Posted on Leave a comment

Announcing Basic-30 Plan

Within a few days, TR Writing Services will be adding a Basic -30 Plan, a new plan that authors may find very desirable. Not long ago, we identified prospective authors who were not at the level of writing 50,000 words or more.

To reach those authors, we instituted what we called the Custom 120 and Custom 150 Plans. These plans provided our service at a much lower cost, thus enabling them to take advantage of our services. However, those plans did not allow for actual publishing.

This meant that while we helped them get their manuscript Publish Ready, we did not publish the book. Rather, they were responsible for the publishing.

This did create interest and work for us, but progress is always going on. That includes our industry. And now, TR Writing Services is able to upgrade what we offer to people who may only want to write a book of 72 pages.

Considering a published book includes Front Matter (which includes Title Page, Copyright Page, and Contents Page), plus Back Matter (which includes an About the Author Page and, possibly an Index of other books written), the actual length of the story itself can be fewer than 72 pages.

So, in response to this information, we are replacing the Custom Plans with a new Basic-30 Plan.

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 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.

The Basic-30 Plan covers books from 72 pages to approximately 190 pages. Our new plan prefers the 5×8 format, although that is optional, Calibri 14 font, single space, and approximately 158 words per page. Obviously, these will vary, but it is what we use for basic design and pricing.

The details are:

  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 5×8
  • Pages: 72-190

The Basic-30 maximizes out at 30,000 words. However, this is a flexible number. Thus, it is best to talk to us and find out if your book is Basic-30 or Bronze.

This new plan is identical in most areas to our other plans, including the publishing of the book through Kindle Direct Publishing. But because of the smaller size (5×8) we are able to affect cost savings for the user.

Another advantage of Basic-30 is it lends itself to short stories, poems, collections, and other small books.

As mentioned earlier, it enables authors to get published at less than 50,000 words, which might seem large to a new author. It opens them up to the possibility of getting published without costing them an arm and a leg.

The fact is, we can provide them the same quality of service that they expect with the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans. The only thing we are not including is eBooks, although that could change.

I am excited about this new plan. The reason is that this new ability allows me to get into the smaller book size market for my own books.

Watch for our official announcement or Press Release. This is big news!

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

Riddle Report Memorial Day 2021

Memorial Day 05 31 2021

ALERT: Memorial Day Sale entire weekend. Use Coupon Code MD10 and get additional 10% off our books.

Memorial Day is a day we set aside on a national scale for honoring and mourning the military personnel who paid the ultimate price for our nation. But we Christians also often use this day to remember those men and women who died for their faith during the past 2000 years, many suffering horrendous deaths.

And finally, it is a time for us to remember Jesus Christ who went to the cross and died so that all men and women could trust in Him and eternally have a home in heaven.

But the official purpose needs to be dealt with here. The United States military is all too often looked upon as a necessary evil. Politicians love cost cutting the military during peacetime and then blame others when our military is caught flatfooted. But the military suddenly becomes very important to our survival until the war ends, then we forget or ignore these men and women. Again!

A case in point was Vietnam. Our troops were sent there with the intent of stopping the communist north from taking over South Vietnam. Liberals attacked our involvement and spread lies and gleefully reported real atrocities that occurred over there. But their concern was not for the men and women in our uniforms. It was a costly war in which we were never defeated militarily but were defeated at home and politically.

When we came home, we weren’t celebrated with parades nor were we praised. Instead, every story of disreputable soldiers the press could find were published. Some veterans suffered from the anti-war militants.

In my case, I came home after serving in the United States Navy off Vietnam. Although I never stepped foot in Vietnam, our ship was within Vietnam waters and participated in providing naval gunfire support for our troops. When I came home, it is true I never saw a parade nor honored by my home community. But, to my knowledge, my family supported my service and honored me.

But it was a war that was fought by men and women who loved their country and who paid the ultimate price. It was a bloody war.

But Memorial Day, started during the Civil War, honors the dead of all our wars from the Revolutionary War to our wars in Iraq, Pakistan, and wherever our men and women have been called to serve. When they died, they didn’t die as Black, Red, or White Americans; they died as Americans. They didn’t die as Republicans or Democrats; they died as Americans. It doesn’t even matter if they were citizens or not, they were Americans. And they were heroes!

