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Blog by Ron – Publishing Comparison Chart

In this Publishing Comparison Chart, I am showing you the advantages and disadvantages of the three Publishing types available to you. In my VLOG, Becoming a Published Author is Fun, I address the same subject in a different yet complimentary way.

ITEMTraditionalSelfIndie
AdvanceX  
Royalty (% of net)8% – 35%35% – 60%35% – 100%
RetailSome controlControlControl
How PaidDirect DepositDirect DepositDirect Deposit
SubmissionAgentYouYou
Submit – Publish2 yrs. +After ApprovalAfter Approval
EditPub/YouPub/YouYou/Hire
Book CoverPubPub/YouPub/You
Final Edit to Publish48 hrs (est.)48 hrs.24 hrs.
UnpublishNoNoAnytime
Edit after PublishedNoNoAnytime
RepublishNoNo24 hrs.

As you can see in the chart above the potential percentage of royalties is best with the Indie Publisher. If T&R Independent Books is your Indie publisher, you can earn royalties up to 100% of net because you use the Authors Copy pricing and only pay Basic fee.

This article is not about Ministry Publishing, but the price of publishing your book is $1200 or $100 a month for 12 months. This includes whatever marketing is done on your behalf during this time period.

Back to the comparison chart.

You will notice that Edit is highlighted under Indie. This is because as the Indie Author you have full control. You can edit yourself with advice/guidance from T&R Independent Books, or you can hire someone to edit the book for you. This is a clear advantage for the Indie.

Prepping to be Published According to the Comparison Chart

I do not know what restrictions the traditional publisher puts on final edits. It is likely worse than Self-publishing, but I have made Traditional and Self identical. Indie publishing is the standard 24 hrs. or less.

Unpublish or Republish.

With Traditional and Self-Publishing, you have no rights to unpublish or republish. That belongs to the publisher. The only way to republish a book through either one would be to rewrite it and submit it under a new name. It would cost you the same fee as the first, or more.

The Indie Author can unpublish or republish at any time. You may want to unpublish to edit, but the platform I use doesn’t require the book to be unpublished. Editing can be done while the book is active.

In conclusion, when you compare the differing publishing venues available to you, Indie Publishing stands head and shoulders above the others. You have greater control, can hire and fire extra help, or do it yourself. And, in my opinion, your right to unpublish, republish, and edit after publication provides the ultimate control you deserve.

T&R Independent Books is an Indie publisher founded by an Indie Author for Indie Authors. With T&R you can maximize your writing time without losing any control of the publishing process. It is a win/win for you!

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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.

Rejection

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.

Why?

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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Guaranteed Getting Published Part 2

Guaranteed Getting Published Part 1 talked about events leading up to the founding of T&R Independent Books. This took place in 2014.

I had been using KDP to publish my books for a while, but now a new idea formed in my mind. Why not form a business where I could both publish and market my books.

Eagerly, I took Teresa to a McDonald’s for a meal and what would become our first business meeting. It was there in early August 2014 that I presented to her the idea of us forming a business with her as President. I suggested that because she had a master’s degree in business administration, and because she was a woman (woman get special tax breaks plus special treatment by businesses). A third reason was I wanted her involvement.

She not only embraced the idea but confessed that she had long wanted to be an author. That excited me. Both of us could be authors having our books published by our new business.

Combining the T for Teresa, and the R for Ronald, we came up with T&R Independent Books. We left McDonalds excited by our decision.

Less than three weeks later I suffered a Cabbage 5 Heart attack!

Getting Published Was Empowered by God

Throughout our marriage God has blessed and provided for Teresa and me. It was demonstrated when I had a heart attack. It took place on a Friday morning, I had emergency surgery, and was wheeled out of the hospital on Tuesday. Within weeks I was up, attending church, and working the business.

He also saw us through two cancers for Teresa. The first was the most dangerous and required massive doses of radiation and chemotherapy. But once again He saw us through.

We both prayed for God’s leading and blessing upon the business during this time. I used the time to purchase the rights to previous books I had written, most of which we republished under the T&R label. But the dream to help other writers wouldn’t go away.

Over the years I helped one lady write and publish her book. She wasn’t interested in selling it, but wanted to give copies to relatives. It was an enjoyable book, in fact, it was at some points absolutely funny. Working with her solidified my desire to help others write and publish their own book.

I also helped a retired teacher put together a small booklet that he wanted to use to promote a teaching concept he had developed. Later, in 2022, he had me rework the book with added material. Again the experience was pleasing.

But it was also in 2022 that I heard about an interesting concept: write a course. The idea excited me and I quickly outlined a course that I could write and teach. The idea became a project and in time a reality, which I called Basic Authors Training.

