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Blog by Ron – A Writer’s Greatest Joy

A Writer’s Greatest Joy is not getting the book finished, nor getting the book published, nor having great sales. Great reviews are special, but they fail to reach greatest joy.

The Greatest Joy for a Writer

The greatest joy for a writer is different. I am writing from the perspective of over 20 years as an author, a published author. I have had good sales. I have had bestsellers in TR Bookstore. I have had 4- and 5-star reviews, an accomplishment that every author should desire. The acknowledgment of others is special!

 In addition, I have had double digit books published over that span of years. These have been fiction and nonfiction. I am currently working on 2 novels, plus a nonfiction book.

The Greatest Joy is:

But none of that moves me as much as the knowledge that readers were moved by my works. For example, “He makes the Bible come alive.”

Or “I had to go to the Bible to see if what you wrote was true.”

These are statements that please my soul. Why? Because it means the reader not only was entertained or informed, but they were also touched enough that they acted. It means my books influenced people!

Influenced People?

Yes, when you receive evidence of such results it brings an amazing sense of accomplishment to you. It is a compliment that goes beyond dollars and cents, beyond a simple ‘like’ or kind words. Those all please me, but this acknowledgment that I influence people goes far beyond anything else.

Don’t get me wrong. I love sales, primarily because sales are needed to run the company, to provide for my daily living, and to have fun. Sales enable me to tithe, pay taxes, go on trips, and to help others. Sales are necessary.

To influence people is phenomenal! But to know that I have influenced others is something there are no words to express.

___

R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com), but to learn more go to Our Unique Guarantee – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com).

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Guaranteed Getting Published

Guaranteed Getting Published is today’s subject. At Basic Authors Training we consider helping people to get published is so important that we did the unthinkable. We guarantee that students who graduate from the course will be published by us!

That is amazing!

Why Have We Guaranteed Getting Published?

A big part of this is my own history. I have talked in the past about the school of hard knocks. Plus, I have post as recent as this week about my own experience trying to get published.

First, I had to choose between Traditional, Self, and Indie publishing. That story has appeared on both LinkedIn and Facebook, but not as deep as here.

But the fact is that when I finished my book, I had to find a publisher. My first choice was Traditional. I was like a babe in the woods. I was naïve and didn’t know much about the publishing industry. But I was soon learning.

It Required Book Agents for Traditional Publishing

In my posts I told how I was rejected. In addition, I discovered the time-consuming process of finding an agent and getting published was smothering me. As I recall I began wondering if there was another way. And there was.

I began scouring the internet looking for the right agent. After months of searching, I found an agent who not only handled the historical fiction genre, but she also had a good reputation. Eagerly, I submitted my manuscript to her.

A few weeks later I received a letter from her. I eagerly opened it only to discover it was a rejection letter. She thanked me for considering her, told me the book didn’t fit her, and wished me well.

I was devastated and confused. According to my research, she represented authors who wrote historical fiction. Then the realization slowly came. It wasn’t Historical Fiction she was refusing to represent, it was Biblical Historical Fiction!

I was completely undone, defeated.

But then I heard about something called Self-Publishing. That sounded good. I would be able to publish the book myself.

Self-Published Promised an easy way for Getting Published

Back in the early 2000s $400 was expensive and hard to come by. I didn’t have much money, but I managed to find it and sign on with a Self-Publishing House. And I was on my way.

Well, not exactly.

You see, Self-Publishing doesn’t really mean that you publish the book. It can be characterized as you pay to have someone else publish the book. That’s not so bad. We pay others to do work for us all the time.

But I quickly learned that while my money was welcome, they were the ones in charge. They chose the fonts, they chose the book size (they may have let me select), they wanted to do the editing, and they gave me little choice on the royalties.

But I didn’t care. I was going to be a published author.

Getting Published Involved Very Little Marketing

When the book was done and published, I was ecstatic! I showed it to friends and family. I was proud as a peacock! Until I learned the dirty little secret.

