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Blog by Ron Do You Watch Your Word Usage

Do you watch your word usage?

Word usage plays an important role in writing. Consider the following:

  • Short words tend to speed up a story
  • Long words tend to slow down a story
  • Some words are more difficult to understand; use clear, concise words
  • Some words have different meanings in different contexts
  • Some words are more difficult to pronounce than others
  • Use verbs and adverbs wisely (check grammar book)
  • Don’t use long sentences unless necessary
  • Short sentences tend to speed up a story
  • Normally try to stay at or below 8 sentences in a paragraph
  • Check your spelling

More on this subject after the 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.

Now, back to the subject of Word Usage.

Word Usage means more than Grammar

While grammar and spelling are important factors, you should consider other things as part of word usage. For instance, keeping track of a character’s speech characteristics.

That may sound odd, but if a character first appears as one who stutters, then you need to have that character stutter throughout the book. Which means, you will need to track the character’s speech to make sure he or she always stutters at least up to the point to where the stutter is cured.

What else should you track? How about a character’s:

  • Favorite slogans
  • Difficulty pronouncing certain words
  • Use of slang
  • Overuse of words and/or phrases

These may seem minor, but getting them right can make all the difference in your writing.

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.

If you would like to review any of our books, contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, and your name, and we will send a PDF of the chosen book to you.

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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 – What to do About Writers Resources?

Writers Resources. That is a question that I have recently been dealing with. It all began when I decided to use my knowledge of writing to build a Basic Training Course for writers. As I began developing the course, I realized that it would be one huge course if I prepared a lesson on each resource.

What to do about writers resources?

So, I decided to provide resources, aka tools, to my students as downloadable PDFs. I prepare these tools and then post them on the student’s page. But then I had another question:

What are these Writers Resources?

The word resources is rather broad, so I needed a narrower definition to work with. I have already used the word, so I will tell you again. It is tools.

Writing tools, to be exact.

Tools that will enable people to write effectively. But that was still somewhat broad.

So, I redefined it again, and arrived at: specific tools.

What are These Specific Tools?

Glad you asked. And I will get more specific 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.

Building a Library of Writing Resources

If you have never built a writing resources library, now is the time to do it. It is true there are professionals out there that can do much of the work needed for you to succeed. But I am a believer in learning how to do things even if I hire someone later to do them.

With that said, Let’s Build That Library.

A Resources Library is in my opinion a necessity. So, without further ado, let’s look at these resources or tools. You should have in your library (physical or digital):

  • Customs and Manners of historical times and places.
  • Dictionary.
  • Grammar book.
  • Grammarly.com (or something akin to it).
  • History books (if you write historical fiction).
  • Word processing program.
  • A Writing program, such as Microsoft Word.

These are just some of the resources you need. And if you plan to establish yourself as a business, then you need:

  • Information regarding setting up a business.
  • Programs or books on writing basics.
  • and more.

Some of these tools are easy to get hold of and relatively cheap until you add them all up. Building a library can get expensive. The good news is that there are places you can get that information relatively free.

For Example, Writing Resources are Available from this Blog.

I use blogs and social media provide information to readers like you. While I also have a Writers Basic Training Course, I believe in providing as much information as possible to people at no cost.

Which brings me to a tip: Build a Digital Library.

A physical library is important to have, but in this day and age a digital library is virtually a must.

How Do I Build a Digital Library of Writing Resources?

You begin by following bloggers like me who are willing to provide information free. Will you always need all the information that a blogger provides. No, but I was once told that if you go to a meeting and get one nugget of value from it, then that meeting was worth your time and expense.

Much of what I learned over the years about writing came from information I gleaned from bloggers, marketers, and others. I slowly built up my own digital library and I added then and still add material now to that library. It will help you immensely.

What Writers Resources Should I Start with?

The answer to that depends to some degree on what genre you are writing. That said, I think it is essential that you have a word processing program with strong editing features, such as Microsoft Word or a program like it.

(One side note: Never allow editing software or a human editor to dictate your writing. Consider the advice, then you make the decision. It is your book, and they are merely tools to help you, not control your literary genius.)

