Christian Service and the little things

Christian Service and the little things

Have you ever been called to serve God in your church or elsewhere? Do you feel called to a particular ministry?

This blog is a little out of order because the first thing to do when God comes knocking is to make sure the call is from God and make sure what the call is about. I plan on addressing those issues later, but I am addressing this blog to Christians who have already determined that God has called them. What should they do?

Some Christians respond by jumping right into the call. Perhaps they have been called to be a missionary. So they immediately decide to be a missionary to an arbitrarily selected country. Perhaps they apply to a mission board.

Or perhaps they have been called to be a Deacon. So they go to their pastor and tell him.

I believe that the Bible teaches us to do all things in order. If God has called us to some grand ministry it doesn’t necessarily mean that you jump in your car and leave. Rather, a more practical approach is needed.

I call it “Doing the Little Things.”

I knew a man once who believed that God had called him to be a great evangelist. There is a big difference between being a pew sitting churchgoer and being an evangelist. At that time he was not doing any service within the church, not even soul winning as I recall.

As a friend with a few more years of maturity I advised him to start doing the little things that needed to be done around the church. I also advised that being part of the soul winning ministry would be a good start. And finally I advised that he hang around the preacher, perhaps doing little things for him while learning.

Instead of following my advice he eventually left the church and went to another church where I understand he got a platform. But that’s it. He has never become an evangelist. In fact to my knowledge he has never become a preacher.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have heard testimonies of men called to preach as teenagers and were soon preaching. However, every testimony I have heard like that meant that they preached in their backyard or neighborhood. In some cases they got their first taste of preaching by occasionally preaching in their church. Most followed that by studying the Bible at home, serving in their church and going to a seminary. Later they either founded their own church or interned at another church before becoming a pastor.

In other words, they did the little things.

I have been blessed to be able to serve God in a variety of areas. This includes serving on our church’s mission’s board and eventually serving as Financial Secretary. But I didn’t do either at the beginning.

I began a journey of little things. First I became a soul winner. While doing that I also started ushering. In the big picture neither of these are big jobs because any Christian can do them. (All Christians should be soul winners.)

But pastors are practical as well as spiritual. When considering people for higher positions they look at what the person has done and is doing. Yes I know we are not to work to please men. But God chooses to work through them. Only God can see our hearts, but pastors need evidence.

When I was called to full time service I was already serving in several areas. The call came through a sermon my pastor preached. I went to him after service and told him of the call. But we had a mutual problem: neither of us knew what area of service that call involved. But he agreed that I had been called.

So what did we do?

First, I continued to serve where I was and pray. I waited on God’s direction. And eventually it came. One day while I was at work my pastor called me and told me that the job of Financial Secretary would be available in a couple of years. Would I be interested?

Now I happen to believe that if you are asking for God’s direction and an opening shows up, that you are then obligated to at least consider it. In this case I quickly accepted the idea and, since I knew nothing about accounting, I went to night school.

About a year and a half later my pastor wanted me to start working nights and learning the job at the church. So I dropped out of school and went to work. In 1993 I retired from the company I was working at and three days later became the church’s Financial Secretary. And I worked there for 15 years!

Since then I have moved to Florida and once again I was asked to be the Financial Secretary and have now worked for 9 years.

But the truth is I don’t think that was God’s final call. I believe He still has something special He wants me to do. I am not quite sure what that is but I am willing to wait on Him. And I am prayerfully waiting.

I have said all of this to make this point, If you want to serve God then start by doing the little things. Pray about it, be a soul winner, and serve in the church even if it involves menial activities. You will be amazed when you see how He works these things into your life and issues a call to you!

I recently read someone’s commentary on a passage of the Bible (Titus 3:14) and she misunderstood it to mean that God helps them who help themselves. This is not taught. In fact, we have seen where both men and women in the Bible have tried to help out God and instead got in His way. God wants us to wait on Him and let Him direct our paths (Psalm 27:14; 37:34 and Proverbs 20:22). When we do that and make ourselves available to Him opportunities will come!

So do the little things.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

Serving thru Missions Conference

Last week I wrote about serving in the church. I specifically mentioned our Missions Conference which was to start on Wednesday.  This is my follow-up.

The conference, which involved five independent Baptist churches, began Wednesday night. Each night of the conference would involve a different missionary. Here is a breakdown:

Wednesday: Michael Payton, missionary to Nicaragua. He gave an excellent presentation which included a video showing in burden for the people of Nicaragua. He also preached

Thursday: Sam Quinn, missionary to India. We enjoyed his presentation with video showing the need of India for the gospel. He preached on battles and giants we all face as Christians.

