2018 that I had cancer.  I received chemo and radiation treatments, which left me weak. Once the cancer was in remission and I gained my strength back, I started working on my book again.

In 2019, my cancer came back.  Again, I survived the chemo and radiation, gained my strength back, and continued writing my book. I was bound and determined that nothing would keep me from getting that first book published.   

My Author’s Journey Gets Started

I finished writing the book (Haney Place Secrets), and published it in 2020. It was my first attempt, and we were both proud of it. But it didn’t catch on due to several factors, including the pandemic. So, I turned my attention toward nonfiction, but I didn’t forget fiction.

Then we had a brilliant idea!

A Change of Title

My husband liked my novel and wasn’t ready to give up on it. He suggested earlier this year (2022) that I take the mystery and turn it into a murder mystery. The idea sparked my imagination and with a few pointers from him the change took place.

I pulled Haney Place Secrets off the market and rewrote it with a new Title “Keys to Murder” which I published in June. I also wrote and published my first devotional book in June (“Chatting with Tess – Walking with God”). It has been a busy year.

I am now an Author!

With two books written I can now make that statement. Plus, I am currently working on Devotional Book number 2, which I hope to publish by the end of August this year. I also have two other books I’m working on.

Influences on My Author’s Journey

From the age of 13 and on, I’ve been involved in various church ministries. They include but are not limited to singing in the choir, special music, bus ministry, Sunday school, janitorial work, working in the kitchen, and being a prayer warrior. And I love reading God’s Word.

I also enjoy music, reading books, cooking, and spending time with my husband. I’ve also traveled to 46 out of the 50 states, plus traveled to Canada many times.

All of this contributes to my author’s journey. Hopefully, you now know a little more about me.

Have a wonderful week.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/Tessriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – Need a Publisher?

Do you need a Publisher?

Previously, I dealt with the question about needing an agent and I also discussed publishers. Today’s blog dives a little deeper, but may contain similar information.

Concerning Whether You Need a Publisher

How does one seek a publisher? First, you must decide what kind of publisher you need. See my blog on Need an Agent which also covers a Self-Publisher, Traditional Publishing, and the Indie Publisher

This is actually a critical decision. Unfortunately there is a lot of mudslinging going on. Not to mention confusion. In my blogs I have written on the different types of publishing.

But before you make that decision you will want to search the internet and discover who and what these publishers are. Even more important, is to decide the overall direction you want to go.

Which Type of Publisher Do You Want?

In future chapters I examine each type of publisher closer, but here it is important that you know what you need.

Here are just a few things to examine:

  • How long are you willing to wait for your book to be published?
  • Can you afford $800 or more upfront?
  • Are you a new author?

There are other considerations as well. But these three will give you immediate indications as to what you need. For example, traditional publishers often have timelines that result in books being printed as much as two years down the road after signing the contract. On the other hand, self-publishers want you to pay for the privilege which often involves $800 or more.

And if you are a new author there are some publishers who will not consider you simply because you’re new. These are generally found in your larger traditional printing houses.

Then there are the publishers who are like self-publishers but have a minimum order requirement. For instance, I knew of one author who had to buy $5000 worth of copies at a time, which required that he maintain a storage area. Here you have the cost of the books plus storage costs. In his case he stored them at work, but not everyone has that opportunity.

Tip #1: Examine what your needs, perceived and known, are before searching for a publisher.

My First Novel

When I wrote my first novel, I didn’t know about costs, time, or submission requirements. So I began looking for a publisher while in the dark.

Fortunately, I had access to the internet and began learning fast. It didn’t take me long to figure out that traditional publishing was not for me. While they are free and pay royalties, they were too restrictive.

For example, as mentioned in a previous blog, the traditional publishers often required an agent (I didn’t have one) plus prospects for publishing soon were unreasonable (up to two years after signing).

I eventually signed with a self-publishing firm. It cost me about $400 upfront plus the cost of marketing tools which they sold. This was back in 2003, so costs have risen greatly since then.

Among other things this demonstrates that we all have a responsibility to find the right publisher for ourselves. Everybody has an opinion, but you are the one who has to live with your decision.