I wasn’t going to get much help marketing the book. Oh, they sent me a book on how to market, plus they offered several tools that I could purchase. I could have my book advertised in the New York Times! For a price that I couldn’t afford.

The world of reality overcame me.

I still managed to sell books by visiting bookstores and other shops. I had several book signings at a local bookstore. I think I sold around 100 books altogether. But it was hard work, and the royalties were small.

Indie Publishing Appeared!

I switched from the self-publishing house to another publisher who was more of a hybrid, which means it had aspects of self-publishing and traditional publishing merged together. But this didn’t improve the situation. They paid an advance just like Traditional Publishers, except it was only $1. They also paid royalties on the same scale as Traditional, which I thought was unfair. But they published a nice book, retained control of the process, and collected their profits.

 It was then that I began learning about something called Indie Publishing. I didn’t know what it was, but my research on the internet cleared it up. Indie Publishing is the author publishing his/her own book. Plus, a new service called CreateSpace existed for just such an author as me.

So, I switched to CreateSpace, which eventually became Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It was a decision that would change my career and my life! Not only that, but it sparked within me a desire to help others without all the hassle. Plus, it would lead to Teresa, my wife, and I founding our own business and calling it T&R Independent Books.

It was at that time that Teresa confessed her desire to be an author, which excited me. It would take 5 years of battling a heart attack (me), cancer twice (Teresa), and other hardships before her first book was published by T&R Independent Books. Writing under the name of Tess Riddle, she would go on to rewrite and republish that first novel, plus write three Ladies Devotionals before her untimely death. She had done the impossible!

But that is not the end of the story. Before and since her death I developed a book writing course designed to help others become authors. It was a simple idea that would soon explode into something fantastic!

More on this subject in Guaranteed Getting Published part 2.

To learn more about how Basic Authors Training can help you get finished, go this link:

What’s The Truth About Best Sellers? – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com)

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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Lessons Learned in My Journey

Lessons Learned in My Journey could fill a book. Perhaps someday I will write a book about my life’s journey. If you follow me on Facebook, you know I talk about my journey as a writer. This is not a repost of those videos, but I am taking a closer look at something I referred to in those posts.

My call to write Books.

I have referred to this calling several times, but this time I will take you through a step by step chronological journey.

My Beginnings 1st of Lessons Learned

I grew up in Michigan. In fact, I was born, raised, and lived a good portion of my life in Michigan. Early in my life we attended church, but dropped out when I was still in elementary school. However, while we weren’t going to church, we were religious. I can remember sitting in the living room with my father and watching Billy Graham. Sitting there with my dad and listening to the preaching of the gospel are some of the greatest memories I had.

In 1964 I joined the United States Navy and started out in Boot Camp. One rule they had there was everyone, that means everyone, had to attend church every Sunday morning.

I was religious and believed I was a Christian, but I didn’t know Jesus. That relationship wouldn’t happen until nine years later.

When I got out of the Navy in 1968, a desire I had back when a teenager returned. It was a desire to write! I decided to take a course in writing, but that only lasted a few months because I got laid off by Ma Bell.

My savings account was wiped out within a month, due to no income, plus paying for rent, etc. I cancelled the course because I could no longer pay for it. I have mentioned the School of Hard Knocks before, so I won’t go into it again.

But my first lesson I learned was that life wasn’t fair and that I wouldn’t always get what I wanted.

A Change of Direction 2nd of Lessons Learned

I mentioned earlier that we were a religious family and I considered myself a Christian. During my youth and my days in the military I had no problem going to church, but it held little meaning to me. In 1969 I was involved in a car accident.

A car had pulled out in front of me, I thought I saw children in the car, and I knew I couldn’t stop in time. I turned the wheel and went for the shoulder. Only problem, there was no shoulder. Instead, I found myself on the grass and managed to turn the car parallel to the road. Up ahead I saw a ditch. I tightened my grip on the wheel, held it as straight as I could and drove down into the ditch, across it, and back up the other side. It was a bit bumpy, but I made it.

