Ron’s Tip of the Day Control

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Today I am looking at Control.

I recently blogged on Being an Indie and the tip was ‘Being Indie gives you control’. Today I will look at Control.

What Do I Mean by Control?

When I started writing I made certain decisions. My first novel was based on the Bible. Although my book was fiction, it was important that it was based on reliable history. I therefore wanted it based on the King James Bible since that has stood the test of time and is considered by knowledgeable Bible experts to be the only Bible for English speaking people. Yes, there are other versions, but these have serious historical, reliability, and accuracy issues.

Control in this case meant I wanted the ability to insist on the Bible I quoted from.

It also means that I would be able to design the book interior as I wanted. But I quickly found out that the publisher had greater control that I did. Same thing for book covers. These are important elements affect an author’s success and the publishers had control over that.

I Thought Self-Publishing Meant You Have Control

Me too. But you don’t. They have the final say. You can’t change your mind and go with someone else, because you paid $400 – $800 or more for the package and you paid it upfront. But as an Indie you can go with KDP or someone similar and pay only for the things you want. If you use their tools you might not spend any money!

Tip of the Day: The more control you have, the better; and you save money.

You can get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Plus we will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

Let’s do it!

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Ron’s Tip of the Day Being an Indie

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Today I am looking at Being an Indie.

I have blogged in the past on being an Indie Author and an Indie Publisher. But I’ve never blogged, to my knowledge, about just being an Indie.

What is an Indie?

For starters Indie is short for Independent. Basically, that is a person who has chosen to write and publish their books apart from traditional or even so-called self-publishing venues. It is a person who is going the DIY (Do It Yourself) route.

What is an Indie Author?

This is a person who takes the responsibility of writing, editing, and proofing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that person does each of these things. They either do them or hire someone to do them, but they are in control of all it.

What is an Indie Publisher?

This is a person who takes personal control of everything required for a professional looking book. He/she controls the printing of the book, the book cover, and all preparation. Again, it does not mean that this person personally does each of these things. They may hire it out, but ultimately, they are in control.

What is an Indie Marketer?

Once again, we have a person taking personal control. In this case, it is taking control of marketing the book. This may involve personal work and/or hired work.

Tip of the Day: Being Indie gives you control.

You can get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Plus we will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

Let’s do it!

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Ron’s Tuesday Tip : Oh no! I Goofed!

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: Oh no! I Goofed!

Has this happened to you?

You wrote your book; got it edited, proofed, and published. Then you discovered a glaring error.

Or how about this?

After publishing your book you received a critical email or letter that pointed out supposed errors and offered new facts that would have been good for your book.

I have had both happen to me. The first instance was with a self-publisher house. The book had been given the once over and only needed me to approve the Print Ready proof. I had forty-eight hours to review the copy and approve it.

Forty-eight hours sounds like a lot of time. But when you subtract sleep time, mealtime, and eight hours of work, you don’t have much left. I had to rush through the book and failed to see the printer’s error they had committed. It was a simple error. I had used a separator between scenes which they removed. I was so focused on words and spelling that I failed to see the missing separator. I approved it and the book was published.

Afterwards I discovered the error. But it was too late! To correct the error would require republishing the book and it would have cost me perhaps as much as it cost for the first book.

What a bummer!

The second instance took place after my wife and I co-founded T&R Independent Books. We had become Indie Publishers, which meant we were responsible for all aspects of publishing and marketing. We could farm work out, but we were responsible.

The book was published by us using CreateSpace (now KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)). Later I received a letter from a reader who critiqued the book. He pointed out some supposed errors (which were not real errors) plus gave me additional facts. I checked them out and found that they would have been valuable inside the book.

What did I do?

In the first instance I did nothing until after establishing T&R Independent Books. One of the first things we did is set about buying back the rights to my previous books from the original publishers. Some books I was able to buy the rights, other books I was unable to do so. In these latter cases, I simply rewrote the book and assigned a new title. This is what happened to the book in the first instance.

In the second instance the book had been published by us. So I went back to Kindle and republished the book. This time it had the same title, same cover, but corrections and additions were made.

The Power of Indie

These two instances point out the power of being an Indie Publisher. I was able to rewrite the first book and correct the second book. I unpublished the second book, corrected it and republished, but I discovered I could have corrected it and republished without unpublishing in the first place. You might wonder what this cost me. Hold onto your seats: it cost absolutely nothing!