Read my chapters on the different types. Weigh the facts and decide which one best works for you.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

Authors Basic Training is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Registration for classes is open now.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

HANDLING REJECTION FROM A PUBLISHER

This is primarily addressed to those who plan to use a traditional publisher. Self-publishing companies rarely reject a manuscript, Indie Publishers never reject a manuscript because the Indie Publisher is you.

As a disclaimer I have never received a rejection slip because I have never used traditional publishers.

That said, I can say this with authority: Never let rejection slips stop you!

Use them as you would any tool. Learn from them. Why was the manuscript rejected? Did it come with any suggestions as to how you can improve? If so, you should consider them (but don’t violate your own standards).

Another thing to remember is that editors have their own ideas as to what makes successful writing. They are not THE authority.

Tip#2: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer. Don’t take it personally.

Since I have never had a book rejected, although I was rejected by an agent, I have no practical example to share with you. But the more meaningful example is one’s reaction to any roadblock, which is all that a rejection slip amounts to in one’s career.

That said check out your response to other roadblocks. If your response works in those cases, maybe it will with rejection.

But better is this: As I said in the Tip: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer and don’t take it personally.

My suggestion is to stay away from the Traditional Publishers and the preceding is only one reason. But if you must use Traditional Publishers, then please pay close attention when listening to them. They each have their own preferences and not following them will bring on a rejection quickly.

You have a responsibility to yourself. That is why I emphasize treating rejection as a tool. Instead of being discouraged, see it as something that will only make you a better writer!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Blog by Tess – HOW DO WE USE OUR MOUTHS?

How do we use our mouths or communicate with other people in our daily lives? Are the words we use kind and loving, or do we talk ugly to others?

If we’re honest about it, there are times we’re not always careful about how we say something and what we said. How many times have we opened our mouths and said something that we shouldn’t have said?

I know I have, many times.  I’ve walked away from situations and thought to myself why did I use that tone of voice? It was wrong for me to do that.

We’ve all been there. It’s so easy to react badly to someone, without thinking, when they say or do something that we don’t like.

The words we use in our daily lives can either build a person up or tear them down, depending on what comes out of our mouths.

WHY DO WE USE OUR MOUTHS IN A BAD WAY?

That’s a good question. I have an answer for that.  Here are some reasons why people say things in a bad way.

  • They get angry when someone says or does something that sets them off.
  • Some people love to argue with others.
  • Shame, belittle, and embarrass someone.
  • Swear so they can let off some steam.
  • Elevate self because they think they’re better than others. They want others to think they’re smarter than them.  
  •  Like to make fun of others who have a speech/health issue, or another problem.
  • Love calling certain people names.
  • They offend others by the way they express their political or other views.
  • Pointing out the negative after someone has said something positive (the person accomplished a goal, got a promotion, etc.).
  • Some people are jealous of others.
  •  People love to gossip and tell little white lies about someone.
  • Sometimes people will do it to make someone like them.
  • Some do it just to get attention. They want to feel like they’re in control/in charge of a situation.

There are other ways the mouth can be used in the wrong way. I’ve only mentioned a few ways.

We need to stop and consider the fact that words can have power, depending on how they are used. How we speak or react to others will reflect who we are. We do not want other people to get the wrong impression of us. 

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

Authors Basic Training is a basic writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

CONTROLLING OUR MOUTHS

What are some ways we can control our mouths?

  • Think before speaking. Before we speak, we need to ask ourselves these questions. What I’m about to say is, will it hurt the person or give them encouragement?  Will the words I say tear them down or build them up? Sometimes it’s better if we keep our mouths closed and just listen to people talk.
  • Don’t interrupt someone when they’re speaking, just because we feel that we need have the last say. No, we don’t always have to have the last say in a conversation.
  • Be careful about who we hang around with. Sometimes people will bring up political, religious, or other issues that can trigger our emotions, causing us to react in a bad way. When they do, we need to gracefully walk away from that person, so we won’t react.
  • Resist the urge to listen to those who gossip and speak badly of others.  Walk away from it.
  • We need to spend less time with people who are always negative. It can rub off onto us.  
  •  We need to surround ourselves with people who use positive uplifting words.
  • Find ways to praise someone and speak words of kindness to them. For example, if they have a need in their life, let them know (and mean it sincerely) that you’ll pray for them. Then do it. People like to hear that we’re praying for them. That will be an encouragement to them.

