Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Choosing a Publisher

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

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

Traditional Publishing

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

Even so, it is not impossible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Self-Publishing

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

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

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

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

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

** Publishes eBooks only. It is free.

*** Owned by Author Solutions.

**** Christian Self-Publishing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indie Publishing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A note about TR Writing Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Indie Publishing

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

Principle

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

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

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

Traditional Publishing

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

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

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

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

Self-Publishing

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

And you still are responsible for the marketing.

Indie Publishing

This is the subject of today’s blog.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Example

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Application

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

How to Compare CS with KDP That Will Help You Publish

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a deeper look at How to Compare CS with KDP That Will Help You Publish.
As I prepare to publish my latest novel I thought a few comments upon publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) versus CreateSpace might be appropriate. This is especially true since this is my first ‘fully KDP printed book.’ What I mean by that is this has been a KDP project from the start. Previously I either published with CreateSpace or started with CreateSpace and published with KDP.
My first overall observation is that Kindle Direct Publishing is every easy to use. As I have progressed with the book I have noticed that KDP is actually a tad simpler to use than CS. It is easily understood, information is easily inputted, and the whole process is user friendly.
Now let’s take a look at some specifics.
TITLE

As with CreateSpace Kindle Direct Publishing is very easy to use. For the Title you simply enter your book’s title. If it has a Subtitle you can enter that in the appropriate box. It is a very easy process equal to the CreateSpace experience. I am very pleased.

DISCRIPTION

With the allowance of up to 3247 words you have ample space allowed for your description.

SERIES

You can input the Series and Series Number if your book is a series. Because I want the Series to be prominently displayed on the cover I enter the Series name and number in both the Subtitle and Series boxes.

EDITION NUMBER

An edition is a particular version of a book. The edition number tells readers whether the book is an original version or an updated version. If this is the first time you have published this book, enter the numeral 1. If the book was previously published and the version you are publishing contains significant changes, enter the numeral 2 (and so on).

AUTHOR

Probably most of you won’t have the same needs as I do. My author name is R. Frederick Riddle. Like in CreateSpace the input form has a First Name, Middle Name, and Last Name. Since I am primarily focused upon my middle name, I want it to be displayed on the cover. However, if you provide the middle name in the middle name box it won’t be displayed. So I simply type R. Frederick in the First Name box. Works like a charm!

CONTRIBUTORS

If there are multiple authors you will want to list them here. This is similar to the Author entry. You can add as many authors as you need. Since I am the only author of my books, I skip this part.

PUBLISHING RIGHTS

Here you have two options:

  • I own the copyright and I hold necessary publishing rights.
  • This is a public domain work

Simply indicate which option is correct.

KEYWORDS

You are allowed up to 7 key words or phrases. It is recommended by experts that you use keywords that are not in the Title, Description, or Category. This can be difficult, but think about possible ways someone might seek to find your book. There appears to be some debate about whether words or phrases are best, so I recommend a mix. Again this is comparable to CreateSpace.

CATAGORIES

You are allowed up to two categories which I believe was the same in CreateSpace. Simply make your selections and carry it out as far as possible.

ADULT CONTENT

You’ll see this sentence: Does this book contain language, situations, or images inappropriate for children under 18 years of age?
Then you either select Yes or No.
Choosing Yes does not mean your book is pornographic, it simply seeks to identify the age appropriate level of reader.

ISBN

This might actually be a tad easier than CreateSpace. You are given choices for your ISBN.
An ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, is a unique 10-digit number assigned to every published book. An ISBN identifies a title’s binding, edition, and publisher. An EAN, or European Article Number, is a 13-digit number assigned to every book to provide a unique identifier for international distributors. The 10-digit ISBN is converted to a 13-digit EAN by adding a 978 prefix and changing the last digit. To publish a book, you can use either a free KDP ISBN or use your own valid ISBN (purchased directly from your ISBN agency).

PUBLICATION DATE

Your publication date is the date on which your book was first published. You cannot change it after publishing your title. If you leave this blank, KDP will automatically use the date on which your book goes live (i.e. it is available for sale) on Amazon.

PRINT OPTIONS

INTERIOR & PAPER TYPE (you can choose):

  • Black and White interior with Cream paper
  • Black and White interior with White paper
  • Color interior with White paper

TRIM SIZE

6 x 9 in. or a different size.

