Posted on 1 Comment

How Can I Create a Bookstore?

The big question is how can I create a Bookstore? The answer is that there are a number of ways to do so, but I will focus on how I did it.

In a previous blog I discussed A Business of My Own. That focused on the founding of T&R Independent Books by my wife Teresa (Tess) and myself (R. Frederick). Today, I take a deeper look into the website itself.

But before starting, let me say that there are professionals that will design your website for you. These are available online and the costs vary. I chose to build my website, but you might want to consider a professional. Even so, reading this blog may give you ideas that you can convey to that professional.

I love writing and in many ways creating a website involves writing. There was a time when I worked with BASIC engines to develop programs designed to help me do a job. I no longer do that since the coding has far outgrown my abilities. But it did provide me a foundation knowledge of what can be done. So, I have used the tools available to build my own website.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

There are a good number of fine website hosts which I believe I have previously discussed in some detail. Check the archives for more information.

I chose WordPress for my host because of the ease of use and because I was already using it for my blog. So, I moved to WordPress and began building my new site. This began a few years ago, but last year (2020) I really made a big upgrade!

Let’s take a look at some of the tools I used and still use.

Plan – WordPress offers four plans: Personal, Premium, Business, and eCommerce. Up until last year I was using Premium, but I upgraded to Business. One of the reasons was that I wanted to have an online bookstore providing visitors with a easy to view and use website. Someday, I may upgrade to eCommerce but to tell you the truth, I am very pleased with Business. If you read their descriptions, Business is considered best for small business, which I am, on the other hand, eCommerce is considered best for online stores, which I have. But I opted for the Business Plan, and I believe it was the best choice for me.

WooCommerce – Shortly after upgrading I got the WooCommerce plugin. This is a very popular plugin that is designed to work with either WordPress Business or WordPress eCommerce. I only began working with it this year and I have been very impressed with the ease of use. I am still in the learning curve, which might mean future changes to the website.

This tool enabled me to create a bookstore, but more on that later.

StoreFront – This is the theme. It is available for either Business or eCommerce. This is an important theme in that it enables you to create a site that looks and feels like a storefront. Products are categorized, priced, and displayed along with a Shopping Cart.

The Shopping Cart interfaces with my PayPal enabling me to receive, process, and fulfill orders.

All-in-One SEO (AiOSEO) – If you are building a website of any size that you need good SEO designs and tools. I downloaded and installed this tool and have seen my pages and posts improved dramatically in appearance and other factors.

Simple Banner – This is another plugin that enables me to let my customers know about a new deal, a discount, featured books, etc. It is easy to use and allows me flexibility in positioning and readability.

Products – This tool gives me complete control over my products. I can control the image, category, stock availability, price including discounted price, item number, whether a book is featured or not, date, stats, likes, and AiOSEO. Plus, I have control which of these are shown to me in a glance and I can change the view whenever I want.

Categories (under Products) – I can create new categories with a hierarchy. This can be important.

Discounts – All books in our bookstore are discounted. I want people to know that T&R Independent Bookstore is a discount store. Not only are all books discounted, but we have times when selected books or book have special discounts.

Shipping and Taxes – Being able to control shipping costs and taxes is something I value. It gives me greater latitude to offer customers special deals.

Obviously, I didn’t do this all-in-one day or even in a relatively short span. It took most of last year, plus there were upgrades previously from my original WordPress website. It involved dedication and hard work, but I am extremely pleased with the look and feel of my storefront.

Come on in and explore the site. We not only have a bookstore that features our books, but we also have a place where you can learn about writing, publishing, and marketing your book. It is called TR Services and it is aimed at the first-time author, the experienced author, and the struggling author. We believe that everyone has a book within them and deserves the chance to publish their book. Our motto is: We edit, proof, & publish the book within You! See you there!

