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Blog by Ron – Is AI a Useful Tool

Is AI a Useful Tool for writers? That is a question that deserves an answer and leads to more questions.

Let’s answer that question first: Yes, AI is a useful tool for writers.

AI, which means artificial intelligence, is already making its presence felt in the literary world. Go on the internet and you will find advertisements aimed at writers and proudly offering services that use AI. This can range from simple story telling to the more complex uses.

AI a Useful Tool for Book Covers.

With AI you can design, create a writing style, write a book description, and get imaginative titles all at your fingertips. It saves time and produces outstanding results.

AI a Useful Tool for Content.

With a few words or sentences you can give AI instructions using a plot you provide to write a story for you. If you want, you can simply state a simple concept and let AI develop the plot itself.

Another thing you can do is instruct AI to study your writing style and learn how to write like you write. You can also tell it to do the same using someone else’s style. That is simply amazing!

AI has been on the outer edge of knowledge for a while. You could argue that Google Search or any other search engine is AI. Sort of like a baby. There are other tools such as Grammarly that could be identified as AI in its infancy.

By the way, the story that AI writes using your style would probably be indistinguishable from your actual writing to the extent that no one, not even you, could tell the difference.

AI a Useful Tool for Your Budget

Using AI you can set up and manage your budget, plan expenses, prepare a speech, and just about anything else. This is fantastic and can save a lot of time, effort, and tears. Just think someday you will wake up in the morning, tell your robot maid or butler to prepare breakfast and provide a detailed report on your finances and whether or not you can afford to buy a new car.

Wow!

Then Why Do You Say to be Cautious?

Because AI is almost impossible to control. You can give it instructions and guidelines, but it doesn’t necessarily believe that it must follow them exactly. You must provide strict instructions and it may not obey.

For example, I recently tried to create a book cover using AI. I started out by giving simple instructions using the book title and author name. But the results that came back showed AI’s imagination at work. It added details I didn’t want, misspelled my name though I had spelled it out, and was completely unsatisfactory.

I started over several times and each time I tried giving more detailed information. But I could not get the book cover I wanted. In the end, I went another route and pretty much did it manually.

Publishers are already asking questions and requiring authors to acknowledge whether they are using AI to assist or generate their work.

Why?

I have told this story before and will do so again. Jane Friedman is a famous and popular author. She knows how to write. Her books sell.

One day she woke up to discover that several books proclaiming her as author and were on Amazon and Goodreads. The problem was while it was her name and her writing style, she had never written them. Moreover, the books were probably filled with junk or AI-generated content.

She eventually got the books unlisted from Amazon and Goodreads, but it took a lot of time and effort. She used everything she could, including social media. Those books were unlisted, but her reputation may have been hurt, perhaps hundreds or thousands of dollars went to someone else. And there must have been a great deal of unwanted stress.

If it could happen to an experienced, successful author then it could happen to you.

Is That All?

No, it is not. AI can plagiarize other authors and get you into a legal mess. But let’s say you employ AI to write your story and you take measures to guard against plagiarism. You take the story and thoroughly edit it until you are confident that it is ok.

But something slips through without your knowledge. There is an old adage, “Ignorance is no excuse.” Just because you edited the book and did your best to find anything that violated copyrights or other rights doesn’t excuse you if something slipped by and you violated somebody’s rights.

You are guilty and could suffer harm to your reputation, bank account, or maybe your freedom.

Use AI with Caution.

I am not against using Ai. In fact, I probably use it unknowingly. But I don’t want to have my reputation ruined, or I be sued, or be jailed. The wise person will use caution.

AI a Useful Tool, but is it You?

You may not care whether the book is truly a work of your imagination. But I do. When I pick up a book that has my name, whether it is my author name or legal name, I want to be able to say, I wrote that. I want to be able to look in the mirror or to look into someone’s eyes and say, “Yes, I am the author.”

But if AI wrote the book using only my original idea, and then I edited the book, is that the same as having written the book. In my opinion, NO.

Besides, I love writing. Why would I want a machine to write the story for me when I love writing?

AI a Useful Tool for Research.

If you have read or listened to me very long you know I believe in the necessity of research. But I don’t love it!

AI can be used to research material for your book as long as you fact check it thoroughly. I see it as a valuable research tool that can reach where I cannot reach, go where I cannot go, and ask questions I may not know to ask. Just think how explosive that is! It can revolutionize your writing, embolden you to do things you have never done, and take your book to unimagined heights.

AI a Useful Tool When You Are in Control.

Control is a must. But how?

That is a question that may take years plus a lot of lawsuits to adequately settle. But here is the approach I plan on taking.

Cover Design – In my experience Ai has yet to learn to listen to my requests and create a cover I like within the parameters that I set. So far, AI consistently fails me in that respect.

Research – I do find AI very helpful in research. But when I get research results, I want it with references that I can look at and verify. That is very important.

Content – I think this is going to require me to use programs that examine my work and report to me violations of copyrighted material that require acknowledgement or removed.

Yes, AI is Useful for Writers!

But be Cautious.

___

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 – Fast Trac: A Faster Way

Is there a faster way to become a published author?

Yes, it is called Fast Trac, which promises to publish your book within 90 days.

Because of modern technology, we have Print on Demand. We have had it for over 20 years. But it is so fast now that a book can be published in 90 days or less. Just look at Facebook and you will see ads for 90 day publishing. Now I come along with Fast Trac.

What’s so Great About Fast Trac?

Fast Trac is speed plus publishing plus some marketing helps.

Speed obviously refers to the 90 days. There’s not much to say about this.

Publishing is something that T&R Independent Books does. Publishing books is a very important part of what is done. Every facet is taken seriously. The promise is that if a person submits a manuscript that has undergone basic editing and formatting, and it has been approved, then the book will be published within 90 days!

The Marketing Difference.

Most people understand that the primary responsibility for marketing lies with the author. It is also true that the Indie author can hire professionals to do the job, or they can try to do it themselves.

Just as you can publish yourself, you can market yourself. Just know that marketing yourself by yourself is very difficult to achieve. Difficult in terms of the commitment of time, energy, and knowledge.

Where I believe that T&R Independent Books is unique is that I don’t just publish your book. I also give you an assist in marketing. Here is a list of things I do.

  • Placement in T&R Independent Bookstore.
  • Featured on T&R Independent Books website.
  • Blog interview.
  • podcast interview.
  • book reviewed in my posts.
  • Free pdf files that can help you in marketing.

In other words, you get the same commitment from me that you get with my other services. That is important!

Fast Trac Sticks with You

When your book has been published T&R Independent Books does not forget you. The place of your book in the bookstore is not a limited time benefit. It is a permanent benefit for as long as you want.

What does it cost to have it placed in the bookstore?

There is a small per book fee that is included in the Basic Authors Cost for the book. That fee will vary depending on the book’s size. Generally, it ranges from $0.50 to $0.99 per book. There is no additional fee, and that fee is passed to the buyer of the book!

Does Fast Trac get a Royalty from My Book?

No.

The only money that T&R Independent Books makes off your sales other than the original cost is the fee. Since you have control over the price of your book you can sell your book for any amount over the Basic Authors Cost that you desire. You can also give the book away and absorb the cost yourself. The control lies with you.

What Guarantee Does Fast Trac Have?

Due to the fast turnaround of 90 days or less, we cannot offer a refund once the manuscript has been approved. However, if you change your mind before the approval, then a refund will be extended to you. The refund will be determined by how long we have maintained your account to that point.

Because the subscription payments begin at the time of the order, the refund is determined by the amount of the subscription that has been received to the date of the cancellation. The subscription will be cancelled, and no further monies will be taken out of your account.

There is a faster way to get published and to receive marketing help as well. It is with Fast Trac.

___

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

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Blog by Ron – Facing Change

Facing change is part of our daily experience. Hardly a day goes by but that we are reminded we live in a changing world. How does this impact Christian authors? How should Christians react to change?

Facing Change is Constant.

Change is everywhere, but it seems more rampant in writing. That may be because I am an author and more sensitive to it in a literary way. I can remember when we changed from traditional print to print on demand. We had time to adjust, analyze, and finally accept.

Print-on-demand revolutionized all manner of printing. Though it came upon us quickly, it wasn’t too fast. Writers accepted the new technology and started using it.

There are examples throughout life of constant change. The problem isn’t that it is constant or that it is everywhere. The problem is something else.

Facing Change is Speeding Up.

I started out by using Print on Demand as an example. It was an example of when things were slower. But now our world is moving so fast! An example of this is Artificial Intelligence or AI.

AI has been around for awhile in fiction and in college science class. It excited the imagination which led to entertaining stories. However, in 2023 it went into turbo drive. Or so it seemed.

Artificial Intelligence invaded the literary world. All of a sudden, it seemed to explode into the writing world. It had been building up to that. If you step back and look at search engines and how they have evolved, they are raw AI. They had the power to examine data and form conclusions that fed into the algorithms used by Facebook and others.

It all seemed benign, but now it has grown up to possibly be a threat.

AI has Real Dangers

Even as authors were becoming aware of AI through such tools as CHATgpt, we quickly began hearing stories that are alarming. One such story involves a famous female writer, will remain unnamed, who discovered that there is a book on the market barring her name. The trouble is she didn’t write it. Somebody else had used AI to mimic her writing style and then sell the book as it she wrote it. The famous author didn’t receive a penny.

That represents a real danger to all authors.

Facing Change impacts more than Authors

Unscrupulous people are threatening authors through AI. But there are other types of change besides AI. Sometimes change is forced upon us by the government, the economy, or foreign powers.

Right now, our country is facing a changing world where gas prices seem to change on an almost daily basis. The United States and perhaps the world is reeling from these changes. Whether by incompetence or by design, oil prices seem more unstable as ever.

Morals are also changing. There could be an argument that morals always change with each succeeding generation. And to an extent there is value in that argument. But since the end of World War II there has been a growing loss of morality. It started in the 1940s, grew in the 1950s, exploded in the 1960x and 1970s with God being kicked out of public education, to now where government leaders openly defy moral behavior.

How Should We React?

Those of us that are Christians need to take a stand. Unfortunately, the visible church has become corrupted. There are plenty of churches that have succumbed to the world and no longer preach Christ. Some have adopted the world’s view of what is right and wrong. The result are churches which no longer preach the gospel.

  • That means we need to pray for our country.
  • Pray for a return to the Bible.
  • Pray for the future.
  • Learn about AI and other new inventions.
  • how to use them for good.
  • Most of all be a good Christian citizen.

___

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 – A Writer’s Greatest Joy

A Writer’s Greatest Joy is not getting the book finished, nor getting the book published, nor having great sales. Great reviews are special, but they fail to reach greatest joy.

The Greatest Joy for a Writer

The greatest joy for a writer is different. I am writing from the perspective of over 20 years as an author, a published author. I have had good sales. I have had bestsellers in TR Bookstore. I have had 4- and 5-star reviews, an accomplishment that every author should desire. The acknowledgment of others is special!

 In addition, I have had double digit books published over that span of years. These have been fiction and nonfiction. I am currently working on 2 novels, plus a nonfiction book.

The Greatest Joy is:

But none of that moves me as much as the knowledge that readers were moved by my works. For example, “He makes the Bible come alive.”

Or “I had to go to the Bible to see if what you wrote was true.”

These are statements that please my soul. Why? Because it means the reader not only was entertained or informed, but they were also touched enough that they acted. It means my books influenced people!

Influenced People?

Yes, when you receive evidence of such results it brings an amazing sense of accomplishment to you. It is a compliment that goes beyond dollars and cents, beyond a simple ‘like’ or kind words. Those all please me, but this acknowledgment that I influence people goes far beyond anything else.

Don’t get me wrong. I love sales, primarily because sales are needed to run the company, to provide for my daily living, and to have fun. Sales enable me to tithe, pay taxes, go on trips, and to help others. Sales are necessary.

To influence people is phenomenal! But to know that I have influenced others is something there are no words to express.

___

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), but to learn more go to Our Unique Guarantee – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com).

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Blog by Ron – The Resurrection

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a hotly debated issue. Some people say it never happened. These have their heads in the sand.

Others say He was resurrected in the spirit. But that leaves a body in the tomb, yet the tomb has been and is empty.

Still others believe that He was bodily resurrected and coming back. These people have a rock-solid faith.

Let’s take a closer look.

The Cross

A literal reading of the Word of God leads to the belief that Christ was crucified on Wednesday and arose Sunday morning. Some people believe that He was crucified on Friday and celebrate the day as Good Friday. This is not supported with scripture unless you divide the days.

Why?

Simple math. You cannot get three days and nights which comprise 72 hours into two days (Friday and Saturday). The only way this is achieved is be dividing the days which neither the context nor the actual wording support.

Part of the confusion rests on the sabbath. There is the sabbath which occurs on Saturday, and the Passover, a high day or high sabbath. In John 19:14, 31 we learn that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, the next day. Thus, the crucifixion was on Wednesday, not Friday.

Another factor is the confusion over how long Jesus was in the tomb. It was three days and three nights. Only a crucifixion on Wednesday allows this. Consider that Thursday the Passover began in our time Wednesday at 6pm (sundown). This means Jesus was in the tomb (using our time) from Wednesday 6pm to 6am (night), Thursday 6pm to 6am, and Friday 6pm to 6am. He was also in the tomb in our time from Thursday 6am to 6pm (day), Friday 6am to 6pm, and Saturday 6am to 6pm.

Thus He was in the tomb three days and three nights, and was resurrected sometime after 6pm Saturday which was the beginning of Sunday. The stone was rolled away at dawn not to let Jesus out but to allow the women to look in.

The Resurrection Means No Body in the Tomb

There are a great number of man-made religions in the world and the bones of the founders never left the burial place. But we know that Jesus left the tomb and was seen of many. At one time He appeared to some 500 people. While it is possible to delude one or two people at the same time, it is not possible to delude 500 at the same time.

The Resurrection is Absolute

Some deniers claim the resurrection is unimportant. That is because they think that Christianity is just another religion. But it is more than a religion, it is a relationship between God and man through the God-man Jesus Christ. If Christ was not resurrected then He was buried and no longer lives. If He no longer lives there is no hope for us, we are most miserable (1 Cor. 15:19).

The Resurrection is Historical

After the crucifixion Christ appeared to many people as noted above. It was the fact of the resurrection that empowered the early church to dig deep roots and survive the persecution that came.  That led to the imprisonment of the apostles and none recanted their belief in the resurrection. Look at this list:

  • Peter: crucified upside down.
  • Andrew: crucified on an X.
  • Phillip: crucified upside down.
  • Thomas: stabbed with spears.
  • Matthew: murdered after scolding a king.
  • Bartholomew: skinned alive.

None of these recanted in their belief in the resurrected Christ.

The church itself would have died quickly if the resurrection were a lie.

Although the Jewish culture had always had Saturday worship, the church began worshipping on Sunday immediately! The only explanation is the resurrection.

The Jewish sacrificial system was abandoned and disappeared shortly after the resurrection. While many reasons may be given, the only one that makes any sense is they are no longer needed.

Jesus Himself told the Pharisees that He would be raised (John 2:19).

The resurrection was real and well documented. It is an historical fact that changed the world. Jesus Christ came to take your sins and mine and to take them to the cross. There He dismissed His spirit and died in our place. He was buried in a tomb and arose after three days and nights in the tomb. And He ever lives and will come back for us some day soon!

___

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 – Prose vs. Character

Prose vs. Character is a battle every author deals with even if unaware. But before continuing, let me define my terms.

Prose is a literary description of people, places, and events.

Character in this blog means describing the people, places, and events through his or her eyes, and expressing them through their voices or thoughts.

When I started writing books, I primarily used Prose. Let me brag for a moment. I wrote some pretty awesome description! But I soon learned that awesome does not necessarily equate to best.

Best is using the character!

Let’s explore that.

  1. Prose is from the author’s viewpoint. It is divorced from the characters. No matter how eloquent, there isn’t the emotional attachment a character can bring. There is a place for prose in writing, but it should be minimized.
  2. When a someone is describing something he or she infuses the description with his or her personality and biases.
  3. Emotional descriptions are impactful. Prose cannot truly compete.
  4. Storyline can be affected by the description. Thus, keeping the author out of it can be helpful!

Requires Balance

A good balance would be to try to only use prose to connect between scenes, places, and people. If you find yourself not sure, then let character be your first choice. If it doesn’t work, then use prose.

Prose vs. Character is Important

You might wonder if balance is really important.  Consider this, humans are multifaceted’. The more levels you can connect with them the more they will receive and connect with you.

To break that down, take a look at what makes up a person:

His or her:

Biases – political, religious, even educational.

Education – no schooling, high school, college.

physical traits – height, weight, hair, eyes, etc.

relationship to Christ – saved – unsaved.

Spirituality – walk with God, testimony, bible knowledge.

Training – learned skills, trade.

and more…

What if the reader is touched on two, three, four, or more levels? Don’t you think that the fictional person gets more real to the reader? The closer they get to one another, the more the reader identifies with the character. The more the reader identifies with that person, the more the reader is drawn into the story, and enjoys it. That breeds success.

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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 – Words Are Necessary Tools

Words are necessary tools for authors. Lately I have been posting about reading and writing. Why am I so insistent on this subject?

Necessary Tools.

When God created men and women the use of words was immediately practiced. I know that evolutionists think early man simply grunted and drew pictures on walls. Other than artifacts indicating that man has lived in caves at times, they have no proven evidence that man couldn’t communicate through words.

We know that the first chapter of Genesis was written by God Himself, plus that Adam began writing afterward, probably after being ejected from the Garden. In addition, we know that mankind was created and God saw everything as “very Good.” That translates to perfect.

I believe and the Bible certainly indicates that Adam and Eve were highly intelligent, probably geniuses. Listening and talking to God required words, such as naming the animals. naming the foliage. Adam and Eve used words from the very beginning. There was no evolution.

Adam and Eve not only communicated with God, but with one another. Words were necessary for them. Which brings us back to the initial statement that words are necessary tools. Since we are talking about writing, the statement can be made that words are necessary tools for authors.

Tools of our Trade.

It should not surprise you that I said that. We authors work with words all the time. Not just writing our stories, although that can require thousands of words, but getting published and selling our books also require words. Doubt that? Consider the need for grammar aids, and, recently, AI.

Words Require Caution

Say the wrong word at the wrong time and see what happens. When I was a naïve teenager working on the assembly line, I made a joke to a woman. It was innocent, and harmless, but the wording and structure of the words caused her to interpret the words differently than I met. She instantly was angry. Fortunately, I gave her my meaning and she realized I was telling the truth. I do not know what she would have done if she hadn’t believed me. I was much more careful in my conversation and choices after that.

Writing books is communication between the author and the reader. You don’t want to use the wrong word at the wrong time. It can turn off that reader quickly. You lose that reader plus others influenced by that reader.

Reading is important.

I encourage authors to do research. Words are extremely important when doing research.

Research involves reading internet material, other books, and, sometimes, academic documents.

Words Require Something

If everything I have said is true, what does that mean for me? Basically, three things.

  1. Study to show thyself approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15a)
  2. Search the scriptures is a good rule given by Jesus. There it was knowing Jesus. But the writer is also to search or research material that may enter your book. But it is also needed for publishing and marketing.
  3. In Psalm 90:12, we are told to apply our hearts to wisdom. That is referring to godly wisdom, but it is an excellent principle for writing, as well.

In other words, study, do the research, and apply what you learn. These three habits are well worth the investment of time and yourself.

___

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). He is also on Facebook.

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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).

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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.

Why?

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.

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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.

ITEMTraditionalSelfIndie
AdvanceX  
Royalty (% of net)8% – 35%35% – 60%35% – 100%
RetailSome controlControlControl
How PaidDirect DepositDirect DepositDirect Deposit
SubmissionAgentYouYou
Submit – Publish2 yrs. +After ApprovalAfter Approval
EditPub/YouPub/YouYou/Hire
Book CoverPubPub/YouPub/You
Final Edit to Publish48 hrs (est.)48 hrs.24 hrs.
UnpublishNoNoAnytime
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!

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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?

Today.

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.

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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 https://youtu.be/42nBeho_1ds

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 https://youtu.be/xEmKP8fmDWo

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 https://youtu.be/qNXm0dz5Jg4

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 https://youtu.be/UafkeuSpb80

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 https://youtu.be/_oArvL7yBFI

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 https://youtu.be/-Olgf6xum3w

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 info@trbookservices.com.

There is more information on the course at https://trbookservices.com/the-guarantee/. However, the deal announced there is not as good as the deal in the seminar.

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Facing an Uneasy Economy

Facing an uneasy economy is something of the norm for most of these days. Some experts laud the economy but use loosely defined words to do so.

For example, they talk about unemployment being down but do not point out that it is in part due to people no longer looking claiming unemployment in part because they may not qualify for it anymore. Or that rising employment is in part due to the rise in low-paying jobs.

Another thing is inflation. The price of gas goes down and they proclaim that inflation is going down; or the price of food goes up and they are silent. Or maybe the cost of food goes down and the price of gas goes up. In both cases, only that which favors an improving economy.

