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.

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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.

Amazon Central

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about Amazon Central.
Amazon Central is often thought of as a reporting site. But it is that and much more.
What is Amazon Central?
Think of it as your author’s hub. Here is a brief look at what you have:

  • Welcome page

This page welcomes you to your Amazon Central. It gives you an overview including advice and news.

  • Author page

This page allows you to include your biography plus connect to your blog (if you have one). It also allows the inclusion of pictures and videos that you want potential customers to see. Further it will have the URL of your Amazon Central page that can be given out to readers, etc. If you have Events, such as book signings, you can also list those.

  • Books page

This page is where every book you’ve published should be listed. Each listing will have Title (with link to detail page), Current Sales Rank, and Reviews.

  • Sales info Customer

This page has three measurements: NPD  Book Scan, Sales Rank, and Author Rank.

  • Reviews

Here all reviews will be listed.
What Does Reader See?
When the potential reader visits your page they will see:

  • Every book you’ve listed
  • Latest blogs you’ve written (if any)
  • An About Author
  • Follow opportunity

Why Would Reader go There Instead of Searching Amazon?
By going to the author’s Amazon Central the potential reader gets everything you want them to know about you at their fingertips. An expert user of Amazon may find the information on their own, but having your own page makes their job that much easier.
What does it Cost?
Nothing! It’s free!
What Else Can You Tell Me?
I have used Amazon Central as an informational resource for years. But in looking over it I believe it has potential as the hub of one’s marketing. This doesn’t replace any other marketing sources such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., but it could be used as the target page in all your marketing. For example, I have included in my blogs a direct link to my Amazon Central page. But starting today I will highlight that with a special call to action.
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), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), 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 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.

Author’s Resources Part 4

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Author’s Resources Part 4 of the series which deals with the author’s website SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Once it was an unknown term; now practically anyone who has a website has probably heard of SEO. But while better known it still remains somewhat unappreciated.
Why is SEO Important?
We live in a world where search engines are used by millions of people every day. They are valuable tools. We all have our favorites. Some people like Bing, some like Google, others like Yahoo, and so forth.
As an author I love Google Search. With it I have looked up space travel, warp drive, medical equipment, Ross 128 b, Abraham of the Bible, Jacob, and more. I have found it an invaluable tool!
But what about people looking for me? That’s what SEO is all about, helping you and me to be found. With millions, perhaps billions, of people on the Web it is increasingly hard to find the people, business, and answers we need. SEO is the answer to that problem.
How Does SEO Work?
The best way to answer that is for you to step back and look at what you need and how you go about finding answers. I would guess that one of your first steps is to go to Search and type in what you imagine is a common word or phrase associated with your quest.
For example, you may type in the name: R Frederick Riddle. You hit enter and a whole slew of information about me will come up. That is SEO at work. There are several things I do to optimize my SEO. Let’s take a look at some of the ways I get my name out there.

  1. Regular Web Updates
  • I frequently update content on my computer.
  • I also add new items such as new books that I’ve authored.
  • Every time I update my website I am refreshing the data and the bots out there come to check me out.
  1. Use of Key Words or Phrases
  • I originally used only single words
  • But I’ve learned that a string of words (phrase) is better
  • You want words that people might use to find you
  • Generally speaking you want words or phrases that are in your content
  1. Linking my blog, social media and web page.
  • You don’t want those purchased links that are often illegal
  • You want natural links, such as links from your blog to your website. Take a look at this page where you will find links to my Facebook page, my website, my Amazon Authors Page, and my email.
  • Internal links (between pages) are also fine

These are just three ideas. There are many more. If you’re a novice you may want to seek out books, blogs, etc. on the topic.
What’s the Difference Between Onsite SEO and Personal Promotion?
My understanding is that Onsite SEO is in relationship to your webpage while personal promotion would be Social Media, etc. While separate they are connected to one another; both need your continuing attention.
What Are Some SEO Ideas?

  • Website Name should be Unique. For example the use of your name in the Url
  • Easily remembered Urls
  • Use of Image linking (click on image takes person to website)
  • What are your competitors Using? (if relevant you might want to use for yourself)
  • Links to other blogs
  • External links from blogs, etc. to you

SEO doesn’t guarantee success, but it is believed to be essential to success!
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), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), 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 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.

Trade War with China

Today’s Issue: Trade War with China

Monday’s I try to focus on issues. The media seems to be upset that we might have a trade war with China. They give reasons that sound right, but upon investigation we find:

  1. We export only $130 billion of goods and services
  2. We import $505 billion of goods and services

Do the math. A Trade War will end in our (America’s) favor.

