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Understanding the Importance of Reviews

What is the importance of Reviews? Well, it just might make the difference in how the reader views your book. And whether a purchase takes place.

In my last blog I spoke about a very nice review I received, and I mentioned Booksprout. There seems to be a growing number of review services coming online these days. I have checked out others, and most seem to want to swap reviews.

As far as I know, that is fine as long as you are not swapping type of book review, as in ‘I will review and give your book 5 stars if you will do the same for me’. That would be wrong. But making yourself available to do reviews in exchange for someone else reviewing your book does not violate any rules that I know of. The key is there is no direct link from your doing a review to you receiving a review.

That said, I like Booksprout’s approach. With them I have choices: Free to up to 20 reviews per book; $10 per month for up to 50 reviews per book; and $20 per month for unlimited reviews.

It is easy, cost effective, and it works.

But are book reviews still important?

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

I asked if reviews were still important. In a recent book I was reviewing the author had this to say, ‘any author’s marketing strategy should include the pursuit of reviews…[and] a good number of them’.

Reviews are important. Even bad reviews can be good for you. On a previous book I wrote and published I received a 2-star review. The reviewer didn’t like the book and was highly critical of it and me (the author). I could have deleted it, but I left it up.

Why?

Because it was obvious from the review that he didn’t follow reviewing rules. He skipped around and, in the end, he never finished the book. How do I know? He said so in his review (at least he was honest). But I was getting 4-star and 5-star reviews from others. So, it made a dramatic contrast.

If he had read the book through, the negative statements and/or observations he made would not have been named. In other words, the problems he cited were of his own making! He was careless, should have known better, and ended up writing a review that even a novice could see was wrong.

So, here is a review principle you might use: If you get a negative review while you are also getting positive reviews, consider keeping it on the list. Not on the top, but further down so that potential readers will already have read positive reviews before getting to that solitary bad review. There is a way to do this, but that isn’t the topic today.

Back at that time I had a different website and I posted reviews of my books on that site. It was a good practice that I got away from when I shifted to another website, but now I am returning to that practice.

In building my new website, which is using a storefront theme, I forgot about providing reviews. And in the process of time, I have lost some reviews when changing computers, but others I have now posted to the site. And I will be pursuing reviews more aggressively in the future.

Perhaps, you ask why I am returning? Because it enables readers to check out the reviews of any books they are considering. It shows the readers that I am honest by providing the negative review, but it also shows that the reviewer was quite likely off-base. (If you look for the negative review, I haven’t found it yet; it may be lost.)

Now, if there are a great many negative reviews, you might want to consider a different response. Read the reviews thoughtfully. Do they all harp on the same errors? If so, then maybe you should unpublish the book, fix the errors and then republish. If it is a major change you might need to retitle it as a new work and then seek new reviews.

I did receive another negative review, although it was more of a communication that a true review. In that review, the writer liked the book but felt some of my facts were wrong. Some of the criticism was off, in my opinion. But some of it made me take a closer look. The end result was an almost complete rewrite. So, I retitled the book and republished it. I tried contacting the man, but he never responded. But that was a case of a bad review influencing me to write a better book.

So, if you are doing a review, where do you post it?

The answer usually is Amazon. However, Amazon is making it harder to post reviews. For example, I don’t buy a lot off of Amazon within any given year. Over time, maybe. But not within a year. While I sell on Amazon, I usually like to go into a bookstore and ‘handle’ a book that I am thinking of buying.

But Amazon has installed a requirement that you have to purchase $50 or more from them in a year’s time to be able to post a review. It is unfortunate, but Booksprout for instance lets the reviewer post their review to Bookbub and Goodreads, as well as Amazon.

Reviews are a good way to influence sales. Finding a good reviewer is a little different and I may visit that subject in the future. One source of finding reviewers is kindleprenuer. But even such listings there need to be approached carefully. You want someone who works in your genre to begin with. Check them out. And definitely check out Booksprout. I have only limited experience with them, so I can’t say positively that they are the answer. Only you can answer that question.

All three formats of World of Joseph are available at Amazon. But the paperback and hardcover are available at TR Independent Bookstore where all our books are always discounted. Now that the special discount of World of Joseph of 20% ended at midnight of the 19th, both formats are still discounted the same as all our books. So, you still have great bargains!