If there is the slightest chance that you might write a book, whether many or just one, visit us and take advantage of our knowledge. The information is free and helpful, and our plans are designed for your budget. Periodically, I will either upgrade the videos or add additional ones for your perusal.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

Oh, and if you email us inquiring about our services, we will provide you a free copy of our book on writing plus a brochure about our business.

Posted on 1 Comment

A Business of My Own

I have wanted a business of my own for as long as I can remember. It is the American Dream! When we lived in Michigan my wife and I started an online bookstore that served all of the United States. Growth was slow, but it did grow until we moved down to Florida.

We moved down here to take care of my mother-in-law who had Alzheimers. And that quickly became a 24/7 job which eventually led us to closing the store. We simply couldn’t give it the time needed.

My mother-in-law was probably one of the sweetest mothers-in-law ever. A godly woman who was very smart. It was sad seeing her deteriorate and then in 2013 she died. She’s now in Heaven.

About a year and a half later (August 2014) Teresa and I decided to get back in business again. This time we launched T&R Independent Books as the publisher of our books. It was a business that brought us many opportunities, such as this blog.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Starting our own publishing business was a good decision on our part. Back in 2003 when I had my first book published it cost me a hefty (for me) upfront cost of some $400 (in today’s market it is more like $800). The Self-Publisher I went with did a good job on the book, but it didn’t take me long to realize I was doing most of the work, but royalties were small.

I moved to another self-publisher, but the royalties were about the same. I got something like 5-8% for the first 2,000 or so books and then the percentage went up. Eventually reaching 35%. Again, it seemed to me I was doing most of the work yet getting very little royalties.

I had never heard about being an Independent businessman, but my wife and I decided that since we had to do most of the work anyway, we might as well start publishing our own books. So, in early August 2014, we launched. But later that month I had a heart attack. Not related to the business, but it sure impacted it.

The good news in all of that was that while my writing career was temporarily sidetracked, I had time to evaluate where we were and what needed to be done. And I quickly realized that I needed to either buy back book rights or retire the books published through other publishers. Some books I was able to buy back and some I simply retired and rewrote under a different title.

For the next five years I wrote new books, rewrote older books, and learned about publishing. During this time, I also learned that I am called an “Indie” or “an Independent businessman.” Our business is considered an Independent Publisher. So, in effect, we had become Indie authors, publishers, and marketers.

By the way, now I can start out with 35% or 70% royalties from the very first book sold! Plus, I can edit the books after they are published. This is huge, because self-publishers generally require you to purchase another package.

Now, as a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks, I have learned a great deal about writing and publishing. And I am learning about marketing, as well. This has led to our launching TR Services in 2019. The School of Hard Knocks is free to take but costs you in time, pain, and wasted money. But that experience inspired me to start TR Services which is aimed at help people to avoid the School of Hard Knocks.

Part of the Service’s outreach is a series of videos laying the basic foundation for men and women who want to be authors. In them I talk about the business itself and in the future will probably do more videos on writing. These videos are free to everyone.

These videos are very important for anyone aspiring to be an author. Why? Because they provide the nuts and bolts of getting started in business with very little cost. Located on our website they are easy to find and watch.

The very first video is both an introduction to the series and to the concept of why you should think of yourself as a businessperson. This is essential whether you publish your own books or not. You need to think of yourself as a businessperson from the moment you start thinking of becoming an author.

Do I have any regrets?

Yes. I wish I would have started this a long time ago. But then I would have missed the valuable lessons of the School of Hard Knocks. So, I guess you are the one who gets the benefits.

So, if there is the slightest chance that you might write a book, whether many or just one, visit us take advantage of our knowledge. It is free and helpful. Periodically I will either up the videos or add additional ones for your perusal.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

Oh, and if you email us inquiring about our services, we will provide you a free copy of our book on writing plus a brochure about our business.

Posted on Leave a comment

What if My Book Doesn’t Sell?

What if my book doesn’t sell? I think that is a question all writers at least think about. It is a legitimate question, but is it the most important?

I have put my best efforts into my latest book. Am I concerned about sales? Of course, but there are other areas that are more important. In my case, I have a website to maintain, a blog to write articles for, plus reviews to get for my book.

