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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Taking the First Step

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week I am looking at Taking the First Step.

The First Step

Last week I wrote about a new author, my wife. But today I want to write perhaps about you.

You read about someone like Tess and you think, I could do that? But you don’t.

Then you read the book, smile, and think, I’d like to write a book like that. But you don’t.

Life continues on and one day you think, I wish I’d written a book. But you didn’t.

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

What is the First Step?

Tess Riddle had gone to college not to be a writer, but to seek skills she could use on the job. But the Entrance Exam showed she had writing skills. Plus, her English professors encouraged her to write. But I can truthfully say that I don’t recall her ever saying she wanted to be a writer.

When the desire to write began I’m not sure. Perhaps I’ll ask her in an interview someday. But she had not yet taken the first step.

Again, What is the First Step?

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

Think of a baby. They aren’t born walking. They have to commit themselves. In their case the mother and father want to see them walk, so they encourage them, assist them, and put them in positions where that first step will take place. The parents make the initial commitment.

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

Writing is similar.

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

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

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

But it was more than a purpose

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

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

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

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

She had taken the first step.

Or did she?

I ask that question because we really haven’t defined the first step yet. I did mention commitment, but there’s more.

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

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

But that still wasn’t the first step.

Commitment means not letting obstacles stop you

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

It is relatively easy to write the first few chapters but persevering and finishing the book takes a lot of faith, grit, and pushing on. She faced a constant battle that threatened to stop her, but she continued on and finally was able to deliver to me the first draft.

That was when she took the first step.

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

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

Sure, there is a lot of work before the first draft becomes a published work. But now your confidence starts growing and you can take the second, third, fourth, and more steps!

Now she was ready to get the help she needed to become a published author. And that is when I could really help her through TR Writing Services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four), World of Jacob (Book Five) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. I value your reviews.

And now we add to the list. You may review Tess Riddle’s novel Haney Place Secrets simply by following the steps below.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: A New Author on the Block

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week I am looking at A New Author on the Block.

I’m taking a little break from my usual tips. Instead I wish to talk about a brand-new author who just debut her first novel. Her name is Tess Riddle and I admit right up front that I’m biased (she’s my wife). Hopefully soon she will allow me to interview her for this blog.

Who is She?

Tess Riddle’s everyday name is Teresa Riddle. As such she is a Christian, Active Church member, Housewife, President of our publishing company (T&R Independent Books), and cancer fighter.

Among her many skills is that of a secretary, as she worked many years in the corporate world as a secretary. She can be tough, as some callers learned when they called the office and used profanity. She can be very efficient and capable as her bosses learned and appreciated.

Teresa is the wife of Ronald Riddle (that’s me) and they live in Port Charlotte, Florida.

What is the Name of her Book?

But as Tess Riddle she is the author of Haney Place Secrets which is book one of the Rita Honeycutt series. This novel involves teenage Rita Honeycutt with a nose for mystery (her brothers would probably call her nosey).

She is already working on book two. Her vision for the series appears to be Rita solving mysteries not only in her hometown, but anywhere Tess’s imagination takes her.

Tell Us More About the Book

Haney Place Secrets is a novel not only involving a teenage girl, but it involves her twin brothers (also teens), and her teen friends. It is a novel aimed at the preteen and teen aged readers. However, adults will enjoy this book as well.

The plot involves the news that the Haney Place house, deeded to the town of Terryville, is going to be sold to a mysterious buyer. Rita and company are asked to go into the house and pack up whatever they find. In the process of this job they discover another mystery that leads them deeper into the Haney Place and may put them in danger!

Although I am biased, I can say with all honesty that I enjoyed the story. I spent a lot of time editing and preparing the book for publication and have come away from that experience with profound respect for Tess Riddle’s writing skill. I fully expect more books.

Where Can We Get Her Book?

Glad you asked. We’ve made it easy for people. You can simply go to our website at TR-WritingServices.com/catalog and click on ‘mystery’. There you will find the book with a link to her Amazon page.

Or if you don’t want to do that, you can always go to her Amazon Author Page which is at amazon.com/author/tessriddle. You can click on the picture or title and it will go to the book’s detail page. There you’ll find links to the paperback and the eBook.

We are also looking at local marketing where we can sell the books directly or through local bookstores. This is something we are taking a serious look at and will let you know more about in the future.

Does She have a Blog?

At this time she does not. However, I will certainly encourage her to write articles for my blog. As mentioned above, I plan on doing an interview with her about the book. I think you’ll discover more about her and perhaps a hint at the future.

Our business does have a YouTube channel and we already have a short reveal about her new book. She has indicated that another YouTube video may be in her future.

Did She Use TR-Writing Services?

In a manner of speaking she made thorough use of our services. As editor of the service I read, offered advice, checked grammar and spelling, and generally performed all the functions that I would do for any of our clients. So the answer is yes.

She is listed as a client and has her own page (a free service we provide to all clients who’ve published through us which they can use to promote their books). This page will include all future books she writes.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. I value your reviews.

And now we add to the list. You may review Tess Riddle’s novel Haney Place Secrets simply by following the steps below.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Your Tools

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week I am looking at Your Tools.

Last week we looked at your workplace, today let’s consider some of the tools you’ll need to write. So let’s take a look.

Your Computer

Some people prefer tablets, etc. over a desktop, but I use a desktop. Whatever you use you need a computer that is relatively new and should be running Windows 10. This will enable you to access the Internet and do research. Not only research, but to publish and market your book. And then there is having an email account.

So your computer is a very important tool. You don’t need all the bells and whistles, but you do need a computer that will handle your needs. So, investigate before buying. There are various software tools that you might consider (see below).

I’m not going to get into the various computers and their characteristics. Every person has their own preferences. So my advice is for you to look for a computing device that best fits your lifestyle and your needs as a writer.

When buying a computer I always recommend a middle of the road (price) computer. Why? Because today’s top of the line computer will be tomorrow’s middle of the road computer. Computers age rapidly.

Buy a computer that meets your needs and doesn’t break your budget. For example, some people buy computers for gaming purposes. But as a writer you don’t need gaming tools, you want a computer that enables you to be a proficient writer.

Your Software

Some of the software tools you need are:

  • Wordprocessor (I use Word)
  • PDF program (I use Adobe Acrobat DC)
  • eBook Converter (I use Kindle Create)
  • Picture editor (I use Paint 3d or Photos)

There are other tools that you may need, or you may prefer Word Perfect over Word or you might like Open Office. I’m not pointing you to a brand, but to an overall need. In other words, you need to take the time to do your own research and find out what you want.

Your Printer

I used an HP printer. There are a variety of them plus there are others on the market. But you want a printer that enables you to communicate with your printer so you can scan documents, etc. into the computer. You will also need a computer to print out documents, etc. from your computer.

If that isn’t enough, you may need fax ability.

When buying a printer, I suggest getting one that has most, if not all, the features you need. I’ve already mentioned scanning and faxing. But these are practically standard. Pay attention to what features they have available.

And remember that while salespeople are helpful, they are often directed to push a certain product. Don’t let them talk you into something you don’t need. And that advice is good for both the computer and the printer.

Your Dictionary

The dictionary is very important to the writer. Depending on the genre you write in you might have a modern dictionary and an older one. For example, if you are writing a novel that takes place in the 19th century, it might be helpful having a 19th century dictionary or at least a dictionary with older terms in it.

I use the dictionary when I’m writing and when I’m editing. You don’t want misspelled words or words that have the wrong meaning.

Your Thesaurus

The Thesaurus is often very helpful. It helps you in looking up similar words to the ones you are currently using. It is often a good idea not to repeat the same words constantly. If you can find words that mean the same thing it gives your text a little more vibrancy.

Your Library

I believe in research. Having your own personal library often provides you with needed material that helps you better understand a subject for your book. Maybe a critical weapon, a graving tool, or some other item that fits into your story. How about a How To book that covers something you’re writing about?

The list can get quite long. The important thing I want you to get out of all this is that you need to surround yourself with all the tools you can get. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, take advantage of the tools that enable you to put forth an excellent book.

I recommend buying books (hardcover or softcover) and downloading from the Internet. Aside from those two ideas, I often copy information from the internet and paste it into a new document in Word. I find it helpful not only for the story, but in marketing and publishing.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Friday News : Moving On

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about:Moving On.

Okay, the Verdict Is?

President Donald Trump has been declared Not Guilty of an Impeachable offense. What does that mean?

It means his actions did not rise to the high level demanded by our Founding Fathers. Whenever trying to understand the Constitution you must always go back to the Founding Fathers and find out from them their understanding. Part of the troubles in Washington D.C. comes from the fact most Representatives and Senators are lawyers and they have been taught that the Constitution is a “living Document” to be interpreted according to modern mores. This has led to confusion and contrary understandings to the original meanings.

In my opinion, maybe we should ban lawyers from running for office. Not going to happen but putting commonsense minded people in office surely would work better than the current mess.

What Now?

Well, commonsense suggests we move on and that our government Representatives and Senators do what they were elected to do.

But alas, commonsense rarely rules in the running of our government. The ink wasn’t even dry on the Acquittal document and the Democrats were already planning to continue to go after the President! Since the day Trump announced he was running for President the Democrats targeted him. It would almost seem like they were running scared!

So prepare yourselves folks. If you reelect these Democrats they intend to find or, more likely, create another controversy leading to impeachment. They don’t care how much it costs, how many lives are ruined, or how badly they trash the Constitution.

What Will President Trump Do?

I don’t pretend to read his mind or have a knowledge of his thinking, but I am observant, and I think I have an understanding of who he is. So here is my take.

I believe he will go forth confidently and pursue the following:

  • Less government intrusion into people’s economic lives
  • Greater opportunity zones in underserved areas
  • A stronger military
  • Space research and exploration
  • Better trade agreements around the world, including China
  • A MidEast agreement that protects Israel
  • …and more

In other words, he will continue to listen to the people, the citizens of the United States, and work to get his views enacted into law or at least Presidential decree.

Will Trump Always Espouse Conservative Values?

I am a conservative first, a support of Trump second. And no, he hasn’t always supported Conservative views and I don’t expect to see him change. Most people tend to think he is a Conservative. I think a better tag should be Populist. Populism can be either Left or Right. So in my view, Trump is primarily a Populist of the Right, but there are times where his views may lean left. Look at the results of his first three years. That is what you can expect from him and why I will vote for him.

Will He Be Reelected?

This is my opinion: President Donald Trump will likely be reelected in a landslide. Not only because of his accomplishments, but because of the Democrats lack of accomplishments and their total lack of regard for the Constitution, Taxpayer money, and the people they are supposed to be serving. This whole impeachment proceeding had nothing to do with the President’s actions and everything to do with their failure to deliver in 2016.

It’s going to be a long summer and a longer next four years for them.

What About the Blue Wave?

What Blue Wave? In 2018 they claimed a Blue Wave, but if you’ve been around for very long you know that Midterm Elections usually means the House, or in rare occasions the Senate, changes hands and the Opposition Party is the winner.

Did the Blue Wave change that? No. The Democrats took over the House and the move to impeach the President took over. The problem is that the Democrats have convinced themselves that they, and they alone, know what’s best for the country. And you better not get in their way!

A true Blue Wave would have turned both the House and the Senate over to the Democrats. They never came close!

Moving ON!

We the people, the taxpayers, deserve better than childish behavior on the Left. I grew up in a time when the Democrats and the Republicans had their issues with one another, but they learned to set that aside and work out compromises. That day has passed, and I don’t know if it will ever return.

However, there is hope. God has used President Trump much like He used Old Testament leaders. Then it was to discipline and protect His people the Jews. Today God is still protecting the Jews, but He is also protecting Christians. I see a glimpse here and there of a national revival coming. Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but I’m praying for it. And it will only come if we Christians submit to God, pray for revival, and walk according to His will. And it will begin within each of us!

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri (Book Six). I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Your Workplace

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week I am looking at Your Website.

If you have already been writing for a while you know how important your workspace needs to be for optimal results. This includes the table/desk, the chair, location of resources, and more. So let’s take a look.

The Room

The location and size of the room will vary from author to author. My wife prefers an open room, while I have a small, well-define room. Both of us have our desks in front of a window. Teresa’s files are in different cabinets not necessarily adjoining each other, while I used a combination of cabinets and bookshelves in close proximity to me.

Both of us like our setups and are able to function well. This is important. Whatever setup you choose, it needs to be conducive to your being able to think, research, and write. My suggestion is for you to design it your way even if others may criticize. You are the one who will be spending a lot of time there!

One other note, sometimes Teresa likes to move into the living room and sit at the table. This gives her a break from the norm while still enabling her to perform her tasks.

The Table/Desk

Once again personal preferences are dominate. Teresa uses a computer desk while I use a computer table. She tends to spread paperwork out, I like things a little tighter.

But once again our own wants and needs strongly influence how it is done. As for how the table/desk is set up, both of us use laptops on the surface. I have a phone beside me, she doesn’t (except when in the living room).

Never place your laptop on your lap. This is because you may be blocking air vents. Buy yourself a lap desk (there are several).

The Chair

Both of us prefer task chairs, but I have seen others who use Executive Chairs. The key here is that you want a chair that is comfortable, but also helps you maintain good posture. This last is important because slouching in your chair cuts off oxygen and causes you to get sleepy. It is very hard to write with your eyes closed!

Another note regarding sitting with a laptop on your lap even with a lap desk. There are issues with back strain, eye strain, etc. that are affected by sitting with a laptop.

You’ll note that Snoopy (see picture) is sitting on the doghouse. This is not recommended as you it may cause poor posture which as noted about can affect how alert you are.

Location of Resources

As mentioned before I use my cabinets and bookshelves as the “walls” of my office. This keeps everything close by, easy to reach. Teresa has her resources spread out, but that seems to work for her.

The important thing is that it be helpful to your overall work.

The Resources

What do I mean by resources? Well, this covers:

  • books on writing
  • books on the Bible (if writing Biblical books)
  • books on marketing
  • financial records
  • publishing information
  • Research material
  • and more

Your resources will differ from ours, but you will have a need for them and you will need to keep them somewhere safe and easily accessible.

You need to also consider such factors as lighting, storage (paper, ink, incoming/outgoing, and more).

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Limited Distribution

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week I am talking about Limited Distribution.

The Topic

Recently I received a question from a visitor to my website. The lady in question desired to write her memoir and only have limited distribution. Now this may sound odd, but it is not that odd. In fact, my first client that I helped wasn’t interested in marketing her book. She was however open to letting others buy it if they so desired and that’s how she was set up.

But my point is that not everybody who has a story to write is interested in selling a lot of books. In the case of this lady it was to publish a memoir. She didn’t go into great detail, but I gathered that she wanted only a certain number of copies to give out to friends and relatives.

And that is perfectly understandable and okay!

So What Did I Tell Her?

Since she contacted us, I gave the answer in relation to our services. Other services may not have the ability to meet her needs, we do. So I communicated that to her.

So, what is My Answer?

First, she wanted to know if it was possible to only print a few copies for herself. The answer to that is ‘Yes’.

Here’s copy of my entire answer:

Thank you for your question which I will attempt to answer.

There is a way for you to do this.

The book could go through the entire process of creation, editing, proofing, and publishing. Once published, you could buy author’s copies for yourself which you can give away or sell (no royalties). After you get your copies, then you unpublish the book. I’ve never seen this happen before, but I see no reason why you can’t do it. The great thing about Kindle (the platform we use) is that you can republish later if you so desire.

If you follow the above procedure, then you would have to republish to buy additional copies. Then unpublish again. This would be advantageous if later you wanted to revise or update your book.

I would be delighted to discuss this in greater detail. Send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and refer to your memoir or interest in TR Writing Services. Remind me that we’ve already been in contact.

Now, let me go through this in greater detail.

The Process

In my message I mentioned creation, editing, proofing, and then publishing.

Creation is the first draft. The author is always the author in our system. So even as we go through the editing process the author, in most cases, has final say.

Editing is the process whereby we at TR Writing Services read the book looking for errors, such as: spelling, grammar, Clarity, and Conciseness. We have tools to help us do that, but the tools are based on technical issues. Our goal is always to produce a book that is an expression of the author’s will, style, etc.

There are times when these technical issues are paramount, but we believe that the author has his/her own goals in mind. So, while there may be an issue that needs to be addressed, the author may want to leave it as is.

An example of this would be grammar. Perhaps the grammar is relative to where the author grew up or where the scene is taking place or the education of the character speaking. These do not necessarily have to be grammatically correct. However, if there is such an overriding situation, you want to be consistent.

Once Published

At the time of publishing the author can get author’s copies. These are normally available for printing costs. So, once the book is published you should buy as many author’s copies as you desire. Then after the book has gone live, simply unpublish.

These author’s copies can be given away or sold. Just remember there are no royalties.

Post Ordering

Not really addressed in the letter other than you can republish and unpublish your book. This enables you to order new books (up to 999 per order) if the book is ‘live’. Once the order is completed you can unpublish.

Republishing

Republishing is easy. You go to your KDP Bookshelf where all your books will be shown. Go to the book in question where you will see an ellipsis (to the right). Click on that and click on Republish. (The ellipsis also enables you to perform other functions.)

Revising and Updating Book

With most publishers you must resubmit a book (and possibly pay) to update the book and have it republished. But KDP is your personal printing service, if you will.

Let’s say you use our service and publish the book. Later you want to update, do you need to go through us? NO! You can if you want to. And I would recommend it if the update is significant or perhaps you need to publish under a new title. But as a rule, you can do it yourself.

At this time, you would have your own KDP account which would allow you to update and republish your book as often as you want. I have used this ability to correct and to add material to my books.

Technically, you don’t have to unpublish the current book until the newly updated version is ready to go. This is awesome!

Discussing

There are many details in publishing a book. Since we want our authors to succeed, we want to know more about them and their book. That way we can serve them much better. It also gives the authors a chance to learn more about us. It is a win-win for everyone.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Content

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week I am talking about Content.

Content is one of the most difficult subjects for writing, including your website.

I recently reprinted my blog on Websites. It covered the basics of website design. Today’s blog is taking us deeper into website design and looking at Content. This is where you communicate with your visitor who may just happen to be your potential customer.

What is Content?

Simply put, Content is the written material that appears on your page(s). It can be a sales pitch, a biography, how-to, and a host of other subjects. On our website’s homepage, we have content on Teresa and me, TR-Writing Services and more.

The purpose of content is to inform the reader, visitor, etc. about your business, the services and/or products you sell, who you are, and more. You want your content to be fresh, informative, and helpful.

What Do You Mean by Fresh?

The way the search engines work is  they respond to fresh or new material. That doesn’t mean you have to have new material every day or week. But you should update certain pages on a relatively active schedule.

Every time we publish a new book, the Catalog page is updated. But on our Homepage, we try to update more often. For example, that homepage has been updated today. It was updated yesterday and then again today. Sometimes it is to correct a mistake I found, and sometimes it is to add more material.

That’s the point: Don’t just update to update. Have something relevant for your reader and for SEO. In today’s update we removed some information and added more with the purpose of achieving greater clarity and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

How Often Should it be Updated?

There are varying opinions on that subject. But before considering that you should make it a habit to visit your website at least weekly. Review the design, the look and feel of the site, read the content and ask yourself is it relevant, up-to-date, or accurate. The world we live in is constantly changing. So should your website.

