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Are Brick & Mortar Bookstores Dying?

The Riddle Report 04 2 2021

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

News Item #1 Overview

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

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

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

News Item #2 Decline

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

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

Why?

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

News Item #3 Comeback

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

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

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

News Item #4 In The Year 2021

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

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

News Item #4s What About the Internet

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

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

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

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

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”) contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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Self-Publishing vs Indie Publishing

The Riddle Report 01 02 2021

A new year has started, and you are dissatisfied with your writing career. Perhaps you are making money writing for someone else, but publishing books has not really happened for you. You wrote a book that you think is the all-American novel, but you can’t get it published.

You’ve tried the traditional press and they won’t look at your novel unless you have an agent. So, you went out and submitted your books to agents, most of whom turned their collective noses down on your book. And those interested were either in the wrong genre or too expensive.

What to do When Traditional Publishing Doesn’t Work.

There are several options, but we are only going to look at two: Self-Publishing and Indie Publishing.

Self-Publishing.

Self-Publishing has been around for a while. The name suggests that by using their service you are self-publishing your book. That you are in control.

This is not accurate. You, the author, are actually paying a publisher to publish your book and the publisher gets the benefits. Here’s a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages:

  1. No agent required, although some suggest you should get one.
  2. Time from signing contract to actual publication usually only a few months.
  3. Virtually able to have book published.
  4. Author owns ISBN.
  5. Royalty paid.

Disadvantages:

  1. Publisher still in charge.
  2. Author gets low royalties, usually a formula that starts out at 8% or something similar.
  3. Marketing tools available with a price.

On the face of it self-publishing looks good for the author. And for some it probably is good. But if you want to have control of your book from creation to marketing, then there are problems. In the list of Disadvantages, I listed “Publisher still in charge” as the first disadvantage. Why? Because if the publisher is in charge of your book then you aren’t. It’s as simple as that.

Try this simple quiz:

  • If I use their editing services, do I still have final say?
    • Most self-publishing companies offer their authors their editing services. In some cases. they may charge for it.
    • When I published my first book, I used a self-publishing company, but I chose to do my own editing. Why? Because I did not want them to make any corrections unless I agreed to it and I wasn’t convinced that they would do that.
  • How long do I have to review a Proof before returning it for correction or publication?
    • In self-publishing the publisher makes the rules. When I was with a self-publisher, I was given 72 hours to proof the book. Sounds like a lot of time, but you are proofing to find any and all mistakes. For example, I found errors that were repeated throughout the book. I found some and noted them, but not all. So, some errors remained in the published version.
  • Can I pull the book, edit it, and republish after I have already published it?
    • Yes, if you are willing to pay for another book. Generally speaking, once your book is published, it is done.
  •  If so, how much does it cost?
    • This varies but I would estimate between $400 and $800 for one book.
  • How much help do I get marketing the book?
    • I didn’t get much. They did have a variety of tools I could purchase. But actual help, no.
  • What do the marketing tools cost?
    • That varies from publisher to publisher. In my opinion, too much.

Although the answers to the above questions are not ideal, self-publishing is still better than traditional publishing in that you do have more control than before and the book gets published faster.

INDIE Publishing

In 2014 my wife, Teresa, and I went out to lunch at a small McDonalds located in Murdock, part of greater Port Charlotte, and made a very important decision. As we sat there and discussed my writing career and the possibility of hers, although at that time she hadn’t started writing her first novel yet, we decided to establish our own publishing company called T&R Independent Books. The T was for Teresa and the R for Ronald.

Let’s look at the Why form our own publishing company.

Up to that time I had been publishing using what is commonly called self-publishing companies to publish my books. But as I studied these companies I discovered:

  • They controlled the content
  • They controlled the cover
  • They determined the royalties
  • I still had to do the marketing

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

  • Have control over the content
  • Have control over the cover
  • Determine the royalties
  • Still do the marketing

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t consider myself a control freak. Rather, I believe that if the author is going to invest his or herself into writing a book, any book, then they deserve to benefit from it.

