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Blog by Tess Watch Out for Time Wasters Part 2

Teresa (Tess) Riddle

Last week we covered time wasters. This week we talk about more time wasters that keep us from getting things done. Here they are.

Spending too much Time at the Grocery Store.

I’ve found a way to cut some of the wait time in half.  Often, I’ll go to the Walmart (not the neighborhood one) by myself, around 7:30 in the morning. There are not too many people shop at that time of the morning, plus, I’m able to get a parking spot close by the main door. It only takes me ten minutes to get there from my residence.

If I know I’m going to the store early the next morning, I make out my shopping list the night before, putting certain things in a particular order. For example, I know that the paper products, deli section, and dairy products are at the back of the store. I list my paper products first, that I need. Next, I write out anything I need from the dairy section or deli.

Then I list what I need aisle by aisle, working my way toward the front of the store. I usually lists the bakery products I need last.

As I pass the cheeses and meats area, I place the items I need in my basket before going down the next aisle.

Listing the items I need, in order, saves me a lot of time. I’m usually home and have everything put away by 9:30 at the latest.  Then, I can move on with my day and get some serious ‘to do’ things accomplished.

Searching for Something We’ve Misplaced.

We’ve all done that one; wasting time looking for a certain item.

We need to make a habit of putting the item back in a particular place when we finish using it, whether it be in a purse, a pocket, a jar, a drawer, etc.; then, when we need the item, we know exactly where it is.

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 [email protected]. 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.

Procrastination

There are many tasks to be broken up into smaller parts to do.  Which part do you dislike? Which part is keeping you from starting or completing the project?

We don’t mean to do it, but we often procrastinate or ‘kill time’ as the saying goes. There are just some tasks we dread doing, but they must be done. We just can’t seem to get to them. Maybe they’re too complex, or too boring to tackle.

Take that first step and start the project. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on the project. The important thing is to get the project started. Work on it a little each day. Eventually, if you keep at it, the project will be completed.

If the task seems like it will be more than you can handle, it doesn’t hurt to ask around, and see if there’s someone who would be willing to help you with some of it. If they say ‘yes’, then delegate some of the work to them.

More than one set of hands often makes the load seem lighter.

Ask God to help you not to be a time waster.

There are many other time wasters, but I just wanted to touch on a few.

Life will be a lot easier for us, once we learn how to handle the time wasters. We’ll be able to get those things done that we need to get done.

If we become proficient with our use of time, others will notice. By being a good example to others, perhaps we can help them make better uses of their time.

That’s all for this week.

About the Author

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.

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Blog by Ron A Look at Indie-Publishing

R. Frederick Riddle image

Today I am taking a look at Indie-Publishing. There are three types of publishing: Traditional, Self, and Indie. Let’s take a quick look at the first two.

Traditional Publishing is a term referring to the way we used to get published. Nowadays, it is represented by the big publishing houses, although it is possible that smaller publishing houses are traditional as well.

A brief understanding of Traditional Publishing is as follows: (modern version) The author writes a book, finds an agent who submits the manuscript to one of the big publishers. It used to be that an author could send an unsolicited manuscript to the publisher, who would read it, then either reject or approve. If approved, the publisher would publish the book.

Moreover, in days gone by the publisher would control the marketing. As far as the author was concerned, he or she had little control over the publishing or the marketing. And nowadays the average author gets only a small royalty. And the author does some of the marketing, such as book signings. A recent change, primarily in the 21st century, Traditional publishing houses are requiring that the author have an agent.

Self-Publishing came along and opened the door for the author. This was how I got into writing. My first three books were all self-publishing. One attractive difference between that and Traditional publishing was that I now had a semblance of control. But the publisher still had ultimate control and still got the biggest share of the royalties. And the author does most of the marketing.

As with the traditional houses, self-publishers are moving towards requiring an agent. This doesn’t appear to be large scale, but it looks like the day is coming.

Indie-Publishing is relatively new. You might call it the baby of the family. This is real self-publishing. When we come back from the break, we’ll take a closer look.

More on the other side of this break.

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

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

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

What follows is a brief look at the advantages of Indie-Publishing.

Advantages: (same as self publishing)

  1. Virtually able to have book published. Rare that a manuscript is rejected.
  2. Author owns the ISBN, unless received free ISBN from KDP or similar.
  3. Royalty paid.

Advantages in addition to above:

  1. No signed contract. (Terms of Service usually act as contract).
  2. Published within days
  3. Growing number of publishing formats
  4. Kindle Direct Platform (KDP)
  5. Others
  6. Select either 35% or 70% royalty
  7. Control throughout the process
  8. Minimum requirements by platform
  9. Ability to retire a book
  10. Ability to edit and republish a book
  11. Ability to not only set prices but to change prices
  12. FREE (KDP, for example, gets paid through selling the book).
  13. No agent required.

Disadvantages:

  1. You don’t have an editor telling you what to do.
  2. You don’t have to wait months to be approved and/or published.
  3. You make all the marketing decisions (inc. hiring marketers).
  4. You handle all the editing and proofing

Some of the disadvantages listed are actually advantages. While being my own editor is hard work, it is also part of having control. Indie Publishing is all about control and greater profits. You control close to 100% of everything regarding your precious book.

In 2014 Teresa and I formed our own publishing company: TR-Independent Books. Although getting up and running was time consuming, we have not regretted it. Since that time, I have purchased the rights to and republished Perished: the World That Was plus others. As publisher, I have republished another book under a new title; and I am publishing new books.

And it is not costing me $400 (back in 2003) or $800 (now) to publish a book. Yes, there are costs associated with doing it yourself, but the cost is much less.

As an Indie-Publisher I also handled the marketing. I can turn it over to a professional (which I may do in the future), but whichever way I go the ultimate source of authority lies with my wife and I. One of the things I may do in the future is publish a catalog. This would help to develop and expand local marketing.

I would recommend to anyone that they seriously consider being an Indie-Publisher. Yes, it will require more work, but it also gives you control throughout the process. And that is important.

Try this simple quiz:

  • Do I control the editing services? Yes
  • Do I control review time of a Proof before returning it for correction or publication? Yes
  • Can I pull the book, edit it, and republish after I have already published it and do it for free? Yes
  • How much help do I get marketing the book? Various free tools
  • What do the marketing tools cost? Some are free.

These and other questions need to be answered. And I think you’ll be pleased with the answers. Perhaps the biggest advantage that Indie Publishing has, other than control, is the cost. You can publish an entire book free of charge or you can pay a little. Again, you have control!

Here are some facts to consider:

An Indie Publishing company is the author who now has virtual control over every aspect of publishing. That includes the cover, the back cover, any pictures within the book, and, to some extent, the text itself. Basically, the author has the power.

(note: If you use a publishing venue, such as KDP, they may have minimum requirements that you must meet. Even so, you decide which venue to use and you are the one agreeing to the requirements.)

Self-publishers generally don’t do marketing. But they do provide tools at a cost that you can use. This may include such things as banners, magazine ads, newspaper ads, and more. All for a price.

But Indie Publishing is different! You, the author, become your own agent, publisher, and marketer. This means you have greater flexibility in choosing who prints your book. You control virtually all aspects of the printing process.

In addition, you control the marketing. Let me point out that you have greater responsibility as well as power. But when you become your own publisher, doors of opportunity open allowing you to use the same tools you have been paying the self-publishers to use. You not only do the work, you make the decisions!

Happy Indie Publishing!

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

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

Company information:

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

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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 [email protected]. 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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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 [email protected]. 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 [email protected].

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.