Then I focused on coming to a stop which I managed by running into a stop sign. I looked at the empty passenger seat and knew that an angel or perhaps God Himself was sitting there. I didn’t see anyone, but I believed it to be true. And still do.

I opened the door and walked back to the ditch. Just before getting to it, I saw what remained of my gas tank. I hadn’t realized I had lost it, but quickly realized I was probably still alive because it had been ripped right off the car.

Shaking my head in wonder, I turned back to the ditch. That was when I saw it!

The ditch ran under the road through a concrete culvert. But that wasn’t it. The it was a tree stump about a car’s width from the culvert. And I had driven right between the two without ever seeing the stump!

That convinced me that God had spared my life. The car was totaled, but I was alive, and it wasn’t long before I started going to church. There I began hearing about Jesus and His death on the cross. But while the preaching was powerful, I took issue with their stance on drinking. I turned to the Bible to prove that drinking was permitted.

In 1973 I was transferred to Kalamazoo, Michigan for a 13-week assignment. While there I attended on Wednesdays a small church not far away. My study of scripture to prove drinking permissible was finished and I approached the pastor ready to defend my position.

I was quite confident, but before my argument got very far, he pulled the rug out from under me with Romans 14:21. I had never considered this idea that I could cause someone else to stumble. And what was this about a brother?

I returned to my motel room a defeated man. Sitting down at the table, I opened the Bible and God began reminding me of all the scriptures I had heard about salvation.

No longer burdened with a false issue, I saw my real need for Jesus, fell down on my knees next to the bed and asked Jesus into my heart.

More in a moment.

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.

Back to my story.

Growing in the Lord 3rd of Lessons Learned

I began growing in the Lord. I call this Lesson #3, but in reality, I began learning a series of lessons about Jesus Christ, His birth, His life, His sacrificial death, His resurrection, and His coming again.

I also began learning other things. But something had happened to me back on May 9th. I didn’t ask God to take drink away, nor did I promise anything. I was too amazed. But God took away all desire for drink! It was and is a miracle.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that is not the normal experience. And I also know that I have other sins that I have to ask for forgiveness. But it was an amazing start to my walk with Jesus.

It would be another 8 years before I would meet and marry Teresa Wheeler. And it would be another 19 years after her name change, that the next step in my writing career took place.

The Call of God 4th of Lessons Learned

During those intervening years God called me to different ways of serving Him. One was to be the Financial Secretary at Shalom Baptist Church in Orion, Michigan. But my call to write was the 4th lesson in writing.

We lived in an A-frame house. For a while we rented out the upstairs, but eventually after a renter had left, we removed it from the market and the upstairs apartment became my office. One morning in the year 2000 I was at my desk reading Genesis 6 as part of my devotions. It was a familiar story about Noah and the Ark, but on that day, God opened my eyes.

I realized that the facts provided were not complete. God gave Noah general instructions including a blueprint, but there was a backstory missing. How did a farmer have enough information to understand the blueprint and build the ark? Here was a story. I could write the story behind the story.

But it was more than that. This was the first time that God had directed my thoughts in such a manner and the truth hit me. God wanted me to write. He was calling me.

Continued.

There have been many lessons I have learned since then, and I imagine there will be many more. But knowing God had called me transformed me as a writer and as a person. One of the lessons He has taught me is to not get relaxed. He had more lessons for me, and He had His own plan for my life and my career.

I am excited about what the future holds. He has continued to enable me, but at one point He gave me a verse to hang my literary hat on: “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.” Psalm 71:18

Part of living in this world is learning lessons about life. But for a Christian the truly important lessons are those the Lord teaches us about worshiping Him, obeying Him, and serving Him. May He bless you and your service to Him.

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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God’s Call is a Journey

Author R. Frederick Riddle

God’s call is a journey, no matter the nature of His call. In this instance, it is a call to write.