Another tool not mentioned above is called a Beta Reader, which I will discuss 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 – Should I take a Writing Course?

Should I take a writing course? That is a question you might be asking yourself. And the answer is: You should consider it if you don’t know much about writing.

Our DNA

It is said that we all have a story in us. But while that may be true, it is also true that most of us are not born with a basic knowledge of writing. On the other hand, you may have been born with a desire to write as part of your DNA.

I believe that describes me. I was born into this world with a DNA that led me first to reading books and later a desire to write books. Unfortunately, I wasn’t born with the knowledge of how to write.

Later on when I asked Jesus into my heart and was born again, He gifted me with writing talents. But they were innate. That is, I didn’t sit down right after getting saved and begin writing books. I needed to be taught.

Writing Courses do Exist

There are plenty of writing courses available for you and they come at a variety of prices. Some are good and some not so much.

Have you seen the ads for writing courses that promise you four,-five,- and six-digit incomes from writing? Some of these involve copywriting, which we are not concerned with here.

But there are writing courses available.

School of Hard Knocks

Let’s say you google ‘writing courses’ and discover that they  either promise the world or are quite costly. You throw up your hands and say, “No way! I’ll do it myself!”

Well, you just signed up for the School of Hard Knocks, which I am a proud graduate. But I don’t recommend it.

Besides, why should you re-invent the wheel? Or in this case, why re-invent writing?

That is where writing courses come in. And it is why I write this blog and why I am now offering a writing course designed for your busy time and wallet. But before I talk about our course, I want you to be aware of others that are available.

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.

Other Writing Courses

There are some excellent courses available. And there are others I would not touch. I am sure you have seen ads on Facebook and other social media where you are promised or perhaps guaranteed that you will write a bestseller within a very short time.

Consider this:

There are thousands of newly published books every week or two. That means that if you sign up for a course today, there are already multi-thousands of books and authors already out there before you get your first lesson!

What to Look For in a Writing Course

A good writing course will teach you the basics of writing. Some of your more expensive ones will teach you advanced writing skills. But what you need are basic skills. So, what are they? These skills are:

  • How to discover your genre (and what a genre is)
  • Character building
  • Scene development
  • Time and location of your story
  • Viewpoint
  • Grammar
  • Basic Editing
  • and more

As you can see there is a lot to know about writing, but don’t let that intimidate you. A good course will teach all of that in easily digested lessons.

School of Hard Knocks

The question is not what course to take if new to writing, but what course you will take. If you decide that you can’t afford to take a writing course or you have a strong do-it-yourself attitude, then you will take the School of Hard Knocks.

But before you decide on that plan of action, let’s take a look at the true cost.

  • Frustration – It is an extremely frustrating school.
  • Time – Failure is your primary teacher and consumes time and energy.
  • Wrong Tools – Wrong tools and wrong lessons learned.
  • No guarantee – No guarantee you will ever graduate.

Authors Basic Training Course

The killer for most people is the cost for these courses. I have seen courses that cost upwards of $1,000, $1,500, or more. I couldn’t afford them which is why I ended up in the School of Hard Knocks.

Earlier I said I would tell you about our writing course. We at T&R Independent Books started the Christian Authors Business Institute which offers the Authors Basic Training Course.

This six-month course covers all the items mentioned above and more. Each lesson comes with a brief video presentation plus a PDF lesson. All to be downloaded at your leisure and studied at your pace. Plus, these lessons come packed with additional tools that you can download and put in your digital library.

Writing Course Description

I am personally excited about this class. Registration for the next class has already begun and I will provide a link. But let me describe the class first.

One of the things I believe strongly is in a close relationship between student and teacher. Although we are not in a physical classroom, our digital classroom includes:

  • a brief video for every lesson
  • scheduled live Zoom meetings (two)
  • up to three student requested private Zoom meetings which will be private.
  • Downloadable PDFs for your digital library

Registration for Writing Course

If you are interested in a writing career and would like a no-nonsense approach that will provide you a level playing field where you will have the opportunity to succeed, then click on the ‘I want to Learn More’ link below.

