The Writing Game

FeaturedThe Writing Game

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

To learn more about writing contact TR Writing Services at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

When considering what to write about I came up with the title before I actually knew about the content. That’s completely different from my usual practice, but it is what it is.

So What Is the Writing Game?

Well for starters it is everything you find in the Guide to Writing. So I can’t give you an excerpt because that would entail 101 pages if you include the book cover, front pages, and back pages. So this blog is going to look at the subject a little differently than you may expect.

To me the Writing Game begins early in life. Reflect back on your childhood memories. For starters did you like to read? Did you like to write?

Those are fairly common questions, but I want you to look deeper. Are there stories buried in your past, in your childhood (or adulthood for that matter) that are bursting to be told? As I sit here typing I’m also reflecting on my childhood. Now in my case I had epilepsy and was on heavy medication until after my first stint in the ninth grade (I flunked it and then was taken off medications and I did much better afterward).

So much of my childhood is a mystery to me. But the later years (teens and twenties) are much more open to me. So I have memories. There are some good and some bad memories. Are they bursting to be told? Bursting, no. But I am intrigued by the possibilities and may someday write novels based on individual events.

Actually, when I am writing a novel, whether it’s Bible based or Speculative Fiction, I draw from life experiences throughout my life. Perhaps I draw from my feelings, my experiences, my hopes, or my fears. This is my opening point: Your life experiences are a natural resource.

It is this opening point that is the basis for the idea that everyone has a story in them. Everyone therefore has the potential to become a writer.

But what about skills?

As a Christian I believe there are basically two times that we are equipped to become what God wants us to become. The first time is at birth. Everyone is born with certain qualities and innate tendencies. For example, someone who becomes an artist may have been born with an innate skill or interest in drawing. It may also show up in childhood.

In my case, because I was on heavy medication I didn’t play much in sports. I did play in Little League Baseball, but I had no real talent and I wasn’t pushed because I might have blacked out or something. But I did have a lively imagination!

Imagination is not really considered a skill, but it is a necessary ingredient for anyone desiring to be a writer. I spent much of my childhood living in imaginary worlds. Now you might say that is normal for children, and it is. However, in my case it was probably more pronounced than in other children.

Many of my childhood dreams centered on Flash Gordon, Roy Rogers, and other TV heroes. There was also a Navy Officer that entered my daydreams. I not only enjoyed their adventures on television but I made up stories where I was the hero acting out stories that involved villains and others from their shows. But while the characters were well known the story lines became my own. By the time I was in my mid-teens I was desiring to be a writer.

I didn’t start acquiring actual writing skills until I was in my twenties. I subscribed for a while to a writing course and began learning the fundamentals of writing. This lasted until I was unable to afford the service anymore. But I continued to attempt to write. Although all ended in failure I learned how to better write.

Failures are good?

 Yes. In the game of writing failure is a key ingredient. Failure, when combined with a strong desire to succeed, teaches you first of all not to quit. I don’t know how many stories I attempted and failed at, but I never gave up on the goal to be a writer. Instead I doubled down and learned from my mistakes, which were many.

It is this stage of life that led my wife and I to start TR Writing Service. Through this service I can use my failures and successes to help both new and struggling writers with their careers.

The Second Birth changed my life.

In 1973 I asked Jesus into my heart and He gloriously saved me. Now I had eternal life. But there was something else impacted. With the Holy Spirit indwelling me and the Holy Bible available to me I began wanting to glorify God in my writing. And it immediately showed!

I continued to fail, learn, and retry until in the year 2000 God opened my eyes to an opportunity for writing. I was reading the Book of Genesis about Noah and the Flood. I realized that here was a story to be told. Thus I began writing the ‘story behind the story‘ that was eventually published as Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles. That story would later feed into my novel Perished: The World That Was, which in turn launched the series The World That Was and my writing career.

In short, God re-equipped me!

By that I mean I was originally equipped to write by being born with a desire to write and some raw writing skills. Now God equipped me with new skills that took 27 years to develop and another 3 years to bear fruit. Thus it took 30 years of Christian living to undo the first 30 years of Christ-less living!

From the first publication to now (2019) it’s been 16 years of learning, failing, and learning. I have published 11 novels (6 Bible based & 4 Speculative Fiction, and 1 American History) plus I am currently working on 3 new novels (1 Bible based and 2 Speculative Fiction). Actually 1 Speculative Fiction novel (Rise of I.C.E.S.) is being published now with availability within days.