Your visits to the website will probably govern the frequency of updates. Sometimes it might be almost daily, and sometimes it might be months. Personally I try to update monthly and sometimes I will do a major update that might take days (such as last year when I moved my website to its current address).

How long does it take for updates to affect SEO?

Sometimes it can take up to six months. It’s good to know that there are little green men driving around in the bots (just kidding). There are bots (short for robots) that visit websites and report back to their masters (such as Google). These bots explore your website. If there is nothing new, they aren’t concerned about notifying the big boss. But new material always excites them, and it helps your overall SEO score.

Content is King!

You might argue with that statement, but if you want people to visit and return to your site then content is king. It doesn’t have to be a lot of content. In fact, it is better, in my opinion, if the content is interesting, possibly compelling. That way it attracts people which is another reason for visiting your site on a regular basis. If the site is boring to you then it is probably boring to your visitors.

There is help for you.

I’m a writer and I hope my writing shows up in my content. But it is different than writing a book, so sometimes you, if you are a writer, still need help in writing content. There is help on the internet, just get busy and find it on the internet.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Your Website

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week I am looking at Your Website.

Principle

In today’s 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-indbkstores website is a multiple page site that will undoubtedly grow as my wife writes and publishes her books.

Here we will begin with the basic website and then add to it.

Tip #1: Having a website is a virtual necessity. It is the primary way people get to know you.

That’s an important fact you need to remember. It is true that having a presence on FaceBook, Twitter, and other Social Media enables people to learn about you. But a website is like a hub. When a person comes to your website they have access to your social media, blogs, and whatever else you have out there to inform your potential readers about yourself.

So the first thing you need to do is buy yourself a domain name. Since the names of hosts change from time to time I suggest you Google ‘domain hosts’. One of the hosts you’ll spot is Godaddy.com which is what we have used in the past. But there are competitors who are probably just as good and possibly better.

As you consider the domain name you want to buy ask yourself the following:

How do I want people to remember me?

For example, you may have written only one book and have no intention to write another. This could lead you to choosing the book title as your website or domain name. This would bring the potential reader’s attention squarely upon the book.

Or perhaps you have or will write more than one book. A book title would then be too restrictive. So you might want to use your Author’s name. I used R. Frederick Riddle, my author’s name, and bought the domain rfrederickriddle.com. This served me for many years until my wife and I formed our company. The point is that you want your website to reflect who you are and what you do.

Tip #2: Your website should reflect who you are and what you do.

Once you start writing more than one book your emphasis changes. You now want your author’s name to become known, thus having your website named after you both promotes your name and benefits from your name. For years I used rfrederickriddle.com and learned some valuable lessons in the process.

So let’s dive into the 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.

Tip #3: The visible portion of the Home Page upon landing there should be ‘Above the Fold’ where it will clearly be seen.

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. On our website the pictures are larger so we have them at the bottom of the page.

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).

Tip #4: On your About Page link to your Amazon Central site 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. Godaddy allows more menu items or pages than three plus up to two submenu pages for each main menu page. See the TR-indbkstores.com site 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.

Tip 5: It is important to have a Call-to-Action on your Book Page. Recommend one at top right, and one at bottom right.

#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. Either are excellent. 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.

#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. I blog at rfrederickriddleblog.com on WordPress. My website is now attached to the blog and everything is right there.

Tip #6: Blog, blog, blog. It helps get your name out there. Either have it on your website or have an RSS feed on your website.

#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 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:

Facebook – Probably #1 in popularity.

Instagram – Can be used for promotion, customer service, etc.

LinkedIn – Mostly B-to-B; great for connecting with other authors

Pinterest – Good for promoting your book

Twitter – Probably #2 in popularity.

YouTube – Strong mailing list platform, getting subscribers, marketing your book(s), etc.

I don’t suggest trying to do all the Social Media, but several would work. I have accounts in all of the Social Media mentioned above but am seriously looking to concentrate on a few like FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube while I may dabble in the others.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Friday News : Impeachment & the Democrats

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about: Impeachment & the Democrats.

What’s the Future of Impeachment?

The short answer that whenever the trial begins it will be short and end in acquittal.

The long answer takes more room and time. I’ll give you my understanding.

The Democrats Made a Mistake

And it’s a big one. In 2016 Trump blew Hilary out of the water and the Democrats assumed foul play. It wasn’t true, but they hitched their future to that assumption and immediately there were calls for impeachment.

Along came the Steele Dossier. This piece of fiction, apparently funded by the Clinton campaign, was meant to be used in the election. I don’t believe they every thought it would be used in impeachment proceedings. They probably knew it was nothing but fiction, but they figured it would useful in undermining the Trump campaign. It was dirty politics with an unexpected consequence.

Surprisingly none of our liberal friends have called for an investigation into what eventually cost the American taxpayers millions, even billions of dollars. Maybe not so surprisingly since the people calling for Trump’s impeachment would not be interested in going after Hilary and her campaign.

This mistake looked like a blessing to the Democrats in Congress, especially the newly elected Representatives. It was vehicle that could possibly remove their arch enemy from office! Check the history out and you will find that Speaker Pelosi quickly realized that this was a mistake. For some reason, however, she hooked her boat to this sinking ship.

The Democrats Didn’t Get Off When They Could

The Mueller investigation provided them cover. After years of using bullying tactics and excessive taxpayer dollars, he came up with nothing. At that point Pelosi could have said something like, “We tried, but now it is time to move on.”

But she didn’t.

Instead, she let it hang around and the new, loudmouth Representatives grew more strident and, in my opinion, stronger. She started shifting her stance and moved closer probably trying to mollify them. It didn’t work. They got their hooks into her and didn’t let go.

The ship Impeachment was sinking, and she couldn’t keep it afloat. Using her power she forced the Articles of Impeachment even though they had no corroborating facts. What she called ‘facts’ amounted to hearsay and innuendo.

Then Capitulation

That’s what I call it. Although filled with misgivings, she caved. Her words changed from caution to tentative and finally to ‘Urgent’. Impeachment was urgent.

It reminds me of when Obamacare was passed in 2010, she famously said, “We [need] to pass the bill in order to find out what [is] in it.” The fact checkers admit she said it but add it must be viewed in her intentions. Then they show what the context was before and after. But they leave out a very important fact. Obamacare was not bipartisan, and the Democrats locked Republicans out of participating in discussions. That is the true context. At the time America was concerned about its contents and whether she intended her statement to be taken as we took them or not is immaterial. Basically people understood her as saying that the bill should be passed and then read. Apparently, Obama agreed, because it was shortly passed and he signed it.

Sounds a lot like her comments regarding Impeachment.

Now she was stuck. She’d stuck her neck out and couldn’t turn back. So the Articles of Impeachment were passed without a single Republican vote. The ship Impeachment was looking more and more like the Titanic!

Bucket Brigade

I wasn’t there but I imagine Pelosi waking up the next morning and crying out loud, “What have we done?”

Suddenly reality reappeared. She remembered earlier statements where she opposed impeachment. Facts hadn’t really changed; they were still hearsay. Fishing expeditions had failed. There was more not less innuendo and fabrication. What could she do?

Then a brilliant idea came. Just like in the past people used bucket brigades to throw water on a raging fire, she could ease off the pedal and call for a “fair trial.” So she leaped out of bed and joyfully went forward.

She gave a statement that basically said, “We need a fair trial where our facts can be fully explored. Otherwise, I won’t send the articles to the Senate.”

The problem is this. Imagine a prosecutor going before a judge and saying, “We believe the defendant is guilty, but we don’t have enough evidence to convict him. Order him to tell the court everything and to provide incriminating evidence.”

It won’t happen unless it’s a grand jury. Even then it might not happen.

Just like throwing a bucket of water on a raging fire won’t work unless you have a long line of buckets, so this argument goes out the window!

The Senate

The U.S. Constitution gives the Senate the sole power to conduct a trial. House Managers (prosecutors) have the duty to press the charges. Senate Managers represent the defendant. To call additional witnesses at this time requires at the very least an understanding of what evidence that witness will provide. ‘Hope for’ is not the same. The Democrats are simply going on a fishing expedition with no worm on their hook.

Furthermore, while the Speaker does not have to provide the articles in a timely fashion, the Senate is under no obligation to listen to the Speaker. The Speaker has no authority as to the construction, nature, or conduct of the trial.

My View.

Personally, I think the case should be thrown out! But that’s not likely to happen. Right now the Republicans hold the upper hand both in the Senate and in the nation. The Democrats have been caught with their pants down, are embarrassed, and are fearful. To do what I want could backfire.

But the Senate should not let the House dictate how the trial will go. In the House the investigation went forward despite opposition from the Republicans. It was clearly biased. In the Senate you currently have the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader meeting and discussing the format. They haven’t agreed on anything as far as I know and now Schumer is forced to act on Pelosi’s demands. He’s been placed in a bad situation which has resulted in the meetings now going nowhere.

 I don’t know what the final format will be, but the fact they are still talking is far better than what happened in the House. In the end, the decision rests with the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

What’s a Fair Trial?

That’s easy. The accused gets to face his accusers and gets to present his side to a jury of his peers. I don’t believe that is what Pelosi means.

Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’

Pelosi and the Democrats were forced by their own party members to conduct political suicide. If they had only stopped and read history, they would have seen what happened to the Republicans when they impeached Clinton.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri (Book Six). I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Be A Businessperson

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week however I am looking back at 2019 and reposting what I believe is my most important advice. The truth is that if you are a writer you need to remember ‘It’s your business’!

Chances are you’re thinking I’m not interested in a business; I just want to write and sell books. But surprise, writing books is a business!

While writing can certainly be fun (it is for me), it can also be profitable. And for that reason alone, you need to think of your writing career, no matter how many books that entails, as a business.

This may come as a surprise to you, but the Government thinks you’re a business.

That’s right. When you do your income taxes and show that you made money through royalties or the sale of your books, the government regards that, and you, as a business. Which means you probably owe taxes.

So, you should consider yourself a businessperson also!

Actually, your Business includes the authorship, publishing and marketing of your book(s). And like any business you need to think like a businessman or businesswoman. And this thinking will impact your whole life.

For example, do you dress like a businessperson?

I am speaking of what you wear in public, especially when you are out in the public signing books, being interviewed, etc. I dress casually in normal situations, but if I am marketing myself, I wear a shirt and tie, at least. Your appearance matters whether you think it should or not. If you are attending a book club or making a speech or doing an interview how you dress makes a difference.

As a general rule I’d recommend business casual. You might consider business attire (suit & tie for men, dress for women) or something a little more casual yet still reflecting that you are serious about your business. In previous videos that I made I opted for a shirt and tie. It suggests business without being overpowering.

What about having an Office?

That depends on you. I have an office at home although I have considered having an actual office independent of my home. There would be certain advantages, but it is not necessary. The whole matter comes down to what works best for you. Some writers like a formal setting like an office, while others prefer a more casual setting. I’ve found that I can write in just about any place. For complete transparency I also you the local library as my extended library but that is mainly for research and marketing purposes.

Publishing nowadays requires access to the Internet. You can get that just about anywhere, such as a library. If you are on a low budget and/or have little space at home, libraries are ideal. Most provide free WIFI and may also have computers you can use for free.

How do you carry yourself?

Another aspect of thinking like a businessperson is how you carry yourself. This is something I had to learn. Slouching, hands in pockets, and staring at your feet are not positive selling points. I wasn’t that bad, but I did have to learn to not only be confident, but to act confident (although not overbearing).

But the concept goes deeper than clothing and acting like a businessman. It also includes having an idea of how you are going to run your business. For example, you have a book. Who’s going to publish it? How do you plan on selling it?

In our case we created our own publishing business, T&R Independent Books. The T stands for Teresa and the R for Ron. We are the exclusive publishers of our books. I have blogged in the past about having your own publishing business and probably will again. But for today I will just say that it gives you all the power and all the profits but also entails you doing all the work. We use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) as our publishing platform.

There are a number of items you need to know to be a successful businessman. Before moving on let’s nail down the concept itself.

When I think of myself as a businessman, I have several pictures in mind. I see myself being interviewed about topics other than my books. I see myself as someone people respected and wanting to know. I also see myself making decisions, supporting charitable works, and so forth.

Face it you’re a businessperson. Face it and embrace it!

For your benefit I’ve included two video’s that will help you understand just how important this is. Included in the videos are basic facts and helps. And it is all FREE! Just click the link below.

It’s Your Business 1a

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Friday News : A Christmas After Thought

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about: A Christmas After Thought.

To begin I hope all of you had a blessed Christmas. Teresa and I were privileged to watch 1777 A Colonial Christmas. This story takes place in Valley Forge at a low time in the war. It was an excellent cantata that included choir and amateur actors who performed exquisitely!

On Christmas Eve, after getting home from the cantata, Teresa and I continued our tradition of our version of the 12 days of Christmas. In our version, we each give the other a list of 12 or more items and where located to each other. Then we take those lists and buy 12 gifts. It’s a wonderful way of giving the right gift and receiving the right gift. We do allow each other to stray from the list which sometimes tickles our imagination and we are reminded of other things our mate loves.

We exchanged six gifts on Christmas Eve and the other six Christmas morning. But in the midst of all that, we also were reminded of why Christ came: He came from Heaven and was born as a Baby. He came not be worshiped as a holy Baby, although He certainly was holy. He came to go to the cross as the pure Lamb of God, to take our sins upon Himself and to die for us! Thank You, Jesus!

We are now in recovery from eating so much. And, since I requested candy treats, I have a bit of sweat treats to eat. It has been a bright spot in a year of trials. But those trials dealing with cancer have also drawn us closer together. Moreover, we have grown closer to God Who has provided for us throughout the year. His provision has simply been amazing!

2019 has also been a transforming year for our business. It started out by tweaking our website. But as time went on we moved our website to this domain so that our blog and website are all in one location.

That has been exciting and it is still a work in progress, but take a look and see if we are right in being proud. The site is easy to navigate and we are constantly adding material.

Then we discovered SCORE. Score is a voluntary organization that provides workshops for small business where featured speakers are themselves small businessmen and women. It also provides mentoring which has been instrumental in shifting our focus from the national and world to the local market. That doesn’t mean our products are no longer available nationally. It means our primary focus is now local with an eye still on the national scene.

Another exciting event in 2019 has been my wife’s (alias, Tess) writing career. Despite battling cancer she has been busy writing her first novel. The first draft has been finished and gone through an initial edit. Her next step is to make any corrections needed and send it back to me for editing. She may be working on it right now!

Finally, as a service of T&R Independent Books we founded TR Writing Services as a department. Our motto is ‘we edit, proof, and publish the book within you’. The idea for the service came from a friend who’d asked me to help publish her mother’s book. Her inspiring praise when combined with my own remembrance of how difficult it was for me in my younger years to write and get published resulted in starting TR Writing Services.

I hope 2019 has been good to you and pray that the New Year 2020 will be much better. Teresa and I thank you for your interest and for following this blog.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri (Book Six). I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Friday News : Pelosi and Fair Trial

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about: Pelosi and Fair Trial.

I was planning on writing about Christmas. And I do wish all my readers a wonderful and merry Christmas. Remember, it’s about Christ coming to Earth in the form of a baby with the purpose of dying for your sins! What a wonderful Savior!

Is Pelosi serious?

That question is in relation to her new demand that the Senate get her approval before she’ll send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. Now, President Trump responded by demanding a speedy trial. And that is his right. But the Senate is not under any obligation to seek the House’s approval.

The truth is that Pelosi is trying to protect herself and her fellow Democrats. They impeached the President to gratify their political core. But with no evidence to present other than hearsay, speculation, and unfounded accusations, they know that it will fail in the Senate.

In almost every article I’ve read from the Democratic view they “assume” that certain accusations are true. But assumptions are not facts and therefore not admissible in a court of law. The entire whistleblower effort would never be allowed in a court of law because it was not something witnessed by the so-called whistleblower but was hearsay.

In fact, the very accusations are based on liberal interpretations of the Constitution. The Constitution emphasizes High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Even if the President did what they said he did, it would not rise to the level of “high”. Our founding fathers used that word on purpose to prevent political attacks. Unfortunately, modern politicians believe they can reinterpret the Constitution to fit their needs.

The Real Problem is 2016.

Donald Trump was elected by the people of the United States receiving a clear majority of Electoral votes. But the liberals (i.e., Democrats) couldn’t accept that and immediately set out to impeach him before he ever took office. They seized upon the Russian Collusion charge that was fabricated by the Steele document that was paid for by the Hillary Campaign. Don’t have time to prove that here, but it’s been well documented.

That led to the Mueller Report which shot down the collusion charge. But the Democrats were not to be put off that easily. They went from being Mueller’s best friend to his biggest foe simply because he gave an honest report and not the one they were looking for.

Then came the Whistleblower.

Unfortunately this whole whistleblower fiasco has damaged the whistleblower protections. In a rather suspicious manner the FBI altered the requirements of the whistleblower program to allow hearsay evidence. This was closely followed by the whistleblower complaint. The recent report by the Inspector General glossed over this behavior, but it should be looked at seriously.

House Impeachment Proceedings.

I almost feel sorry for Speaker of the House Pelosi. She’s fighting for her job. It is obvious from previous statements by her that she didn’t want to go this route. Her hand was forced by a loud, determined minority of Democrats who hated Trump from the beginning.

But while that may be true, the Speaker had the power to stop it. She could have interceded and made sure the House proceedings were fair, just, and followed judicial practice. She didn’t. The whole investigation has been tainted by not allowing the President to face his accuser. He couldn’t even send his lawyers!

Technically speaking, the investigation wasn’t a trial. In fact, it appeared more like a Grand Jury where the prosecution has the power and the defense nothing. (In all honesty, I am not a fan of grand juries for that reason although they may have some value.) The American people deserved better!

Meanwhile.

Complicating the picture for the Democrats is the well documented fact that President Trump has been the catalyst for a booming economy, a bullish stock market, improved relations abroad, and much more. President Obama claims his actions brought on the economic boom, but the only thing he can really claim is that it started under his watch – the day after the election. I’ve commented on this in the past.

What Does the Speaker Mean by a Fair Trial?

Not what you and I would mean. Nor is it something any prosecutor would dare demand of a court of law.

Rather, she wants assurances that their “evidence” will be received and believed. She wants the House (prosecutors) to have the same upper hand they’ve had to date. It appears she wants to protect the so-called whistleblower and any other unnamed witnesses from being cross-examined.

My View.

Personally, I think the case should be thrown out! But that’s not likely to happen. Right now the Republicans hold the upper hand both in the Senate and in the nation. The Democrats have been caught with their pants down, are embarrassed, and are fearful. To do what I want could backfire.

But the Senate should not let the House dictate how the trial will go. In the House the investigation went forward in spite of opposition from the Republicans. It was clearly biased. In the Senate you currently have the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader meeting and discussing the format. I don’t know what the final format will be, but the fact they are talking is far better than what happened in the House. In the end, the decision rests with the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

What’s a Fair Trial?

That’s easy. The accused gets to face his accusers and gets to present his side to a jury of his peers. I don’t believe that is what Pelosi means.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri (Book Six). I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Special Announcement

On Tuesdays I normally write posts that are tips for writers. But today I also have a special announcement.

Final Book of Christland series Published!

That is correct. For those of you who may be following my writing career, I have completed the series Christland. The first book of the series was Death Ship to the Stars, the story that takes place after WW III. Wrongfully blamed for the war (Christians were actually victims) a new world government began a crackdown on all religions, but Christians in particular. As part of this crackdown the persecution included death and led to the rounding up of believers and sending them into space to study their lives and expected fiery death. But the Christians revolted and took over the ship.