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. And don’t forget our sale all weekend. Simply use Coupon Code MD10 and get extra 10% off our books.

Now back to the article.

These people died serving their country under the flag of the United States of America. And that is all that needs to be said. They were everyday heroes and didn’t even know it!

Here in Port Charlotte, Florida and in Punta Gorda, Florida there will be events to attend. While a majority of Americans only think of Memorial Day as party time, it is the wise person who takes time to remember their sacrifice. So, find one.

I am publishing this blog earlier than normal so that you can be informed about the Military Heritage Museum which will be open from Noon to 4 p.m. All areas of the museum will be open, and veterans get in free (I like free). They will also be allowing adults and youth in at half price which means $6 and $4 respectively. Children ages 4 and under are free.

At 1 p.m. there will be a Commemoration Ceremony in the Gulf Theater which will be free and open to the public. U.S. Representative Greg Steube will give a special tribute, plus there will be recitations, music, and a “moving candle lighting ceremony” with representatives from each American conflict.

If you are interested in attending, the museum it is located at 900 W. Marion Ave., in Punta Gorda. (You can also contact them for reservations at www.militaryheritagemuseum.org or call them at 941-575-9002).

Whether you attend that event or another, pause, and remember the sacrifices made. If you live in America, whether citizen or not, black, red, or white, these people died for you.

Until Jesus returns, we will always need to keep a strong military. Our enemies, both near and far, are always looking to harm us. The recent fighting in Israel illustrates the nature of that enemy. They hate the Jews and anyone who helps them! It is important to remember that our enemy doesn’t care whether you are a man, a woman, a child, or an unborn baby. Their goal, purpose, and cause are to murder and destroy.

Enjoy the day, but also take time to honor them. In the end, whether they fought at home or in some far-off land they did it for you, your children, and your grandchildren.

Don’t forget! Use Code MD10 and get 10% off your purchases in our bookstore.

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

Riddle Report Memorial Day Sale

05 28 2021

Today is Friday and the Memorial Day weekend is beginning. For us at T&R Independent Bookstore, this is a chance to give back to our community. At 6:00 p.m. today our first ever Memorial Day Sale takes place.

In honor of this even we are going big. As you may know our bookstore only recently opened offers a sizeable discount on all our books. Every book in the store sells for $2.00 less than the retail. That’s $2 off what you pay at Amazon or anywhere else!

Depending on the retail the discount ranges from over 7% to over 25% off. That’s a pretty stout discount. But that is our everyday price. For this weekend we are going to do more.

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.

I am a veteran. I served for four years in the Vietnam War. A war that saw many returning sailors, marines, soldiers, and airmen return to their home country disliked and often insulted. But they have lived to see that turn around.

This weekend, we take our place beside veterans of other wars, but there are thousands of men and women who died serving their country. Some died in far away and hard to pronounce places while others died in hospitals right here in America.

This coming Monday will be Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor those who didn’t make it back. They went out young, brave, and, sometimes, untrained. But, if they were lucky, they came home in coffins and are buried where loved ones can still honor them.

But others were never found, or their bodies were burned or sank to the bottom of the sea. However, they died, they died defending the American Flag and the ideal of our country.

I know many of you will see a living veteran and thank him for his or her service, but please remember those who died in war. That is what Memorial day is all about.

So, in honor of those who fell in battle, we are discounting all our books by an additional 10%. You still have to pay for shipping and taxes, but the book or books will cost less. Beginning at 6 p.m. you will find a banner on our website providing you a coupon. All you have to do is use that coupon code (the name of the coupon) at checkout and you automatically get the discount.

Use Coupon Code: MD10

As you take advantage of our sale and other business’s specials, please remember that men and women gave their lives so you could do that. Some were white, some were brown or black, and some were red, but all were Americans. They were also divided by faith, ethnicity, sex, and age, but none of that matters. They died for you; celebrate that!

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pamper Your Desire to Write

05 24 2021

You love to read, and you have a desire to write a book. But you don’t have the skill or training to be able to write, much less get published and sold!

