Posted on Leave a comment

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,

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

Blog by Ron – How to Expand Your Skills

R. Frederick Riddle image

Do you know how to expand your skills?

God has a Canvas to Work On

When I was born into this world, I carried with me certain talents. But when I received Christ as my Savior, I received new talents. I believe that when I got saved, I had a blank canvas. Up until that moment, I was working on the old canvas which was dirty and torn. But He gave me a new canvas.

It is like He took whatever was good and put it on the new canvas, then He discarded the old. Then, He goes to work on the new canvas which now includes good talents and interests that I was born with, cleans them up, and teams them with the new talents He had given me on my new or second birth.

God has Gifted Us

God has gifted everyone who has accepted His Son and gotten saved into the family of God. It is too bad the media and Hollywood has so distorted what it means to be a child of God. We are all creations of God, but only those that have been born again are His children.

Back to the Gifts. His gifts are perfect, but they are not complete. He gifted us with the purpose of us using and developing those gifts every day. Athletes, such as football players, need to be coached, to exercise, and practice to perfect their skills. Well, so do Christian authors.

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 to Expand Your Skills

We live in a highly competitive world making it difficult to succeed in any field. Well, the field of writing is no exception. But, as Christians, we have a God who can and will direct us to the proper tools to use.

For years I was a gatherer, which is a person who just gathers or absorbs new information like a sponge. I had a great deal of knowledge but not the discernment to detect how to use that knowledge. It is for guys like men that God provides tools.

More Tools to Expand your Skills

The Bible provides numerous tools, such as:

  • Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety (Prov. 11:14)
  • A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels (Prov. 1:5)
  • Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established. (Prov. 15:22)

This is a very important tool. For years I gathered information from a variety of sources, but I kept my own counsel. Don’t get me wrong, as a Christian I was following Biblical guidelines. The problem was that while all the sources at least seemed good, they didn’t necessarily agree.

So, the first thing to do is to be more selective in who your counselors are. That is a prime reason for why I am a member of Christian Authors Community. These are authors who all love the Lord and want to serve Him.

How Do I Use Counselors Wisely?

Well, if your counselors are Christians, and I mean born-again believers, then you have a solid resource. Know your counselors.

You do not have to agree on all doctrinal issues. We are not talking about church or how to serve within the church. But it does help to know their doctrinal beliefs in that it will help you understand their actions and advice.

These are Counselors, but it is Your Business

Listen to the advice, write it down. Then ask, Does it fit who I am as a Christian? Or Does it fit within the calling of God? Does it fit within my goals? In other words, is the advice or information usable in your particular writing career.

Asking questions like that helps focus your attention on the advice itself and upon the leading of God. I mentor in spiritual matters and one thing I constantly harp on is that we need to put God first. Same thing for business.

Not just in words, but to seek His will. To trust His leading. Just as He puts you into a particular church where you can grow and serve, He also puts you into positions and places where you can learn and develop your craft. These are all tools that God provides.

And if used properly, then you will benefit more from the tools mankind provides.

How to Find Good Counselors that can Expand Your Skills

That is a much harder question. I didn’t find good counselors or coaches on my own. Rather he came calling. I say he because it is Tom Blubaugh, but he has a community called Christian Authors Community, so there you have many. I recommend them to anyone. Different authors are experts or at least have solid experience in different aspects of authoring.

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

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.