The second book was entitled Pauline A New Home. The space traveling Christians of Book 1 headed for Ross 128 and landed on Ross 128 b, naming it Pauling of the Ro Systems. Here they settled, set up a government patterned after the United States. Knowing that the forces of suppression would likely come after them, they began preparing themselves militarily. Meanwhile back on Earth a Christian underground was at work.

In Book 3 Task Force Hunter the world government sent out a new spaceship, the first ever space warship. It’s task was to recapture the Christians at all costs. A high ranking general was charged with this mission and a young admiral captained the ship. It took a while, but they were able to track the Christians to Ross 128 b. But they failed to consider the Christians ability to prepare for battle. Confident in their superiority the ship entered the Ro System. Onboard the ship and unknown to the General were secret Christians determined to stop him. And back on Earth the world government is in trouble and yes those pesky Christians are involved.

In book 4 Black Death, we find that Pauline and Earth are at peace, but an insane criminal has a plot to destroy all Christians. He decides that Pauline is the perfect spot to launch his deadly weapon known only as the Black Death. Before it is over the fledgling government must fight for its life!

Rise of I.C.E.S. is book 5. Captain Coburn, a minor criminal on Earth, decides to build a criminal network known as the Interstellar Criminal Endeavor Syndicate. Taking a page from Dr. Ink of Black Death, Coburn kidnaps 100 women to be used as both sex and work slaves. Taken mostly from Earth, and a few from Pauline, he puts his plan into action. But a young soldier is sent underground and she becomes one of the slaves. Her job is to find the location of I.C.E.S and enable the rescue of the women.

With book 6 Battle at Proxima Centauri we see that I.C.E.S. is still around but Earth and Pauline space forces are united and seeking them. Meanwhile the United States gets a new President and on Pauline an offshoot of I.C.E.S. is trying to establish a criminal empire there. How will it all end?

Battle at Proxima Centauri is now available. In fact, all my books are now a simple click away from their Amazon pages. Order now and you can get the book of your choice by December 20, 2019.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri (Book Six). I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday Tip : Oh no! I Goofed!

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: Oh no! I Goofed!

Has this happened to you?

You wrote your book; got it edited, proofed, and published. Then you discovered a glaring error.

Or how about this?

After publishing your book you received a critical email or letter that pointed out supposed errors and offered new facts that would have been good for your book.

I have had both happen to me. The first instance was with a self-publisher house. The book had been given the once over and only needed me to approve the Print Ready proof. I had forty-eight hours to review the copy and approve it.

Forty-eight hours sounds like a lot of time. But when you subtract sleep time, mealtime, and eight hours of work, you don’t have much left. I had to rush through the book and failed to see the printer’s error they had committed. It was a simple error. I had used a separator between scenes which they removed. I was so focused on words and spelling that I failed to see the missing separator. I approved it and the book was published.

Afterwards I discovered the error. But it was too late! To correct the error would require republishing the book and it would have cost me perhaps as much as it cost for the first book.

What a bummer!

The second instance took place after my wife and I co-founded T&R Independent Books. We had become Indie Publishers, which meant we were responsible for all aspects of publishing and marketing. We could farm work out, but we were responsible.

The book was published by us using CreateSpace (now KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)). Later I received a letter from a reader who critiqued the book. He pointed out some supposed errors (which were not real errors) plus gave me additional facts. I checked them out and found that they would have been valuable inside the book.

What did I do?

In the first instance I did nothing until after establishing T&R Independent Books. One of the first things we did is set about buying back the rights to my previous books from the original publishers. Some books I was able to buy the rights, other books I was unable to do so. In these latter cases, I simply rewrote the book and assigned a new title. This is what happened to the book in the first instance.

In the second instance the book had been published by us. So I went back to Kindle and republished the book. This time it had the same title, same cover, but corrections and additions were made.

The Power of Indie

These two instances point out the power of being an Indie Publisher. I was able to rewrite the first book and correct the second book. I unpublished the second book, corrected it and republished, but I discovered I could have corrected it and republished without unpublishing in the first place. You might wonder what this cost me. Hold onto your seats: it cost absolutely nothing!

That’s right. Nothing. Instead of hundreds of dollars I spent nothing except time. That is the power of being an Indie Publisher.

Tip of the Day : Become an Indie Publisher. It’s easy and it’s worth your while.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri (Book Six). I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron's Tuesday Tip: Handling Rejection Slips

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about:Handling Rejection.

Principle

This is primarily addressed to those who plan to use a traditional publisher. Self-publishing companies rarely reject a manuscript. And Indie Publishers (that’s you!) don’t.

As a disclaimer I have never received a rejection slip because I have never used traditional publishers. As an Indie publisher I have the ultimate power or authority and I can exercise that authority over when my book is published. I may change my mind, but if I want it published it gets published.

In our Guide to Writing we spent very little time on this subject, but if you’re not an Indie publisher you need this information. So, I am expanding on what the book talked about.

Never let rejection slips stop you!

In the tip below I advise that you Use rejection slips as learning tools. Why?

It’s really simple. In life every experience is a tool that you can learn from. Rejection slips are no different.

Use them as you would any tool.

  • Learn from them
    • Why was it rejected?
    • Did it come with suggestions?
    • Are the suggestions worthwhile in your thinking?
  • Remember the editor, agent, or whatever is not THE authority.
    • It is their opinion based on years of experience
    • But they don’t know you or your motivation
    • They are concerned with marketability
  • Don’t take it personally
    • All they probably know about you is based on your manuscript
    • Their advice or rejection is not meant to discourage you but enlighten you
  • Use the criticism to write a better book
    • Use it as a steppingstone to your eventual success
    • Incorporate their advice if it doesn’t violate your standards
    • Rewrite and try again.
Tip: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer. Don’t take it personally.              

Example

Since I have never had a book rejected, I have no practical example to share with you. But the more meaningful example is one’s reaction to any roadblock, which is all that a rejection slip amounts to in one’s career.

That said check out your response to other roadblocks. If your response works in those cases, maybe it will with rejection.

But better is this: As I said in the Tips: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer and don’t take it personally.

Application

My suggestion is to stay away from the Traditional Publishers and the preceding is only one reason. But if you must use Traditional Publishers, then please pay close attention when listening to them. They each have their own preferences and not following them will bring on a rejection quickly.

You have a responsibility to yourself. That is why I emphasize treating rejection as a tool. Instead of being discouraged, see it as something that will only make you a better writer!

Indie Publishing may be the answer.

As mentioned above you have the ultimate power as an Indie Publisher. That power is to evaluate your book, take any criticism you receive and make it a better book. One of the advantages of being an Indie publisher using the Kindle (KDP) platform is that you can republish without extra cost.

Kindle makes it easy for you to republish your book. You can leave the book in its current published form (valuable if your book is generating sales) while you edit it. You can edit the book according to your desires or ideas. And at the proper time when it is ready to be published, you simply unpublish it and then republish the new updated book.

You have corrected your errors, republished it without losing much exposure and thereby dollars. And with Kindle you will be able to use KDP Select.

This is one of the reasons we use Kindle Direct Publishing. It gives us the authority usually reserved only for the traditional publishers. But as an independent I am writer, agent, publisher, and marketer all rolled into one. It is risky, but it is worth it!

Rejection may be your chance to succeed!

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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What's the Real Meaning of Christmas?

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about: What’s the Real Meaning of Christmas?

Today I’m writing about the real meaning of Christmas. I’m thankful that more and more people are forgetting about ‘Happy Holidays’ and turning back to ‘Merry Christmas’. But how many of us know the real meaning and are willing to live it?

The real meaning of Christmas is not to go shopping for Christmas gifts although millions of people have already started shopping. No matter how costly the gift, Christmas means more.

Nor is Christmas all about a beautiful manger scene. It is not about the Baby although He is certainly a major part.

Christmas is not even about loving one another, although we certainly need more of that! Nor is it about a Christmas tree decorated with lights and all the trimmings. All the things I’ve mentioned delight our eyes and excite our children. But Christmas is so much more!

The real meaning of Christmas is found in the Book of John, chapter 3:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Verses 16 through 18 express this truth. It is about God sending His Son to take our place because  of our sin. Jesus loves us so much that He voluntarily was born into our world as a little Babe (a very humbling experience) with the express purpose of shedding His blood on a cross for you and me!

All He asks in return is our love for Him. If we love Him our lives will be lived differently. If we love Him, we will love one another. If we love Him, we will gladly serve Him. But if we reject Him the gift of life is not given to us, but we are condemned.

Because of His love for us the cruel cross was transformed from an instrument of torture and cruelty to a trinket that many women wear around their necks. It is good to see women wearing the cross, it is better if they love the One who shed His blood for her on the cross.

As this Christmas season starts, we need to love the God who gave His Son who died for us!

Imagine if you will the manger with the newborn Babe in it. The star of Bethlehem shines overhead and causes a shadow of a cross to rest across the manger and the Babe. That is a picture of the true meaning of Christmas.

As Christmas approaches we need to focus on the meaning rather that the outward appearances. The tree itself is pagan in nature and is used only for the purpose of celebration of what Christ did. December 25th is not the day He was born into this world, it only represents that birth. All the outward things are only meant to be in worship of him.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the world turned to Him in true adoration? It would, but it is unlikely. Saved and unsaved alike live in sinful flesh; we do what we want and don’t think of him until there’s an emergency.

The world claims they are the children of God but God only claims them as the creation of God. When a person gets saved, he or she becomes a child of God and their sins are forgiven, but they still have a sin nature. We won’t lose the sin nature until we are in heaven, but if we love God more in the here and now, He can do so much more with us.

Love God and celebrate why He came!

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Friday News: Midwest Book Awards

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about:Midwest Book Awards.

Below are the fees and rules if you want to take advantage of this year’s contest.

Entry Fees Accepted Until December 31, 2019

Click Here for the 2019 Entry Form!

Early Bird Prices (Entries must be postmarked before October 31, 2019): MiPA member: $79 per title (includes first category), $35 for each additional category (maximum of 3 categories) Non-MiPA member: $149 per title (includes first category), $35 for each additional category (maximum of 3 categories) After October 31 (Entries must be postmarked by December 31, 2019): MiPA member: $99 per title (includes first category), $35 for each additional category (maximum of 3 categories) Non-MiPA member: $169 per title (includes first category), $45 for each additional category (maximum of 3 categories)   What to Send

  • Books: Send four (4) copies of each title (one for each of the three judges and one for display) for the first category in which the title is entered. If the same title is entered in additional categories, send three (3) more copies (for the three judges) for EACH additional category. No books or entries will be returned.
  • Entry Form: Send a copy of the completed entry form for each title. Entry forms may be photocopied or may be printed from the MiPA website, http://www.MiPA.org. Please do not use staples, tape, or glue.
  • Fees: Entry fees must accompany your submission. Include your check or a copy of your PayPal receipt with your entry. Entry fees are non-refundable. Make checks payable to MiPA.

Where to Send All books and entry fees must be POSTMARKED by December 31, 2019. You will receive an email confirming receipt of your submissions. Ship books, entry form, and entry fees in the same package to: Midwest Book Awards Attn: Jennifer Baum, 29488 Woodward, Suite 426, Royal Oak, MI 48073/ Questions: email Jennifer Baum at bookawards@mipa.org.

This appears to be an ideal situation for you. If you can afford the fees it is an opportunity to add to your personal resume. But you are running out of time. Print the entry form and fill it out. Submit the title by December 31, 2019 and see what develops. I wish you the very best!

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday Tip: Give Thanks!

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: Give Thanks!

I’m pausing today to give thanks to God for all His many blessings. Being able to create websites, to write books, to edit and publish books, and all the things I do is simply something to thank God for!

I invite all my followers to take time this week and express your thanks to Him! Whatever your pedigree may be don’t forget He created you and that creation was perfect. You may have disabilities, hardships, and troublesome times, but the real you He created perfect!

If you are able to read this blog, He blessed you with that ability. If you can write, He blessed you with that ability. I could go on and on, but you get the drift.

This past year has been a time of reflection and renewal, a time of change in direction, and a time of new opportunities.

One of those opportunities for us has been His leading into starting TR Writing Services. Over the years I often thought about helping others in their writing careers. I even set about working on an academy that would have trained people but life (i.e. health issues in our family) intervened. But now I can still help people without such an elaborate setup!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low). You can visit us at TR Writing Services.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Choosing a Publisher

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: Choosing a Publisher.

The following is based on the Guide to Writing book. In that book I wrote about Self-Publishing, Traditional, and Indie Publishing. My primary focus today is on Indie focusing, but I will also cover the other types, so you get a more complete picture.

Traditional Publishing

Unless you are an established author it is very difficult to get with a traditional publisher. That is because the houses are well established, have a reputation, and, probably, don’t want to take a risk on an unproven novice.

Even so, it is not impossible.

Many of these Traditional Publishing Houses will not even consider a manuscript unless the author is represented by an agent. This is good because when dealing with them you need to have the expertise and knowledge of the agent on your side.

It is also important to remember that some traditional publishers specialize in genre. Some only want established authors. Some may temporarily suspend new acquisitions because they already have a boatload.

But there are some traditional publishers looking for new authors. If you write Christian fiction you may be interested in Christian Publishers. Do an Internet search for ‘Christian Publishers’ and you should find extensive lists, but I have included a few in a list further down in this blog.

Additionally, you can access a list of publishers at http://www.everywritersresource. This is a list of publishers taking submissions.

If you are willing to take a chance on publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts (and may not require an agent), try this list.

Finally, if you are looking for a traditional publisher that accepts new authors try Karen Fox.

Tip: Traditional Publishers are well established, have a reputation, and, probably, don’t want to take a risk on an unproven novice.              
Tip #2: There are lists of publishers taking submissions, accepting new authors, and Christian publishers.              

Never having been published by a Traditional Publisher, I can’t give you a personal example. But you can access their websites and discover their guidelines, list of clients (authors), and success stories.

Traditional Publishing has a long success story. They aren’t going away soon. If you feel that you have written a quality story that will sell and you are willing to wait, then traditional publishing may be for you.

Make use of the lists provided here and study them. You just might strike it rich!

But don’t forget, some of these publishers will require you have an agent. So if your heart is fixed on one of the top publishing houses, get yourself an agent!

Self-Publishing

Self-Publishing has in many respects come into its own with resulting improvements in quality and acceptance. One of the criticisms of Self-Publishers is they rarely reject a manuscript. While this is true, some do reject if the manuscript is deemed of poor quality.

You rarely get rejected if you are willing to pay the fee (usually $400-$800, or more). They are willing to publish but you should still practice thorough editing before submitting the work.

This is an alphabetical listing of some of the better known houses:

  • America Star *
  • AuthorHouse ***
  • Bookbaby
  • DiggyPOD
  • iUniverse***
  • Lightning Source
  • Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
  • LuLu
  • Outskirts Press
  • Smashwords**
  • Tate Publishing
  • Trafford Publishing***
  • Xilbris
  • Zulon Press****

* Between self-publishing and traditional. Recently opted out of publishing and is only interested in marketing.

** Publishes eBooks only. It is free.

*** Owned by Author Solutions.

**** Christian Self-Publishing.

When I started writing I made use of AuthorHouse and America Star. In both cases I was pleased with their work. In fact, any of the houses mentioned above probably provide excellent quality and service.

Tip: Self-Publishing has been around for a while now with resulting improvements in quality and acceptance.                
Tip #2: Self-Publishers rarely reject a manuscript.              
Tip #3: There are many self-publishers out there.                

It would be wise to remember that self-publishing can be expensive. Here are some of the costs you may have to deal with:

  • Professional editing and proofing can cost from $1500 to $2,000
  • Professional cover design ranges from $300 to $400
  • Book conversion and layout ranges from free to $100

That’s not including the ISBN (free to $125), Distribution (percentage of sales), and marketing (skies the limit).

As mentioned earlier, I have used two of the houses listed. Their cover quality was very good (very important to me) as was the overall print quality.

Since I was on a budget, I did my own marketing. America Star provided me a little more help although AuthorHouse may have caught up since I last published with them.

If you are choosing between Traditional and Self-Publishing, Self-Publishing is the better in my opinion. That said, there is yet a better way.

Indie Publishing

These days the author has more responsibility than ever before and more opportunities!

In days gone by the author wrote a novel, submitted it to a publisher, and once accepted, relaxed. But that is no longer true!

There are all kinds of publishers out there. But here I want to present you with a different perspective. I mentioned that there is a better way than self-publishing. You are about to see what I was talking about.

First a brief history. I published my first novel in 2003. Since then I have written a number of books. The first four books were all published by self-publishers. But in 2013 I discovered Smashwords.com and published my first eBook. (My other books are also in the eBook format, but the publisher did this because I paid for it.)

This discovery has changed my life and now I am about to reveal to you what I believe is a better way to publish.

That better way is simply: You are the publisher! Or Indie Publisher!

At the time there was almost no information on the subject but today there’s considerable. It is called Indie Publishing which tells you right off the bat that as a publisher you are independent. This is an important distinction.

Indie Publishing is the author taking ultimate charge of all elements of writing. Basically, it means selecting a printer or publisher to print our books. And there are publishers out there willing to be our printer and even our marketer.

The one I am most familiar with is Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). CreateSpace whom I was with merged with KDP so now all my print books are with KDP. Plus, I have eBooks with KDP and a few with Smashwords.

I will discuss KDP more in the example. I have also located at least one other printer called Best Value Copy. They are an online printing service that provides quality work at reasonable prices. However, I have not used them or any other publishing platform because KDP has proven to me that they are very capable and affordable.

In looking for a quality printer you can try your own neighborhood. For example, there is a Staples store not far from us that gives business discounts to authors using their printing services. That suggests the possibility that other office supply stores may offer the same services.

But assuming the role of publisher is more than just getting a printer. You literally take on the responsibilities of a publisher. You may have to seek your own ISBN, copyright, and other important items.

In our case, we listed ourselves with the State of Florida with a DBA (Doing Business As) name of T&R Independent Books. Because we use KDP we are able to use their ISBNs which are free, although they also sell other ISBNs for a modest price. Copyrights are free.

It is both exciting and scary. But the rewards can be awesome. For example, a self-publisher may give us anywhere from 8% to 40% royalty depending on volume of books sold. But as our own publisher the percentage jumps up to 60% and more (before costs and taxes) from the first book sold.

In addition to that, we have virtual control over every aspect. It is true that with Kindle Direct some control lies with them, but it is also true that such controls are limited.

In establishing our own publishing business, we also took on the marketing of the books.  We are now be able to use the marketing tools that we used to buy from the publisher. Now we will have the authority to market the books as we see fit without incurring exorbitant costs.

Tip: As a publisher you pay the ISBN, the copyright, and other legal fees.                  
Tip #2: Indie Publishers can get gross royalties of 60% or more. Even after taxes the profit is excellent.                  

I promised to discuss Kindle Direct Publishing and here we go.

When my wife first expressed the desire to start writing her own novels it fitted right in with the idea of T&R Independent Books. So, we immediately began researching what the costs would be to publish.

We searched the internet for both local and online printers. Eventually we settled on KDP because of three primary factors:

  1. We would retain ownership of all rights.
  2. Costs were reasonable.
  3. KDP would provide us worldwide marketing (distribution).

