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Blog by Ron – Course vs. Service

Course vs. Service sounds mysterious in a way. But basically, I offer to ways for authors to get published: a writing course called B.A.T. and a publishing service called Ministry Publishing.

Course vs. Service is Unique

I have talked a great deal about Basic Authors Training which is a writing course that teaches, provides one-one coaching, live Zoom meetings, email, and other methods of communication. In addition, a publishing/marketing plan is included.

The service is called Ministry Publishing and does not include the teaching of how to write a book, or set your business up. Ministry Publishing is strictly focused on publishing and marketing.

Course vs. Service is very Affordable.

Both the writing course and the service offer affordable ways of paying. Both provide 12 monthly payments or pay in full up front. This time period was chosen to alleviate the financial crunch that a full pay payment could impose.

The Service is Repeatable

This simply means that you can purchase this service on future books. Each book for the same price. The publishing aspect is covered completely by this price, whereas the marketing aspect is covered within the Author’s Book pricing, making it self-funded and recoverable.

What do I mean by recoverable? If you buy the book and resell it to customers you pay nothing in addition to your author’s price. Whatever retail price you choose is what the customer pays, you keep the difference between basic cost (author’s price) and retail price. Retail price is determined by you.

Course vs. Service is for Christians.

T&R Independent Books is a Christian business dedicated to publishing and marketing books. The worldview in either is Christian. It is strongly emphasized that students or clients not only be Christians but that you be involved in your local church ministry. Both are aimed at Christian authors.

Ministry Publishing has Limitations.

By limitations I am referring to the genre and to writing standards. There are genres that simply don’t fit the Christian worldview. We do not publish:

  • Evolutionary
  • Horror
  • LGBQ literature
  • Science Fiction (but we do publish Futuristic)
  • Pornography
  • and a few others (contact T&R when in doubt)

Which is Best for Me?

If you have never written a book before or are a novice in need of more instruction then taking a writing course would be best. There are things you need to learn, such as:

  1. Setting your business up
  2. Creating a website
  3. Plotting
  4. Learning how to edit
  5. and more.

If you know how to write or perhaps have written a book, then you don’t need the course unless you feel you need to improve your writing skills. The publishing Service is best for you because it includes:

  1. Editing (optional)
  2. Formatting
  3. Publish Ready
  4. Publishing
  5. Marketing
  6. Marketing tools
  7. and more.

It is Your Choice

Whichever you choose is the right choice for you. There are thousands of new books being published every week and month. It is important that you put your best work out there so that it will be noticed. And always remember that whether take a course or go straight to publishing, you are going to do most of the marketing. So, choose a company who will not only provide you tools for marketing, but will do some marketing for you through an online bookstore, a blog that is gaining readership, a vlog that reaches people interested in books, and in other posts generated by T&R.

As I say in my posts, be In It to Win It!

___

R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com).

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Why do You Want to be a Published Author?

Why do you want to be a Published author?

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

1 – Why do I Write?

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

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

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

2 – Why do I do my own marketing?

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

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

3 – Why do you use Social Media?

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

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

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

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

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

In Conclusion.

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

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

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

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

Company information:

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

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Blog by Ron – Interviewing Your Characters

Interviewing Your Characters is based on old blog I wrote years ago, but it is as timely now as it was then.

When writing your story you get well acquainted with your characters. In fact, you become quite knowledgeable about them, especially the main characters.

Have You Ever Thought About Interviewing Your Characters?

I suggest that you should do this for two reasons and at two different times. The reasons are simple enough:

  1. To develop your story.
  2. To market your book.

The timing is also simple:

  1. As you are writing the story.
  2. After you have published the book.

Developing Your Story By Interviewing Your Characters

Later in this blog, I will share an interview I did with Noah. As you know he is a major figure in the Bible. But in my novel Perished: The World That Was he was also a major figure. So, I interviewed him.

Now that interview was part of my marketing the book, but I could have had a private interview with him to help develop the story.