Whoever you believe, this economy impacts you both as an individual taxpayer and as a business. It makes for uneasiness.

The Economy is scary.

With such confusing information what is an author supposed to do? Well, this blog is aimed primarily at Christians, and we have an advantage non-Christians don’t have. We have an all-sufficient God who will help us through the tough times. Which means we can take it to the Lord in prayer.

This is more important than anything else out there. In prayer you can lay the whole problem knowing He knows all about our needs and has a plan.

Keep Focused.

It is an economy that is difficult to navigate. It is not a time for the faint of heart. What works for one author may not work for the other. Don’t change your approach just to change something. Base your marketing on your history. In other words, stay the course.

Don’t Be Afraid of Change.

Sounds contradictory, but it is just the other side of the coin. Again, look at your history. What works and what doesn’t.

In an Uneasy Economy make use of a coach.

Don’t have a coach? Then you may have problems. Your coach can look at your situation with fresh eyes. It is a good opportunity that he may see something you don’t.

An Uneasy Economy requires Calmness

The last thing you want to do is make decisions based on panic. You will probably make an error.

Look at Positive Signs in Uneasy Economy

Your situation may be different than mine, but there is a chance you have positive signs. For me, this has been my best year ever! Despite losing my wife, which was devastating. God welcomed her into heaven while He comforted me. But then He turned that around by assuring me of where she is, of His daily presence with me, and leading me into an exciting year of growth, dependence (on Him), and blessings!

Don’t Quit Because of an Uneasy Economy!

Whatever you do, don’t quit. God has a plan for you. You are either in His plan, in the wrong plan, or waiting on His plan. Quitting is the wrong plan.

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A Thanksgiving Wish

A Thanksgiving Wish for You

As we approach Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, families generally anticipate shopping. Especially shopping for their children.

Or if you don’t have children, you might be shopping for the extended family, or for friends, or just between spouses.

In any case, shopping tends to take front state. Now, you might think it strange that I, a seller of books, plus a writing course, and a publishing service, would not be on the bandwagon. Well, if you have seen my posts of Facebook, you know I am selling. In fact, I jumped into the Deals market with both feet and offer potential buyers a 25% discount storewide!

But as a Christian I thing there should be more.

My Thanksgiving Wish for You is That You Find Time for God.

You have legitimate needs that need to be taken care of; or you have children or other relatives that you need to buy presents for and you don’t have much time. But may I encourage you to take 10 – 15 – 20 minutes or more and truly offer up your thanks to God the Father.

I won’t go into all the things you owe God for what He has done in your life. But I do encourage you to take a look at the last year and list the blessings. When I do that, I see that God has blessed me beyond measure.

If I pause and consider my wife’s passing, I find reasons for Thanking God even there. She passed in her sleep with a smile on her lips, the last words she spoke to me were, “I love you!”, and she was spared another battle with cancer. It was painful for me, yes. But when I look at those positive things, realizing only a miracle could have changed the outcome, I am overwhelmed with what God gave us in the last 2 months of her life. I now have memories, precious memories for the rest of my life.

I am not wishing you to lose anyone, but I am praying that you will treasure the loved ones you have by your side, and that you get at least a glimpse of God’s providential care for you.

The Times We are In

We live in precarious times. From a biblical standpoint many of us believe we are in the End Times. But whether we are or not is not the issue. The issue is that God deserves our lives, our thanks, and our obedience.

Let’s render to God all we are and have. That means our lives, our hopes, our fears, and our possessions. But mostly it means our hearts!

My Thanksgiving Wish for Our Nation

Wouldn’t it be nice if our politicians “would just get along.” Usually people who say that mean get along by agreeing with me. But it would be nice if the could work together.

Do you remember 911? One of the things I remember is that for too brief a time our nation was united. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents were united in prayer and determination. It was beautiful!

One wish I have is that they will learn to work together again. I am not talking about loving one another, although that would be a great start. I am talking putting our nation ahead of our petty desires, and putting God first in everything! Being thankful and acting accordingly!

My Wish for You

I don’t know the vast majority of you, but I truly wish that this Thanksgiving you will have plenty of food to eat, that your favorite football team will win (as long as it’s the Detroit Lions), that you will have great health, that you might make new friendships along the way, and that you will remember and have a reserved a special place in your heart for Jesus!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Why do You Want to be a Published Author?

Why do you want to be a Published author?

That is a good question, and I have 3 answers.

1 – Why do I Write?

I write because I love to write. I was once told my writing is only a hobby, not a business.

The hobby part may have some merit, but it has never been a hobby. A hobby is defined as: Hobbies are usually, but not always, practiced primarily for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. Hobbies sometimes become careers, but they can change, be dropped, etc.

But while there is similarities, the truth is that for me writing is a calling. God called me to write and it requires more dedication than a hobby.

2 – Why do I do my own marketing?

While I love writing and have some talent in that area, marketing didn’t come naturally to me. But I have dedicated myself to marketing because my writing is a calling, and the marketing aspect comes with that calling.

Unfortunately, for a long time I didn’t have a coach or mentor. I self-taught myself a lot, but I couldn’t quite put it all together. Since 2022, that has changed and I am now experiencing my best years ever.

3 – Why do you use Social Media?

This is more complicated. I know there are some bad people on Facebook, but I believe there are some good people on Facebook, as well. These people can benefit from my products. For example,

A – Christian fiction books are based on actual people and events in the Bible. While I write the fictional story behind the story, they also relate the Biblical accounts. All of which means my readers can be entertained and taught at the same time.

B – Christian nonfiction books take sometimes complex issues or doctrines and reduce them or simplify them for easier understanding. I often say they are written by a simple man for simple men.

C – Writing course known as Basic Authors Training, which brings me much joy because it gives me the opportunity to help others become published authors.

D – Ministry Publishing enables me to be part of other people’s ministry or success, and enable them to have their books published.

In Conclusion.

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.

Basic Authors Training is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Live Coaching you learn the basics of writing, publishing, and marketing.

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. Ministry Publishing, is both a service and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – Should I Podcast?

Should I podcast is a question I am exploring right now. I have friends who either podcast or soon will be. But should I?

That is not an easy question to answer. Let’s take a few minutes and explore this question.

Should I Podcast Considering My Past Endeavors?

This is actually an argument in favor of podcasting. I used to have a show in talk radio that I hosted weekly. My studio was online, while I worked from my home. Every week for about two or three years I hosted the show.

My wife, being an unbiased soul, thought I did a good job and was getting better. Unbiased support is always welcome.

Should I Podcast Considering That I Eventually Quit?

Again, this is actually a positive question. I shut down the show because our finances were tight and my wife had cancer. It was a decision made due to circumstances we couldn’t control.

But she passed away earlier in 2023 (not of cancer), so I am alone. Which means I no longer have a live-in critique; a person who would point out areas where I could improve, or to compliment me. Having her back me like that meant more to me than I realized.

On the other hand, being alone brings more free time, or so I am told. In any case, I should have more time.

Did I Enjoy Podcasting?

Yes, I did. I do a weekly blog now which I enjoy, but being in front of a mike has a certain appeal. That show was strictly radio, but if I choose to do podcasting, it will probably be video, and I have found that I enjoy video.

The more I use video the more comfortable I become and the more knowledge I acquire.

This is a harder question. As far as the technical requirements are concerned, I think I can handle that issue. Probably require a learning curve, but given time I think I can do it.

Cost is another factor. But the host I have for my business provides within its site the necessary tools. Most are included in the overall website payment.

So, the real question is probably am I willing to make the commitment to it that is probably required? And I don’t have the answer to that question yet. It is going to take prayer and perhaps seeking other’s insights. Then, I will need to sit down, and make the decision, because if I do get in it, I will want to go in fully.

Today that service is available now. Simply click on the link and you can get started now: Writing – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com)

To visit our bookstore, go to TR Bookstore and look around. You’ll find books by my late wife Tess, plus books by me, including Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision.

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Blog by Ron – TR Ministry Publishing

TR Ministry Publishing is now available for Christian authors who are or have served in the Christian Ministry. This particular article is a follow-up to my previous article on Ministry Publishing.

TR Ministry Publishing is for Who?

This blog has been and remains dedicated to helping people become published authors. But today I am singling out a particular group: Christian authors. This new publishing service is for you.

Who are you?

Very simply, if you are or have been a pastor, evangelist, missionary, Christian High School teacher, College professor, Church office worker, Church janitor or grounds keeper you are eligible. If I omitted a job, excuse me. The key here is that you have been involved the promoting of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Your job description only gives me a clearer view of you and how I can better serve you.

Here is a list of possible jobs:

Pastor – Pastors preach. They also write. I have read Bible study books which were really edited transcripts of sermons. Why not have the pastors transcribe their sermons into a document and then I would edit, proof, and publish it?

Evangelist – Evangelists also write. Plus they carry books along with them, which can be expensive. Why not edit, proof, publish, and ship the books to churches on their itinerary? I could also have a marketing plan, which would involve $1 per book or $0.50 per PDF added to basic cost, allowing the evangelist to pass the cost to the customer.

Teaching – I am not sure how a H.S. teacher would use this service, but a college professor could write a book that his students could download for whatever cost he charged. He would be putting something valuable in his student’s hands, make some extra money, and save a lot of time and effort.

Times Have Changed

The reason I am offering this service is because I still remember to this day my pastor up in Michigan. Aside from preaching the word, he also wrote books. Back them that meant the author would order a minimum of 5000 copies and store them wherever he could. The only feasible place for him to store them was at the church.

Thankfully, print-on-demand came along. Nowadays you can order at little as 1 copy or hundreds of copies or more. That’s demand.

Now, as I recall, he would go on vacation and take some books along with him. Or he may have shipped them ahead. But with print-on-demand you can now order them and have them shipped ahead to the church you plan on visiting.

Why Did I Found TR Ministry Publishing.

I have worked at two different churches. The one in Michigan from 1993 to 2008, while the one in Florida was from 2009 to 2018. During that time, I had the privilege of seeing evangelists and missionaries come by. Invariably they would come with books (if they wrote any) and other material to describe their ministry. If they had books, they would sell them to help support their ministry.

I also know of people in the ministry who want to get their books into the hands of people they minister too. One even wants to provide downloadable PDFs for students overseas.

So, I have been watching God’s servants for a long time. It has been impressed upon my heart that they should be able to benefit from print-on-demand technology.

TR Ministry Publishing is up for the task.

Whatever the task you have, you have access to a professional author who has experienced many trials and difficulties while learning to be an author. I started this publishing business to help you with the tasks ahead. I am ready to help you achieve the success you desire.

The Thinking Behind TR Ministry Publishing

Most of God’s servants serve at a cost to them and their families because they love God and He called them to serve. With that in mind, I began thinking about how I could serve them. Since I am in the publishing business it occurred to me that it was in the publishing business where I could help them.

Brilliant thinking, don’t you think?

Well, I wasn’t done.

My thought was: Wouldn’t it be nice if I could offer my services to Christian servants for a modest price? By modest I was meaning give away.

But such thinking was highly impractical for the long term. Plan B: Why not publish their books at a modest price?

That lit the fire under me, and I set about building the service.

Today that service is available now. Simply click on the link and you can get started now: Writing – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com)

To visit our bookstore, go to TR Bookstore and look around. You’ll find books by my late wife Tess, plus books by me, including Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision.

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Blog by Ron – Ministry Publishing

Ministry Publishing is a new venture that I am personally and professionally excited about. Over the years I have noticed that evangelists must carry a ton of their books with them or have them shipped to a church they will be in to preach.

I have also personally seen a pastor have to buy 5,000 copies of his book and store them (usually at the church).

Times have Changed

The need to carry with them books or have books shipped ahead is still common practice. Hopefully they don’t have to order a minimum number of books.

Times have changed with the advent of print on demand. I believe that pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and those in Christian Education should be able to benefit from print on demand technology.

To a small extent, they do benefit. But it is the same benefit that the rest of us get. Shouldn’t men of God get a better benefit?

Enter Ministry Publishing

Ministry Publishing is just that. It is a service that is provided to men in the ministry as pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and Christian teachers. It is also a ministry to women who minister to women and children.

It is a ministry that publishes books. For a small fee (compared to other publishers) Ministry Services will provide editing, proofing, formatting, just about any service you can think of, plus publish the book.

In addition, at no extra cost to the customer, we do offer marketing that pays for itself. The cost of marketing is included in the book’s retail price, thus offsetting the printing cost.

Ministry Publishing Helps the Ministry

In my experience, evangelists most often support their ministry by selling their books. This is a time-honored tradition. But it also represents a major financial burden to buy many books, store them, and transport them. The profits they receive go to the ministry to pay for the travel expenses, housing, and much more.

Because the marketing cost is included in the purchase price, it results in no out-of-pocket costs to the evangelist. Most publishers that I am aware of charge a marketing fee and sometimes require a minimum purchase. But by having a per book price that is included in the base cost, the ministry can order as many or as few as needed.

That is the benefit for evangelists, but for ministers of the gospel it helps them in a slightly different way. With all the costs included in a per book basis the pastor or his church are not dealt a devastating blow.

For example, if a pastor hires Ministry Publishing to publish his book, the upfront cost is $500 (or $83.33 per month for 6 months), no matter how many pages long it is. The pastor’s book is published and the pastor orders 10 copies (number varies depending on pastor’s needs or plans). Let’s say the basic cost is printing plus T&R publishing fee is $4.85. At 10 copies, the pastor would pay $48.50. The pastor sets a retail of $12.99 for the book and sells all 10 for $129.90. His per book profit would be $12.99-4.85=$8.14 per book or a net profit of $81.40 for all 10.

Or the pastor might give them away with a total cost of $48.50.

Either way, the pastor has accomplished his goal and either reaped a profit for the ministry, or expended a small amount of money on the project. The customer has been in control for the whole process.

if you want to know how to learn to be an author, you should visit my article titled Whats-the-Truth-about-Best-Sellers.

To visit our bookstore, go to TR Bookstore and look around. You’ll find books by my late wife Tess, plus books by me, including Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision.

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Blog by Ron – The Best of Tess

The Best of Tess is a book that I have written in honor my late wife, Tess Riddle. To most people she was known as Teresa, but to her fans she was known as Tess.

The Best of Tess is a Testimony

Tess wrote three Ladies Devotionals, all of which are in the book. They have been moderately edited to present a unified appearance.

These devotionals were all published in 2022. Not only that, but she also republished a novel with a different title, cover, and update text. I marvel that she got so much done in one year, yet she was a novice as a writer.

The Book was a work of Love

Teresa and I were married for 41 years. That is not a record, but in this day and age it is an accomplishment. On her last night, she woke up between 2:00 and 3:00 am needing to use the restroom. I put her in her wheelchair and took her to it. Afterwards I took her back to the couch where she had been sleeping because it was more comfortable than the bed. As I went back to my bed, she called out, “I love you!”

I responded, “I love you, also.”

That was the last words we ever spoke to one another and they have been a blessing and an encouragement to me ever since.

It wasn’t long before I decided to write this book. I am pleased that it is now written.

The Best of Tess is Unique

You might wonder why I say that. It is unique because I have included the unfinished and unpublished fourth devotional. In this devotional she goes into detail about her battle with cancer. But it was never finished because a related issue occurred that put her into the hospital.

Not only that, but I added a postscript to that last book that included the story of her final battle. Not with cancer, but with a deadly infection caused by radiation.

Tess’s Last Days

From December 19th to February 19th Teresa had an incredible journey. It would spoil it to tell the details. But there were trials and blessings. We grew closer over this period time in which we thought she was getting better.

The Best of Tess is on Sale

Not only is the book on sale because it is just being release, but it is on sale because later this month (September 2023) we will be celebrating her life in a Memorial Service. It will be at 2:00 pm on September 30, and will be live streamed for those who can’t make it.

The retail price is $14.99, but it is on sale for $8.85, a 41% discount. That discount matches the number of years we were married.

To get your copy at retail, simply go to: Amazon.com

.To visit our bookstore and get your copy on sale, go to TR Bookstore and look around. You’ll find books by my late wife Tess, plus books by me, including Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision.

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Blog by Ron – Wrapping It Up

Wrapping it Up is the title of this blog, because for the past week I have been showing you some unique reasons why you should choose to go with Basic Authors Training for your Christian fiction or nonfiction book. I have opened my heart to you and shown you not only what I offer, but why.

Wrapping it Up with the Call of God.

I know what it is like to be called of God to do something. There is one thing, one truth I have learned: When God calls He equips. Focus on that for a moment. We Christians are a called out assembly (what church means). God didn’t just save us, He called us to serve Him. He has gifted us to make the church stronger, but it also benefits the gifted if he or she uses the gift right.

He also opens and closes doors as He guides you along. Basic Authors Training is a door. I believe it is a door He has opened for you, but that is not my decision. It is yours, which is why I have consistently provided you with an opportunity that can help you decide which kind of door it is. An opportunity that awaits you at the other end of the link provided.

Wrapping it Up with the Dirty Little Secret

The dirty little secret about being an author is that the author does most of the marketing (unless he or she is a celebrity). But I determined that I would help my students out in a multifaceted manner.

Here are the ways I help:

  • The book is carried in the T&R Bookstore.
  • It will be featured as soon as possible after publishing.
  • It will be featured on a rotating basis with other books.
  • The book will be featured in my marketing posts.
  • It will be featured in my blog at least once.
  • The author will be interviewed for the blog.
  • The author will have a marketing page set up for their use.
  • The author will have access to the T&R Tool Chest that includes course tools, posts on writing, posts on publishing, and posts on marketing.
  • Plus other tools that I may design.
  • The student will continue getting marketing coaching for at least 4 weeks.

How can T&R Independent Books Do All of That?

It is not easy. But I believe that there are at least two reasons why I should do all of that.

Reason #1 – You Deserve It.

You invested your money, time, and energy into learning how to write. You stuck it out and finished the course. You completed your manuscript. That in itself is enough to justify saying you deserve it.

Reason #2 – I Deserve it.

I invested my time, knowledge, and effort into teaching, coaching, and downright pushing you to succeed. Seeing you get published and have a fighting chance in the marketing world will thrill me beyond measure.

Bonus Reason – The World Deserves it.

You have written a Christian fiction or nonfiction book reflecting the Christian worldview. Whether you included the gospel or not, your book is Christian in nature and presents to the world another way of living, working, or playing. More than deserving it, they need it.

What Does That Mean?

We live in what is fast becoming a non-Christian world. While I still look at America as Christian, it is on a headlong rush the other way. Christian authors can make a difference. Bible studies, Devotionals, Bible-based novels, and other novels with a Christian worldview are needed to influence people.

Many people in America are looking for something that they don’t know. That something is for filling a huge hole. God created man to know Him, but man is in rebellion. Man is constantly trying to fill that hole with sex, sports, movies, alcohol, drugs, and whatever they can find. But only God can fill that hole.

And it is through Christian writings that most people learn about Him.

Why do I say that?

Because people either don’t attend church or the churches they do attend don’t preach the gospel. We authors must step up and fill that hole at least until the churches and their pastors wake up.

Wrapping it Up with An Opportunity That Demands Action

I have poured a lot of effort into making this opportunity something that excites you, encourages you, and equips you. I guarantee you I will do my very best to make this opportunity a forever opportunity.

But I cannot guarantee that it will be forever available. The time to decide is now! That is why I encourage you to click on the link provided, to watch the video, to read the text, to pray over it, and then do what the Lord wants you to do!

Wrapping it Up Pound for Pound.

I have been honest and transparent, plus I have offered you benefits and advantages that are pound for pound better than anything out there. Nobody can promise you a bestseller (honestly, unless in a particular niche), but I can promise you that I will do everything within my power, knowledge, and ability to make you the best author you can be. And if the best author you can be, then your book is going to be the best it can be!

I mentioned earlier that we must step up and fill the gap that modern churches are leaving. That should motivate you and me to be the absolute best author we can be.

I often say in my videos that I am In It to Win It. This is your opportunity to shout out, “I’m In It to Win It!”

if you want to know more and get started now, you should visit my article titled Whats-the-Truth-about-Best-Sellers.

To visit our bookstore, go to TR Bookstore and look around. You’ll find books by my late wife Tess, plus books by me, including Hurrican Ian Winds of Providence & Provision.

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Blog by Ron – Writing About Current Events

Writing about current events is a good subject matter for authors. Because our news media has drifted away from reporting the news and now include their own bias, the door has been opened for authors to write more about current events than may have been the norm.

Writing About Current Events by News Media

It varies according to the subject matter, but my statement about bias reporting as referred I referred to previously is a correct assessment. I have been around long enough to remember when the opinions were relegated to the Opinion Page. But that is no longer true. Now the reporter includes his or her opinion ass though it was fact, which explains the current lack of knowledge about events, people, and places.

It is a shame that reporting of the news has slipped to such a low standard, but for authors it is a major open door.

Writing About Current Events is the Basis of Many Successful Books

Basically, an author writes about historical events, current events, or future events. Which means that Current Events is a topic we are not only knowledgeable about, but often write about.

The news media has opened a door that we already had a foot inside. You could say it is our forte. At least the forte of some writers.