The truth is all of these things affect sales, but I choose not to focus on how many books have been sold. Long term that is important, but I write because I love to write. But sales don’t occur if people don’t know about the book.

Going forward, I am more concerned about getting the word out there to the potential readers. And that is going to require work on my part!

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

What should I do about marketing?

The truth is that the more money you have available, the more you can do. But since you may be on a strict budget, I will discuss those things that are either free or inexpensive.

PRE-PUBLISH

I have divided this int Pre-publication and Post-publication. In Pre-publication your primary goal is to get noticed.

One way to get noticed is through book reviews. I have recently discovered a book review resource called Booksprout. You can try it out for free or signup for the $10 a month program or the $20 a month program. The essential difference between the two paid programs is that the $10 gets you up to 50 reviewers per ARC (Advance Review Copy) while the $20 gets you unlimited reviewers.

That is a very reasonable price. There are no guarantees about whether you get a 1-star, 2-star, 3-star, 4-star, or 5-star review. Only that you have the opportunity to get reviews.

Booksprout is recommended for pre-publication but can also be used for books already published. Booksprout explains how it all works on their website.

One warning: If you have your book listed in Select (KDP Select), you cannot use Booksprout. To use Booksprout cancel your automatic renewal of Select and when it reaches the end of its term, then use Booksprout.

Another pre-publish strategy is to make use of your email list. This strategy can be free or come with a subscription price. Email is a long-term strategy. By that I mean you can grow your Email list over time. You may need to experiment with your content and how it links to your book. But it is something that almost all ‘experts’ recommend.

Then there are ads.

You will need to look at what type of ad is your best. For instance, do you use a Facebook ad or an Amazon ad or a YouTube ad. Depending on which you choose there are rules that you would be wise to learn.

If you choose to run an ad, make sure to establish the budgeting with firmness. Advertising without control can end up costing you a ton of money.

Pre-Orders

Pre-Orders of your eBooks can accomplish two things. The first is the sales build up and are accomplished all at the same time; thus, providing your book a surge right at the beginning which Amazon will notice. Secondly, potential buyers will notice the surge and be encouraged to buy.

Pre-Orders are only for eBooks on Amazon, but if you have a website and sell your books (see under Post-Publish Website for more information), then you could create your own Pre-Order for print books. I plan on experimenting with this for my next book.

There are additional strategies you can use, but these four ideas standout and can work for a small budget.

POST-PUBLISH

Three of the four strategies you used for Pre-Publish can be used also for post-publish. Obviously, Pre-Order is no longer available once the book is published.

Reviews

Booksprout can be used for published books. See Booksprout for more information. Make sure to include all your reviews. That means the bad ones as long as you have more good ones. It lets people know that you are providing them honest information and it gives you the opportunity to review the reviews.

Ads

Ads are recommended. No matter which platform you use it will probably be your most expensive item. But a successful ad can make a big difference.

Website

Your website can be an integral part of your advertising. If you have reviews, you can post them on your website. This can be very important, especially if you sell your books on your website. KDP allows you to buy and sell copies of your book through the Author Copies program. That is only true of print books, but it gives you a great advantage.

I mentioned in Pre-Publish the idea of selling your books on your own website and offering your readers a Pre-Order of the print book. As far as I know there are no restrictions on doing that.

Ads

All the options you have for ads in Pre-Publish are available in Post-Publish. You might want to remember that books sold by Amazon have a 60-day window. Meaning, that the proceeds from the sales are not paid out until 60-days have passed.

But if your ad directs buyers to your website, then you get instant payment.

These are just a few suggestions. The more money you have available, the more you can do.

But one last principle: Don’t focus on the sales. If you are writing with the idea of making big bucks you may or may not succeed. But if you fail in that endeavor you could become discouraged.

I suggest you focus on why you write. I write because I love writing. Whether I become rich or not is not my focus. I love writing and will continue to write as long as I continue to love doing it.