I Want to Learn More

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 – 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 – What are Writers Resources?

What are writers resources? That is our question of the day. But another question also pops up. Why should I use resources? So, you have a what and a why. Let me answer the why first.

Why Should I Use Writers Resources?

Our ancestors didn’t have much in the way of resources available to them. If they were Christians they had God, but the average Christian did not have the Word of God at hand. So, they didn’t really have readily available resources.

But times have changed! We now have at least one Bible in our possession. Likely, more than one. Plus, we have dictionaries, grammar books, and so much more.

With so much available why wouldn’t we make use of them?

But as Christians, we are expected to do our best at whatever we do.

What are these Resources?

Generally speaking, there are writing resources, publishing resources, and marketing resources. We are only looking at writing resources today.

Brief List of Writing Resources

  • Books on writing
  • Grammar books
  • Dictionaries
  • Maps
  • History books
  • Bible
  • Bible commentaries
  • How to books
  • and more

You may have noticed Bible and Bible commentaries. These would be needed if you are writing Bible-based fiction and/or nonfiction.

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.

Tip #1 – There is no excuse for not having information that you need. We live in the age of the internet. You can search for just about anything on it. But be careful. The internet is rife with false and misleading information. While it can be a rich source of material, you have to be careful.

I have found it helpful to stick with proven sources. Sometimes I venture out to new sources, but I also check their content against the proven sources and against my own knowledge.

Tip #2 – Bookmark your favorite resources. Chances are you will need them in the future. This is a small feature on the Internet, but bookmarks or favorites are extremely valuable for someone who does a lot of research, especially if on multiple subjects.

The resource list referred to earlier is just a brief list of basic resources. When you are writing you should have near you any resources that you may need. A lot depends on the genre you are working in, but having resources available is a good practice.

What Writers Resources do You Recommend?

You may not use these all the time, but I recommend having available a dictionary, a book on grammar, and  perhaps a book on writing even our very own Guide to Writing which we periodically update and is available in our store.

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 – Facing Your Obstacles

Facing your obstacles is a tricky business. In today’s blog I am going to give you some ideas on how to face and overcome obstacles to your writing career. But a warning right up front: this is not a one-size-fits-all approach, although it is.

Did I just contradict myself? No. This approach only works for Christians; those people who have invited Jesus Christ into their hearts and have been born-again. I don’t care what your denomination is, if you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ as your Savior, then this is for you.

Facing Your Obstacles Involves Submitting to Christ

As a Christian author you have what all born-again believers in Christ have, namely an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. He cares for you and watches every move, every decision you make. And He already knows what those will be. Moreover, He loves you and has a plan for you for today.

Wow! What a powerful, wonderful God we have!

He has Promised Us Wisdom

Unfortunately, we often neglect the simple act of faith to ask for wisdom. Instead, we try to do things by ourselves, including trying to face our obstacles. Until we finally realize that we can’t do it myself. Once we realize that then we turn to Him. It would be so much better if we turned to Him at the beginning of the obstacles.

Facing Your Obstacles Requires Faith

When we turn to Christ and trust Him for all our needs, including those pesky obstacles, He graciously steps in and provides us the ability to use certain tools. But first we need to trust Him.

More on the other side of this break.

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

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

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

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Tools for Facing Your Obstacles

Here is a small list of tools. Feel free to add to them.

  1. Pray to God seeking wisdom
  2. Identify the problem
  3. Rewrite the passage
  4. Form a picture in your mind of the scene
  5. Change the routine you normally follow
  6. Set the book aside for awhile and work on something else
  7. Don’t Quit

These are just 7 ideas. Please notice I put Pray first. That should be our first tool, then let God lead you to which tool you use next. Probably the second tool would be Identify the problem, but after that it can be in any order and include tools I have not listed.

Simplicity

You might think this approach is simplistic. You are right!

But that is one of the great things about our Christian faith: it is simple. Man-made religion is complicated requiring you to jump through hoops. But Christianity is simple. It all begins and ends with Jesus Christ.