Ladies and Gentlemen put those concerns behind you! Instead of worrying about what you don’t control, pamper that desire to write! Your concerns may be appropriate, but they can be addressed and that is what you are doing as you read this blog.

You may not have natural skills, but you can develop what you have. You may not know how to edit, but you can be taught, or you can hire someone to do it for you. You may not know how to get published, but there are people willing to help you do just that.

You have fears and concerns. Fine. Contact TR Writing Services and we’ll talk. Whatever you do, don’t give up on your dream!

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.

Why do I say don’t quit and give up on your dreams? Because I believe that everyone, and that includes you, has a story to tell. A story that might be based on personal childhood experiences, or personal adult experiences. Nobody can guarantee sales, but we can guarantee getting published. That is why we started T&R Writing Services.

As an example of not giving up, I had a hard road to travel before I got published. But here’s a principle that I followed and still follow: Write what you love. I love history, so my first books were based on history. But since I also love God’s Word, my first books were centered in the Book of Genesis. Up until Moses, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote by direct revelation, plus gathered, organized, and assembled the ‘Writings’ into what we call the Bible there was no written historical records. Evolutionists erroneously believe that men didn’t write back then and only related history by oral stories. In fact, Adam and Eve were geniuses by our standards, but man lost that ability to read and write at the Tower of Babel. But that’s another story in itself. The fact is that my love for history and Biblical history led directly to my basing my first novels in Genesis. Start with what you love!

There is another reason we started this business. Because once I was where you are. I wanted to write but didn’t know how. I looked around for help and it was hard to find anyone. I finally found help at a monthly fee. But I was in a low paying job and it strained my budget. I took the chance and began learning.

Unfortunately, I got laid off. End of writing course. So, I spent years learning the craft the hard way. There were times I didn’t even attempt to write a story. Instead, I diverted my efforts to writing computer code (self-taught), but when the software was upgraded, I didn’t have the money to upgrade myself, and upon investigation I found my previous experience didn’t help anyhow! So, I had to stop.

Then I wrote my first book using a Self-Publishing company. It cost me $400, which was a lot of money back then. Today, that same book would undoubtedly cost me $800 or possibly more at that Self-Publisher. But if I was a client of TR Writing Services, I could have my document edited, proofed, and published for only $145. That is a significant difference!

So, I understand the desire and the frustration. All you really want is a chance to write your book and get published. But it seems like the world is conspiring against you. You may not choose to use TR Writing Services, but whatever you do don’t quit on your dream. That dream is worth pursuing. You might find it difficult to pursue but do it anyhow.

Go on the internet and search for the services that will help you get your book print ready and publish your book. Contact them and discover what they have to offer you and the cost. If they are not willing to discus the price upfront, then that is a red flag.

When people contact us, we send them a free brochure that explains our services and we send a PDF of the book, T&R’s Guide to writing. It helps you with the basics of writing so you can start writing with more confidence.

Writing is an exciting occupation. When you get that book printed, and in your hand, there is a special feeling. You’ve done it! Your dream has come true! Take that step and work toward that moment.

And if you happen to be a Christian let me add that the world needs Christian writers. There is a lot of trash out there, but you can add fiction or nonfiction books that provide good content for readers to choose. So, seek God’s wisdom and guidance, then if He gives you the green light, go for it.

If you are 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.

Posted on Leave a comment

INDIE PUBLISHING

The Riddle Report 05 17 2021

These days the author has more responsibility than ever before and more opportunities! Indie Publishing plays a big role.

In days gone by the author wrote a novel, submitted it to a publisher, and once accepted, relaxed. But Indie Publishing has changed all of that !

There are all kinds of publishers out there. But here I want to present you with a different perspective. In a previous blog I have 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!

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.

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.

Indie Publishing is the author taking ultimate charge. 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).

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

In establishing our own publishing business, we also took on the marketing of the books, which I may discuss in a future blog.  But in short, we will 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.                