That’s right. Nothing. Instead of hundreds of dollars I spent nothing except time. That is the power of being an Indie Publisher.

Tip of the Day : Become an Indie Publisher. It’s easy and it’s worth your while.

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Choosing a Publisher

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

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

Traditional Publishing

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

Even so, it is not impossible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Self-Publishing

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

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

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

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

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

** Publishes eBooks only. It is free.

*** Owned by Author Solutions.

**** Christian Self-Publishing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indie Publishing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A note about TR Writing Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Successful Writing is not a Hobby

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: Successful Writing is not a Hobby.

Being an author is both a journey and an adventure. Plus, it is always a challenge.

When reviewing your taxes the IRS views your business as a hobby if it doesn’t make a profit within 3 years. That strict rule should be regarded as simply wrong!

Writing is a business whether you profit or not. I’m going to look at 3 very important attributes of a successful writer. These are Writing is a Journey, Writing is an Adventure, and Writing is a Challenge.

Writing is a Journey.

When I first started writing I was a teenager. Nobody in my family or elsewhere knew of my secret desire to be a writer. I was afraid they would mock me. But that is when my journey began.

I knew nothing about writing other than I wanted to write books, novels in particular. My first step in my journey actually took place as a child. I liked to daydream and I had a good imagination. I would adopt characters from television and I would become that character, then I would fight the bad guys. I was a hero both on Earth and in outer space. But transitioning to a teenager I started writing my stories. The problem was that to continue as a hero, I had to write First Person. But that made me uncomfortable, so I changed to Third Person. This was the second step of my journey. This was an important step that has influence me ever since.

Over the years my writing was interrupted by service in the Navy, but I resumed after I got out. It was as a young man that I came across an ad for the Famous Writers School. I applied and was accepted (the school accepted just about anyone). I then paid for the course which I believe was a three-year course. I’ve sense learned that there was much dishonesty on the school’s part and that their fee was excessive. But I didn’t know that and started taking the course.

In any case, I did well in the course and was getting more confident. Then in 1974 I was laid off from work. I ended up dropping out and after resuming work I never reapplied. But my journey continued. Whether my grades were honest or not, I believed them to be and I pressed forward. This was my third step.

In 1973 I’d asked Jesus to forgive me my sins and come into my heart. Over time this proved not only life changing, but much of the trash (sin) in my life was not only forgiven but purged from my life. This was my fourth step in my journey as a writer, but more importantly it was an eternal step in my life. The influence of this new life would become far greater than a mere step!

 From 1973 to 2001 I pressed forward trying to write. After dropping out of the Famous Writers School I continued trying to write without any guidance. Time after time I would start writing. Sometimes I managed to write several chapters, but inevitably I would run into a wall. That would stop me cold!

Writing is an Adventure.

My journey continues to this day, but becoming a Christian turned it into an adventure. At first, I tried writing poems. I had one notable success with that in that in won my future wife’s heart. But writing poems was not my desire and I eventually stopped.

I then took up computer programming. I taught myself how to write Visual Basic programming and was able to write short programs for work and for myself. But as the computer programming got progressively more complicated and expensive. Being self-trained I couldn’t make the transition to the more complicated codes coming on scene. Thus, ended my brief career as a computer programmer. That had been an adventure, but I was soon to begin what I consider the adventure of a lifetime!

In 2001 I had been a Christian for 28 years. By this time I developed a morning devotions routine that included morning prayer and Bible study. One morning I was reading the Book of Genesis and the story of Noah and the Ark. Unlike the myth of Gilgamesh which was written after the fall of the Tower of Babel, the Bible story is a firsthand account probably written by Shem, the son of Noah, about 100 years or more before Gilgamesh . While often treated as a myth it is not.

As I read the account it suddenly came to me that here is a skeletal account of the events. God wasn’t interested in entertaining us but  explain history in such a way as to point to the coming of Jesus. But I, being interested in writing a novel and a lover of history, realized that here was a plot filled with characters and that I had the opportunity to clothe the facts with fictionalized skin to bring the people and events alive! It changed my writing career.