Do I want to make money? Of course! I have a vision that God has given me and money would make that vision a reality. But whether I write or not is not dependent on sales.

I love reviews. Occasionally, as time permits, I review books by other authors. But reviews of my books are valuable. They not only tell potential readers what you think of the book, but they help me sharpen my craft and make me a better writer.

I plan on submitting more of my books to be reviewed on Booksprout, but you don’t have to wait. If you buy one of our books from Amazon, you can post a review. Or you can try Goodreads where I am listed as R. Riddle.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

Posted on Leave a comment

Understanding the Importance of Reviews

What is the importance of Reviews? Well, it just might make the difference in how the reader views your book. And whether a purchase takes place.

In my last blog I spoke about a very nice review I received, and I mentioned Booksprout. There seems to be a growing number of review services coming online these days. I have checked out others, and most seem to want to swap reviews.

As far as I know, that is fine as long as you are not swapping type of book review, as in ‘I will review and give your book 5 stars if you will do the same for me’. That would be wrong. But making yourself available to do reviews in exchange for someone else reviewing your book does not violate any rules that I know of. The key is there is no direct link from your doing a review to you receiving a review.

That said, I like Booksprout’s approach. With them I have choices: Free to up to 20 reviews per book; $10 per month for up to 50 reviews per book; and $20 per month for unlimited reviews.

It is easy, cost effective, and it works.

But are book reviews still important?

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

I asked if reviews were still important. In a recent book I was reviewing the author had this to say, ‘any author’s marketing strategy should include the pursuit of reviews…[and] a good number of them’.

Reviews are important. Even bad reviews can be good for you. On a previous book I wrote and published I received a 2-star review. The reviewer didn’t like the book and was highly critical of it and me (the author). I could have deleted it, but I left it up.

Why?

Because it was obvious from the review that he didn’t follow reviewing rules. He skipped around and, in the end, he never finished the book. How do I know? He said so in his review (at least he was honest). But I was getting 4-star and 5-star reviews from others. So, it made a dramatic contrast.

If he had read the book through, the negative statements and/or observations he made would not have been named. In other words, the problems he cited were of his own making! He was careless, should have known better, and ended up writing a review that even a novice could see was wrong.

So, here is a review principle you might use: If you get a negative review while you are also getting positive reviews, consider keeping it on the list. Not on the top, but further down so that potential readers will already have read positive reviews before getting to that solitary bad review. There is a way to do this, but that isn’t the topic today.

Back at that time I had a different website and I posted reviews of my books on that site. It was a good practice that I got away from when I shifted to another website, but now I am returning to that practice.

In building my new website, which is using a storefront theme, I forgot about providing reviews. And in the process of time, I have lost some reviews when changing computers, but others I have now posted to the site. And I will be pursuing reviews more aggressively in the future.

Perhaps, you ask why I am returning? Because it enables readers to check out the reviews of any books they are considering. It shows the readers that I am honest by providing the negative review, but it also shows that the reviewer was quite likely off-base. (If you look for the negative review, I haven’t found it yet; it may be lost.)

Now, if there are a great many negative reviews, you might want to consider a different response. Read the reviews thoughtfully. Do they all harp on the same errors? If so, then maybe you should unpublish the book, fix the errors and then republish. If it is a major change you might need to retitle it as a new work and then seek new reviews.

I did receive another negative review, although it was more of a communication that a true review. In that review, the writer liked the book but felt some of my facts were wrong. Some of the criticism was off, in my opinion. But some of it made me take a closer look. The end result was an almost complete rewrite. So, I retitled the book and republished it. I tried contacting the man, but he never responded. But that was a case of a bad review influencing me to write a better book.

So, if you are doing a review, where do you post it?

The answer usually is Amazon. However, Amazon is making it harder to post reviews. For example, I don’t buy a lot off of Amazon within any given year. Over time, maybe. But not within a year. While I sell on Amazon, I usually like to go into a bookstore and ‘handle’ a book that I am thinking of buying.