How So?

Noah was a real person who God used to save his family from the Flood and to start a whole new world after the Flood. And as such he has a lot to say. And since I was writing about him, he had a lot to say about the character in my book.

Interviewing Your Characters can be Beneficial

In writing Perished, I got to know Noah pretty well. And while I didn’t sit down and do an interview, I did consult with him throughout the writing. Not by spiritualism but by reading the Bible, studying him, and asking questions like, Why did you do that?

Nor did I hear voices, but the answers did come. The more I knew about Noah, the more my imagination answered the questions through him. And this enabled me to picture Noah in different situations and facing different problems. Not only did he face them, but he solved the problems.

When you use this technique, it can help you build your primary character and the supporting cast. It helps you flesh them out and make them real to your readers.

I’ll discuss the Interview on the other side of this break.

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

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

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

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Marketing by Interviewing Your Characters

Marketing is a difficult part of business. We often need help. One such help in interviewing the primary characters, so I decided to sit down and have an interview with Noah.

To help you understand how this helps you I will break the interview up into segments.

When Interviewing Your Characters, Introduce Them.

In my introduction I explained who Noah was, then I turned to him.

R. Frederick Riddle: “Thank you for agreeing to this interview. It is possible that some of our readers don’t know the real you, especially with Hollywood’s rendition of you. So, could you tell us a little about yourself?”

Noah: “Of course. I am the grandson of Methuselah, who lived longer than anyone else in the Bible and in history. My father was Lamech, but I was mostly influenced by Methuselah.

“Your readers probably have heard of me in relation to the Flood. I understand that some don’t believe that I am real. But I am, and I can tell you I am nothing like Hollywood portrays. In fact, I accepted this interview so I could correct the record.”

The Reason for Interviewing the Characters

R. Frederick Riddle: “I agree. My first question is, Why did you build the Ark?”

Noah: “The simple truth is that I am a farmer by trade, a grower of grapes by profession. I was not a shipbuilder, although I knew carpentry as it was helpful in farming. So, building a ship was not on my mind. I had seen smaller ships before, but my knowledge was limited.

“Actually, I was called of God. He appeared to me and specifically called me to build the Ark. He gave me what people today would call a blueprint.”

R. Frederick Riddle: “A blueprint?”

Noah: “Yes. While I understood it in general terms, there was much I didn’t know. For example, I knew what a cubit is, but I didn’t know all the finer details of shipbuilding. That’s why I needed a Master Builder such as you described in the book. Hiram did most of the work, but I had the final approval. And I must add that it was a fantastic ship!”

R. Frederick Riddle: “Could you describe the ship for us?”

Noah: “Of course. I have heard all sorts of descriptions from circular to a cube.”

R. Frederick Riddle: “Like in the myth of the Epic of Gilgamesh?

Noah: “Yes. That was written a long time after the Flood and bares little resemblance to the actual events. The Ark was a rectangular vessel 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. It had the same ratio as modern ships do, which is 6 to 1. People who say it wasn’t seaworthy simply don’t know what they are talking about.”

Encourage Your Character to Speak

R. Frederick Riddle: “Many people believe the Epic of Gilgamesh was written first.”

Noah: “That’s funny. That was written many years after the Flood. In fact, it was written after the Confusion of Tongues at Babel. It’s my personal opinion that Gilgamesh and other myths were based on faulty memories of the dispersed tribes. They weren’t concerned with accuracy, but with providing their own version of the Flood.”

Keep Your Interview of Your Characters Under Control.

R. Frederick Riddle: “There is a lot of evidence supporting your view, but let’s move on. In a recent movie you were presented in an unfavorable way. What was your relationship with your family and those who helped build the Ark? Were you as bad as depicted?”

Noah: “I had excellent relations with everyone. I loved my family and was prepared to die for them. My wife was valued, as was her wisdom. As for my sons and their wives, I could not have been more pleased.