Friday: Pablo Ramirez, missionary to Japan. I was able prior to service talk to him about Japan (I served there during Vietnam War) and found the country had modernized since I had been there. His presentation was good and included a video showing the need the Japanese people have to hear the gospel. He preached on missions.

Saturday: Missionary Banquet (see below).

Sunday AM: Aaron Hiltibidal, missionary to Romania. Unfortunately he suffered an accident during the week which injured his eye. He was able to only give his presentation which was quite good. We had a substitute preacher for the actual preaching.

Sunday PM: Jesse Turpin, missionary to Indonesia. In his video presentation he pointed out that Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world. His preaching was strong on missions and why we are left behind on earth rather than going to heaven immediately upon salvation – to proclaim the gospel.

This may have been the best missions conference we have ever had. All the missionaries were good preachers with a sound and timely message.

As mentioned above we had a banquet on Saturday night. A number of people hosted tables. Each table could represent a different country. Teresa and I took the Bronx, New York. While not a country our church supports a missionary to the Bronx, Ken Baker. Likewise, another couple took Hawaii where a missionary serves. The rest of the tables took actual countries from around the world.

We all participated in a contest to pick the best table representation of a country. The judge was looking for an attractive display, native food, and, in particular, details about the people, the land, and the need including information about any missionary serving there. The judge liked our table so much that we were high on the list, but the table representing Guyana won.

All in all it was a great banquet that afforded all of us the opportunity serve by hosting a table and to learn more about the mission field. The entire conference was a success raising funds to be divided among the five missionaries. Our church alone raised a large amount ensuring that each missionary would get a very generous offering. (Our funds were sent to another church which acted as a hub. They collected monies from all five churches and divided it among the missionaries. It is always a great offering!)

Teresa and I enjoyed hosting the table and learned a lot about New York City, especially the Bronx. This is an example of serving in the church. It doesn’t always have to be work, sometimes it can be fun!

This also emphasizes the principle that everyone can serve. We can serve with our prayers, our gifts, and our time. Perhaps you have a story of how you and/or your church served as it relates to missions. If you do, why not share it?

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

A NEW DIRECTION

A NEW DIRECTION

You may have noticed that I have not been blogging since last January. The reason is simple: I broke my wrist.

The good news is I was doing something important: playing Table Tennis. How it happened is another story that I may relate some day in the future, but for now let it suffice that I was sidelined. All writing came to a stop for awhile (it is hard to type with only one hand).

While sidelined I have had the opportunity to re-evaluate this blog and, indeed, my writing career. Up to now I have been blogging about writing, publishing and marketing. In fact, my blog’s theme was: So You Want To Write? As you may have noticed that has now changed to: So You Want To Serve!

Although I love writing I have learned it is not my true passion. As I look back on my life there is one theme that continually surfaces: promoting the Gospel. Whether it be personal soul winning, church outreach, missionary outreach, or evangelism, I have been involved in some manner.

I want people to know the Creator God Who Died, Rose Again, and gave me eternal life! If you take a look at all my past blogging there has been that undercurrent. With my being sidelined the Lord was able to get my attention and point out what now seems obvious: I have an evangelistic passion.

Don’t get me wrong. The Lord has not called me to be a preacher. Rather, He has called me to fully use my talents for His service. Just as my books are Christian fiction based on the truth of the Bible, He wants me to use this blog in His service. That does not mean sermons, but rather a Biblical point of view of different Christian outreaches with the idea of provoking you to thought and action.

I hope you enjoy this new direction.

With that in mind I am writing today about our church’s Missions Conference. In cooperation with four other churches we have five missionaries coming in to present their individual burdens. Beginning Wednesday night at 7:00pm each missionary will visit one of the five churches. They will rotate each day through Sunday.

I’ll probably write more on this later, but right now I want to tell you about a special night, this Saturday. Saturday night starting at 5pm our church will be having a Missions Banquet. Different people within the church will have a table set up dedicated to some missionary field. Teresa and I have chosen the Bronx, New York.

My wife has been working hard on ideas for food, garb, and overall table presentation. Each table, I don’t know how many, will set up their table to represent the missionary of their choice. Our table will represent Ken Baker who pastor’s Victory Baptist Church in the Bronx.