The next phase of my adventure involved research. Outside of the Bible there is no evidence telling us how people lived before the Flood. But both the Bible and secular history tells us a lot about after the Flood.

Using the Bible as the primary source of information (it’s the only reliable source) I began digging. It didn’t take long to realize that evolutionary theory has so corrupted our understanding of history that secular history varies, is often contradictory, and confusing. But when I focused on the 100 to 300 years after the Flood, I began noticing facts, such as the fact that a highly developed civilization existed shortly after the Flood. How do you explain that?

Doing the research proved to be hard, tiring, and eventually rewarding. It was an adventure. Researching for your story is not always so rewarding, but it is always necessary.

Writing is a Challenge.

The story of my researching the pre-Flood and post-Flood history could easily be placed here. Research is a challenge. But my focus here is on getting published.

In 2003 I submitted my first novel to AuthorHouse. As I recall it cost me about $400. AuthorHouse belongs in the category of a self-publisher. As I have blogged in the past there are three distinct types of publishers; Traditional, Self, and Indie.

At the time I was unaware of Indie publishing (I believe it came along later). The term Self-publishers suggests that you the author have control. You don’t. What it means is you pay upfront for the publishing of your book. Basically, that is the ‘self’ part. They control almost all of the power levers. Fortunately, I did know this and opted out of their Editing resource. I used quotations from the King James Version and feared they would opt for the unreliable newer versions. Aside from that I had very little control over the publishing process. Still my first novel got published and I was able to celebrate my becoming an author!

In the summer of 2014 my wife, Teresa, and I founded T&R Independent Books and we became Indie Publishers! This was the beginning of a new adventure and a lot of new challenges. Since then I’ve republished all of my previous books and published newer books. Soon we hope to start publishing Teresa’s books (under the name Tess).

Now, we are embarking on another venture under the T&R Independent Books business. This year we have opened our new service called TR Writing Services. I have discussed this in my last Tuesday Tip: Indie Publishing. In short, we guide any writer who wants our service through the various steps of getting published. This involves editing spelling and grammar, proofing, setting up their account with KDP, and getting the book published.

We are also thinking about providing their own web page on our website. It would include their photo, bio, book cover, and description with a link to their Amazon page. This would provide them a first step in their marketing.

What is a Successful Writer?

There are many answers to that question. The most common one is that a successful writer is one who makes money. The IRS would certainly agree with that idea, but is that really what success is all about?

That, in my opinion, is a short-sighted idea. Rather than money being the determinant factor why not the reading pleasure your book(s) bring to people who read your books?

A hobby suggests something you do in your spare time and maybe only a couple of hours a week. But a serious writer does far more than that!

No, I believe a successful writer is an author who works the craft of writing virtually every day. He/she invests time, energy, and money into their craft. And they write compelling stories. Money is a desirable byproduct or outcome, not the sole determinant of success.

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.

Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Independence.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

This is one of the most common motivational factors in anyone’s arsenal.

We have an inner desire to be independent, to be free to do our own thing. Think of a baby or young child, they often have an “I’d rather do it myself” attitude that needs to be broken. Hopefully it will be tamed rather than merely broken.

TIP: The desire to be independent can lead to bad decisions, but it can also lead to great decision making!

Example

Shortly after my first novel was published I began to see the advantages of self-publishing. Although the publisher did an excellent job on my book and even offered marketing tools for me to use at attractive prices, I was the one expected to do the work.

This is true of most writers unless they are famous in their own right or have an agent. But for those of us relatively unknown and not having an agent, it is a true experience.

I had the desire to do it myself, but lacked the knowhow. As time passed others (publishers) still published my books and collected money in the process.

But the day came when I decided to make the jump.

Application

My wife and I are a team. Up until recently I wrote the books and she critiqued them. But then her own desire to write began to surface. And it wasn’t to merely copy me but to establish her own writing career in her own genre.

In the summer of 2014 I took her out to eat at the Big M Supper Club (better known as McDonald’s). As you can see I didn’t spare any expense.

I had an idea I wanted to share with her. For eleven years I had an independent online bookstore. And it had enjoyed success up until we moved to Florida to take care of her mother. The care of her mother who had Alzheimer’s became a full-time job thus requiring the closing of the store. The store was gone but the idea of having independence never died.

What was my new idea?

