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Blog by Ron – Podcasting

Podcasting? Yes, I finally did it!

The Podcasting Dream

Sometime last year (2023) it occurred to me that I aught to try podcasting. After all, I once had my own radio show that was a lot like podcasting. Even had a studio; strictly on computer.

As time went on the dream grew, but I was so busy doing other things, things I thought were important, that it just remained a dream. But in early 2024 I converted a post series to a podcast almost. I say almost because it remained a posting series. I called it a podcast, but it was primarily a Facebook post simply titled Episodes. But it was still Facebook.

Then the Lord Encouraged Me to get Started

I went into my YouTube channel and began scheduling the Facebook posts to be launched as podcasts beginning June 18th. That is today!

The Lord continued pushing me and earlier today the first podcast was aired. This is Episode 00 about my practice week, which I consider very important.

Podcasting Is the Result of That Practice Week.

That practice week was practicing going full time in my business. At that time, I was thinking about going full-time in May, but God had other plans. So, I agreed with Him that I would wait until He wanted me to go full-time.

But God saw that I was misinterpreting His will. So, He preceded to inform me that just because I wasn’t full-time business wise, didn’t mean I couldn’t be IN the business full-time.

In Podcasting Full-Time?

Not exactly. He wants me to think of the business full-time. Only His Word and His church comes before it. He wants me to do the work as if I was full-time just like I did during that practice week. In other words, stop making excuses and get busy doing more than videos.

My Podcasting Plan

Starting with today the Podcast Becoming A Published Author is Fun was published as scheduled. On Thursday Episode 001 will be published, then each week there will be published in order a podcast on Tuesday and Wednesday until all 65 episodes are published.

Then What?

Then I resume new podcasts. Actually, I will resume making new podcasts probably around October 1, and schedule the new podcast on Tuesday, October 15th.

Podcasting will then be Available Wherever I Want.

___

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).

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Blog by Ron – Is AI a Useful Tool

Is AI a Useful Tool for writers? That is a question that deserves an answer and leads to more questions.

Let’s answer that question first: Yes, AI is a useful tool for writers.

AI, which means artificial intelligence, is already making its presence felt in the literary world. Go on the internet and you will find advertisements aimed at writers and proudly offering services that use AI. This can range from simple story telling to the more complex uses.

AI a Useful Tool for Book Covers.

With AI you can design, create a writing style, write a book description, and get imaginative titles all at your fingertips. It saves time and produces outstanding results.

AI a Useful Tool for Content.

With a few words or sentences you can give AI instructions using a plot you provide to write a story for you. If you want, you can simply state a simple concept and let AI develop the plot itself.

Another thing you can do is instruct AI to study your writing style and learn how to write like you write. You can also tell it to do the same using someone else’s style. That is simply amazing!

AI has been on the outer edge of knowledge for a while. You could argue that Google Search or any other search engine is AI. Sort of like a baby. There are other tools such as Grammarly that could be identified as AI in its infancy.

By the way, the story that AI writes using your style would probably be indistinguishable from your actual writing to the extent that no one, not even you, could tell the difference.

AI a Useful Tool for Your Budget

Using AI you can set up and manage your budget, plan expenses, prepare a speech, and just about anything else. This is fantastic and can save a lot of time, effort, and tears. Just think someday you will wake up in the morning, tell your robot maid or butler to prepare breakfast and provide a detailed report on your finances and whether or not you can afford to buy a new car.

Wow!

Then Why Do You Say to be Cautious?

Because AI is almost impossible to control. You can give it instructions and guidelines, but it doesn’t necessarily believe that it must follow them exactly. You must provide strict instructions and it may not obey.

For example, I recently tried to create a book cover using AI. I started out by giving simple instructions using the book title and author name. But the results that came back showed AI’s imagination at work. It added details I didn’t want, misspelled my name though I had spelled it out, and was completely unsatisfactory.

I started over several times and each time I tried giving more detailed information. But I could not get the book cover I wanted. In the end, I went another route and pretty much did it manually.

Publishers are already asking questions and requiring authors to acknowledge whether they are using AI to assist or generate their work.

Why?

I have told this story before and will do so again. Jane Friedman is a famous and popular author. She knows how to write. Her books sell.