God’s Call is a Personal Journey

My call came while reading my devotions one morning in the year 2000. It immediately became a call to write, thus beginning my journey as an author. It was a highly personal and often rocky journey. I virtually had no idea how to write, other than a few grammar rules.

It is a Journey of Faith

When we asked God into our life it was a step of faith. Every time we obey God it is a step of faith. A journey is made up of a lot of steps. God doesn’t entrust His entire plan for our lives at the very beginning. We need to be taught.

He enables us, however. His Holy Spirit entered our new hearts, slammed the door shut, and sealed it. Not to prevent Him from leaving, but to block anyone, including the Devil, from entering in.

But the Devil has a not-so-secret ally in our Flesh. Our Flesh hears every prayer we make, every thought we have, and knows our every temptation. Thankfully, he doesn’t have the ability to directly speak to the Devil.

Unfortunately, the Devil and the Flesh do have a communication, of sorts. If the Flesh can perform certain body signals, the Devil can read them, and thereby know what’s going on. That is why, we have to be circumspect in our outward appearance, and actions.

Even so, the Holy Spirit can influence us directly, and we can communicate through Him in the name of Jesus to the Father directly. My life bears the scars of the Devil and the Flesh disrupting my plans, my commitments to God. But they cannot stop God’s Grace and His willingness to wrap me in His arms. God may chasten me betimes, but He always assures me of His love, and encourages me to press on in the calling that He has called me to.

I had been a Christian for 27 years when He called me to be a Christian author. I loved the Lord, had been serving Him most of that time, and had grown in Him. But it became evident I still had much to learn.

It Energized Me

That call came as I was reading the Genesis account of Noah and the Flood. While it was a firsthand account, it was basically a skeleton. It told only the basic facts. God didn’t give us His Word to entertain us, but rather for us to learn His Will. Thus, it provided me an opportunity to flesh out the skeleton and tell the story behind the story.

It is a Journey of Trust

Did I truly trust God?

As I began writing my first book, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles, I leaned on God a lot. I have a great imagination, but putting it together required more than that. It required trusting His direction. So, God led me to a verse that has governed my writing career ever since. It is Psalm 78:18, and reads, “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.”

Please note that at 57 years old, I was barely old enough to be qualified as ‘elderly’, I still had my red hair, and wasn’t receiving Social Security yet. The part of the psalm I identified with was, “O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.”

My Journey Had a Vision

That verse motivated me, energized me, and focused me on a vision: to reach people through writing with the gospel!

That vision has carried me through rough patches. It kept me going, spurred my imagination, and opened doors I didn’t know existed. Moreover, it has been a very powerful motivator moving forward after my wife’s death. Only my faith in God and His comfort to me has been more important.

Over the extent of my career, I have written 9 novels, 4 doctrinal books, a how-to book,  and others. I have also designed a writers course to help new and not-so-new writers become the authors they want to become. All of this and I am planning more books plus at least another course.

How do I do it? I have God’s enabling power. I have the following for a motto, Since God called me, and has enabled me, I can and will do His will. That motto is rather new, and it encompasses all areas of my life!

Do You Have a Call to Write?

If you do, then it is your prime motivation and should be your constant reminder that you can succeed because God has called and enabled you.

More on this subject in God’s Call is a Journey part 2.

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What’s Your Why

What’s your why?

That is a question I had to answer for myself when I became an author. Plus, I have revisited that question several times over the years. Early on I discovered some good Why answers.

  1. It is God’s plan for me.
  2. The simple joy of writing.
  3. The satisfaction of seeing my story in print.
  4. The desire to convey an idea or thought to others.
  5. The chance to make money.
  6. Fame.

It is true I list God’s plan first, which for me it is, but this is not a ranking system. All of these are good reasons. For me, the only one that truly matters is #1 – it is God’s plan for me. The important point I am trying to make is that you need to have a why, and it can be completely different that what I have listed.