This is our first year doing the Bronx. As it was with our previous table, the Arctic North, there is much research required. But in the end we will have a table with up to eight people dressed appropriately and dining on food representative of New York. It will be a fun time.

But not only is it a fun time it is educational for us (of course), those sitting at our table and everyone else in the Fellowship Hall. It is an excellent way of educating people about the many diverse missionary fields out there. It helps each of us understand and appreciate the missionaries we support. And of course, we will also have a missionary there to present his field.

All the monies collected are split equally among the five missionaries which historically has been very good for each missionary. As mentioned each of the five churches invites a missionary. Each church is then responsible for any travel and housing expenses that occur. The whole conference is a much looked forward to event plus one that truly benefits the missionaries. It is even possible that they might get one or more of the churches to support their work.

One of the great benefits for those of us participating is the acquiring of knowledge plus a real appreciation for missions work itself. It is often a moving experience felt by all.

Does your church do anything like this? If so, why not share?

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

Five Important Website Issues

Five Important Website Issues

Perhaps you are a new author and have decided to build a website or you have one up and running. There is much advice floating around about website design. Some is very good and some not so much. After fourteen years of working my own website, I have identified five critical website design issues.

You may have additional ideas and I welcome your comments. But here are mine.

The Home Page

This is regarded as the most critical page because this is where your visitors will most likely land. And this is true whether you have one or more home pages.

More than one?

Yes. As an Independent author I am also an independent publisher. Therefore, I have designed my website as a publisher’s site, and every author (all two of us) have their own Home page, plus more.

The Home page is where you want your usual visitors to come to. Therefore, you will have most or all of your marketing linked to that page. If the visitor Google’s your name (author’s name) it should bring the potential customer to your Home page.

On this page it is always wise to employ good SEO practices. As you build your site you may want to see how well you are doing. I recommend Website Grader, which you can use for free.

The Url

The Url is critical. Put a lot of thought into this. Among the things to consider is whether you are a one book author or you have or will write more books. If you write multiple books, you will want to use your author’s name in your url. The exception would be like a publisher’s site. But even then you want a url that goes to the author page, such as r.-frederick-riddle-books.html. If you are doing your own publishing don’t forget the primary site. Click on the link above to see the full url.

Most of you will have your own personal site. You might wonder why it has to be your name and not the name of a book. Simple. As you write more books you want people to know your name. People may seek a particular book title, but as your name recognition grows they will seek your name.

The About Page

The About page is very important because you want the visitor to know as much about you as you can reveal. How much you reveal is up to you, but a variety of experts say we should include our bio (of writing career), education, awards (if any), and a peak into your personal life.

Only reveal that which you want people to know. And please don’t include your Social Security Number or other potentially vital information.

The Store Page and/or Book Page

A Store page is very important if you sell on site. I would recommend that you also have a Book page where visitors can learn about your books. If not selling on site, it is important to have links from each book to the site(s) where it is sold.

A Book page should include a Cover photo, a description of the book, important stats (such as publisher, author, title, ISBN, and ASIN) and, of course, the links.

Media Page

Aside from potential buyers, you also want the media (newspapers, radio, tv, etc.) to also visit. This page is designed to provide them as much information as possible without their having to search the site. Some of the things included is a listing of every book you’ve written, a photo of you (a professional photo is recommended), links to any blogs you may have written, links to such things as Press Releases and other marketing sites where you are active.

Contact Page

Even if not selling directly, you need this page. It provides an opportunity for your visitors to talk to you. Perhaps they have questions about you, your books, or even an opportunity for your book to be marketed or turned into a movie.

These are only five ideas, but you might want to also include a Blog page (assuming you write a blog). But the five listed above are absolutes. You need these. Seek expert advice and don’t be afraid to visit other authors websites. This will combine a visual with the technical advice available all over the web.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

Show, Don’t Tell!

Show, Don’t Tell!

SHOW DON’T TELL!

When I first began writing I received the advice: Show, don’t tell. But what does that mean and is it good advice?

It pretty much means what it says. When writing a scene, it is often better if your character or characters describe or act out what you want the reader to see. This might mean the character’s thoughts reveal what he is seeing. Or possibly, the conversation reveals a picture of the setting. Or the action. In any case the author is unobserved and the characters are doing the telling.

Sometimes when I want the reader to see the landscape that the characters find themselves in, I reveal it through their eyes, speech, and/or action. Most of the time such an approach enhances the scene.