One day she woke up to discover that several books proclaiming her as author and were on Amazon and Goodreads. The problem was while it was her name and her writing style, she had never written them. Moreover, the books were probably filled with junk or AI-generated content.

She eventually got the books unlisted from Amazon and Goodreads, but it took a lot of time and effort. She used everything she could, including social media. Those books were unlisted, but her reputation may have been hurt, perhaps hundreds or thousands of dollars went to someone else. And there must have been a great deal of unwanted stress.

If it could happen to an experienced, successful author then it could happen to you.

Is That All?

No, it is not. AI can plagiarize other authors and get you into a legal mess. But let’s say you employ AI to write your story and you take measures to guard against plagiarism. You take the story and thoroughly edit it until you are confident that it is ok.

But something slips through without your knowledge. There is an old adage, “Ignorance is no excuse.” Just because you edited the book and did your best to find anything that violated copyrights or other rights doesn’t excuse you if something slipped by and you violated somebody’s rights.

You are guilty and could suffer harm to your reputation, bank account, or maybe your freedom.

Use AI with Caution.

I am not against using Ai. In fact, I probably use it unknowingly. But I don’t want to have my reputation ruined, or I be sued, or be jailed. The wise person will use caution.

AI a Useful Tool, but is it You?

You may not care whether the book is truly a work of your imagination. But I do. When I pick up a book that has my name, whether it is my author name or legal name, I want to be able to say, I wrote that. I want to be able to look in the mirror or to look into someone’s eyes and say, “Yes, I am the author.”

But if AI wrote the book using only my original idea, and then I edited the book, is that the same as having written the book. In my opinion, NO.

Besides, I love writing. Why would I want a machine to write the story for me when I love writing?

AI a Useful Tool for Research.

If you have read or listened to me very long you know I believe in the necessity of research. But I don’t love it!

AI can be used to research material for your book as long as you fact check it thoroughly. I see it as a valuable research tool that can reach where I cannot reach, go where I cannot go, and ask questions I may not know to ask. Just think how explosive that is! It can revolutionize your writing, embolden you to do things you have never done, and take your book to unimagined heights.

AI a Useful Tool When You Are in Control.

Control is a must. But how?

That is a question that may take years plus a lot of lawsuits to adequately settle. But here is the approach I plan on taking.

Cover Design – In my experience Ai has yet to learn to listen to my requests and create a cover I like within the parameters that I set. So far, AI consistently fails me in that respect.

Research – I do find AI very helpful in research. But when I get research results, I want it with references that I can look at and verify. That is very important.

Content – I think this is going to require me to use programs that examine my work and report to me violations of copyrighted material that require acknowledgement or removed.

Yes, AI is Useful for Writers!

But be Cautious.

___

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).

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Blog by Ron – Fast Trac: A Faster Way

Is there a faster way to become a published author?

Yes, it is called Fast Trac, which promises to publish your book within 90 days.

Because of modern technology, we have Print on Demand. We have had it for over 20 years. But it is so fast now that a book can be published in 90 days or less. Just look at Facebook and you will see ads for 90 day publishing. Now I come along with Fast Trac.

What’s so Great About Fast Trac?

Fast Trac is speed plus publishing plus some marketing helps.

Speed obviously refers to the 90 days. There’s not much to say about this.

Publishing is something that T&R Independent Books does. Publishing books is a very important part of what is done. Every facet is taken seriously. The promise is that if a person submits a manuscript that has undergone basic editing and formatting, and it has been approved, then the book will be published within 90 days!

The Marketing Difference.

Most people understand that the primary responsibility for marketing lies with the author. It is also true that the Indie author can hire professionals to do the job, or they can try to do it themselves.

Just as you can publish yourself, you can market yourself. Just know that marketing yourself by yourself is very difficult to achieve. Difficult in terms of the commitment of time, energy, and knowledge.

Where I believe that T&R Independent Books is unique is that I don’t just publish your book. I also give you an assist in marketing. Here is a list of things I do.

  • Placement in T&R Independent Bookstore.
  • Featured on T&R Independent Books website.
  • Blog interview.
  • podcast interview.
  • book reviewed in my posts.
  • Free pdf files that can help you in marketing.

In other words, you get the same commitment from me that you get with my other services. That is important!

Fast Trac Sticks with You

When your book has been published T&R Independent Books does not forget you. The place of your book in the bookstore is not a limited time benefit. It is a permanent benefit for as long as you want.

