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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: The Importance of the Review Copy

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about:The importance of the Review Copy.

Let’s use your imagination for a moment. You’ve written your book whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. You’ve taken advantage of built-in spelling and grammar checkers; you’ve spent hours check your book and now have an error free book. You submit your book to KDP and it passes all their tests and is published.

You get your copy of the published work and decide to read it. As you read your book errors start popping up.

“Oh no!” you cry.

Your published work has errors!

The good news is that on KDP you can edit the content and republish. But it may cost you hours or days and meantime you have an imperfect book on sale.

I’ve been there. I have learned the hard way that errors can slip by you. This is one of the main arguments for hiring a proofreader. But if you can’t afford a proofreader what can you do to protect yourself?

Order a Review Copy of your book before it is ever published. I used to favor simply reviewing the book online. But now I believe that such an action is flawed. There is something unique about holding a copy of your book in your hand. For one thing it relaxes you. Instead of being a writer checking your work, you become a reader.

Now that you are relaxed, you read your book the same way you’d be ready anyone else’s book. And your mind is not pressured. As you read minor errors that you might not have detected online popup. So you take a pen or pencil, mark the error and the page prior to moving on.

Later you go back, find the errors and edit them. The result will be more errors removed. If you have the time you might want to start at the beginning and reread the book, this time using a different mark to indicate errors. You might read the book three times!

The idea is to remove as many errors as is possible. Hopefully by the third time you’ll find very few errors or none at all. It might not be as good as a professional, but it will produce a book with less errors and have a more professional look and feel.

Why must I go through all that trouble?

It’s really quite simple. You are the writer and your mind knows what you meant. So every time you read your story your mind is involved. It is comparing what you actually wrote and what it knows you meant. And, unfortunately, it often superimposes what you meant to say over what you just read. That results in you missing the error.

To fight this tendency, you have to be very careful. A professional proofreader hasn’t read your book before and has no previous idea of what you meant. So, it is easier for them to pick up on the errors.

Because of that, you need to be proactive and devise ways that fight this tendency and enable you to read, proof, and edit without that subconscious battle. As an editor with TR Writing Service I use the proof copy. I don’t have the subconscious battle going on because I didn’t write the story. However, I may have assisted in the writing, in which case the problem could reassert itself.

But whether I’ve written it or not I learned the hard way that the printed copy is far more effective than the online preview. The reason is obvious to me. When reviewing the copy online I am tempted to skim over portions. I am ready to publish, and I get impatient. But if I use a printed copy, I must be patent for it to arrive and then to sit down and read it.

In addition, it gives me a better look and feel of the whole book. I can see the cover and how it looks plus I can view all the content! In that way, I get to see an overall view of the book and spot things I wouldn’t have spotted online. It makes a big difference.

Remember, when doing anything by yourself you MUST do more!

It is the cost of being independent and on a budget.

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.

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Why is the TR Writing Service Great for You?

Republished: See Special Announcement below!

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

Special Announcement

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

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

TR Writing Services is for the Little Guy

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

Over the years I have discovered that just about any kind of writers aid that is out there is beyond the budget of most people. This includes the art of writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. The “little guy or gal” doesn’t have much of a chance.

Why We Founded TR Writing Services

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

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

What is TR Writing Services?

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

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

What Does It Cost?

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

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

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

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

Can I Use TR Writing Services?

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

What Other Services Do You Offer?

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

What Is Prohibited?

We are a Christian organization that applies Biblical standards.

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

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

How Do I Sign Up?

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

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

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

Simple as that!

Then What Happens?

We go to work!

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Indie Publishing

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 Indie Publishing.
Back in 2014 when my wife and I decided to establish T&R Independent Publishing we didn’t know what to expect. What we did know was that I was bringing eleven years of writing experience and she was bringing not only business experience but an MBA to the business. And enthusiasm.
But Why Did We Choose to Become an Indie Publisher?
To be honest we were unhappy with the results of so called Self Publishing. Whatever sales were being made didn’t translate well in the form of royalties. But of greater importance was the lack of control. We’re not control freaks, but when you pour your heart and talent into a project you want to have control of how it is published and marketed. It was with that in mind that we started our new business.
Let’s take a closer look.
Why form our own publishing company?
Up to that time I had been publishing using what is commonly called self publishing companies to publish my books. But as I studied these companies I discovered:

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

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

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

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

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Self Critiquing

Today I am writing about Self Critiquing.

It is popular to advise writers to avoid doing their own editing. Get, they say, a professional so that your work will be at its very best. The reason given is very true: When you review and edit your own book you may not catch the errors. Not because you’re incompetent but because you know what you are trying to say and your mind might translate the words on paper to say what you want it to say.

For example, you may have intended to write, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” But you actually wrote, “My son, God will provide his self a lamb for a burnt offering.” Forgetting for the moment this is scripture, you have changed the actual words. The meaning is the same but the words have been changed. Sometimes the meaning isn’t altered but you erred as far as the words are concerned. But when you edit it you may not see the error because in your mind’s eye you actually read it the way it was meant.

That is a legitimate concern. But do you need professionals to review your work? Professionals cost money and if you are on a tight budget then your ability to hire them tends to be non-existent. Whether you use a professional or amateur you need to do much of the editing yourself. It is your book and your responsibility. If your budget allows it then consider a professional, but if not then plan B should involve repeated reviews and edits.

Now some may say that is bad advice. That it will result in errors. But the truth is that whether you edit the book or a professional edits it there will be errors. Don’t believe me, then the next time you are reading a popular or classic novel keep an eye out for errors. You won’t find many, but you are likely to find some.

The key is repeated reviews. If you can involve others in reviewing your work, so much the better for the work. The more eyes the better chances you’ll have of catching the errors. By the way, one of the advantages of publishing your book yourself is that if you discover errors after it is published you can still correct and republish.

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

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

– – – – – – –

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