“I was also pleased with Hiram’s crew. I required them to listen to my preaching and I really wanted them to trust God and go to safety in the Ark. But none of them ever did. It really saddened me then and I am still sad.”

R. Frederick Riddle: “That brings up another question, Did no one respond to your preaching?”

Noah: “A few did, but they all died before the Flood. In the end it was only my family and myself.”

Close Interviewing Your Characters on a Positive Note

R. Frederick Riddle: “Is there anything you wish to tell us before we leave?”

Noah: “Yes. Put God first in your life! You have the Bible which is far better than what I had. Read it and put it to work in your lives.”

R. Frederick Riddle: “Excellent advice! Thank you for your time, Noah.”

Interviewing Your Characters Should Provide Insights Into Your Story.

In the above interview I encouraged Noah to comment on current events that were relevant to his experience. The actual interview was longer and went into his getting drunk after the ship landed as well as other experiences.

Think about doing this for your own characters. By using an interview as your method of telling you can relate information from your book in an entertaining way. And you just might spark someone’s interest and create a sale.

– – – – – – –

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

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

Company information:

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

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Blog by Ron Do You Need a Coach?

R. Frederick Riddle image

Do you need a coach?

You are the final authority on that question but let me provide you with a few reasons you may need a coach. Here is a partial list: You are

  • new to writing
  • hitting a wall
  • Unsatisfied with the book
  • thinking about quitting
  • dejected because your book has been rejected
  • in need of direction
  • not seeing your books sell
  • frustrated
  • are aware of what’s wrong with the manuscript but you don’t know how to fix it.
  • experiencing other reasons

I have written over 12 books over a 19-year period. Do I need a coach? You might be surprised at my answer.

The answer is yes.

Why?

There are a number of reasons, but the primary reason is that when left to myself I get very critical. I have a lot of knowledge regarding writing, editing, and publishing, but not all of it is good or agreeable.

That produces anxiety which in turn causes temerity, hesitation. I determined several years ago that I needed help. I didn’t like the way my career was going nor did I know how to change it. Thus began a repeated prayer, Dear Lord, I need a mentor. A short prayer but a correct prayer.

Earlier this year I came in contact with another author who is also a coach. We connected and he started coaching me. Someday, perhaps soon, I will go in to the many ways he has coached me, but right now I just want you to see that though I had written over 12 books I still needed a coach.

Coach Assets

Does he know more than I do about writing? Perhaps, but that is not necessary.

Does he know more than I do about editing? Perhaps, but that is not necessary.

Does he know more than I do about marketing? Perhaps, but you get the picture.

When you watch a football game or a basketball game or any sport, your eyes are focused on the athlete. But if it is a professional sport then you can bet there is a coach involved. Is he more talented than the athlete? Most coaches of professional sports that I have seen are out of shape.

But his skill set is to draw the best out of the person he is coaching. And that is what a coach is for a writer.

More on the other side of this break.

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

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

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Christian Coach

So, it can be argued that we all need coaches. Speaking as a Christian, I recommend that if you are a Christian, you should have a Christian mentor. Please note, I did not say Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, or any other denomination. It helps if you and your coach are of the same denomination. But the primary thing I am emphasizing is that your coach be as committed to Christ as you are at a minimum.

That can be difficult to learn, but if the two of you are talking to one another, then you should determine the fit rather quickly. I knew nothing of my coach’s denominational connection or his spiritual maturity. But as we talked about writing, I learned a great deal about his spiritual maturity simply by talking to him. I have since learned we are not the same denomination, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that he loves the Lord Jesus, is committed to serving Him, and operates within biblical boundaries.

Coach’s Advice

Another facet about an author is the advice he or she provides. I have greatly benefited from his advice. In case you are wondering who he is, his name is Tom Blubaugh and Christian Authors Community is the writers club he founded.

I will write more about the organization in the future.

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

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

Company information:

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

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Blog by Ron 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.