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

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

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

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

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

Writing is a Journey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Writing is an Adventure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Writing is a Challenge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is a Successful Writer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Why I Write

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share tip with you. This week I is about Why I Write.

You might think I write Christian fiction books because I was called of God to do so. And you’d be partially correct. But it is more than that. The call came many years after I first felt the urge to put words on paper.

The truth is that I had the urge to write as an teenager who knew nothing about God. I like to write and to read. It is fair to say that reading books led me to the desire to write my own books. But it goes back further than that.

It was as a little boy that the urge to write had its beginnings. I was a child with a good imagination. Because I was under heavy medication at the time, there were restrictions on physical activities. I was able to play Little League Baseball (not very good), to play in the sand near my house (I was probably very good at that), but not much else.

So, I turned to my imagination for entertainment. I got most of my ideas from TV. I just changed the heroes from their TV monikers to me. Now that’s not a very unusual beginning. A lot of children have active imaginations. But mine grew with me, so that when I entered my teen years (still with physical restrictions) my imagination and the English language (my favorite subject) met one another. It was almost love at first sight!

The problem was that when I tried putting my imagination on paper it lost some of the glory that existed in my mind. It just wasn’t the same. But, instead of quitting, I persisted.

It wasn’t until after my service in the United States Navy (1964-1968) that I discovered the help I needed. The problem was while it was affordable, it was also expensive for someone just starting out as a working adult. I signed up and began learning. The program was offered by a group of authors who would evaluate each lesson.

I was doing well until I got laid off in 1974. But I had also undergone a major change in my life as I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I recognized I was a sinner, needed a Savior, and that Savior was Jesus. Even so, I didn’t receive the call to write yet.

I like to say that it took God 30 years to undo the 30 years of the world’s influence on my life. True or not it wasn’t until I was 60 years old that my first novel was published. It was actually three years earlier that the call to write came.

I’d just run into another roadblock in writing a story. I’d written a few chapters and as usual hit the wall and couldn’t go any further. It was at this time that I had recently started reading the Bible from the beginning again and was in Genesis (I usually read the Bible through every 2 or 21/2 years). I was reading about Noah and the Ark and I suddenly realized that here was an historical event that contained the facts but left a lot of room for my imagination.

Looking back, I think of that as the call to write!

My first novel, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles (no longer in print), won the praise of a President of a Christian College plus an honorable mention by a contest I entered. You wouldn’t be wrong to say that this was a second call or perhaps an affirmation of the call. In either case I began writing on a regular basis.

Since that first book, I have now written eight novels and 2 nonfiction books. I am also working on four new novels. I have also expanded my writing from Historical fiction to include Speculative fiction (future events).

So, why do I write?

Most importantly, I write to present a Christian view of life that will bring the Bible alive and point people to God. Secondly, I write because I love writing. Give me a napkin or 3×5 index card and I’ll start writing.

And now I’ve reached that point in life where I want to help others get start. It took me 60 years before I was able to publish my first book. I’ll admit the most detrimental obstacle was not knowing Christ. But even after getting saved, it still took me another 30 years to become a published author!

That is why today my wife and I have established TR Writing Services. It exists as a way of giving back to the world and helping new and struggling authors to write and get published in an affordable way. It’s an exciting new venture that keeps my mind active and focused on my own writing as well as someone else’s.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

The 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.

Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

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

Independence.

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

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

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

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

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

Example

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

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

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

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

Application

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

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

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

What was my new idea?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Everyone Has A Story

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 Everyone Has A Story.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Everyone has a story” sometime in your lifetime. I believe this is true. Most people don’t realize it, aren’t interested in writing, or don’t know how. But all of us have life experiences that can be instructive or entertaining to the rest of us.
I write stories. I write Bible based stories and I write speculative fiction; I also write historical novels. In fact, you could say I write Biblical historical novels, American historical novels, and Futuristic historical novels. In the last cast it would be a history that hasn’t occurred yet.
What Kind of Stories Are You Talking About?
All kinds. You could write about your trip out west. It could be instructive, entertaining, or just a plain telling of the trip. Your story can go in a lot of different directions. How you write the story is up to you.
The same could be said for a purely fictional account loosely base on an historical event. This would require some research, but the labor would be worth it. Research usually enriches the story being told, so I encourage you to do research.
What Kind of Research?
Depends on your story. The more complicated or extensive it is the more research you need. Good research tends to enrich the story.
But I’ve Never Written A Book Before!
There’s always a first time. And while I don’t necessarily recommend it there are ghostwriters who’ll write your book for a fee. But before that try writing a rough draft by yourself. The draft won’t be perfect but it will be a start. You can also purchase books or borrow books from the library to help you write.
Writing can be fun.
But What About Finding an Agent or Publisher?
I’m neither for or against agents, but I don’t usually write about them. The reason is I favor Indie Publishing where you are the publisher. My Friday blogs deal with publishing. I favor KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) because it is easy and generally free. And the quality is good.
Most of your Traditional Publishers require you having an agent. The process of finding an agent who is willing to represent you can take months, perhaps half a year or longer. Then the agent may take months to find a publisher and the publisher may take up to two years to publish your book. In my view that is way too long!
What About Genre?
Genre is basically a category of artistic expression. It is not just writing books, but that is all I will cover here. It is one of the first things you should check out. Different writers may have different ways of discovering their genre. The best way that I know of is to find other books that are similar to what you want to write. Then find out what categories those books are under.
When I wrote my first novel about space I thought the genre was science fiction. But a reader of this blog told me that Christian Science Fiction is known as Christian Speculative Fiction. So friends, family, and others can help you find out what your genre is. Once you discover that then learn the principles regarding it.
Can I Make Money Writing?
The short answer is yes. There are multiple ways of making money. Whether you can or not is something you must decide. However, if you enjoy writing than I believe that should be your first consideration.
Hone your craft, stick with it, and publish it. All of this can be done for free. And you can get your book out there. Then there’s the matter of advertising and other marketing ideas. In the end a love for writing or a real commitment to writing can sustain you for a long time.
If you have a story to tell why not tell it?
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.

