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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 – 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 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 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 A Look at Indie-Publishing

R. Frederick Riddle image

Today I am taking a look at Indie-Publishing. There are three types of publishing: Traditional, Self, and Indie. Let’s take a quick look at the first two.

Traditional Publishing is a term referring to the way we used to get published. Nowadays, it is represented by the big publishing houses, although it is possible that smaller publishing houses are traditional as well.

A brief understanding of Traditional Publishing is as follows: (modern version) The author writes a book, finds an agent who submits the manuscript to one of the big publishers. It used to be that an author could send an unsolicited manuscript to the publisher, who would read it, then either reject or approve. If approved, the publisher would publish the book.

Moreover, in days gone by the publisher would control the marketing. As far as the author was concerned, he or she had little control over the publishing or the marketing. And nowadays the average author gets only a small royalty. And the author does some of the marketing, such as book signings. A recent change, primarily in the 21st century, Traditional publishing houses are requiring that the author have an agent.

Self-Publishing came along and opened the door for the author. This was how I got into writing. My first three books were all self-publishing. One attractive difference between that and Traditional publishing was that I now had a semblance of control. But the publisher still had ultimate control and still got the biggest share of the royalties. And the author does most of the marketing.

As with the traditional houses, self-publishers are moving towards requiring an agent. This doesn’t appear to be large scale, but it looks like the day is coming.

Indie-Publishing is relatively new. You might call it the baby of the family. This is real self-publishing. When we come back from the break, we’ll take a closer look.

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.

What follows is a brief look at the advantages of Indie-Publishing.

Advantages: (same as self publishing)

  1. Virtually able to have book published. Rare that a manuscript is rejected.
  2. Author owns the ISBN, unless received free ISBN from KDP or similar.
  3. Royalty paid.

Advantages in addition to above:

  1. No signed contract. (Terms of Service usually act as contract).
  2. Published within days
  3. Growing number of publishing formats
  4. Kindle Direct Platform (KDP)
  5. Others
  6. Select either 35% or 70% royalty
  7. Control throughout the process
  8. Minimum requirements by platform
  9. Ability to retire a book
  10. Ability to edit and republish a book
  11. Ability to not only set prices but to change prices
  12. FREE (KDP, for example, gets paid through selling the book).
  13. No agent required.

Disadvantages:

  1. You don’t have an editor telling you what to do.
  2. You don’t have to wait months to be approved and/or published.
  3. You make all the marketing decisions (inc. hiring marketers).
  4. You handle all the editing and proofing

Some of the disadvantages listed are actually advantages. While being my own editor is hard work, it is also part of having control. Indie Publishing is all about control and greater profits. You control close to 100% of everything regarding your precious book.

In 2014 Teresa and I formed our own publishing company: TR-Independent Books. Although getting up and running was time consuming, we have not regretted it. Since that time, I have purchased the rights to and republished Perished: the World That Was plus others. As publisher, I have republished another book under a new title; and I am publishing new books.

And it is not costing me $400 (back in 2003) or $800 (now) to publish a book. Yes, there are costs associated with doing it yourself, but the cost is much less.

As an Indie-Publisher I also handled the marketing. I can turn it over to a professional (which I may do in the future), but whichever way I go the ultimate source of authority lies with my wife and I. One of the things I may do in the future is publish a catalog. This would help to develop and expand local marketing.

I would recommend to anyone that they seriously consider being an Indie-Publisher. Yes, it will require more work, but it also gives you control throughout the process. And that is important.

Try this simple quiz:

  • Do I control the editing services? Yes
  • Do I control review time of a Proof before returning it for correction or publication? Yes
  • Can I pull the book, edit it, and republish after I have already published it and do it for free? Yes
  • How much help do I get marketing the book? Various free tools
  • What do the marketing tools cost? Some are free.

These and other questions need to be answered. And I think you’ll be pleased with the answers. Perhaps the biggest advantage that Indie Publishing has, other than control, is the cost. You can publish an entire book free of charge or you can pay a little. Again, you have control!

Here are some facts to consider:

An Indie Publishing company is the author who now has virtual control over every aspect of publishing. That includes the cover, the back cover, any pictures within the book, and, to some extent, the text itself. Basically, the author has the power.

(note: If you use a publishing venue, such as KDP, they may have minimum requirements that you must meet. Even so, you decide which venue to use and you are the one agreeing to the requirements.)

Self-publishers generally don’t do marketing. But they do provide tools at a cost that you can use. This may include such things as banners, magazine ads, newspaper ads, and more. All for a price.

But Indie Publishing is different! You, the author, become your own agent, publisher, and marketer. This means you have greater flexibility in choosing who prints your book. You control virtually all aspects of the printing process.