Case in point. With traditional and self-publishing companies the average author’s royalties are scaled. It varied from publisher to publisher but in general it might go like this: 8% of retail for the first 2,500; 15% for the next 5,000; 25% thereafter. Now the numbers I just used may not be accurate (I did it from memory), but the concept is true.

But by doing my own publishing I can receive 35% or 70% right from the start! That is a major difference.

What about the content?

With traditional publishers you generally have to first go through an agent who then tries to find a publisher. The agent has certain criteria which may involve you changing the content. But just finding an agent can be long and frustrating. Then the agent gets to tell you whether the book is good enough for publishing based on their expertise.

Even self-publishers exert control. For example, say you are writing a book and you quote from the King James Version Bible. It is possible they will substitute a different version whether you agree or not. They may also reject passages they don’t like. In other words, just because you are pleased with your results they might not be and can act accordingly.

Another thing involved is the ability to correct. No matter how or to what extent you have had your book previewed and edited, there is always the chance of errors. Moreover, the publisher may have printing errors. I ran into this with my books. I was sent a ‘Proof’ copy and given about three days to review, find errors, make corrections, and return (electronically, of course). (For more on this see above in section about Self-Publishing.)

But by publishing the book myself I am able to take my time and do a more thorough job of previewing and editing. And, if there are still errors in the published version, I can correct the errors and republish at no cost to myself!

What about the Cover?

I have discussed Cover Creator in previous blogs, but Kindle’s Cover Creator and Photo Gallery provide free pictures or frames in which I can upload my own pictures. Moreover, if I am willing to hire someone to do a professional picture including the bar code, I can do that. Just have to meet KDP’s criteria.

And one last thing: Writing a book can be and is stressful; so is marketing. Having greater control over the publishing removes a lot of stress; and having greater control over price and royalties is far more rewarding.

The result is that you can approach marketing with far less stress than before.

Have you considered Indie Publishing?

More and more authors are discovering the value of the Indie approach. Yes, it requires more work on your part, but it’s worth it. Go to our website and check out our videos, all free, that give you a head start on building your own writing and publishing business.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”) contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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TR Writing Service 2021

The Riddle Report 12 29 2020

Today we are looking at TR Writing Services in 2021

TR Writing Services was founded in 2019 as a service of T&R Independent Books. Since that founding, we have been slowly building it up. In 2020 we have already helped clients and expanded our services. Now, we are looking forward to 2021.

What follows is an overview of the business and a look into the future.

TR Writing Services is for the Little Guy

Back when I was in my twenties, I had a desire to write books. I found and signed up for a writing course. Although the course was not considered expensive by the experts I ended dropping out because of lack of money. This was at a time when I was laid off which wiped out my savings and delayed my writing career by decades. I never forgot!

Over the years I have discovered that just about any kind of writers’ aid that is out there is beyond the budget of most people. This includes the art of writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. The “little guy or gal” doesn’t have much of a chance. Having experience this problem myself I increasingly felt a desire to help others get published.

Why We Founded TR Writing Services

Our first love as far as writing is concerned is writing our own books. I’ve experienced the highs and lows of writing, whereas my wife, who published her first book in 2020, is currently experiencing the same. All writers must face obstacles, overcome them or change directions. But getting the help they need at the time they need it is a great need that is often priced out of their reach.

TR Writing Services was established with the purpose of creating a low-cost service that addresses the editing and publishing aspects of being an author. When considering our services you will find that our service is considerably lower than our competitors.

What is TR Writing Services?

TR Writing Services is Entry Level Proofing and Editing for the author(s) who cannot afford the more expensive services you find online. If you are looking for a professional extensive treatment of your manuscript, then this is the wrong place. We at TR Writing Services are here to expedite your ability to publish your book at an affordable price yet with high quality. You will have a book that you can be proud of

This service will focus on such things as grammar, spelling, formatting, and other quality issues. This is not aimed at academic books but rather fiction, nonfiction, and how-to.

What Plans Do We Offer?

We have a variety of plans beginning with our Custom Plans (120 and 150 plans). These custom plans are designed for small books of 120 pages or less and 150 pages or less. Both of these custom plans will edit and prepare your books of less than 100 pages for publishing, but the actual publishing is left to you. In these cases, you would publish using local printers and we would work with you and your printer to get the book published.