But Amazon has installed a requirement that you have to purchase $50 or more from them in a year’s time to be able to post a review. It is unfortunate, but Booksprout for instance lets the reviewer post their review to Bookbub and Goodreads, as well as Amazon.

Reviews are a good way to influence sales. Finding a good reviewer is a little different and I may visit that subject in the future. One source of finding reviewers is kindleprenuer. But even such listings there need to be approached carefully. You want someone who works in your genre to begin with. Check them out. And definitely check out Booksprout. I have only limited experience with them, so I can’t say positively that they are the answer. Only you can answer that question.

All three formats of World of Joseph are available at Amazon. But the paperback and hardcover are available at TR Independent Bookstore where all our books are always discounted. Now that the special discount of World of Joseph of 20% ended at midnight of the 19th, both formats are still discounted the same as all our books. So, you still have great bargains!

Speaking of reviews, why not review one of my books. Next month I plan on submitting more books to be reviewed on Booksprout, but you don’t have to wait. If you buy one of our books from Amazon, you can post a review. Or you can try Goodreads where I am listed as R. Riddle.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

Posted on Leave a comment

World of Joseph

By now anyone who follows me knows I have published a new novel titled World of Joseph. It is subtitled, Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt.

It has been a busy time since I published it around 5:20 am on Thursday, the 12th. I almost forgot to do this blog. If you see a string of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ that means I fell asleep. Please don’t disturb me.

Writing the series The World That Was has been an exciting journey. The first book of the journey was Perished: The World That Was. Since then I have written and published World of Noah and the Ark, World of Shem, World of Abraham, World of Jacob, and now World of Joseph.

You may also note that this is the first time I have offered an eBook, Paperback, and hardcover. I hope to do more of the same with future books.

My next series is Moses, Friend of God. This will be divided into four books, Moses Prince of Egypt, Moses Exiled, Moses Deliverer, and Moses Wanderings. Each book will cover 40 years of his life. I am looking forward to it.

I am also planning a new series called The Truth About. This may at times be inspirational as well as informational, but will be nonfiction.

But right after the break I will talk more about the World of Joseph.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

I have mentioned this previously, but it is proper to mention it again. Until recent decades, Egyptian chronology was a mess. In writing previous books in the series, The World That Was, I had a tremendous amount of difficulty bringing Egyptian history into any semblance of agreement with known history.

Known history means history as reported in the Bible along with any secular history available. I could find reliable history of other nations, but the country of Egypt was an enigma.

Why?

If you know anything about Egypt, you know that the Nile River shaped their story. It is also one of the few rivers in the world that flows from the south to the north, which explains why the Egyptians called southern Egypt Upper and northern Egypt Lower. Southern Egypt would have been higher geographically, and the river flowed downward toward the north and emptied into the Mediterranean Sea.

Beginning with two brothers there were two dynasties established at the same time. One brother ruled Upper Egypt and the other brother ruled Lower Egypt. It wasn’t until the 12th Dynasty that the country was truly united into one Egypt. This union began under Pharaoh Amenemhet I, who founded the 12th Dynasty. Actually, the 11th Dynasty may have begun this, but it was Amenemhet I who accomplished it. His son, Sesostris I, was the Pharaoh under whom Mentuhotep served.

Not critical to the Bible, we don’t really know about this unification, nor about Joseph’s role other than the feeding of the people and centralizing of the government. So, you have a hint there, but it was until the chronology of Egypt was straightened out that such facts began to emerge.

One other interesting fact about Mentuhotep. In ancient Egypt the people worshipped the pharaohs and made statues of them. Part of the confusion in identifying Mentuhotep was the fact statues of him were found. This led researchers to believe he was a Pharaoh. But rather than showing his as a pharaoh, the statues were made because he was highly regarded and almost like a pharaoh to the Egyptian people. It fits right in with the Biblical account.