Speaking of reviews, why not review one of my books. Next month I plan on submitting more books to be reviewed on Booksprout, but you don’t have to wait. If you buy one of our books from Amazon, you can post a review. Or you can try Goodreads where I am listed as R. Riddle.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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4-Star Review

Here is the 4-Star Review my new novel World of Joseph received:

‘R Frederick Riddle’s WORLD OF JOSEPH: Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt (The World That Was Book 7) it’s certainly an interesting book!

As more and more ancient Egyptian history comes to light through archaeological research we are learning more about the different dynasties and timelines. The author and some scholars make the case for Joseph of the Bible as being the Vizier Mentuhotep. The book is well written, interesting and intriguing. I did enjoy it and the authors take on the life of Joseph.

As a Christian I am always excited to find archaeological evidence that lines up with the Bible. It is also fair to note that there are those scholars who believe that Imhotep of the third dynasty is Joseph based on the similarities of their lives and achievements and timeline.

Thank you, Mr. Riddle for this intriguing book. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.’

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

That was a very nice review. In fact, it was the kind of review that can make an author’s heart sing! In reviewing the book, she indicated that it not only entertained her, but that it stimulated her brain. The use of such words as intriguing and interesting bring that idea forward. It is one of the goals of historical fiction.

Getting book reviews are hard, but getting reviews posted to Amazon are even harder. The above book review can be seen on Amazon. One such place is the eBook’s page itself.

In the past I have not been thoroughly engaged in getting reviews. At first I didn’t know how and later it was a matter of doing the work. It was also a matter of finding the right medium.

I posted an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) on Booksprout and this is the first review from there. You might ask who or what is Booksprout?

Not long ago I would not have known. This only came across my desk recently and I decided to explore it. I couldn’t be more pleased. If this reviewer is any example of the type and quality of reviewers on Booksprout, then I think I have found a winner.

Quality reviews are still desirable. And I am satisfied enough to at least plan to do more reviews through Booksprout. In my mind I am already planning to seek further reviews of World of Joseph, but also reviews of other World That Was books.

Booksprout is for both the reader and the author. The reader can go in and look for books to read with the idea of doing a review. Authors can post their books for a book review. It is win/win.

There are three plans: Free, $10 per month, and $20 per month. I experimented with the Free. The $10 and $20 per month plans allow for increased number of reviewers, 50 and unlimited respectfully. There are also protections from piracy.

It is said that you can’t have too many reviews. So, if you decide to use this service (I get nothing for promoting them), then think long haul. Don’t just submit your book and forget about it. Consider in the future resubmitting the book.

In fact, I plan on using the service on all my World That Was books and to do so on a continuing basis.

What about reviewing other author’s books?

Good question. I am thinking about doing that. I have reviewed books through Goodreads before and plan to do so again. But I see no reason for not using Booksprout as well.

The preorder of the eBook closed August 12th and now all three formats are available at Amazon. But the paperback and hardcover are available at TR Independent Bookstore where all our books are always discounted. The World of Joseph has a special discount of 20% only at our store. That special price ends Thursday, August 19th!

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Reviewing Books

The Riddle Report 06 14 2021

You are an author, and you want to get your book reviewed. Have you ever considered reviewing other authors’ works? If you have the skill to write a book it is possible you may have the skill to review a book. That said, there are a few sand traps to avoid.

I said that if have the skill to write you may have the skill to review. But that is not always the truth. In writing a book you make a commitment to yourself, but in reviewing a book you are making a commitment to someone else. And that entails a sense of truthfulness and transparency.

Let me tell you a story as an example. I’ve actually told this story before so excuse me if you’ve heard it before. Back when I wrote Perished The World That Was, I sought Christian Fiction reviewers. And that proved to be a good mood as I received four- and five-star reviews!

But one reviewer gave me two stars and it is his story I am relating. He was a young man who I later determined was a teenager at that time. He professed he was a Christian and loved the Bible. Because my novel was based on world history as found in Genesis, I accepted him and sent him a copy.

After a few weeks I received his review where he gave the book only two stars. Now normally I would not be bothered by this low score. Why? Because you can’t please everyone. However, in this case he was honest enough to relate why he gave only two stars.

And early on the review showed that he didn’t follow the unwritten rules. What are these? Here are what I believe they are:

  1. You are committed to reading the entire book.
  2. You are committed not to skip.
  3. You are committed to finishing the book reading.
  4. You are committed an honest review.
  5. You are committed to being as transparent as possible.