In addition, you control the marketing. Let me point out that you have greater responsibility as well as power. But when you become your own publisher, doors of opportunity open allowing you to use the same tools you have been paying the self-publishers to use. You not only do the work, you make the decisions!

Happy Indie Publishing!

. 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: How I Wrote Perished

R. Frederick Riddle image

How I Wrote Perished is not just about my writing, but I have included ideas that you might emulate. It all started with inspiration.

INSPIRATION

My history prior to the writing of Perished: The World That Was takes you all the way back to my childhood. Looking back, I have always had a lively imagination. As a child I would daydream of heroic stories in which I played the hero. These were typical childhood fantasies, but I guess I never grew up. It is a fact that to this day my imagination works overtime.

As a teen, I realized I wanted to write stories and as a young adult I actually signed up for a writing course which I eventually dropped for lack of money. But I had the bug and never quite quit writing.

I also loved reading books, so I read a lot of books. I occasionally tried to write a novel but even if I got to the point of developing a plot and working on a novel it eventually ended. I would hit the proverbial wall which I didn’t know how to get around. So, the novel was stopped and eventually ended in the trash. This was not necessarily a bad thing since these attempts can best be described as terrible.

At the age of 30, I received Christ as my Savior. In an instant I went from a man destined for Hell and became a child of God. Some people mistakenly say that all are children of God, but what they really should say is that all are created by God. When I received Christ, my destiny was changed and I became a child of God, a member of the family of God.

But asking Christ to save me didn’t just change my eternal welfare. The Bible teaches that many other things took place then as well. I already had the desire to write, but I believe that God also changed my approach to writing and gifted me. But I was unaware of that. At the time I still couldn’t put together an entire story. I would get so far and then hit that wall. But God was working on me.

From that time onward God worked in my life changing me. My worldview was brought into agreement with the Bible. As I studied the Bible, I began growing spiritually. I not only attended church but began having daily devotions.

But in 2000 everything changed!

Up to that time, I had written poetry (it won my wife) and computer programs (amateur) that helped my employer. None of these completely satisfied, but they kept my fires burning. I even dabbled in the hobby of building a model train with a village that became the center of another novel. But it also came to an end.

Then on one day in the year 2000, I was doing my morning devotions. My habit was to read a chapter a day until I’ve read the Bible through. It usually took a couple of years, then I started over. (I still try reading a chapter a day, but now my wife and I do devotions together, which has taken first place.) On this particular day, I was reading the Book of Genesis about Noah and the Ark. And the inspiration hit!

I thought, This only covers the basics! There’s a story untold and I can tell it.

From that moment of inspiration, I knew what I wanted to write. But there was something else. I took this in prayer to the Lord and I was given a certainty about writing that I had never experienced before. I could never prove it, but I now knew it was God’s calling on my life.

As a side note, let me say that such a realization changes your life and your approach to whatever you were called to do. Other changes will take time, but the call to write was instantaneous!

Soon, I was busy writing my first book, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles (no longer available). The book was published by AuthorHouse, and it was good enough that the president of a Christian university read it, complimented me, and encouraged me to continue writing. Such commendation was better than a published review because it undergirded my belief that God had both called and equipped me to write.

And it changed my life!

I not only continued writing but I eventually wrote the novel Perished which became the foundation for the series The World That Was which includes Perished, World of Noah and the Ark, World of Shem, World of Abraham, World of Jacob, and World of Joseph.

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.

I didn’t just start writing as soon as I was inspired. Instead, I began what some authors might consider a dirty word: Research.

But it is necessary for both the non-fiction and fiction writer. For a novel to connect with the reader it needs to have actual facts. I use two methods of relating the facts:

To tell pertinent facts before and after the story (such as seen in the World of Noah and the Ark). To include facts within the story (a practice I use in all my novels).

But how did I get the facts?

There are a number of ways.

Read the Bible accounts (assuming your book is based on the Bible). Read history books. Do a deep internet search. Use logic based on historical facts.

If you are writing about the Bible, it is obvious that you need to spend a great deal of time in the Bible. In the case of Perished, I not only spent time in the Book of Genesis, but I used other books in the Old Testament and New Testament that related to the subject. That requires a great deal of time and effort.

The second item mentioned was reading history books. Not cover to cover but selecting those portions dealing with the subject. Depending on how many books you research this could take some time.

The third thing mentioned was do a deep internet search. By deep internet search, I simply mean using search engines, such as Google, to search out the subject and find relevant resources.

But a word of caution.

While the internet is a rich source of information there is also false information. For example, there are sites that are anti-Bible. Some sites are self-proclaimed, but there are others who are more subtle. So, you must be discerning. Find reliable resources such as Answers in Genesis and Institute for Creation Research. There are others but these are extremely reliable.