For example, maybe a character is approaching a house. Instead of simply describing the house, I might have the character silently admiring it. Like this, What a beautiful house! I’ve always liked homes with white picket fences. And look at the those flowers lining the sidewalk! It’s so beautiful and relaxing.

I made that up on the spur of the moment, but you get the idea. The reader’s imagination is triggered and pictures the scene. Sometimes a character can show the scene better than you can tell it.

But not always!

While that advice revolutionized my writing, I am glad that I haven’t followed it to the extreme. The simple truth is that sometimes it is warranted that the narrator (you) gets involved.

For example, in Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles I described the Majestic Mountains at least in part in a narrative form. While I did use ‘show’ from a character’s viewpoint it would have been almost impossible to describe the mountain without straining the character. In the end I did both. I described in broad, colorful terms the overall view, while later on characters were able to expand or even expound on that view.

In Perished, I described a scene introducing the death of Adam. It went like this:

‘Word spread quickly in whispers, shaking heads, and tears. Visitors walked softly. Outside the news spread house to house, to the shops and soon ships were sailing forth with the news.’

 Could I have done that through the characters? Of course I could. But it would have taken longer to get it out. This was only to set the stage for the events that followed. By opting for this approach I created a sense of action that quickly set the stage and prepared the reader – all in one paragraph.

To answer the question Is it good advice, I answer yes, with moderation. As the author you have ultimate control. A general rule of thumb would be to show not tell, but be aware that sometimes telling can be more effective.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

A New Year’s Message

A New Year’s Message

Soon we will be entering the year 2017. Before taking a look at what we might expect in the new year, let’s take a look at 2016.

2016 was a very active year, although it didn’t start out that way. It was for us a normal year until March when we bought ourselves a new (for us) 2013 Ford Fiesta. While a great car, it was God’s miraculous hand in our getting it that really stood out. But that is not the subject of today’s blog.

Instead we are looking at T&R Independent Books, our adventure in self-publishing.

Here is how 2016 unfolded:

  • August/SeptemberT&R Independent Books bought the publishing rights to Perished. This was the foundational book of The World That Was series.
  • October T&R Independent Books published the rewritten and reformatted Perished. This was the publisher’s first novel.
  • NovemberPerished was placed in the KDP Select program.
  • DecemberT&R Independent Books published Noah and the Ark, book two of The World That Was series.
  • DecemberT&R Independent Books began seriously getting ready to publish Tress Riddle’s debut novel sometime in January 2017.

As can be seen T&R Independent Books has had a rush of activities in the latter half of the year. It has truly been an exciting and busy year. Behind the scenes Tress Riddle has been working on her first novel, a mystery aimed at teens and young adults.

Also during this past year we have witnessed an explosion politically thinking. In Britain they had the Brexit  vote and in America we had the rise of Donald Trump. In both cases the average citizens revolted against the political elite demanding that they be heard and represented.

Whatever you may think of President-elect Trump he was wise enough to hear the rumblings and tap into them. Here are a few reflections:

  • NovemberDonald Trump won the national election for President of the United States.
  • NovemberUninformed men and women took to the streets and rioted in protest. This represented a national disgrace in our education system as the protestors showed their ignorance of the United States government. (We are a representative democracy, not a pure democracy where popular vote dominates.)
  • November3rd party candidate pushed for meaningless but costly recounts. Results were essentially the same.
  • DecemberTrump begins assembling cabinet showing that he actually intended to keep his campaign promises.
  • DecemberTrump won the Electoral College vote.

If I was writing on political issues I would spend some time addressing the lack of knowledge some people have demonstrated. As mentioned, our country is a representative democracy – a fact our citizens should have learned in high school! It was so designed to prevent large populous states from ruling the country (there are only four or six states that fit that bill) and from anarchy that often comes from pure democracy.

However, this is a blog on writing, so let’s move on.

I am really proud and excited about the achievements of T&R Independent Books! Founded in 2014 by my wife and myself, T&R had to withstand my heart attack and much foundational matters for the fledgling business. But 2016 has been a breakout year for the business.

I have now had three books published by T&R Independent books: So You Want to Write? (2015), Perished (2016), and Noah and the Ark (2016). In the meantime, my wife has been working hard on her debut novel which will soon (probably January) be published.

So what are my predictions for 2017?