I call today’s reporting, Bias Reporting. Whereas in the past reporting focused on the facts, today the focus is on bias. Facts are only used if they agree with the bias. This, in turn, puts news reporting on the same level as fictional writing. Both are stories based on some facts and a lot of imagination.

For hundreds of years writers have been taking either historical or current events and developing successful novels or nonfiction stories. It is what we do. And based on history, we have done quite well. In fact, we’ve done a better job of it than the reporters.

So, if you are planning to write a book, don’t be afraid to tackle current events. You can take a current event and develop a mystery, an adventure story, or just about anything your imagination can stir up.

Let Your Imagination Soar

Because you are an author with a lively imagination you can take a current event and take it into the future or explore the past leading up to the event. This is equivalent to reporting at this stage. But then you can take it further’

Writing About Current Events has its Risks

Current events as a subject matter has some risks, such as losing consumer interest quickly. When I was writing Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence and Provision, I was writing about a current event. But I was aware that the window of interest was narrow.

I had two things working in my favor.

One was that the storm was in the news daily, which created interest. If I could get published quickly, I could tap into that interest.

Secondly, it had historical significance which would help sustain the story’s appeal.

A third plus was that it was the personal story of a family as told in their own words.

Anniversary Sale

Since I used the story to emphasize my blog’s point, it seemed good to me to provide people with another opportunity to read this inspiring story. A story that was greater than Charlotte County, and greater than Florida. It inspired people throughout the United States.

Therefore, Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence and Provision is on sale through the remainder of hurricane season and ending on October 1, 2023.

Normally $18.43, it is now $16.80, a 9% discount. But it is over October 1st.

Click on Hurricane Ian Sale and get your copy today.

To visit our bookstore, go to TR Bookstore and look around. You’ll find books by my late wife Tess, plus books by me, including Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision.

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Blog by Ron – Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season is upon us. Not only that but we are closing in on the worst storm to ever hit Florida. I am talking about Hurricane Ian, a category 5 storm that devastated southwestern Florida, destroyed businesses, leveled homes, and destroyed all the possessions that some people had. Moreover, it killed.

But September 28, 2022, will also be remembered because of an inspiring story that came out of its destructive power. This story is not only inspiring but true.

Hurricane Season is always Traumatic

Hurricanes are mindless, destructive forces that nature unleashes upon the world every year. Here in Florida it makes its presence known from June 1 through November 30th. But come the  latter part of the season and the storms become worse. On September 27th many people, including myself, evacuated because of the coming storm.

But Pastor Jay Sheppard and his family were prepared. They lived along the Peace River in Arcadia, Florida. As they prepared for the storm, their primary concern was for the church that increasingly looked like it would be in the path of the storm.

But the Sheppard’s had a plan. The storm, if it came, would likely come up the Peace River, so they prepared for that possibility. Pastor Jay and his sons worked hard securing anything that looked like it could be impacted, including the roof. They also had a plan B which included evacuation to a safer house not too far away.

It looked like they were ready.

They were wrong!

An Unexpected Surprise in Hurricane Season

The storm drove north along Florida’s southwest coast wreaking havoc and causing damage that would take months, possibly years, to recover. As the cone shifted eastward, it brough Charlotte Harbor into its sights. The storm landed on

Cayo Costa Island about 12 miles west of Cape Coral.

The storm’s path had changed over a brief span of a few days. This was not a great surprise, but it’s intensity and destructive power were surprises. It would soon turn northeast and follow the Peace River, beginning in Charlotte Harbor.

Still, there was no real surprise. Hurricanes were known to change course and to go inland. In my wife and mine experience it seemed normal for the storm to follow the path it was taken.

But then came the surprise. Hurricane Ian acted like it had intelligence. And its Plan was diabolical. While we were focused on the eastern edge of the storm, it unleased a flash flood from the north!

No one had anticipated that, including the Sheppard family. They were literally ambushed as the flash flood came right at them with overwhelming force, wind, and water.

They would end up losing the house, though the structure survived, and virtually all their possessions. But God stepped in and miracle after miracle took place. In the book, the story is told in the words of Pastor Jay and members of his family, as well as others. It is highly personal, but it is much more.

You get a picture of God’s Providence at work.

Anniversary Sale

Now that we are again in hurricane season, it seemed good to me to provide people with another opportunity to read this inspiring story. A story that was greater than Charlotte County, and greater that Florida. It inspired people throughout the United States.

Therefore, Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence and Provision is on sale through the remainder of hurricane season and ending on October 1, 2023.

Normally $18.43, it is now $16.80, a 9% discount. But it is over October 1st.

Click on Hurricane Ian Sale and get your copy today.

To visit our bookstore, go to TR Bookstore and look around. You’ll find books by my late wife Tess, plus books by me, including Hurrican Ian Winds of Providence & Provision.

Want to be be a published author, but don’t know how? Check Best Sellers.

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Blog by Ron – Getting Published

Getting Published should not hurt, but if you are not careful you can get hurt big time. In posts and past blogs, I have shared much of my story. When I wrote my first book, I needed an author. So, I set out to find what I needed.

I didn’t have any idea of what publishing and marketing would entail. But I did understand that publishers, especially traditional publishers, were increasingly wanting authors to have a book agent. Someone who could represent the author and be a trustworthy connection for the publisher.

It was not always that way. There was a time when you wrote a manuscript, mailed it to a publisher, and, if approved, it was eventually published. Back then there were no agents. Just the publisher and the author.

Of course, it was also true back then that almost all of the marketing was done by the author, and they did this without benefit of the internet. From those days these publishing houses grew into the mighty Traditional Publishers of today.

Getting Published the Traditional Way

By the time I came into the picture there were two types of publishing houses, the Traditional and the Self-Publishing. At that time, I knew a little about the traditional, and very little about Self-Publishing.

I knew that there were some rather big publishing houses that handled virtually all the best well-known authors. I also knew they paid royalties, that authors often had long lines at book signings, and, apparently, made a lot of money.

Armed with this knowledge, I began looking for an agent. I knew it might take time, but I was also confident that I could find the right agent for my book. The book itself was called, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles, which fit into historical fiction. In fact, it was in multiple genres such as historical, Biblical, and Adventure.

As I began searching for an agent I focused on historical fiction. This helped me narrow the number of agents that I would need to find and submit my book to for their inspection.

Rejection

Time went by as I searched diligently. Then came the day when I struck gold. I found the right agent. I submitted my book and a few weeks later received a reply. Eagerly I opened the letter, and my spirit immediately sank. It was a rejection letter.

Why?

Because it was the wrong genre!

She didn’t really say that. In fact, she didn’t say much at all other than it didn’t fit at all! At first, I was stumped, then it came to me, my book was historical, but it was also based on the Bible.

Being turned down by an agent soured me on going with a traditional publisher. The more I investigated, the more I learned. For instance, I learned that they were increasingly wanting the author to have an agent. But  it had taken me months to find one that turned me down. It was a major downer!

As I further studied the matter, I learned that not only does it takes months to get an agent, but it takes months for an agent to find the right publisher, as well. On top of that, the typical publisher might take another two years before they publish the book.

I didn’t want to wait THAT long!

What About Getting Published by Self-Publishing

What about getting published by self-publishing? The idea was prompted by information that introduced me to self-publishing. I don’t remember the details, but it was probably an ad. And it probably suggested that I would have greater control, be guaranteed to be published, and not have to wait a long time. All of this was exciting news.

That thought renewed my energy, and I turned my focus to self-publishing. It didn’t take long before I found a self-publisher that I could use. I paid the fee of about $400, (today it is more likely above $800) and was soon working on getting my book published.

I was on my way!

Getting Published was NOT So Easy

Although I had paid for the publication, it still had to go through their process. One particular annoying practice they had was the proof copy. Once I had finished the book and selected the cover, I was ready. So, I took the next step by requesting a proof copy.

They sent me the copy, but I only had 72 hours to examine it and note the errors to be fixed. That was bad, but I also found a number of errors on their part. One was a repetitious error throughout the book. It was daunting, but I worked hard and got most, not all, the errors identified and provided corrections.

That resulted in errors slipping through. It simply wasn’t enough time to find, and note the errors and the solutions. Once the book was published, I couldn’t update without it costing more money.

Getting Published a Different Way

I was disgusted and changed to another company, but it wasn’t much better. I learned a bitter truth. Self-Publishing sounds great, but the “self” part only means that you pay for it in advance, thus assuring yourself of getting published.

It was a hard lesson to learn, and then CreateSpace showed up representing an idea I never heard of before. Indie Publishing! It changed my life!

But that experience with self-publishing solidified in my mind that when I sat down to write my course on writing I determined that I would work with the student. No rushing them. The student and the manuscript are both important. So, whether the student chooses to be published by T&R Independent Books, or chooses another way, I will work with that student to get the manuscript ready for publication. That decision didn’t happen right away. It took time. And it took tragedy.

In February of 2023 my wife of 41 years unexpectedly passed away during the night. I had lost the love of my life. Thankfully, I was surrounded by my church family which showered their love and support upon me.

After the shock of her passing, I realized that I needed to get serious about the course I was writing to help others write. And I realized I was going to have to offer potential students not just value, but great value.

Looking at my life, and my skillset, I knew I could offer something unique. I could not only offer them a writing course, but I could publish and market their books! It was an idea that grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go. The more I prayed about it the more I knew it was what the Lord wanted me to do.

I now would be in the position to help potential writers avoid the school of hard knocks which I had attended, provide them a publishing opportunity that I had not enjoyed, and help them in marketing their books.

The Guarantee

If the student completes the course, meets the Christian criteria (which they would have been meeting all along), and chooses to be published by T&R Independent Books, then I guarantee that the book will be published, and that I will coach them right through that process.

On the other hand, if the student finishes the course, meets the Christian criteria, and chooses not to be published by T&R Independent Books, then I guarantee that I will work with them to get their book ready to be published by themselves or others. If they wish to publish the book themselves using KDP, I will help them set up an account, and coach them on how to use KDP. Since I am unqualified with other publishers, I cannot offer the same guarantee. However, I would still be a resource and would do my very best to help.

if you want to know more now, you should visit my article titled Whats-the-Truth-about-Best-Sellers.

To visit our bookstore, go to TR Bookstore and look around. You’ll find books by my late wife Tess, plus books by me, including Hurrican Ian Winds of Providence & Provision.

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Guaranteed Getting Published Part 2

Guaranteed Getting Published Part 1 talked about events leading up to the founding of T&R Independent Books. This took place in 2014.

I had been using KDP to publish my books for a while, but now a new idea formed in my mind. Why not form a business where I could both publish and market my books.

Eagerly, I took Teresa to a McDonald’s for a meal and what would become our first business meeting. It was there in early August 2014 that I presented to her the idea of us forming a business with her as President. I suggested that because she had a master’s degree in business administration, and because she was a woman (woman get special tax breaks plus special treatment by businesses). A third reason was I wanted her involvement.

She not only embraced the idea but confessed that she had long wanted to be an author. That excited me. Both of us could be authors having our books published by our new business.

Combining the T for Teresa, and the R for Ronald, we came up with T&R Independent Books. We left McDonalds excited by our decision.

Less than three weeks later I suffered a Cabbage 5 Heart attack!

Getting Published Was Empowered by God

Throughout our marriage God has blessed and provided for Teresa and me. It was demonstrated when I had a heart attack. It took place on a Friday morning, I had emergency surgery, and was wheeled out of the hospital on Tuesday. Within weeks I was up, attending church, and working the business.

He also saw us through two cancers for Teresa. The first was the most dangerous and required massive doses of radiation and chemotherapy. But once again He saw us through.

We both prayed for God’s leading and blessing upon the business during this time. I used the time to purchase the rights to previous books I had written, most of which we republished under the T&R label. But the dream to help other writers wouldn’t go away.

Over the years I helped one lady write and publish her book. She wasn’t interested in selling it, but wanted to give copies to relatives. It was an enjoyable book, in fact, it was at some points absolutely funny. Working with her solidified my desire to help others write and publish their own book.

I also helped a retired teacher put together a small booklet that he wanted to use to promote a teaching concept he had developed. Later, in 2022, he had me rework the book with added material. Again the experience was pleasing.

But it was also in 2022 that I heard about an interesting concept: write a course. The idea excited me and I quickly outlined a course that I could write and teach. The idea became a project and in time a reality, which I called Basic Authors Training.

My dream of helping others become published authors was coming true. But first there were a few more hurdles.

Guaranteed Getting Published? Are You Crazy?

When that concept first occurred to me in early 2023, that thought or something like it went through my mind. Teresa, or Tess to her readers, passed away in February, leaving me with my thoughts, hopes, and prayers.

It wasn’t just an obstacle; I had lost the love of my life! But I felt God urging me to push forward with the course. I found a coach who specializes in teaching people how to write and market courses.

The idea was beyond anything we had ever discussed. But when I took it to the Lord in prayer, He began opening doors right and left. It was like He was saying to me, It’s about time!

Knowing that God wanted me to pursue this avenue, I stepped out in faith.

Since I was already working on the course, I started with a basic understanding of course writing. I signed up and began taking the course on Capitalize Your Best by Gordon Dunkin. It was one of the smartest decisions I ever made.

He looked over the course and began teaching, guiding, and coaching me. My concept of teaching men and women how to write, coaching them along the way, and guaranteeing them an opportunity to be published was growing.

More importantly, God was opening doors, using other people to encourage me, and now that concept has matured into reality!

How Does Guaranteed Getting Published Work?

It is really a simple concept. The client/student buys the course by either paying full price up front, or making six payments by subscribing. That pays for the writing course which involves:

  • Live one-on-one Coaching
  • Teaching
  • Assisting every step of the way
  • Preparing for publication

At the conclusion of the course, if the student completed all the assignments and had the manuscript finished or close to being finished, and met Christian standards, that student would receive an invitation to choose to have his/her book published by T&R Independent Books.

If the student agreed, then work would begin on publishing. And there would be no charge to the student.

Huh? How is that possible?’

Easy, the cost of the printing, including the small fee for publishing, would be included in the base cost of the book. In effect, the potential reader pays for the publishing!

In addition, there is a marketing component to the publishing package. The book will be sold in the T&R Independent Bookstore where it will at times be featured. In addition, it will appear in my blog along with an interview, and in posts. Plus, whatever other marketing I do. In short, it will be marketed the same way my books are marketed.

The Opportunity is Now

Simply click on the link below and it will take you to a special page where you will learn more and have the opportunity to get started in your writing and publishing career.

Go to The Truth About Best Sellers

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.

Basic Authors 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, publishing, and marketing. Plus, we will offer you a publishing package at no out of pocket cost to you if you complete the course and meet the criteria. What can be better? Guaranteed publishing by simply finishing your lessons and meeting simple criteria?

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

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com or use the contact form on the website.

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 Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Guaranteed Getting Published

Guaranteed Getting Published is today’s subject. At Basic Authors Training we consider helping people to get published is so important that we did the unthinkable. We guarantee that students who graduate from the course will be published by us!

That is amazing!

Why Have We Guaranteed Getting Published?

A big part of this is my own history. I have talked in the past about the school of hard knocks. Plus, I have post as recent as this week about my own experience trying to get published.

First, I had to choose between Traditional, Self, and Indie publishing. That story has appeared on both LinkedIn and Facebook, but not as deep as here.

But the fact is that when I finished my book, I had to find a publisher. My first choice was Traditional. I was like a babe in the woods. I was naïve and didn’t know much about the publishing industry. But I was soon learning.

It Required Book Agents for Traditional Publishing

In my posts I told how I was rejected. In addition, I discovered the time-consuming process of finding an agent and getting published was smothering me. As I recall I began wondering if there was another way. And there was.

I began scouring the internet looking for the right agent. After months of searching, I found an agent who not only handled the historical fiction genre, but she also had a good reputation. Eagerly, I submitted my manuscript to her.

A few weeks later I received a letter from her. I eagerly opened it only to discover it was a rejection letter. She thanked me for considering her, told me the book didn’t fit her, and wished me well.

I was devastated and confused. According to my research, she represented authors who wrote historical fiction. Then the realization slowly came. It wasn’t Historical Fiction she was refusing to represent, it was Biblical Historical Fiction!

I was completely undone, defeated.

But then I heard about something called Self-Publishing. That sounded good. I would be able to publish the book myself.

Self-Published Promised an easy way for Getting Published

Back in the early 2000s $400 was expensive and hard to come by. I didn’t have much money, but I managed to find it and sign on with a Self-Publishing House. And I was on my way.

Well, not exactly.

You see, Self-Publishing doesn’t really mean that you publish the book. It can be characterized as you pay to have someone else publish the book. That’s not so bad. We pay others to do work for us all the time.

But I quickly learned that while my money was welcome, they were the ones in charge. They chose the fonts, they chose the book size (they may have let me select), they wanted to do the editing, and they gave me little choice on the royalties.

But I didn’t care. I was going to be a published author.

Getting Published Involved Very Little Marketing

When the book was done and published, I was ecstatic! I showed it to friends and family. I was proud as a peacock! Until I learned the dirty little secret.

I wasn’t going to get much help marketing the book. Oh, they sent me a book on how to market, plus they offered several tools that I could purchase. I could have my book advertised in the New York Times! For a price that I couldn’t afford.

The world of reality overcame me.

I still managed to sell books by visiting bookstores and other shops. I had several book signings at a local bookstore. I think I sold around 100 books altogether. But it was hard work, and the royalties were small.

Indie Publishing Appeared!

I switched from the self-publishing house to another publisher who was more of a hybrid, which means it had aspects of self-publishing and traditional publishing merged together. But this didn’t improve the situation. They paid an advance just like Traditional Publishers, except it was only $1. They also paid royalties on the same scale as Traditional, which I thought was unfair. But they published a nice book, retained control of the process, and collected their profits.

 It was then that I began learning about something called Indie Publishing. I didn’t know what it was, but my research on the internet cleared it up. Indie Publishing is the author publishing his/her own book. Plus, a new service called CreateSpace existed for just such an author as me.

So, I switched to CreateSpace, which eventually became Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It was a decision that would change my career and my life! Not only that, but it sparked within me a desire to help others without all the hassle. Plus, it would lead to Teresa, my wife, and I founding our own business and calling it T&R Independent Books.

It was at that time that Teresa confessed her desire to be an author, which excited me. It would take 5 years of battling a heart attack (me), cancer twice (Teresa), and other hardships before her first book was published by T&R Independent Books. Writing under the name of Tess Riddle, she would go on to rewrite and republish that first novel, plus write three Ladies Devotionals before her untimely death. She had done the impossible!

But that is not the end of the story. Before and since her death I developed a book writing course designed to help others become authors. It was a simple idea that would soon explode into something fantastic!

More on this subject in Guaranteed Getting Published part 2.

To learn more about how Basic Authors Training can help you get finished, go this link:

What’s The Truth About Best Sellers? – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com)

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 Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Lessons Learned in My Journey

Lessons Learned in My Journey could fill a book. Perhaps someday I will write a book about my life’s journey. If you follow me on Facebook, you know I talk about my journey as a writer. This is not a repost of those videos, but I am taking a closer look at something I referred to in those posts.

My call to write Books.

I have referred to this calling several times, but this time I will take you through a step by step chronological journey.

My Beginnings 1st of Lessons Learned

I grew up in Michigan. In fact, I was born, raised, and lived a good portion of my life in Michigan. Early in my life we attended church, but dropped out when I was still in elementary school. However, while we weren’t going to church, we were religious. I can remember sitting in the living room with my father and watching Billy Graham. Sitting there with my dad and listening to the preaching of the gospel are some of the greatest memories I had.

In 1964 I joined the United States Navy and started out in Boot Camp. One rule they had there was everyone, that means everyone, had to attend church every Sunday morning.

I was religious and believed I was a Christian, but I didn’t know Jesus. That relationship wouldn’t happen until nine years later.

When I got out of the Navy in 1968, a desire I had back when a teenager returned. It was a desire to write! I decided to take a course in writing, but that only lasted a few months because I got laid off by Ma Bell.

My savings account was wiped out within a month, due to no income, plus paying for rent, etc. I cancelled the course because I could no longer pay for it. I have mentioned the School of Hard Knocks before, so I won’t go into it again.

But my first lesson I learned was that life wasn’t fair and that I wouldn’t always get what I wanted.

A Change of Direction 2nd of Lessons Learned

I mentioned earlier that we were a religious family and I considered myself a Christian. During my youth and my days in the military I had no problem going to church, but it held little meaning to me. In 1969 I was involved in a car accident.

A car had pulled out in front of me, I thought I saw children in the car, and I knew I couldn’t stop in time. I turned the wheel and went for the shoulder. Only problem, there was no shoulder. Instead, I found myself on the grass and managed to turn the car parallel to the road. Up ahead I saw a ditch. I tightened my grip on the wheel, held it as straight as I could and drove down into the ditch, across it, and back up the other side. It was a bit bumpy, but I made it.

Then I focused on coming to a stop which I managed by running into a stop sign. I looked at the empty passenger seat and knew that an angel or perhaps God Himself was sitting there. I didn’t see anyone, but I believed it to be true. And still do.