What does it cost to have it placed in the bookstore?

There is a small per book fee that is included in the Basic Authors Cost for the book. That fee will vary depending on the book’s size. Generally, it ranges from $0.50 to $0.99 per book. There is no additional fee, and that fee is passed to the buyer of the book!

Does Fast Trac get a Royalty from My Book?

No.

The only money that T&R Independent Books makes off your sales other than the original cost is the fee. Since you have control over the price of your book you can sell your book for any amount over the Basic Authors Cost that you desire. You can also give the book away and absorb the cost yourself. The control lies with you.

What Guarantee Does Fast Trac Have?

Due to the fast turnaround of 90 days or less, we cannot offer a refund once the manuscript has been approved. However, if you change your mind before the approval, then a refund will be extended to you. The refund will be determined by how long we have maintained your account to that point.

Because the subscription payments begin at the time of the order, the refund is determined by the amount of the subscription that has been received to the date of the cancellation. The subscription will be cancelled, and no further monies will be taken out of your account.

There is a faster way to get published and to receive marketing help as well. It is with Fast Trac.

___

R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at T&R Independent Books.

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Blog by Ron – Facing Change

Facing change is part of our daily experience. Hardly a day goes by but that we are reminded we live in a changing world. How does this impact Christian authors? How should Christians react to change?

Facing Change is Constant.

Change is everywhere, but it seems more rampant in writing. That may be because I am an author and more sensitive to it in a literary way. I can remember when we changed from traditional print to print on demand. We had time to adjust, analyze, and finally accept.

Print-on-demand revolutionized all manner of printing. Though it came upon us quickly, it wasn’t too fast. Writers accepted the new technology and started using it.

There are examples throughout life of constant change. The problem isn’t that it is constant or that it is everywhere. The problem is something else.

Facing Change is Speeding Up.

I started out by using Print on Demand as an example. It was an example of when things were slower. But now our world is moving so fast! An example of this is Artificial Intelligence or AI.

AI has been around for awhile in fiction and in college science class. It excited the imagination which led to entertaining stories. However, in 2023 it went into turbo drive. Or so it seemed.

Artificial Intelligence invaded the literary world. All of a sudden, it seemed to explode into the writing world. It had been building up to that. If you step back and look at search engines and how they have evolved, they are raw AI. They had the power to examine data and form conclusions that fed into the algorithms used by Facebook and others.

It all seemed benign, but now it has grown up to possibly be a threat.

AI has Real Dangers

Even as authors were becoming aware of AI through such tools as CHATgpt, we quickly began hearing stories that are alarming. One such story involves a famous female writer, will remain unnamed, who discovered that there is a book on the market barring her name. The trouble is she didn’t write it. Somebody else had used AI to mimic her writing style and then sell the book as it she wrote it. The famous author didn’t receive a penny.

That represents a real danger to all authors.

Facing Change impacts more than Authors

Unscrupulous people are threatening authors through AI. But there are other types of change besides AI. Sometimes change is forced upon us by the government, the economy, or foreign powers.

Right now, our country is facing a changing world where gas prices seem to change on an almost daily basis. The United States and perhaps the world is reeling from these changes. Whether by incompetence or by design, oil prices seem more unstable as ever.

Morals are also changing. There could be an argument that morals always change with each succeeding generation. And to an extent there is value in that argument. But since the end of World War II there has been a growing loss of morality. It started in the 1940s, grew in the 1950s, exploded in the 1960x and 1970s with God being kicked out of public education, to now where government leaders openly defy moral behavior.

How Should We React?

Those of us that are Christians need to take a stand. Unfortunately, the visible church has become corrupted. There are plenty of churches that have succumbed to the world and no longer preach Christ. Some have adopted the world’s view of what is right and wrong. The result are churches which no longer preach the gospel.

  • That means we need to pray for our country.
  • Pray for a return to the Bible.
  • Pray for the future.
  • Learn about AI and other new inventions.
  • how to use them for good.
  • Most of all be a good Christian citizen.

___

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).

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Blog by Ron – The Resurrection

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a hotly debated issue. Some people say it never happened. These have their heads in the sand.

Others say He was resurrected in the spirit. But that leaves a body in the tomb, yet the tomb has been and is empty.