So we now have Life Experiences and Talent, what else do we need?

In one word: Determination! There are thousands of men and women who want to write and actually attempt it yet quit! Why? They didn’t get the sales they wanted, someone gave them a negative review, a relative discouraged them, and so forth. What they need to do is get back up, learn from the bad things said and even the good things said. Determination is the fuel that will cause you to grow.

Finally, there is Opportunity.

Some of you are saying but I never get the opportunity. But I’m here to say that’s no excuse. Whether you use TR Writing Services or some other program you have the opportunity. In this day and age you can write, publish, and market your own book.

In the game of writing you control the game. You have little control over sales, but you have great control over the writing and publishing of your book. And there are ways and means of marketing your book available. If you have all the talent in the world and all the skills but never seize the opportunity you are guaranteeing failure. Permanent failure. On the other hand you have unlimited opportunity available to you every day!

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews. Please note that the Rise of I.C.E.S. is being published now and should be available in a few days.

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Writing Scenes Part 2

FeaturedWriting Scenes Part 2

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Scenes – part 2.

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

Principle

The middle of your scene is primarily where the bulk of the story occurs. The opening of the scene prepared the reader for what was about to occur and now it is happening. And the closing scene will bring it to either an end or a continuing.

While it is true that the middle of the scene usually falls into the middle of the scene (duh), sometimes writers actually begin their scene in the middle. And that is an important thing to remember.

Don’t be stuck in your approach to scenes; experiment with moving the parts around. See what works best. Opening the scene with the middle sometimes works, while at other times it won’t.

That said, it is usually best to have the middle actually take place in the middle. Let the opening set it up.

It is in the middle of the scene where you will see and, hopefully, feel the character’s response to the opening. What is the character going to do in response? Is their further action?

Tip: A middle scene is usually the bulk of the scene’s story. It is also usually the longest. It is where the response to the opening unfolds.

Example

&&&

Adam awoke. Something caused me to wake up. What was it? Wait – Eden River. That is it!  I must have been dreaming about Eden River.

Gently disengaging himself from Woman, he got up. Being as quiet as possible, he headed for the river where he found a comfortable knoll.  From this position, he had a good view of the river. It must be about a half-mile across! I never realized that. Tomorrow, I will take Woman and we will follow the river to its beginning.

In silence, he continued watching the river, estimating its size.  The question was its length.  A glitter caught his eye.  He smiled as he realized that the moon’s light seemed to dance on the river’s surface.

After awhile, he returned to Woman where he lay down and was soon fast asleep.

&&&

This is the same example I used for showing the opening of the scene earlier in the book. This time I want you to take note of the middle scene. Notice that beginning at ‘Gently disengaging’ and ending at ‘on the river’s surface’ Adam is responding to his dream and goes to observe the river. During this time he views the river, mulls over the river’s width, and makes plans for the future.

All of this occurs in a single scene.

Application

You shouldn’t put too much thought into this in your first draft. Write your story (a chapter or two or the entire book) then go back and examine the individual scenes. And don’t try to be perfect, you’ll need to do another edit later anyhow.

Keep in mind that each scene plays an integral part in your story and the middle is very important.

The above was a short scene depicted in the book. Scenes can be short (like above) or longer. It all depends on your story. One thing I hope you’ve caught is that the scene does not have to be a fireball. I chose a mundane scene because often your scenes will be mundane. At some point these mundane scenes will culminate in an action scene.

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

FeaturedDo You Desire to be an Independent Author?

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

Independence.

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

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

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

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

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

Example

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

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

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

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

Application

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

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

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

What was my new idea?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Why is the TR Writing Service Great for You?

FeaturedWhy is the TR Writing Service Great for You?

Republished: See Special Announcement below!

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. But this week I am taking a look at Why is the TR Writing Service Great for You?

Special Announcement

I am republishing this blog because TR Writing Services (which I am the editor) will be offering a Special Introductory Discount in honor of my 46 years of being a Christian (I got saved in 1973). This celebration of that momentous decision by me means that all plans are discounted 46% beginning immediately. That translates into rates extremely low!

I don’t know how long this special will last. But now is the time to take advantage of this special now! It can’t last forever.

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 may have been at a time when I was laid off. But it 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.

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 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 earlier this year with the purpose of creating a low cost service that addresses the editing and publishing aspects of being an author.