I opened the door and walked back to the ditch. Just before getting to it, I saw what remained of my gas tank. I hadn’t realized I had lost it, but quickly realized I was probably still alive because it had been ripped right off the car.

Shaking my head in wonder, I turned back to the ditch. That was when I saw it!

The ditch ran under the road through a concrete culvert. But that wasn’t it. The it was a tree stump about a car’s width from the culvert. And I had driven right between the two without ever seeing the stump!

That convinced me that God had spared my life. The car was totaled, but I was alive, and it wasn’t long before I started going to church. There I began hearing about Jesus and His death on the cross. But while the preaching was powerful, I took issue with their stance on drinking. I turned to the Bible to prove that drinking was permitted.

In 1973 I was transferred to Kalamazoo, Michigan for a 13-week assignment. While there I attended on Wednesdays a small church not far away. My study of scripture to prove drinking permissible was finished and I approached the pastor ready to defend my position.

I was quite confident, but before my argument got very far, he pulled the rug out from under me with Romans 14:21. I had never considered this idea that I could cause someone else to stumble. And what was this about a brother?

I returned to my motel room a defeated man. Sitting down at the table, I opened the Bible and God began reminding me of all the scriptures I had heard about salvation.

No longer burdened with a false issue, I saw my real need for Jesus, fell down on my knees next to the bed and asked Jesus into my heart.

More in a moment.

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.

Basic Authors 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, publishing, and marketing. Plus, we will offer you a publishing package at no out of pocket cost to you if you complete the course and meet the criteria. What can be better? Guaranteed publishing by simply finishing your lessons and meeting simple criteria?

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

Back to my story.

Growing in the Lord 3rd of Lessons Learned

I began growing in the Lord. I call this Lesson #3, but in reality, I began learning a series of lessons about Jesus Christ, His birth, His life, His sacrificial death, His resurrection, and His coming again.

I also began learning other things. But something had happened to me back on May 9th. I didn’t ask God to take drink away, nor did I promise anything. I was too amazed. But God took away all desire for drink! It was and is a miracle.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that is not the normal experience. And I also know that I have other sins that I have to ask for forgiveness. But it was an amazing start to my walk with Jesus.

It would be another 8 years before I would meet and marry Teresa Wheeler. And it would be another 19 years after her name change, that the next step in my writing career took place.

The Call of God 4th of Lessons Learned

During those intervening years God called me to different ways of serving Him. One was to be the Financial Secretary at Shalom Baptist Church in Orion, Michigan. But my call to write was the 4th lesson in writing.

We lived in an A-frame house. For a while we rented out the upstairs, but eventually after a renter had left, we removed it from the market and the upstairs apartment became my office. One morning in the year 2000 I was at my desk reading Genesis 6 as part of my devotions. It was a familiar story about Noah and the Ark, but on that day, God opened my eyes.

I realized that the facts provided were not complete. God gave Noah general instructions including a blueprint, but there was a backstory missing. How did a farmer have enough information to understand the blueprint and build the ark? Here was a story. I could write the story behind the story.

But it was more than that. This was the first time that God had directed my thoughts in such a manner and the truth hit me. God wanted me to write. He was calling me.

Continued.

There have been many lessons I have learned since then, and I imagine there will be many more. But knowing God had called me transformed me as a writer and as a person. One of the lessons He has taught me is to not get relaxed. He had more lessons for me, and He had His own plan for my life and my career.

I am excited about what the future holds. He has continued to enable me, but at one point He gave me a verse to hang my literary hat on: “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.” Psalm 71:18

Part of living in this world is learning lessons about life. But for a Christian the truly important lessons are those the Lord teaches us about worshiping Him, obeying Him, and serving Him. May He bless you and your service to Him.

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.

Basic Authors 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, publishing, and marketing. Plus, we will offer you a publishing package at no out of pocket cost to you if you complete the course and meet the criteria. What can be better? Guaranteed publishing by simply finishing your lessons and meeting simple criteria?

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

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com or use the contact form on the website.

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 Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Tips About Scenes – Conflict part 2

Central Conflict is the soul of your book. I want to delve into what I call RRCC or Remind Reader of Central Conflict.

A Vital Part of Virtually all Novels.

In coaching new or experienced authors, I emphasize the idea of capturing the reader’s attention at the very beginning of the book; the first sentence, if possible. That is because conflict forms the heart and soul of a plot. The story could be summarized: conflict revealed, conflict experienced, and conflict resolved.

The Reader Must Be Constantly Reminded of Conflict.

If all you did was open the book with a mind-boggling conflict, it is not enough. We humans forget. You captured their attention in the opening sentence or sentences, but you lost them because they forgot the conflict or plot.

In my previous blog, I talked about the formula and that the formula works for chapters as well. In general, a typical novel will reveal the conflict in the opening chapter or chapters, then develop the conflict in the middle chapters, and finally resolve the conflict in the ending chapters.

This formula works, but it depends on you reminding the reader that there is a conflict. There are multiple ways of doing that, so I won’t attempt to provide an example. That said, it is not a bad idea to revisit the origination of the conflict. It is even better to add fuel to the conflict in the form of action, words, or thoughts.

Conflict needs to grow.

By this I mean that the intensity of the conflict needs to grow. It is after all the central plot or theme of your story. If you allow the intensity to drop, then the reader can get bored, and they never finish the story.

That is why you don’t want to provide too much intensity at the very beginning. In a previous blog, I mentioned Joseph when he was cast into a dry well. That was a dramatic and fearful thing for him, but there was worse to come. The conflict between him and his brothers spanned a great deal of time and wasn’t resolved until after he became second only to Pharaoh. Yet the brothers had not seen Joseph for approximately 30 years!

Conflict Should Always be Resolved.

Notice I said ‘should’ rather than must. The ’should” comes into play if you plan on a sequel. Then the conflict can still be unresolved at the end of the first book, and resolved in the next book. But if you do that, there must be that second book. But in most cases, the conflict needs to be resolved. Not only the primary conflict, but any additional conflicts.

Readers can be finicky. They want all your conflicts resolved by the end of the book, or to at least know why it isn’t resolved. Sometimes, unresolved conflict is a good lead into the next book.

An example of this occurred in Perished: The World That Was. The book started with the conflict of sin in the Garden of Eden which caused Adam and Eve to be kicked out of the Garden. But sin had continued throughout the book bringing God’s judgment of the Flood. Here is how I ended the book which occurred on the 41st day of the Flood. Noah’s wife Naamah is talking.

“Will man ever again face judgment?”

“I hope not! But God has not promised me that and man’s record is not too encouraging.”

“But,” Naamah, continued, her face full of confusion, “if man has your records, surely he would not tempt God again?”

“I do not know the future, Naamah. But I know men. They may have all the knowledge this Ark contains and still they would be prone to sin. I only know this: God is merciful and slow to anger. He will preserve His Word and provide a Redeemer. That is our hope, Naamah and the hope of mankind!”

That is how the book ended; leaving the sin conflict unresolved, and hopefully leaving the reader wanting to see what happened next. Of course, most English-speaking people know the history of mankind, but the series World That Was narrated the stories behind the stories.

The point here is that the sin conflict was unresolved, and the reader would have to read the next book World of Noah and the Ark for more. In fact, there were five more books to go in the series. Though the sin conflict was never resolved, the series pointed to a coming Redeemer who would resolve the conflict.

Your book doesn’t have to be so elaborate, but the principle is the same.

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.

Basic Authors 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, publishing, and marketing. Plus, we will offer you a publishing package at no out of pocket cost to you if you complete the course and meet the criteria. What can be better? Guaranteed publishing by simply finishing your lessons and meeting simple criteria?

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

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com or use the contact form on the website.

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 Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Stepping Out on Faith part 2

In my last blog I promised to talk more about Stepping Out on Faith. In particular, God’s plan for you.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I know God’s plan for everything in your life. But I do know that God loves you and wants to bless you. So, let’s explore stepping out on faith.

Being an Author is Not Stepping Out on Faith

Sorry. But we are working on the assumption that God called you and equipped you to be an author. So, deciding to write in my opinion is more responding to and obeying God’s Call.

That said, there are elements here that require us to step out on faith.

Taking Steps to Become an Author is Stepping Out on Faith

Huh?

Now wait a minute, you just said…

You didn’t know that I could read minds, did you? It’s not so difficult. It sounds like I am contradicting myself.

There is a fine line here. On the one hand, I am talking about responding to God’s call and acknowledging you are called to be a writer. On the other hand, I am talking about overcoming whatever fears you have and moving forward.

This can involve starting to write, taking a writing course, or a hundred other actions or steps. There is always that first step.

Why a Writing Course?

You caught that. Well, for one thing you need know-how. It is true that God equips you, and it is also true that He uses training. Take the Apostles. Jesus called them, but then what did He do? He trained them.

When I say God equips you, I am not saying you are ready to write the great American novel. I am referring to the fact He has placed within you certain gifts, one of which is the gift of writing. But it needs to be enabled.

There are basically two schools you can attend. One, the most common, is the School of Hard Knocks. I have talked about this school in the past. It is extremely hard, frustrating, and ultimately expensive. And there are no guarantees.

That is the school I went to and many other authors as well. You might say, that proves you can succeed.

I will give you that. But it took me years of failure to finally graduate. Others may have taken less time, but they still had to learn through trial and error. Which, by the way, is another good name for this school.

And don’t forget this, there are thousands of men and women wanting to be authors, just like you.

Taking Basic Authors Training is Stepping Out on Faith.

Every time you go on Facebook or some other social media you come across an ad promising you can turn out a best seller by taking their course. The problem is that they can’t really promise a bestseller. They can, however, teach you their formula for success. The rest is a gamble because you are going against thousands of other writers.

Stepping Out in Faith and Taking This Course Has a Guaranty

Whether you are evaluating Basic Authors Training or some other course, you need to take a deeper look. These ads often show you their bank account and the thousands of dollars in it. How do you know it is real? Even if true, are the books something you can be proud of writing?

There are all sorts of questions to ask. But let me tell you what I believe is more important.

I have authored over 14 books (9 fiction and 5 nonfiction). I have enabled others to write. In other words, I have a pattern of success.

Another fact is that I can guarantee you that your book will be finished if you complete the course and use the tools I have given you to write your book. How can I guarantee that?

Simple. I am also a publisher. And I am looking for someone like you that I can publish and market. If you meet my criteria at the end of the course, I will offer you a publishing contract with no out-of-pocket expense for you. Instead of you paying hundreds of dollars to have the book published, I am paid through each sale of the book.

My first book cost me $400 to have published; nowadays it would be more like $800 or more. I received no training and the tools had to be purchased as well.

But Basic Authors Training includes all of that and upon completion a publishing package that provides you, a beginning author, with up to 70% of RRP (recommended retail price), while traditional publishers start out at 10%.

Traditional publishers may provide you an advance (which you have to repay through book sales), but that is an illusion. Higher percentage royalty rate is much better.

For more on this subject, see below.

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.

Basic Authors Training is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs, Coaching, and your own publishing package, you learn the basics of writing and publishing. Your class begins as soon as your payment clears.

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com or use the contact form on the website.

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 Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Stepping Out on Faith

Stepping out on faith occurs when a person who is called of God to do, perform, or accomplish something makes a commitment to obey. But obedience requires faith, thus you take a step of faith.

Stepping out on faith in what?

This begins with salvation. When you asked Jesus into your heart it was a step of faith. You believed the Gospel, trusted Christ, and asked Him into your heart. Some people think that is the end, but it is the beginning of your walk with Jesus.

Stepping out on faith is taking one step at a time

When I asked Jesus into my heart in 1973, it was a step of faith. I believed Jesus died for me in my place and suffered all the hell meant for me. But salvation brought a new heart, a new relationship, and a new walk.

And I quickly learned that I was now in a war. My flesh, which had controlled my life completely until I received Christ, now had a fight on its hands. In the past, the devil and the flesh were co-conspirators. But God doesn’t share with the devil. He kicked the devil to the curb and sought a personal relationship with me. Thus began my journey with God.

So, How Does Stepping Out on Faith Work

Stepping out on faith is not a matter of work, but of trusting God. You trusted God when you asked Jesus into your heart. Well, making everyday decisions is also a matter of trusting Jesus.

I wish I could say that I have always trusted God since my salvation. Unfortunately, there have been many fails. Like I said earlier, I am in a war and the flesh knows every thought, every decision, and every weakness that I have. And, though the devil cannot read my thoughts, he can read body language, which my flesh is only too willing to display.

So, Why Should I Want to Step Out on Faith

I will grant you that the picture painted so far is not very alluring. The devil wants to undermine you and is willing to attack you wherever you are, including your writing career. But while you have an enemy in the devil, God is on your side. The devil whispers that he hopes will derail you. But remember that God is on your side, He knows everything you need and everything that the devil promises. He knows the weaknesses of Satan and how best to equip you for the fight. God has a plan for you. In the next blog, I will discus that plan and how God enables you to become victorious.

More on this subject.

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.

Basic Authors Training is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs, Coaching, and your own publishing package, you learn the basics of writing and publishing. Your class begins as soon as your payment clears.

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com or use the contact form on the website.

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 Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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An Invitation To Be Your Best part 2

Author R. Frederick Riddle

An Invitation To Be Your Best part 2 continues the concept of being your best, especially as an author.

In the year 2000, we were living in an a-frame house in Pontiac, Michigan. My frustration had grown, and my motivation to be a successful author was fading. It was my habit to use the upstairs for my office and for my daily devotions. On this day I was in my daily devotions reading Genesis 6:1-22, an eyewitness account of the Flood.

The Call of God was My Invitation to be My Best

Suddenly a thought flashed through my mind. There is a story here!

Was it God’s voice or just a random thought? It was God pointing me in the direction He wanted me to go. It was God’s call on my life!

I realized God gave us all the facts we needed to know about sin, Noah, and the Flood. He is not in the business of entertaining, but of teaching us about our need for Jesus, our Savior. The facts were all there, but it was more like a skeleton. I could write a novel about the story behind the story, thus adding flesh to the skeleton. That realization changed my life!

As time went on, He gave me other evidences of His call, such as Psalms 71:18.

Immediately, I began writing what would become my first novel, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles. Now, some 23 years later, I have written 14 books, including fiction and nonfiction.

The Invitation Continued

But that is not the end of the story. God had been working on me ever since my salvation date. He wanted all of me. That means He had to scrub all the dirt off me, teach me to depend on Him, and serve Him. This led to Teresa and me founding T&R Independent Books in 2014. The purpose was to publish all my books, and later her books as well. It was a journey that I am still traveling.

As a side note, Teresa wrote a novel, and 3 devotionals in 2022! Then, on February 19, 2023, she passed away in her sleep, and awoke in Heaven. It left me broken, but God sent people into my life to comfort me and enable me to move forward. This was an example of God’s love shining through His people.

That is just one facet of God’s love. He doesn’t want me to wallow in my grief. He still has the same plan for my life as He has always had. The journey is not over, but continuing.

The Invitation to Call Others to be Their Best

God gave me the idea of starting a course in 2022. I began working on it until Teresa went into the hospital. After she passed, God opened doors for me to resume working on the course. I knew instinctively that He wanted me to get the course set up and going. He also enabled me to take a course that would better equip me.

Helping others to be their best is an exciting quest. I dare say it is more exciting than seeing my name in print as an author. I liken it to when I was a Sunday School Teacher. Teaching Bible truths to 5th and 6th graders was indeed exciting, and now I experience that same excitement.

Are You Answering the Call to be Your Best

Each of us must answer that question for ourselves. Others cannot answer for us. I am glad I had the opportunity to take a course that caused me to take a deeper look at myself. It has caused me to take a bolder, more assertive view of my own life, which then enables me to do more for others. This is not a paid advertisement, but you might want to check out Gordon Duncan’s Capitalize Your Best.

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.

Basic Authors 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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts the following month.

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

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com or use the contact form on the website.

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 Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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An Invitation to be Your Best

Author R. Frederick Riddle

This is an invitation to be your best in whatever you do, but especially as a writer. In past blogs and posts, I have talked about the School of Hard Knocks. We begin by learning about it.

School of Hard Knocks is Not Your Best

To begin with it is a different school for each person. Something like a college offering different degrees in a variety of studies. This school offers a different pathway for every student. These paths are different yet the same. They all promise much but rarely deliver. It certainly is not your best experience or result.

My Journey to be Your Best Through the School of Hard Knocks Begins

In 1968, I returned home from the Navy after serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War. I immediately sought a job and was hired by Western Electric, a subsidiary of AT&T, as an installer. My job was too either install or remove phone equipment in the AT&T buildings.

Aside from my job, it was also a time that I decided to pursue a writing career. I had wanted to write since my teen years and still wanted that elusive dream.

I received a invitation to join a Writers course that was associated with a group of famous writers. I took their entrance test which was a ridiculously easy test, passed it, and joined.

But, alas, it was shortly thereafter that I was laid off at Western Electric. This was about 1972. When I returned to work, it was to Michigan Bell, also part of AT&T. During the time I was laid off, I had no income, was forced to drop the writing course, lost my entire savings, and lived for a week on nothing but peanut butter.

Though I was no longer in the writing course, I was accepted into the school of hard knocks. This school has no brick-and-mortar buildings, no campus, no real teachers, no curriculum, and no rewards. Most of all, it had no guarantees.

The School of Hard Knocks Wasn’t My Best

Since there were no teachers or classrooms or class assignments, I was on my own. I started by visiting local libraries and reading everything I could find about writing. Also, I started writing my first manuscript!

That was exciting, until I got to the 5th chapter and hit the Wall! The Writers Wall is just as real as a wall made of stone. It stopped me cold. I didn’t know how to handle it. In the end I tossed the manuscript into the trash.

It quickly became a trap and a source of frustration. I would get a little way into the story and hit a wall. Then the manuscript would eventually end up in a trash can.

I was miserable! Then in 1973, I met Jesus Christ and He became my Savior. This rejuvenated my life on so many levels, but while my life changed and I became a better person learning to walk with God and serve Him, my writing career was as still as ever.

The School of Hard Knocks Changed

I began reading and writing poetry. Not great poetry, mind you. But it captured the heart of a young lady and played a role in her becoming my wife. We met in January 1981 and were married in September of the same year! So, Poetry was a success.

More importantly it helped get started a loving marriage that lasted over 41 years! But my writing continued to fail. Then, in 2000 everything changed!

More on this subject in An Invitation To Be Your Best part 2.

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.

Basic Authors 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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts the following month.

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

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com or use the contact form on the website.

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 Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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God’s Call is a Journey part 2

In God’s Call is a Journey part 1, I told my story of how God called me and brought me to where I am today. Where am I today?

Since God’s Call

Since my call in 2000 when I was 57 and the publication of my first book in 2003 at 60, I have not only established myself as an author, but I have also become a coach. This additional skillset has been added because I want to help authors, whether new or struggling, glorify God and become the best authors they can be.

God’s Call Motivated Me

That call of God motivated me to start Christian Authors Business Institute, which in turn created the Basic Writing Course. This course is based on the following:

  • Students are called of God to write
  • Our motto is God has enabled me, trained me and equipped me
  • I take personal interest in each student

God’s Call Requires Commitment

  • I am committed to each student to help them become their very best
  • Each student is committed to doing the assignments
  • Investing time in the lesson material is also required
  • Every student is committed to their vision

A Faithful Vision

When students begin, they may not know their vision, but one of the goals is for them to discover their vision, then to be committed to it.

My vision is based on Psalm 71:18: “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.”

Your vision is your motivation. It is stronger than money, fame, or worldly success. It will keep you going no matter what.

Principles of God’s Call

  • Trust God (Luke 6:31; Philippians 4:19):this principle teaches us to treat others as you would want to be treated, plus, trust God’s provision.
  • Wait on God (Psalms 27:14, 37:34; Proverbs 20:22) teaches us to patiently wait for God’s Will to be Done.
  • God’s Thoughts Higher Than Our Thoughts (Isaiah 59:9) The smartest man or woman doesn’t come close to God’s wisdom.
  • God’s Will is Perfect and Timely (Psalm 143:10; Luke 12:28; Romans 8:28) teaches us that God has a perfect master plan for our lives. It is always the best and always on time.
  • Give God the Glory (1 Corinthians 10:31; Hebrews 13:15

So what can we draw from this journey?

I believe the following passage expresses today’s truth about God:

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” (Lam. 3:20-26)

We are never too old to be reminded of God’s faithfulness and mercy. I dare say that as we get older, we need to trust God more because we can no longer do the things we once did. So, we need to depend on Him more.

PRINCIPLES;

  1. TRUST GOD!
  2. WAIT ON GOD.
  3. HIS THOUGHTS ARE HIGHER THAN OURS.
  4. GOD’S WILL IS PERFECT & TIMELY.
  5. GIVE GOD THE GLORY.

When God called me in 2000. I was now 57 years old, when most people are retiring. As I write this, I have only recently turned 80. That means that since I first heard God’s call it has been 23 years!