(At this time, we were dealing with CreateSpace but in 2018 they merged with KDP. KDP is virtually the same as CreateSpace and both owned by Amazon.)

These are career changing factors. Although we have and will do our own marketing, being in the KDP loop will expand our marketing a thousand times over!

While their imprint will be on our books, there will be no question of the identity of the real publisher which is T&R Independent Books.

In establishing T&R Independent Books we also took over what was formerly known as RFrederickRiddle’s Bookstore. But instead of marketing our books from our own website (an excellent marketing option) we closed down the store and opted to direct all potential buyers to Amazon and Kindle. We still have control over the marketing, including the tracking of sales but the customer has the familiarity of buying on Amazon. Plus KDP has powerful tracking tools!

KDP enables us to exercise several marketing options, some being free. Does this guarantee sales? Of course not. But it does give us maximum control and flexibility.

When we started out in 2014 Indie Publishing was rather new and unknown, at least to us. But now becoming your own publisher is no longer a new idea. It has the potential to change the publishing landscape in years to come.

Not only the publishing landscape, but your future. You should seriously consider this avenue. I can almost guarantee you that your book will be published sooner than traditionally, and it will cost you dramatically less. Quality is another story as it will be up to you to either do the editing or hire a professional.

Getting published doesn’t guarantee sales. But once again being an Indie Marketer involves great responsibility and great rewards. Being an In Marketer has great potential!

A note about TR Writing Services

Our costs to you are very low compared to the averages stated above. We provide editing, proofing, and publishing services under affordable plans. In addition we give each client who publishes through us their own webpage. This webpage includes the author’s picture, brief biography, book cover, and book description with links to their Amazon page. You can use this page for your own marketing efforts!

These links give you the opportunity to work on your next book rather than being over-burdened with collecting payments and shipping of the books, which also means you don’t have to maintain a stockpile of books in your living room.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: What is a USP?

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: What is a USP?

A USP is a Unique Selling Proposition.

Today we are taking a quick look at a USP. In a future blog we may revisit this and go deeper.

In some ways the USP resembles your Elevator Speech, but it is different. The Elevator Speech has its own criteria and is usually longer. But both share the following:

  • Memorable (something your prospect should remember)
  • Repeatable (something your prospect can repeat to others)

For example, when I am talking to anyone, prospect or not, I can insert the USP into the conversation. The idea is to give them a concept of my business that will stick with them, which is the memorable part. The repeatable aspect would be repeating back to me, telling someone else what I do, or telling someone why they are using our service.

The USP should be:

  • True representation of the business
  • Brief
  • Catchy
  • On point

True Representation

This is your reputation. Don’t promise what you won’t or can’t do. So make sure it is accurate.

Brief

The USP should be very brief. Why? Because you will want to include it on all your website pages, Business Cards, and other marketing material.

Catchy

It can be a jingle, but I’m not talking about that. By catchy I simply mean that it can be easily memorized and inserted into your everyday conversation.

On Point

This is related to true representation but relates to what you want your prospect to know. It must be true but it is very important that it conveys what you do. Perhaps it meets a need or provides something rare or embraces a ‘value’.

Below you see our USP which says, “we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”. This may change, but it imparts what we do and its benefit to you. It is also brief, easily memorized, and repeatable.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Local Marketing

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: Local Marketing.

Last week we looked at Indie Publishing, but today we’re looking at Local Marketing. You could also call it Indie Marketing.

The truth is you’re a marketer from the moment you decide to write your book. You need to think like a marketer even as you select your genre and your book. As you get near to your publishing date there are marketing actions you or your publisher can take (reviews, preorders, and more). But over 16 years in the writing business has taught me that marketing locally is a must. Here are some ideas.

  • Website

Having a website these days is a must whether it is internal marketing, national marketing, state-wide marketing, or local marketing. That doesn’t mean you have to have a website with a 100-pages or more.

I once had such a site because I was selling items right on the sight itself. It was a store. And it was growing. But when we moved down here time, energy, and money were constrained due to the care of my mother-in-law (one of the finest ladies I’ve ever known). So we had to close it down, but I’ve always maintained a website.

Our current website provides a place where people can find and/or purchase any books by me or my wife (you are taken directly to the appropriate book page where you can purchase the paperback or digital).

No matter what type of marketing you do, a website is a must!

  • Book signing at local bookstores

Think out of the box. Nowadays many of your bigger stores require you to contact their corporate office which you should consider doing. But smaller bookstores, retail stores, and more might be open to you doing a book signing.

They may require you to provide the books, with them getting a percentage of the price, but the key is to get noticed. Sales are always great to have but getting known locally is an asset.

I’ve done book signings where 20 or more books were autographed and sold. That is not a lot when compared to nationally known authors. But you have to start somewhere. Here’s a tip: don’t let bad weather stop you. When people can’t be outside, they tend to enter stores and that creates more opportunities!

  • Speaking engagements

Depending on your genre you may be able to find businesses, nonprofits, and clubs where you can speak (don’t forget to take copies of your book with you).

  • Newspaper interviews

In your community you may have several newspapers big and small. It’s a good way to get your name out there.

  • Radio/TV interviews

These are harder to get. There are radio stations that want authors. You won’t get paid, but you may get substantial airtime and that can be profitable.

  • USP

A USP is the anagram for Unique Selling Proposition. You can also think of this as your motto. Ours is “We edit, proof, and publish the book within you” and appears on most, if not all, our marketing materials.

Your USP should be short, memorable, and repeatable.

  • Elevator Speech

This is a short message that is longer than the USP but can be delivered in a time span no longer than an elevator ride. It could be an expanded version of your USP.

These are just a few ideas that may work for you. The key is to think of your local area as your marketing zone. It’s not the big markets on the internet and around the globe, but some writers do quite well emphasizing the local market.

Speaking personally, I am reevaluating my marketing. With my wife’s health and my health not what they used to be there is a need to stay local. Staying local is not only more convenient health-wise,  but it is less expensive and less stressful.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Friday News : Impeachment

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about:Impeachment.

The news media is all excited about the recent vote by the House of Representatives to formalize the Impeachment Inquiry, but is it worth all the print? Well, anytime you have any action regarding a public official, especially the President of the United States, it is important. But the real question is its validity.

What is impeachment?

According to Wikipedia it is “Articles of impeachment are the set of charges drafted against a public official to initiate the impeachment process. The articles of impeachment do not result in the removal of the official, but instead require the enacting body to take further action, such as bringing the articles to a vote before the full body.

In the United States, the articles of impeachment are drafted by the House of Representatives for cases involving federal officials. Once drafted, a supermajority of the United States Senate is required to convict based on the articles.”

Although the media knows better their reporting tends to make people think that impeachment means conviction. It is only a set of charges. The way the House is doing it is more like a Grand Jury, although I don’t believe that was our founders intent. So far, it has been innuendo, third party, and unknown people making charges.

When you read the statements of people involved you don’t get much in the way of facts, but statements that are generalized and lacking in substance.

Why is the President being Impeached?

That is the question of the century. When you look at recent history you see that presidents have done similar things such as the President is accused of doing. Basically the charge narrows down to he used economic power to try to get a foreign government to accede to a goal or action he desired.

The Democrats charge, with no proof, that the President did this out of fear of Joe Biden’s candidacy for President. While no proof has been found to bolster this opinion, the truth is that this whole episode hurts Biden more than the President. There are serious questions about Biden and his son. While the media claims that there is no proof of any misdeeds, the fact remains that the reason nothing was found was that Biden used the U.S. economic power to get rid of a prosecuting attorney who was investigating Hunter Biden and the company he was part of. Joe Biden even publicly bragged about his successful effort.

And then the investigation and its documentation seemingly disappeared and is now said not to have taken place. I couldn’t write a better whodunit.

Hunter may be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the investigation should be pursued.

Why aren’t the Republican’s involved in the inquiry?

Because the Democrats don’t want the Republicans messing up their plans. It is the only explanation that makes any sense.

What happens if the House Impeaches Trump?

That is a good question. The Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has options. He could dismiss the impeachment, set rules for the trial and/or have a full-scale trial.

If there is a trial, what will be the outcome?

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I doubt that you could get enough Senators to vote for Impeachment. Not all Democrats and certainly not many Republicans would vote guilty, especially since there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Which brings up why the vote for Impeachment Inquiry.

The Democrats have nothing more than a he said/he said portfolio. Although they passed the Impeachment Inquiry, passing Impeachment is not necessarily a given. Many Democrats don’t believe an impeachable offense has been committed. This means they need facts, so the inquiry is nothing but a fishing expedition.

Will They Succeed?

Doubtful. As said earlier, President Trump used his power the same way Democratic and Republican Presidents have used it in the past. You may not like that display of power, but it is acceptable in today’s world.

What Impact will this have on the Election?

Whether the President is impeached or not by the House I believe it will blow up in the faces of the Democrats (much like it did for Republicans trying to impeach Clinton). The American public is tired of the constant turmoil stirred up by Democrats unhappy over Trump’s election. Despite the news media’s cooperation with the Democrats, the American people have resources for getting the truth and they don’t like the smell coming out of the House.

It’s just my opinion, but I think the Republicans will retake the House.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Successful Writing is not a Hobby

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: Successful Writing is not a Hobby.

Being an author is both a journey and an adventure. Plus, it is always a challenge.

When reviewing your taxes the IRS views your business as a hobby if it doesn’t make a profit within 3 years. That strict rule should be regarded as simply wrong!

Writing is a business whether you profit or not. I’m going to look at 3 very important attributes of a successful writer. These are Writing is a Journey, Writing is an Adventure, and Writing is a Challenge.

Writing is a Journey.

When I first started writing I was a teenager. Nobody in my family or elsewhere knew of my secret desire to be a writer. I was afraid they would mock me. But that is when my journey began.

I knew nothing about writing other than I wanted to write books, novels in particular. My first step in my journey actually took place as a child. I liked to daydream and I had a good imagination. I would adopt characters from television and I would become that character, then I would fight the bad guys. I was a hero both on Earth and in outer space. But transitioning to a teenager I started writing my stories. The problem was that to continue as a hero, I had to write First Person. But that made me uncomfortable, so I changed to Third Person. This was the second step of my journey. This was an important step that has influence me ever since.

Over the years my writing was interrupted by service in the Navy, but I resumed after I got out. It was as a young man that I came across an ad for the Famous Writers School. I applied and was accepted (the school accepted just about anyone). I then paid for the course which I believe was a three-year course. I’ve sense learned that there was much dishonesty on the school’s part and that their fee was excessive. But I didn’t know that and started taking the course.

In any case, I did well in the course and was getting more confident. Then in 1974 I was laid off from work. I ended up dropping out and after resuming work I never reapplied. But my journey continued. Whether my grades were honest or not, I believed them to be and I pressed forward. This was my third step.

In 1973 I’d asked Jesus to forgive me my sins and come into my heart. Over time this proved not only life changing, but much of the trash (sin) in my life was not only forgiven but purged from my life. This was my fourth step in my journey as a writer, but more importantly it was an eternal step in my life. The influence of this new life would become far greater than a mere step!

 From 1973 to 2001 I pressed forward trying to write. After dropping out of the Famous Writers School I continued trying to write without any guidance. Time after time I would start writing. Sometimes I managed to write several chapters, but inevitably I would run into a wall. That would stop me cold!

Writing is an Adventure.

My journey continues to this day, but becoming a Christian turned it into an adventure. At first, I tried writing poems. I had one notable success with that in that in won my future wife’s heart. But writing poems was not my desire and I eventually stopped.

I then took up computer programming. I taught myself how to write Visual Basic programming and was able to write short programs for work and for myself. But as the computer programming got progressively more complicated and expensive. Being self-trained I couldn’t make the transition to the more complicated codes coming on scene. Thus, ended my brief career as a computer programmer. That had been an adventure, but I was soon to begin what I consider the adventure of a lifetime!

In 2001 I had been a Christian for 28 years. By this time I developed a morning devotions routine that included morning prayer and Bible study. One morning I was reading the Book of Genesis and the story of Noah and the Ark. Unlike the myth of Gilgamesh which was written after the fall of the Tower of Babel, the Bible story is a firsthand account probably written by Shem, the son of Noah, about 100 years or more before Gilgamesh . While often treated as a myth it is not.

As I read the account it suddenly came to me that here is a skeletal account of the events. God wasn’t interested in entertaining us but  explain history in such a way as to point to the coming of Jesus. But I, being interested in writing a novel and a lover of history, realized that here was a plot filled with characters and that I had the opportunity to clothe the facts with fictionalized skin to bring the people and events alive! It changed my writing career.

The next phase of my adventure involved research. Outside of the Bible there is no evidence telling us how people lived before the Flood. But both the Bible and secular history tells us a lot about after the Flood.

Using the Bible as the primary source of information (it’s the only reliable source) I began digging. It didn’t take long to realize that evolutionary theory has so corrupted our understanding of history that secular history varies, is often contradictory, and confusing. But when I focused on the 100 to 300 years after the Flood, I began noticing facts, such as the fact that a highly developed civilization existed shortly after the Flood. How do you explain that?

Doing the research proved to be hard, tiring, and eventually rewarding. It was an adventure. Researching for your story is not always so rewarding, but it is always necessary.

Writing is a Challenge.

The story of my researching the pre-Flood and post-Flood history could easily be placed here. Research is a challenge. But my focus here is on getting published.

In 2003 I submitted my first novel to AuthorHouse. As I recall it cost me about $400. AuthorHouse belongs in the category of a self-publisher. As I have blogged in the past there are three distinct types of publishers; Traditional, Self, and Indie.

At the time I was unaware of Indie publishing (I believe it came along later). The term Self-publishers suggests that you the author have control. You don’t. What it means is you pay upfront for the publishing of your book. Basically, that is the ‘self’ part. They control almost all of the power levers. Fortunately, I did know this and opted out of their Editing resource. I used quotations from the King James Version and feared they would opt for the unreliable newer versions. Aside from that I had very little control over the publishing process. Still my first novel got published and I was able to celebrate my becoming an author!

In the summer of 2014 my wife, Teresa, and I founded T&R Independent Books and we became Indie Publishers! This was the beginning of a new adventure and a lot of new challenges. Since then I’ve republished all of my previous books and published newer books. Soon we hope to start publishing Teresa’s books (under the name Tess).

Now, we are embarking on another venture under the T&R Independent Books business. This year we have opened our new service called TR Writing Services. I have discussed this in my last Tuesday Tip: Indie Publishing. In short, we guide any writer who wants our service through the various steps of getting published. This involves editing spelling and grammar, proofing, setting up their account with KDP, and getting the book published.

We are also thinking about providing their own web page on our website. It would include their photo, bio, book cover, and description with a link to their Amazon page. This would provide them a first step in their marketing.

What is a Successful Writer?

There are many answers to that question. The most common one is that a successful writer is one who makes money. The IRS would certainly agree with that idea, but is that really what success is all about?

That, in my opinion, is a short-sighted idea. Rather than money being the determinant factor why not the reading pleasure your book(s) bring to people who read your books?

A hobby suggests something you do in your spare time and maybe only a couple of hours a week. But a serious writer does far more than that!

No, I believe a successful writer is an author who works the craft of writing virtually every day. He/she invests time, energy, and money into their craft. And they write compelling stories. Money is a desirable byproduct or outcome, not the sole determinant of success.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Friday News : Candidate Follow Up

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about:Candidate Follow Up.

In my book 2020 Election Candidates & Issues I not only listed the candidates and their stands on the issues, I made predictions on their candidacy.

Let’s take a look: (an “X” means correct as of now; ! means wrong)

Candidate Prediction Result OK
Michael Bennet Drops out after Super Tuesday    
Joe Biden Drops out after Super Tuesday Slipping; X
Bill de Blasio Drops out before Super Tuesday Out Sep. 20, 2019 X
Cory Booker Drops out before Super Tuesday    
Steve Bullock Drops out before Super Tuesday    
Pete Buttigieg Drops out after Super Tuesday Emerging  
Julian Castro Drops out after Super Tuesday    
Hillary Clinton Maybe enters race* Thinking about it X
Hillary Clinton Drops out after Super Tuesday    
John Delaney Drops out before Super Tuesday    
Tulsi Gabbard Drops out after Super Tuesday    
Kirsten Gillibrand Drops out before Super Tuesday Out Aug. 28, 2019 X
Al Gore Maybe enters race   X
Al Gore Drops out after Super Tuesday    
Mike Gravel Drops out before Super Tuesday Out Aug. 6, 2019 X
Kamala Harris Winning nomination Slipping  
John Hickenlooper Drops out before Super Tuesday Out Aug. 19, 2019 X
Jay Inslee Drops out before Super Tuesday Out Aug. 21, 2019 X
Amy Klobuchar Drops out after Super Tuesday   !
Wayne Messam Drops out before Super Tuesday    
Seth Moulton Drops out before Super Tuesday Out Aug. 2019 X
Beto O’Rourke Drops out after Super Tuesday    
Tim Ryan Drops out before/after Super Tuesday   Out Oct. 23, 2019
Bernie Sanders Drops out after Super Tuesday Slipping; X
Tom Stever Drops out before Super Tuesday    
Eric Swalwell Drops out before Super Tuesday Out July 8, 2019 X
Elizabeth Warren Winning nomination At top X
Bill Weld Drops out before Super Tuesday    
Marianne Williamson Drops out before/after Super Tuesday    
Andrew Yang Might win nomination    
Donald Trump Wins nomination & election Ahead X

* My most interesting prediction concerned Hillary Clinton entering the race. While she has not done so, she is increasingly acting like a candidate. In my prediction I gave reasons for ‘not entering’ the race. My opinion hasn’t changed nor am I surprised by her interest (see 2020 Election Candidates & Issues, pg.46).

In the chart above you can see that every dropout was predicted by me. Further, I have consistently placed Warren as a possible winner. I predicted Harris to be a possible winner, but she’s been slipping lately. Too early to tell. Biden is at the top but his percentages keep slipping and I think my prediction about him dropping after Super Tuesday is still valid. Sanders has continued to slip and I still think he drops out after Super Tuesday.

Tim Ryan dropped out just this week. I had predicted him dropping out after Super Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Trump remains solid. Head to head polls mean nothing, but overall job performance is in low 40’s, which is fine this early in the race. It is hard to discern given the overall bias of the media, but as we get closer to the conventions I expect his numbers to rise.

I am pleased that my predictions have been right on course. Time will tell just how accurate I’ve been.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Indie Publishing

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This weeks blog is a followup to last Friday’s blog Do You Desire to be an Independent Author? This week it’s about:Indie Publishing.

Principle

These days the author has more responsibility than ever before – and more opportunities!

In days gone by the author wrote a novel, submitted it to a publisher, and once accepted, relaxed. But that is no longer true!

There are all kinds of publishers out there. But here I want to present you with a different perspective. There are three kinds of publishing: Traditional, Self, and Indie. You are about to see what I was talking about.

Traditional Publishing

This is basically represented by the big publishing houses. It is a far cry from the publishers your mom and pop knew, although some have the same name. These publishers are in almost total control.

Nowadays many of them require you to have an agent before they’ll look at your manuscript. That’s a red flag to me. Nothing against agents, but the whole experience of searching for an agent, finding the right agent, being rejected or accepted by the agent, and then submitting my work to a publisher is time consuming, can be expensive, and does not guarantee being published.