Still others believe that He was bodily resurrected and coming back. These people have a rock-solid faith.

Let’s take a closer look.

The Cross

A literal reading of the Word of God leads to the belief that Christ was crucified on Wednesday and arose Sunday morning. Some people believe that He was crucified on Friday and celebrate the day as Good Friday. This is not supported with scripture unless you divide the days.

Why?

Simple math. You cannot get three days and nights which comprise 72 hours into two days (Friday and Saturday). The only way this is achieved is be dividing the days which neither the context nor the actual wording support.

Part of the confusion rests on the sabbath. There is the sabbath which occurs on Saturday, and the Passover, a high day or high sabbath. In John 19:14, 31 we learn that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, the next day. Thus, the crucifixion was on Wednesday, not Friday.

Another factor is the confusion over how long Jesus was in the tomb. It was three days and three nights. Only a crucifixion on Wednesday allows this. Consider that Thursday the Passover began in our time Wednesday at 6pm (sundown). This means Jesus was in the tomb (using our time) from Wednesday 6pm to 6am (night), Thursday 6pm to 6am, and Friday 6pm to 6am. He was also in the tomb in our time from Thursday 6am to 6pm (day), Friday 6am to 6pm, and Saturday 6am to 6pm.

Thus He was in the tomb three days and three nights, and was resurrected sometime after 6pm Saturday which was the beginning of Sunday. The stone was rolled away at dawn not to let Jesus out but to allow the women to look in.

The Resurrection Means No Body in the Tomb

There are a great number of man-made religions in the world and the bones of the founders never left the burial place. But we know that Jesus left the tomb and was seen of many. At one time He appeared to some 500 people. While it is possible to delude one or two people at the same time, it is not possible to delude 500 at the same time.

The Resurrection is Absolute

Some deniers claim the resurrection is unimportant. That is because they think that Christianity is just another religion. But it is more than a religion, it is a relationship between God and man through the God-man Jesus Christ. If Christ was not resurrected then He was buried and no longer lives. If He no longer lives there is no hope for us, we are most miserable (1 Cor. 15:19).

The Resurrection is Historical

After the crucifixion Christ appeared to many people as noted above. It was the fact of the resurrection that empowered the early church to dig deep roots and survive the persecution that came.  That led to the imprisonment of the apostles and none recanted their belief in the resurrection. Look at this list:

  • Peter: crucified upside down.
  • Andrew: crucified on an X.
  • Phillip: crucified upside down.
  • Thomas: stabbed with spears.
  • Matthew: murdered after scolding a king.
  • Bartholomew: skinned alive.

None of these recanted in their belief in the resurrected Christ.

The church itself would have died quickly if the resurrection were a lie.

Although the Jewish culture had always had Saturday worship, the church began worshipping on Sunday immediately! The only explanation is the resurrection.

The Jewish sacrificial system was abandoned and disappeared shortly after the resurrection. While many reasons may be given, the only one that makes any sense is they are no longer needed.

Jesus Himself told the Pharisees that He would be raised (John 2:19).

The resurrection was real and well documented. It is an historical fact that changed the world. Jesus Christ came to take your sins and mine and to take them to the cross. There He dismissed His spirit and died in our place. He was buried in a tomb and arose after three days and nights in the tomb. And He ever lives and will come back for us some day soon!

___

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).

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Blog by Ron – Prose vs. Character

Prose vs. Character is a battle every author deals with even if unaware. But before continuing, let me define my terms.

Prose is a literary description of people, places, and events.

Character in this blog means describing the people, places, and events through his or her eyes, and expressing them through their voices or thoughts.

When I started writing books, I primarily used Prose. Let me brag for a moment. I wrote some pretty awesome description! But I soon learned that awesome does not necessarily equate to best.

Best is using the character!

Let’s explore that.

  1. Prose is from the author’s viewpoint. It is divorced from the characters. No matter how eloquent, there isn’t the emotional attachment a character can bring. There is a place for prose in writing, but it should be minimized.
  2. When a someone is describing something he or she infuses the description with his or her personality and biases.
  3. Emotional descriptions are impactful. Prose cannot truly compete.
  4. Storyline can be affected by the description. Thus, keeping the author out of it can be helpful!

Requires Balance

A good balance would be to try to only use prose to connect between scenes, places, and people. If you find yourself not sure, then let character be your first choice. If it doesn’t work, then use prose.