Egypt and Israel have had an interesting relationship over thousands of years going back to the ancient days when Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph lived. Sometimes the countries have been allies, sometimes enemies, but God has used Egypt and, if I read the Bible right, will use Egypt again. These days, Egypt and Israel while not friends, certainly are on good terms.

And don’t forget, when Jesus was a baby, his father and mother moved to Egypt to be protected from King Herod. A very interesting relationship, and the story of Joseph/Mentuhotep is part of that relationship.

The preorder of the eBook closed August 12th and now all three formats are available at Amazon. But the paperback and hardcover are available at TR Independent Bookstore where all our books are always discounted. The World of Joseph has a special discount of 20% only at our store.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

Posted on Leave a comment

Preparing to be Published

I am preparing to be published again. It is always the same feeling of excitement mixed with anticipation.

The manuscript has been proofed, the cover is ready, and I am nearing the time when the eBook will go on PreOrder status. But that is not all.

I have been busy upgrading my website. Why?

It is always a good practice to frequently update your website. It presents fresh material for the bots to explore and report back to their masters whether it be Google, Yahoo, or a host of others.

But in this case, I was updating to make the products I sell easier. Easier for you to buy and easier for me to manage. Earlier this year, I upgraded to WooCommerce on my website. Today, I added the PayPal extension that will allow my customers the safest, most reliable experience as they shop.

There are many trusted venues or gateways that businesses can use for their customers benefit. And I am sure that they do everything possible to ensure a safe environment and a smooth, reliable transaction experience. But, in my opinion, PayPal is the best.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

You may prefer other methods for customers to use. And that is fine.

I am writing this blog not to promote PayPal, but to emphasize that when you are done writing, you still have things you should do. One is to take steps to improve customer experience.

Sitting back and just waiting for the publication date is not being proactive. There are things you can do like developing ads, updating your website, and using Social Media to promote some buzz. In this way, you can help your own cause.

One of the actions I am currently taking is working on a video that I can email to people I know, insert in a blog like this, and upload to Amazon Central. All of these are actions that have the potential to help generate sales.

Whether I use this video or another remains to be seen. There are plans for a professional video shoot, but I want a good backup just in case. What’s the difference?

Well, I use my computer camera and mike, while a professional will use a more sophisticate camera. Also, a professional does it for a living either as photographer or as part of his overall business.

I have been doing all my videos which are admittedly amateur. They could be improved upon, and it would relieve me of the time of doing them myself. A new company, Pure Video, will be working with me in the near future. Right now it is a matter of getting all our ducks in a row.

Most advice you get will tell you to get professional help for editing, proofing, and marketing. But not everybody has the time or money to find the right professional for their project. It just so happens that I only learned about Pure Video recently from a friend who was starting it. I know him and already have confidence in him, so that simplifies the matter of research. I will probably do a blog about him in the near future.

The point I am making right now, however, is that don’t waste time between the end of writing and the launch of your new book! It is tempting to rest because you have been pouring your heart out in writing and it just might have tired you out. Also, it is easy to think that publishing is just flipping the switch.

The truth is that if you are an Indie Publisher, you still have work to do. In my case, I still had to access my KDP account and make sure everything is ready to go, including pricing. I also need to create the book upon my website, which I will be doing this week. Since I have a bookstore, I will need to determine the discounted price (all our books are discounted). This will be a special discount reflecting the fact this is a new book.

My newest book, The World of Joseph, will come in three formats: paperback, hard cover, and eBook. All will be published at the same time to give customers a good choice from the beginning.