But it is the fourth item, I want to spend some time on. While the Bible is true and accurate, it only relates information that God wanted us to know. The whole purpose of the Bible is to show us our sin and need for a Savior and that Christ is that Savior. So, it only relates the historical facts needed to convict us of our need for salvation and spiritual growth.

When writing Perished, I ran into a big obstacle. While the Bible gives us a lot of facts about the world existing before the Flood, it doesn’t break it down for us. Added to this is the lack of secular history, especially anything reliable. A good example of unreliable secular history is the history of Egypt. If you want to spend a day or so struggling to put it all together, try understanding Egyptian history in the light of world history. Very difficult.

So, I was faced with a big unknown. I knew that the people from Adam to Noah were very intelligent and built cities, but I had no historical proof. That gap has been filled by man with evolution, which is strictly theoretical, unproven, and contrary to the Bible.

So how did I resolve this issue?

Let me give you a challenge. Find a history book that you think is reliable and start reading from known history beginning with Nimrod and other world leaders. Study the civilization that existed. Take a look at the:

Government, Arts, Industry, Warfare, and more.

I think you’d agree it was a very developed society. Now take a look at the preceding civilization. Evolution teaches eons of time, yet there is no real evidence that conclusively shows evolution. Instead, there is evidence of a worldwide cataclysm, which we know as the Flood. We arrive at a question: How did mankind go from a caveman society to a sophisticated society? Or, Biblically speaking, how did the world recover from the worldwide Flood which destroyed everything to a sophisticated society?

We are speaking of a 300-to-500-year time span. How is that possible? Well, logic tells us that it is impossible for that degree of sophistication to develop in such a short time from virtually nothing. BUT if Noah brought the knowledge over the Flood to the new world, then everything falls into place!

And that opens up a window into the past!

It occurred to me that if I look closely at the first 300-500 years after the Flood, I have a window into what the previous civilization was like. While scientists never seem to consider such a fact, the movie industry easily adopted it. The movies I have watched, anyway, have shown a society that was quite sophisticated. Not because the industry believed the Bible, but because they had to use what they knew.

When studying the ancient past prior to the Flood, we have a window that shows us what that world was like before it was destroyed. And, thereby, I was able to construct that world within the pages of Perished.

Which is what research is all about. Most of the time, research isn’t so complicated. But it is needed! When someone buys a novel, they want to be entertained, but they also want the world it takes place in to be accurate and true.

When I wrote Dead Eye Will, which took place during and after the War of 1812 and was centered on the brother of an ancestor, I had to do a lot of research. Since most of the story took place in Ohio, Michigan, and portions of Canada, I had quite a lot of research. But once again it involved three items – history, deep internet research, and logic.

Is it worth it?

By far most readers have rated my books 4 and 5 stars. One of the reasons was the inclusion of facts which brought the story alive. I include such things as the clothing worn, the preparation of food, the food itself, and much more. All of which helps enliven the story. The reader was able to enter the world and almost participate in it. And that is what any author wants!

Research is just one aspect of writing, but yes, it is worth it. If you are in the ministry as a pastor, Sunday School teacher, or similar ministry, then you already know how to research. And you probably know that you learn more about the subject than you can ever relate. I learned that as a Sunday School teacher and that has helped me as a writer.

I have covered inspiration and research. But writing also includes learning the rules of grammar, editing, and so much more. These are topics I plan to cover in future blogs. But here are a few hints.

If you self-edit your book, then that requires multiple edits. You have to overcome the fact that you know what you wrote or intended to write, and your brain will tend to gloss over errors. That means intensifying your reading! Please, don’t think it must be perfect. No book, other than the Bible, has ever attained that level. Every writer is a human, and we make mistakes. And if you do make mistakes, I can show you how to easily correct them.

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. And if you like my blog, why not subscribe? The button is in the sidebar on the right. Type in your email, click on Subscribe, and you’re done.

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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First Steps in Blogging

R. Frederick Riddle

I have now begun my first steps in blogging on a new site. Having purchased a new domain from Siteground.com, I am now in the process of adding tools including plugins to the website.

For the time being, I will continue blogging on two platforms which are RFrederickRiddleBlog.com and TRBookServices.com. When I finally complete the rebuilding of my site, I hope to have a seamless transition from WordPress hosting to Siteground hosting. And a better, smoother experience for all visitors.

After the break I will tell you more.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post or podcast 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 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 are Learning to Write with the basics you need.

To discover how we can help you 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.

Thus, I will publish new blogs just as always, but I will publish older blogs on the new site plus all new blogs that occur right here. In this way, I will be able to build a sturdy blog archive. In addition, I will be dividing the blogs categorically. There will be categories like blogging, church, government, and writing. This will help me keep track my blogs more efficiently.

Meanwhile, I will also be adding products to the website and eventually offering additional products and product specials. Last year, I added WooCommerce to the website and I will have it on the new website as well. All of this means that I will have more flexibility in what I offer and the price I offer my products at. It is all very exciting.