Example

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Application

In establishing T&R Independent Books we also took over what was formerly known as RFrederickRiddle’s Bookstore. Initially, we closed down the store and opted to direct all potential buyers to Amazon and Kindle. However, in 2021 we opened a new store called T&R Independent Bookstore. In both cases, we have control over the marketing, including tracking of sales. Our initial relation with Amazon was the familiarity of Amazon for customers and KDP’s powerful tracking tools.

But our association with WordPress and Woo eCommerce has enabled us to set up our store using WordPress’s Storefront theme. It is another game changer and fits right into our Indie persona.

When using KDP, it enabled us to exercise several marketing options, some being free. Does this guarantee sales? Of course not. But it did give us, a relative newcomer maximum control and flexibility. And we still have them by our side with the primary difference that the controls, tools, and products (books) reside in our store while the eBooks are on Amazon.

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 our future and yours. 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 Publisher involves great responsibility and great rewards. Being an Indie Publisher has great potential! If you are 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.

Posted on Leave a comment

What Are Six Steps to Writing?

The Riddle Report 04 20 2021

This blog is written to help new authors or those contemplating the idea of writing a book.

If you are thinking about whether to write a book or not, don’t be afraid to step out. While there are thousands of writers out there, there is no one quite like you. And we need to see your work.

What follows are six steps to help you get started. These are not in-depth, and they are not all that difficult. But I believe that you should take them to heart.

#1 – The Concept

The Basics of the Story

A story has to start somewhere and that is usually in the mind of the author. Perhaps it is a childhood memory, college years, military service, or simply a job. All of these are potential sources of plots.

You may only know a ‘what if?’ concept or perhaps a specific event in your own life that has triggered an idea for a story. While I am primarily talking about a fictional story, you could also want to write a nonfiction account of your experience.

#2 – The Research

Beginning Research

I call it Beginning Research because research is something you will need to do a lot of throughout your writing. But here you are performing some basic research to get you off on the right foot.

Some of the research you will do is as follows:

  • What is the uniqueness of the subject?
  • Has someone else already written on the subject?
  • What genres will it be in?
  • Is it fictional or nonfiction?

You get the idea. These are areas that you should consider, and you will probably come up with other areas. And none of the above will probably ever get in your book. But they will help you formulate your ideas.

Other areas of research may cover location of the story (i.e., Florida, Maine, etc.), type of industry in area, manner of speech and dress in the area, and so forth. The answers to these questions will have a direct impact upon your story.

In short, research is a valuable tool that you can use to help you throughout writing your book and, indeed, throughout your writing career.

#3 – First Draft

Your initial Work

New authors often fall in love with their first drafts because they poured their hearts into it. But you should always consider the first draft as a rough draft not meant for publication. No matter how much effort you put in this first draft it is going to require work.

I have never met an author who wrote a first draft and successfully published it. Someone out there may claim they have done so, but I can almost guarantee you that the draft is full of errors.

#4 – Review and Edit

Edit or not?

Some writers don’t edit until they have finished the first draft, others like to edit every page. Neither approach is wrong. But I would suggest that making use of your built-in grammar checker can be a help. But it is critical to remember that the grammar checker does not know whether you are writing an academic paper, which requires very stringent grammar, or a novel, which is not that stringent.

The other thing to remember about grammar programs is that they know the rules, but those rules are aimed at the academic level. Plus, the program does not know you are writing a novel, does not know your plot, does not know the education level of your characters, and so forth. So, use the grammar checker as a tool and interpret its concerns accordingly.

That said, I recommend that you strike a balance between constant editing and waiting until the end. Edit is necessary, but too much of a good thing can disrupt your flow of thoughts. In this first draft your story’s development is the most important thing going on. And when you finish your first draft you will find it necessary to go back over the entire book and check out your spelling, grammar, and other issues that may pop up. You find these issues by reading your draft. It is called reviewing.

What you are doing for each draft is reviewing and editing. And it may take several drafts before your book is ready to be published.

#5 – Get Help

Professional Help

After you have finished the first draft and done your review & edit, you can then write your next draft. But after you third or fourth or fifth draft you may realize that you need help.

The temptation is too do it all by yourself. And the hard truth is that even your very best authors don’t publish error free books. I know, I’ve read some of the best and still found errors. Sometimes minor and sometimes major. When you are talking about thousands of words, the likelihood of errors increases even when you use professional help.