On August 8, 2021, the eBook version will go on PreOrder and the actual launch will be August 12, 2021. As noted above, the paperback and hard cover versions will also be published on August 12, 2021. The printed books will be available at Amazon.com and at TR Independent Bookstore where they are always discounted. The eBook will only be available on Amazon.com although we will have a link to it from our store which is called TR Independent Bookstore.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

Posted on Leave a comment

Basic-30 Press Release

T&R Independent Books Expands Service with Basic-30 Plan

VP Ronald Riddle Announces Basic-30 Plan for Beginning Authors with same great service and personal attention. By: T&R Independent Books PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.July 9, 2021PRLog — Ronald Riddle, Vice President of T&R Independent Books and Editor of TR Writing Services, announced that the company, founded in 2014, is adding a new plan to their offerings. TR Writing Services was launched in 2019 with Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Plans, but the new plan being launched is called Basic-30. This new plan replaces Custom 120 and Custom 150 which were limited to the author seeking private publishing of their book(s).
According to Mr. Riddle, “This new plan allows the beginner, who may be intimidated by the 50,000 word threshold, to publish books of considerably smaller size. This includes a smaller book size of 5×8 instead of 6×9, although this can be changed at client’s request.”
He added, “Basic-30 provides, at a very low price, the same great quality service of the other plans, thus enabling greater flexibility on the part of the client.”
Plan details are as follows:
* Plan Name: Basic-30
* Minimum Pages: 72
* Maximum words: 30,000
* Editing: Yes
* Proofing: Yes
* Personal Promotion Page: Yes
* Format: Paperback
* Format: Hardcover
* Format: eBook: Available
* Retail: $95
* Contact: marketing@TR-Indbkstore.com
* Website: https://rfrederickriddleblog.com/

Media Contact
TR-Writing Services
Ronald Riddle
***@tr-indbkstore.com

Posted on Leave a comment

Announcing Basic-30 Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at markting@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

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

The details are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

Posted on Leave a comment

Researching Egypt

Researching Egypt may sound odd for a blog title, but it isn’t as odd as you might think. I have often talked about doing your research. Well, I have been writing a book that is nearing completion. It is the World of Joseph, subtitled Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt. Guess what, it takes place primarily in Egypt!

So, it required research. The subtitle itself is a product of this research. Before I started, I didn’t know Joseph’s Egyptian name other than the one given him by Pharaoh. But research showed that the name Mentuhotep was the name that history identified with him. The many and conflicting names of pharaohs and their viziers was just one of the issues I had to deal with when doing research.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to do the work all by myself. I am not an expert Egyptologist. But through the internet I was able to gather a great deal of information about the Pharaoh, Sesostris I, along with the Vizier Mentuhotep, and the capital of Egypt, which was Itjtawy pronounced Ish ta way. Through research I was able to find the possible location of this mysterious city, design the palace which resembled other Egyptian palaces, and locate the land of Goshen.

More about this issue on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at markting@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Tracking down Joseph in Egyptian history was quite a struggle. Not for me, but for Egyptologists. To begin with, Egyptian dynasties had to be discovered. Using ancient records proved daunting and made for a very unreliable Egyptian timeline, which not only didn’t compare with the Bible but didn’t compare with other well-known facts.

Fortunately, Egyptologists were able to make additional discoveries that led to a new Egyptian timeline. Although not intended, this new timeline merged well with the Biblical timeline.

But another aspect in tracking down Joseph was that Egyptians either did not know Joseph as Joseph or they chose not to use that name. It was a Hebrew name and therefore unlikely to be used by them. What the researchers did is research the Biblical facts regarding the feast and famine. Combining this knowledge with the knowledge they now had of where the Hebrews settled, the researchers were able to zoom in on the 12th Dynasty or Middle Kingdom. And when they did, they discovered that Mentuhotep was likely the Vizier we know as Joseph.

This vizier under Sesostris I was the second most powerful person in the government. He is credited with many things, chiefly the survival of Egypt during a seven-year famine! And not just that, he played a significant role in helping to establish the 12th Dynasty.

So, the truth is that others did the research, and I reaped the benefits! Not only did I now have a reliable history from which to work, I was now able to dive into the 12th Dynasty and discover much information, some of which found its way into my novel.

This is an example of what it takes to create a believable story. It is also an example of how you, the author, should handle the need for information. Whenever possible, let others do the heavy lifting of research. Eventually you have to get involved, but it is a major aid if you let others do the work for you.

