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Blog by Ron – Need a Publisher?

Do you need a Publisher?

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

Concerning Whether You Need a Publisher

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

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

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

Which Type of Publisher Do You Want?

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

Here are just a few things to examine:

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

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

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

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

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

My First Novel

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

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

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

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

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

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

More on the other side of this break.

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

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

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

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

HANDLING REJECTION FROM A PUBLISHER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Company information:

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

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

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Blog by Ron – Need an Agent?

Do you need an agent?

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

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

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

First Things First

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

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

More on the other side of this break.

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

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

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

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Searching for an Agent

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

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

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

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

Publishers May Require an Agent

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

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

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

Self-Publishing

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

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

Indie Publishing

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

Truths Learned About Agents

The truths I learned here were:

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

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

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

This all leads to a question:

Can you benefit from an agent?

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

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

What Should I Look For In An Agent?

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

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

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

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

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

Company information:

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

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Blog by Ron 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 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.