But you don’t necessarily need professional help. Consider relatives or friends. But make sure they understand that you need honest reviews. It is not helpful if they tell you what they think you want to hear. What you need are another pair of eyes.

Even so, if you are on a tight budget, you may not be able to do that because if someone helps you out like that you should do something for them. If you are on a tight budget you may have to do it yourself, in which case, I would suggest that you take a breather after finishing a draft and do something else. Then go back and reread your story. You might consider reading with a view for spelling errors, such as ‘their’ instead of ‘there’. Then, reread the story and look at the grammar.

But if you go the do-it-yourself-approach, remember that you are the author and know what you think you wrote. Your mind might trick your eyes into seeing the words that you thought you wrote instead of the words you really wrote.

More about this issue on the other side of this break. TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to help you be your absolute best as a writer.

The problems associated with self-editing are why there are professional editors out there. We exist to help you prepare your book for publishing. We read your book thoroughly looking for errors in grammar, spelling, etc. Then we work with you to improve the story.

In fact, if we are doing the editing, we do so with your story in mind. And not only your story, but your writing style. It is unique to you and we believe it should be preserved. So, we edit and proof the book, then we make sure you are happy with the results. Only when you are happy, and it meets the requirements of KDP is the book published.

And you haven’t spent a fortune to have it done.

Now back to the article.

#6 – Getting Published

Kindle Direct Publishing

At TR Writing Services we use KDP because they:

  • Allow the author to have total control except for a few technical issues
  • Allow you to determine your royalties, which range from 35% to 70%
  • Pay directly to an account you indicate
  • Provide you a large potential readership
  • and much more.

There are self-publishing companies out there that you should learn about. Don’t be confused by the term self-publishing. It does not mean that you have control over the publishing process. They do. And if you want them to edit your book, you may be giving up any control you have there as well.

But there are publishing criteria that you need to check out. One is the book cover.

It is important that after all the work you have put in to the book that your cover be good. And you have some options.

  • KDP gallery, which provides templates and pictures
  • Professional designers who will design a book cover for you

The KDP gallery should not be ignored. They have a small amount of pictures that may fit your need. I wish they would expand that gallery. However, they also have preset templates for book covers which allows you to upload your own pictures, such as designed for you or you purchased off the internet. Some designers will design the back cover for you but unless these people are KDP certified it could prove difficult. So, take the time and find out if they have worked with KDP, because KDP has criteria that must be met.

Professional designers offer their services at varying prices. Just because someone offers their services at a high cost does not mean that their services are better than anyone else’s. Check out their work.

Here’s thought. Why not make use of istock, pexels, pixabay, or others. Then upload to KDP the picture you bought or downloaded. Then let KDP do the rest.

I’ve done it. They also let you upload of bio picture of yourself along with a short biography and a description of the book. Then they let you know if you need to do more work on any of those items. When done, you have a quality book cover.

There you have it. Six basic steps to help you get started. There are several more items we didn’t discuss, such as ISBN, color vs. B&W, and more. But KDP will work with you on that as will just about any publisher that exists.

Find out the difference between Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing, and Indie Publishing. I’ve written about this subject in the past. And remember this, Indie Publishing means you have more responsibility, better royalties, and, of course, more work to do. Why not be an Indie?

If you are listening to this podcast, it has been 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.

Posted on Leave a comment

TR Bookstore Opening Soon

The Riddle Report 04 9 2021

In my last blog I talked about brick and mortar bookstores and the fact that brick and mortar stores, bookstores in particular, are making a comeback. While that is true, Teresa and I are excited to announce that we are opening an internet store where book lovers can purchase our books at a discounted price.

While it is true that we’ve had a catalog allowing customers to purchase their book through links in our catalog, we thought our customers deserved better. Thus, we made the decision to offer our books, which are growing in number, to our customers at discounted prices and right on our website.

We have a grand opening tentatively scheduled for May 3, 2021, but TR Bookstore is ready now. There may be some tweaks needed here or there which is why we are going for a “soft” opening right now.