In short, I wanted share the new idea of the two of us forming a new business with her as the President (she has an MBA) and myself serving as the Vice President. I prayed to God before presenting this idea because I didn’t know how she’d react. She’d always been supportive of my writing career but would she support getting involved this way?

But Teresa jumped at it. She had long wanted her own business. Even within the bookstore she’d had a division devoted to creating and selling cards. The concept of having a business in partnership with me was the spark that was needed.

We decided upon T&R Independent Books because ‘T’ would stand for Teresa, while ‘R’ would stand for Ronald, Independent marked us as unique, and books obviously referred to our product. T&R Independent Books represented everything we wanted to be as writers!

I learned at this time that she also wanted to write novels. I was delighted. That meant our new company would have two authors providing the merchandise to be sold. So we formed the company. Then happy days, right? Not exactly. Like any new business we had growing pains, which in this case involved an unexpected heart attack.

But we persevered and worked our way through the whole experience. At first our efforts were directed in getting the company organized and ready to do business. By the summer of 2016 we had published two books (nonfiction and a novel). And since then we have continued to work to publish new books and Teresa (aka Tess) began seriously working on her debut novel.

Whatever success God sends our way the formation of T&R Independent Books marked us as entrepreneurs.

And now we’ve added TR Writing Services. This endeavor is for the purpose of helping writers like you. At one time we thought of starting an academy but this book pretty well covers that need. But how about a low cost service that enables the beginning or struggling author to get their book crafted with good grammar, spelling, book cover, and published. These kinds of services are usually expensive but we decided to offer a service that most people could afford. So on February 11, 2019 TR Writing Services was launched.

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), or Black Death (Book Four), 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 Get a Publisher

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at How to Get a Publisher.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

How does one seek a publisher? First, you must decide what kind of publisher you need. See the chapters on Self-Publisher, Traditional Publishing, and You, the Publisher.

This is actually a critical decision. Unfortunately there is a lot of mudslinging going on. Not to mention confusion. In my chapters on the different types of publishing I strive to clear it up a little.

But before you make that decision you will want to search the internet and discover who and what these publishers are. Even more important, is to decide the overall direction you want to go.

In future chapters I examine each type of publisher closer, but here it is important that you know what you need.

Here are just a few things to examine:

  • How long are you willing to wait for your book to be published?
  • Can you afford $400 or more upfront?
  • Are you a new author?

There are other considerations as well. But these three will give you immediate indications as to what you need. For example, traditional publishers often have time lines that result in books being printed as much as two years down the road after signing the contract. On the other hand, self-publishers want you to pay for the privilege which often involves $400 or more.

And if you are a new author there are some publishers who will not consider you simply because you’re new. These are generally found in your larger traditional printing houses.

Then there are the publishers who are like self-publishers but have a minimum order requirement. For instance, I knew of one author who had to buy $5000 worth of copies at a time, which required that he maintain a storage area. Here you have the cost of the books plus storage costs. In his case he stored them at work, but not everyone has that opportunity.

Tip #1: Examine what your needs, perceived and known, are before searching for a publisher.

Example

When I wrote my first novel, I didn’t know about costs, time, or submission requirements. So I began looking for a publisher while in the dark.

Fortunately, I had access to the internet and began learning fast. It didn’t take me long to figure out that traditional publishing was not for me. While they are free and pay royalties, they were too restrictive.

For example, the traditional publishers often required an agent (I didn’t have one) plus prospects for publishing soon were unreasonable (up to two years after signing).

I eventually signed with a self-publishing firm. It cost me about $400 upfront plus the cost of marketing tools which they sold.

Application

It is your responsibility to find the right publisher for you. Everybody has an opinion, but you are the one who has to live with your decision.

Read my chapters on the different types. Weigh the facts and decide which one best works for you.

HANDLING REJECTION

Principle

This is primarily addressed to those who plan to use a traditional publisher. Self-publishing companies rarely reject a manuscript.

As a disclaimer I have never received a rejection slip because I have never used traditional publishers.

That said, I can say this with authority: Never let rejection slips stop you!

Use them as you would any tool. Learn from them. Why was the manuscript rejected? Did it come with any suggestions as to how you can improve? If so, you should consider them (but don’t violate your own standards).

Another thing to remember is that editors have their own ideas as to what makes successful writing. They are not THE authority.