Those are custom plans at minimal cost, but we also offer the following 4 plans:

Bronze Plan

This plan is for books up to 50,000 words and slightly higher. We edit, proof, and publish the book for you. The entire process involves us working with the author and the author is in charge. That means that we may advise you something is not recommended or not professional, but you may want to stick with what you have. We do everything we can to adhere to your preferences.

The cost may change in the future but as of 12/29/2020 it is $145 plus an additional $150 for eBook service. For both the Print and eBook formats you can provide your own book cover image which we upload and use with a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) template or your own book cover privately prepared (it must meet KDP guidelines).

You have the option of a free ISBN (recommended), free copyright, and free KDP account setup.

Total cost is $295 (Print and eBook) plus any other expenses you incur on your own.

Silver Plan

The Silver Plan includes all of the Bronze Plan but is for books up to and slightly more than 75,000 words.

The cost for this is currently $195 for Print only or $345 for the Print and eBook combination.

Gold Plan

The Gold Plan includes all of the Silver Plan but is for books of up to and slightly more than 90,000 words.

The cost for this is currently $295 for Print only or $445 for the Print and eBook combination.

Platinum Plan

The Platinum Plan is the best plan. It is for books up to and above 120 words. If the word count exceeds 120,000 the price will reflect the costs described below. This plan comes with the eBook, however if you do not want an eBook published, the cost would be $150 less.

The cost for this is currently $390.

If you have priced out our competitors you have already seen that our most expensive plan is approximately less than half their standard plan.

What Does It Cost?

Cost varies depending on page count and what you the author want.

As the years have passed, we’ve noticed that the high cost of help remains. Some services advertise a word-by-word cost. For example, they may charge $0.005 per word. That sounds great until you do the math. A book of 50,000 words would cost $250 just for the proofing! We at TR Writing Services charge only $0.002 per word meaning the same book would cost $100 for the proofing, a saving of $150.

A book of 100,000 words at $0.005 costs $500 while TR Writing Services would charge $200, a whopping savings of $300. In addition, TR Writing Services offers many FREE services, such as Setup of KDP Account if needed, Copyright page, ISBN (KDP free), Uploading your manuscript, Uploading Bio Picture for Back Matter, and more.

That is just the basic costs. But it gives you an idea. For greater detail simply contact us at marketing@tr-writingservices.com and we will email you a free copy of our brochure at no obligation on your part (we also will email you a copy of our book A Guide to Writing for free).

Can I Use TR Writing Services?

The short answer is yes. Basically, we accept anyone who submits a form (found in our free TR Writing Services brochure) plus the first three chapters of your book. We examine the form and the chapters to determine whether you fit the profile that we are looking for. If approved, we send to a letter of approval with a link to a page where you can purchase the service.

What Is Prohibited?

We are a Christian organization that applies Biblical standards.

We do not work with anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, excessive graphics, profanity, or any work that violates our Biblical stand.

If during the course of the contract excessive graphics or any profanity is found the author shall be informed and corrections/deletions required. Failure on the author’s part to provide this update will constitute a violation of the contract and subject it to termination.

How Do I Sign Up?

It’s simple. Simply go to our Facebook page and click on the “Learn More” link. This will take you to our web page. You can also simply go here. In either case you arrive at the first step that explains what you need to do to get started.

Basically, you will email us and seek a free copy of our TR Writing Services booklet. This booklet describes our services in greater detail and provides a form to fill out. Once filled out you copy it and post in another email along with the first 3 chapters of your book. No fee at this time.

We will review and decide. If we decide to accept you, we will email you a link and password to get you into the secure payment page. You then select the plan you want and pay for it.

Simple as that!

Then What Happens?

We go to work!

We will examine the entire book. Since we use Kindle Direct Publishing for our books we will examine your book in the light of their criteria. We will diligently examine the grammar, spelling, and more depending on the plan.

2021 Outlook

We have all had a tough year (2020), but we are excited about the future. No matter the outcome of the Presidential election there will still be people writing books. And some of these people will need our help. We stand ready to assist them (and you) in producing a quality book at a budget friendly cost!