Today’s blog is somewhat small, but don’t worry. I will be able to write more content shortly.

One thing I promise to do: I will continue to keep you informed and when the new website is ready, I will provide you with a link so that you can check it out. More importantly, following me. I haven’t checked it out yet, but if able I may manually add each one of you as a follower of the new blog site. If that is not allowed, I will strongly encourage you to follow me.

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Blog by Ron: Why I Blog

R. Frederick Riddle

Today I want to explore the reasons why I blog. Primarily I will be looking at this subject from the author’s perspective. By the way, I want to thank those of you who have welcomed me to WordPress. It’s an exciting place to be.

Now, Why do I blog?

To answer that I must first provide some history. I didn’t start blogging until after my first novel, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles, was published in 2003. The reason was simple: To get my name out there. If you want to sell books you need to get known and blogging is a logical marketing step.

At the time I maintained my website with AT&T. Actually, it was Yahoo & AT&T. This partnership of two giants provided a WordPress blogging platform. Although I didn’t know it at the time I was starting out with probably the best blogging platform in existence.

A newbie at blogging I didn’t know what to blog about, let alone how to blog. I decided to blog about anything that came to mind. That certainly provided me with a lot of material, but experience has since taught me that such a wide subject matter hurts rather than helps your blogging reputation.

I continued to use AT&T Yahoo Business Plan for my blogging until 2009 when AT&T and Yahoo decided to have their own separate plans. I cancelled my plan with them and moved to AT&T Small Business Solutions. This however was primarily my email account. My blogging now shifted to Godaddy.com where I created a brand new website called RFrederickRiddle (my website RFRiddle remained with AT&T Small Business Solutions). There I created a strong multi-page website and a blog.

This blog was not as strong as WordPress, but it did meet my needs. By this time I had realized that I needed to narrow my subject material. But I still was operating without any real guidance or goals. The result was that I would write for awhile about politics and then later write on Writing. Still later I might write on some other subject. This proved hurtful and discouraging.

Another twist occurred around 2011 or shortly afterward as Godaddy no longer allowed website users to have a blog directly attached to their website (my old blog was blog.rfrederickriddle). Instead, they now allow you to import an existing blog.

So I moved to Goodreads where I was originating my blog for a few years. Goodreads is an outstanding site where you can interact with other authors. But I have been disappointed in their blogging tools. Too restrictive and not very powerful. That said, it was still a valuable piece of internet real estate.

So I moved to WordPress and immediately imported my new blog into Goodreads. This proved to be a very wise move. Another move I made was to focus on Writing. This expanded in 2014 to publishing and marketing due to our founding of T&R Independent Books. I stayed with WordPress until this year and am now moving to Siteground.com. However, I will still have WordPress hosting by Siteground. So, if you see any differences, you hopefully will see improvements.

There, you have a brief (well, as brief as I could make it) history of my blogging efforts. I entered into blogging not knowing much and with no direction, but I have learned a few things along the way.

One of the things that always attracts me is the availability of Free and Premium plans. Many platforms offer this and you would be wise to check it out.

By the way, WordPress comes in two formats: .com and .org. Again personal experience and preferences would determine which you go with. In addition, there are quite a few WP hosting sites available, such as Siteground.com, Bluehost.com, and others.

This is actually individual choice. I see blogging as a marketing tool that can truly enhance your authoring experience. See the rest of this blog for more details.

All of this is part of blogging. Of course, I know there is Facebook and Twitter, but I am not eliminating them as marketing strategies. They have there place, including a relationship with my blog.

When I write a post, I publish it and I promote it on both Facebook and Twitter. I will also promote my blog in our newsletter, T&R’s Writers World.

Blogging, therefore, is more than a record of your thoughts and actions. It is an opportunity to influence people. As an author I have the opportunity to help others who may be new writers or even long-time writers.

Which brings me to the following question: Do you blog?

If not, why not?

You don’t have anything to say? I disagree. You are an author. You can write about your own journey, about your books, about the genre you are in, and a host of other related subjects. Or you can talk about other subjects that, while not directly related to your books, enhance your reputation.

There is one more reason for blogging: it lets people get to know you.

That sounds scary, but it isn’t. If you remain true to your voice (writing style) and blog with valuable information, people will get to know and trust you. That can only be good for you!

You may argue that you don’t want to market books, just write. Unfortunately that is not true any more. If you write books, you are a marketer. The question is are you a good one or a bad one?

Give blogging a try. Choose a topic that you are knowledgeable about and blog about it. And then be patient. You won’t be a blogging success immediately (although it does happen), but if you stick with it there will be long term benefits.

There are numerous blogging platforms. Investigate. Try one and if disappointed you can move on. Finding the right one for you may take time.

Rons blog 1