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Ron’s Lit Tip 09 02 20

Today’s Issue: Author Alerts

Welcome to Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you.

Do you enjoy these blogs?

Would you like more?

Well, I’ve decided to start a newsletter called Author Alerts. At the start I plan on it being a monthly issue, no start date yet. But I have placed a signup (popup) on our website. A visitor to the site sees the popup and, if interested, fills it out and submits. And just like that they are registered.

This is just another way of marketing products and services. Here at T&R Independent Books we have products (books) and services (TR Writing Services). So, it would seem to be an ideal way of marketing. However, our popup is strictly for TR Writing Services.

Marketing products and services is one of the keys to success and it seems to vary from person to person on whether something works. I’ve never used popups before which means this is a new adventure for me.

What am I Using for Email Campaigns

I have learned some things from the sources I use. I have had at least two sources recommend MailerLite for my email campaigns. Another good one is Mail Chimp, but once you get past the free service it gets pricey. So, I chose MailerLite.

My logic is simple. This is an experiment for me, which means I want the best service for the lowest price. If MailerLite is successful I would undoubtedly stick with them for the paid versions. But if I went with Mail Chimp, I would need to swap over to MailerLite once I exceeded Mail Chimps maximum subscriber limits for the free version. Mail Chimp allows up to 2,000 subscribers whereas MailerLite allows up to 1,000 subscribers.

That means when I reach 1,000 subscribers I would need to move to the Paid version. But I am of the persuasion that by that time the email campaign would pay for itself. I have used Mail Chimp in the past but not for long. If my memory serves me right, I found it too hard to navigate and to produce the kind of letters I wanted. In any case, I never did much with it.

What will the Newsletter be like?

For starters, it will be a monthly newsletter. It will be dedicated to writing, publishing, and some marketing. Although I expect the newsletter to grow and expand in its offerings, it will start off with subjects like Tips and Resources, plus other features.

One thing I will also do is gift the PDF version of my book Perished: The World That Was.  It is priced at $9.99, which isn’t a bad price in itself. But Free is always better. It’s a great book and a fine deal.

Tip: Consider using an email service to bolster your reach and your sales.

Get free Guide to Writing at

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.


ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. #Writingservices

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Collateral Material

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Today I am looking at Collateral Material.

Ideas for this Article come from Penny Sansevieri, Author Marketing Experts

In today’s blog I am discussing collateral material that you might want to include in your Media Kit.

Newspaper clippings

There’s a possibility you will have interviews with local newspapers. Once you’ve had an interview watch for its publication. Then cut it out and make copies of it for your Media Kit.

Relevant Articles

It is possible someone reviewed your book and published the review in the newspaper. Again, you want to cut these out and make copies. Or it is possible that an article was written on a related subject to your book.


If you write a newsletter that relates to your book, copy it and put it in your Media Kit.

Business Card

A business card is a must! Although not as powerful as in the past business cards are still effective. You can easily get one printed through or some other venue. If you have plans to create one, use a picture that represents you, your business, or your book (if only one book). It should use a firm stock, have a front and a back. On the back I recommend a white background, instructions on contacting you (like your email address) and perhaps your motto.

And be sure to include your business card in the kit.

Tip of the Day : Add relevant information to your kit, such as newspaper clippings, newsletter, and business card.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at Our Free booklet tells you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).


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

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

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Anchor Link Alert

If I had a subtitle for this it would read: The Problem With Anchor Links.

Do you use email marketing? Perhaps you send a newsletter to subscribers. Well this subject could be very important to you!

As you may know I am the editor of Writers World a newsletter devoted to issues concerning writing. I have been noticing a recurring problem with my newsletter for the past several months. I finally asked my email marketing provider MailChimp about it and they looked into the situation. And gave me a disquieting report.

Before I speak further let me explain the situation.

In my newsletter I offer writing tips, reprints of this blog, as well as publishing and marketing tips. In order to make navigation easier for my readers I placed a TOC at the top of the letter. In that TOC I created anchor text that linked to the appropriate title, thus enabling the reader to click on the link and go immediately to the article. Unfortunately it didn’t always work.

Back to the report. Upon investigating the matter MailChimp told me that while anchor links work within the MailChimp environment they may not work within certain email inboxes. Links going to URLS work fine, it is just the TOC links that have a problem.

The problem is that not all email providers are created equal. What that means is that some email providers recognize and use anchor links correctly, others may not. In fact, in one of my email inboxes the link absolutely didn’t work, while another inbox opened a new browser window and loaded the inbox.

Interestingly enough anchor links work in most email inboxes, but not all. But therein lies an additional problem. The subscriber may be using an inbox that is incompatible with the use of anchors.

Moreover, the problem is not just with MailChimp but with any email marketing provider!

What should you do?

In our case we removed the TOC and replaced it with text that informs the subscriber of the newsletter’s content. You may choose to leave it as is.

If you wish to read the report you can do so at: Anchor Report.

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Writing Tip: Your Work Place

Today’s blog sounds a little boring, but it is important: Your Workplace.

What follows is based on an upcoming newsletter (Writers World) article. Where your workplace is and how you have it set up are very important to you as a writer. That may sound overblown to you, but the truth is that our work place and work habits affect us in multiple ways.

If you have already been writing for awhile you know how important your work place needs to be for optimal results. You know that your work environment impacts your posture, your well being, and your productivity. Since I favor individuality the advice I give leaves you with the ability to conform everything to your wants and needs. This includes the table/desk, the chair, location of resources, and more. So let’s take a look.

The Room
The location and size of the room will vary from author to author. My wife prefers an open room, while I have a small, well-defined room. Both of us have our desks in front of a window. Teresa’s files are in different cabinets not necessarily adjoining each other, while I used a combination of cabinets and bookshelves to create the “walls” of my room.

Both of us like our setups and are able to function well. This is important. Whatever setup you choose, it needs to be conducive to your being able to think, research, and write. My suggestion is for you to design it your way even if others may criticize. You are the one who will be spending a lot of time there!

One other note, sometimes Teresa likes to move into the living room and sit at the table. This gives her a break from the norm while still enabling her to perform her tasks.

The Table/Desk
Once again personal preferences are dominate. Teresa uses a computer desk while I use a computer table. She tends to spread paperwork out, I like things a little tighter.

But once again our own wants and needs strongly influence how it is done. As for how the table/desk is set up, both of us use laptops on the surface. I have a phone beside me, she doesn’t (except when in the living room).

Never place your laptop on your lap. This is because you may be blocking air vents. Buy yourself a lap desk (there are several).

The Chair
Both of us prefer task chairs, but I have seen others who use Executive Chairs. The key here is that you want a chair that is comfortable, but also helps you maintain good posture. This last is important because slouching in your chair cuts off oxygen and causes you to get sleepy. It is very hard to write with your eyes closed!

Another note regarding sitting with a laptop on your lap even with a lap desk. There are issues with back strain, eye strain, etc. that are affected by sitting with a laptop.

The above is an excerpt from an upcoming newsletter article. To get even more insights you can subscribe to the newsletter. This is a great time to do so because we currently are offering a free book (So You Want to Write?), free guides and free newsletter subscription. To sign up just click on Download Now in the video below.