My dream of helping others become published authors was coming true. But first there were a few more hurdles.

Guaranteed Getting Published? Are You Crazy?

When that concept first occurred to me in early 2023, that thought or something like it went through my mind. Teresa, or Tess to her readers, passed away in February, leaving me with my thoughts, hopes, and prayers.

It wasn’t just an obstacle; I had lost the love of my life! But I felt God urging me to push forward with the course. I found a coach who specializes in teaching people how to write and market courses.

The idea was beyond anything we had ever discussed. But when I took it to the Lord in prayer, He began opening doors right and left. It was like He was saying to me, It’s about time!

Knowing that God wanted me to pursue this avenue, I stepped out in faith.

Since I was already working on the course, I started with a basic understanding of course writing. I signed up and began taking the course on Capitalize Your Best by Gordon Dunkin. It was one of the smartest decisions I ever made.

He looked over the course and began teaching, guiding, and coaching me. My concept of teaching men and women how to write, coaching them along the way, and guaranteeing them an opportunity to be published was growing.

More importantly, God was opening doors, using other people to encourage me, and now that concept has matured into reality!

How Does Guaranteed Getting Published Work?

It is really a simple concept. The client/student buys the course by either paying full price up front, or making six payments by subscribing. That pays for the writing course which involves:

  • Live one-on-one Coaching
  • Teaching
  • Assisting every step of the way
  • Preparing for publication

At the conclusion of the course, if the student completed all the assignments and had the manuscript finished or close to being finished, and met Christian standards, that student would receive an invitation to choose to have his/her book published by T&R Independent Books.

If the student agreed, then work would begin on publishing. And there would be no charge to the student.

Huh? How is that possible?’

Easy, the cost of the printing, including the small fee for publishing, would be included in the base cost of the book. In effect, the potential reader pays for the publishing!

In addition, there is a marketing component to the publishing package. The book will be sold in the T&R Independent Bookstore where it will at times be featured. In addition, it will appear in my blog along with an interview, and in posts. Plus, whatever other marketing I do. In short, it will be marketed the same way my books are marketed.

The Opportunity is Now

Simply click on the link below and it will take you to a special page where you will learn more and have the opportunity to get started in your writing and publishing career.

Go to The Truth About Best Sellers

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 Coaching you learn the basics of writing, publishing, and marketing. Plus, we will offer you a publishing package at no out of pocket cost to you if you complete the course and meet the criteria. What can be better? Guaranteed publishing by simply finishing your lessons and meeting simple criteria?

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

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com or use the contact form on the website.

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 Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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An Invitation to be Your Best

Author R. Frederick Riddle

This is an invitation to be your best in whatever you do, but especially as a writer. In past blogs and posts, I have talked about the School of Hard Knocks. We begin by learning about it.

School of Hard Knocks is Not Your Best

To begin with it is a different school for each person. Something like a college offering different degrees in a variety of studies. This school offers a different pathway for every student. These paths are different yet the same. They all promise much but rarely deliver. It certainly is not your best experience or result.

My Journey to be Your Best Through the School of Hard Knocks Begins

In 1968, I returned home from the Navy after serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War. I immediately sought a job and was hired by Western Electric, a subsidiary of AT&T, as an installer. My job was too either install or remove phone equipment in the AT&T buildings.

Aside from my job, it was also a time that I decided to pursue a writing career. I had wanted to write since my teen years and still wanted that elusive dream.

I received a invitation to join a Writers course that was associated with a group of famous writers. I took their entrance test which was a ridiculously easy test, passed it, and joined.

But, alas, it was shortly thereafter that I was laid off at Western Electric. This was about 1972. When I returned to work, it was to Michigan Bell, also part of AT&T. During the time I was laid off, I had no income, was forced to drop the writing course, lost my entire savings, and lived for a week on nothing but peanut butter.

Though I was no longer in the writing course, I was accepted into the school of hard knocks. This school has no brick-and-mortar buildings, no campus, no real teachers, no curriculum, and no rewards. Most of all, it had no guarantees.

The School of Hard Knocks Wasn’t My Best

Since there were no teachers or classrooms or class assignments, I was on my own. I started by visiting local libraries and reading everything I could find about writing. Also, I started writing my first manuscript!

That was exciting, until I got to the 5th chapter and hit the Wall! The Writers Wall is just as real as a wall made of stone. It stopped me cold. I didn’t know how to handle it. In the end I tossed the manuscript into the trash.

It quickly became a trap and a source of frustration. I would get a little way into the story and hit a wall. Then the manuscript would eventually end up in a trash can.

