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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.


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.


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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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.


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 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.


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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 Bible-Based Novels

R. Frederick Riddle image

Those of you who follow me are aware I write Bible-based novels . Perhaps you are interested in doing the same.

Writing Bible-based novels is how I became an author. I had struggled for years trying to write a novel. Usually they were secular in nature, but one thing they all had in common was that I would get so far into the story and then writer’s block. I was stopped and eventually set the story aside.

But in the year 2000 I was reading the Bible account of Noah and the Flood. And suddenly God opened my eyes. The Biblical account didn’t give a lot of detail. Instead, God provided just enough detail to acquaint the reader with the fact that man had become corrupted and He was going to destroy the world and begin again with Noah. To know our sinfulness and our need for a Savior, these facts were more than enough.

But I saw the possibility of a novel that would still bring that truth out and yet entertain. Thus began my writing career.

Writing a novel based on the Bible can be very successful or it can be very risky. All sorts of people have their own ideas about the Bible. You are not going to please everyone. But if the follow some simple guidelines you should be able to appeal to a fairly large audience. With that in mind here are a few guidelines.

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 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, what are the guidelines?

  • Always assume the Bible is correct

You can really get messed up if you accept the popular myth that modern science knows better. Modern science can shed light upon the Bible but it can never contradict the Bible.

  • Do Your Diligent Research

This is a must.

The best method I have found is to use the Bible as a filter or better yet as a spotlight. Whenever you find a new ‘fact’ shine the Bible spotlight upon it. This will keep you from going astray. And look for little known facts. For example, in my series The World That Perished I studied the clothing, foods, industries, and weapons used in that era. Research should be paramount.

  • Work the Biblical Text into the Story

In other words, sometimes you take a direct quote of one or more verses and make them part of the story. If you use the KJV Bible, you will want your characters to use KJV language. I mixed the Old English and modern English together so that the characters could speak using both interchangeably.

  • Use Bible Characters

This is unavoidable but is also good. If your reader is familiar with the Bible, then there will be a common connection between your novel and the Bible.

  • If you can avoid conflicting characters do so

But you may run into more than one character with the same name. This creates a difficulty especially for readers who skip (I had a reviewer who skipped and thereby claimed I was inconsistent with my characters).

  • Use only one Bible version

You can use other versions to increase your own understanding, but only use one in the book. Otherwise, you run the risk of confusing your reader. I use only KJV, because I believe it is the only accurate version. However, the choice is yours.

  • Don’t Be Preachy

That doesn’t mean not including the gospel nor does it mean not having sermons or other Christian statements. It means not being overbearing. It means the gospel, sermons, etc, should all fit within your story seamlessly!

As of this date, I have only had one reviewer pan one of my novels. I referred to him above. He skipped his way through the book, which is a major no/no for reviewers. Generally, I have received four-and-five star reviews. Why? Because I followed the above rules. And I made a conscious effort to pull the reader into the story.


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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 change and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.