Prose vs. Character is Important

You might wonder if balance is really important.  Consider this, humans are multifaceted’. The more levels you can connect with them the more they will receive and connect with you.

To break that down, take a look at what makes up a person:

His or her:

Biases – political, religious, even educational.

Education – no schooling, high school, college.

physical traits – height, weight, hair, eyes, etc.

relationship to Christ – saved – unsaved.

Spirituality – walk with God, testimony, bible knowledge.

Training – learned skills, trade.

and more…

What if the reader is touched on two, three, four, or more levels? Don’t you think that the fictional person gets more real to the reader? The closer they get to one another, the more the reader identifies with the character. The more the reader identifies with that person, the more the reader is drawn into the story, and enjoys it. That breeds success.

___

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).

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Blog by Ron – Words Are Necessary Tools

Words are necessary tools for authors. Lately I have been posting about reading and writing. Why am I so insistent on this subject?

Necessary Tools.

When God created men and women the use of words was immediately practiced. I know that evolutionists think early man simply grunted and drew pictures on walls. Other than artifacts indicating that man has lived in caves at times, they have no proven evidence that man couldn’t communicate through words.

We know that the first chapter of Genesis was written by God Himself, plus that Adam began writing afterward, probably after being ejected from the Garden. In addition, we know that mankind was created and God saw everything as “very Good.” That translates to perfect.

I believe and the Bible certainly indicates that Adam and Eve were highly intelligent, probably geniuses. Listening and talking to God required words, such as naming the animals. naming the foliage. Adam and Eve used words from the very beginning. There was no evolution.

Adam and Eve not only communicated with God, but with one another. Words were necessary for them. Which brings us back to the initial statement that words are necessary tools. Since we are talking about writing, the statement can be made that words are necessary tools for authors.

Tools of our Trade.

It should not surprise you that I said that. We authors work with words all the time. Not just writing our stories, although that can require thousands of words, but getting published and selling our books also require words. Doubt that? Consider the need for grammar aids, and, recently, AI.

Words Require Caution

Say the wrong word at the wrong time and see what happens. When I was a naïve teenager working on the assembly line, I made a joke to a woman. It was innocent, and harmless, but the wording and structure of the words caused her to interpret the words differently than I met. She instantly was angry. Fortunately, I gave her my meaning and she realized I was telling the truth. I do not know what she would have done if she hadn’t believed me. I was much more careful in my conversation and choices after that.

Writing books is communication between the author and the reader. You don’t want to use the wrong word at the wrong time. It can turn off that reader quickly. You lose that reader plus others influenced by that reader.

Reading is important.

I encourage authors to do research. Words are extremely important when doing research.

Research involves reading internet material, other books, and, sometimes, academic documents.

Words Require Something

If everything I have said is true, what does that mean for me? Basically, three things.

  1. Study to show thyself approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15a)
  2. Search the scriptures is a good rule given by Jesus. There it was knowing Jesus. But the writer is also to search or research material that may enter your book. But it is also needed for publishing and marketing.
  3. In Psalm 90:12, we are told to apply our hearts to wisdom. That is referring to godly wisdom, but it is an excellent principle for writing, as well.

In other words, study, do the research, and apply what you learn. These three habits are well worth the investment of time and yourself.

___

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). He is also on Facebook.

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Blog by Ron – Turning Loss to Gain

Turning Loss to Gain can have various meanings. But in this blog I am talking about losing your soulmate.

How can such a loss be turned to gain?

My wife, Teresa, and I were married 41 years and 5 months before she went home to be with the Lord. It was a happy marriage founded on our mutual love for God and for one another.

Eight years older than her I never figured she would go first. She considered that possibility, but always claimed she would die in an automobile accident. It didn’t happen that way.

Turning Loss to Gain Begins with a Loss

In 2018 Teresa was diagnosed with cancer. It was quite advanced, requiring massive doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but she beat it. In 2019 she had it again. This time it was chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. She beat it again and remained cancer free until 2022.

Although diagnosed in 2022 with cancer, it was small and wasn’t the cause of her death. All the radiation she had reopened the surgical wound and on February 19, 2023, she bled to death in her sleep. She suffered no pain, went to sleep here on earth and awoke in heaven.