This young man objected to the scene where Eve was created although the wording of that scene used similar descriptions as found in Genesis and in the Song of Solomon. This may have triggered his following actions:

  1. He began skipping through the novel.
  2. He came across characters who had the same name (these were real people taken straight from the Bible).
  3. He assumed that these all represented the same person.
  4. He eventually quit reading the novel.

As a result, he was confused and decided that I was inconsistent with the characters. That would have been a serious error on my part if true, but the error was his. For example, in the Bible and in my novel, there were two Enoch’s. Because he thought both were the same man, he assumed I had been inconsistent in their character.

His skipping around also disrupted any continuity he would have gotten by reading the entire novel. When you make a commitment to review somebody’s book you follow through. You don’t let your feelings stop you!

Honesty demands that you take the time to read the book in its entirety. I am currently reviewing a book and sometimes I come across language I object to. Honesty says I continue on. I can later point out these problems, but I’ve made a commitment to review the book, so I continue in my review.

His reactions convinced me that he was not fluent in the Bible. Later in his life I think he was better, but I don’t believe I ever used him again. I simply didn’t know if I could trust him.

More about this issue on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at markting@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Should I Review Books?

The only person who can answer that is you. Ask yourself some questions, such as: Do I like to read? Am I willing to take the time to read the book? Can I give an honest review?

If you can respond “yes” to these questions, then try it out. In the end, you might throw up your hands in defeat or you may discover that you enjoy it. And if you do, you may gain a following.

As a reviewer you will want to use some of your editing skills. It is not your responsibility to do actually editing, but those skills will help you find areas where the author made mistakes and you can let him or her know of their errors in your review. It is important to remember that the author is relying on you to provide a review to help in marketing, but also help in writing.

As a reviewer you watch grammar, spelling, readability, consistency, and accuracy. For example, if you are reading historical fiction is the book historically accurate? Does the speech or manner of dress fit the period? Questions like these will help you in evaluating the story.

Finally, remember that in effect you are critiquing and promoting the book. Your words are directed at the author so he or she can improve, and, at the same time, your words are directed at potential readers, to encourage or discourage them about buying.

If you are new to reviewing, you might want to stick to the same genre you write in or genre you like to read. It could be just what you need.

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Reviews

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Reviews.

It is very important to get reviews. Over the years I’ve learned that having a great book cover, a great story, and a website are simply not enough. We live in a competitive world vying with thousands of writers for the readers’ attention.

But knowing it and doing it are quite different.

There are it seems as many methods of gaining reviews as there are authors trying to get them. It’s not quite that bad, but sometimes it feels like it. Have I been able to get reviews? Yes, but not nearly as much as I would like. Some people recommend hundreds of reviews.

Complicating the issue is that Amazon constantly changes their algorithms. So, what worked yesterday may not work today. So, it is necessary to update your information on reviews at least once a year.

Are there any Constants?”

I am happy to say yes. But even they need updated. One constant is Key Words. This is an area that I’ve been delving into more of late. Some key words may not work and need to be replaced. Other key words work but you may need to drill down and look for similar key words.

Categories are very important.

When you first publish your book, you choose the categories you think are best suited for your book. But as time goes on there may be additional categories. Or you may change your mind about the existing ones. Kindlepreneur Blog is a good source of information on categories and keywords.

One on One.

This involves people you know. It is best if they buy your book on Amazon, but you can also give them copies. Amazon purchased books are Amazon Verified and carry more weight.

Tip of the Day: Get Reviewed!

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Promotion

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Promotion.

What is Promotion?

The term promotion means different things to different people, but the simple understanding is doing whatever it takes to get your book the attention it deserves!

What Works Best?

While that is a good question there is no absolute answer. I believe in absolutes. For example, it is an absolute truth to say people are saved from their sins by trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and asking Him to save you. That is absolute.

But success in life, especially marketing, has no absolutes although some marketeers will absolutely declare they have the perfect solution. Promotion has many tools, and some are better for some people, while others are good for someone else.