BLEED SETTINGS

Setting your interior to “bleed” allows printing at or off the edge of a page. It is used to support images and illustrations. Most books use “no bleed” unless there is a specific reason to apply “bleed.” Changing the bleed settings will not change the manufacturing cost.

PAPERBACK COVER FINISH

KDP supports Matte and Glossy finish. If memory serves me CreateSpace may have had more choices, but this seems ideal for most authors.

MANUSCRIPT

Upload a manuscript of your book interior content. For best results, we recommend using a formatted PDF file to create your paperback. You can also upload a DOC (.doc), DOCX (.docx), HTML (.html), or RTF (.rtf).
You can also download a KDP Template.

BOOK COVER

We recommend a book cover for a good reader experience. You can create a cover using our Cover Creator tool or upload your own book cover. If uploading your own book cover it must be PDF.
To use Cover Creator click on it. You will go to a very easy to follow page that will guide you and provide the tools necessary to taking advantage of their gallery.

BOOK PREVIEW

Preview your file to check for formatting and print quality issues. This is mandatory to continue onward. Every time you upload a new manuscript or make changes affecting the book’s interior you will be required to Launch Previewer.

SUMMARY

This shows a summary of your decisions plus the printing costs of the book.

TERRITORIES

If you don’t hold worldwide rights to sell and distribute your title, you must indicate the territories in which you hold rights. If you are publishing a public domain title, keep in mind that the duration of copyright varies between countries/regions, so ensure you set your territory rights to only include those territories where you have determined the book is in the public domain.

PRICING & ROYALTY

The List Price is the price a customer sees on an Amazon detail page. In certain marketplaces, the List Price displayed to the customer will include local VAT which is added on to the List Price you provide.
I always use Expanded Distribution.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

It can take up to 72 hours for your book to be available for purchase on Amazon. Until then, the book’s status will be “In Review” on your Bookshelf.
By clicking publish I confirm that I agree to and am in compliance with the KDP Terms and Conditions.

PROOF COPIES

Order proof copies of your book before publication. Proof copies are printed using your latest uploaded book files which may differ from your book’s live version. They will also have a “Not for Resale” watermark on the cover and a unique barcode but no ISBN. You pay only the printing cost for your selected marketplace times the number of copies. Shipping and applicable taxes will be applied at checkout.
This is the only place in which I’ve been disappointed. I liked where CreateSpace allowed you to have the book proofed right there online and you discovered the errors, etc. KDP only allows you to order a printed proof copy as far as I can tell. This will take more time. However, the disappointment is minor since it will allow me to actually hold the proof copy in my hands. Thus I will get the feel and appearance!

FINAL THOUGHTS

I have been very pleased with the whole process of publishing the book although I haven’t published yet due to Final Edits that I am currently undergoing. But that is simply me uploading a new and improved manuscript plus another Book Preview.
So when comparing CreateSpace with Kindle Direct Publishing you (in this case I) can expect the same and, in some cases, better experience with KDP than with CreateSpace. This is always a good thing. It means that we, as authors, can focus on our writing and not so much on the publishing end of the process. In my opinion this has been a transparent upgrade that benefits me (and I hope you) as an author.

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.

Indie Publishing

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 Indie Publishing.
Back in 2014 when my wife and I decided to establish T&R Independent Publishing we didn’t know what to expect. What we did know was that I was bringing eleven years of writing experience and she was bringing not only business experience but an MBA to the business. And enthusiasm.
But Why Did We Choose to Become an Indie Publisher?
To be honest we were unhappy with the results of so called Self Publishing. Whatever sales were being made didn’t translate well in the form of royalties. But of greater importance was the lack of control. We’re not control freaks, but when you pour your heart and talent into a project you want to have control of how it is published and marketed. It was with that in mind that we started our new business.
Let’s take a closer look.
Why form our own publishing company?
Up to that time I had been publishing using what is commonly called self publishing companies to publish my books. But as I studied these companies I discovered:

  • They control the content of the book
  • They control the cover of the book
  • They determine the royalties
  • I still had to do most of the marketing

