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Blog by Ron: New Blog

R. Frederick Riddle image

If you have been following my blog, you may readily see that in some ways this is a new blog. At the same time, it is an old blog that conveys to you information you can use as a Christian author.

If you are new then I hope you like this blog enough to follow me. And please use the the comments to let me know about yourself and your views.

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Blog by Ron: Christian Viewpoint

R. Frederick Riddle image

I thought it would be a good idea to discuss Christian Viewpoint. I have touched on this subject in years past, but Christian Viewpoint is a very important factor for Christian authors.

Now, right up front, I want to admit that there are possibly Christian authors who don’t write from a Christian viewpoint. That’s extremely hard to do, because once you have gotten saved, the Biblical truths begin to infuse your thinking and how you react to the world. But it is possible.

But if you are one such individual who has acknowledged that you’re a sinner and need Christ as your Savior and have sincerely asked Him into your heart, then I believe you are a Christian.

And as a Christian this blog is something you should read.

As a Christian we are to belong to a church. It is interesting to look around at the churches and God always seems to provide people within the local church who can serve within that church. This is not an accident. He knows what He is doing.

The typical local church consists of:

  • Pastor
  • Associate Pastor
  • Deacons
  • Treasurer
  • Choir
  • Song Leader
  • Ushers
  • Janitors
  • Instrumentalists

Most of you know these, but what about:

  • Kitchen workers
  • Nursery workers
  • Office workers
  • People who can care for the property
  • People who can do carpentry
  • People who can paint

And the list could go on. Some of these gifts we easily recognize as gifts, such as preaching. But there are many gifts, such as writing, that are not on that level (edifying gifts). Instead, they are serving gifts.

I believe that writing is a service gift. God calls men and women to serve Him in a variety of ways. He gives us talents and gifts to serve the church. Not only serve the local church, but to serve the Christian community. One such gift is Prophecy.

Prophecy?

Yes. We tend to think of prophecy as the gift of foretelling future events. But that is only part of it. Prophecy is also forthtelling; that is, it is the ability to communicate the gospel. Basically, that is what a preacher, evangelist, or missionary is doing. They forthtell the gospel. And that is an edifying gift.

This is usually done orally. But writing things down and communicating the Biblical truths also come under this title. And that is where Christian writers, whether in a ministerial position or not, come in. And that is also a serving gift.

And then there is another gift: the gift of Knowledge.

Knowledge?

Yep. Where prophecy is forthtelling, knowledge is clarifying, understanding and being able to communicate that understanding to others. This is what we as authors do even when writing fiction. Whether fiction or nonfiction we have an opportunity to communicate Biblical truths.

The concept therefore is of Christians writing as a Service! Authorship covers many genres and categories within each genre. The concept of writing can be reduced to writing from a Christian viewpoint.

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.

What do I mean by Christian viewpoint?

Basically, this involves the tenor of your writing. In my case I write novels that are based on Bible stories. There are such books out there that are based on Jewish or Christian views. Obviously, mine is Christian. My books may or may not be based on the Bible, but all will be characterized by a Christ-centered theme. By that I mean that the reader will come across scripture pertaining to salvation. It will be a theme that runs through the entire story.

I believe God calls each of us to some ministry. A few are called to be pastors, evangelists, and missionaries, but most are not. So, does that mean we just sit around doing nothing? No, the church would die without workers; or to put it better, servants.

Now my books do nothing to help the local church work better. Although, I am now getting into writing nonfiction books that can help a Christian in their day to day lives and in their service to the church.

Why do I write with a Christian viewpoint?

The reasons are twofold. First, the Bible stories are true events, not children’s stories. They are about real people and real events. The stories are meant for people of all ages. And they are written to instruct not entertain!

God is not in the entertainment business. Each of His stories is meant to teach or drive home a point. A good example is the story of Noah and the Ark. This has been widely viewed as a story for children. However, the story has very little entertainment value as written. But it is highly instructive and teaches us about God’s love and provision.

My job is to take that story and weave in material that transforms it from its instructive nature to an exciting action-based novel that awakens the imagination of the reader without losing the instructive side. Judging by my readers’ comments, I have been successful.

Secondly, my job is to put God on display. The Bible already does this with great effect. So, it is not as difficult as it seems except in those situations where the Bible is silent within the story, but comments on it later on. As an author, I can lift those comments from the future Bible sections and insert them into the story itself. I do this with actual quotes or an imaginative conversation that is true to Biblical context.

But it is not just to put God on display. It is also to enable my readers to see and feel His love and power. I can think of no greater compliment than to learn that my novel has so impressed someone that he/she desires to read the Bible!

So, in general, my Christian viewpoint is to relate Biblical stories that emphasize God’s love and power in an entertaining manner that both uplifts and convicts.

Your Christian viewpoint might be a little different. It doesn’t have to be Bible stories for example.

The point of this blog is to show you that as a Christian author you have an important place. We live in a world where non-Christian books abound. We are a true minority. But we are on the winning side and know the truth.

God has given you the gift. Don’t just use it for your own gratification. We’ve all seen entertainers, especially singers, who started out in church and later went big in the world. I am not saying that it is wrong to sing professionally, but I think it is better when the singer uses the gift given by God to glorify God. And if you are a Christian and have received the gift of writing, then it seems to me that it should benefit the church, especially your church.

How?

Writing books that can be used by the church. That is somewhat obvious. Here’s another one: providing money to support the church beyond your tithes. Helping other Christians by using your money and your voice on their behalf.

My wife and I love to write. And the idea of making money appeals to us. But both of us want our writing to accomplish whatever God’s will is concerning our success and how we use that success for Him. That is exciting!

Whatever genre you write in can be used for God. It doesn’t matter if God is mentioned or not, but the worldview can still be such as to point to God. The thing is, God has gifted you with a precious gift that He wants you to use according to His will. Find out what that will is and submit to it.

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.

I promised that I would keep you informed about the website. Well, it is not completed, but the blog has now transitioned to it. And my wife is beginning her own blog!

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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.