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 good quality.

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 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. (Note: because of the Special these savings will be even greater! For example, in the example above the savings for the proofing goes from $300 to almost $400! In fact the total cost of the Platinum (eBook included) would be less than the cost of proofing at $0.005 per word or $500. That’s BIG!

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 handbook) 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 Other Services Do You Offer?

Our services range from layout, ISBN, copyright, eBook, and others. The eBook service is included in the Platinum Plan. See our booklet for details.

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 click on tr-indbkstore.com/writing-service. 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.

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Why I am an Indie Publisher

Why I am an Indie Publisher

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

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

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

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

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

– – – – – – –

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

The Authors Business

The Authors Business

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Authors Business, part 1 of 2.
You’re thinking I’m not interested in a business. I just want to write and sell books. But surprise, it is a business! While writing can certainly be fun (it is for me) it can also be profitable. And for that reason alone you need to think of your writing career, no matter how many books it entails, as a business.
The Government thinks you’re a business.
That’s right. When you do your income taxes and show that you made money through royalties or the sale of your books, the government regards that, and you, as a business. So you should also!
Actually your Business includes the authorship, publishing and marketing of your book(s). And like any business you need to think like a businessman or businesswoman. And this thinking will impact your whole life.
For example, do you dress like a businessperson?
I am speaking of what you wear in public, especially when you are out in the public signing books, being interviewed, etc. I dress casually in normal situations, but if I am marketing myself, I wear a shirt and tie, at least. Your appearance matters whether you think it should or not. If you are attending a book club or making a speech or doing an interview how you dress makes a difference.
As a general rule I’d recommend business casual. You might consider business attire (suit & tie for men, dress for women) or something a little more casual yet still reflecting that you are serious about your business. In previous videos that I made I opted for a shirt and tie. It suggests business without being overpowering.
What about having an Office?
That depends on you. I have an office at home although I have considered having an actual office independent of my home. There would be certain advantages, but it is not necessary. The whole matter comes down to what works best for you. Some writers like a formal setting like an office, while others prefer a more casual setting. I’ve found that I can write in just about any place.
Publishing nowadays requires access to the Internet. You can get that just about anywhere. So if you are a publisher your manner of dress may not be important unless you are meeting someone formally in the course of business.
How do you carry yourself?
Another aspect of thinking like a businessperson is how you carry yourself. This is something I had to learn. Slouching, hands in pockets, and staring at your feet are not positive selling points. I wasn’t that bad, but I did have to learn to not only be confident, but to act confident (although not overbearing).
But the concept goes deeper than clothing and acting like a businessman. It also includes having an idea of how you are going to run your business. For example, you have a book. Who’s going to publish it? How do you plan on selling it?
In our case we created our own publishing business, T&R Independent Books. The T stands for Teresa and the R for Ron. We are the exclusive publishers of our books. I have blogged in the past about having your own publishing business and probably will again. But for today I will just say that it gives you all the power and all the profits but also entails you doing all the work. We use CreateSpace and KDP as our publishing platform.
There are a number of items you need to know to be a successful businessman. Before moving on lets nail down the concept itself.
When I think of myself as a businessman, I have several pictures in mind. I see myself being interviewed about topics other than my books. I see myself as someone people respected and wanting to know. I also see myself making decisions, supporting charitable works, and so forth.
Face it you’re a businessperson. Face it and embrace it!
Next week we’ll take another look at your business.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four), Death Ship to the Stars (Book One), or Pauline A New Home (Book Two), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

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

A Look at Indie Publishing

A Look at Indie Publishing

Indie Publishing is relatively new. You might call it the baby of the family. This is real self publishing. Let’s take a look.
Advantages: (same as self publishing)

  • No agent required, although some suggest you should get one.
  • Virtually able to have book published.
  • Author owns ISBN.
  • Royalty paid.