A Breakout of My Statement

As explained above, it is God’s plan for me. But what does that mean?

It is God’s call upon my life. I am not sure if it happened when I got saved, or afterward. I think it was afterward. In any case, God gave me a verse to base it all upon; Psalm 71:18:

“Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”

The call of God to write has led me through a lot of doors as I have sought His will. Most were of His will, some not so much. But since He called me, I felt that when a door opened, I should at least check it out. Like I said, some turned out to not be His will. Not because of anything ungodly, but in the end they didn’t work for me. And when I discover a door that I have gone through isn’t God’s will, I retreat and exit that door.

As time passed and I grew as a Christian that philosophical idea blossomed into what I call my Why. Here it is:

“Since God has called me to serve Him through authoring, and has enabled me to write, then I will obey Him in all aspects of His will.”

That is both a spiritual and a practical statement because it touches my writing career and my personal living. But it is something of a mouthful, so let me break it out for you.

God called me to write is my Why

This speaks of His calling me to write. As stated, I don’t know the date other than it followed my salvation. I had been trying to write beforehand and always failed, and that didn’t change immediately. What did change is that I immediately had a reason bigger than myself, and that became a driving force as I pursued writing as a career.

God enabled me to write is my Why

From the year of my salvation to the day God finally pointed me in the direction He wanted me to go, some 30 years passed. I was still writing and failing. In the meantime, I wrote some computer programs, and started writing poems. They occupied my mind, but only writing truly satisfied me.

But during that period of time God was preparing me. He began opening doors that led me to new (for me) tools, ideas, and concepts that now are a mainstay of my writing. He was enabling me!

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. 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.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

I Will Obey is the Why in Action

When God reaches down and enables us to do what He wants, then we are obligated to obey. Remember when I talked about doors opening. That is when I began to sense His call. It was clear to me yet, but the sense of His calling pushed me forward. The more I obeyed, the better I got.

Then God called me in 2000. I was now 63 years old, when most people are retiring. As I write this, I have only recently turned 80. That means that since I first heard God’s call it has been 17 years!

That call came in the form of my morning devotions. I was reading Genesis 6 about Noah and the Ark. Suddenly, the thought hit me. These are facts, but there is so much not told. It is like a skeleton that needs to be fleshed out. And in that moment I knew God wanted me to write about Him, His grace, and whatever else.

At that time, I only thought about fiction, so I wrote my first story. It took 3 years before it got published. But once started, I didn’t stop. Then I became involved in nonfiction, which scared me. But when I started writing my first nonfiction book, What’s True About Christmas? I knew that nonfiction was where I belonged.

I will still write novels, but writing doctrinal books that take complex theology and trims it down to where simple people can read simple doctrines written by a simple person (me), truly makes me happy. I am now excited by the future.

At the age of 80, I don’t know if He is going to give me another 40 years as He did Moses, or just increase my productivity, but I do know or at least see through the mirror a little clearer, that writing about Him, His Word, and His people is His plan for me.

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at info@trbookservices.com

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 Tess – Why Editing of a Book is Necessary Part Two

Teresa (Tess) Riddle

This is part 2 of Why Editing of a Book is Necessary. Just as writing a book is time-consuming, so is editing.  I’m not one who likes to edit books, but the task must be done. Let’s continue the discussion.

What About Editing I Talked About Last Blog

  • Editing the first chapter of a book.
  • Editing Grammar.
  • Examples of Homophones.
  • Self-Check Grammar. (Exception to the rule when using a Bible program.)

In today’s blog, I’ll talk more about editing.

When editing chapter face pages

When my husband and I are writing each chapter of our books the preface that we follow is that the face page of each chapter (also known as chapter’s first page)) is always on the odd page.  The last page of the chapter ends on the even page.

Adding more pages

This is a tough one to follow. I sometimes find it frustrating when I must add more pages to a book because a publishing company wants a certain number of pages before they’ll publish the book.