I thought it would be nice to let you in on our journey. I do not have affiliate accounts with any of the products I will discuss nor am I reimbursed or paid for my comments. I will tell the story in Steps.

Step #1 – PayPal

I mention this first because we have had a PayPal account for several years. While there are other vendors out similar to PayPal, we prefer PayPal. You need a method for your customers to pay for your products. One of the things I like about PayPal is that customers do not have to have a PayPal account. If they have one, then great.

But if they don’t have an PayPal account, they can still purchase their book(s) using their credit card. We accept most major credit cards.

Step #2 – Hosting Website

We currently use WordPress and we are very happy with it. Previously I have used Godaddy. And, yes, there are many good website hosts out there. Get one of them.

With WordPress I upgraded to Business. To have a storefront you must have either the Business Plan or the eCommerce Plan. We chose Business because it provides what we need and costs less than the eCommerce Plan.

Step #3 – WooCommerce

This is a plugin for WordPress that really makes a difference. It gives the look and feel of a bookstore. I have only recently installed it and started working with it, and I can tell you I am very pleased!

The fact that it is “free” is always a blessing. Along with that it is a powerful program that works well  in the Storefront Theme.

Step #4 – Appearance

Don’t feel obligated to follow the same steps I took, but I choose to have Step #4 be appearance. I started working on the appearance as soon as I could. And I have tweaked several times and maybe I will do more in the near future. The more I learn the better the appearance gets.

Step #5 – Add Products

I expected this to take days, maybe weeks. But the Add Products (WooCommerce) aspect has been very easy. You can assign your product ID (default is ISBN) according to your needs or desires. You can determine currency, retail price, sale price, inventory, and more

Step #6 – Product Pictures

At the moment I have continued to use the product pictures that I have also used in the catalog. I may choose to update the pictures to a more unified look and feel. That will be looked into for sure.

Step #7 – Cart

I have chosen to use the default Cart which is tied to my PayPal account. It is plain and simple which is what I want. More important, it is quick and easy for customers, and that is very important.

Step #8 – Testing

Technically, the store is operational right now. Customers can access and use the site. However, it is always as good idea to test the site. So, we are doing a “soft” opening which allows us to test the site and make any improvements necessary. If customers use us during this time they become part of the testing, but we are hoping that everyone will be happy and experience “zero” problems.

Step #9 – Grand Opening

The Grand Opening is scheduled for May 3, 2021. By that time all “bugs” should have been found and removed. It is also possible that at least one more book will be added to our inventory. We are starting out small, but intend to continue adding more of our own books to the bookstore.

It is also possible that other authors’ books might be sold sometime in the future, but these are unlikely to be discounted. There are a lot of decisions that we will have to make, but we anticipate are own published works will continue to grow.

Step #10 – Directions

I like to say that we are located on Internet Hwy at tr-writingservices.com. When people come there they will find our bookstore and our writing services where we edit, proof, and publish the book within.

I am seriously thinking of providing directions right on the site as a separate page.

Perhaps you want to build your own publishing business or bookstore. If so, I hope this blog gave you some encouragement and some constructive ideas.

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 and his Parler page is authorriddle.

Posted on Leave a comment

Are Brick & Mortar Bookstores Dying?

The Riddle Report 04 2 2021

It has been evident for a long time that brick and mortar bookstores were declining and the culprit has been the Internet. However, despite media coverage suggesting that bookstores were dying, a resurgence started several years ago. Covid-19, also known as the Chinese Virus (it started in China), has had a crushing impact on almost all industries. But the bookstore industry seems to be coping and is ready to continue its comeback.

News Item #1 Overview

There is a long history of bookstores dating back hundreds of years. They were the primary, and sometimes only, venue for selling and buying books. When I started my writing career in 2003, bookstores were still the primary place to sell your books. And it was in bookstores that I conducted book signings.

At that time, it was getting more difficult primarily because the superstores dominated and could be picky about the books.

Sometime after that the brick & mortar stores began declining as the internet was growing and people found they could shop from home. Thus, began a deep decline that saw chains that once dominated going out of business. Borders, one of the largest superstore chains, eventually closed its doors. But others continued.