Advantages in addition to above:

  1. No contract
  2. Published within days
  3. Growing number of publishing formats
  • CreateSpace
  • Kindle Direct Platform
  • Others
  1. Select either 35% or 70% royalty
  2. Control throughout
  3. Minimum requirements by platform
  4. Ability to retire a book
  5. Ability to edit and republish a book
  6. Ability to not only set prices but to change prices
  7. FREE

Disadvantages:

N/A

In 2014 Teresa and I formed our own publishing company: TR-Independent Books. Although getting up and running was time consuming we have not regretted it. Since that time I have purchased the rights to and republished Perished; I have republished one book under a new title; and I am publishing other books.
In addition, I am working on developing a catalog that will enable prospective buyers, including bookstores, to see what we are offering.
I would recommend to anyone that they seriously consider being an Indie Publisher. Yes, it will require more work, but it  also gives you control throughout the process. And that is important.
Try this simple quiz:

  • Do I control the editing services? Yes
  • Do I control review time of a Proof before returning it for correction or publication? Yes
  • Can I pull the book, edit it, and republish after I have already published it? Yes
  • If so, how much does it cost? Free
  • How much help do I get marketing the book? Various free tools
  • What do the marketing tools cost? Some are free.

These and other questions need to be answered. And I think you’ll be pleased with the answers. Perhaps the biggest advantage that Indie Publishing has, other than control, is the cost. You can publish an entire book free of charge or you can pay a little. Again you have control!
Here are some facts to consider:
An Indie Publishing company is the author who now has virtual control over every aspect of publishing. That includes the cover, the back cover, any pictures within the book, and, to some extent, the text itself. Basically the author has the power.
Self-publishers generally don’t do marketing. But they do provide tools at a cost that you can use. This may include such things as banners, magazine ads, newspaper ads, and more. All for a price.
But Indie Publishing is different! You, the author, become your own agent, publisher and marketer. This means you have greater flexibility in choosing who prints your book. You control virtually all aspects of the printing process.
In addition, you control the marketing. Let me point out that you have greater responsibility as well as power. But when you become your own publisher doors of opportunity open allowing you to use the same tools you have been paying the self-publishers to use. You not only do the work, you make the decisions!
And you reap the rewards!
Happy Indie Publishing!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

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

Publishing with Create Space

Publishing with Create Space

Last Friday I was helping a friend set up a publishing platform. So I thought it appropriate to discuss Publishing With CreateSpace. This may end up being multiple parts, but here goes.

Why Should You Avoid the Big Publishers?

That’s a good question. There are of course good reasons for using the big publishers, more often known as traditional publishers. In brief, they are established and well known, which gives them a marketing edge and they pay royalties, sometimes good ones. But beyond that they are the ones who are in control and reap the profits.

Traditional publishers exercise literary control. They decide whether your book will be accepted or not for publishing; they have control over the content; and they control most of the publishing process.

What About Self-Publishers?

When I started writing in 2003 I began with AuthorHouse. I was pleased with its quality, its low price (about $400 back then), and the guidance I received. But as time went on I became dissatisfied. At $400 per new book it wasn’t all that cheap.

Self-Publishers are better than traditional but they still have ultimate control. If you want to have control of your writing, publishing, and marketing then you need a different approach. That brings us to CreateSpace.

What is CreateSpace?

CreateSpace is a publishing platform that offers you the control you desire and, along with it, the ability to reap the profits. Would you like to start getting 35% royalties at the first printing? Or how about 70% royalty? Either one is possible.

When you publish your book through CreateSpace you can also transfer the document to KDP Kindle. However, I recommend publishing the Kindle version directly through KDP. Or you can begin the process through CreateSpace and once transferred to KDP, go to KDP and replace the content with content that has been customized for Kindle (ie., removing paging, headers, and anything else that is unnecessary for an ebook). I always copy the finished CreateSpace book to a name such as [Title] + “for Kindle” so that I have one for print and one for Kindle.

What Other Advantages are There?

With Self-Publishers you will probably pay for your ISBN number (either within price or extra), which is necessary if you want to sell your book to libraries, schools, or even worldwide. CreateSpace will provide FREE ISBNs or they will sell you one. The CreateSpace ISBNs automatically are eligible for Expanded Distribution which allows for CreateSpace Direct (wholesale, etc.), Bookstores and Online Retailers (e.g., Barnes and Noble, Ingram, and NACSCORP.), as well as Libraries and Academic Institutions through Baker & Taylor.

It all depends on your needs. Generally, I have found their free ISBN to be what’s needed.

Another advantage is the Photo Gallery. While it is not extensive and, in my opinion, needs to be expanded, the gallery provides many photos that can be used as covers. And if you have a photo you’d like to use they allow you to upload it (needs to meet their standards). Or you can hire someone to make a CreateSpace compatible cover for you. Except for a few rules, you have control.