In other words, while we had more freedom and control than we’d have with a traditional publisher we still didn’t really have control of anything that really mattered. By going independent and truly publishing by ourselves, we would:

  • Have control over the content of the book from cover to cover
  • Have control over the cover of the book, including what photos we can use
  • Determine the royalties (You have choices with the KDP platform)
  • Still do the marketing

Now don’t get me wrong. We don’t consider ourselves masters of the publishing universe. Rather we believe that if the author is going to invest his/herself into writing a book, any book, then they deserve to benefit from it.
Example
With traditional and self publishing companies the average author’s royalties are scaled. It varies from publisher to publisher but in general it might go like this: 8% of retail for the first 2,500; 15% for the next 5,000; 25% thereafter. Now the numbers just used may not be accurate today, but the concept is true.
But by doing my own publishing using the KDP platform I can receive 35% or 70% right from the start depending on choices we make! That is a huge difference.
What about the content?
With traditional publishers you generally have to first go through an agent who then tries to find a publisher. The agent has certain criteria which may involve you changing the content of your book. But just finding an agent can be long and frustrating. Then the agent gets to tell you whether the book is good enough for publishing based on their expertise.
Even self publishers exert control. For example, say you are writing a book and you quote from the King James Version Bible. It is possible, if you use their editing service, they will substitute a different version whether you agree or not. They may also reject passages they don’t like. In other words, just because you are pleased with your results they might not be and can act accordingly.
Another thing involved is the ability to correct. No matter how or to what extent you have had your book previewed and edited, there is always the chance of errors. Moreover the publisher may have printing errors. I ran into this with my books. I was sent a ‘Proof’ copy and given about three days to review, find errors, make corrections, and return (electronically, of course). Three days may sound like a lot when using the internet but if the publisher made errors, which in this case they did, the finding and correcting  could be extensive, which it was. As a result I was only able to make a limited number of corrections and then it was published. And once published I could not make any corrections without going through the submission process again including paying money!
But by publishing the book myself I am able to take my time and do a more thorough job of previewing and editing. And, if there are still errors in the published version, I can correct the errors and republished at no cost to myself! Since the forming of T&R Independent Books we have reviewed, unpublished, and republished our books after editing.
And now with the merger of CreateSpace into KDP we have even greater simplicity. We haven’t republished anything yet since the merger, but it is my understanding that we can, if we choose, leave the existing book version published while we make corrections and then republish! That is HUGE!
What about the Cover?
In previous blogs  I wrote about CreateSpace’s Cover Creator and the Photo Gallery. We have recently published books by me using KDP’s Cover Creator and Photo Gallery. I liked CreateSpace’s gallery, I like KDP’s more!
I won’t go into all the details again other than to say we can use one of their free pictures or we can upload a picture of our own. We don’t have to deal with the publisher to get permission like we did with my previous self published books with a publisher. Even though we had a certificate proving we owned the rights, they rejected the photo and the certificate. But as the publisher we not only can but did use it.
And one last thing: Writing a book can be and is stressful; so is marketing. Having greater control over the publishing removes a lot of stress; and having greater control over price and royalties is far more rewarding.
Have you considered publishing your book yourself?
More and more authors are discovering the value of a DIY (Doing It Yourself) approach commonly called Indie Publishing. Yes it requires more work on your part, but it’s worth it in many ways.
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.

Moved to Kindle Direct Publishing

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 moving my books to KDP.
It is rather timely that on the day I usually write about publishing that I actually moved all my books to KDP. I accomplished this task in only a few minutes.
How Did You Do It?
I opened my CreateSpace account. There I was greeted by a message telling me I can move my books. So I clicked on the “Start Here” tab and the process began. While I did some other things, including this blog, the move took place.
How many books transferred?
Fifteen books were moved. This included books drafted but never published plus books that I had unpublished. So you will not see those extra books.
So How Does This Impact Your Writing and Publishing?
My last book I published was at the beginning of the month and I used KDP exclusively. I was very pleased with the feel and the end result. One thing I noticed was their gallery of pictures for covers appeared to be more extensive. That pleased me as well.
In general, the process was very easy.
Do You Do Print or eBook First?
I didn’t change my normal practice. I always create the print book first. Then I strip all the page numbers, headings, etc. and create the digital version. I don’t rely upon them converting the print to the eBook or converting an eBook to print. I’m not familiar with their process and I feel I have more control the way I do it.
Will Royalties Be Different than CreateSpace?
That is my understanding as far as when paid. However the percentages appear to be the same. Time will tell, but I expect it to be a non-issue.
So You’re Happy With The Change and Won’t Look Elsewhere?
That is correct. I realize others compare themselves to CreateSpace and to KDP, but I view KDP as the best. I’m very happy with the move and the ease of working with KDP.
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.