At the age of 80, I don’t know if He is going to give me another 40 years as He did Moses, or just increase my productivity, but I do know or at least see through the mirror a little clearer, that writing about Him, His Word, and His people is His plan for me.

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts the following month.

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

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com or use the contact form on the website.

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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God’s Call is a Journey

Author R. Frederick Riddle

God’s call is a journey, no matter the nature of His call. In this instance, it is a call to write.

God’s Call is a Personal Journey

My call came while reading my devotions one morning in the year 2000. It immediately became a call to write, thus beginning my journey as an author. It was a highly personal and often rocky journey. I virtually had no idea how to write, other than a few grammar rules.

It is a Journey of Faith

When we asked God into our life it was a step of faith. Every time we obey God it is a step of faith. A journey is made up of a lot of steps. God doesn’t entrust His entire plan for our lives at the very beginning. We need to be taught.

He enables us, however. His Holy Spirit entered our new hearts, slammed the door shut, and sealed it. Not to prevent Him from leaving, but to block anyone, including the Devil, from entering in.

But the Devil has a not-so-secret ally in our Flesh. Our Flesh hears every prayer we make, every thought we have, and knows our every temptation. Thankfully, he doesn’t have the ability to directly speak to the Devil.

Unfortunately, the Devil and the Flesh do have a communication, of sorts. If the Flesh can perform certain body signals, the Devil can read them, and thereby know what’s going on. That is why, we have to be circumspect in our outward appearance, and actions.

Even so, the Holy Spirit can influence us directly, and we can communicate through Him in the name of Jesus to the Father directly. My life bears the scars of the Devil and the Flesh disrupting my plans, my commitments to God. But they cannot stop God’s Grace and His willingness to wrap me in His arms. God may chasten me betimes, but He always assures me of His love, and encourages me to press on in the calling that He has called me to.

I had been a Christian for 27 years when He called me to be a Christian author. I loved the Lord, had been serving Him most of that time, and had grown in Him. But it became evident I still had much to learn.

It Energized Me

That call came as I was reading the Genesis account of Noah and the Flood. While it was a firsthand account, it was basically a skeleton. It told only the basic facts. God didn’t give us His Word to entertain us, but rather for us to learn His Will. Thus, it provided me an opportunity to flesh out the skeleton and tell the story behind the story.

It is a Journey of Trust

Did I truly trust God?

As I began writing my first book, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles, I leaned on God a lot. I have a great imagination, but putting it together required more than that. It required trusting His direction. So, God led me to a verse that has governed my writing career ever since. It is Psalm 78:18, and reads, “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.”

Please note that at 57 years old, I was barely old enough to be qualified as ‘elderly’, I still had my red hair, and wasn’t receiving Social Security yet. The part of the psalm I identified with was, “O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.”

My Journey Had a Vision

That verse motivated me, energized me, and focused me on a vision: to reach people through writing with the gospel!

That vision has carried me through rough patches. It kept me going, spurred my imagination, and opened doors I didn’t know existed. Moreover, it has been a very powerful motivator moving forward after my wife’s death. Only my faith in God and His comfort to me has been more important.

Over the extent of my career, I have written 9 novels, 4 doctrinal books, a how-to book,  and others. I have also designed a writers course to help new and not-so-new writers become the authors they want to become. All of this and I am planning more books plus at least another course.

How do I do it? I have God’s enabling power. I have the following for a motto, Since God called me, and has enabled me, I can and will do His will. That motto is rather new, and it encompasses all areas of my life!

Do You Have a Call to Write?

If you do, then it is your prime motivation and should be your constant reminder that you can succeed because God has called and enabled you.

More on this subject in God’s Call is a Journey part 2.

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What’s Your Why

What’s your why?

That is a question I had to answer for myself when I became an author. Plus, I have revisited that question several times over the years. Early on I discovered some good Why answers.

  1. It is God’s plan for me.
  2. The simple joy of writing.
  3. The satisfaction of seeing my story in print.
  4. The desire to convey an idea or thought to others.
  5. The chance to make money.
  6. Fame.

It is true I list God’s plan first, which for me it is, but this is not a ranking system. All of these are good reasons. For me, the only one that truly matters is #1 – it is God’s plan for me. The important point I am trying to make is that you need to have a why, and it can be completely different that what I have listed.

A Breakout of My Statement

As explained above, it is God’s plan for me. But what does that mean?

It is God’s call upon my life. I am not sure if it happened when I got saved, or afterward. I think it was afterward. In any case, God gave me a verse to base it all upon; Psalm 71:18:

“Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”

The call of God to write has led me through a lot of doors as I have sought His will. Most were of His will, some not so much. But since He called me, I felt that when a door opened, I should at least check it out. Like I said, some turned out to not be His will. Not because of anything ungodly, but in the end they didn’t work for me. And when I discover a door that I have gone through isn’t God’s will, I retreat and exit that door.

As time passed and I grew as a Christian that philosophical idea blossomed into what I call my Why. Here it is:

“Since God has called me to serve Him through authoring, and has enabled me to write, then I will obey Him in all aspects of His will.”

That is both a spiritual and a practical statement because it touches my writing career and my personal living. But it is something of a mouthful, so let me break it out for you.

God called me to write is my Why

This speaks of His calling me to write. As stated, I don’t know the date other than it followed my salvation. I had been trying to write beforehand and always failed, and that didn’t change immediately. What did change is that I immediately had a reason bigger than myself, and that became a driving force as I pursued writing as a career.

God enabled me to write is my Why

From the year of my salvation to the day God finally pointed me in the direction He wanted me to go, some 30 years passed. I was still writing and failing. In the meantime, I wrote some computer programs, and started writing poems. They occupied my mind, but only writing truly satisfied me.

But during that period of time God was preparing me. He began opening doors that led me to new (for me) tools, ideas, and concepts that now are a mainstay of my writing. He was enabling me!

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts the following month.

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.

I Will Obey is the Why in Action

When God reaches down and enables us to do what He wants, then we are obligated to obey. Remember when I talked about doors opening. That is when I began to sense His call. It was clear to me yet, but the sense of His calling pushed me forward. The more I obeyed, the better I got.

Then God called me in 2000. I was now 63 years old, when most people are retiring. As I write this, I have only recently turned 80. That means that since I first heard God’s call it has been 17 years!

That call came in the form of my morning devotions. I was reading Genesis 6 about Noah and the Ark. Suddenly, the thought hit me. These are facts, but there is so much not told. It is like a skeleton that needs to be fleshed out. And in that moment I knew God wanted me to write about Him, His grace, and whatever else.

At that time, I only thought about fiction, so I wrote my first story. It took 3 years before it got published. But once started, I didn’t stop. Then I became involved in nonfiction, which scared me. But when I started writing my first nonfiction book, What’s True About Christmas? I knew that nonfiction was where I belonged.

I will still write novels, but writing doctrinal books that take complex theology and trims it down to where simple people can read simple doctrines written by a simple person (me), truly makes me happy. I am now excited by the future.

At the age of 80, I don’t know if He is going to give me another 40 years as He did Moses, or just increase my productivity, but I do know or at least see through the mirror a little clearer, that writing about Him, His Word, and His people is His plan for me.

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com

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 – Self-Improvement

Self-Improvement can be a good thing or a bad thing. The choice is yours. Let’s look at the bad side of self-improvement.

Self-Improvement is Based on Repetition

It is true that repetition can be very helpful. One of the best ways of developing good habits is to repeat chores, tasks, or thinking. However, repetition of bad actions, etc., can lead to bad habits. The latter repetition is easier than repeating good things. It is natural and often unobserved until it is practically too late.

When I started writing, I had some bad habits and I naturally kept repeating them. To develop good habits I first had to find and define the bad habits. Then work at getting rid of them.

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts the following month.

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.

Self-Improvement Without Professional Help is Risky

I am self-taught in many areas – some good and some bad. That is the risk of doing everything with a ‘Do-it-Yourself’ mentality. It is a choice that comes as a result of not having, and maybe not affording, professional help. Sometimes doing it myself is the only option.

But if you broaden your understanding of ‘professional help’ to include software or books, the cost can be reduced dramatically. In my early years, I bought books on the subjects of writing, publishing, and marketing. This was generally good, but over time, I discovered that not all information agreed with one another, or was helpful. Sometimes, they disagreed. When I began using the internet, this same problem occurred.

I regularly practiced these helps not knowing that some were actually hurting my business rather than helping it. And the longer I went without finding and removing them from my toolbox, the longer it took to eradicate them.

It May Require Taking a Course

I love to read and was willing to seek out books that would guide me in the way I was to go. But the world is filled with Do-It-Yourself gurus. They develop systems that work for them and may work for others. However, all to often these systems don’t work well with other systems. The result is chaos and failure.

In my quest to improve myself I looked for a mentor, but mentors are hard to find and sometimes expensive. Courses can be expensive as well. But courses often require commitment because of their high cost. That is a problem, but you might want to consider that the results can be worth the cost.

Although I have written over 10 books and have a course for writers, I find that even I can make use of a course. Practically speaking, we are never to the point where we can’t learn something new.

Self-Improvement Requires Research

When looking for a good course you need to examine the ones you are considering. To begin with, you need to research what you need. That requires you searching your own needs. It is really helpful if the course helps you identify those needs. For example, my course on writing gets you focused immediately upon business needs, and helps you understand there is more to writing than putting down words. You are a businessman or woman, and you need to know what that requires. Another course may focus on your personal needs. That is why the better courses start out with the basics even if they seem unimportant.

Self-Improvement Courses Require Commitment

Ugh! Doesn’t that sound like hard work? Yes, and you need it. It is said that anything worth doing is worth working hard at doing. One of the advantages of spending money for a course is the expense almost demands commitment. You don’t want to spend money and end up throwing it away.

Then there are the lessons to take and complete; homework to do, and perhaps interaction with your coach. If you don’t already have a degree of commitment, you soon will; and that is a good thing!

It is a Journey

In the long run, self-improvement takes you on a journey from lacking the ability to be a good author and becoming an excellent author. Writing is part skill, part talent, part knowledge, and a hefty percent of good, old-fashioned sweat.

Have a wonderful, promising, and fruitful journey!

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, our missions minded outreach, is both a charge and an exciting ministry to the Christian Community.

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What’s So Special About Easter?

What's True About Easter?

What’s So Special About Easter? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, bore our sins to His cross and died in yours and my life. That is the difference.

A Special Sacrifice

His sacrifice of Himself upon the cross forever changed the cross. Invented and used as an instrument of torture and death for criminals was transformed to the very symbol of God’s love and His signature for the church. Where once man hoped (i.e., I hope such and such will happen), the cross represents our hope (a sure confidence in the blood of Christ).

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts the following month.

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 Special Burial and Resurrection

Not only was His sacrifice special, but the Resurrection was special. Jesus spent 3 days and nights in a tomb prepared for but never used for a rich man. It was the special fulfillment of scripture, “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death…” (Isaiah 53:9)

The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies marks His burial as very special. But it was the three days and three nights in the tomb which is really special. I deal with this subject in What’s True About Easter. Many try to explain it away, but it always best to take the Bible literally unless told otherwise. Such an approach clarifies scripture not only in Matthew 12:40, but in such books as Revelation.

What’s So Special About the Characters

Priests. In Jesus’ day He had many enemies. Among them were the Jewish priests, primarily the Pharisees. They knew that He claimed to be the Messiah, and they also knew He met every requirement of the scriptures. But He was a threat to their position in Jewish society, so they opposed Him. They bought Judas’ help in delivering Him to them, they forced a secret and illegal trial, bought false witnesses, and then forced Pilate to execute Him.

Pilate. This man is a Roman equestrian or knight of the Samnite clan. His appointment came as a result of Sejanus, who had strong connections to Emperor Tiberius. There are some who venerate him for declaring Jesus’ innocent, but most believe he was weak. His cruelty during his governorship indicates his moral weakness.

In any case, the priests perceived this weakness and played on it. There is the possibility that Pilate was under pressure from Rome and desperately trying to set Jesus free. But he lacked the courage to do what he knew was right, washed his hands, and turned Jesus over to be crucified.

Jesus. The Old Testament is full of prophecies of the Messiah. Everyone that dealt with his birth, death, and resurrection were fulfilled. Here are a few:

  • Numbers 24:17 – …there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel…
  • Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.
  • Isaiah 11:1 – And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
  • Micah 5:2 – But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah…out of thee shall he come forth… Note: There were two Bethlehems, thus the more specific name.
  • Isaiah 7:14 – Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
  • Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – Fifteen verses concerning the Messiah as our crucified Savior.
  • Isaiah 53:10-12 – The resurrection is pictured here.
  • Zechariah 12:10 – …they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…
  • Psalm 22:1-18 – the crucifixion described.
  • And more.

These are just a few scriptures that were fulfilled. And there are many more!

What is So Special About Easter?

Jesus Christ, God the Son of God, willingly went to the cross to pay for yours’ and my sin. He died for us and then three days and three nights later He arose! And now He sits on His throne forever in heaven.

He is my Savior, and I hope He is yours as well. He’s only a prayer away.

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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Don’t Allow Your Grief to Stop Your Writing

Don’t Allow Your Grief to Stop Your Writing is a follow-up to my blog When Life Gets in the Way pt. 1. That blog was written as Tess and I faced her illness together, but this blog is written after her death.

Then I had hope and believed she was getting better, but now I am facing grief at her loss. She is in Heaven, but I am left behind to deal with my grief. Perhaps you are dealing with grief. It is my prayer that this blog will help you.

Don’t Allow Your Grief to have Leeway.

Tess passed away on February 19, 2023. It was the very Sunday morning she had been looking forward to for weeks. Tri-City Baptist Church would be holding services once again in its own sanctuary.

But that Sunday morning sometime before 7 am she breathed her last and was ushered into Heaven. I am so thankful that the last words she ever said to me were “I love you.” And the last words I spoke to her were, “I love you.”

Grief took place immediately. Grief is not to be avoided. It is alright to cry, and I did several times as I waited for people to arrive. But it is also important to not let grief have leeway in your life.

God sent me help in the form of family, friends, and the Christian community. That helped and if you, a born again believer in Jesus Christ, are facing grief, He will you help as well. Seize it and don’t let grief have the upper hand.

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts the following month.

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.

Don’t Allow Your Grief to Wear You Down.

I discovered that in spite of all the love, and care I was getting, that I was already grieving. I already mentioned I cried. Another thing I have done is allowed myself to talk about her death. It has been therapeutic, and kept me from getting despondent.

I thought I was doing fine, but I began noticing I was getting tired every day. More than usual. Part of it was taking over chores that Tess had performed and combining them with chores I was already doing. But I had help to do some of the hard things. In fact, that help came in a variety of ways and I thought I was going to escape grief.

So, I dived into the work that needed to be done. I began making changes in the apartment, my shopping routine, and other necessary adjustments. But tiredness struck and began dragging me down. I noticed in the last few days that I  was getting very sleepy. As time slipped by, I wondered if I was tired because of the hard work, or because of grief.

God led me to an article that dealt with that very subject. Yes, grief can lead to lethargy and a lack of energy. And it gave pointers on how to fight it. I believe in getting daily exercise, but I had let it slip away.

I pushed my chair away, stood, got my hat, and followed the advice to go for a walk. It was refreshing! And about ten minutes later I was back at my desk writing this blog.

Don’t Allow Your Grief to Stop Your Writing.

I had a ton of excuses for not writing. Until a few minutes ago, I was suffering from being tired, had an apartment to reorganize, people to contact, and a memorial to organize. But the truth was that I was allowing grief to stop me from writing. Since Tess had gone into the hospital my writing had slowed down and, after her death, it had virtually stopped.

But that is a mistake. Don’t let that happen. If God called you to write, He did so while knowing full well that this day would come. And He had already planned for how you, or in this case I, should act. I have walked with God for 49 years and I knew He had called me to write. And He had called me knowing that I would lose Tess now!

I am now back writing this blog and ready to get back to work on other writings. I thank God for sending people into my life to help me through this episode. There may be times in the future when grief will bring tears again to my eyes. That is ok with me, but I won’t let the grief define me.

God called me to write books so that “…when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shown thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” (Psalm 71:18) The call is as real today as it was then so many years ago. Tess’s home-going was unexpected, but it reminds me that He is not done with me yet. Nor is He done with you!

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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When Life Gets in the Way pt.1

Author R. Frederick Riddle

When Life Gets in the Way is a blog series. We know the basics or should be learning the basics of writing, but what do we do when life takes a sudden turn?

When Life Gets in the Way Suddenly

This is the story of Tess (aka Teresa) Riddle. Tess, as you know her, is an author and co-owner of T&R Independent Books. She has had cancer three times: the first was in 2018 and was advanced. It required heavy doses of Chemotherapy and Radiation. But she continued her duties as President of the business, besides that of housewife, choir member, and soul winner.

The second time was in 2019 where she had more chemotherapy and radiation. Somewhere in this she also had surgery. But work went on.

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts the following month.

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.

Her third bout with cancer began last year while she was in the beginning of her new writing career.

But none of these deterred her. During this time she rewrote a novel, plus wrote and published two Ladies Devotionals, plus was working on her third.Then came the sudden life turning event!

Then Life Got in the Way

It began on an early Sunday morning. It was still nighttime when she suddenly called out to me. She was bleeding and couldn’t get it stopped!

I quickly got out of bed, got dressed and took her to emergency at the local hospital. They put her in ICU and sent me home.

That was sudden and frightening. But the worst was yet to come.

But through it all I knew I had to continue on. In such times as these you turn to God and let Him take care of matters. In future blogs I will address this in more detail.

But if God called you to write, He did so knowing that this obstacle, tragedy, or whatever would befall you. So, His call is still valid and active. Simply seek His will in all of this.

When Life Gets in the Way, Call Upon God

Your problem may be different than Tess’s problem, but to you it is huge. There are a lot of things that Christians can you on a Do-it-Yourself basis. But that doesn’t mean leaving God out. He cares for you, including the tiniest or greatest needs. God listens to our prayers and already has an answer.

Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

That is a promise you can cling too, whether as a person, or a writer. He called you to be a writer and will see you through this.

That is what Tess and I have done, and He has answered.

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 – Avoiding Writers Block

Author R. Frederick Riddle

Avoiding Writers Block

Avoiding writers block is something every author should strive to achieve. You won’t always be successful, but there are things you can do to help avoid it.

Last year, my wife Teresa (aka Tess) wrote and published five books. One was actually a republished book with a new title and fresh content added. The other four books were completely new works including the content.

How did a new author have such a prolific year?

Whether intentional or accidental she followed the tip I am giving in this bog: multitasking.

STOP – Don’t turn me off. I am not talking about writing your book, then mowing the lawn, and then doing something else not related to writing. This is different and will help you steer clear of writers block and be more productive.

My Own Career

When I started out I learned to multitask the traditional way and it did help. But I learned to multitask within my writing career. What do I mean? Consider the following:

Avoiding Writers Block Means Writing More

I currently have the following projects in varying degrees of completion.

  • A mystery novel
  • A novel based on Moses
  • A novel based on Daniel
  • A new journal, which is in the planning stages right now

These books are in essence being worked on at the same time. The four projects mentioned can be moved to or from at any given time. I do not set any kind of time schedule.

Avoiding Writers Block Through Flexing

By this I mean moving or alternating between books as I just indicated. Sometimes, I will be working on my mystery novel, which is nearing completion and will soon be published. I will write for a while, and then shift to another novel whenever I feel like it. This could be any of the other three projects.

How does this work?

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts on the following 1st.

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.

Avoiding Writers Block is Shifting Focus

I am shifting my brain’s focus to another project yet still operating within my writing mode. This isn’t some new gimmicky idea. This is simply reminding you of something you may have already known.

Multitasking is simply shifting your brain’s focus from one task to another. The difference is that we are not shifting from writing to a non-writing task, but are keeping our focus on tasks within our writing. It is so simple that we authors forget it.

Avoiding Writers Block Simply Requires a Fresh Mind

And that is exactly what happens. When you shift your mind to another writing task you freshen your brain. Now it faces new challenges, goals, and achievements. Everything is fresh and your brain is able to pour itself into this new project.

Multitasking Increases Output

It can’t be helped. If I focus too long on a single project my brain gets tired, but when I shift gears, my mind comes alive. Yours will also.

And with a fresh mind you will find yourself producing 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 – Writing Hurricane Ian as 1st Person

Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision book cover

Writing Hurricane Ian as First Person was not easy, but it worked. Titled Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision, the book is already the most successful book I’ve ever written!

But let’s take a deeper look at it. This is a book that tells the true to life story of Pastor Jay Sheppard and his family in their own words.

Hurricane Ian is Told in First Person

I am not a big supporter of first-person storytelling, but in this case, it works really well! If you have never tried this in either fiction or nonfiction, you might want to give it a try.

This particular book was not me telling the story in first person, but various family members telling about their particular situation or experience. In the book you get each person’s individual recollection and sometimes they don’t agree 100%! But that is ok, because in life different people see the same events differently.

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts on the following 1st.

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.