Here’s a list of possibilities:

  • Publication of Tress Riddle’s debut novel.
  • Rewrite and publish So You Want to Write? with new material.
  • Write and publish book 3 of The World That Was.
  • Tress Riddle’s second novel published.

These represent another active year for the Riddle family. Sandwiched in-between are a variety of marketing events. Plus a renewed commitment to this blog.

I am seriously looking into adding video blogs to this blog. I plan to explore the idea of interviewing other authors, plus have videos on writing techniques and aids. I have the capability, but it comes down to cost versus effectiveness.

We wish all of you a happy New Year.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured in greater detail.

A Christmas Message

A Christmas Message

This year Christmas comes on a Sunday. This is the best time ever. People gathered in their respective churches worshiping the very Savior Whose birthday we celebrate!

You will notice that I still call it Christmas. In the world we live in today Christ has been all but taken out of Christmas. Instead you get Xmas. People have forgotten why we celebrate this day.

Over 2000 years ago Jesus was born to a virgin not on Christmas day, but that is when we celebrate His birth. A miraculous event that has never been repeated (although some will try to prove it has happened). The world doesn’t mind Him as long as He stays in the manger, but it bothers them greatly when He preaches and claims to be the One True God, the Only Way to Heaven.

The truth is that we don’t know when Christ was born. One belief, supported by both Biblical and secular history is that He was born sometime in the September/October period of time. One supporting fact is that such a time would agree with the shepherds being in the fields not too far from Bethlehem. Back when I had my own podcast I did a program on the subject of Christ’s real birthday.

I studied the subject and discovered that people who put a lot of emphasis on numbers arrived at a time in September. They even identified the day and year! I don’t know if they are right (I’m not into numerology), but when all the facts and speculations are put together September and October seem far more likely than December.

But the best we can do is speculate as to the actual date. It would be nice to know the date, but God has withheld that information. Probably because we would turn the date into some idolatrous thing. In any case, we simply don’t know the right date.

You might ask why I am writing this in a blog devoted to authoring. But our writing careers would not exist but for what He did on the Cross. There would not be Christian anything. We would all still be in our sins, without hope. Not only did He save us, he has directed our lives. And He gave us whatever writing talent we may have!

He saved us, equipped us, and is using us. Not just us, but He uses other Christians as well. Perhaps you. So whether you attend church on Christmas day (I hope you do) or not, it is a good time to remember what He did for us.

This Christmas take time to remember Him. I thank Him every day for my salvation, but on Christmas that thanks takes on a deeper more intimate meaning. He delivered me from the bondage of sin and provides daily strength and guidance.

There is much going on during Christmas day, let’s not forget the One it is all about!

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

What a Week!

What a Week!

Have you noticed that you haven’t seen my blog in over a week? Well, it wasn’t planned that way.

A week ago last Wednesday my wife and I were on the way to church when our car suddenly shifted in to neutral (or at least seemed to).  The engine was racing, but the car was coming to a stop. After stopping I turned the car off, then a few moments later turned it on again, and shifted into drive. The car was working again!

We arrived at church and I immediately sought out two friends who have been or are car mechanics. After church service, they checked the car out and took it for a test drive. Their verdict: Transmission.

Not something I wanted to hear, but I knew they were right. The next day I took the car to the dealership where I bought the car. Fortunately the car had an extended warranty on the transmission (by manufacturer).

However, while I waited for the car to be repaired I was without personal transportation. So Teresa’s sister stepped forward and provided it.

But that was not the only thing that happened.

Enter the Charlotte Crud. That is the name we in Port Charlotte call a disease that hits about this time each year. It is not always the same, but seems like a really bad cold. You lose your energy and do a lot of coughing. It doesn’t last only a day or even two days. It can last weeks. In my case it lasted at least a week. Being the loving husband, I shared it with my wife and hers’ lasted about a week.

The result of these two situations was that I got very little accomplished. I was able to get enough energy to publish my second book of The World That Was series, Noah and the Ark. It is now available on Amazon and will soon be published by Smashwords (after I do the necessary preparation).

However, most tasks that I normally perform didn’t get done and that includes this blog. But now I am back.

I am really thankful that the Lord God watched over us throughout these days keeping us safe from harm on the road and healing us from sickness. I also am thankful that he provided Teresa’s sister to chauffeur us around. That was a blessing.