Commentator Dick Morris points out this is tantamount to a subsidy for China, which is a potential enemy and right now a competitor. I agree. China is a country that only moves when it is in their best interests.

What does that mean?

It means that they have to be incentivized to lower tariffs and lessen restrictions on American products. Sticking with Trump on this should be a no-brainer, but the media is so anti-Trump that they are blind to anything good he does! And this would be good.

What about the stock market?

The thing to remember about the stock market is that it is made up of people who are concerned with profits. They get jittery about just about everything. And it is not a reflection of today’s world but of a possible economic truth 6 months or more into the future. A future that is constantly changing.

So why all the panic?

I think it is another example of agenda over facts. The media is always looking for some way to put down President Trump. Just like they place the blame on Trump for alien children being separated from their parents even though it is illegal to incarcerate children along with their parents.  The blame really belongs on previous administrations who allowed this immigration mess to grow and upon the parents who smuggle the children into our country. (Their actions are understandable but cannot be tolerated.)

In the same manner the media will twist the facts to make it look like a trade war with China is a bad thing. Sometimes taking medicine has bad side effects but it is necessary for your health. A trade war with China will cause some discomfort but in the end American manufacturers and employers will be better off. Which means the average American will be better off.

So what should we do?

Wait it out. At the least we have a President who is working on our behalf. You have to go all the way back to President Reagan to find that kind of leadership.

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 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 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.

Full Time

Serving the Lord is always a full time job, but choosing to serve Him full time in a specific job, ministry, or activity is a choice that needs much prayerful considerations. An example of this is my recent retirement from one type of service (church financial secretary) to serve in another area. Although the idea floated around in my mind for years, it was a year ago that I decided it was time.

How did I know? Well, there were signs along the way, the most prominent being the after results of a 2014 heart attack. That prompted my wife to suggest I needed to consider retiring when I reached 75 (which I just did). But while that was important it was the physical and mental results of the heart attack that really spoke loud and clear to me.

When I first became a church financial secretary up in Michigan, my pastor pointed out to me that the management of church finances was different than managing business finances. You’re managing God’s money! Which means that whereas a business can accept and even write-off errors, there is no room for errors in God’s economy. I bought into this and believe it to be true to this very day. But after my heart attack I found I could not focus as sharply or as long as previously and mistakes were being made. This was unacceptable. So in May of 2017 I informed my pastor I would be retiring in May 2018.

That day has come. But God didn’t call me to retire to sit around doing nothing. He has work for me to do. And the direction He wants me to go has become apparent in recent years although I’m still learning what that entails.

Having now retired from my part-time job of Financial Secretary I am now a full-time writer, whereas before I was a part-time writer. But time is not the only thing that has changed. For example, while I will continue writing this blog I plan for it to be far more active than once a week. More on that later.

In short, my efforts in writing, publishing, and marketing are going to require greater diligence. That means a restructured daily life. Whereas before these duties were primarily done “when opportunity arises,” which often meant working evenings as well as daytime, now I need to have a more structured schedule. I need to have daily priorities.

What makes this more difficult is that working for the church I had three different men I reported to, one of which was my supervisor or boss. While he trusted me and allowed me great freedom, he was still my immediate boss. But now I’m the boss. That means I am not only responsible to myself, but for myself. Technically my wife, who is President of T&R Independent Books, is my boss but I have almost unlimited freedom to pursue our goals concerning the business.

But my real Boss is the Lord Himself. That hasn’t changed. Nor has His direction except that it is and I expect it will increasingly be more specific.

One of the changes being made is the name of this blog. First, it is necessary to have a name that more accurately portrays the blog; and second, it should be easier for people to find the blog. Previously this blog has been known as So You Want to Write and now is So You want to Serve. Both titles represented my interests. But sometimes I wander into other areas of interest including politics. Over the years I’ve blogged about serving, writing, business, politics, and the Bible.

So A New Name is Required

That new is not really all that new. It is actually found in my url address. Look at it and you’ll see RFrederickRiddleBlog. Best practices suggest that this should be the name I adopt and market. So beginning with my next blog it will be called R Frederick Riddle Blog.

Profound, isn’t it?

But honestly this will enable me to continue connecting with people like you and with new people. There may also be additional changes coming in the future but these are barely concepts right now. One difference you will notice is the frequency. Instead of once or twice a week my goal is to blog Monday through Friday. Watch and see how successful I am at meeting this goal.