Yesterday, February 19, 2024, was the first anniversary of her death. It had been a sudden and unexpected loss. I lost the love of my life, my confidant, and the number one supporter of my writing career.

Turning Loss to Gain Can be Bumpy.

I regularly thank God for the great memories we had together. But I also thank Him for the family of God, Christian friends who support me in prayer, and acts of kindness.

In 2014, Teresa (aka Tess) and I had founded T&R Independent Books with the sole purpose of publishing our own books. Aside from laying a firm foundation for the new business, we had to deal with my heart attack in the same month, her cancer, and other issues. But in 2022 we published the most successful book we had ever published up to that point. Titled Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence and Provision, it was a hit and made 2022 the best year ever up to then.

In 2023, after her death, I published another hit. This is The Best of Tess which was a collection of her Ladies Devotionals plus an unfinished work that I finished with a postscript of our last 2 months together.

It was a bumpy time from 2014 through 2023, but God demonstrated His love and care throughout. When Teresa passed from life to glory, it suddenly grew very bumpy. Yet Christian friends, the family of God, stepped forward and wrapped their collective arms around me. Through them God comforted, supported, and guided me.

As a result, I trusted God, His Word, and my faith grew. Instead of being overwhelmed I was strengthened.

A New Direction

Earlier in 2022 I had written a course for the purpose of teaching people how to write. But it languished as I paused everything to care for my wife. After her death God began directing my thoughts back to that course and ultimately to launching it in 2023. He did this through Gordon Duncan who took over Christian Authors Community & Service or CACS after the founder Tom Blubaugh had died.

Aside from heading CACS, Gordon has another business called Capitalize Your Best which helps companies grow to new heights. I signed up got his course and his coaching. This resulted not only in the launching of the course, Basic Authors Training, but also the launching of Ministry Publishing.

Ministry Publishing is a publishing service to Christians who serve their local church whether paid or volunteer. It had an immediate impact.

Turning Loss to Gain is Exciting.

It wasn’t long before I had clients for the Ministry Publishing. My first clients is a husband/wife missionary team. They minister to men, women, and juvenile prisoners by taking the gospel to them. They are now in the process of writing a 365 Daily Devotional. This is an exciting project!

Another client is rewriting his biography. This one will tell more of his story than previously, plus it will be published by T&R Independent Books. Having crisscrossed America with the gospel, it is a story I am excited to see in print.

Turning Loss to Gain is A Work of God

As Christians we live in a world of loss, injury, and wrong. We suffer for a variety of reasons. But God doesn’t want us to mope and feel sorry for ourselves. Whatever grief or obstacle we may face in this life, He wants us to turn to Him and let Him turn that loss to gain.

Our God is a loving God Who has in many cases called us to use our writing skills for His use. He wants us to lay our troubles at His feet and allow Him to lift us up, to turn our loss to gain, and use us to His glory.

Thus, our loss when submitted to His care brings us great joy. Moreover, it allows God to transform our lives in ways we didn’t foresee. All God asks of us is that believers trust and follow Him. He will give you back so much more than you lost!

___

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).

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Blog by Ron – Getting Published is Fun

Getting Published is more than a headline or a cute phrase. It can be and is a vital part of your writing career.

If you have been following my posts, you are aware that I am a Christian author and publisher. That means that I have gained insights over time and can thereby help you navigate the roiling waters of writing.

Getting Published Posts

To teach authors about writing and getting published I invested a great deal of that knowledge plus time, sweat, and tears. I guess that is a little over dramatic, but it sounded good.

The truth is that while I was joking, I was also telling the truth. I learned to write the hard way. You may have heard me talk about the School of Hard Knocks. It is one fact of my life that propelled me to write the course. I don’t want you to go to that school, or if you are currently in it, I don’t want you to stay there.

Getting Published is Fun – the VLOG

At the beginning of the year I began a VLOG (Video Blog) which is much like a podcast but strictly video. I use that VLOG to share tips for you in your writing, publishing, and marketing.

At the same time, I publish posts on Facebook and LinkedIn, which by some strange magic show up reinforce what I am teaching. Each post and each VLOG share similar hints, tips, and facts yet from a slightly different perspective. Moreover, they magically show up about the same time. Why? Aren’t I being redundant? Perhaps, but the old saying is that it takes repetition to teach. Besides some of you may only be on YouTube, others may focus on Facebook, and still others may be on LinkedIn. And others may be on all three. But the point is to get the information out there.