We use KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and they require seventy-nine pages for the print book if you want a spine (also called a ‘gutter’).  This is different that eBooks, but a print book needs a spine if you want people to find your book.

Sometimes you need to go in and add more pages by simply adding more content to each chapter.

For example, in the latest devotional book I’ve been working on, I was short a few pages. I went back and added more content and extra KJV Bible verses. Now my book has a total of eighty + pages.

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.c

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.

A second editing

My husband is in the process of doing the second editing of my book. He put it on KDP to make sure that it matches up with the criteria that KDP wants.

When he’s done editing, he’ll turn the book over to me so I can do another editing of the book. I’ll want to make sure I haven’t left anything out.

Editing the cover of the book

I love the picture that I chose for the book cover, but don’t like the white lettering background. I’m going to change the lettering to a brighter color, one that will grab peoples’ eyes when they take that first glance at my book.

I’m hoping to see my book in the publisher’s hand by the end of next week, but we’ll see what happens. I want the book published yesterday, but when writing a book, we don’t always get what we want.

 God expects us to put our best effort forward, whether it’s in writing a book, serving Him, or whatever. As a writer, we should always strive to do the best work that we can.    

Have a wonderful week.

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

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

Company information:

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

Posted on 1 Comment

Meet Tess

Teresa (Tess) Riddle

Hi, I’m Tess Riddle.

Welcome to my first blog. I am excited about being a part of a Christian writer’s group and launching this new blog.

I want to share a little about myself. I was born and raised in Michigan. From the time I was a teenager, I have wanted to write. When I took my College Entrance Exam, I scored in the top 10% of the nation in writing.

After the break, I will discuss this further.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post or podcast 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 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 are Learning to Write with the basics you need.

To discover how we can help you 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.

But after I got to college, my college counselors told me that I should consider writing books. Over the years other people have told me the same thing. But I didn’t.

Instead, I opted for the secretarial field which led to a career as a clerk and later secretary. It wasn’t until I was 69 years old that I wrote my first book, Haney Place Secrets, which has been published and is available on our website.

At present, I’m working on a couple of devotional books which I plan on finishing and publishing this year.

With this blog I plan to share my journey with you along with tidbits from my books. It is going to be exciting, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

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

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 change and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

We promised that we would keep followers of RFrederickRiddleBlog informed about the new website. Well, it is not completed, but the blog has now transitioned to it. Both Tess and R Frederick have their own blog! See you there.

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Welcome to New Blog Site

R. Frederick Riddle image

ALERT – THE OLD BLOG SITE WILL BE CLOSED DOWN SOON

If you have not moved to our new site at https://www.trbookservices.com/blog/ then now is the time.

It was a pleasure using the old site, but now I am at trbookservices, which by the way is still a WordPress site, so you should not see major changes. The only changes I anticipate is improving content and possibly the addition of my wife Tess Riddle. I haven’t figured out all the details yet, but I am excited.

I would be delighted if everyone who currently follows me will follow me right to my new home.

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Your Website

R. Frederick Riddle

This is an old blog about your website that I wrote back in 2020, but I have now taken it and refreshed it so that the information is current and helpful.

In today’s business world it is virtually a necessity to have a website. Businesses large and small have a website. These sites can be just the basic few or multiple pages consisting of 20 or more pages. The TR-Indbkstore.com website has multiple pages designed to market both Tess (aka Teresa) and my books.

In this blog we start with just the basic website and then add to it.

But I am ahead of schedule. After the break I will tell you more.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post or podcast 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 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 are Learning to Write with the basics you need.

To discover how we can help you 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.

While it is important to use social media to get your name out there, it is also true that your website is or should be the hub. Think of a wheel. In the center of the wheel is a hub with spokes extending outward. Those spokes represent your social media and other marketing efforts. But the hub is your website. It is where you want people to come. That’s true even if all you have is a one-page site that gives your customers the essentials of your business: location, hours of operation, and contact information.