As authors, we will be publishing our own books and you can learn about them at our website (just go to tr-WritingServices.com and look at our catalog where you have links to Amazon.com).

In the meantime, we wish you a happy and productive New Year. May your writing career be all you want it to be.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”) contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Lit Tip Website

10 15 2020

Welcome to Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you.

You’ve worked hard on writing and getting your book published. But what do you do next? Do you have a website where potential readers can find you? If not, you need to consider having one. Below I will discuss different types (type names are products of my imagination). Let’s begin!

Starter Website

Many people who’ve never built a website before have to begin somewhere. I call this type a Starter Website because this is probably their first and they will eventually move to more complicated websites.

Basically, a Starter Website consists of about three pages: Home, About, and perhaps a Product Page. The last one may vary according to needs. This type is rarely an Ecommerce site. It most likely is a beginner, but it could also be a site that directs people to a store. This has value for the store because potential customers can learn about them, their location, their hours, and their products.

Next Step

I call this Next Step because an entrepreneur who wants to succeed will quickly discover that the Starter doesn’t meet the needs. In this phase the entrepreneur may add additional pages such as more product pages, biography of owner, Question & Answer page, and other general information. At this time there is no activity such as eCommerce. In other words, it is still basically an ad.

Pre-Ecommerce Website

This is a site that authors should consider.

If you are an Independent Author, but don’t want to be involved with credit card transactions, and such, the Pre-Ecommerce site may fit your needs.

As an example, I will use our website at https://RFrederickRiddleBlog.Com. While I once owned an Ecommerce site for an online store I operated, that store no longer exists. My site is the home of my blog and the home of T&R Independent Books. By the way, I built that website using WordPress and have been very happy with it.

It is a website designed to inform people about our products (books) and services (TR Writing Services). One of our pages is a Catalog which lets readers search through it for our books with the purpose to buy. Here we show all our books, both mine and my wife’s. Each book’s cover is shown with a brief description and a link to their Amazon page where they can purchase the book.

Amazon takes care of all transaction details, including shipping, tracking, and delivery. This relieves the Independent Author of a great deal of stress and work, enabling the author to focus on the writing.

In our case, TR-Writing Services provides the would-be writer the opportunity to contact us and learn more about our services (beyond what they see on the site, which is a lot). If we approve of a request for our services, we will email a link to an order page that links to the PayPal System. Again, just as Amazon above, PayPal handles the order, processing of the payment, and notifies us of the transaction.

Ecommerce Website

This is structured similarly to the Pre-Ecommerce Website. The major difference is that the site provides the means to purchase right there. For you, the author it means you must have an ecommerce financial source.

Shopify, Wix, and others provide you with all the tools you need. You will want to be able to accept major credit cards like MasterCard, Visa, Discovery, and others. You will absolutely need a Privacy Page (good idea for your Pre-Ecommerce site as well).

In this type of website, you will be responsible for the order fulfillment, which includes packaging, shipping, tracking, delivery, as well as returns. When I owned my online bookstore, I was able to handle that, but the financial transactions were handled by a bank. And, most important for a writer, I was still able to have time to write.

So, which Should I have?

I indicated earlier that I think the Pre-Ecommerce site is ideal for an author. You can have unlimited pages (depending on the hosting plan) which allows you to put your products out there to be seen. In fact, you can do everything you feel capable of doing except the Ecommerce.

Grading Your Website

There are a lot of tools available for you to build a website. One tool you might want to check out is a website grader. There are free online graders, such as the one Hubspot.com provides. These will examine your website and grade it. The higher the grade, the better.

I use the one provided by Hubspot.com and it will tell me of any shortcomings my site has. I am then informed how to improve it with or without their help. I find it a helpful tool.

Tip: Check with various hosting plans for the type of website you want. Then go for it.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Lit Tip Slow Down the Writing

09 24 2020

Welcome to Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you.

Have you rushed your story?

Perhaps you had a story bursting to be told. You sat down and started writing. You wrote and wrote. It seemed to flow from your brain to your fingers. Your imagination was on fire! And you continued to write.

Finally, it was done, and you felt ready to be published. Perhaps you asked a friend to proofread it, not for mistakes but accolades. Or perhaps you decided to read it through anticipating another surge of pleasure. Alas, that’s not how it went.