Tools

Promotion tools can be any or all of below or others not listed:

  • Author Book Signings
  • Author Interviews
  • Blogging
  • Bookstores
  • Book Tours
  • Press Release
  • Radio
  • Reviews
  • Social Media
  • Television
  • Trailers
  • Videos
  • Website

In Conclusion

The truth is that promotion must absolutely be done, but the most effective way for you may be entirely different than someone else.  Become acquainted with different tools, but a word of caution. Don’t become tool crazy. It can overburden you. Find what works for you.

Once you find something that works, slowly build upon it. And remember, this is a long-term effort. Don’t go down rabbit trails, stick with what works and cautiously experiment.

Tip of the Day: Experiment with different promotion tools and find what works for you.

Get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. 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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Announcing Death Ship

I am proud to announce a new novel, Death Ship, that I have just published. You might also say I created a new genre, as well: Christian Science Fiction. I have been unable to find such a definitive genre although I have looked for it. Below is a quick take on the difference between traditional and Christian science fiction.

What is Christian Science Fiction? It is:

  1. Futuristic
  2. Space travel
  3. Warp drive
  4. Alien animals
  5. Conflict
  6. Exotic weapons
  7. Far off planets
  8. Spaceships
  9. and more.

Just like science fiction. But the difference lies in what is missing. There:

  1. A Christian worldview
  2. No alien intelligent beings
  3. No vulgar language
  4. No extreme graphics

If you’ve read my books you know that I do cover such things as immorality, murder, and other types of sin, but I don’t get into the graphical nature. Aside from my Christian conscience I have discovered that all of these things are unnecessary and often detract from what would otherwise be a good book. Actually I came to this conclusion long before I ever became a Christian.

I am aware that there are readers and writers who disagree with me, but their arguments generally are weak. One of my cardinal rules of writing fiction is to leave the reader room to imagine. It enriches the story. This even applies to curse words. In the old days they used symbols to indicate swear words which allowed the reader to provide their own if they wanted to do so.

Today we live in a world where people want “realism,” yet often settle for sensationalism. It’s like reality TV is anything but real. That is sad. But just as Christian fiction takes a different route, Christian Science Fiction takes another route.

In Death Ship you have all the elements of good science fiction and so much more. You have the latest planet Ross 128 b, which was discovered in 2017; you have modern day inventions that either are currently existing or on the drawing boards. In addition, there is a spaceship that is definitely future yet already we see true science speculating about such ships.

The story revolves around a world in turmoil. World War III is started by assassinations of city and national leaders in England and Europe. These take place at the instigation of Arab terrorists. England, Europe, and the United States attack the terrorist’s camps bringing on a world war. While the Arab terrorist network is wiped out, the western world is weakened, including the United States. A new world government is formed and their first decision is to ban religion of all brands, including Christianity. But the Christians, although driven underground, remain faithful. This brings on the campaign to exterminate them that results in 80 Christians beings selected as scientific guinea pigs.

Placed onboard the Gardenia, a converted luxury Science Research ship, they are sent off into space to be used for scientific research. The ultimate aim is to crash into a Red Dwarf star (Gliese 876) and a fiery death. But General Abner Smith, eager to see how Christians would react in space to unexpected problems, has prepared the ship with obstacles for them to face. And he purposely chose Christians, unused to leadership roles, with both knowledge and experience. His goal is for them to rebel and take over the ship only to find that they remain in his hands.

Death Ship is now available on Amazon both in print and digital format.

Title: Death Ship
Series: Christland
Book #1
Publisher: T&R Independent Books
ISBN: 1986066045
ISBN-13: 978-1986066044
Pages: 254
Retail: $17.99
Ingram’s Availability: Yes

And because this book has just been published you have the opportunity to be among the very first reviewers. Don’t let that scare you, embrace it. If you took the time to read the book then you have the right to do a review. Read the book, Review the book, and Post the review on Amazon.com. For further information read the following paragraph.

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), or World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One) 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 Death Ship.’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and I will rush you a free PDF copy.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical 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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Insights from World of Shem Part 5

In this issue I will speak on the Content.

Remembering that your writing is a ministry as unto the Lord you need to make sure your content reflects this. Whatever your topic or story line think of it as part of your testimony because it is.

People will judge you by what you write. And if they know you are a Christian they will judge you according to their view of Christian standards. For example, there are in World of Shem some very adult subjects. When writing these scenes I had to view them very strictly. Now I am not overly concerned with non-Christian standards, but at the same time there are critical areas that are important.