Beta Readers

Today I am writing about Beta Readers.
You’ve put forth your best efforts. You’ve completed your book. Now you’re ready to publish!
Not so fast.
Have you gone over your book looking for the smallest of errors? Have you followed up by editing the book? If yes, then good, but you’re still not ready.
Let me pause here for a word of transparency. While I have used readers to check my work they don’t necessarily fit within the “Beta Reader” definition. Also, I am not necessarily recommending that you use Beta Readers. It’s a choice. Whether you use Beta Readers or not, it is your choice.
With that out of the way let’s review the following which is based on an article written by editors.
What is a Beta Reader?
A Beta Reader is essentially a person who provides feedback that potentially helps your book to be better than it was. Not everyone can provide that service. A Beta Reader should be:

  • the kind of person likely to buy your book
  • be more knowledgeable than you are on the craft of writing
  • be a reader of books in your genre

It is unlikely that you will find such people in your circle of friends.
Where do you find Beta Readers?
Listed below are some ideas. You are free to add additional ones.

  • Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) by asking for help
  • Scribofile where you offer feedback on other works and receive reviews of yours
  • Join Wattpad where you upload your book with a compelling blurb enticing people
  • Visit local writing or critique groups for face-to-face feedback

Working with Beta Readers
Just locating Beta Readers is not enough. You must have rules. The editors of the article point out authors don’t usually pay Beta Readers, so your interaction with them needs to be positive and affirming.
Don’t forget this little rule: How you treat your Beta Readers will determine whether they ever help you again. So it is to your advantage to treat them well. Use the Golden Rule: treat Beta Readers as you would want to be treated.
Having established that all important rule, let’s look at some others:

  • Give them your completed manuscript, not a draft
  • Send the manuscript in their desired format and method
  • Keep them informed on what kind of information you’re looking for
  • Provide a list they can follow
  • Never display disappointment or offense at negative feedback
  • Reward them by mentioning them in your acknowledgement page (people like compliments)

What’s the alternative to Beta Readers?
Your circle of friends can provide the alternative. Not all friends will be willing to help, but some may be willing. The thing to remember is to provide the same rules as for Beta Readers. And remember that these people are not necessarily trained to do such work.
But I have found that a friend who is willing to read my book and critique it can be very helpful. As I write this I have in mind a woman who took the time to read one of my manuscripts and critiqued it. Her comments and suggestions played an important role in the writing. Unfortunately she’s not really available anymore because of time constraints but readers like that are like platinum!
What should I do?
My suggestion would be to first look among your circle of friends for one or more people who’d be willing to critique your work. Note: the fact that a person may be an educator doesn’t necessarily mean that he/she should be used. Writing is fluid and sometimes crosses the border of so-called rules of writing as taught in the schools. That doesn’t rule them out, but just be careful.
Once you’ve done that you can try the Beta Reader routine.
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).

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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 Joy of Writing

Today I am writing about the Joy of Writing. If you’ve followed me for awhile you have probably read where I said something like, I love writing. I love writing, Period!

Do I want to sell books? Of course. Do I want my books to be best sellers? Who wouldn’t? Do I want to influence others? You bet.

But when the day is done I love writing!

That is why I am currently working on two novels. One is another World of books while the other is a Christland book. Worlds far apart. But I love both.

I love the creation of scenes, the necessary research to bring characters alive, and bringing it all together into a complete novel. I’m not so thrilled with the editing, polishing, and changing of the story, but they are necessary so I endure.

Writing brings me a feeling of accomplishment. Seeing my words in print, whether on my computer or the Internet, feeds my ego. When I finish a novel I probably sit a little straighter and smile more.

On the other hand, I don’t like negative reviews. Reviews are a necessary part of successful writing, which is why I constantly ask for reviewers. I will never have enough reviews!

But won’t some be negative?”

That’s a good possibility. But both are needed. Good reviews tell the reader that it’s a good book; bad reviews help the writer improve. In fact, bad reviews, even if wrong or uninformed, enable a writer to improve.

I primarily write novels. But novels influence people sometimes far beyond the author’s original intentions. There have been times when a reader told me that he or she had to look something up in the Bible to find out whether the scene just read was my imagination or the Bible or both. That’s a compliment!

So what am I saying? Simply this. If you write for the joy of writing, don’t let the details get you down. Maybe your book isn’t selling like you’d like; don’t let it get you down. Be alert to helpful advice or criticism, but continue writing. Each book, each scene, each criticism makes you a better writer.

Write!

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.