Instead your friend tried to be gentle, but she had to point out the errors, lots of errors. Over a hundred errors! Or your own reading revealed the multitude of errors. In either case you are flabbergasted, shocked beyond belief!

On top of all that your masterpiece looked disorganized, and just plain crummy.

Devastated you pick up the typed manuscript and rip it to shreds before dumping the remains into your wastebasket.

What went wrong?

You’ve made 3 Key Mistakes

1 – You rushed it! There is nothing wrong with working hard on your story, but the truth is there is preparation before you start writing. If you start writing first, just remember that chances are you will have extra work later on.

The better approach is to start asking questions about the story you want to write. Basically, they are the Who, What, When, and Where questions with a How included. Some writers do that first, some while they write, but in either case it needs to be done. Some experts suggest breaking the process into time schedules. Whatever works for you. I don’t have a time schedule like that. Years of writing have developed habits that involve both the writing and the necessary research and editing.

2- First Draft. This is where the 2nd mistake takes place. You’ve finished the book or thought you had done so, and you seek to get it published. But the truth is this is your first draft and first drafts are rarely ready to be published. You need to review, edit, and repeat. Some writers hold off until the end before reviewing and editing. I often do it more frequently, perhaps every chapter and with a final review and edit at the conclusion.

This seems time-consuming, but for me it breaks the process up and sometimes leads to a reevaluation of the entire story. Whether fiction or non-fiction you will need to have some kind of review and edit.

3 – You Quit. This is the third and worst mistake. It stems from the first two mistakes where you rushed it and got discouraged by the results. Instead of quitting you want to respond with more energy and determination to finish the story. Take a look at the first draft and identify the good parts, the fixable parts, and the wastebasket parts. Wastebasket parts are those parts that don’t have a place in your book.

When I wrote the nonfiction book Trump an Outsider’s View, I realized from the start I had to go slow. I was going to be covering a lot of material and needed to get it right the first time. So, I was forced from the beginning to do diligent research. As mentioned above, I performed the review and edit tasks as I was writing the story. So, the completed draft was not just my first draft, but my second and third drafts. But I still needed to review it.

It was hard work, under time pressure because it needed to be published before the election, and frustrating. But I believed in the project and pressed on so that by October 1st the book was already out and being marketed.

Tip: Slow down, edit, and never quit.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. #Writingservices

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Friday News & Comments 08 28 20

Today’s Issue: Coverage of RNC

Welcome to Friday News & Comments.

Well, the Republican Convention is over, and the President has been re-nominated. I have no problem with the convention itself. But the coverage was poor. Now understand we watched the convention on broadcast television. We chose not to have cable TV so we pay the price.

We don’t get a good signal from PBS which carried more of the convention than other stations, so we watched it on CBS and NBC. At least CBS had Reince Priebus on its panel. As far as I could tell he was the only one with a conservative agenda, everyone else was liberal. NBC’s Chuck Todd was terrible as he, in my opinion, always reached for words or phrases that were negative or dismissive.

But, as expected, the network panelists on both stations were too busy telling us what they thought the issues are and how we should understand them. Reminds me of another TV reporter who not too long ago said it was their job to tell us what to think. No, It Is Not!

There job is to report the facts minus any personal bias. I know bias will always be there, but they should at least try.

Another situation that bugged me was that they talked too much. Instead of letting us hear what the Republicans were saying, they either never let us hear them (except for main speakers) or they interrupted the feed and began their interpretation. First ran into this on CBS. We turned to NBC and found them to be as bad or worse.

I didn’t watch the Democratic Convention, but I imagine it was the same although probably friendlier to the Democrats.

As for the conventions themselves I saw enough of both to color the DNC as dark and the RNC as light, or put another way, the DNC was pessimistic and the RNC was optimistic. Optimism is always better than pessimism, especially if the optimism is founded on facts which was true in this case. Covid-19 cases since May 31 grew by 352,587 (June), 1,926,860 (July), and 105,237 as of August 28, 2020. That indicates that August cases may have turned south. And we already know that the death rate (also known as case fatality rate and found by dividing deaths by cases) has plunged from 5.8% on May 31st to 3.09% on August 28th. Those are facts and they are positive!