I was miserable! Then in 1973, I met Jesus Christ and He became my Savior. This rejuvenated my life on so many levels, but while my life changed and I became a better person learning to walk with God and serve Him, my writing career was as still as ever.

The School of Hard Knocks Changed

I began reading and writing poetry. Not great poetry, mind you. But it captured the heart of a young lady and played a role in her becoming my wife. We met in January 1981 and were married in September of the same year! So, Poetry was a success.

More importantly it helped get started a loving marriage that lasted over 41 years! But my writing continued to fail. Then, in 2000 everything changed!

More on this subject in An Invitation To Be Your Best part 2.

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 Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts the following month.

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

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com or use the contact form on the website.

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 Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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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.

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Blog by Ron More on How I Wrote Perished

Perished:The World That Was

I wrote previously on the subject of How I Wrote Perished. In that blog I covered how I was inspired and about Research. Today I take a deeper dive into how that book came to fruition.

I had the facts, and I was able to recreate the world prior to the Flood based on those facts. Plus, I talked referred to grammar and editing. Since grammar really comes under editing, I want to spend some time on Self-Editing versus a Professional Editor.

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.

Professional Editing

There is little doubt that if you can afford it, having your book professionally edited is the best way to go. The problem is that few authors can afford professional editors. Here are some reasons why you would not use a professional editor:

Cost. This is the biggest reason. This is the professional editor’s business and he or she is not likely to give away their skills. Again, if you can afford one, then go ahead and look for editors that give good value for the buck.

Restrictions.

Some editors, not all, insist that you abide by their rules and decisions. For instance, publishers, including self-publishers have editing departments. These involve a fee and, in my experience, require adherence to their decisions. I ran into this in my first book, and since I didn’t want them to say I couldn’t use the King James Bible or some other feature of my book, I chose to self-edit.

While the arguments against self-editing are valid, they are not absolute. It simply means you will have to work harder. It comes down to choice.

How hard is it?

I found it extremely hard. One of the arguments against self-editing is that the author is married to the work. The author is the author. Rather basic, but that means you may overlook errors.

For example, you may have used the word ‘there’ instead of ‘their’. Both are legitimate words, but have totally different meanings. You as the author will have the tendency to supply the correct word though the wrong word is used. We don’t like to admit that, but it is a blindness that we have to our own work.

That was a simplistic example, but it is one I have made more times that I care to admit.

How do you correct that?

The only way I know how to correct that is to really focus on the reading. Errors like the one above are not found by grammar checkers. It requires reading and understanding the context. So, I have to take my time and read the text slowly.

Another aid is the use of beta readers. They will spot your errors a lot easier than you and they are less expensive. Remember, when using Beta Readers or any other aide that this is your book. If you are an Indie Author, then you are taking responsibility for all aspects of writing of the book. It is your book and you have the final say.

But the key here is hard work. You are taking on a serious responsibility and that means focus, focus, and focus. And it will likely take multiple edits.

When I started out editing my own books, I soon learned how fallible I am. Whether I used readers or my own efforts, I still made mistakes. This taught me the value of multiple edits. And I might add, different types of edits.

Different Types?

Yes. I have reviewed my work looking for grammar mistakes. I have also reviewed my work looking for spelling errors. I make extensive use of Microsoft Word’s Spelling & Grammar checker. But when using such tools, it is always wise to remember the context. You don’t want your character to sound like an English professor unless the character is an English professor.

I want my characters to sound normal. So, I allow and purposely put in wrong grammar in a character’s spoken word (surrounded by “”) and their thoughts (which I use italics to indicate).

Are my books perfect? Doubtful. But neither are other authors. I have read masterpieces and I have always found errors. Few and far between, but there are errors.

Your goal is not perfection, but a book that is as error free as you can make it.

I have mentioned being an Indie Author. I will discuss this in greater detail in a future blog, but I am a fan of Indie Author, or more accurately, Indie Businessperson. There are pros and cons on the subject, but for me the pros outweigh any of the cons.

So, briefly, there are traditional authors, self-publishing authors, and Indie authors. A traditional author follows the traditional route: write the book, get an agent, and get a traditional publisher. This is still the choice of some authors, but there are some major obstacles which I won’t cover here.

Self-Publishing is a misnomer. The name attracted me, and my first book was self-published. But it is really more of a vanity press than anything else. It cost me $400 for the package and now the cost is double or more. It is, in my opinion, better than traditional publishing, but you the author still don’t have control.

The Indie Publisher is in control of the writing, editing, proofing, publishing, and marketing of the book. As the publisher you could hire out the marketing aspect if you want. The key is that you are the boss, and you are responsible.

The choice is yours. We publish a Guide to Writing which covers the basics in writing, publishing, and marketing. The link takes you to the bookstore.

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.