So welcome to R Frederick Riddle Blog.

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 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 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.

The commandment is a lamp

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light;…

God’s Word sheds light upon us. Think about that. What a powerful statement. We Christians need not operate in darkness. Whatever is going on in our life, including our secrets, is open to God. His Word reveals our deepest secrets and needs to us!

But if that is true (and it is) then how does that affect us as authors?

Considering the trials and tribulations of writing a book I look upon this verse as a strong encouragement. When I hit a wall that stops my writing God already knows all about it and has provided the solution. When I need to be encouraged God knows that and has already prepared the perfect encouragement for me.

In other words, the Word of God is a powerful resource for us as Christians and as Christian authors. All too often Christians separate their faith and their daily lives, but God intends for us to be in His Word daily and to apply it to every aspect of our life.

One of the advantages I have in blogging on Scripture is that it requires thoughtful reading of the Scriptures in addition to my daily devotions. It causes me to actually ‘think’ about the passage in relationship to my writing career. And that makes me stronger!

As an author I also write stories that are based on Bible stories. Although similar to writing stories based on secular historical events, it has the added benefit of once again involving me in the reading and meditation of God’s Word. It helps me to picture the actual events and to bring them alive for myself. And if I bring it alive for myself, it is likely to be alive for my readers.

But back to my basic point, which is that Christians need to be in God’s Word daily. This is true no matter what their career. God has something to say to us and we’ll only ‘hear’ it if we delve into His Word. And like a lamp it sheds light upon our feet and lightens the path before us (see Psalm 119:105)!

If you haven’t begun a daily devotion I encourage you to do so. The light won’t blind you but will show you how to move forward. It may even show you the possible pitfalls that await you if you persist in going a certain way. That is the beauty of it. The light shows both the good and bad in our life and acts as a guide. You won’t regret starting your own devotions.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for 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.

Profiles in Faith: John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams was not only the 6th President of the United States, he also served as Secretary of State, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator and Ambassador.

“My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ…” is a bold and clear statement of faith. In that same statement he allows that Christ allowed his disciples to call Him God. John’s faith was rock solid and appears to have influenced him greatly in whatever position he held.

Another statement, quoted here in part, states: “The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth.”

This statesman was firmly rooted in the Christian faith and played an integral role in the founding and early history of our nation. Some views, such as his view on slavery, evolved over time. Although he never became an abolitionist, because they called for disunion of America, he became a strong advocate for the removal of slavery. He accurately believed it would only come with the permission of the South or through civil war. (source: wikipedia.)

Both John Adams and John Q. Adams were members of the United First Parish Church, which originally was a Puritan Congregationalist church. Later the church would become an Unitarian  Universalist church. But in Adam’s day it was the former. Also known as the Church of the Presidents because of their membership, the building has been designated an historical landmark.

John Q. Adams was a strong defender of the Constitution even to the point of successfully opposing President Jefferson’s power grab where a Supreme Court justice faced removal from the Bench. In addition, he is the father of space exploration through his efforts that spurred the construction of astronomical observatories across the nation—so-called “lighthouses of the sky”—to study the heavens. (source: Constitution Daily.)

This great Christian statesman stood tall in his generation. And although we should never judge people of the past by morals of today, he would pass such a judgment today.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for 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.

Responding to Major Roadblocks

Albert Einstein defined Insanity as: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Sometimes we writers get into a rut. Whether in writing or marketing we have discovered what we believe is the right way to go and we stick to it no matter what. Christian authors are just as guilty as any other writer of this unhealthy attitude.

After all we have prayed and sought God’s advice and implemented what appeared to be His answer. But there is the crux of our problem. Maybe it wasn’t God’s leading.

If that is where you are at then it is time to re-evaluate what you are doing. Take a step back and take a hard look at what is happening. Seek God’s leading and listen carefully!

If the problem is about your writing, revisit it and look for ways to improve. Ask yourself questions, especially as it concerns your cover, story line, and structure. Does the story move along at a good pace? Does it hold interest?

Don’t be afraid to change the story! Neither change just to change.

As for marketing you have a great many areas to look at. For example, do you frequently update your website or is it stale? Google and other search engines like fresh material and may downgrade your site if it is not updated.