With that in mind, I suggest that the first thing to do is to buy a domain name. Wait, did I say first thing. Well, that’s after you make at least one business decision. You need to have a name in place. I recommend you take my free course which I previously mentioned on It’s Your Business. This will acquaint you with why and how to go about naming your business and, in fact, setting it up. For now, just know this, you are a businessperson the moment you decide to write!

So, discover the name you want to use. Here’s a hint: If you only write one book then the book title may suffice. However, if you plan on writing more or you are a famous writer, then using your author’s name is excellent. My author’s name is R. Frederick Riddle and I still use it for marketing purposes (i.e., business cards and designated webpages).

If you have written or will write multiple books, then you may want to use a different name. We use T&R Independent Books. As you might guess, T stands for Teresa or Tess and R stands for me. In our latest website we will have T&R Independent Bookstore as our website name, but we will also have other pages dedicated to R. Frederick Riddle and to Tess Riddle. The point is that you want your website to reflect you (if it’s just you), or your business (if you’ve written more than one book or there are more than one authors).

Back to the website. There are many good places to purchase your domain, such as BlueHost, Godaddy, SiteGround, and WordPress. And there are others. Do your research and find out which is best for you. I have used Godaddy, and WordPress, and now SiteGround. I recommend that whoever you go with that they support WordPress hosting.

Our website domain is trbookservices.com. It is our new home for the business and we are aggressively setting up our marketing to reflect that fact.

I am assuming that you are serious about your writing and that you have already written more than one or will write more books. Your entire emphasis changes. Before you could emphasize your book title, book cover, and maybe the characters within the book. But the moment you have multiple books you need to have a strategy that fits all your books and not just one. Whether you go with the author name or the business name is your decision. Just remember that it is extremely hard to change names. It can be done. We are examples of doing just that. Our websites have been named: rfrederickriddle.com, T&R-Indbkstore.com, rfrederickriddleblog.com (originally only for my blog), and now trbookservices.com.

(Side note here: trbookservices is not our business name, but it is tied into T&R-indbkstore.com, a Godaddy domain). We use the old Godaddy domain to forward or redirect people to our website. It is an effective way to still use our company name to get people to our store.)

Basic Web Page

Different people will have different ideas about the Basic Web page. Some think only a single page will do, others believe you need at least three pages. I favor the latter. Let’s take a look.

1 – Home Page: This page is where most people will land when they Google your author’s name. Technically they should land there by Googling your author’s name, any of your books (unless you have separate pages for them), your business name (if you have a business), and your picture or book picture that appears elsewhere (for example, your blog).

The Home Page and every page should be clean and not overly crowded. Always keep in mind that viewers on the Internet read from left to write, top down, and finally back up to the right corner. Think of it as a ‘V’.

Your most important information should be ‘Above the Fold’. This term refers to the bottom of the viewable website as the ‘fold’. When a person lands on your site you want them to immediately see your most valuable information.

It’s recommended that you have a picture of yourself in the upper left corner so that potential readers immediately see it. The picture should be linked to your Biography Page or your Amazon Central page.

You could have a brief column in which you highlight moments of your life, books you’ve written, or plans for the future. Don’t use this for your biography; we’ll get to that later.

Depending on size of the pictures you could have a marquee of book covers that rotates cover to cover at the top.

2 – About Page – This page is for the biography of your life as it pertains to being an author. It’s not recommended you talk about growing up, etc. unless that relates to your book(s). Emphasize the information regarding your writing career. If you’ve won awards this is a good time to mention that.

You will also want a picture of yourself. While it can be the same as the one on the Home Page, consider using another picture of yourself. You might want the picture to be less formal than the one on the Home Page.

Don’t forget to link your picture to either another location you’d like the reader to go (such as Amazon Central or to your Book Page).