As for the publishers themselves, they control just about everything from submission, to editing, and to publishing. They’ll help you with marketing, but you are ultimately responsible for that. Unless you already are well-known.

Traditional publishers do pay royalties which are usually based on reaching certain predetermined book sales goals.

Self-Publishing

Although the name suggests you are in charge it really means you pay up front to have your book published. Thus, some people refer to it as vanity publishing. It has come a long way, but they still have control over the most important aspects of the publishing experience.

And you still are responsible for the marketing.

Indie Publishing

This is the subject of today’s blog.

But first a brief history. I self-published my first novel in 2003. Since then I have written a number of books. The first four books were all published by self-publishers. But in 2013 I discovered Smashwords.com and published my first eBook. (My other books were also in eBook format, but the publisher did this because I paid for it.)

This discovery has changed my life and now I am about to reveal to you what I believe is a better way to publish.

That better way is simply: You as an Indie publisher!

At the time there was almost no information on the subject but today there’s considerable. It is called Indie Publishing which tells you right off the bat that as a publisher you are independent! This is an important distinction.

Indie Publishing is the author taking ultimate charge. Basically, it means selecting a printer or publisher to print your books. And there are publishers out there willing to be your printer and even your marketer.

The one I am most familiar with is Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). CreateSpace whom I was with previously merged with KDP, so now all my print books are with KDP. Plus, I have eBooks with KDP. I also have used Smashwords for e-Books, but they are not my primary.

I will discuss KDP more in the example. I have also located at least one other printer called Best Value Copy. They are an online printing service that provides quality work at reasonable prices. However, I have not used them or any other publishing platform because KDP has proven to me that they are very capable and affordable.

In looking for a quality printer you can try your own neighborhood. For example, there is a Staples store not far from us that gives business discounts to authors using their printing services. That suggests the possibility that other office supply stores may offer the same services.

But assuming the role of publisher is more than just getting a printer. You literally take on the responsibilities of a publisher! You may have to seek your own ISBN, copyright, and other important items.

In our case, we listed ourselves with the State of Florida with a DBA (Doing Business As) name of T&R Independent Books. Because we use KDP we are able to use their ISBNs which are free, although they also sell other ISBNs for a modest price. Copyrights are free.

It is both exciting and scary. But the rewards can be awesome. For example, a self-publisher may give us anywhere from 8% to 40% royalty depending on volume of books sold. But as our own publisher the percentage jumps up to 60% and more (before costs and taxes). And no predetermined sales goals; you get the royalties from the start.

In addition to that, we have virtual control over every aspect. It is true that with Kindle Direct some control lies with them, but it is also true that such controls are limited.

In establishing our own publishing business we also took on the marketing of the books, which is another subject.  But in short, we are now able to use the marketing tools that we used to buy from the publisher. Now we have the authority to market the books as we see fit without incurring exorbitant costs.

Tip #1: As an Indie publisher you pay for the ISBN (if necessary), the copyright, and other legal fees.

Tip #2: Indie publishers can get gross royalties of 60% and more. Even after taxes the profits are excellent.

Example

I promised to discuss Kindle Direct Publishing and here we go.

When my wife first expressed the desire to start writing her own novels it fitted right in with the idea of T&R Independent Books. So, we immediately began researching what the costs would be to publish.

We searched the internet for both local and online printers. Eventually we settled on KDP because of three primary factors:

  1. We would retain ownership of all rights.
  2. Costs were reasonable.
  3. KDP would provide us worldwide marketing.

(At this time we were dealing with CreateSpace but in 2018 they merged with KDP. KDP is virtually the same as CreateSpace and both are owned by Amazon.)

These are career changing factors. Although we have and will do our own marketing, being in the KDP loop will expand our marketing a thousand times over!

While their imprint will be on our books, there will be no question of the identity of the real publisher which is T&R Independent Books.

Application

In establishing T&R Independent Books we also took over what was formerly known as RFrederickRiddle’s Bookstore. But instead of marketing our books from our own website (an excellent marketing option) we closed down the store and opted to direct all potential buyers to Amazon and Kindle. We still have control over the marketing, including the tracking of sales but the customer has the familiarity of buying on Amazon. Plus, KDP has powerful tracking tools!

KDP enables us to exercise several marketing options, some being free. Does this guarantee sales? Of course not. But it does give us maximum control and flexibility.

Becoming your own publisher is no longer a new idea. And it has the potential to change the publishing landscape in years to come. You should seriously consider this avenue.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Independence.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

This is one of the most common motivational factors in anyone’s arsenal.

We have an inner desire to be independent, to be free to do our own thing. Think of a baby or young child, they often have an “I’d rather do it myself” attitude that needs to be broken. Hopefully it will be tamed rather than merely broken.

TIP: The desire to be independent can lead to bad decisions, but it can also lead to great decision making!

Example

Shortly after my first novel was published I began to see the advantages of self-publishing. Although the publisher did an excellent job on my book and even offered marketing tools for me to use at attractive prices, I was the one expected to do the work.

This is true of most writers unless they are famous in their own right or have an agent. But for those of us relatively unknown and not having an agent, it is a true experience.

I had the desire to do it myself, but lacked the knowhow. As time passed others (publishers) still published my books and collected money in the process.

But the day came when I decided to make the jump.

Application

My wife and I are a team. Up until recently I wrote the books and she critiqued them. But then her own desire to write began to surface. And it wasn’t to merely copy me but to establish her own writing career in her own genre.

In the summer of 2014 I took her out to eat at the Big M Supper Club (better known as McDonald’s). As you can see I didn’t spare any expense.

I had an idea I wanted to share with her. For eleven years I had an independent online bookstore. And it had enjoyed success up until we moved to Florida to take care of her mother. The care of her mother who had Alzheimer’s became a full-time job thus requiring the closing of the store. The store was gone but the idea of having independence never died.

What was my new idea?

In short, I wanted share the new idea of the two of us forming a new business with her as the President (she has an MBA) and myself serving as the Vice President. I prayed to God before presenting this idea because I didn’t know how she’d react. She’d always been supportive of my writing career but would she support getting involved this way?

But Teresa jumped at it. She had long wanted her own business. Even within the bookstore she’d had a division devoted to creating and selling cards. The concept of having a business in partnership with me was the spark that was needed.

We decided upon T&R Independent Books because ‘T’ would stand for Teresa, while ‘R’ would stand for Ronald, Independent marked us as unique, and books obviously referred to our product. T&R Independent Books represented everything we wanted to be as writers!

I learned at this time that she also wanted to write novels. I was delighted. That meant our new company would have two authors providing the merchandise to be sold. So we formed the company. Then happy days, right? Not exactly. Like any new business we had growing pains, which in this case involved an unexpected heart attack.

But we persevered and worked our way through the whole experience. At first our efforts were directed in getting the company organized and ready to do business. By the summer of 2016 we had published two books (nonfiction and a novel). And since then we have continued to work to publish new books and Teresa (aka Tess) began seriously working on her debut novel.

Whatever success God sends our way the formation of T&R Independent Books marked us as entrepreneurs.

And now we’ve added TR Writing Services. This endeavor is for the purpose of helping writers like you. At one time we thought of starting an academy but this book pretty well covers that need. But how about a low cost service that enables the beginning or struggling author to get their book crafted with good grammar, spelling, book cover, and published. These kinds of services are usually expensive but we decided to offer a service that most people could afford. So on February 11, 2019 TR Writing Services was launched.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Researching the Net

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about:Researching the Net.

What is Researching the Net?

That’s a term referring to the idea of searching for information on the internet. Almost everyone does it, but are they doing it right.

Let’s look at the pitfalls first.

Unfortunately, there are a great many pitfalls on the net that you need to be aware of. One of the biggest is ‘fake news’.

There is fake news on both sides of the political landscape. However most of it is on the left side. Still, you need to be aware that there is fake news no matter your political persuasion. It used to be that you could you one of the many ‘fact checkers’ to verify facts. I’ve done that in the past.

But these days you have to be careful even of fact checkers. Why? Because so many of them try to hide their true bias behind words like non-partisan or neutral or something like that. The truth is that everyone has a bias. Knowing the bias of the person who is rendering an opinion on something is helpful to you. It enables you to evaluate their opinion.

Follow the old adage that says, ‘follow the money’. Another tool is to examine their record, which way do they usually lean?

Does that mean not to use fact checkers? No. It means know and understand where they are coming from, then consider their opinions.

What about Scams?

Another pitfall is the abundance of scam artists. They create URLs that look real but may just be a scam. Or worse, they could be Trojan horses. So be careful.

Your best bet is to use websites that you know are reliable. If you must use a website that you don’t really know, compare the information with other reliable resources.

How do you find Reliable Resources?

Chances are you already know a few resources that you believe are reliable. That’s a good place to begin.

But assuming you have none to begin with you will need to grow a library of reliable resources. When I first started writing I didn’t know what I could and couldn’t trust on the internet. But I did have reference books that I trusted. Since my books related to the Bible, I also had trustworthy Bible Commentaries. That is where I started. I compared the trusted material that I had with the material I found through Google Search. Over time I built a record of trusted sites.

So, what is Researching the Net?

Basically, it is using Google or some other search engine to search for information. Novels are fiction, but you want them to be based on as much fact as possible. This is true in writing novels based on history (Biblical or secular) and Speculative (or Science Fiction). That’s right, speculative fiction deals with the future, yet to be believable they need facts (like the latest in scientific discoveries). When writing about current events you also need facts.

In other words, research is virtually always needed.

Additional Advice.

What I have found to be helpful is that when I find an article or webpage that is loaded with information it is best to use the Select All command and copy everything to a Word page. Later I can highlight the relevant material and maybe discover more than I was searching for in the first place. That way I always have information available on my computer that I can look up whenever needed.

Searching the internet is one of the easier things you can do. Just be careful.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Friday News : Use Your Life Experiences

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about:Use Your Life Experiences.

Have you ever heard the statement, Everyone has a book within them? Generally speaking that statement refers to the fact that we all have experiences of one sort or another. We are the expert on those experiences and thereby can write about them with authority!

Let’s Take It Another Step

Why stop at writing a single book. I don’t know you but I will say this with some confidence: You have a plethora of experiences! (How’d you like that big word plethora. It simply means ‘a lot’.)

When writing a book of any type (fiction or nonfiction) you often bring your own experiences to bear, sometimes consciously and sometimes subconsciously. What I am talking about today is to intentionally and consciously use your experiences.

I write speculative fiction which involves space travel, planets, and plenty of scientific marvels. Yet I’ve never been on a spaceship, nor been to another planet, nor have a science degree. So how can that be using my experiences?

Because I’m writing about human beings.

One thing about humans is that our experiences can take place within a great number of circumstances. Our experience may be in dealing with a difficult problem, with difficult people, or dealing with success.

When I write I try to become the character I am writing about. But I still retain my own identity and experiences. And I sometimes add those experiences to the character’s experience. Having done that, I now have a shared experience although in different situations. This enables me to not only connect with the character but to influence the character’s reaction to the experience.

I also write Bible based novels, historical novels. Again, my experiences are not exactly like the historical figure’s experience, but I can add my experience or at least dive into that character’s experience. Again, this enables me to bring out the character’s response in a more meaningful way.

It gives me a chance to explore the character deeper, developing his or her attitudes, personalities, and much more. And it gives the reader a chance to relate more to the character.

That sounds hard.

At first it is hard. But it is as they say, practice makes perfect. The more you involve yourself into your story the more natural it will be. The key is that when writing, especially writing fiction, don’t be afraid of involving yourself.

Another way of understanding this is to ‘become the character’. Immerse yourself into him or her. And it doesn’t have to be one character. In the beginning, you will probably focus only on the primary character. But as your confidence grows you might consider expanding to other supporting characters.

Just remember that the primary character should be the one that you develop to the highest degree. That’s the one who should dominate and, therefore, the one you identify with the most.

Here’s an experiment.

Take one of your favorite books and read it again. Then take your favorite character in the book and write down the things you know about him or her. Chances are you will see a lot of things about that character or the experiences that character lives through that you identify with. That is not an accident. I believe the author either intentionally or unintentionally lent his or her own experiences to the character thereby creating a character you could relate too.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Friday News : A New Business Website

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about:A New Business Website.

Today is a big day for T & R Independent Books. For years (since 2014) our website has been attached to Godaddy hosting. It has been a good relationship, but the time for change has come.

Why the Change?

Good question, considering my statement above. There are several reasons why I made the change, but first let me tell you what didn’t occur.

It Wasn’t Godaddy’s fault!

Like I said it has been a good relationship. However, they recently made a change in their hosting software. Previously they’d made a change and I’ve been learning to make maximum use of the new formats.

It is obviously powerful, but it is requiring more learning time than I currently have available due to family health issues and more. Now they’ve made another change which may or may not involve additional learning. And they did increase the cost slightly.

I Want a Tighter Fit.

Currently I am active on the website, with my blog (R Frederick Riddle Blog), Facebook, and other social media. While Godaddy’s websites do allow for a blog, my blog is already on WordPress. And it is doing fine.

Instead of having a potential viewer who first lands on the website have to go to my blog tab, click on that and be linked to my blog, the blog will now be a click away from the website. That’s a plus for my readers. In other words, it is a tighter fit!

A Slight Discomfort.

While I’m high on Godaddy and recommend it to everyone, I did have some discomfort with the appearance of my website. As I was still in the learning stage of their system, I may not have used all the tools available properly. In any case, I just wasn’t comfortable with the look and feel of the site.

The Timing Was Right.

As the person responsible for the IT Management and the Company Finances I always look for ways of cutting costs. By making the switch from Godaddy hosting to WordPress hosting I saved money. That is always a big plus!

But the timing was also right because of our recent addition of TR Writing Services. With the switch I have been able to create a more in-depth view of this business enabling viewers to get a better view of it. Since we are upfront in our literature about pricing I wanted potential customers to see what we do and the cost of what we offer!

I don’t know about you, but I hate to visit a website or landing page and have to scroll to the last page to find out the cost. My time is too valuable to read the entire pitch only to discover I don’t like the price. We are upfront.

I’ve also been to websites that tell you a great deal about their products and services but require you to contact them to discover the price. I’m sure they believe that every customer is unique, but there are better ways to present your work than requiring you to contact them. Our Writing Service presents a Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plan. And I believe our costs are lower than the norm. We are proud of that and want you to know.

It is possible I could have accomplished that using Godaddy, but I accomplished that goal within a single day using the WordPress site.

How Do We Access It?

If you are currently on the blog (since you’re reading this that is probably correct), then you’ll notice a “MENU” on the upper right corner of the header. Click on there and the menu will open revealing the TR Independent Books menu. Click on whatever menu item you want.

That’s it! Simple, right?

If you are elsewhere and want to go directly to TR Independent Books, there are two ways you can go. The first is to go to the old site (tr-indbkstore.com) and be redirected to the new site. The second is simply go to https://rfrederickriddleblog.com/tr-independent-books/.

Will this change affect the costs of your service?

No. Your costs remain the same. As noted above we keep our pricing low. Our most expensive service costs less than $900 (see TR Writing Service for You). That is the Platinum which includes the e-book service.

What do I do if interested in your service?

You follow directions below:

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday Tip: Consistent Characters

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday Tips. Every Tuesday I share writing tips with you. Usually it is about writing, publishing, or marketing. Occasionally it is on other matters. This week it is about:Consistent Characters.

Years ago, when I was getting reviews for a novel I’d written one young man decided he wanted to review it. He indicated he was a Christian and interested in Christian fiction. I sent him a copy of the book and he later wrote a negative review. As a general rule, a writer should never challenge a reviewer. And I didn’t, but I sure wanted to do so!

Why? Because it was negative?

No, because of the following.

This young man didn’t really read the book. Instead he skipped his way partway through it and then never finished the book. Yet, he took it upon himself to write a negative review after first admitting he never read it through.

What caused the negative report?

Before answering that let me tell you about the book. It was a novel based on Biblical events in the Book of Genesis. Many of the characters had the same name. For example, there was Enoch and Enoch. The first Enoch was a son of Cain; the second Enoch was a prophet who walked with God and was translated. There were other same-named people.

Because the reviewer skipped through the story he arrived at sections where for example it talked of Enoch walking with God while earlier had shown Cain’s son Enoch badly. He assumed it was the same person when in fact they were two different persons.

As a commonsense rule it is good to avoid characters having the same name, but when dealing with historical figures that is not always possible. I did my best to clarify who was who but I never imagined a reviewer, let alone a reader, skipping through the book.

Sometime later this person wanted to review another of my books. I had to reject him and I told him why. He apologized, but I didn’t trust him to do an honest review.

So, what’s the point?

The point is that this reviewer perceived inconsistencies in the characters of my story. And his complaint would have been correct if it was one character and not two characters. The personalities of the two Enoch’s were completely different!

A greater point is that if you are writing a novel, always try to keep your characters separate and unique. They are allowed to change, but the reader needs to observe the change, especially if the character’s nature changes from bad to good, or good to bad!

Sudden changes are like thunderbolts. They jar the reader. Now if that’s your intent they go with it. Most likely it wasn’t your intent.

How do I avoid clashes?

It’s not that hard. If you have two or more characters with the same name you can always change the name of one or the other. If they are historical, then you need to provide some kind of characteristic that identifies one of them. For example, one could stutter. When dealing with historical figures your liberty isn’t as strong as with fictional. But you can still differentiate using clothing, speech, habits, or some other unique characteristic to separate one character from the other. The differences can be multiple or just one.

But Characters are not the only places for consistency.

For instance, let’s say that your story surrounds a person who lives in a tent. It suddenly changes to a home and later on in the story changes back to a tent. All without explanation. This is another jolt to your reader’s experience.

How about conversation? If you are not careful it is possible to have the wrong person saying the wrong things. This, by the way, is a strong argument for edits by you or someone else. Conversational inconsistencies are also harder to pick up. I doubt that any software can pick up verbal inconsistencies. This requires actual reading of the text.

How bad can inconsistencies be?

I related above about a negative review simply because a careless reviewer thought there were inconsistencies. That negative review didn’t really hurt me, but it could have. If the inconsistencies were real just think of the impact that man’s review would have had. And it is possible that those people who followed him may have reacted by not buying my book.

In conclusion.

Do your edits! Whether you personally edit or hire a professional editor, editing must be done! That’s the only way you can illuminate potential problems that can turn readers away.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday Tip: Do I Need An Agent?

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: Do I Need An Agent?

The following is based on So You Want To Write?

When I first began writing the need of having an agent quickly became a question that needed an answer. My first response was ‘Of course’. But, as you will see, my answer changed.

Since my answer was ‘Of course’, I proceeded to look for an agent. At first I didn’t know what I was looking for in an agent or why I needed one. Thus, began my education.

But there was one thing I knew. I had the internet available and could research the subject. I began digging.

One of the first things I needed to know was what genre I was writing. It turned out to be historical fiction. From that little bit of knowledge I now knew that if I was to get an agent her or she must work in the historical fiction arena.

The next step was to learn what do agents do on behalf of the writer?

Searching through the internet I learned there are three things they do.

  1. Find and submit to them the author’s manuscript.
  2. Negotiate contracts.
  3. Distribute money (royalties, etc.)

Sounds relatively easy doesn’t it? But I soon discovered some interesting facts:

  1. Finding an agent in my genre is time consuming
  2. It requires knowing what you need
  3. Not every agent is accepting new clients
  4. My book needed to pass their approval
  5. Seeking a publisher in more productive
  6. Being a publisher is better yet!

