Ron’s Lit Tip Blogging

Featured

09 16 2020

Welcome to Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you.

Have you considered Blogging?

Do I hear laughter? You shouldn’t laugh at the idea. Blogging is easy, it keeps your mind sharp, and depending on your perimeters it allows you to freely express your opinion on a lot of subjects.

Why do you blog?

I blog because I like helping other authors and I like commenting on the news, which means I have two different outreaches. I blog on the news on Fridays and Mondays, while I blog on writing on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

What subjects do you blog about?

On Mondays and Fridays, I blog primarily on the news, although everything is on the table. But I report the news and comment on it. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays, I blog on writing providing tips.

What is the advantage of blogging?

Blogging builds name recognition. In my case I have watched my followers list grow. Do any and will any buy my books. Possibly. That is certainly a hope.

Another advantage is it is a platform that enables me to reach out and tell people about my books I’ve written. Speaking of my books, I just published Trump an Outsider’s View and it is available on our site or you can go to Pre-Order.

What should I blog about?

That is something you need to evaluate. I recommend you discover your favorite subjects you like to talk about. It should be something that you already enjoy doing. But it can also be something new.

Some people blog about their work, while others blog about their hobbies, the world around them, and their other interests. It is your choice, but the more it reflects your tastes and inclinations the more it will attract others.

Are there any negatives about blogging?

Well, like anything that is worthwhile it takes time. And it will take time to build up a following, but I believe it is worth it.

But to be honest the work involved while time consuming it broadens your knowledge and understanding of the world around you. And, as in my case, it lends itself to learning more about your craft of writing.

An example of this is news. I write about current events and news is very current. Some of the news I learned led me in my researching for Trump an Outsider’s View. At the same time, research for the book also led to some of my blogging on news.

Is the book available in Print?

This is Tuesday September 15, 2020 (I’m writing this blog for Wednesday because I won’t be available) and at this moment the Print version is still being reviewed by KDP. I am expecting the book to be live at any moment. At the same time, however, a problem with the book cover or something else could occur requiring my attention. But the eBook is available for Pre-Order and will be released September 19, 2020.

Tip: Blogging can increase your name recognition.

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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. #Writingservices

Ron’s Lit Tip 09 02 20

Featured

Today’s Issue: Author Alerts

Welcome to Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you.

Do you enjoy these blogs?

Would you like more?

Well, I’ve decided to start a newsletter called Author Alerts. At the start I plan on it being a monthly issue, no start date yet. But I have placed a signup (popup) on our website. A visitor to the site sees the popup and, if interested, fills it out and submits. And just like that they are registered.

This is just another way of marketing products and services. Here at T&R Independent Books we have products (books) and services (TR Writing Services). So, it would seem to be an ideal way of marketing. However, our popup is strictly for TR Writing Services.

Marketing products and services is one of the keys to success and it seems to vary from person to person on whether something works. I’ve never used popups before which means this is a new adventure for me.

What am I Using for Email Campaigns

I have learned some things from the sources I use. I have had at least two sources recommend MailerLite for my email campaigns. Another good one is Mail Chimp, but once you get past the free service it gets pricey. So, I chose MailerLite.

My logic is simple. This is an experiment for me, which means I want the best service for the lowest price. If MailerLite is successful I would undoubtedly stick with them for the paid versions. But if I went with Mail Chimp, I would need to swap over to MailerLite once I exceeded Mail Chimps maximum subscriber limits for the free version. Mail Chimp allows up to 2,000 subscribers whereas MailerLite allows up to 1,000 subscribers.

That means when I reach 1,000 subscribers I would need to move to the Paid version. But I am of the persuasion that by that time the email campaign would pay for itself. I have used Mail Chimp in the past but not for long. If my memory serves me right, I found it too hard to navigate and to produce the kind of letters I wanted. In any case, I never did much with it.

What will the Newsletter be like?

For starters, it will be a monthly newsletter. It will be dedicated to writing, publishing, and some marketing. Although I expect the newsletter to grow and expand in its offerings, it will start off with subjects like Tips and Resources, plus other features.

One thing I will also do is gift the PDF version of my book Perished: The World That Was.  It is priced at $9.99, which isn’t a bad price in itself. But Free is always better. It’s a great book and a fine deal.

Tip: Consider using an email service to bolster your reach and your sales.

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. #Writingservices

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.

Ron’s Tip of the Day Marketing in Chief

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Today I am looking at Marketing in chief.

There is a world of information out there on book marketing. The advice ranges from email marketing to Social Marketing and beyond. And sometimes the advice seems to be contrary.

What Should I Do?

The first thing to do is remember that you are Marketing in Chief. In our book Guide to Writing we make this tip: As Marketer-in-Chief you are responsible for overseeing every aspect of marketing whether you do it or hire someone.

We also state: “Most authors don’t want to do marketing, but if you want to succeed then you will find a way.”

In other words, you can’t blame someone else for the failure of your marketing. You either hire someone or do it yourself, but either way you are responsible.

What Does That Mean?

Basically, it means that you are responsible for all aspects of marketing. It is your job to find out the information needed and then act on it. If you are new to the business, I would say you start with Local Marketing (news media, bookstores, etc.) and slowly expand to a wider audience. There is no one-size-fits-all plan. Do your diligence.

Remember, that while TR Writing Services is not a marketer, we can help you with preparation and publishing to set up your marketing plan.

Tip of the Day: You are the Marketer-in-Chief; take responsibility!

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Our Free booklet tells 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 for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review our 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 best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.