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A Business of My Own

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

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

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

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

More about this on the other side of this break.

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

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

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

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do I have any regrets?

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

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

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

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

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Being an Indie

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

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

What is an Indie?

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

What is an Indie Author?

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

What is an Indie Publisher?

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

What is an Indie Marketer?

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

Tip of the Day: Being Indie gives you control.

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

Let’s do it!

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Type of Business

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

In my last blog I referred to the naming of your business. Today I want to discuss what I believe is the best type of business for writers.

If you watch my video series Its Your Business you will learn about Types of Business. There are Corporations, Limited Liability Corporation, Partnership, and Doing Business As (DBA). I favor the DBA because it costs less, easier to establish, and requires less reporting.

Its primary problem is lack of protection.

Essentially, a DBA is simply a name recognized by the government as you (individual) doing business under that name.  It allows you to concentrate more on the writing and less on trying to meet a lot of government red tape.

If you must have a corporate structure, then an LLC is best. You have maximum protection while enjoying the benefits of being incorporated. But if you don’t have a convoluted business I believe the DBA is the best.

Because a DBA is a recognized entity it allows you to set up a Business bank account, conduct business, enact contracts, and most other business activities. All of that with minimal costs!

Tip of the Day: Take a deep look at a DBA.

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

Let’s do it!

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Revisiting Your Business

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Today I am looking at Revisiting Your Business.

Recently I wrote a blog on Its Your Business (intro). Have you watched the video and the video series? I am constantly looking at ways of improving how I communicate with you and how I can help you.

The video series demonstrates that I am relatively new at using video, but it also demonstrates that I have information that I can impart to you for FREE! Following is a description of why I feel that treating your writing as a business is so important.

I started writing as a teenager. If you were to see those first pitiful attempts, you would shake your head. How did he ever become a writer? But I did.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know much about writing and had to learn through the school of hard knocks. But you don’t have to.

I struggled through my teen years, early adulthood, and middle age without being able to put together a complete novel. Moreover, I had no idea that I should approach the whole thing as a business. The result was that my struggles were painful. I knew I wanted to write but that was it! If I had treated my writing career as a business, I would have made better decisions, sought out experienced advice, and studied my craft.

It was this experience that inspired me to help others who want to write. The Its Your Business video series along with the cheat sheets are free to you to download and use. Learn the principles without the years of frustration.

Tip of the Day: Go to Its Your Business and upgrade your career!

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

Let’s do it!

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Be A Businessperson

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week however I am looking back at 2019 and reposting what I believe is my most important advice. The truth is that if you are a writer you need to remember ‘It’s your business’!

Chances are you’re thinking I’m not interested in a business; I just want to write and sell books. But surprise, writing books 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 that entails, as a business.

This may come as a surprise to you, but 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. Which means you probably owe taxes.

So, you should consider yourself a businessperson 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. For complete transparency I also you the local library as my extended library but that is mainly for research and marketing purposes.

Publishing nowadays requires access to the Internet. You can get that just about anywhere, such as a library. If you are on a low budget and/or have little space at home, libraries are ideal. Most provide free WIFI and may also have computers you can use for free.

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 Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) as our publishing platform.

There are a number of items you need to know to be a successful businessman. Before moving on let’s 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!

For your benefit I’ve included two video’s that will help you understand just how important this is. Included in the videos are basic facts and helps. And it is all FREE! Just click the link below.

It’s Your Business 1a

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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

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

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