Tip#2: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer. Don’t take it personally.

Example

Since I have never had a book rejected I have no practical example to share with you. But the more meaningful example is one’s reaction to any roadblock, which is all that a rejection slip amounts to in one’s career.

That said check out your response to other roadblocks. If your response works in those cases, maybe it will with rejection.

But better is this: As I said in the Tips: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer and don’t take it personally.

Application

My suggestion is to stay away from the Traditional Publishers and the preceding is only one reason. But if you must use Traditional Publishers, then please pay close attention when listening to them. They each have their own preferences and not following them will bring on a rejection quickly.

You have a responsibility to yourself. That is why I emphasize treating rejection as a tool. Instead of being discouraged, see it as something that will only make you a better writer!

To learn more about getting a publisher and/or agent TR Writing Services is currently giving away – that’s right, it’s FREE! – our TR Guide to Writing. Simply contact us and request a copy (PDF) and we’ll send it to you. While at it why not request the TR Writing Service booklet? This booklet will tell you about our different plans and prices. (The current plan discounts expire June 30th.)

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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.

Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Independence.

(Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing)

This is one of the most common motivational factors in anyone’s arsenal.

We have an inner desire to be independent, to be free to do our own thing. Think of a baby or young child, they often have an “I’d rather do it myself” attitude that needs to be broken. Hopefully it will be tamed rather than merely broken.

This desire to be independent can lead to bad decisions, but it can also lead to great decision making!

Tip: The desire to be independent can lead to bad decisions, but it can also lead to great decision making!

Example

Shortly after my first novel was published I began to see the advantages of self-publishing. Although the publisher did an excellent job on my book and even offered marketing tools for me to use at attractive prices, I was the one expected to do the work.

This is true of most writers unless they are famous in their own right or have an agent. But for those of us relatively unknown and not having an agent, it is a true experience.

I had the desire to do it myself, but lacked the knowhow. As time passed others (publishers) still published my books and collected money in the process.

But the day came when I decided to make the jump.

Application

My wife and I are a team. Up until recently I wrote the books and she critiqued them. But then her own desire to write began to surface. And it wasn’t to merely copy me but to establish her own writing career in her own genre.

In the summer of 2014 I took her out to eat at the Big M Supper Club (better known as McDonald’s). As you can see I didn’t spare any expense.

I had an idea I wanted to share with her. For eleven years I had an independent online bookstore. And it had enjoyed success up until we moved to Florida to take care of her mother. The care of her mother who had Alzheimer’s became a full time job thus requiring the closing of the store. The store was gone but the idea of having independence never died.

What was my new idea?

In short, I wanted share the new idea of the two of us forming a new business with her as the President (she has an MBA) and myself serving as the Vice President. I prayed to God before presenting this idea because I didn’t know how she’d react. She’d always been supportive of my writing career but would she support getting involved this way?

But Teresa jumped at it. She had long wanted her own business. Even within the bookstore she’d had a division devoted to creating and selling cards. The concept of having a business in partnership with me was the spark that was needed.

We decided upon T&R Independent Books because ‘T’ would stand for Teresa, while ‘R’ would stand for Ronald, Independent marked us as unique, and books obviously referred to our product. T&R Independent Books represented everything we wanted to be as writers!

I learned at this time that she also wanted to write novels. I was delighted. That meant our new company would have two authors providing the merchandise to be sold. So we formed the company. Then happy days, right? Not exactly. Like any new business we had growing pains, which in this case involved an unexpected heart attack.

But we persevered and worked our way through the whole experience. At first our efforts were directed in getting the company organized and ready to do business. By the summer of 2016 we had published two books (nonfiction and a novel). And since then we have continued to work to publish new books and Teresa (aka Tess) began seriously working on her debut novel.

Whatever success God sends our way the formation of T&R Independent Books marked us as entrepreneurs.

And now we’ve added TR Writing Services. This endeavor is for the purpose of helping writers like you. At one time we thought of starting an academy but this book pretty well covers that need. But how about a low cost service that enables the beginning or struggling author to get their book crafted with good grammar, spelling, book cover, and published. These kinds of services are usually expensive but we decided to offer a service that most people could afford. So on February 11, 2019 TR Writing Services was launched.

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), or Black Death (Book Four), 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.