And there is a big reward for you when the book is finished. First of all, you get a very special feeling of accomplishing something. While the novel is fictional, when the facts are examined, the book not only comes alive, but the reader gains insight. Moreover, the reader comes away with a greater understanding of the times and the people. And you have written something that has value.

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

Posted on Leave a comment

Reviewing Books

The Riddle Report 06 14 2021

You are an author, and you want to get your book reviewed. Have you ever considered reviewing other authors’ works? If you have the skill to write a book it is possible you may have the skill to review a book. That said, there are a few sand traps to avoid.

I said that if have the skill to write you may have the skill to review. But that is not always the truth. In writing a book you make a commitment to yourself, but in reviewing a book you are making a commitment to someone else. And that entails a sense of truthfulness and transparency.

Let me tell you a story as an example. I’ve actually told this story before so excuse me if you’ve heard it before. Back when I wrote Perished The World That Was, I sought Christian Fiction reviewers. And that proved to be a good mood as I received four- and five-star reviews!

But one reviewer gave me two stars and it is his story I am relating. He was a young man who I later determined was a teenager at that time. He professed he was a Christian and loved the Bible. Because my novel was based on world history as found in Genesis, I accepted him and sent him a copy.

After a few weeks I received his review where he gave the book only two stars. Now normally I would not be bothered by this low score. Why? Because you can’t please everyone. However, in this case he was honest enough to relate why he gave only two stars.

And early on the review showed that he didn’t follow the unwritten rules. What are these? Here are what I believe they are:

  1. You are committed to reading the entire book.
  2. You are committed not to skip.
  3. You are committed to finishing the book reading.
  4. You are committed an honest review.
  5. You are committed to being as transparent as possible.

This young man objected to the scene where Eve was created although the wording of that scene used similar descriptions as found in Genesis and in the Song of Solomon. This may have triggered his following actions:

  1. He began skipping through the novel.
  2. He came across characters who had the same name (these were real people taken straight from the Bible).
  3. He assumed that these all represented the same person.
  4. He eventually quit reading the novel.

As a result, he was confused and decided that I was inconsistent with the characters. That would have been a serious error on my part if true, but the error was his. For example, in the Bible and in my novel, there were two Enoch’s. Because he thought both were the same man, he assumed I had been inconsistent in their character.

His skipping around also disrupted any continuity he would have gotten by reading the entire novel. When you make a commitment to review somebody’s book you follow through. You don’t let your feelings stop you!

Honesty demands that you take the time to read the book in its entirety. I am currently reviewing a book and sometimes I come across language I object to. Honesty says I continue on. I can later point out these problems, but I’ve made a commitment to review the book, so I continue in my review.

His reactions convinced me that he was not fluent in the Bible. Later in his life I think he was better, but I don’t believe I ever used him again. I simply didn’t know if I could trust him.

More about this issue on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at markting@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Should I Review Books?

The only person who can answer that is you. Ask yourself some questions, such as: Do I like to read? Am I willing to take the time to read the book? Can I give an honest review?

If you can respond “yes” to these questions, then try it out. In the end, you might throw up your hands in defeat or you may discover that you enjoy it. And if you do, you may gain a following.

As a reviewer you will want to use some of your editing skills. It is not your responsibility to do actually editing, but those skills will help you find areas where the author made mistakes and you can let him or her know of their errors in your review. It is important to remember that the author is relying on you to provide a review to help in marketing, but also help in writing.

As a reviewer you watch grammar, spelling, readability, consistency, and accuracy. For example, if you are reading historical fiction is the book historically accurate? Does the speech or manner of dress fit the period? Questions like these will help you in evaluating the story.

Finally, remember that in effect you are critiquing and promoting the book. Your words are directed at the author so he or she can improve, and, at the same time, your words are directed at potential readers, to encourage or discourage them about buying.

If you are new to reviewing, you might want to stick to the same genre you write in or genre you like to read. It could be just what you need.

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.