You have control over the size of your book, and the pricing of your book. Over and over again, you are given the tools to exercise control. And for the most part, it is free!

How Do I Set Up a CreateSpace Account?

It’s actually pretty easy. You’ll need an email account, which will serve as your ID, plus you will need bank account information so that they can pay you your royalties. There may be some tax questions as well. Those are the essentials. After that it is simply following the prompts and answer questions.

How Do I publish a Book?

Again, it is easy. You sign in and are taken to the MAIN PAGE. Here you will select Add a Book. Once you have selected this you will be given a choice of how to proceed in creating your book. You will want to take the guided tour.

Each step of the way you will be guided and asked questions. The first decision will be the Title information. Title information is required and can be changed. It is necessary for you to receive an ISBN number. Once you’ve created a title and selected what type ISBN you want you will save the progress. From that time on the ISBN cannot be changed; it is locked in. However, you can change the title information.

To upload a book it may require a PDF manuscript. Simply save your Word copy to PDF and upload that version.

Do You Recommend CreateSpace?

Since we created T&R Independent Books we have found CreateSpace to be an excellent publishing platform. It works very well for us. We have used it since 2014 and plan on continuing to use it going forward. Your needs may differ from ours so you will need to make that decision yourself.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

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

– – – – – – –

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

Full Time

Full Time

Serving the Lord is always a full time job, but choosing to serve Him full time in a specific job, ministry, or activity is a choice that needs much prayerful considerations. An example of this is my recent retirement from one type of service (church financial secretary) to serve in another area. Although the idea floated around in my mind for years, it was a year ago that I decided it was time.

How did I know? Well, there were signs along the way, the most prominent being the after results of a 2014 heart attack. That prompted my wife to suggest I needed to consider retiring when I reached 75 (which I just did). But while that was important it was the physical and mental results of the heart attack that really spoke loud and clear to me.

When I first became a church financial secretary up in Michigan, my pastor pointed out to me that the management of church finances was different than managing business finances. You’re managing God’s money! Which means that whereas a business can accept and even write-off errors, there is no room for errors in God’s economy. I bought into this and believe it to be true to this very day. But after my heart attack I found I could not focus as sharply or as long as previously and mistakes were being made. This was unacceptable. So in May of 2017 I informed my pastor I would be retiring in May 2018.

That day has come. But God didn’t call me to retire to sit around doing nothing. He has work for me to do. And the direction He wants me to go has become apparent in recent years although I’m still learning what that entails.

Having now retired from my part-time job of Financial Secretary I am now a full-time writer, whereas before I was a part-time writer. But time is not the only thing that has changed. For example, while I will continue writing this blog I plan for it to be far more active than once a week. More on that later.

In short, my efforts in writing, publishing, and marketing are going to require greater diligence. That means a restructured daily life. Whereas before these duties were primarily done “when opportunity arises,” which often meant working evenings as well as daytime, now I need to have a more structured schedule. I need to have daily priorities.

What makes this more difficult is that working for the church I had three different men I reported to, one of which was my supervisor or boss. While he trusted me and allowed me great freedom, he was still my immediate boss. But now I’m the boss. That means I am not only responsible to myself, but for myself. Technically my wife, who is President of T&R Independent Books, is my boss but I have almost unlimited freedom to pursue our goals concerning the business.

But my real Boss is the Lord Himself. That hasn’t changed. Nor has His direction except that it is and I expect it will increasingly be more specific.

One of the changes being made is the name of this blog. First, it is necessary to have a name that more accurately portrays the blog; and second, it should be easier for people to find the blog. Previously this blog has been known as So You Want to Write and now is So You want to Serve. Both titles represented my interests. But sometimes I wander into other areas of interest including politics. Over the years I’ve blogged about serving, writing, business, politics, and the Bible.

So A New Name is Required

That new is not really all that new. It is actually found in my url address. Look at it and you’ll see RFrederickRiddleBlog. Best practices suggest that this should be the name I adopt and market. So beginning with my next blog it will be called R Frederick Riddle Blog.

Profound, isn’t it?

But honestly this will enable me to continue connecting with people like you and with new people. There may also be additional changes coming in the future but these are barely concepts right now. One difference you will notice is the frequency. Instead of once or twice a week my goal is to blog Monday through Friday. Watch and see how successful I am at meeting this goal.

So welcome to R Frederick Riddle Blog.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

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

– – – – – – –

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