Getting Published is Fun is True

Let me list some of the ways I think getting published is fun. This list is not organized, just listed as I consider them.

  • Holding my published book for the first time

There is something special about holding your first book you have written in your hand. In fact, there is that same special feeling everytime you get published whether it is your first, or seventh, or tenth.

  • Seeing my name in print

When I got my first book and saw my name on the cover, I was thrilled. That may have been the moment I realized that my dream had come true!

  • Seeing my name in Google Search

That may seem odd to you, but when I searched for R. Frederick Riddle and got back a listing not only of the books I had written, but the other information about me as well. Try searching for your name, especially if you have an author’s name. Or a business name.

  • Getting a Royalties report

It is always a happy feeling when I receive a royalty payment no matter how much it amounts. It means somebody is buying and reading something I created.

  • That first sale

I wish I had written down the who, where, and when of my first sale. But I was so excited, I gave away books!

  • And every sale thereafter

Now that I am an Indie Publisher, I track my sales. And I am vain enough to go back and look at them. It always is a good feeling.

What is my Tip for you?

Be willing to invest yourself in whatever it takes to achieve your goal. I am not just talking about money, although that is necessary. I am talking about your time and energy. And I am talking about the effort it takes to change your preconceived ideas. That is harder, but often very important.

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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). To find him on YouTube go to (159) TR Independent Books – YouTube,

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Blog by Ron – Course vs. Service

Course vs. Service sounds mysterious in a way. But basically, I offer to ways for authors to get published: a writing course called B.A.T. and a publishing service called Ministry Publishing.

Course vs. Service is Unique

I have talked a great deal about Basic Authors Training which is a writing course that teaches, provides one-one coaching, live Zoom meetings, email, and other methods of communication. In addition, a publishing/marketing plan is included.

The service is called Ministry Publishing and does not include the teaching of how to write a book, or set your business up. Ministry Publishing is strictly focused on publishing and marketing.

Course vs. Service is very Affordable.

Both the writing course and the service offer affordable ways of paying. Both provide 12 monthly payments or pay in full up front. This time period was chosen to alleviate the financial crunch that a full pay payment could impose.

The Service is Repeatable

This simply means that you can purchase this service on future books. Each book for the same price. The publishing aspect is covered completely by this price, whereas the marketing aspect is covered within the Author’s Book pricing, making it self-funded and recoverable.

What do I mean by recoverable? If you buy the book and resell it to customers you pay nothing in addition to your author’s price. Whatever retail price you choose is what the customer pays, you keep the difference between basic cost (author’s price) and retail price. Retail price is determined by you.

Course vs. Service is for Christians.

T&R Independent Books is a Christian business dedicated to publishing and marketing books. The worldview in either is Christian. It is strongly emphasized that students or clients not only be Christians but that you be involved in your local church ministry. Both are aimed at Christian authors.

Ministry Publishing has Limitations.

By limitations I am referring to the genre and to writing standards. There are genres that simply don’t fit the Christian worldview. We do not publish:

  • Evolutionary
  • Horror
  • LGBQ literature
  • Science Fiction (but we do publish Futuristic)
  • Pornography
  • and a few others (contact T&R when in doubt)

Which is Best for Me?

If you have never written a book before or are a novice in need of more instruction then taking a writing course would be best. There are things you need to learn, such as:

  1. Setting your business up
  2. Creating a website
  3. Plotting
  4. Learning how to edit
  5. and more.

If you know how to write or perhaps have written a book, then you don’t need the course unless you feel you need to improve your writing skills. The publishing Service is best for you because it includes:

  1. Editing (optional)
  2. Formatting
  3. Publish Ready
  4. Publishing
  5. Marketing
  6. Marketing tools
  7. and more.

It is Your Choice

Whichever you choose is the right choice for you. There are thousands of new books being published every week and month. It is important that you put your best work out there so that it will be noticed. And always remember that whether take a course or go straight to publishing, you are going to do most of the marketing. So, choose a company who will not only provide you tools for marketing, but will do some marketing for you through an online bookstore, a blog that is gaining readership, a vlog that reaches people interested in books, and in other posts generated by T&R.

As I say in my posts, be In It to Win It!

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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).