News Item #2 Decline

As mentioned above bookstores, and we are talking primarily of brick & mortar bookstores, went into decline. Here is Port Charlotte, Florida I understand that there were bookstores, including at least one Christian bookstore.

Shortly after arriving here in 2008 we discovered that the Christian store was gone, and the only general bookstore was Books-a-Million. That hasn’t changed much. A Christian bookstore did open up and operate for several years, but it too went out of business. Books-a-Million is still here.

Why?

Part of the reason is that the new Christian Bookstore only had a minimal presence on the internet. Basically, a single page providing directions and when open. I also suspect that the manager of the store underestimated the competition that the internet was bringing. I talked to him and he was quite confident, yet his confidence seemed to me to ignore or not be aware of the purchasing power, not to mention low overhead, of internet stores.

News Item #3 Comeback

We currently have two bookstores in Punta Gorda, Florida, which is right across the Peace River. Both are Independent and have an online presence that compliments the physical store. In addition, I know Copperfish makes use of emails, virtual events, and Zoom to list just a few innovations. And I believe all Indie Bookstores have similar methods of outreach.

The comeback of bookstores in general and Indie’s in particular began in 2016 or shortly after. That was the year that Family Christian went bankrupt and disappeared. But the vaunted age of eBooks didn’t happen quite the way anticipated. Yes, eBooks sell well, but they did not replace print books which still sell well.

And the bookstores, particularly Indie bookstores that included Church bookstores, learned to survive and thrive!

News Item #4 In The Year 2021

The year is still young, but bookstores are doing well. Indie bookstores have invested time, money, and energy in coping with the restrictions from the Chinese Virus. As a result, they are ready to continue the comeback. Locally, I have seen at least one bookstore expand its virtual offerings while moving to a new brick & mortar storefront.

Scanning the internet for information on bookstores I found optimism. And that speaks well of the industry.

News Item #4s What About the Internet

The internet is well and doing fine. Just as there are millions of people wanting to hold a book in their hand before buying, there are also millions of people willing to buy a book from the comfort of their homes. The internet and brick & mortar bookstores can coexist and, in some cases, have a foot in both segments.

Here at T&R Independent Bookstore and Services, we are looking forward to opening are own bookstore, TR Bookstore. It will be exclusively on the internet and, at least in the beginning, sell only our books. This will allow our books to be sold both at Amazon and at our bookstore, where they will be discounted.

So, in conclusion, I believe it is way too early to mourn the bookstores whether brick & mortar or internet. And neither should we mourn the eBook or the Print book. Both are doing fine!

So, if you are looking for a fine book to read go to your local bookstore or your internet bookstore (which when you think about it are also local).

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 and his Parler page is authorriddle.

Posted on Leave a comment

Announcing New Novel

World War III picture

The Riddle Report 01 11 2021

Today I am announcing the publication of my newest novel, World War III. This novel is the prequel to Christland.

As many of you know I built my career on writing historical fiction, novels that were based on historical events recorded in the Bible. These have been my primary interest and will continue to be so. However, in the last couple of years I have delved into speculative fiction with my first series Christland.

With this publication the series will include World War III, Death Ship to the Stars, Pauline: A New Home, Task Force Hunter, Black Death, Rise of I.S.I.S., and Battle at Proxima Centauri. It is a series that carves out its own niche within the Sci-Fi or Speculative Fiction genre.

It is also a series I am proud of and have been encouraged by. That being said, I felt that the buildup to the Death Ship to the Stars needed greater exploration. Therefore, I set about writing what is called World War III.

World War III introduces many of the characters that are found in Death Ship to the Stars. You get to know them before those tragic events. One particular character you meet is Don Michaels, one of the heroes of Death Ship to the Stars. You get a deeper understanding of him and of the men and women around him.

But the biggest thing is you get to view World War III, which turns out to be one of the shortest world wars in history or is the shortest. In any case, you get to read and experience the war itself, but also the events leading up to it and following it.

Then there is General Abner Smith. This is a man who is both a brilliant general and a monstrous person. His hatred for all things Christian and Jewish comes through loud and clear at the expense of innocent people!