While the death rate is not perfect it does give us a clearer picture, especially when over a long period of time. The above timeline covers June, July, and almost all of August for almost 13 weeks! That at least answers the problem of the delay of deaths. Instead of going higher they have continued downward.

With the trend southward of the cases I imagine we will see a bottoming out of the death rate and maybe a slight increase as the two totals draw closer. That is really positive news!

There is more reason to be optimistic than there is to be pessimistic.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle, Editor of TR Writing Services, provides help struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He also authors Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus he is co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Lit Tip First Person

Ron’s Tip of the Day is now Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at First Person.

I am not a fan of First Person.

Having said that, I have read stories in the First Person and thoroughly enjoyed them. A contradiction?

Yes. I generally stay away from First Person books, but that attitude is not absolute. Sometimes a story will attract me, and I will read it despite being first person. My biggest objection to the writing not the reading is it a very difficult medium to work within, so I avoid it.

But if you can write an entertaining story in first person, give it a shot. Chances are I might come across it, decide to read it and enjoy it.

What is First Person?

The dictionary gives us the following descriptions: The speaker (First Person), the person being talked to (Second Person), and the person being talked about (Third Person). Another way to look at it is the following: I, me, (First Person); you, (Second Person), and he, him, (Third Person).

Most authors use the third person.

One reason I enjoy Third Person is its flexibility. First Person is rigid, in my opinion, and the author only knows what the person knows. In Third Person the author knows more than the main character and has more control. Another reason I don’t like First Person is it can come across too prideful. It takes skill to make it work.

Maybe you have the skill to make it work for you. Then give it a try.

Lit Tip: If you have the skill then try using First Person.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Writing Guides

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Writing Guides.

We give away a free Writing Guide whenever someone inquires about our services or expresses interest to us in writing. Why?

To encourage people to write

There are a great many people who want to write and only need a little encouragement. Why not give them something that will help them get a jump start on their career. It both encourages them and gives them the tools they need.

To help people learn the basics of writing

Writing isn’t rocket science but if you don’t know the basics it might as well be. Putting a Guide to Writing book in their hands gives them the opportunity to learn the basics and get started. It not only equips them but alleviates fear.

To give people the knowledge they need

Think of knowledge as a key. Knowledge opens up the world of writing to the fledgling writer. Writing guides gives them newfound power. They learn how to craft a scene, express a thought, describe a person, and create an interesting story.

To light a fire

A writing guide inspires the new author to press forward. They are no longer held back by ignorance or the feeling of being ignorant. It lights a fire under them, and they realize, I can do this!

It also shines a light on potential problems and shows how to press onward. Even if you have been writing a long time, a writing guide can illuminate bad habits and help you forget them. In my opinion, a writing guide is a necessary tool that all writers should have access too.

Tip of the Day: Do you have a writing guide?

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Promotion

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Promotion.

What is Promotion?

The term promotion means different things to different people, but the simple understanding is doing whatever it takes to get your book the attention it deserves!

What Works Best?

While that is a good question there is no absolute answer. I believe in absolutes. For example, it is an absolute truth to say people are saved from their sins by trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and asking Him to save you. That is absolute.

But success in life, especially marketing, has no absolutes although some marketeers will absolutely declare they have the perfect solution. Promotion has many tools, and some are better for some people, while others are good for someone else.

Tools

Promotion tools can be any or all of below or others not listed:

  • Author Book Signings
  • Author Interviews
  • Blogging
  • Bookstores
  • Book Tours
  • Press Release
  • Radio
  • Reviews
  • Social Media
  • Television
  • Trailers
  • Videos
  • Website

In Conclusion

The truth is that promotion must absolutely be done, but the most effective way for you may be entirely different than someone else.  Become acquainted with different tools, but a word of caution. Don’t become tool crazy. It can overburden you. Find what works for you.

Once you find something that works, slowly build upon it. And remember, this is a long-term effort. Don’t go down rabbit trails, stick with what works and cautiously experiment.

Tip of the Day: Experiment with different promotion tools and find what works for you.

Get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

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