Hurricane Ian told Consecutively

This technique worked really well. Different family members related their experiences at approximately the same time. Their stories provide a background of their impressions, thoughts, and actions. In turn, this provides the reader with an expanded view of events, while also tying the recollections together. The reader gets a more complete picture of how each scene played out. Instead of getting the author’s viewpoint superimposed, you get individual stories that pull you into the action.

Hurricane Ian Divide and Conquer

What I am referring to here to is the methodology I used. After going to the various family members and friends and asking them to write down their own stories, I then divided their stories and juxtaposed them against one another.

By doing this, I allowed their comments, understandings, and recollections to be compared. Whether conscientiously or subconsciously, such comparisons add depth to the overall story. This is depth that I may not have been able to create by telling the story in 3rd Person.

This is just a short blog today, but it gives you something to think about. Namely, should you try 1st Person? It can be difficult voice to master. But if you can it might just prove profitable.

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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Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision

As the author of Hurricane In Winds of Providence & Provision, I want to share the excitement that it brought me.

When Hurricane Ian struck there was widespread damage done. My wife and I had evacuated and were without WiFi for awhile. It was during this time that the events in this book took place.

The story, which is told in the words of several members of the Sheppard family, began with simple preparation for extremely high winds and surge. Pastor Jay Sheppard felt that he and his family had prepared their home for the expected surge as they lived next to the Peace River. But they did not know they would be facing a flash flood!

After the Lord laid it on my heart to write this book, I contacted Pastor Jay, who is my pastor, and told him of the burden. He suggested an idea I was already entertaining. Namely, that I get him and his family members to tell the story in their own words! It took persistence on my part to get those stories included in the book and to arrange them in a manner that made sense, but it was worth it.

Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision is the culmination of those efforts. I purposely only did light editing as I wanted each contributor’s voice to come through. The result is a book where the reader hears from each contributor and can identify with them. I know I am biased, but I believe this is a timely book showing God’s love and providence, and belongs in many personal libraries or bookshelves.

Right now it is in print form only but will soon be in eBook as well.

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Blog by Ron – Researching Ian

Researching Ian took me down a different road than I have been following. In the past, my research has been primarily looking up facts from online and written resources. That is the normal route to be taken as an author develops his plots.

But my new book, Ian and God’s Providence, requires something more; getting firsthand stories form the very people involved in that day’s activities. This was new, but I dived into it.

Complicating Researching Ian

The primary person to be interviewed was the fact that the primary person being interviewed is a pastor, who was very busy coordinating the Hurricane Relief program that Tri-City took on.  But when I approached him with the idea of a book detailing the Sheppard family’s trial by storm.

Another complication was the need to get the information as soon as possible. This is because stories of disaster usually have only a small window of opportunity to reach the people while they are still interested.

Still another complication to Researching Ian

Each person I contacted I told not to worry about grammar, etc., as I would be editing their contributions, but to write about the events as they remembered them. This is important because it adds the personal, firsthand touch providing the reader with different views of the events.

Everyone was excited about the project and their opportunity to participate. But the complication that arose was the fact that all of them were busy. Ian impacted everyone to the point that there daily routine was now filled with additional work.

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts on the following 1st.

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.

Personal Interview with Pastor Jay

None were busier than Pastor Jay. He still had his daily care of the flock, but he also was the Coordinator of receiving and distributing the supplies that soon were arriving in the church parking lot. This required a great deal of time.

In addition, he was constantly receiving phone calls from pastors around the country who wanted to help. It was an amazing example of the Christian family coming to the aid of other Christians.

Researching Ian Bears Fruit

Pastor Jay finally made the time to sit down and talk with me about the research I had already done, and what he could provide. He graciously discussed all of this, plus he made other suggestions and contributions.

One of the suggestions was for me to contact everyone that was involved and get their own stories. This would provide multiple views of the same events and allow the reader to get a fuller, more personal intake of the events. I recognized the importance right away.

All of this has led to a book that is a personal, and powerful read!

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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What’s True About Revival

What’s True About Revival is my latest book that I have published. This short 88-page book is packed with information about America’s:

  • History of revival
  • Need for revival
  • Opportunity for revival

What is Revival?

Let me start by saying what is not revival.

Your church decides to invite an evangelist to come and have an old-fashioned revival meeting under a revival tent. That is not a revival, although revival could break out.

Your pastor issues an altar call with an invitation to get right with God. That is not a revival, although a revival could break out.

You read a book about revival. That is not a revival, although revival could break out.

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts on the following 1st.

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.

Revival Requires Commitment to God

2 Timothy 1:12 – “…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”

In each of the scenarios mentioned above revival could breakout because believers responded and committed themselves to God. That might turnout to be the start of revival, but it isn’t revival yet.

Revival Requires Sanctification

James 4:8 – “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

You’ve committed yourself to God, but the Lord also wants you committed to the sanctifying, cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. You are almost there.

Revival Requires Confession

1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I do not mean confessing to your pastor, priest, or accountability partner. I am talking about a heartfelt confession to God of your sins.

Revival Requires Turning Away from Sin

2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

It is possible to have favorite sins. That is, a sin that is hidden from our loved ones, our friends, our pastor, and everyone else. To truly be revived you need to turn away from that sin and from whatever triggers it.

A needed Look at Ourselves

What’s True About Revival is a book that challenges us. Are we on fire for God? Do we pray for revival? Do we measure up to what I have talked about in this blog?

This book is currently in paperback and is available on Amazon, plus it is in our store at a discounted price. Check it out, and get your copy today.

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 is a Writer’s Journal

A Writer’s Journal is a valuable tool that you can use as you pursue your writing career. But what is it and how does it work?

What is a Writer’s Journal?

There are different types of journals, but this one is designed to exclusively for writers. I will be using the Christian Writer’s Journal as the example. It is a product of T&R Independent Books of which I am the Vice President.

What’s the purpose of a Writer’s Journal?

Generally, the purpose is to provide a single record or depository of your writing ideas. In the Christian Writer’s Journal there are suggested usages, such as, cliches, details, maps/floor plans, outlines, story ideas, and Other. Chances are you will have a use that falls under Other. That’s great, because there are as many uses as their people.

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. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts on the following 1st.

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 Look at the Book

The picture you see with this blog is our Christian Writer’s Journal. It looks nice on the outside, but the real beauty is inside.

We designed this book to be used by and for writers. My wife (Tess Riddle) and myself (R. Frederick Riddle) are authors and we discovered that journaling is ideal for an author. It can replace napkins, paper towels, newspaper, scrap paper, loose paper, and a host of other impromptu tools. I have probably used all the methods mentioned and more.

But I have already used mine to record possible story ideas,  creation of a writer’s tool chest for my students, ideas for blogs/posts, ideas for a newsletter if I decide to publish a newsletter, branding ideas, biographies to be used in published books, keyword research, and much more.

Why is a Writer’s Journal so valuable?

I mentioned earlier that it replaces tools such as napkins. Often, when I go out to lunch or dinner, I grab a napkin and start writing down story ideas, plots, or even scenes for my books. When done, I stick them in my pocket hopefully to be retrieved later and incorporated wherever needed. 

But the problem is that paper napkins are fragile and can be ripped, torn, or mangled. They can also be lost, especially if time lapses between when I wrote my ideas down and when I tried to retrieve them.

I don’t think any have ever made it into the laundry, but it could happen. But if I transfer that information into my journal as soon as possible then I have a resource that is easily available and in one place.

I recently had a date with a girl called Ian (e uhn). She wasn’t particularly nice dare, but she did give me a story to tell. And that story found its way into my journal and is now in my computer as a work in progress.

Another Feature of the Book

Some writers use spiral notebooks to write the ideas down. But a writer’s journal, at least the Christian Writer’s Journal, is better than a notebook. Only 6”x9” in size, the book is easy to use yet hard to lose. And with over 200 pages available it is large enough to contain a lot of information.

If you are or plan to be an author this is must for your tool chest, and you can get it right here.

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 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 – Should I take a Writing Course?

Author R. Frederick Riddle

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.

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Blog by Ron – What are Writers Resources?

What are writers resources? That is our question of the day. But another question also pops up. Why should I use resources? So, you have a what and a why. Let me answer the why first.

Why Should I Use Writers Resources?

Our ancestors didn’t have much in the way of resources available to them. If they were Christians they had God, but the average Christian did not have the Word of God at hand. So, they didn’t really have readily available resources.

But times have changed! We now have at least one Bible in our possession. Likely, more than one. Plus, we have dictionaries, grammar books, and so much more.

With so much available why wouldn’t we make use of them?

But as Christians, we are expected to do our best at whatever we do.

What are these Resources?

Generally speaking, there are writing resources, publishing resources, and marketing resources. We are only looking at writing resources today.

Brief List of Writing Resources

  • Books on writing
  • Grammar books
  • Dictionaries
  • Maps
  • History books
  • Bible
  • Bible commentaries
  • How to books
  • and more

You may have noticed Bible and Bible commentaries. These would be needed if you are writing Bible-based fiction and/or nonfiction.

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.

Tip #1 – There is no excuse for not having information that you need. We live in the age of the internet. You can search for just about anything on it. But be careful. The internet is rife with false and misleading information. While it can be a rich source of material, you have to be careful.

I have found it helpful to stick with proven sources. Sometimes I venture out to new sources, but I also check their content against the proven sources and against my own knowledge.

Tip #2 – Bookmark your favorite resources. Chances are you will need them in the future. This is a small feature on the Internet, but bookmarks or favorites are extremely valuable for someone who does a lot of research, especially if on multiple subjects.

The resource list referred to earlier is just a brief list of basic resources. When you are writing you should have near you any resources that you may need. A lot depends on the genre you are working in, but having resources available is a good practice.

What Writers Resources do You Recommend?

You may not use these all the time, but I recommend having available a dictionary, a book on grammar, and  perhaps a book on writing even our very own Guide to Writing which we periodically update and is available in our store.

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 – Facing Your Obstacles

Facing your obstacles is a tricky business. In today’s blog I am going to give you some ideas on how to face and overcome obstacles to your writing career. But a warning right up front: this is not a one-size-fits-all approach, although it is.

Did I just contradict myself? No. This approach only works for Christians; those people who have invited Jesus Christ into their hearts and have been born-again. I don’t care what your denomination is, if you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ as your Savior, then this is for you.

Facing Your Obstacles Involves Submitting to Christ

As a Christian author you have what all born-again believers in Christ have, namely an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. He cares for you and watches every move, every decision you make. And He already knows what those will be. Moreover, He loves you and has a plan for you for today.

Wow! What a powerful, wonderful God we have!

He has Promised Us Wisdom

Unfortunately, we often neglect the simple act of faith to ask for wisdom. Instead, we try to do things by ourselves, including trying to face our obstacles. Until we finally realize that we can’t do it myself. Once we realize that then we turn to Him. It would be so much better if we turned to Him at the beginning of the obstacles.

Facing Your Obstacles Requires Faith

When we turn to Christ and trust Him for all our needs, including those pesky obstacles, He graciously steps in and provides us the ability to use certain tools. But first we need to trust Him.

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.

Tools for Facing Your Obstacles

Here is a small list of tools. Feel free to add to them.

  1. Pray to God seeking wisdom
  2. Identify the problem
  3. Rewrite the passage
  4. Form a picture in your mind of the scene
  5. Change the routine you normally follow
  6. Set the book aside for awhile and work on something else
  7. Don’t Quit

These are just 7 ideas. Please notice I put Pray first. That should be our first tool, then let God lead you to which tool you use next. Probably the second tool would be Identify the problem, but after that it can be in any order and include tools I have not listed.

Simplicity

You might think this approach is simplistic. You are right!

But that is one of the great things about our Christian faith: it is simple. Man-made religion is complicated requiring you to jump through hoops. But Christianity is simple. It all begins and ends with Jesus Christ.

I have lost count of how many times I have asked God for help whether at home or at work and He has answered in marvelous ways. Unfortunately, I have not always started out asking but He waited until I was frustrated or facing an unknown obstacle and then asked Him.

It would have been better if I had asked Him at the first when I came up against the obstacles, but thank God He waited for me to wake up and realize I needed Him!

Face your obstacles by first laying them out before God and then trusting His leading. It will save time and effort, and bring solutions faster and better than on your own.

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 – First Step as an Author

R. Frederick Riddle image

Taking the First Step means what? Let’s take a moment to answer that.

The First Step

You know someone like my wife or myself that are authors. And the thought has occurred to you that “I would like to do that.”

But you don’t.

Then you read a book, smile, and think, I’d like to write a book like that.

But you don’t.

Life continues on and one day you think, I wish I’d written a book.

But you didn’t.

What’s wrong with the above. It’s simple. You didn’t take the first step.

What is the First Step?

My wife, Tess Riddle, has recently written two books. One is a nonfiction titled Chatting with Tess: Walking with God and has been published. It is now available at Amazon.com and our site T&R Independent Bookstore. The other book is a novel and titled, Keys to Murder. It is in the process of getting published.

But Tess hasn’t always been an author. These are her first.

Tess Riddle went to college not to be a writer, but to seek skills she could use on the job. But the Entrance Exam showed she had writing skills. Plus, her English professors encouraged her to write. But I can truthfully say that I don’t recall her ever saying she wanted to be a writer until 2014 when we founded T&R Independent Books.

The desire had been there since her college days, but she had never taken that first step.

Again, What is the First Step?

Essentially the first step is making a commitment. Thinking about writing a book doesn’t get a book written, but if you commit yourself to something there is a better chance of it happening.

Think of a baby. They aren’t born walking. They have no commitment of themselves to walk. In their case, the mother and father want to see them walk, so they make a commitment. Then they encourage the baby to walk, assist the baby to practice and learn, and put them in positions where that first step will take place.

The baby doesn’t start off thinking I want to walk. Somewhere along the way the parents’ dream becomes their dream and purpose.

Writing is similar.

My wife was told she had the tools to write, but she didn’t really believe. The burdens of life got in the way. But she still had the tools and as time went on the concept of a story.

One day I learned of her secret desire to write. And I encouraged her. Did I know how well she could write? No. As her husband I loved her and believed in her, so I encouraged her.

But it wasn’t until she purposed in her heart to write the book that she really took that first step

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.

My Story was Different

That first step is critical, but there are other steps to take.

As a teenager and later as a young man, I knew I wanted to be a writer. And I was committed to becoming an author. But I didn’t know how to take my imagination and put it in an understandable story on paper.

Though I thought I was committed, I wasn’t really.

I signed up for a writing course and was progressing. But then one day I got laid off from job and I had to drop out. Later, I returned to work but never got back into the writing course.

It is More than saying I Will Do It

Tess (aka Teresa) had to do more than think about writing. She had to do more than come up with a plot. She had to do more than say, I’m going to write.

The truth is that all of us have things we want to do. But we don’t take that first step. She could have given up when we moved down here to sunny Florida to take care of her mother. Yes, she was delayed, but the secret burned within her.

She could have given up when I suffered a heart attack shortly after she declared her desire to write. Even though I encouraged her, she could see difficulties at least for the short term. She had a husband to care for. But the dream still burned within.

Over the years, she’s struggled to get that first book on paper. But life kept getting in the way.  But finally one day, she committed herself to writing a book. She made a commitment to herself and to God that she would write. Making a commitment to God is very difficult to do, but also very motivating.

Commitment is the Key

On the other hand, my first step didn’t occur until I was 60 years old. And it came about through my Bible devotions when God showed me that there were stories I could write based on the Bible. That discovery changed my life and I committed myself to do it.

Commitment to do something takes you only so far. Part of commitment is to actually start writing. As for Tess, with life constantly demanding her attention, it was difficult and frustrating. Add to that the advice coming at her from me and others.

But the day came when she started writing. Not to please me nor others. And I don’t believe it was to please herself. The day came when she believed that God wanted her to write. That was a major step.

We both believed that God wanted us to write and we believed Him. That is part of the first step, but it wasn’t it yet.

Then What is the First Step

I’ve already mentioned the obstacles she faced. But here is where she finally made the first step. She sought God’s will, kept writing, and overcame the obstacles. In retrospect, the fact that she wrote a first draft of the book was the first step.

It is relatively easy to write the first few chapters but persevering and finishing the book takes a lot of faith, grit, and pushing on. She faced a constant battle that threatened to stop her, but she continued on and finally was able to deliver to me the first draft. Not only the first draft of a nonfiction book, but also the first draft of her novel. This put her miles ahead of my first step which resulted in a single book being published.

In my case, I had to overcome the roadblocks that had stopped me so many times in the past. It wasn’t until I did that and continued to the end that I truly committed myself.

That was when we took our first steps. I took my first step of commitment in 2003, but Tess took her first step in 2022.

What I’m trying to say, is that when that baby took his or her first step it wasn’t really the first step. But when that baby began walking ever so wobbly, falling, and getting back up that was the first step. And then the baby starts adding things like running.

As a writer you will face obstacles. If you stop because of them, you haven’t really taken that first step. But when you persevere and complete that first rough draft, you’ve proven to yourself you can do it.

Sure, there is a lot of work before the first draft becomes a published work. But now your confidence starts growing and you can take the second, third, fourth, and more steps! Now she was ready to get the help she needed to become a published author. And that is when I could really help her through. Now we are both authors and have learned the value of commitment. Writing is something we need to do on a regular basis. There are many steps an author has to take, but the first one is commitment. A commitment to yourself, but more importantly a commitment to God.

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 – Creating Characters for Your Book

When you’re writing a fictional book, there are some things to consider when creating characters.

THE NUMBER OF MAIN CHARACTERS  

How many main characters will you have in your book? You don’t want to have too many main characters, but at the same time, you’ll want enough characters to make a story line. In my Rita Honeycutt series, I’ve chosen to have five main characters. Two of the main characters are from one family: a brother and sister. The other three are from another family: Twin brothers and a sister.

NAMING THE CHARACTERS

I have a rule when using a name of a character. I don’t use the first and last names of people whom I know.  For my mom’s side of the family, I have family tree records dating back to the eighteen hundreds that I can select names from. I’ve also kept an old copy of a telephone book around to look through when needing to come up with character names.   There are different sources you can use to come up with names.  

You can even make up last names for a character, even if the name ends up being a funny one.  In a fiction book, the name doesn’t even have to exist in the real world.      

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’.

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.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER ABOUT EACH CHARACTER

Now that you have the first and last name of each character, here is a list of questions to ask yourself as you develop each character and write out a bio page on each one.

  • What color is their eyes?
  • What is the color of their hair?
  • What is the height?
  • What is the age?
  • When is their birthday?  Be careful here in working with birth dates.   
  • What is the build of each character (tall and muscular; tall and skinny, etc.)?
  • What grade are they in, or are they in college?
  • What school do they attend?
  • Do they still live at home with their parents?
  • If in high school or college, do they have a part-time job?
  • What kind of part-time job do they have (if they have one)?
  • Are they out in the adult world with their own career?
  • What type of personality do they have (easy to get along with, love picking on a sibling, etc.)?
  • What are their likes?
  • What are their dislikes?
  • What foods do they like?
  • Do they have a church they attend? If so, where?

There are probably other questions I haven’t brought up that you’ll run into as you write each book.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARENTS

If the main characters still live at home, you’ll need to write a bio page on each parent. Here is some information you’ll need to consider about each parent.

  • Are both parents still living? If so, you need to create a bio page for each one.
  • Where and what type of job does the dad have?
  • Does the mother work outside the home? If so, what does she do and where does she work?
  • What physical description does each parent have (height, the color of hair, the color of eyes, etc.)?
  • What type of personality does each parent have?
  • What are their likes?
  • What are their dislikes?  
  • What are some things they won’t tolerate from their children or other people?
  • Do the parents attend church? If so, where?

Again, there may be questions that you’ll think of, as you write the book.

OTHER CHARACTERS

As you write your book, you’ll need to come up with a name and a bio sheet for each character that you add to your book. Uses the same questions that I’ve listed above to describe your character.  Also ask yourself, what part will the character play in the book? In other words, what role will they play?   Are they a good character, or a bad character?

In my closing thoughts, I’ll add this. It is important to keep good records on the bio sheets that you use for each character. For example, in book number three of that series you’re writing, you’ll want to make sure that the proper age and grade they’re in is appropriate. It wouldn’t do to write book number three and have them remain the same age and in the same grade of school.

Also, you need to ask yourself if they’ve learned a new skill since the last book you wrote. Have they changed part-time jobs? Are they attending college now?    This and other questions will need to be answered in each book that you write.

Keeping an updated bio sheet on each character will help you to keep the characters accurate in each book you write.  

That’s all for now.

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 Tess – Designing The Layout of Fictional Town

In today’s blog, I am sharing what I have learned about designing the layout of fictional town.

Choosing a Name for the Fictional Town

The first thing you must do in writing a fiction book is, pick out the name of the town in which the characters will live.  That’s easier said than done. When I wrote my first book, I had a hard time coming up with the name of a town that didn’t already exist. It seemed like every name I made up was already being used somewhere in the world as the name of a town, company, or special organization. It was like trying to pull teeth coming up with a name.  I finally settled on a name that I felt comfortable with, to use in my books.