  • Was I doctrinally correct?
  • Was I too explicit?
  • Was it clear that something was a sin?

These are just some of the self-judgments I had to make. And if you are a Christian as well as an author it is necessary for you also to subject your work to an examination. And sometimes I need someone else’s eyes. That is why I invite others to proofread and why I ask for reviews.

Side note: Reviews are not just for the purpose of marketing. They also shed light on potential or existing problems that need correcting.

One of the things we Christians need to remember is Paul’s example. He was free to do a lot of things including eating food which may or may not have been dedicated to idols. But while free to do so there were times he refrained because of the presence of someone who might be offended. In our case that someone is a future reader.

Don’t get me wrong. Don’t eliminate something just because it might offend. Some people are offended by the Gospel, but we still preach it! The important thing is to determine the sincerity of the offended person. Then act appropriately.

Honor God and He’ll honor you.!

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical 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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Insights From World of Shem Part 3

In this issue I will speak about the Copyright Page and ISBN.

The consensus opinion is that you need to have your book copyrighted. Now the truth is that the moment you create the work it is considered copyrighted. This means that you can include a copyright designation in your book (example: copyright © 2017).

You can also file with the government to get the book copyrighted. While there may be additional protection (key word is may be) you are generally safe with the above example.

Along with the copyright you should include for legal protection a statement like the following:

“All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other – except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.”

If your book is being published by a publisher other than yourself they will automatically include such a statement. But if you are using Createspace or a similar service or you are publishing the book yourself then you will need to include the statement on your copyright page.

Your copyright page should also include who you used to print the book. For example, my World of Shem copyright page has the following: Printed by Create Space, a registered trademark of Amazon.com.

Also stated is: Published by T&R Independent Books, Port Charlotte, Florida.

Although I’ve been criticized for including the following statement it is necessary for legal protection:

“This is a work of fiction. Apart from obvious historical references to historical figures and events especially mentioned in the Bible, all characters and incidents in this novel are the products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to people living or dead are purely coincidental.”

In this sue crazy world we live in you need to protect yourself from being sued. You will notice I stated “apart from obvious historical references.” The book is a novel. Parts are facts but mostly it is fiction. To decipher which is which simply compare to the Bible.

If your book is not based on Bible characters or events you can remove the reference to the Bible. If you publish your book outside the United States there may be different requirements, but the above is recommended for books published in the United States.

Finally, you will want to show your ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 plus your company logo (if you self-publish).

Think of the ISBN as a library index card. It stands for International Standard Book Number and identifies the publisher. This worldwide number is required on all books seeking to be sold to bookstores, libraries, schools, and the like.

There are different resources available for getting an ISBN for your book. In fact you can buy a package of ISBNs. Of course they do come with a price tag. But I’m only going to deal with Create Space. Here is a brief description of ISBNs used with Create Space:

Create Space Assigned ISBN

Free; enables you to select Expanded Distribution for CS Direct, Bookstores, Online Retailers, Libraries and Academic Institutions (through Baker & Taylor). This also enables Standard Distribution which gets book into Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, and the eStore.

Other Assigned ISBN

Same as above except for Libraries and Academic Institutions

There is more involvement than this, so be sure to independently investigate ISBNs on your own. Each author probably has a different marketing or distribution need, so you need to find out what is best for you.

You might be wondering what these Insight articles have to do with serving. I am running these blogs because part of serving is doing your very best. The idea is to share with you ideas and concepts that will enable you to do your best as an author, publisher, and marketer.

Hopefully this article has been helpful to you.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for reviews. Not only for World of Shem, but Perished The World That Was (Book One), and World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two). 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 World of Shem. In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical 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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Insights From World of Shem Part 2

In this issue I will speak about the cover. Usually the cover is done after the book is written, but I am going to cover it now (pardon the pun).

The cover is one of the most important items a writer needs. And often it is approached almost as an afterthought. But it is what first captures the potential buyer’s eye.

What are the important aspects of a good cover? It seems different people have different viewpoints, so here is mine. Good covers have:

  • A picture of nature, a building, or a person relevant to the story
  • Eye catching graphics
  • A good title (in a series you want title to relate to series)
  • A brief description on back matter
  • A brief bio of author on back matter

Again different experts will explain these differently and may have additional requirements. But the thing to remember is that the book only has two or three seconds to capture someone’s interest.