WE NEED TO PRAY AND ASK FOR GOD’S HELP

One last thing is this. As Christians, the most important thing is this. In our daily lives, we need to pray and ask God to help us have a good witness to those around us. That means asking for God’s help in what we’ll say to someone and how we’ll say it. It means using our mouths in a positive way that will glorify God.  It’s through prayer that the Holy Spirit will help and guide us in how our daily conversation should be with others.   

Have a wonderful week.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/Tessriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – Need an Agent?

Do you need an agent?

When I first began writing the need of having an agent quickly became a question that needed an answer. My first response was ‘Of course’. But, as you will see, my answer changed.

Since my answer was ‘Of course’, I proceeded to look for an agent. At first, I didn’t know what I was looking for in an agent or why I needed one. Thus, began my education.

But there was one thing I knew. I had the internet available and could research the subject. I began digging.

First Things First

One of the first things I needed to know was what genre I was writing. It turned out to be historical fiction. From that little bit of knowledge I now knew that if I was to get an agent, he or she must work in the historical fiction arena.

The next step was to learn what do agents do on behalf of the writer.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Searching for an Agent

Searching through the internet I learned there are three things they do.

  1. Find and submit to them the author’s manuscript.
  2. Negotiate contracts.
  3. Distribute money (royalties, etc.)

Sounds relatively easy, doesn’t it? But I soon discovered some interesting facts:

  1. Finding an agent in my genre is time consuming
  2. It requires knowing what you need
  3. Not every agent is accepting new clients
  4. My book needed to pass their approval
  5. Seeking a publisher in more productive
  6. Being a publisher is better yet!

Publishers May Require an Agent

In addition, I discovered that a growing number of publishers ‘require’ you to have an agent! They won’t look at your manuscript unless there is an agent!

It was shortly after I discovered this that I decided to go self-publishing. It was a major move; virtually a first step toward independence. Later I would take another step away from Self-Publishing and toward Indie Publishing that would change my life!

Note: some people use self-publishing and indie publishing interchangeably, but there are differences.

Self-Publishing

My going with a Self-Publisher quickly dispelled some of the misinformation I had acquired. For example, having an agent wasn’t required. You could have one, but you didn’t to have one.

In my case I thought it wise to continue looking for an agent. But this proved hard and boring. I eventually found an agent I liked, and I submitted my book to her only to get a rejection letter stating that she didn’t work in my particular genre. Bummer! By the way, my genre was still historical fiction which was her genre, but it was also Bible based historical fiction, and that is probably what she was referring to.

Indie Publishing

A lot of similarities between self-publishing and indie publishing, but one major difference is that indie publishers don’t charge fees because the author is the publisher. Of course, that means that the author assumes all responsibility for writing, editing, proofing, publishing, and marketing. But the author also reaps greater financial rewards!

Truths Learned About Agents

The truths I learned here were:

  1. It can take months to find the right agent
  2. That agent may not want you
  3. Agents are not required for self-publishing or indie publishing.

So I went with a self-publisher and learned that although there is more freedom than in traditional publisher, the self-publisher still had control of all the tools and most of the profits. Plus, you had to pay them upfront!

One advantage of the self-publisher/indie publisher is that they will help you market your book. They may provide you marketing tools for a small fee. But another truth is that no matter what publisher you have you will do most of the marketing.

This all leads to a question:

Can you benefit from an agent?

The answer is yes. They have the expertise and the experience to get things done. So, there is value in getting an agent.

However, I opted out.  Instantly I became Author, Publisher, and Marketer! Which means that I had the added responsibility that agents normally handle, which is quite a chore.

What Should I Look For In An Agent?

Ultimately you make that call. Discover your genre or genres, learn their characteristics, and search for agents in that genre. No matter what, I think you should consider it. But you should explore the world of agents. You might find one you like.

And remember that going alone, especially Independent, requires you to do the work of an agent!

That said, I believe that going Indie is the best way to go. Yes, you work hard but the rewards are greater also! As an Indie you have a lot of responsibilities, but you also have greater possibilities. As an Indie you can hire companies to help you with certain aspects of your business.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge from God and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.