The Size of the Town

Do you want your characters to live in a town (small, medium, large) or in a city? That would depend on what the population of the town will be.  Different sources have their own definition about what the size of a town or city is. Since none seemed to agree with each other, I opted to use a small town. 

The Roads and Side Streets

When I came up with the names of the roads and streets that I wanted to use I took a sheet of paper and drew out where I wanted each to be located. One road goes through the main part of town, running north and south.  Main street runs east and west. There’s a road at the south end of town that runs east and west. Another road is at the north end of turn that runs east and west. There are small streets that lead into subdivisions where people live.

The town has a cemetery. I named that road, yes you guessed it, Cemetery Road.   No imagination there.  

In the northwest section of town there’s a road that leads to a recreational area. I even show a set of railroad tracks and a depot on the town map that I drew.  

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’.

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.

Law Enforcement and Necessary Buildings of the Town

Whether you use a police department or a sheriff’s office on depends on where the jurisdiction for each department lies. The Terryville Police jurisdiction were not limited to the downtown.  In designing the town I choose to have Terryville’s boundaries extend outside of downtown proper and included the Haney Place Mansion, the Railroad Depot, and other properties.

As for the police station, I’ve added the jail and courthouse next to it.

Other Town Businesses/Establishments

There are certain businesses that a town needs to function. For the town in my books, I’ve added a fire station, town hall, a Baptist church, bank, drug store, a medical building which houses doctors, dentists, lab for blood work, etc., funeral home, a few eateries, newspaper office, a main grocery store, hardware store, gas station with an auto repair shop, bowling alley, attorney offices, junior high and high school, sporting goods store, and a few other places.

I added subdivisions where people live. You can’t have a town without the people.

The Park

A recreational area around the town is needed in my books. The main characters will often be spending some time there. It has all kinds of activities: swimming, boating, canoeing, fishing, camping, lodging, hiking trails, etc.  

Different Town/Different Settings

When Rita Honeycutt and her family go to another town on vacation, I’ll have to draw a map showing streets and other information.  I’ll do that as I get into writing that book.

Conclusion

I use the map I’ve drawn everything on to help me remember what business is where.

It takes a lot of time and effort to design a town where your main characters live, but I’ve found that it’s worth the effort.  

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 – I Am Who?

R. Frederick Riddle image

I am who? Have you ever taken a good look at yourself?

We all have to ask ourselves that question at some point in our lives. When you stop and consider who you are you quickly learn there isn’t just one example.

Consider.

I am a blogger.

I am not saying that I am a good blogger or a bad one. But I write a blog that you are reading right now. In my blog I occasionally comment on world events, but mostly I talk about writing. Through my blog I pass on knowledge about writing.

I Research.

I research information for my blogs. But I really do a lot of researching for my books. And that includes both novels and nonfiction. Research is a necessary part of writing, so I spend hours and days researching.

I love history

I love history. It is no accident that my writings, fiction and nonfiction, are all historical in nature.

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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

I am an Author

I write novels, blogs, and inspirational books. I love writing and can’t imagine doing anything else with the same passion. It is in my blood.

A Misplaced Michigander

I was born, raised, and actually lived most of my life in Michigan. Now I live in Florida. But at heart I am still a Michigander. I follow the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Pistons, and even the Detroit Red Wings. Sure, I follow teams here in Florida, but not like I do in Michigan.

I am a husband.

I love my wife. We will be celebrating 41 years of marriage in September. And I wouldn’t trade with anyone else!

I am a Vietnam Veteran

And I am proud of it! I served 4 years in the good ole United States Navy. Serving in the Armed Forces is both a duty and a privilege. In my case, I was a Radioman and I served in the First Fleet and the Seventh Fleet.

A Resident of Port Charlotte, Florida

While it is true that I still have Michigan blood, I have learned to love Florida. Especially during the months of December through April. It is one of only a handful of states having no winter. O, Floridians may argue the point, but with temperatures that never get below 20 degrees, they don’t have a case.

I am a Brother, an Uncle, and a  Great Uncle

All of them live in the northern state of Louisiana. They would probably argue that it is a southern state, but they are definitely north of Port Charlotte, Florida.

I am a Senior Citizen

I worked hard to get to this age, and I am proud to be a Senior Citizen. I am old enough to be President of the United States and young enough to know that I forget to much to be a good one.

But Most of All I am a Christian!

I love Jesus Christ who came to earth, took my sins upon Himself, took my place on the cross, and died for me. He is my joy and my life.

Who are You?

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 – Healthy tips for when it is hot outside

R. Frederick Riddle image

Healthy Tips is all about the fact that we’re coming upon the time of the year when it will be too hot for us to be outside during certain times of the day. Therefore, I’ve put together some thoughts on the subject. Here are some things we can do to stay healthy on a hot day.

What are the Hottest Hours

The hottest part of the day is usually between 10:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Thus, I’ve found that it’s easier to go for a walk, go grocery shopping, or do another activity during the morning hours.  Many times, without thinking, I’ve gone grocery shopping in the middle of the day. It’s hard to push a cart around outside when it’s hot, especially if you’ve just finished eating a meal before shopping. Ergo, shop in the morning.

Healthy Tips #1: Don’t Shop After Eating a Meal

That’s another point. We shouldn’t go shopping right after we’ve eaten a full meal. Because any activity on a full stomach when it’s hot can add stress to your heart, and make it work that much harder. So, we don’t want to do that to our hearts.

In fact, my husband and I have also found that, when going for a walk, the evening time is the best time to go, when it’s cooler outside. So, it is best not to shop after eating.

Healthy Tips #2: Drink Plenty of Water

 It’s also important to drink plenty of water. Therefore, my doctors recommend that I drink eight eight-ounce glasses of liquid every day.

By the way, it doesn’t have to be all water. In 2018, when I had cancer and was starting chemo, my cancer doctor stressed the importance of keeping my body hydrated. Therefore, she gave me a book that included a section showing foods and beverages I could substitute for water. Also, she stressed that at least fifty percent (50%) of my intake should be water.

I’m going to share with you, some of the beverages/foods from the lists that were in the book.    

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books believes that authors need to stay informed. Therefore, we bring you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Thus, enabling authors to relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

Healthy Tips #3 In Lieu of Water Drink or Eat:

  • Green tea
  • Decaffeinated coffee       
  • Milk
  • Ice Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Soup
  • Smoothies

Water-soluble vegetables:

  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Bell Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Okra
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli

Water-soluble fruits:

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Blackberries
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Apples
  • Blueberries

Additional Healthy Tips

There are other reasons for keeping our bodies hydrated. Such as, it helps us have healthy hair, skin, and nail; plus, it helps in controlling our body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.  

If you must be out in the sun, please make sure you wear a hat, sunglasses, and loose light color clothing. In addition, use plenty of sweat-resistant sunscreens.

Take care of your heart when it’s the hottest part of the day. If you don’t, you could end up in the hospital with a heat stroke or a heart attack.

That’s all for today. 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 – Is Writing a Christian Service?

R. Frederick Riddle image

Is writing a Christian service? That is a very good question. However, that is a question you can should ask about any job that exists and should be asked by every Christian.

Any Job can be Christian Service

There are exemptions to the idea of a job being a Christian service. For example, a bartender sells and serves alcoholic beverages, which is not Christian. Neither is prostitution. So, here are some principles to apply:

  • It cannot be Christian service if it is contrary to Biblical teaching.
  • A particular job may be fine, however, if it uses deception then it is not Christian service.

The true test of service, any kind of service, is as follows: Does it

  • Agree with Biblical facts
  • Honor God
  • Inspire people to read the Bible
  • Encourage people to worship God
  • Enable others to serve
  • Inspire people to live godly lives

These are just a few tests, but can you think of others? And, once you’ve completed that list, consider whether the question really goes to motive and behavior more than the nature of the job.

The Bible teaches us:

  • Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God. (Col. 3:22)
  • And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. (Titus 3:14)
  • She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. (Prov. 31:27)

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, especially, about writing. 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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

How Does This Apply for Writing?

This calls for some self-examination on your part. Look inward and examine your thoughts and motives. These will reveal a lot. However, right here is a good place to practice Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

You have motive, however, is it a commitment to the Lord? Is it to earn a living? That is good motive, but it doesn’t sound like a commitment to the Lord.

Is it because you like and, perhaps, are good at writing? Again, that is good. But is that enough to be Christian service?

What is Christian Service?

To me, Christian service is doing something that furthers the Gospel in some fashion, which leaves a large opening to be filled. Below I list some examples of furthering the Gospel, but it is important to remember this is not an exhaustive list. Read these and think about other examples you can add.

What are Some Examples?

Examples of furthering the Gospel are:

  • Soulwinning
  • Handing out tracts
  • Helping people
  • Inspirational novels
  • Inspirational true stories
  • Devotionals
  • Teaching Books

And the list goes on. For example, Tess, my wife, is working on a devotional while I am working on a doctrinal book for laymen and for non-Christians which would come under Teaching Books.

Christian Service can also be a Motive

I am thinking about someone who is a lawn caretaker, miner, logger, and others. The work may not lend itself directly to serving, but a motive like fund raising for a local church, going on a church mission’s trip, or simply helping other Christians out. These are but examples and you can probably come up with others.

The point here is that giving can cover a lot of activity that indirectly supports our desire to tell others about Christ.

Conclusion

The answer therefore is Yes, writing can be a Christian service. And add to that this idea: we need more Christian writers than ever before! We live in a time where anti-christian behavior, even persecution, is increasing. Christians need to know more about their God and how to live, and non-Christians need to learn and act upon the fact that they need Jesus Christ!

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 – Why Editing of a Book is Necessary Part Two

Teresa (Tess) Riddle

This is part 2 of Why Editing of a Book is Necessary. Just as writing a book is time-consuming, so is editing.  I’m not one who likes to edit books, but the task must be done. Let’s continue the discussion.

What About Editing I Talked About Last Blog

  • Editing the first chapter of a book.
  • Editing Grammar.
  • Examples of Homophones.
  • Self-Check Grammar. (Exception to the rule when using a Bible program.)

In today’s blog, I’ll talk more about editing.

When editing chapter face pages

When my husband and I are writing each chapter of our books the preface that we follow is that the face page of each chapter (also known as chapter’s first page)) is always on the odd page.  The last page of the chapter ends on the even page.

Adding more pages

This is a tough one to follow. I sometimes find it frustrating when I must add more pages to a book because a publishing company wants a certain number of pages before they’ll publish the book.

We use KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and they require seventy-nine pages for the print book if you want a spine (also called a ‘gutter’).  This is different that eBooks, but a print book needs a spine if you want people to find your book.

Sometimes you need to go in and add more pages by simply adding more content to each chapter.

For example, in the latest devotional book I’ve been working on, I was short a few pages. I went back and added more content and extra KJV Bible verses. Now my book has a total of eighty + pages.

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.c

It’s Your Business is a free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

A second editing

My husband is in the process of doing the second editing of my book. He put it on KDP to make sure that it matches up with the criteria that KDP wants.

When he’s done editing, he’ll turn the book over to me so I can do another editing of the book. I’ll want to make sure I haven’t left anything out.

Editing the cover of the book

I love the picture that I chose for the book cover, but don’t like the white lettering background. I’m going to change the lettering to a brighter color, one that will grab peoples’ eyes when they take that first glance at my book.

I’m hoping to see my book in the publisher’s hand by the end of next week, but we’ll see what happens. I want the book published yesterday, but when writing a book, we don’t always get what we want.

 God expects us to put our best effort forward, whether it’s in writing a book, serving Him, or whatever. As a writer, we should always strive to do the best work that we can.    

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 – The Love of Reading

R. Frederick Riddle image

Recently I wrote about The Love of Writing and mentioned the love of reading. I thought today I would expand on that a little.

I Love to Read

As I mentioned in that blog, ever since I was a child, I have loved reading books. It was as a child that I read the masterpiece War & Peace. When I finished the book (it is a large book) my father questioned me about it. After all, it was a classic and I was just a child. I don’t know how old I was, but I don’t think I was twelve yet.

In any case, he asked me several questions about the book touching on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, the disastrous retreat, and the triumph of Russia. To all of these I answered, then he read or possibly reread the story and checked my answers against the book.

Obviously, I didn’t know or understand much about sex nor about the deep intrigues, but I did remember and understood the invasion, the battles, and the retreat on the larger screen, so to speak. He not only told my doctor, who didn’t believe him, but proved it to him. (I was under heavy medication back then and the doctor probably thought I was ‘slow’).

But that shouldn’t have been a surprise to either of them! Ever since Kindergarten I had developed a love affair with books. I don’t remember a lot about my childhood, but I know I loved to read. And I was particular about what I read.

I Had a Great Imagination

Along with my love for reading came a strong imagination. I don’t know what other children did, but I would read a book or watch a movie and imagine myself as the hero. Always the hero, never the villain.

This imagination is often common in children, but as they grow up the imagination gets stilted usually by well-meaning parents. And when the child reaches adulthood much of his or her ability to imagine is gone.

But some of us persevere and it can lead to a writer’s career. In my case, it did. As a teenager I began putting my imaginative tales on paper. They weren’t very good from any standpoint. But they did show that I was developing a desire to write.

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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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 Love of Reading Can Lead to the Love of Writing

Reading should be encouraged in children. It is a necessary part of life. If you want to excel in school, you have to read. If you want to excel in any trade, you have to read.

But more than that. Reading opens the world to you. When I got saved and began reading the Bible, I discovered what was for me a whole new world. I already loved history, and now I was reading about the history of mankind from God’s point of view.

I fell in love with the King James Bible first for its unmatched language, and later for its accuracy. This blog is not about the superiority of the KJV but studying the history of the Bible persuaded me of it. That plus the realization that you can’t say the Bible is the absolute Word of God and, at the same time, claim any version will do. If it is the absolute Word of God, then there can only be one version because there are differences between them. So, you must choose.

Perhaps I will write a blog on that someday and I definitely will write a book on the subject. But the point here is that I fell in love with the KJV, which in turn led me to a writing career where I write Bible-based novels, and now I write Bible-based nonfiction.

The Love of Reading Helps in Research

If you have followed me for any time at all you know that I am a fan of doing your diligent research. And if you don’t have a love of reading you will discover that research can be truly boring.

Why?

Because it requires a lot of reading. By ‘lot’ I mean a great deal of reading. Writing fiction requires a great deal of reading, especially of the lay of the land, the products manufactured and sold in the area, the people, clothing, and the list goes on. Reading is essential to getting your story right!

Do You Love Reading?

I suppose it is possible to be a successful author and not love reading, but I believe I have discovered that reading other writers, especially in the same genre, enlivens my imagination. And once enlivened, I can then imagine new stories.

. 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 – Why Editing of a Book is Necessary

Teresa (Tess) Riddle

Just as writing a book is time-consuming, so is editing a book.  I’m not one who likes to edit books, but the task must be done.

Why is editing a book so important?

The first draft I do on a book is not usually my best. It’s usually off the cuff. I find that each time I edit a particular chapter, the better I can structure my sentences and paragraphs in a way that will keep my readers interested in the book.

Editing the First Chapter

That first chapter is important. We want to catch the interest of the reader within the first couple of pages of the first chapter. When I’m looking for books to read (library or at a bookstore. etc.) I often put the book I picked up back on the shelf because the writer didn’t catch my interest in the first few pages.

Editing Grammar

We must make sure that our grammar and spelling errors are cleaned up.  The English language has words (Homophones) that sound alike but are different in meaning or spelling.

Examples of Homophones

AcceptExcept  IEye ThereTheirThey’re
AffectEffect  MerryMarry ToTooTwo
AloudAllowed  PearPair Read Red
AreOutHour SeeSea Sell Cell
BearBare  SonSun    
BreakBrake  WeatherWhether    
BuyBybye WhichWitch    
CapitalCapitol  PrinciplePrincipal    
FlowerFlour  WonOne    
HereHear  WrightRight    

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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

Self-Check Grammar

It’s important to self-check all grammar and spelling in the book we’re writing. Sometimes the program we’re using will skip over words or sentences.

Exception of Rule

Now the exception to the rule is this:  If you’re using a Bible program (King James Version, for example) to cut and paste verses into your document, you don’t need to edit it. In the case of the KJV you want to retain the language and the spelling for accuracy. 

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 – The Love of Writing

R. Frederick Riddle image

Several years ago, I wrote about my love of writing. It seemed to me that it was time to return to that topic since that blog no longer exists. Perhaps you are contemplating writing a book.

Well, if that is the case, you might want to first examine your mindset. Do you love to read, or do you consider it just a job? It is my opinion that to become a successful author you first must have a love of writing. Let’s take a look at my journey and see if it resonates with you.

I Love to Read

Ever since I was a child, I have loved reading books. It was as a child that I read the masterpiece War & Peace. This was a large book that told the story of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. His decision to invade Russia was probably based on two observations. The first was that England, his enemy, was distracted by a war with the United States. It was a case of the mouse against the mighty cat, but he wasn’t concerned about who would win, although he may have leaned toward America. The important thing was England would not be a threat while she was engaged against America.

The second observation was erroneous. He imagined that Russia would not be a problem. He had the mightiest army in the world; an army extremely loyal to him. Russia didn’t stand a chance! Well, if you know history, it turned out to be a disastrous invasion leading to defeat there and ultimately at Waterloo.

I Love to Write

Fast on the heals of reading came an unquenchable imagination. When reading, I would imagine myself in the scenes I was reading. My writing started out as playacting; my pretending to be the hero I was reading about. By the time I was a teenager, I was attempting to put my imagination on paper. However, I was untrained. Fortunately, I was unsuccessful. But it did teach me that I needed to learn more about writing.

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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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 Love of Reading and Writing

The desire to write stems from my love of reading but desire didn’t grant me the skills I needed. That came from study, hard work, and repeated failures. While a young man I tried to write a book, but every time I would try, I would hit the proverbial wall. I would get about five chapters into the story and suddenly I was stopped. It didn’t help that when taking a writing course, I got laid off and was unable to continue taking it. But I did learn that I really enjoyed writing and had some skill. This knowledge kept me going in the years ahead.

So began years of attending what I call the school of hard knocks. It was rough, but my love of writing kept me going which brings me to another point.

Love of Writing can Sustain Your Drive

 The love of writing sustaining your drive? Yes. And it is an important consideration. I used the words can sustain for a purpose. By itself the love of writing is a great motivator.  But it is limited. Constant frustration coupled with a lack of knowledge can undermine and ultimately defeat you. So, you need something more which I will get to in a moment.

Still, the love of writing is a powerful force that will strengthen your writing career for years. But while it kept me going, I was not moving forward. I couldn’t overcome the ‘wall’ nor was my technical career improving significantly. I needed something positive.

 The Love of God

That something positive came when I asked Jesus Christ into my heart on May 9, 1973 at the age of 30. That is the day that a fundamental change occurred in my heart. Now I had a love for God plus the love of God. It changed my life! But more than that, it changed my writing! Now my writing took on a distinctive Christian influence that continues to this day.

You ask did I start writing books that got published?

No, in fact, my stories continued to hit roadblocks. It took another 30 years before my first book was published. But the love of God coupled with a love for writing did sustain me and I began seeing improvements. Different people have different motives for writing, but looking back I realize that God wants me to write books, fiction and nonfiction, that are Christian and God honoring. And that is what I set about doing.

The Love of God’s Word

I realize that you the reader may not be a Christian, but this is the story of my life. But the moment I got saved I fell in love with the Bible, God’s Word. Coupled with a love for history, my whole focus turned in a positive direction.

Another transformative day arrived. It is my practice to have devotions in the morning (now it is with my wife). On this morning I was reading the Book of Genesis when God showed me that I could write novels based on the Bible. It proved a career changing direction.

Realizing that the Bible deals with facts and is historical in nature, I am now free to write novels and nonfiction books based on the Bible. Just like you can write historical novels based on secular history, I am able to write about historical people and events reported on in the Bible. It resulted not only in getting my first book published, but in my writing an entire series consisting of six books, all based on men and women in the Bible. That series by the way is The World That Was and is available on Amazon and at our bookstore. Now, I am also writing nonfiction books dealing with the Bible .

Love Letter

I still remember that morning devotion to this day. I was studying the Book of Genesis in chapter six which reports on Noah and the Flood. And it suddenly struck me. The Bible is essentially a history book relating historical facts. In this case, it was relating the facts pertaining to the Flood and Noah building the ark. It was as Sergeant Friday of the TV series Dragnet used to say, ‘just the facts’. But it provided room for me to write the rest of the story that enabled a reviewer to say that I “brought the Bible alive”. Ever since, that has been a goal; namely to bring the Bible alive to my readers!

That first book was Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles was published and was soon followed by Adam’s Chronicles. Then I combined those two books, added a ton of information and published Perished: The World That Was. As mentioned above five more books followed. Since then I have written other books and now I am writing a new series based on the life of Moses, plus another novel based on the life of Daniel. All of this has happened in part because of my love for writing!

Love of Writing Asserts Itself

With frustration gone, I now have a calling upon my life and stories to tell! I believe that as Christians we should be motivated by a love for God in whatever we do. And all writers should be motivated by a love for writing. It is why we write.