I have lost count of how many times I have asked God for help whether at home or at work and He has answered in marvelous ways. Unfortunately, I have not always started out asking but He waited until I was frustrated or facing an unknown obstacle and then asked Him.

It would have been better if I had asked Him at the first when I came up against the obstacles, but thank God He waited for me to wake up and realize I needed Him!

Face your obstacles by first laying them out before God and then trusting His leading. It will save time and effort, and bring solutions faster and better than on your own.

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 – First Step as an Author

R. Frederick Riddle image

Taking the First Step means what? Let’s take a moment to answer that.

The First Step

You know someone like my wife or myself that are authors. And the thought has occurred to you that “I would like to do that.”

But you don’t.

Then you read a book, smile, and think, I’d like to write a book like that.

But you don’t.

Life continues on and one day you think, I wish I’d written a book.

But you didn’t.

What’s wrong with the above. It’s simple. You didn’t take the first step.

What is the First Step?

My wife, Tess Riddle, has recently written two books. One is a nonfiction titled Chatting with Tess: Walking with God and has been published. It is now available at Amazon.com and our site T&R Independent Bookstore. The other book is a novel and titled, Keys to Murder. It is in the process of getting published.

But Tess hasn’t always been an author. These are her first.

Tess Riddle went to college not to be a writer, but to seek skills she could use on the job. But the Entrance Exam showed she had writing skills. Plus, her English professors encouraged her to write. But I can truthfully say that I don’t recall her ever saying she wanted to be a writer until 2014 when we founded T&R Independent Books.

The desire had been there since her college days, but she had never taken that first step.

Again, What is the First Step?

Essentially the first step is making a commitment. Thinking about writing a book doesn’t get a book written, but if you commit yourself to something there is a better chance of it happening.

Think of a baby. They aren’t born walking. They have no commitment of themselves to walk. In their case, the mother and father want to see them walk, so they make a commitment. Then they encourage the baby to walk, assist the baby to practice and learn, and put them in positions where that first step will take place.

The baby doesn’t start off thinking I want to walk. Somewhere along the way the parents’ dream becomes their dream and purpose.

Writing is similar.

My wife was told she had the tools to write, but she didn’t really believe. The burdens of life got in the way. But she still had the tools and as time went on the concept of a story.

One day I learned of her secret desire to write. And I encouraged her. Did I know how well she could write? No. As her husband I loved her and believed in her, so I encouraged her.

But it wasn’t until she purposed in her heart to write the book that she really took that first step

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.

My Story was Different

That first step is critical, but there are other steps to take.

As a teenager and later as a young man, I knew I wanted to be a writer. And I was committed to becoming an author. But I didn’t know how to take my imagination and put it in an understandable story on paper.

Though I thought I was committed, I wasn’t really.

I signed up for a writing course and was progressing. But then one day I got laid off from job and I had to drop out. Later, I returned to work but never got back into the writing course.

It is More than saying I Will Do It

Tess (aka Teresa) had to do more than think about writing. She had to do more than come up with a plot. She had to do more than say, I’m going to write.

The truth is that all of us have things we want to do. But we don’t take that first step. She could have given up when we moved down here to sunny Florida to take care of her mother. Yes, she was delayed, but the secret burned within her.

She could have given up when I suffered a heart attack shortly after she declared her desire to write. Even though I encouraged her, she could see difficulties at least for the short term. She had a husband to care for. But the dream still burned within.

Over the years, she’s struggled to get that first book on paper. But life kept getting in the way.  But finally one day, she committed herself to writing a book. She made a commitment to herself and to God that she would write. Making a commitment to God is very difficult to do, but also very motivating.

Commitment is the Key

On the other hand, my first step didn’t occur until I was 60 years old. And it came about through my Bible devotions when God showed me that there were stories I could write based on the Bible. That discovery changed my life and I committed myself to do it.

Commitment to do something takes you only so far. Part of commitment is to actually start writing. As for Tess, with life constantly demanding her attention, it was difficult and frustrating. Add to that the advice coming at her from me and others.