In addition, I discovered that a growing number of publishers ‘require’ you to have an agent! They won’t look at your manuscript unless there is an agent!

It was shortly after I discovered this that I decided to go self-publishing. It was a major move; virtually a first step toward independence. Later I would take another step away from Self-Publishing and toward Indie Publishing that would change my life!

My going with a Self-Publisher quickly dispelled some of the misinformation I had acquired. For example, having an agent wasn’t required. You could have one, but you didn’t need to have one.

In my case I thought it wise to continue looking for an agent. But this proved hard and boring. I eventually found an agent I like and I submitted my book to her only to get a rejection letter stating that she didn’t work in my particular genre. Bummer!

The truths I learned here were:

  1. It can take months to find the right agent
  2. That agent may not want you
  3. .Agents are not required for self-publishing

So I went with a self-publisher and learned that although there is more freedom than in traditional publisher, the self-publisher still had control of all the tools and most of the profits. Plus, you had to pay them upfront!

One advantage of the self-publisher is that they will help you market your book. They may provide you marketing tools for a small fee. But another truth is that no matter what publisher you have you will do most of the marketing.

This all leads to a question: Can you benefit from an agent?

The answer is yes. They have the expertise and the experience to get things done. So, there is value in getting an agent.

However, I opted out. Instantly I became Author, Publisher, and Marketer! Which means that I had the added responsibility that agents normally handle, which is quite a chore.

What Should I Look For In An Agent?

Ultimately you make that call. Discover your genre or genres, learn their characteristics, and search for agents in that genre. No matter what, I think you should consider it. But you should explore the world of agents. You might find one you like.

And remember that going alone, especially Independent, requires you to do the work of an agent!

That said, I believe that going Indie is the best way to go. Yes, you work hard but the rewards are greater also! As an Indie you have a lot of responsibilities, but you also have greater possibilities. As an Indie you can hire companies to help you with certain aspects of your business, such as TR Writing Services (see below). So you are not alone!

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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The Impact of Research

Welcome to Friday. Every Friday I share information with you. Usually it is about writing, publishing, or marketing. Occasionally it is on other matters. This week it is about:The Impact of Research.

When writing it is always good to do research.

In today’s blog I want to show the importance of doing your diligence in researching background material. I am currently writing a new novel, World of Jacob, and another one, World of Joseph, is close behind. I will use these two novels to demonstrate why I am so adamant about doing research.

I have been writing since 2003, so I’ve gained some experience. I have found that the more research I do the better my writing becomes. In the case of these two novels I came across relatively new research that I believe finally settles the debate between differing views on the dates of the Jewish people being in Egypt. There are two schools of thought on the subject. Some people favor the ‘Early’ date and others the ‘Late’ date. Almost all of this is related to Jacob/Joseph’s entry into Egypt and the Exodus.

For some time, research has pointed to 1446 BC for the Exodus. There’s just too much evidence to seriously consider another date. The controversy has centered on when the Jews entered Egypt.

As I believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, I reject the ‘Late’ date scenario as it puts events contrary to a literal understanding of the Bible. But being a careful student, I examined the claims made anyhow.

So why is this important?

To answer that we need to understand the problem. Egyptian chronology can, at best, be described as a mess. Without bogging you down with a detailed history of Egypt, I’ll cover just a few important facts.

The previously accepted chronology was based upon a priest by the name of Manetho, who developed a history of the pharaohs. Traditional Egyptian Chronology is based on this history and has been considered indisputable until recently. As a result it has been used to attack and dismiss Bible Chronology.

Over time it has been seen that pharaohs did not rule chronologically. There is an Upper Egypt (south) and a Lower Egypt (north). These two regions or nations were ruled by their own pharaohs; a fact that complicates history. Why? Because they ruled at the same time and overlapped time frames. Manetho never expected his history to be considered chronological. He simply identified the pharaoh and their rule.

Since the beginning of the 21st Century evidence has grown that the Traditional Chronology was and is wrong and therefore unreliable. This demonstrates why, from a secular point of view, history needs to be looked at from the Bible view. Of course, that is anathema to many scholars.

But when experts take this view (using the Bible as the reliable source) the result has been enlightening. Answers in Genesis (AIG) has articles on this subject that are worth pursuing just for the scientific truths revealed. This study settles many of the ‘Early’ and ‘Late’ issues.

The answer to the question above is that Egypt’s history impacted the Jewish people and a correct view of Egypt and the Jewish history in the land is very revealing. As an author of novels based on history, it has been very important for me to get the correct background just so I can have names, dates, and events accurately depicted. Confusion over dates made that very difficult in my earliest books. In fact, I’m thinking of updating previous books to reflect the now more reliable information.

As for my two novels the debates that muddied the waters were centered on who the pharaoh was during Jacob’s time and who did the Egyptian history point to as Joseph. Based on my research I have identified the pharaoh as Sosestris I and that Joseph was the Vizier known as Mentuhotep. When you read the history you easily see why it is believed that Joseph and Mentuhotep are the same person.

The result for me as a writer is to make my stories more believable and understandable. Further, I believe a well-researched book is more enjoyable to read.

Is this the typical result of research?

For me it has been. My book Perished: The World That Was benefitted from research and the book World of Noah and the Ark benefitted particularly well. In that second book I was able to discover modern research into the ark’s possible construction and design! So, yes, it is very helpful as long as you are careful about the resources you use.

For anything dealing with the Bible you can’t go wrong with AIG. And there are other resources equally reliable.

Research even helps with Speculative Fiction.

Last year I started writing Speculative Fiction (my definition is it is Science Fiction minus the Little Green Men). In this case, I needed to research current and future scientific tools, weapons, spaceships, etc. It didn’t hurt that I am aware of Star Trek and Star Wars. You can get ideas from there as well.

But again, you need a foundation built with research. Some of that research will be based on current and future facts.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: The Importance of the Review Copy

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about:The importance of the Review Copy.

Let’s use your imagination for a moment. You’ve written your book whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. You’ve taken advantage of built-in spelling and grammar checkers; you’ve spent hours check your book and now have an error free book. You submit your book to KDP and it passes all their tests and is published.

You get your copy of the published work and decide to read it. As you read your book errors start popping up.

“Oh no!” you cry.

Your published work has errors!

The good news is that on KDP you can edit the content and republish. But it may cost you hours or days and meantime you have an imperfect book on sale.

I’ve been there. I have learned the hard way that errors can slip by you. This is one of the main arguments for hiring a proofreader. But if you can’t afford a proofreader what can you do to protect yourself?

Order a Review Copy of your book before it is ever published. I used to favor simply reviewing the book online. But now I believe that such an action is flawed. There is something unique about holding a copy of your book in your hand. For one thing it relaxes you. Instead of being a writer checking your work, you become a reader.

Now that you are relaxed, you read your book the same way you’d be ready anyone else’s book. And your mind is not pressured. As you read minor errors that you might not have detected online popup. So you take a pen or pencil, mark the error and the page prior to moving on.

Later you go back, find the errors and edit them. The result will be more errors removed. If you have the time you might want to start at the beginning and reread the book, this time using a different mark to indicate errors. You might read the book three times!

The idea is to remove as many errors as is possible. Hopefully by the third time you’ll find very few errors or none at all. It might not be as good as a professional, but it will produce a book with less errors and have a more professional look and feel.

Why must I go through all that trouble?

It’s really quite simple. You are the writer and your mind knows what you meant. So every time you read your story your mind is involved. It is comparing what you actually wrote and what it knows you meant. And, unfortunately, it often superimposes what you meant to say over what you just read. That results in you missing the error.

To fight this tendency, you have to be very careful. A professional proofreader hasn’t read your book before and has no previous idea of what you meant. So, it is easier for them to pick up on the errors.

Because of that, you need to be proactive and devise ways that fight this tendency and enable you to read, proof, and edit without that subconscious battle. As an editor with TR Writing Service I use the proof copy. I don’t have the subconscious battle going on because I didn’t write the story. However, I may have assisted in the writing, in which case the problem could reassert itself.

But whether I’ve written it or not I learned the hard way that the printed copy is far more effective than the online preview. The reason is obvious to me. When reviewing the copy online I am tempted to skim over portions. I am ready to publish, and I get impatient. But if I use a printed copy, I must be patent for it to arrive and then to sit down and read it.

In addition, it gives me a better look and feel of the whole book. I can see the cover and how it looks plus I can view all the content! In that way, I get to see an overall view of the book and spot things I wouldn’t have spotted online. It makes a big difference.

Remember, when doing anything by yourself you MUST do more!

It is the cost of being independent and on a budget.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Why I Write

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share tip with you. This week I is about Why I Write.

You might think I write Christian fiction books because I was called of God to do so. And you’d be partially correct. But it is more than that. The call came many years after I first felt the urge to put words on paper.

The truth is that I had the urge to write as an teenager who knew nothing about God. I like to write and to read. It is fair to say that reading books led me to the desire to write my own books. But it goes back further than that.

It was as a little boy that the urge to write had its beginnings. I was a child with a good imagination. Because I was under heavy medication at the time, there were restrictions on physical activities. I was able to play Little League Baseball (not very good), to play in the sand near my house (I was probably very good at that), but not much else.

So, I turned to my imagination for entertainment. I got most of my ideas from TV. I just changed the heroes from their TV monikers to me. Now that’s not a very unusual beginning. A lot of children have active imaginations. But mine grew with me, so that when I entered my teen years (still with physical restrictions) my imagination and the English language (my favorite subject) met one another. It was almost love at first sight!

The problem was that when I tried putting my imagination on paper it lost some of the glory that existed in my mind. It just wasn’t the same. But, instead of quitting, I persisted.

It wasn’t until after my service in the United States Navy (1964-1968) that I discovered the help I needed. The problem was while it was affordable, it was also expensive for someone just starting out as a working adult. I signed up and began learning. The program was offered by a group of authors who would evaluate each lesson.

I was doing well until I got laid off in 1974. But I had also undergone a major change in my life as I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I recognized I was a sinner, needed a Savior, and that Savior was Jesus. Even so, I didn’t receive the call to write yet.

I like to say that it took God 30 years to undo the 30 years of the world’s influence on my life. True or not it wasn’t until I was 60 years old that my first novel was published. It was actually three years earlier that the call to write came.

I’d just run into another roadblock in writing a story. I’d written a few chapters and as usual hit the wall and couldn’t go any further. It was at this time that I had recently started reading the Bible from the beginning again and was in Genesis (I usually read the Bible through every 2 or 21/2 years). I was reading about Noah and the Ark and I suddenly realized that here was an historical event that contained the facts but left a lot of room for my imagination.

Looking back, I think of that as the call to write!

My first novel, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles (no longer in print), won the praise of a President of a Christian College plus an honorable mention by a contest I entered. You wouldn’t be wrong to say that this was a second call or perhaps an affirmation of the call. In either case I began writing on a regular basis.

Since that first book, I have now written eight novels and 2 nonfiction books. I am also working on four new novels. I have also expanded my writing from Historical fiction to include Speculative fiction (future events).

So, why do I write?

Most importantly, I write to present a Christian view of life that will bring the Bible alive and point people to God. Secondly, I write because I love writing. Give me a napkin or 3×5 index card and I’ll start writing.

And now I’ve reached that point in life where I want to help others get start. It took me 60 years before I was able to publish my first book. I’ll admit the most detrimental obstacle was not knowing Christ. But even after getting saved, it still took me another 30 years to become a published author!

That is why today my wife and I have established TR Writing Services. It exists as a way of giving back to the world and helping new and struggling authors to write and get published in an affordable way. It’s an exciting new venture that keeps my mind active and focused on my own writing as well as someone else’s.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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2020 Candidates & Issues

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at2020 Candidates & Issues.

I am proud to announce that I have published my latest book. This non-fiction book is titled 2020 Candidates & Issues. The print version is available now at https://amzn.to/2ZozmYw. In a matter of days, the Ebook version will be available.

I have spent a lot of time working on this book. One reason is the sheer number of candidates. Second is the amount of research I had to do to gather their biographies and their career highlights. Even harder was learning where they stand on important issues.

To help you understand I’ve included a page from the book:

Note from the author . . .

I’m a relic.

That’s right. I grew up when Democrats and Republicans had civil disagreements that could be discussed without personal attacks or disparagement.

I believe the current state of uncivil discussion is not healthy for our nation we love. Whether you believe it started with the Democrats during Reagan’s Presidency (as I do) or with the Republicans under President George Bush (as Democrats seem to) it affects both parties and endangers the American Representative Democracy that has served us so well.

(Quick quiz: When were we a democracy and how long did it last?

Answer: We have never been a democracy. See Chapter Thirty-One.)

We are now approaching the 2020 election with stark contrasts between Democrats and Republicans. It comes at a time when America has moved further to the right.

Which way will America turn next? This book seeks to inform you about each candidate that is running. The author is himself a conservative, but I’ve tried to present a balanced picture concerning each candidate.

I’ve also included my own analysis plus Author Notes which admittedly comes from a conservative position. But I’ve drawn information from other sources to be as honest and forthright as possible.

But it remains every American citizen’s responsibility to determine the man or woman we want to lead this nation for the next four years. It’s not only important for us but for our children, grandchildren, and the world.

R. Frederick Riddle

That explains why I wrote the book. But that only touches on the peripheral. The truth is that this book is more than just an introduction to the candidates. Their ideas need to be examined in the light of American and world history. Their words seek to define America by the slavery that once existed, but that doesn’t come close to defining us. You the reader, and potential voter, need to first understand them and then understand America.

Unfortunately, America has been in the hands of the far left for so long that we are in danger of accepting their definitions and, ultimately, their solutions. As a counterbalance I have also included President Trump who is a legitimate candidate. His accomplishments are so many that I had to trim them down. It would have been easy to write one book just on him.

It is true that this election will be a landmark for our nation. It could well determine the direction this country goes in the next 100 years! If you compare the Presidency of Barack Obama and the Presidency of Donald Trump, you get a clearer picture. I only briefly touch on this in the book, but the comparison is remarkable!

Eight years under Obama saw the “end of the recession”. I say that with tongue in cheek. The economists will tell you it ended about 2009. Did you notice the end? Probably not. They based their opinion on data, not on people. Unemployment dipped to single digits primarily because people gave up looking for jobs. Whenever the unemployment figures were given, we often heard that the real figure was in the teens.

Men and women, some with degrees, lost their highly skilled jobs and worked in the fast food industry and other low-paying jobs, and still others lost much more. But the economists were more interested in their own numbers.

Based on observation rather than sheer numbers, I believe the recession ended after Trump took office. Now we have true unemployment in the low single digits! This is just one area of difference.

But we now have men and women telling us that America is a horrible place to live. We had Obama tell us to get used to no industrial jobs. Others are using the race card to promote their own political fortunes.

As a conservative, I have tried to be fair as I’ve discussed each candidate. I’ve even identified in a few cases ideas that I considered interesting. One such idea is making Election Day a national holiday. This has merit. I’d like to hear more about it. That is why I listed their stands on the issues. Issues are greater than the candidates. Sometimes we need to look at the issue itself and forget who promoted it.

I also addressed other topics that are related in some degree to the election. These topics include The Green New Deal, Immigration, the Squad, Sanctuary Cities, and more. They represent my view and you are entitled to agree or disagree. But one thing is for sure, these topics need to be examined calmly as we consider our country’s future.

Here are book details:

  • Paperback: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (August 19, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1686577761
  • ISBN-13: 978-1686577765
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight:  12.3 ounces
  • Cost: $9.99 (paperback); $2.99 (Ebook)

As the election moves forward I will be watching closely. At the moment I am considering writing a follow-up right after Super Tuesday. In any case, I hope you find this book a valuable aid in understanding your choices, even if you aren’t a Democrat.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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How to Schedule Your Time

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look atHow to Schedule Your Time.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

Really! Everyone knows how to schedule don’t they?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Not because the people are stupid. They were probably never taught to schedule.

I learned the hard way of the necessity to schedule my time. As I entered the multifaceted world of writing, publishing, and marketing I found my time to be precious. Everything and everyone wanted it.

One of the best books on the subject I have ever read was Success God’s Way by Charles Stanley. He included a whole chapter devoted to the subject of time management. It is based on Ephesians 5:15-16: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

However, you do it, it is necessary that you schedule your personal and professional time.

But Scheduling is more than just the setting up a time for each task, it is making priorities. Every day I make a short priority list – by short I mean no more than three items. It may start out as more than three items, but it often is reduced to a more manageable three.

This is not your typical “to-do” list, but it is related. Think of it this way, make your “to-do” list and select the top two or three.

If you are like me, having a long list usually leaves items undone and I a little discouraged. But when I limit it to two or three there is a much better opportunity for me to accomplish all of them!

Scheduling also involves appointments. As an author you will need to keep track of when you are to meet with or contact agents or publishers or even reporters, when you are supposed to do a book signing, and many other events.

Tip #1: Redeem the time: make good use of your time. Schedule it!

Tip #2: Make your “to do” list and select the top two or three.

Tip #3: Do it!

Example

I actually schedule my time beginning with my morning devotions. I have what I call Focus. I usually focus on two, sometimes three items related to writing. I also write them down in my calendar.

However you do it, make it a habit. You will quickly discover just how valuable a habit it is!

Application

Scheduling is not really rocket science, but it does require thought. It rests firmly on your concept of what is truly important for your writing career. It is one of your most important priorities.

So if you have never put down a to-do list before do it now. It’s easy. Start by writing down, in no particular order, everything you think is important to be done.

Then narrow the list down to seven or ten items (still no order).

Now you have what I call a typical to-do list. Your next step is very difficult: arranging the items in order of importance. I suggest three categories: important, more important, and most important.

That will probably take some time, but your next step requires you to take the top three. By this time everything should be in order of priority. But it is possible that the top two or three items may be tied. If so, you need to narrow it down further.

To help you get to your final two or three items, ask yourself what needs to be done and what has to be done.

Now you have your list of two or three must do items. The final step is the most important: Do it!

The above excerpt is from TR Writing Services Guide to Writing.

Digging deeper, what is the danger of not scheduling? Here are some dangers right off the top of my head:

  • Not getting it done. If you don’t schedule your time there is the danger of forgetting to do a necessary task when you wanted it done.
  • Rushing the work. When we don’t schedule the work and then later realize it must be done now, we tend to rush. Thereby producing a document or book or whatever with errors and sloppy work.
  • Not enough time to edit. You’re under the clock and you’ve rushed the work, but still don’t have time to properly edit. This will result in you publishing a terrible book or being forced to cancel or delay the book project.

It is never too late to begin scheduling. My body is loaded with lazy bones which causes me to take shortcuts. One shortcut is to forget to schedule my work or to make a careless schedule. Either one or both can lead to waste of valuable time.

That said, I can restart, reboot, or whatever you want to call, but the main point is to get myself back in the habit of scheduling.  Which brings up my final tip:

Tip #4: Make scheduling a daily habit.

That is easier said than done. It requires work. Make it the last thing you do in your work day by scheduling the next day; or make it the first thing you do in your work day by scheduling that day’s work. Then work it!

And if you forget to do it, get back on board immediately. Sometimes I’ve neglected a schedule and then realized it after already starting my workday. In cases like that I stop what I’m doing and schedule the rest of the day. It’s not perfect and certainly not desirable, but it does work.