CreateSpace Merging With KDP

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 CreateSpace merging with KDP.
Although I haven’t received official notification yet CreateSpace is merging with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). This could probably be called a Big Deal.
Why is it a Big Deal?
Because now authors have the CreateSpace they love and the Kindle they love under one roof. As far as I can tell Amazon has taken CreateSpace (which they bought years ago) features and have incorporated them into Kindle. Which suggests that CreateSpace itself will disappear at least from the Print Books environment.
What Does It Mean for Authors?
That’s a question that will be unfolding in the weeks, months, and possibly years ahead. For the moment it looks like it will be easier to publish a print book and convert it to a Kindle eBook.
I had been recently looking at the KDP print book department, but I was holding back. At the time Kindle Print didn’t have the power of CreateSpace. But apparently they now have. Since it is now established that CreateSpace books will be automatically transferred to KDP, we will have to deal with any bugs that may encroach upon the process of publishing a book.
Potentially I think it can be a very powerful tool. With everything under one roof authors may end up with more services than are currently available. It can be a life changer.
How’s It Going to be Done?
I think instead of me rewriting the information already out there that I give you the following link: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GSJULX3WGP36HQ3R
Just click on that link and the process is discussed in detail.
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 to the Stars (Book One), or Pauline A New Home (Book Two) 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.

Why I am an Indie Publisher

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 Why I am an Indie Publisher.
In 2014 my wife, Teresa, and I went out to lunch at a small McDonalds located in Murdock, part of greater Port Charlotte, and made a very important decision. As we sat there we discussed my writing career and the possibility of hers although at that time she hadn’t started writing her first novel yet. The upshot of that meeting was the establishment of T&R Independent Books.
Let’s look at the Why form our own publishing company.
Up to that time I had been publishing using what is commonly called self-publishing companies to publish my books. But as I studied these companies I discovered:

  • They control the content of the book
  • They control the cover of the book
  • They determine the royalties
  • I still had to do most of the marketing

In other words, while I had more freedom and control that I’d have with a traditional publisher I still didn’t really have control of anything that really mattered. By going independent and truly publishing by myself, I would:

  • Have control over the content of the book from cover to cover
  • Have control over the cover of the book, including what photos I can use
  • Determine the royalties (You have choices with CreateSpace platform)
  • Still do the marketing

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t consider myself a control freak. Rather I believe that if the author is going to invest his or herself into writing a book, any book, then they deserve to benefit from it.
Example
With traditional and self-publishing companies the average author’s royalties are scaled. It varied from publisher to publisher but in general it might go like this: 8% of retail for the first 2,500; 15% for the next 5,000; 25% thereafter. Now the numbers I just used may not be accurate (I did it from memory), but the concept is true.
But by doing my own publishing using the CreateSpace platform I can receive 35% or 70% right from the start! That is a major difference.
What about the content?
With traditional publishers you generally have to first go through an agent who then tries to find a publisher. The agent has certain criteria which may involve you changing the content. But just finding an agent can be long and frustrating. Then the agent gets to tell you whether the book is good enough for publishing based on their expertise.
Even self-publishers exert control. For example, say you are writing a book and you quote from the King James Version Bible. It is possible they will substitute a different version whether you agree or not. They may also reject passages they don’t like. In other words, just because you are pleased with your results they might not be and can act accordingly.
Another thing involved is the ability to correct. No matter how or to what extent you have had your book previewed and edited, there is always the chance of errors. Moreover the publisher may have printing errors. I ran into this with my books. I was sent a ‘Proof’ copy and given about three days to review, find errors, make corrections, and return (electronically, of course). Three days may sound like a lot. But if the publisher made errors, which in this case they did, the finding and correcting  could be extensive, which it was. As a result I was only able to make a limited number of corrections and then it was published. And once published I could not make any corrections without going through the submission process again including paying money!
But by publishing the book myself I am able to take my time and do a more thorough job of previewing and editing. And, if there are still errors in the published version, I can correct the errors and republished at no cost to myself!
What about the Cover?
In previous blogs  I wrote about CreateSpace’s Cover Creator and the Photo Gallery. I won’t go into all the details again other than to say I can use one of their free pictures or I can upload a picture of my own. I don’t have to deal with the publisher to get permission like I did with my previous self-published books with a publisher. Even though I had a certificate proving I owned the rights, they rejected the photo and the certificate. But as the publisher I not only can but I did use it.
And one last thing: Writing a book can be and is stressful; so is marketing. Having greater control over the publishing removes a lot of stress; and having greater control over price and royalties is far more rewarding.
Have you considered publishing your book yourself?
More and more authors are discovering the value of a DIY (Doing It Yourself) approach commonly called Indie Publishing. Yes it requires more work on your part, but it’s worth it in many ways.
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), or Pauline A New Home (Book Two) 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.