Createspace Gallery

The Gallery is definitely worth considering. While limited in what you can choose, I have found that they do have pictures that can be used. However, they have few pictures that relate to biblical stories or persons.

But I always look. Why? Because they’re excellent quality and FREE! I actually used pictures from the gallery for my books Perished and World of Noah and the Ark.

Buying Existing Royalty free Pictures

This is another inexpensive way to go: photostock.

For my novel World of Shem the gallery had nothing I could use. So I went with a picture I had purchased from Dreamstime a few years back. I not only purchased the picture but the right to commercially use it. And that is a big thing. Don’t just buy the picture, buy the rights to it as well. Doesn’t cost much and it is worth it.

When buying a picture make sure it is the right size (pixels). The license is only good for the picture you buy.

Hiring Professionals

The hiring of professionals is often highly recommended. And you can find professionals who know how to create covers that are acceptable to CreateSpace. For this service you will pay a little more, but not necessarily a lot. That depends on the artist and your needs.

In my opinion I would always check out the options in the same order I listed them. Why? Because the Gallery may have just the picture for you at no out of pocket cost, or buying royalty free pictures might prove to be the jackpot.

Just remember that there are requirements to be met no matter which route you take. The problem is different publishers have different criteria. So be careful! One additional thought, think about the pixels. The recommended size is 300 dpi (dots per inch) which for a 4 x 5 picture would 1200px x 1500px.

If uploading to Createspace’s Gallery it will recommend a particular size and warn you if the resolution is too low. So experiment.

I really like the cover for the World of Shem as it shows a man (Shem?) with hands raised to heaven (praying?). That caught the very substance of what I wanted displayed. Did you like the cover?

By the way I am still (and for the foreseeable future) looking for reviewers. You can buy the book or the ebook on Amazon or you can request a PDF or Epub from me. Then you can read the book and post your review. To receive a free PDF or Epub write me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and put “Book Review Request” on subject line.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical 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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Announcing World of Shem

I am happy to announce my latest novel World of Shem is now in print and digital format. This novel, a major rewrite of the Rise of Shem, is book 3 of my series The World That Was.  world-of-shem-kdp-11-14-17-for-kindle.jpg

All three books (Perished, World of Noah and the Ark, and World of Shem) are told in a manner that is not only faithful to the Bible but strives to bring the Bible alive to both Christian and non-Christian reader alike. Perhaps because it is a rewrite of a previous novel or perhaps because it is my latest novel, it is my current favorite.

I love to write, but there is something special about writing Bible based stories. I think the reason is that the stories not only bring the Bible alive to readers but to myself as well. In so doing I am able to dig deeper and gain an understanding of the events and people. And of God!

I imagine this is akin to any writer who bases their books on history. In the process of writing you dig deep finding out about the foods people ate, the clothes they wore, and the methods of transportation used. Such knowledge grants both the writer and the reader a greater appreciation of both the events and the people involved.

My study of the people, places, and events of the World of Shem impacted my life. I was particularly impressed with how rapidly civilization grew after the world wide flood. Everything had been destroyed. Yet within 300-500 years a thriving civilization existed again. The only explanation I have is that Noah must have taken a great many tablets (probably mostly clay) with him upon the Ark. These tablets would have contained a great deal of the knowledge of the Old World that perished.

But it was the character of Shem that attracted me the most. The Bible tells us very little about this man, but as I wrote the story I watched his character develop to the point I felt like I knew him. I don’t claim my characterization of him is 100% accurate, but I believe it is a good representation of him.

Having written the book and now published it I am looking for potential reviewers. I can provide the book in a variety of formats (Epub or PDF, for example) at no cost and no conditions, other than the reviewer reads the book through and gives an honest appraisal. I would prefer the 1 through 5 ranking system. If you are able to provide an Amazon review, so much the better.

If you are interested in reviewing the book please email me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Please put “Book Review Request” in the subject line. That will get my immediate attention and response. It would be helpful if you would state the format desired (such as paperback, PDF, or Epub). If you have another format you’d like mention it and I will try to accommodate you.

Whether you review the book or not, happy reading!

Title: World of Shem
Publisher: T&R Independent Books
Printer: CreateSpace
ISBN: 10: 154242383x or 13: 978-1542423830
Contact for Reviews: Marketing@tr-indbkstore.com
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical 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.