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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How to Manage Location of Resources

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look atHow to Manage Location of Resources.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

LOCATION OF RESOURCES

As mentioned before, I like my cabinets and shelves to be close by the desk where I can easily reach them. Being basically lazy it works for me! This enables me to access the information with greater efficiency. Meanwhile Teresa has her resources spread out, but that seems to work for her.

The important thing is that it be helpful to your overall work.

Tip: Keep your resources where you can easily access them.

The RESOURCES

This covers:

  • books on writing
  • Bible commentaries
  • books on marketing
  • financial records
  • publishing information
  • Research material
  • and more

Your resources will differ from ours, (for example I need Bible commentaries) but you will have a need for good resources and you will need to keep them somewhere safe and easily accessible.

But that is not all. You need to also consider such factors as lighting, storage (paper, ink, incoming/outgoing, and more). In other words, you need resources that will reflect not only personal preferences but will aid you in writing the kind of books that you are committed to write.

Tip: Take time to make sure your workspace meets your needs.

Example

It’s not uncommon for me to need to do research for a book. By having resources close by I’m able to make use of several resources, including my library and my computer. Having a comfortable and efficient place to work has been a blessing throughout my career.

As mentioned before I use a task chair as it’s comfortable and work friendly. Artists, including musicians as well as writers, need to keep a proper posture. Not doing so can cause a painful back and other more serious ailments. And correct posture helps you keep focus!

As mentioned before bad posture can lead to sleepiness and an inefficient approach to your work. I learned this fact the hard way and still have to fight a tendency to slouch. But having a comfortable task chair has helped me immensely.

By using that chair plus a computer table I’m able to sit for long periods of time and accomplish whatever work needs done. There’s the added benefit of being easily moved to a different location if I desire.

When I first started out writing I had the blessing of a separate room to be used as my office, but when we moved down to Florida to take care of my mother-in-law my office was located in her lanai. After she went to glory we moved to a condo and I enclosed a portion of the living room into an office. Now in our present home I’ve staked out a place in one of our rooms for my office.

All of these worked for me because I used comfortable, practical furniture arranged in a fashion that was economical, comfortable, and efficient for me to use. Unless you have complete confidence in someone else’s abilities I would advise this be a DIY project. You know what is comfortable and works for you.

Application

When planning your workspace, you need to take the time to analyze what your needs are now and in the future. It may require the investment of money as well as time. Remember that you need to know what your needs are because an uncomfortable or inefficient work space will make it very difficult for you to be an effective writer. It may seem a small thing but it can be a big thing.

When Teresa and I moved to Clarkston, Michigan we took time to measure and plan the layout of every room before we moved in. We repeated this when we moved down here to her mom’s house. Although the lanai was good sized, we had to leave room for mom’s stuff as well. In fact, every time we have moved, we took the same approach which enabled us to move without being inconvenienced.

The above excerpt

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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How To Setup Your Book’s Page

If you want our free Guide to Writing book just contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and ask for it. We’ll rush it to you.

As shown in the video setting up your margins is critical to your books. Moreover, you need to set up orientation, headers, footers, and more. Guide to Writing will show all this an more.

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How To Setup Your Pages

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look atHow to Setup Your Pages.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

Page setup is critical to your book. Different publishers have differing requirements, but I will show you two possible setups.

Standard 11 x 8.5

Top: 1”; Bottom: 1”

Left: 1”; Right: 1”

Gutter: Usually the same as Left or inside

Although this is considered standard, the book is reduced by the publisher to a smaller size such as 9 x 6 which in reality is the new standard. I recommend that when setting up your books margins, you use the 9×6 setup. The follow is only a suggestion; experiment.

eBook 9 x 6

Top: .79”; Bottom: .79”

Left: .79”; Right: .79”

Gutter: none (same as left or inside)

TIP: The Gutter: is the same as left or inside margin

Some publishers require Headers/Footers, while others don’t want them. So you need to find out what your publisher wants, which means, that you may have to go back and copy the manuscript with a unique name and redo the margins, headers, etc., which is an argument for being your own publisher.

Tip: If possible, do your setup before you start writing

We use the 9 x 6 setup. But whatever you use, set it up first, you can always change it later.

Example

This book’s setup includes the 9 x 6 margins. Since it is both a print and an eBook and there are page numbers, headers, and footers in the print version. The eBook will not have them.

Application

We use the 9 x 6 setup because we are in charge of our own publishing. If we use an outside publisher and they have different standards we can make an additional copy just for them.

The above excerpt is not meant to be exhaustive. Rather, it provides a starting point for you. The margins given can be a good starting position, but chances are that you’ll need to adjust them according to your book size. For example, many of our books have been converted to the 9×6 size. Plus, the pages range from 250 – 400 in page length. That means that we use the following margins: Top is 0.76; Bottom is 0.76; Inside or Gutter is 0.63; and outside is 0.63.

No matter what your current settings are, you can change them later!

A good practice is to always preview your book before publishing. You don’t want the gutter too big that it becomes part of the front or back covers. Nor do you want it too small causing the front and back covers to overlap the gutter.

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Featured

How to Get a Publisher

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at How to Get a Publisher.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

How does one seek a publisher? First, you must decide what kind of publisher you need. See the chapters on Self-Publisher, Traditional Publishing, and You, the Publisher.

This is actually a critical decision. Unfortunately there is a lot of mudslinging going on. Not to mention confusion. In my chapters on the different types of publishing I strive to clear it up a little.

But before you make that decision you will want to search the internet and discover who and what these publishers are. Even more important, is to decide the overall direction you want to go.

In future chapters I examine each type of publisher closer, but here it is important that you know what you need.

Here are just a few things to examine:

  • How long are you willing to wait for your book to be published?
  • Can you afford $400 or more upfront?
  • Are you a new author?

There are other considerations as well. But these three will give you immediate indications as to what you need. For example, traditional publishers often have time lines that result in books being printed as much as two years down the road after signing the contract. On the other hand, self-publishers want you to pay for the privilege which often involves $400 or more.

And if you are a new author there are some publishers who will not consider you simply because you’re new. These are generally found in your larger traditional printing houses.

Then there are the publishers who are like self-publishers but have a minimum order requirement. For instance, I knew of one author who had to buy $5000 worth of copies at a time, which required that he maintain a storage area. Here you have the cost of the books plus storage costs. In his case he stored them at work, but not everyone has that opportunity.

Tip #1: Examine what your needs, perceived and known, are before searching for a publisher.

Example

When I wrote my first novel, I didn’t know about costs, time, or submission requirements. So I began looking for a publisher while in the dark.

Fortunately, I had access to the internet and began learning fast. It didn’t take me long to figure out that traditional publishing was not for me. While they are free and pay royalties, they were too restrictive.

For example, the traditional publishers often required an agent (I didn’t have one) plus prospects for publishing soon were unreasonable (up to two years after signing).

I eventually signed with a self-publishing firm. It cost me about $400 upfront plus the cost of marketing tools which they sold.

Application

It is your responsibility to find the right publisher for you. Everybody has an opinion, but you are the one who has to live with your decision.

Read my chapters on the different types. Weigh the facts and decide which one best works for you.

HANDLING REJECTION

Principle

This is primarily addressed to those who plan to use a traditional publisher. Self-publishing companies rarely reject a manuscript.

As a disclaimer I have never received a rejection slip because I have never used traditional publishers.

That said, I can say this with authority: Never let rejection slips stop you!

Use them as you would any tool. Learn from them. Why was the manuscript rejected? Did it come with any suggestions as to how you can improve? If so, you should consider them (but don’t violate your own standards).

Another thing to remember is that editors have their own ideas as to what makes successful writing. They are not THE authority.

Tip#2: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer. Don’t take it personally.

Example

Since I have never had a book rejected I have no practical example to share with you. But the more meaningful example is one’s reaction to any roadblock, which is all that a rejection slip amounts to in one’s career.

That said check out your response to other roadblocks. If your response works in those cases, maybe it will with rejection.

But better is this: As I said in the Tips: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer and don’t take it personally.

Application

My suggestion is to stay away from the Traditional Publishers and the preceding is only one reason. But if you must use Traditional Publishers, then please pay close attention when listening to them. They each have their own preferences and not following them will bring on a rejection quickly.

You have a responsibility to yourself. That is why I emphasize treating rejection as a tool. Instead of being discouraged, see it as something that will only make you a better writer!

To learn more about getting a publisher and/or agent TR Writing Services is currently giving away – that’s right, it’s FREE! – our TR Guide to Writing. Simply contact us and request a copy (PDF) and we’ll send it to you. While at it why not request the TR Writing Service booklet? This booklet will tell you about our different plans and prices. (The current plan discounts expire June 30th.)

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Featured

Art of Writing Multiple Viewpoints

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Multiple Viewpoints also known as Multiple 3rd Person.

In this blog I will be exploring a difficult, yet in my opinion, profitable methodology. I previously wrote about 1st and 3rd Person viewpoints or POVs, but in the following I am writing about having multiple primary characters. Now, as a rule of thumb, you never want more than one primary character at the same time.

If you read any of my books I often have multiple POVs. You should also notice that I follow my own advice and clearly identify the person who’s POV I’m using.

One last thing before we dive into the subject, don’t let the subject intimidate you. You can master it if you focus on applying the principles of good writing.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

Imagine yourself as a reader who gets to read the minds of the characters. Not necessarily all the time, but at critical times. It gives you, the reader, the power and knowledge to understand what is going on to a greater degree.

In Third Person Viewpoints you are reading or “listening” to the thoughts of the primary character. But in Multiple Third Person Viewpoints this is multiplied so that the reader has the opportunity to grasp more and understand more.

That being said, I would not suggest too many characters at one time. Generally I try a limit of to two or three characters. And only with the primary character do I have constant contact.

Tip#1: Generally speaking, multiple characters with observable viewpoints should be introduced early. An exception is when a book spans many years; you can space them out.

Tip#2: Unless you are truly great with prose keep your primary character as your primary POV. In books spanning many years make sure you have a smooth transition between the old POV and the new POV.

Example

In Perished: The World That Was you have a book covering 1656 years. It starts with Adam being the primary character but he eventually dies and another takes his place. This continues until Noah becomes the primary. One difficulty was that these characters sometimes lived at the same time, so I had to be careful about the transition. In most cases this happened at the death of one or in other cases it was in different scenes.

I do not recommend doing this in a story that is more compressed in time. Most likely your primary character will be constant throughout the book.

Another example from the same book is the inclusion of multiple primary characters. But it is rare for both to appear in the same scene at the same time. If such a situation presents itself, however, only one should be the primary at that time.

Application

Advantages of Multiple POV

  1. Greater flexibility within story
  2. Greater or wider view of story
  3. More information available to reader

Disadvantages of Multiple POV

  1. Requires a great deal more diligence
  2. Requires more work
  3. Can confuse reader if not done right

Multiple Person Viewpoint is in my opinion the most flexible (and hardest) viewpoint for the author to use. That flexibility is a valuable asset for the author. So don’t shy away from it.

Try it out. Buy books on viewpoint and learn what works for you.

To learn more about multiple Points of View and other writing needs TR Writing Services is currently giving away – that’s right, it’s FREE! – our TR Guide to Writing. Simply contact us and request a copy (PDF or docx) and we’ll send it to you. While at it, why not request the TR Writing Service booklet? This booklet will tell you about our different plans and prices. (The current plan discounts expire June 30th.)

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Featured

Art of Writing Viewpoints

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Viewpoints.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

Viewpoint or Point of View is extremely critical to your story. The Point of View allows the reader to experience someone else’s view of the world. The POV often determines whether a story is successful or not.

Before looking at the viewpoints let me give you another related principle: Make sure your reader knows when the character is thinking and when he is speaking. And try to avoid ‘he thought’ or ‘she thought’. While occasionally using such phrases is fine, too much of it can create a stilting effect. At the same time you want to keep the identity of the speaker before the reader. This can be done by occasionally having one speaker identify the other, such as ‘James, that’s wrong’. The reader knows it is not James talking.

We are going to take a look at two POV (Point of View). These are 1st Person and 3rd Person.

First Person

This is essentially the personal pronouns “I”, “Me”, “Mine”. The POV is from the speaker. He/she tells the story from his/her perspective. Personally, I don’t like this POV but I have read some excellent books using that technique.

There are a few advantages to this viewpoint, such as:

  1. Instant involvement: Because the reader is inside the character’s head all thoughts and actions are immediately known. There is no delay.
  2. Language: Because the reader is inside the head and knows the thoughts of the character the reader is able to instantly know the education, and class of the character.
  3. Range: How the character thinks. The reader learns a great deal about the character because every facet of his/her thinking is open to the reader.

But there are also disadvantages; such as:

  1. It requires the presence of the character in all scenes. This can cause difficulty in overall structure and the story itself. But it can be done as witnessed by successful writers.
  2. The character can’t keep secrets from the reader. If the character knows something, we do also, which leaves off any mystery you may want.
  3. You cannot include any information that the character doesn’t know. In other words, you know only what the character knows. No more and no less.
  4. The “I” becomes both you and the character. This can be troubling.
  5. Limited view. Since you only know what the character knows there is a whole world of unknowns.

First Person, in my opinion, is harder to write and to pull off. Some authors do and succeed quite well. But it can be unwieldy. Therefore, unless you have a great deal of experience in writing, I would recommend you stay away from it.

Third Person

Third Person, in my opinion, is the preferred method to use. It is the personal pronoun “he”, “she” or “it” viewpoint.

The advantages of this POV are:

  1. An outside view of the person
  2. You, the narrator, can talk about other facts, events and people.
  3. You can have additional characters in third person
  4. You can have other POV characters.
  5. Unlimited worldview: In the first person you were restricted by the author’s or character’s thoughts and opinions.
  6. But in third person the narrator and reader have access to other information – thus expanding the scene.
  7. Greater objectivity – in first person you only have the character’s opinion of self, but in third Person you see much more and can make better judgments.
  8. Hidden information – In the third person the author can keep some of the facts about the character secret until later in the story. Then as the story unfolds the author can divulge pertinent and new information about the character.

But there are disadvantages. These include:

  1. separated involvement.
  2. With first person you had instant involvement, but here there exists separation or distance between the character and the reader.
  3. language.
  4. It is more difficult to identify the class and education of the character.
  5. range.
  6. Awkward. The thinking, etc, is not as visible as it is with first person.

Tip#1: Choose your POV carefully. 1st person identifies with character; 3rd person identifies with multiple characters.

Tip#2: When conveying a character’s thoughts put it in italics. Not a hard rule but I recommend it.

Example

  1. First Person: I thought to myself, What a wonderful day!
  2. Third Person: He looked about, smiling. What a wonderful day!

Application

Be careful with your POV. It is very easy to forget which POV you are using. The result can be disastrous.

I do not recommend First Person, although many authors have done so successfully. It takes a lot of hard work and skill. And in my opinion it is too limiting. But if you choose this POV then pay close attention, follow the rules carefully, and stick with it. You just might be one of those successful writers!

Be aware that there are many variations of first and third person viewpoints. I recommend you buy a good reference book on the subject. There are many resources, including Writers Digest.

To learn more about writing viewpoints or POVs TR Writing Services is currently giving away – that’s right, it’s FREE! – our TR Guide to Writing. Simply contact us and request a copy (PDF or docx) and we’ll send it to you. While at it, why not request the TR Writing Service booklet? This booklet will tell you about our different plans and prices. (The current discounted plans expire June 30th.)

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Writing Good Grammar

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Good Grammar.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

Your grammar must be perfect!

Right?

Actually that depends on who you talk to and the specifics involved. Here is my take:

Generally speaking you want your grammar usage as correct as possible, but there are exceptions. For example, let’s say one of your characters only has a ninth grade education.

You would not want that character talking like a professor. For that matter, you really don’t want any of your characters to talk that way unless they actually are professors.

Now I don’t recommend that you try to imitate slang and accents, but just be cautious. Maybe allow a character to have a favorite saying. In Perished: The World That Was I had Methuselah with a favorite saying, “So God has said, so shall it be.”

Which brings up a related principle: Be consistent. If I later had someone else using that same phrase it could have been a jolt. Be consistent.

So here’s the principle: When you are dealing with conversation (or even thoughts) you can and should be less than perfect but consistent. Everything else should be perfect.

Aside from speaking, there is the matter of punctuation and spelling. With the tools available this should never be a problem, but it does occur. It is therefore necessary to check your spelling and punctuation as often as possible.

Tip: Be consistent. If Bob is talking like a country boy on page 2 and a professor on page 132, you better have shown a transformation. Your reader will spot inconsistencies!

Example

The boys is clothed alike. [This is poor grammar.]

The boys are clothed alike. [Much better.]

“You guys look the same.” [OK.]

“The boys is clothed alike,” Martha said. [Ok, if this is consistent with Martha’s education and you’re emphasizing it.]

Tip #1: A rule of thumb is that grammar rules don’t have to be followed rigidly when verbal conversation is taking place or when someone is thinking.

While there are some purists who’d disagree with that tip it is true. Don’t believe me. Listen to people as they talk to one another. They simply don’t talk like some cutaway from your most recent English language book. Nor do they think that way. In fact their speech often denotes who they are.

Some authors go all out and embed a character’s speech with all sorts of idioms. That is fine but to carry it throughout the book might prove to be a heavy task. I suggest a more practical way.

In my novel Perished: The World That Was I peppered Methuselah’s conversations with ‘So God has said, so shall it be’. That was a major departure from anyone else. For the most part his speech was pretty common, easily understood. But phrases like that and the manner in which he talked spoke of his wealth and authority. In other words I let the character’s personality dominate and come through his speech.

As for thinking, I suggest that you italicize the words. This immediately tells the reader that this is different than verbalizing. It should also reduce the need to add ‘she thought’ or ‘he thought’.

Tip#2: Don’t use slang or social media in your language. Slang is both geographical and time restricted. You use a slang word in New York and it may mean something altogether different in Michigan or Florida. Of course, if your character is a New Yorker you might be able to get away with it. But then you have another problem. Slang is not constant. So what you knew as slang ten, twenty years ago may no longer be in use. Your use, therefore, of old slang in a modern setting can confuse your reader.

Best to stay away from slang altogether.

Application

Both my wife and I try to watch our grammar usage. One of the tools we use is Microsoft Word’s grammar checker. It’s not perfect, but it helps. Also, we use the spell check, but it is not always up-to-date. So we make use of the ‘Add to Dictionary’ tool.

Other resources are grammar books (especially older versions that really emphasized good grammar), and the internet (not the way people talk on the internet like FaceBook, but information about grammar).

Make use of as many resources as needed. And pay attention to grammar and punctuation when editing.

To learn more about grammar and other aspects of writing TR Writing Services is currently giving away – that’s right, it’s FREE! – our TR Guide to Writing. Simply contact us and request a copy (PDF) and we’ll send it to you. While at it why not request the TR Writing Service booklet? This booklet will tell you about our different plans and prices. (The current plan discounts expire June 30th.)

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Featured

How to Start Writing Career

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at How to start writing career.

To learn more about writing contact TR Writing Services at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

You’ve got an idea for a book, be it non-fiction or fiction. All you need to do is sit down write the book and you’re done. Right? Wrong.

What Should I do to start a career as a writer?

Well, you could try just writing your book starting right now. But while it seems easy, that method would probably prove very exhaustive and tiring. Here are some tips.