Revising a Published Work

Today I am writing about Revising a Published Work.
Before I became an Indie Publisher I had the frustration of finding mistakes in my books that got through the editing process. And to correct and republish the book would have cost me money.
One of the great benefits of being an Indie Publisher is the ability to edit and republish.
Yeah, but that probably is expensive.
Not at all. For example, I published Death Ship earlier in the year but I had not done the proper title research. I discovered there are several books out there called Death Ship. So I pulled the book (unpublished it), retitled it, and republished it. At no cost to me!
Try doing that with a Traditional Publisher or Self Publisher.
How much work did it require?
That actually depends on the changes to be made. In the case of the retitled book I also made a few changes internally, but nothing extensive. The whole process was smooth and easy to do.
So, how do you do it?
If you’re like me you still think about your book after you’ve published it. It’s one of those ‘I wish I had done’ type of things. Or if you have someone reviewing your book they may point out a mistake or problem. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest you republish every time you have an error, but the thing is you can. What a powerful thing that is!
Another example could be you wanted to update your Front or Back Matter. Again, you can unpublish and then republished after you’ve updated the book.
What about Sales?
Good question. When you unpublish a book it is no longer available for sale. If you are unpublishing an eBook which is in the Kindle Select program, the older version stays in the program until the program time run out.
That is why I don’t recommend republishing often. I only republish if I feel it is necessary.
In Conclusion:
Republishing is a valuable tool that you as an Indie Publisher have at your disposal. Use it wisely.
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 to the Stars 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.

CreateSpace Revisited

I’ve been writing about the different methods of publishing. I have referred at times to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, which I have been very pleased with.
That said I feel it important to revisit the topic because CreateSpace is undergoing changes. Some services they once offered are being dropped.
Now, in all honesty, these changes so far don’t affect me. For instance, they have dropped the service where you could get professional help with your manuscript for a special price. I never used this or other similar services they offered. But it may affect you.
So what should I do?
Just because CreateSpace no longer provides a certain service doesn’t mean you can’t use CreateSpace. To get professional help in any area of writing you can find it on the Internet for a price. So it will cost more, but that’s true no matter what platform you are using. Professional help is rarely free!
So Google (search) for the kind of service you want. Just make sure that the service is familiar with and compatible with CreateSpace. If you do that, then you should be fine. Just keep a sharp eye on the service provider.
What about KDP?
KDP or Kindle Direct Printing is also an Amazon company. You can first have your book done as an eBook and then converted to a printed book. At the moment, in my opinion, they don’t quite match up with CreateSpace, but that could change at any time.
Check them out. Find out which platform works the best for you. And don’t forget that you can always change your mind. For example, all my books currently being written are designed with CreateSpace in mind. But I could change my mind and change to KDP. Some changes would need to be made, but nothing I couldn’t handle.
When I have CreateSpace do my book I then have them export it to KDP.
But I then import to KDP an edited version of the manuscript reformatted for Kindle. The reason is that eBooks don’t need headings and/or footings nor page numbers. These need to be removed. Otherwise the eBook may not be displayed in its best appearance.
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.