The writing of this novel allowed me the freedom to explore the world of speculative fiction in greater depth while adding to and, hopefully, expanding the experience of the Christland series. As a result of the new novel, I am rewriting portions of Death Ship to the Stars. This revised version should be coming out soon.

The eBook is in Pre-Order now and the Print book should be available this week. Here is the data:

Title: World War III

Publisher: T&R Independent Books

Author: R. Frederick Riddle

Pages: 357

ASIN: B08SLK6P83

ISBN-13: 9798571715317

Print Retail: $13.99

eBook Retail: $2.99 (in pre-order now)

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 and his Parler page is authorriddle.

Posted on Leave a comment

5 Proactive Actions for Authors in 2021

The Riddle Report 01 06 2021

Today I am writing about the pursuit of your writing career. The title is Be Proactive.

What do you mean?

One definition of proactive is: Acting in advance to deal with an expected change or difficulty. 2021 lies ahead of you. There are a lot of unknowns right now.

Take the election of the President. No matter the outcome of today’s voting, it is unlikely we will know who the next President is until the Supreme Court gets involved. There is a lot of evidence of voter fraud, certainly a great deal of mistrust of election results, and the abuse of power by state governors and their administrations.

That’s just one area of uncertainty. Connected to those issues you also have the economy, international relations, Covid-19, and so on. In other words, you, and all the rest of us, don’t know what 2021 will be like.

That being the case, I think we authors need to be proactively engaged. This blog contains 5 Proactive Actions for Authors in 2021.

  1. Budgeting

This involves looking back and forward. How did your writing budget work out last year. This would be a great time to analyze your success. While I am speaking of money, success has many faces.

You may not have made much money, but did you position yourself for success. In a moment we will talk about goals but positioning yourself involves financial investment for sure yet there is much more involved.

For instance, are you ready to write a new novel? I published some novels last year, but I have also laid the groundwork or have already started writing other novels. What about you.

If you been writing for any length of time you may have gotten to that stage where you can work on more than one novel at a time. If that is the case, it is a good thing. If you haven’t started working on the next novel, this would be a good time to start.

How about publishing and marketing? Now’s the time to start on them.

  • Goals

We hear about setting goals all the time and the reason is that goal setting can be very effective. Set short-term, intermediate term, and long-term goals.

For example, in locally marketing our TR Writing Services I began last year putting shoe leather to my marketing efforts. I began visiting local strip malls and getting out business cards and flyers to let people know about our products. I plan on continuing and expanding these efforts in 2021.

As for novels, I have three novels I am working on right now. All three were begun in 2020 and now being enhanced. In some cases, the novels may have major rewriting involved. Don’t know yet, but it is a possibility.

  • Writing

I just mentioned my plans for writing in the Goals segment. But being proactive requires more than just establishing goals. It involves actually doing some writing. Keep writing!

If you don’t have a plan for writing your books, develop one. It doesn’t have to be hard and fast, set in stone. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend that.

A better idea, specially if you are writing multiple books, is to work on one project and then switch to another. This will help keep your mind alert.

Plan ahead, maybe even schedule your books, but nothing set in stone.

  • Publishing

Publishing is a very important area. Have you decided to become an Indie Publisher? Whether you are traditional, self-publishing, or indie publishing, you need to start working on that now.

If traditional you need to have an agent who can find the right publisher for you. If you are going Self-Publishing you need the money so you can pay upfront (remember, it could be $800 or more). If Indie, it may not be money, but it could be getting all your pawns in order.

Whatever you plan on doing in 2021, now is the time to think about it and put your plans in action.

  • Marketing

Marketing is the final step. It involves advertising, selling, and record keeping. You may be one of those persons who can just do it and don’t need a calendar or some other reminder. Me, I need reminding.

And we all need good record keeping. I am not going to go into any detail on that because we all have different needs and expectations. But now is the time to get started!

Here at TR Writing Services, we stand ready to help you. Our motto is “We edit, proof, and publish the book within you.”  As for marketing, we can advise you and provide certain tools, such as your own dedicated book page that you can use to begin marketing. This page is free and designed to help your prospective reader to find and buy your book.

For more information see below.

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 and his Parler page is authorriddle.