First, ask yourself why you want to write. Is it because there’s money to be made? Well, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make money. Is it because your idea is the best idea ever? Well, that’s dubious. Is it because you have a real desire to write? Now you’re talking, but that raises other questions.

Assuming you have a desire to write, what experience or skill do you have?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to start out with experience or skill, but it certainly helps. Can you handle basic grammar and spelling needs? There are books on grammar and dictionaries for spelling that should help you with that.

In fact, I would suggest you invest in a simple dictionary at first and later get a combination dictionary/thesaurus. Both of those should be considered essential tools. Books on grammar, spelling, and even on novel writing are excellent helps.

What I’m saying is that you need to have writing aids available to you. You might think you don’t need them, but you do no matter your education or experience.

Then I can start writing?

Sure you can, but you might want to set up a space in your house, apartment, or condo that is meant for you to write. You should consider a desk, writing table, or even a lap table. Having your own private space is conducive to good writing. Also having your files, resource books, etc. nearby can be a good help.

Now I can write?

There’s nothing stopping you, but there are other things you should consider before you begin. One thing that many writers suggest is that you check out on the internet and see if the book you plan on writing has already been written and check out what genre you are in. There’s truth in that. For example, the title itself may already have been used. You might want to have a new or fresh title.

It’s possible someone else has already written a book with the plot you’re thinking of. That doesn’t mean you can’t write the story you have in mind, but it might mean that you need a fresh twist on the plot so that it is different.

Surely now I can write?

Like I said, there’s nothing stopping you. However, you might want to set yourself up as a businessperson. The moment you commit yourself to writing a book you are a businessman or businesswoman. You need to set yourself up so that you not only have a concept of making money, but have a plan for receiving it, tracking it, and making use of it. And don’t forget that eventually you’ll need to market your book

Wow! I don’t have a clue how to start!

That’s fine. There are a lot of businesses out there willing to help you. Unfortunately most are not cheap. Some are expensive and misleading. They promise you a best seller within weeks! It sounds great, but in this day and age unlikely.

My wife and I recently started a new service that is offered by our business T&R Independent Books. It is called TR Writing Services. And it is designed to help the beginning or even the established writer get their book written and published. This service is available at very reasonable prices. Want more information, contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and we’ll send a free booklet on our different plans and a free copy of our TR Writing Guide.

You’ll guide me?

Yes, to an extent. I will be honest with you and do my best to steer you in the right direction. But we don’t believe that you have to do things our way. In the end you are the boss. But we will certainly keep you informed about what we know or think is right. We’ll also help you set up a KDP account if you don’t have one. If you’re going with KDP then we’ll be right with you through the publication process. We are unable to offer that concerning other publishing platforms, but we are experienced with KDP.

I am currently developing a FREE Writing Course that will cover the business of writing, writing itself, websites, and publishing. Hope to have it available in near future. If you’re interested in the course just write me at my email address (below) and I’ll send a link once the course is ready.

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

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

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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The Writing Game

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at The Writing Game.

To learn more about writing contact TR Writing Services at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

When considering what to write about I came up with the title before I actually knew about the content. That’s completely different from my usual practice, but it is what it is.

So What Is the Writing Game?

Well for starters it is everything you find in the Guide to Writing. So I can’t give you an excerpt because that would entail 101 pages if you include the book cover, front pages, and back pages. So this blog is going to look at the subject a little differently than you may expect.

To me the Writing Game begins early in life. Reflect back on your childhood memories. For starters did you like to read? Did you like to write?

Those are fairly common questions, but I want you to look deeper. Are there stories buried in your past, in your childhood (or adulthood for that matter) that are bursting to be told? As I sit here typing I’m also reflecting on my childhood. Now in my case I had epilepsy and was on heavy medication until after my first stint in the ninth grade (I flunked it and then was taken off medications and I did much better afterward).

So much of my childhood is a mystery to me. But the later years (teens and twenties) are much more open to me. So I have memories. There are some good and some bad memories. Are they bursting to be told? Bursting, no. But I am intrigued by the possibilities and may someday write novels based on individual events.

Actually, when I am writing a novel, whether it’s Bible based or Speculative Fiction, I draw from life experiences throughout my life. Perhaps I draw from my feelings, my experiences, my hopes, or my fears. This is my opening point: Your life experiences are a natural resource.

It is this opening point that is the basis for the idea that everyone has a story in them. Everyone therefore has the potential to become a writer.

But what about skills?

As a Christian I believe there are basically two times that we are equipped to become what God wants us to become. The first time is at birth. Everyone is born with certain qualities and innate tendencies. For example, someone who becomes an artist may have been born with an innate skill or interest in drawing. It may also show up in childhood.

In my case, because I was on heavy medication I didn’t play much in sports. I did play in Little League Baseball, but I had no real talent and I wasn’t pushed because I might have blacked out or something. But I did have a lively imagination!

Imagination is not really considered a skill, but it is a necessary ingredient for anyone desiring to be a writer. I spent much of my childhood living in imaginary worlds. Now you might say that is normal for children, and it is. However, in my case it was probably more pronounced than in other children.

Many of my childhood dreams centered on Flash Gordon, Roy Rogers, and other TV heroes. There was also a Navy Officer that entered my daydreams. I not only enjoyed their adventures on television but I made up stories where I was the hero acting out stories that involved villains and others from their shows. But while the characters were well known the story lines became my own. By the time I was in my mid-teens I was desiring to be a writer.

I didn’t start acquiring actual writing skills until I was in my twenties. I subscribed for a while to a writing course and began learning the fundamentals of writing. This lasted until I was unable to afford the service anymore. But I continued to attempt to write. Although all ended in failure I learned how to better write.

Failures are good?

 Yes. In the game of writing failure is a key ingredient. Failure, when combined with a strong desire to succeed, teaches you first of all not to quit. I don’t know how many stories I attempted and failed at, but I never gave up on the goal to be a writer. Instead I doubled down and learned from my mistakes, which were many.

It is this stage of life that led my wife and I to start TR Writing Service. Through this service I can use my failures and successes to help both new and struggling writers with their careers.

The Second Birth changed my life.

In 1973 I asked Jesus into my heart and He gloriously saved me. Now I had eternal life. But there was something else impacted. With the Holy Spirit indwelling me and the Holy Bible available to me I began wanting to glorify God in my writing. And it immediately showed!

I continued to fail, learn, and retry until in the year 2000 God opened my eyes to an opportunity for writing. I was reading the Book of Genesis about Noah and the Flood. I realized that here was a story to be told. Thus I began writing the ‘story behind the story‘ that was eventually published as Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles. That story would later feed into my novel Perished: The World That Was, which in turn launched the series The World That Was and my writing career.

In short, God re-equipped me!

By that I mean I was originally equipped to write by being born with a desire to write and some raw writing skills. Now God equipped me with new skills that took 27 years to develop and another 3 years to bear fruit. Thus it took 30 years of Christian living to undo the first 30 years of Christ-less living!

From the first publication to now (2019) it’s been 16 years of learning, failing, and learning. I have published 11 novels (6 Bible based & 4 Speculative Fiction, and 1 American History) plus I am currently working on 3 new novels (1 Bible based and 2 Speculative Fiction). Actually 1 Speculative Fiction novel (Rise of I.C.E.S.) is being published now with availability within days.

So we now have Life Experiences and Talent, what else do we need?

In one word: Determination! There are thousands of men and women who want to write and actually attempt it yet quit! Why? They didn’t get the sales they wanted, someone gave them a negative review, a relative discouraged them, and so forth. What they need to do is get back up, learn from the bad things said and even the good things said. Determination is the fuel that will cause you to grow.

Finally, there is Opportunity.

Some of you are saying but I never get the opportunity. But I’m here to say that’s no excuse. Whether you use TR Writing Services or some other program you have the opportunity. In this day and age you can write, publish, and market your own book.

In the game of writing you control the game. You have little control over sales, but you have great control over the writing and publishing of your book. And there are ways and means of marketing your book available. If you have all the talent in the world and all the skills but never seize the opportunity you are guaranteeing failure. Permanent failure. On the other hand you have unlimited opportunity available to you every day!

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews. Please note that the Rise of I.C.E.S. is being published now and should be available in a few days.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Featured

Writing Scenes Part 3

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Scenes part 3.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

The ending scene either draws the scene to a conclusion or sets the reader up for the next scene. Sometimes, when having multiple subplots, you need the scene to at least temporarily draw to a close because in the next scene you will be viewing a different subplot.

Ending Scenes, therefore, are very important to your story and should not be approached carelessly. Unless you are creating suspense or something akin to it, the reader should not be left dangling aimlessly. You might lose him/her. At the same time you want the reader’s anticipation to be alive. This is a fine line, but I would err on the side of mystery.

In some respects it is because of the anticipation factor that the Ending Scene is so critical. So spend some time thinking about it. Does the scene draw to a satisfying close? Do you, as the reader, want to continue reading? Is there anything that can be done to improve the scene?

Tip: Whether you are closing a scene or pointing to the next scene you want your reader desiring more.

Example

&&&

Adam awoke.  Something caused me to wake upWhat was it?  Wait – Eden River.  That is it!  I must have been dreaming about Eden River.

Gently disengaging himself from Woman, he got up.  Being as quiet as possible, he headed for the river where he found a comfortable knoll.  From this position, he had a good view of the river.  It must be about a half-mile across!  I never realized that.  Tomorrow, I will take Woman and we will follow the river to its beginning.

In silence, he continued watching the river, estimating its size.  The question was its length.  A glitter caught his eye.  He smiled as he realized that the moon’s light seemed to dance on the river’s surface.

After awhile, he returned to Woman where he lay down and was soon fast asleep.

&&&

You will notice that I have again used the same example. There’s actually a plan here. While it is not the perfect scene it embodies all three aspects of good scene writing: Opening, Middle, and Ending.

The ending is actually very short: ‘After awhile, he returned to Woman where he lay down and was soon fast asleep.’

In this case the scene was drawn to a close. The body or middle had already pointed to the next scene so that would have been redundant.

Please note once again that the scene started and ended with a separator, in this case the ‘&&&’. The separator is extremely important. (I had one book where the publisher removed the separators and left only line feeds. That was terrible!)

Application

As mentioned in the Middle Scene application you should keep in mind that each scene plays an integral part in your story and, in this case, the ending is very important. The reader should be experiencing whatever emotion you want him or her to feel.

Scenes (Opening, Middle, and Ending) play a crucial role in your story. In effect, this is where ‘page turning’ occurs. The reader’s desire for more action, feeling, or whatever is satisfied yet not completely fulfilled. You want them wanting more.

Don’t let that scare you, though. As mentioned previously, when writing your first draft don’t focus on your scenes. Let the story spontaneously write itself if possible. Then go back and edit.

In these edits you concern yourself with scenes. Don’t fall in love with a scene. If it’s not working, change or delete it. Or even move it.

I often move scenes around. Sometimes I move them to an altogether different chapter so that the story moves better. This is ok to do, but this also requires more diligence on your part. Why? Because when you move a scene from one location to another it impacts both locations which means you need to examine the surrounding parts to make sure that there’s no reference to it before it happens! Also, you want to make sure that your scenes fall in proper order. I handle this at the time of making the move, primarily because I might forget that I moved it!

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Featured

Writing Scenes Part 2

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Scenes – part 2.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

The middle of your scene is primarily where the bulk of the story occurs. The opening of the scene prepared the reader for what was about to occur and now it is happening. And the closing scene will bring it to either an end or a continuing.

While it is true that the middle of the scene usually falls into the middle of the scene (duh), sometimes writers actually begin their scene in the middle. And that is an important thing to remember.

Don’t be stuck in your approach to scenes; experiment with moving the parts around. See what works best. Opening the scene with the middle sometimes works, while at other times it won’t.

That said, it is usually best to have the middle actually take place in the middle. Let the opening set it up.

It is in the middle of the scene where you will see and, hopefully, feel the character’s response to the opening. What is the character going to do in response? Is their further action?

Tip: A middle scene is usually the bulk of the scene’s story. It is also usually the longest. It is where the response to the opening unfolds.

Example

&&&

Adam awoke. Something caused me to wake up. What was it? Wait – Eden River. That is it!  I must have been dreaming about Eden River.

Gently disengaging himself from Woman, he got up. Being as quiet as possible, he headed for the river where he found a comfortable knoll.  From this position, he had a good view of the river. It must be about a half-mile across! I never realized that. Tomorrow, I will take Woman and we will follow the river to its beginning.

In silence, he continued watching the river, estimating its size.  The question was its length.  A glitter caught his eye.  He smiled as he realized that the moon’s light seemed to dance on the river’s surface.

After awhile, he returned to Woman where he lay down and was soon fast asleep.

&&&

This is the same example I used for showing the opening of the scene earlier in the book. This time I want you to take note of the middle scene. Notice that beginning at ‘Gently disengaging’ and ending at ‘on the river’s surface’ Adam is responding to his dream and goes to observe the river. During this time he views the river, mulls over the river’s width, and makes plans for the future.

All of this occurs in a single scene.

Application

You shouldn’t put too much thought into this in your first draft. Write your story (a chapter or two or the entire book) then go back and examine the individual scenes. And don’t try to be perfect, you’ll need to do another edit later anyhow.

Keep in mind that each scene plays an integral part in your story and the middle is very important.

The above was a short scene depicted in the book. Scenes can be short (like above) or longer. It all depends on your story. One thing I hope you’ve caught is that the scene does not have to be a fireball. I chose a mundane scene because often your scenes will be mundane. At some point these mundane scenes will culminate in an action scene.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Featured

Is An Open Primary System for Floridians?

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Is An Open Primary System for Floridians?

So what is an Open Primary?

Here in Florida they are pushing for One Open Primary. My understanding of this is that a single Open Primary would replace individual party primaries. The idea is to allow everyone the opportunity to vote for who would represent the various parties. It would appear that Independents could vote on who represents the Democratic Party and who represents the Republican Party. Basically sometime in the future we may only have one party rule. But isn’t that what they have in Russia?

Normally in answering a question like ‘Is an Open Primary for Floridians’  I would take a look at both sides, but I’ve noticed that the ‘Yes’ side already is flooding us with their arguments. So instead of recapping their arguments I will be looking primarily at the ‘No’ side, which in effect tells us what the ‘Yes’ side’s arguments are.

The following is just my opinion.

  • The purpose of a primary is to select a candidate that represents a particular Party

The whole idea of a primary is to select a man or woman who best represents the party’s governmental view. We have Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Progressive, and more parties each favoring a particular brand or theme. Historically speaking the party primaries have served as platforms within a party for various political views vying for control of the party.

In my opinion an Open Primary would dilute the free discussion of ideas within a party. And I might note that the Open Primary System is probably responsible for the dilution of representative democracy in our country. In recent years we’ve seen a rise in the elections of demagogues and others who use emotion rather than facts to carry the day. I think it is not surprising that California is sending to Washington Representatives and Senators who are more interested in camera time than in actually solving issues.

  • An Open Primary allows independents and opposition party members to influence who the party’s nominee is

By having an Open Primary you allow people who do not subscribe to the Party’s view of government to create an alternative view thus subverting the Party Platform. This is contrary to the concept of parties in general and to having a primary in the first place. Eventually this could result in One Party rule!

  • Political Parties are not private clubs; they are organizations representing a view

Private clubs are essentially social and restrict membership whereas Political Parties are open to anyone who wants to join. Someone who’s been a lifetime Democrat could switch to the Republican Party and vice-versa. This has happened in the past and will in the future. It is our right to change our minds.

Moreover joining a party makes a statement. For instance, if you join the Democratic Party you join the party of leftist ideas, rich Hollywood types, the filthy rich, and socialists. Or you can join the Republican Party of rightist ideas, the middle class businessman, the middle class worker, and those who believe in the right to succeed.

  • Open Primaries hinder 3rd Parties

It would be pointless to join a 3rd Party if there were Open Primaries. You join a 3rd Party because they champion a cause you think is important. That cause loses out in an Open Primary System. In the long term the Open Primary System will make it almost impossible to form a new Party. Most of the 3rd parties currently existing I would have nothing to do with, but I believe they have a right to exist and a purpose to perform.

  • An Open Primary destroys the historical party system

Historically we have had at least two parties. We’ve seen parties rise and fall with the times. We’ve seen parties change their concept of government. We’ve seen parties start because of a cause (for example, the Republican Party embraced the end of slavery). In an Open Primary we might still have slavery; we might still have women without the right to vote. In other words an Open Primary suppresses new views that don’t agree with the dominate view. In the diluted primary where everyone can vote you really don’t have a multi-party system because eventually it won’t matter. There will be a single party.

We live in a country where everyone has the right to have a view, the Open Primary campaigns as though it is what they want but the opposite is what is achieved. Look at the states that have Open Primaries. California, for example, is a Democratic state and most likely will remain so; this is not always the case but it can become the case. Don’t look just at what now is happening but look at the end result.

  • There is no such thing as a non-partisan organization or person

Non-partisan means ‘not biased or partisan, especially toward any particular political group’. This is essentially impossible. Yes people and organizations claim to be non-partisan but take a look at their record. If you do that you will find that while a person or organization may say they are non-partisan their overall record favors one view or another. It is the way we humans are. We get passionate about things!

The Democratic Party may have some conservatives (back in the mid 1900s there were Conservative Democrats) but the Party is still liberal and the opposite is true of the Republican Party. And this is good for the country. People want to associate with people who think like they do. And when they enter the public forum their views get expressed and the Primary System is where those views are expressed, examined, and either chosen or refused. But in the One Open Primary that is not necessarily true.

It is my opinion that the One Open Primary concept favors the Liberal movement. It preaches one thing, but practices something altogether different.

  • Independents have the right to register with a party and vote in that party’s primary

Also the Independents have the right not to participate in any party primary. In my opinion this is the stronger position to be in. Because the nominee of the respective parties are going to have to appeal to the Independents and bring along their constituents! Almost all elections are that way.

Here in Florida Ron DeSantis won the Republican nomination for Governor by embracing President Trump and his policies. It drew in both existing and new voters who saw the President as one who championed the little guy and traditional values. But in the general election he had to reach out to others, which he did and without losing the Republican base. I contend this made him a better candidate and possibly a better Governor. In an Open Primary who knows who would have won the Republican nomination?

  • Open Primaries don’t really force candidates to speak to ‘all’ the people

That’s a joke. Again using the Florida election, if Ron DeSantis had to speak to all the people, and the other candidates did this along with him, we would have ended up with a very weak candidate; probably one that never actually ran in the election. It could have been a liberal voted in by crossover leftists and liberal leaning Independents.

The Open Primary System may be why we get such weak candidates. These weak candidates try to be all things to all people, they give speeches against people rather than promoting ideas that will actually help. A good example of this is the movement toward socialism. Instead of honest debate on the merits and history of socialism it ends up being a raucous attack on honest working people and the promotion of ideas that have no chance of helping America but sound good to the uninformed. A robust debate would demonstrate this, but this won’t happen in an Open Primary System.

The above are my opinions based on 55 years of observations as a voting adult. Could I be wrong? Of course. You make up your own mind, but as you do you might want to revisit our country’s history. I contend that the multi-party system has served us well and that an Open Primary is a step toward one party rule.

A further thing to study is the current malaise in Washington D.C. where the Democrats still haven’t gotten over their defeat in 2016. Along with an Open Primary System they also want election by popular vote which our forefathers correctly saw as an evil to be avoided. Basically it allows a few states like New York and California to determine who our rulers will be.

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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