Also take a look at your advertising. Especially paid advertising. You can waste a lot of money if you’re not careful. Frequently I take a look at where my money is going. And sometimes it means I shut something down and start something else. Recently I closed an email and domain account for three reasons: 1) there was a monthly cost, 2) the domain was not working like I wanted it to work, and 3) I could substitute a free email account for the paid account. The immediate result was a savings of money, but it also caused me to refocus on both the business and personal side of my writing career.

Did I just arbitrarily do that? No. I prayed to God for His leading. And it took weeks, perhaps months, before all of this was accomplished. It required me to look at everything and ask if I was just following popular opinion or was I doing things God’s way? It is not always an easy question to answer.

What is too easy is to follow the crowd. We are beset on every side by ideas and methods that are popular and successful. But worldly success doesn’t always translate to Christian success. God has a plan for us, and our goal must always be to conform to His will. It always requires us to spend time with Him and in His Word. It also requires us to compare the tactic or plan to God’s Word. Does the tactic or plan violate God’s Word?

In conclusion, we want to evaluate our work on a regular basis. Ask yourself the tough questions and early seek God’s leading. I believe that God has a plan for every Christian and He wants us to succeed within that plan. So the most important thing you can do is to trust Him and constantly seek His guidance.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him 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.

A New Year’s Message

Soon we will be entering the year 2017. Before taking a look at what we might expect in the new year, let’s take a look at 2016.

2016 was a very active year, although it didn’t start out that way. It was for us a normal year until March when we bought ourselves a new (for us) 2013 Ford Fiesta. While a great car, it was God’s miraculous hand in our getting it that really stood out. But that is not the subject of today’s blog.

Instead we are looking at T&R Independent Books, our adventure in self-publishing.

Here is how 2016 unfolded:

  • August/SeptemberT&R Independent Books bought the publishing rights to Perished. This was the foundational book of The World That Was series.
  • October T&R Independent Books published the rewritten and reformatted Perished. This was the publisher’s first novel.
  • NovemberPerished was placed in the KDP Select program.
  • DecemberT&R Independent Books published Noah and the Ark, book two of The World That Was series.
  • DecemberT&R Independent Books began seriously getting ready to publish Tress Riddle’s debut novel sometime in January 2017.

As can be seen T&R Independent Books has had a rush of activities in the latter half of the year. It has truly been an exciting and busy year. Behind the scenes Tress Riddle has been working on her first novel, a mystery aimed at teens and young adults.

Also during this past year we have witnessed an explosion politically thinking. In Britain they had the Brexit  vote and in America we had the rise of Donald Trump. In both cases the average citizens revolted against the political elite demanding that they be heard and represented.

Whatever you may think of President-elect Trump he was wise enough to hear the rumblings and tap into them. Here are a few reflections:

  • NovemberDonald Trump won the national election for President of the United States.
  • NovemberUninformed men and women took to the streets and rioted in protest. This represented a national disgrace in our education system as the protestors showed their ignorance of the United States government. (We are a representative democracy, not a pure democracy where popular vote dominates.)
  • November3rd party candidate pushed for meaningless but costly recounts. Results were essentially the same.
  • DecemberTrump begins assembling cabinet showing that he actually intended to keep his campaign promises.
  • DecemberTrump won the Electoral College vote.

If I was writing on political issues I would spend some time addressing the lack of knowledge some people have demonstrated. As mentioned, our country is a representative democracy – a fact our citizens should have learned in high school! It was so designed to prevent large populous states from ruling the country (there are only four or six states that fit that bill) and from anarchy that often comes from pure democracy.

However, this is a blog on writing, so let’s move on.

I am really proud and excited about the achievements of T&R Independent Books! Founded in 2014 by my wife and myself, T&R had to withstand my heart attack and much foundational matters for the fledgling business. But 2016 has been a breakout year for the business.

I have now had three books published by T&R Independent books: So You Want to Write? (2015), Perished (2016), and Noah and the Ark (2016). In the meantime, my wife has been working hard on her debut novel which will soon (probably January) be published.

So what are my predictions for 2017?

Here’s a list of possibilities:

  • Publication of Tress Riddle’s debut novel.
  • Rewrite and publish So You Want to Write? with new material.
  • Write and publish book 3 of The World That Was.
  • Tress Riddle’s second novel published.

These represent another active year for the Riddle family. Sandwiched in-between are a variety of marketing events. Plus a renewed commitment to this blog.

I am seriously looking into adding video blogs to this blog. I plan to explore the idea of interviewing other authors, plus have videos on writing techniques and aids. I have the capability, but it comes down to cost versus effectiveness.

We wish all of you a happy New Year.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured in greater detail.