To be sure, God’s love toward me that led to my salvation was and is the dominant factor in my writing. But the love of writing that He gave me in childhood still plays an important role in my life and career.

Do You Have a Love of Writing?

As you undoubtedly have seen, I believe that having a love for writing is an important role to play in any author’s career. Yes, there is more needed, but you need to have an underlying drive, which will carry you forward. It will play a major role in overcoming obstacles and improving 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.

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Blog by Ron Updating

R. Frederick Riddle image

Today I am taking a look at updating, which was originally titled republishing. What is updating? Why is it important? How can you do it?

I have retitled this to Updating because of the following.

Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur published an article on Republishing and I learned I was using the wrong title. I am not to proud to be corrected. So, my article is now Updating. I have shared a link to his article.

What is Updating?

Seems rather obvious, but I don’t want to be misunderstood. In this blog I am talking about taking a previously published book, and updating it under the same title with the same ISBN, and with the same publisher. Generally speaking, you can use the same title and same ISBN if you have not made extensive changes, but when you completely rewrite your book then you may have to republish it as a new book.

But I want you to understand that what I am talking about is very important to you as an author and as a marketer.

Why is Updating Important?

Updating comes into play after you have published your book. But let’s say that you now discover an error, possibly a major error, or maybe you have found a stronger, more powerful cover. Or you want to add material. These are just some of the reasons you might want to update.

What about Traditional or Self Publishers?

Neither traditional or self publishers offer free updating after you’ve published. Some may offer a limited ability to update. For example, they may offer it one or two times. But nothing like what I am talking about.

Can Indie-Publishers Offer it for Free?

Yes!

Since I only know of one publisher who works with Indie Publishers, I will talk about KDP. It is my understanding that that some Self Publishers may offer this service, but KDP is the only one I have experience with.

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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

So, KDP Updates Books?

Technically, you are using KDP to update your books. It is more of a printing platform, in my opinion. Some people identify KDP as a Self-Publisher, but they don’t really fit that description. However, to be fair, Amazon identifies themselves as self-publishers. But look at these differences, they do not:

  • Charge an upfront price
  • Offer packages
  • Limit updating after a book has been published

There are other differences such as the amount of control you have, the royalties you can achieve, and more. But here we are focusing on one thing: updating.

My first books were with AuthorHouse and later with American Star. AuthorHouse is owned by Author Solutions, which also owns Xlibris, iUniverse, and Trafford. These offer packages which nowadays can by thousands of dollars.

How Does KDP allow it?

It is simply one of the free services they offer. Please note the word “free”. Assuming you are making no major changes where you add a great deal of new content, you will not be charged.

Note: you cannot change the title, subtitle, or ISBN once it is published. To that requires republishing it virtually as a new book. There are other restrictions regarding the paper and color. But if you want to edit, update material, or change cover, or change price, you can as often as you want for free!

How is Updating an Advantage for me?

I have already mentioned a few. Here they are:

  • Correct an error
  • Change the cover
  • Add content (within reason)
  • Change price

This gives you control that in my opinion surpasses any offering by any other publisher. The above reasons help you in keeping your book fresh, and as a marketing tool.

. 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 Being a Volunteer

My blog this week is about being a volunteer. It is a part of our Christian DNA.

Project Ukraine

My husband and I attend Tri-City Baptist Church here in Port Charlotte. About two weeks ago our pastor announced that a Baptist church in a nearby town would be doing a project called Project Ukraine. This project would involve putting together 100,000 booklets that contained the Gospel of John and the Book of Romans, in the Ukrainian language and it would take three days to complete the project.

The Volunteer Turnout

When we arrived at the church on Tuesday of last week, we noticed that the parking lot was full of cars. After finding a parking space, we headed to a certain area to walk inside and a surprise awaited us.

We were shocked at what we saw when we walked inside because the fellowship hall was full of people. And they were sitting at different tables working on the project. Even the church foyer and Sunday school classrooms were filled with volunteers from different churches and working together.

When a volunteer worker from the church we were at took my husband and me to a room where space was available for us to work, we kept looking around at all the people who had turned out. And we spotted many people from our own church scattered about working and fellowshipping.

It was such a joy that we ended up staying longer than we had planned and it was hard finding a stopping spot so we could leave. Neither one of us complained.

Doing the volunteer work brought joy to my heart.

  1. We got to meet some of the people from other churches.
  2. We met some Ukrainians and were able to work on the project with them. They knew English, so we were able to talk some to them as we worked.
  3. We had an opportunity to sample some Ukrainian food. We even sampled some Ukrainian candy that had been put out in a dish.

The most important of all was the fact that we had an opportunity to put booklets together that would be shipped to many Ukrainians, that told them about JESUS.

Just a note in passing, but when I took a break to go sample some food, I also had an opportunity to hand out a couple of my business cards for T & R Independent Books. I carry some on me everywhere I go.

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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

Back to volunteering

Last Wednesday night at church, our pastor stood up and announced that the project was complete, all except for shipping out all the boxes that held the 100,000 booklets. He also told us that other projects might come up in the future, that we can volunteer to help with.   

A Teenage Volunteer

Over the years when living in Michigan, from the time I was a teenager, II volunteered in helping different churches and organizations put care packages together to send out to our military troops around the world (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines). They showed their appreciation for what we did for them, by sending ‘Thank you’ notes to us.

You Can Volunteer

We can all be volunteers in helping other churches or organizations accomplish what they need to accomplish, even if it’s only for one day per month for only a few hours. They’re often short-handed and will be appreciative of any help they can get.

An Inspiring Story

An article in the Broadcaster, a magazine by Christian Radio Network, tells the story of a born-again believer and a deacon in his church in Kyiv, Ukraine. It tells of this man and an impossible journey made possible by God. And then he started a volunteer work in America. CRI itself is a ministry you might want to check out.

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 Tess Be Kind to One Another

Teresa (Tess) Riddle

My blog is titled be kind to one another and it’s something that we seem to be seeing less and less of in our world. All people want to do is mistreat each other and tear each other down with their mouths. That just isn’t right.

God Loves Us.

God loves us and wants us to love one another as He loves us. He wants us to be kind to one another. He talks about it a lot, especially in the New Testament.

Examples of Showing Kindness.

Here are several ways we can show our kindness to others:

  • People often just want someone to talk to who will just listen and not say anything.
  • Learn to be a good, sincere, and patient listener.
  • There are many people who go unnoticed as they go about their daily tasks: doctors, nurses, military personnel, nursing home workers, hospital staff, restaurant personnel, truck drivers, grocery store workers, farmers, police officers, fireman, teachers, lineman who work on gas lines and electrical lines.
  • There are many others I haven’t even mentioned.   Many of them rarely ever get thanked for their service to the community. We need to say ‘Thank you’ to these people more often and let them know that we appreciate them and the hard work they do.
  • We need to learn how to be a happy person and not be a complainer. People don’t want to hang around someone who complains all the time. They would much rather hang out with happy people. I don’t blame them. I feel the same way.
  • There’s one that no one wants to mention, but I’m going to mention it anyways. We need to learn that there are times when we need to mind our own business and learn how to keep our mouths shut.  If people want advice from us, they will ask for it.

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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

Be Kind to One Another by not Judging.

There are times we shouldn’t open our mouth and judge someone. They might be going through circumstances that we know nothing about. Maybe they’re handicapped, stutter, or have another problem.

Instead of judging them or making fun of them, pray for them. Ask God to help them in their circumstance. If the person doesn’t want to be helped, there’s not much we can do about that.

Be Kind to One Another By Thinking Before Speaking.

There are also times when someone will say something hurtful to us, or about us. When they do that, we always seem to open our mouths without thinking, and tell the person off.  Shame on us when we do that. We need to be careful about what we say to other people, and how we say it.

Yeah, I know. It’s hard to do.  In today’s world it isn’t wise to spout off to people. Too many times, a person has gotten killed because they spouted off to someone at the wrong time and in the wrong place.

Be Kind to One Another by Being Helpful.

When we’re in a grocery store and we see someone struggling to reach something off a shelf we should offer to pull the item off the shelf for them. They’ll be appreciative of the help.

Be Kind to One Another by Caring.

One last thing, we can let people know that we love them and care about them, especially our family or loved ones.  Sometimes all the person will need is a hug. We can always hug the person from the side, which is safer. 

There are many other ways we can show kindness to others, but I wanted to list just a few of the ways.

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 A Case for Self-Editing

R. Frederick Riddle image

I am going to make a case for self-editing your manuscripts. But I am going to start with a negative.

You Should Not Self-Edit Because

  • likely to self-consciously read it as it was meant not as written
  • You are married to the story and reluctant to change it
  • It is the job of professional editors to edit
  • Professional editors are trained to spot errors

You can see that the main reason for not self-editing is that you as the author will have a blind eye to errors unless you truly focus on finding them. A professional has the training and experience to do this, but you probably don’t have it.

This is a major problem and the primary reason for not editing your own manuscript.

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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

Self-Editing is Important

Whether you hire an editor or not does not excuse you from doing editing. Is that a contradiction? No. A good writer edits his or her own work religiously!

Some writers go to great lengths to do a good editing job. Nothing wrong with that and if you are able, then do it.

But there is a good chance that you will end up doing your own at least until you are established. A good principle to live by is that self-editing is important to your future success.

That principle applies even if you use a professional. If you are going to hire someone, you want to present a manuscript that is as ready for publishing as you can make it. Then the editor gets her hands on it and takes it to the next level.

A Helpful Tool

As a matter of principle, I recommend that you choose which tools you use. The purpose of this blog and all my blogs is to acquaint you with principles and tools. You are your own boss.

One author I know, her name is Kim, uses what she calls a Map Out. At least that is the name I remember. When I first heard this term recently, I didn’t know what it meant. But she explained it, and so I can say that I use that tool although it is my own version.

As a matter of practice, I create documents that outline the story or the characters or the research or all of the above. Previously I didn’t use this tool, but I now see value in it, so I am in the process of establishing my own Map Out.

Examine your own practice and it is likely that you use a very simple form of the Map Out. You have the choice of keeping as it is or creating an entirely new one. It is helpful tool.

How Often Should I Edit?

That’s easy. As often as you can!

Some authors wait until the book is done before editing. Some want to edit as they write, some at the conclusion of a chapter, and so forth. The point is to have a plan in place that features frequent edits.

I tend to edit after every chapter, but sometimes I will edit at the conclusion of a scene. It varies.

And remember there are different types of edits. You could, for example, do a spell check, a grammar check, story flow, and other types. The types of edits may depend on whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction. Genre can also impact what types of edits to use.

Another tool is Research

If you have read my blogs in the past, then you know that I encourage you to do your diligent research. Some writing projects require a lot of research, some not so much. But even the most basic novel needs some research to establish credibility for the story.

Self-Editing is Rewarding

Bet you didn’t expect that comment!

Yes, self-editing is hard work, especially if you are acting in place of a professional editor. But I have found that self-editing helps me better understand my own work. It helps me spot errors and inconsistencies. In addition, it helps me define the story, the character, and the event.

Self-editing has led me to completely rewrite entire scenes. And when that makes my manuscript better, I have a sense of accomplishment.

Self-Editing May Be Necessary

The truth is that the average writer doesn’t have the wherewithal to hire a professional editor. Professionals can be expensive. So, even though you know you should hire a professional, you can’t afford one. That puts you behind the proverbial eight ball.

In such cases, you will need to double down on the editing. But I have some good news for you.

Self-Editing Does Not Require Perfection

Right about now professional editors are up in arms and shouting at me, “You’re wrong!”

Let me explain.

I love reading books. I have been reading since my childhood. One of the first books I read as a child was War and Peace. I read it and explained it to my father. He then read it and saw my comprehension was very good. But that’s another story, let’s move on to my contention self-editing need not be perfect.

Over the years I have read many books, including master pieces, such as War and Peace. And I confidently can state that I have never read a book that didn’t contain any errors!

Don’t believe me. I challenge you to read some of the greats, but with a critical eye. You will find minor errors and sometimes major ones, but they are there. How can I be sure? Aside from my own reading there is the fact that all authors are humans. And since we are not perfect the likelihood of our works being imperfect are extremely high.

The errors may be as simple as misspelling words, bad grammar, or more serious. They may be the author’s errors or printing errors. The point is that even a professional can and does miss things. To be honest, they generally do an excellent job, but they are not perfect.

What Does it Mean to Me?

It provides you a goal. Basically, your goal is to eliminate as many errors as possible. That is hard work, plus you have the disadvantage of being the author. You are literally forced to divorce yourself from your authorship of the book and focus on it as an independent editor.

I Have More Good News

An Indie author has an advantage over the traditional and so-called self-publisher. Some people use self-publish and Indie publish interchangeably, but they are different. One difference I explain here.

Once you publish your book with a self-publisher, such as AuthorHouse, it is done. They may allow you to edit afterwards, but it is limited. An Indie publisher can edit the manuscript, change the cover, and other things like price, etc. as often as they want. And at no extra cost!

I know, because I have done it and I still do it.

I would recommend to you that you reread your own book every once in a while to see if there are errors or maybe changes you want to make. Then make them.

About the Author

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 Watch Out for Time Wasters Part 2

Teresa (Tess) Riddle

Last week we covered time wasters. This week we talk about more time wasters that keep us from getting things done. Here they are.

Spending too much Time at the Grocery Store.

I’ve found a way to cut some of the wait time in half.  Often, I’ll go to the Walmart (not the neighborhood one) by myself, around 7:30 in the morning. There are not too many people shop at that time of the morning, plus, I’m able to get a parking spot close by the main door. It only takes me ten minutes to get there from my residence.

If I know I’m going to the store early the next morning, I make out my shopping list the night before, putting certain things in a particular order. For example, I know that the paper products, deli section, and dairy products are at the back of the store. I list my paper products first, that I need. Next, I write out anything I need from the dairy section or deli.

Then I list what I need aisle by aisle, working my way toward the front of the store. I usually lists the bakery products I need last.

As I pass the cheeses and meats area, I place the items I need in my basket before going down the next aisle.

Listing the items I need, in order, saves me a lot of time. I’m usually home and have everything put away by 9:30 at the latest.  Then, I can move on with my day and get some serious ‘to do’ things accomplished.

Searching for Something We’ve Misplaced.

We’ve all done that one; wasting time looking for a certain item.

We need to make a habit of putting the item back in a particular place when we finish using it, whether it be in a purse, a pocket, a jar, a drawer, etc.; then, when we need the item, we know exactly where it is.

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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

Procrastination

There are many tasks to be broken up into smaller parts to do.  Which part do you dislike? Which part is keeping you from starting or completing the project?

We don’t mean to do it, but we often procrastinate or ‘kill time’ as the saying goes. There are just some tasks we dread doing, but they must be done. We just can’t seem to get to them. Maybe they’re too complex, or too boring to tackle.

Take that first step and start the project. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on the project. The important thing is to get the project started. Work on it a little each day. Eventually, if you keep at it, the project will be completed.

If the task seems like it will be more than you can handle, it doesn’t hurt to ask around, and see if there’s someone who would be willing to help you with some of it. If they say ‘yes’, then delegate some of the work to them.

More than one set of hands often makes the load seem lighter.

Ask God to help you not to be a time waster.

There are many other time wasters, but I just wanted to touch on a few.

Life will be a lot easier for us, once we learn how to handle the time wasters. We’ll be able to get those things done that we need to get done.

If we become proficient with our use of time, others will notice. By being a good example to others, perhaps we can help them make better uses of their time.

That’s all for this week.

About the Author

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 Do You Need a Coach?

R. Frederick Riddle image

Do you need a coach?

You are the final authority on that question but let me provide you with a few reasons you may need a coach. Here is a partial list: You are

  • new to writing
  • hitting a wall
  • Unsatisfied with the book
  • thinking about quitting
  • dejected because your book has been rejected
  • in need of direction
  • not seeing your books sell
  • frustrated
  • are aware of what’s wrong with the manuscript but you don’t know how to fix it.
  • experiencing other reasons

I have written over 12 books over a 19-year period. Do I need a coach? You might be surprised at my answer.

The answer is yes.

Why?

There are a number of reasons, but the primary reason is that when left to myself I get very critical. I have a lot of knowledge regarding writing, editing, and publishing, but not all of it is good or agreeable.

That produces anxiety which in turn causes temerity, hesitation. I determined several years ago that I needed help. I didn’t like the way my career was going nor did I know how to change it. Thus began a repeated prayer, Dear Lord, I need a mentor. A short prayer but a correct prayer.

Earlier this year I came in contact with another author who is also a coach. We connected and he started coaching me. Someday, perhaps soon, I will go in to the many ways he has coached me, but right now I just want you to see that though I had written over 12 books I still needed a coach.

Coach Assets

Does he know more than I do about writing? Perhaps, but that is not necessary.

Does he know more than I do about editing? Perhaps, but that is not necessary.

Does he know more than I do about marketing? Perhaps, but you get the picture.

When you watch a football game or a basketball game or any sport, your eyes are focused on the athlete. But if it is a professional sport then you can bet there is a coach involved. Is he more talented than the athlete? Most coaches of professional sports that I have seen are out of shape.

But his skill set is to draw the best out of the person he is coaching. And that is what a coach is for a 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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

Christian Coach

So, it can be argued that we all need coaches. Speaking as a Christian, I recommend that if you are a Christian, you should have a Christian mentor. Please note, I did not say Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, or any other denomination. It helps if you and your coach are of the same denomination. But the primary thing I am emphasizing is that your coach be as committed to Christ as you are at a minimum.

That can be difficult to learn, but if the two of you are talking to one another, then you should determine the fit rather quickly. I knew nothing of my coach’s denominational connection or his spiritual maturity. But as we talked about writing, I learned a great deal about his spiritual maturity simply by talking to him. I have since learned we are not the same denomination, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that he loves the Lord Jesus, is committed to serving Him, and operates within biblical boundaries.

Coach’s Advice

Another facet about an author is the advice he or she provides. I have greatly benefited from his advice. In case you are wondering who he is, his name is Tom Blubaugh and Christian Authors Community is the writers club he founded.

I will write more about the organization 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 Why Did the Sanhedrin Hate Jesus?

R. Frederick Riddle image

Why did the Sanhedrin hate Jesus? I will cover four reasons which I briefly examined in my newest book, What’s True About Easter?

  • His teachings threatened their position.

“But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” Matthew 23:5-7

These were proud, arrogant men who enjoyed being honored and looked up to. Jesus exposed them. They had a very important role in Israel and were responsible for teaching the people the Word of God.

But they should have recognized Him by His life, His birthplace, His healing of the blind and raising the dead. But they willfully denied Him.

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 free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

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.

  • They added traditions as equal to the Law.

In Mark 7:6-8, Jesus said, “Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

“For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.”

  • Wielding unjust authority, teaching lies.

Jesus couldn’t abide what they were doing, and He took pains to identify their sins. They knew the Bible and that He spoke the truth and should have repented. But they didn’t.

In Matthew 23:13, Jesus said, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

  • Jesus constantly exposed them.

An example of this is in John 7:7, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”

He was referring to the priesthood’s hatred of Him. The Gospels are rife with reasons, such as His condemnations, His so-called breaking the Law of Moses, and more.

These were four reasons, but there is at least one more. The fact is that they hated Jesus. That is why they arrested Him under cover of darkness, held an illegal trial, and demanded His death. These are covered in my book, but here I want to point out how much they hated Him.

Another truth discussed in the book is hematohidrosis or sweating blood. Jesus was under intense pressure. Though sinless Himself he was taking our sins and placing them upon Himself. And that separated Him from the Father. Though we don’t know the particulars we can make an educated guess that throughout eternity Father and Son were bonded together, but our sins broke that bond, and He was enclosed in darkness, separated from the Father.

That was an exceeding great pressure. He didn’t dread the cross, He dreaded the result of our filthy sins being placed upon Him and separating Him from the Father’s love and fellowship. And that pressure caused the bleeding.

As we enter the Easter season, it is important to remember that He not only died for us on the cross, but He suffered all the pain and suffering meant for you and me. He was and is the perfect Lamb of God. And we have the privilege of being the recipients of His love.

It is my prayer that all who know Jesus Christ as Savior will be fully blessed as we worship Him. If you do not know Him, then it is my prayer that you will realize how much He loved you and because of that love He paid the full price for your redemption. Simply ask Him into your heart and find a church that preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ (namely, His virgin birth, sinless life, His sacrificial death, resurrection, and salvation by His grace).

. 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 Watch Out for Big Time Wasters!

Teresa (Tess) Riddle

My title is Watch out for Time Wasters, which follows up on last week’s topic about time usage. Then I talked about making use of our time. Today I am exploring things that not only waste our time but hurt our product. Time wasters kill productivity!

This week I want to talk about the time wasters that keep us from getting things done. Here are a few that I’ve run into.

One time waster is being interrupted with a phone call or by someone who shows up at the door unexpectedly.

Being interrupted by a phone call or by someone who shows up at your door unexpectedly. Because interruptions are unexpected, they usually need to be handled on the spot.