3 – Book Page – If you only have three pages then I recommend the Book Page be it, otherwise it could be your fourth or fifth page. The name ‘Book Page’ is only used here as an indicator. You might want to name it something else, such as ‘My Books’, ‘Author’s Books’, or something else.

Aside from the Book Cover this is a good time to include a description of the book and its story. Writing your description takes just as much talent and commitment as writing the story itself, just not as long.

The Book Cover and the description Title should be linked to a Sales Page discussed below. You don’t want to miss any opportunity for a possible sale.

These are basics, but your host’s basic package may allow you more that only three pages. WordPress hosted sites allow more menu items or pages than submenu pages for each main menu page. See our website and you’ll see what I mean. The cost of this package is very low, in my opinion, yet allows you plenty of pages to work with. Whenever looking at a possible host be sure to find out how many pages you’re allowed.

It is important that you have a Call-to-Action on your Book Page. I recommend you have it at least twice. The first would be above the description and to the right with a button such as ‘Buy Now’ taking the potential buyer to the Sales Page. The second button would be at the bottom and to the right below the description.

#4 – Store Page. If your site will be an eCommerce website, you’ll need a secure page. Make sure the host offers that. You can use virtually any eCommerce financial institution from banks to PayPal. I originally wanted to have a Sales page right on my site and decided to go with PayPal. Earlier with my rfrederickriddle.com site I’d used a banking service. And now I use WooCommerce on my site that provides the customer with a smooth and secure shopping experience. All these are excellent ways to go. When checking out your preferences ask questions, don’t take anything for granted.

If you choose Amazon or another venue as the point of sale you won’t need a Store Page. Use links from pictures, Titles, etc. It is important that you have a Call-to-Action. We now have multiple point of sale platforms: Amazon, Amazon Author Central, Christian Book Club, Goodreads, and our website.

#5 – Media Page. You want reporters and other media types to visit your website. But they are busy, so a little consideration will go a long way with them. On the Media Page you want a picture of yourself or the book (if only one). You also want to have links to your Social Media sites (FaceBook, Twitter, etc.), Book Page, About Page, and anywhere else you want them to go.

#6 – Privacy Page. If you’re selling products on your website, then it is necessary to have a Privacy Page. Here you can assure them that their information is safe with you. See below for a sample.

#7 – Blog. Do you blog? You should definitely consider it. You can blog on writing, other book related topics, or something altogether different. Whatever you blog make it consistent and informative. The blog should be linked back to your website and to your Social Media.

Moreover, you should have a Blog Page. My blog is associated with trbookservices.com on WordPress. So, my website and blog are now sharing a common home.

#8 – Update your website regularly. The bots that search your website for the search engines love fresh material. I recommend you update your material at least monthly.

Updating is little more than refreshing your site. You don’t have to completely rewrite the posts on the site. Tweak the text, change pictures, add material so that it has a fresh look and feel.

We update our Home Page at least monthly and other pages not quite so often. And whenever a new book is published, we update the website with appropriate information.

#9 – Promote your website wherever possible. Consider having a link on your FaceBook Business Page, your LinkedIn Page, or other social media to the website. You can also link from other Social Media outlets. And if you have a blog have a link from every blog you publish to the website. Plus, use Business Cards.

#10 – Social Media. I’ve mentioned Social Media several times. You have a number of choices:

These are, in alphabetical order: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and others. I will not state which are my favorites simply because every author out there has their own preferences. I would recommend that you only focus on two or three.

I have accounts in all of the Social Media mentioned above but am seriously looking to concentrate on a few like FaceBook, LinkedIn, and YouTube while I may dabble in the others.

For information on our Services, check our website as we will be regularly updating the site. But if you can’t find the answer to your question, there, then contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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 change and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

One thing I promise to do: I will continue to keep you informed and when the new website is ready, I will provide you with a link so that you can check it out. More importantly, following me. I haven’t checked it out yet, but if able I may manually add each one of you as a follower of the new blog site. If that is not allowed, I will strongly encourage you to follow me.