But the day came when she started writing. Not to please me nor others. And I don’t believe it was to please herself. The day came when she believed that God wanted her to write. That was a major step.

We both believed that God wanted us to write and we believed Him. That is part of the first step, but it wasn’t it yet.

Then What is the First Step

I’ve already mentioned the obstacles she faced. But here is where she finally made the first step. She sought God’s will, kept writing, and overcame the obstacles. In retrospect, the fact that she wrote a first draft of the book was the first step.

It is relatively easy to write the first few chapters but persevering and finishing the book takes a lot of faith, grit, and pushing on. She faced a constant battle that threatened to stop her, but she continued on and finally was able to deliver to me the first draft. Not only the first draft of a nonfiction book, but also the first draft of her novel. This put her miles ahead of my first step which resulted in a single book being published.

In my case, I had to overcome the roadblocks that had stopped me so many times in the past. It wasn’t until I did that and continued to the end that I truly committed myself.

That was when we took our first steps. I took my first step of commitment in 2003, but Tess took her first step in 2022.

What I’m trying to say, is that when that baby took his or her first step it wasn’t really the first step. But when that baby began walking ever so wobbly, falling, and getting back up that was the first step. And then the baby starts adding things like running.

As a writer you will face obstacles. If you stop because of them, you haven’t really taken that first step. But when you persevere and complete that first rough draft, you’ve proven to yourself you can do it.

Sure, there is a lot of work before the first draft becomes a published work. But now your confidence starts growing and you can take the second, third, fourth, and more steps! Now she was ready to get the help she needed to become a published author. And that is when I could really help her through. Now we are both authors and have learned the value of commitment. Writing is something we need to do on a regular basis. There are many steps an author has to take, but the first one is commitment. A commitment to yourself, but more importantly a commitment to God.

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 – I Am Who?

R. Frederick Riddle image

I am who? Have you ever taken a good look at yourself?

We all have to ask ourselves that question at some point in our lives. When you stop and consider who you are you quickly learn there isn’t just one example.

Consider.

I am a blogger.

I am not saying that I am a good blogger or a bad one. But I write a blog that you are reading right now. In my blog I occasionally comment on world events, but mostly I talk about writing. Through my blog I pass on knowledge about writing.

I Research.

I research information for my blogs. But I really do a lot of researching for my books. And that includes both novels and nonfiction. Research is a necessary part of writing, so I spend hours and days researching.

I love history

I love history. It is no accident that my writings, fiction and nonfiction, are all historical in nature.

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.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

I am an Author

I write novels, blogs, and inspirational books. I love writing and can’t imagine doing anything else with the same passion. It is in my blood.

A Misplaced Michigander

I was born, raised, and actually lived most of my life in Michigan. Now I live in Florida. But at heart I am still a Michigander. I follow the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Pistons, and even the Detroit Red Wings. Sure, I follow teams here in Florida, but not like I do in Michigan.

I am a husband.

I love my wife. We will be celebrating 41 years of marriage in September. And I wouldn’t trade with anyone else!

I am a Vietnam Veteran

And I am proud of it! I served 4 years in the good ole United States Navy. Serving in the Armed Forces is both a duty and a privilege. In my case, I was a Radioman and I served in the First Fleet and the Seventh Fleet.

A Resident of Port Charlotte, Florida

While it is true that I still have Michigan blood, I have learned to love Florida. Especially during the months of December through April. It is one of only a handful of states having no winter. O, Floridians may argue the point, but with temperatures that never get below 20 degrees, they don’t have a case.

I am a Brother, an Uncle, and a  Great Uncle

All of them live in the northern state of Louisiana. They would probably argue that it is a southern state, but they are definitely north of Port Charlotte, Florida.

I am a Senior Citizen

I worked hard to get to this age, and I am proud to be a Senior Citizen. I am old enough to be President of the United States and young enough to know that I forget to much to be a good one.

But Most of All I am a Christian!

I love Jesus Christ who came to earth, took my sins upon Himself, took my place on the cross, and died for me. He is my joy and my life.

Who are You?

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.