By the way, the series The World That Was is now available on Amazon with two books, Perished and Noah and the Ark. If you know someone who loves reading historical fiction these books would make an excellent Christmas gift. Take advantage of this season as next year the prices may go up. Best way to get these is to visit my website and go directly to the Amazon page. Just click here.

 Your comments are welcome. Just make a comment below.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

Are You A Real Author? Part III

Are You A Real Author? Part III

This four part blog asks you four questions and addresses each. Here is the third question:

DO YOU HAVE A TRIBE?

Another way of saying this is, Do you have fans? Or readers who love your books? Or an audience?

Every author wants (or should want) to have a tribe. And every time you sell your book that tribe grows. That tribe will include people you don’t know, but it will most likely also include people who you do know.

How?

By building your email list. This takes time, so be patient.

How do you build your email list? There are a multitude of ideas on this subject. Believe me, because I have check several out. Here is a partial list of building ideas:

  • Friends who like your book
  • Relatives who like your book
  • Blog followers
  • FaceBook followers
  • Twitter followers
  • LinkedIn followers

In other words, anyone who has given you their email address and likes your books!

So how do I use the email list?

First, you need a provider. There are quite a few out there. I am familiar with three: Vertical Response, MailChimp, and Benchmark. All three are good, although I am only now learning about Benchmark. So far I have been impressed and amazed with the tools they provide within their Free package.

Google email marketing providers to find a more complete listing. Check them out and decided for yourself which is best for you.

How big should my email list be?

That’s a good question. I recently read where one expert suggests 1,000. That is 1,000 people who really like your books – the true fans! So, practically speaking, you should have several times that many.

Secondly, you need to incorporate the email list into your marketing plan. Caution: you don’t want to saturate them with your ads, it will turn them off! Remembering this is separate from your Social Media Campaign (below) send out periodic emails announcing:

  • Upcoming books
  • New books
  • Specials
  • More

But don’t overdue it.

What about Social Media?

An effective Social Media Campaign requires the input of some money. Not necessarily a lot of money. So first determine what your budget allows. Next determine where you will focus your efforts. Some experts discount Twitter, but others are high on it. Your best course of action is to experiment and discover which two work best for you.

One last thought. You may not yet have 1,000 true fans. Use your email list to garner them.

 As always I am interested in your comments.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

His eBook Perished: The World That Was (Volume 1) can be found on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition is found on Amazon.

Are you a Real Author? Part II

Are you a Real Author? Part II

This four part blog asks you four questions and addresses each. Here is the second question:

DO YOU HAVE A PLATFORM?

Different people have different ideas about what a platform is. Here is my definition: A platform is a website, a blog, and social media.

A Website

I’ve talked about this before, but it cannot be overstated. An author needs to have a website. And not just any old website. An author needs to own a website.

Now this can have different connotations, so let me be specific. An author should have an website that reflects who they are. This can mean:

  • A website that reflects the book you’ve written
  • A website that reflects your name or alias
  • A website that reflects the you as an independent author.

For example, a website that reflects your book’s name will work if you have written only one book and won’t be writing new books. But if you write more than one book, such a website would be poor. Instead, you will want the website to reflect you as an author. By reflecting I mean both the domain name and the content would emphasize you as an author. I have used RFrederickRiddle.com as my website name.

However, when we founded T&R Independent Books and I decided to set up a new website, I created a typical publisher’s website where the author has his or her own pages. My former website RFrederickRiddle.com redirects to my author’s pages on the publisher website.

The important thing is that you want critical information within the domain name. In my former website it included my name and my new pages also include my name. This is a very important consideration, so if you have not done so yet, seriously consider it.

For more indepth wisdom check out my blog article, Hosting Your Website.

A Blog

As you know my blog’s url is RFrederickRiddleBlog.com. It tells the potential reader who I am and that it is a blog.

Your blog does not have to be about writing, but it should be about something you know and can be passionate about. And it should interest readers.

Social Media

You need to have a social media presence. While you don’t need to use everything that’s available, you should certainly be on at least two social media platforms. I use Twitter and Facebook, plus Goodreads and Bublish. Some authors also like LinkedIn, although that is primarily aimed at business to business.

It is not necessary to spend every minute of the day on your social media, but you should be active.

Why Is Having A Platform So Important?

Because people want to know about you and your book(s). And you want people to know about you and your books. Social Media provides excellent opportunities to self promote both yourself and your book.

Take a moment or two and tell us about your platform.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

His eBook Perished: The World That Was (Volume 1) can be found on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition is found on Amazon.