The Authors Business

The Authors Business

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 the Authors Business, part 1 of 2.
You’re thinking I’m not interested in a business. I just want to write and sell books. But surprise, it is a business! While writing can certainly be fun (it is for me) it can also be profitable. And for that reason alone you need to think of your writing career, no matter how many books it entails, as a business.
The Government thinks you’re a business.
That’s right. When you do your income taxes and show that you made money through royalties or the sale of your books, the government regards that, and you, as a business. So you should also!
Actually your Business includes the authorship, publishing and marketing of your book(s). And like any business you need to think like a businessman or businesswoman. And this thinking will impact your whole life.
For example, do you dress like a businessperson?
I am speaking of what you wear in public, especially when you are out in the public signing books, being interviewed, etc. I dress casually in normal situations, but if I am marketing myself, I wear a shirt and tie, at least. Your appearance matters whether you think it should or not. If you are attending a book club or making a speech or doing an interview how you dress makes a difference.
As a general rule I’d recommend business casual. You might consider business attire (suit & tie for men, dress for women) or something a little more casual yet still reflecting that you are serious about your business. In previous videos that I made I opted for a shirt and tie. It suggests business without being overpowering.
What about having an Office?
That depends on you. I have an office at home although I have considered having an actual office independent of my home. There would be certain advantages, but it is not necessary. The whole matter comes down to what works best for you. Some writers like a formal setting like an office, while others prefer a more casual setting. I’ve found that I can write in just about any place.
Publishing nowadays requires access to the Internet. You can get that just about anywhere. So if you are a publisher your manner of dress may not be important unless you are meeting someone formally in the course of business.
How do you carry yourself?
Another aspect of thinking like a businessperson is how you carry yourself. This is something I had to learn. Slouching, hands in pockets, and staring at your feet are not positive selling points. I wasn’t that bad, but I did have to learn to not only be confident, but to act confident (although not overbearing).
But the concept goes deeper than clothing and acting like a businessman. It also includes having an idea of how you are going to run your business. For example, you have a book. Who’s going to publish it? How do you plan on selling it?
In our case we created our own publishing business, T&R Independent Books. The T stands for Teresa and the R for Ron. We are the exclusive publishers of our books. I have blogged in the past about having your own publishing business and probably will again. But for today I will just say that it gives you all the power and all the profits but also entails you doing all the work. We use CreateSpace and KDP as our publishing platform.
There are a number of items you need to know to be a successful businessman. Before moving on lets nail down the concept itself.
When I think of myself as a businessman, I have several pictures in mind. I see myself being interviewed about topics other than my books. I see myself as someone people respected and wanting to know. I also see myself making decisions, supporting charitable works, and so forth.
Face it you’re a businessperson. Face it and embrace it!
Next week we’ll take another look at your business.
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), Death Ship to the Stars (Book One), or Pauline A New Home (Book Two), 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.

A Look at Indie Publishing

A Look at Indie Publishing

Indie Publishing is relatively new. You might call it the baby of the family. This is real self publishing. Let’s take a look.
Advantages: (same as self publishing)

  • No agent required, although some suggest you should get one.
  • Virtually able to have book published.
  • Author owns ISBN.
  • Royalty paid.

Advantages in addition to above:

  1. No contract
  2. Published within days
  3. Growing number of publishing formats
  • CreateSpace
  • Kindle Direct Platform
  • Others
  1. Select either 35% or 70% royalty
  2. Control throughout
  3. Minimum requirements by platform
  4. Ability to retire a book
  5. Ability to edit and republish a book
  6. Ability to not only set prices but to change prices
  7. FREE

Disadvantages:

N/A

In 2014 Teresa and I formed our own publishing company: TR-Independent Books. Although getting up and running was time consuming we have not regretted it. Since that time I have purchased the rights to and republished Perished; I have republished one book under a new title; and I am publishing other books.
In addition, I am working on developing a catalog that will enable prospective buyers, including bookstores, to see what we are offering.
I would recommend to anyone that they seriously consider being an Indie Publisher. Yes, it will require more work, but it  also gives you control throughout the process. And that is important.
Try this simple quiz:

  • Do I control the editing services? Yes
  • Do I control review time of a Proof before returning it for correction or publication? Yes
  • Can I pull the book, edit it, and republish after I have already published it? Yes
  • If so, how much does it cost? Free
  • How much help do I get marketing the book? Various free tools
  • What do the marketing tools cost? Some are free.

These and other questions need to be answered. And I think you’ll be pleased with the answers. Perhaps the biggest advantage that Indie Publishing has, other than control, is the cost. You can publish an entire book free of charge or you can pay a little. Again you have control!
Here are some facts to consider:
An Indie Publishing company is the author who now has virtual control over every aspect of publishing. That includes the cover, the back cover, any pictures within the book, and, to some extent, the text itself. Basically the author has the power.
Self-publishers generally don’t do marketing. But they do provide tools at a cost that you can use. This may include such things as banners, magazine ads, newspaper ads, and more. All for a price.
But Indie Publishing is different! You, the author, become your own agent, publisher and marketer. This means you have greater flexibility in choosing who prints your book. You control virtually all aspects of the printing process.
In addition, you control the marketing. Let me point out that you have greater responsibility as well as power. But when you become your own publisher doors of opportunity open allowing you to use the same tools you have been paying the self-publishers to use. You not only do the work, you make the decisions!
And you reap the rewards!
Happy Indie Publishing!
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.

Why I Self-Publish

Why I Self-Publish

In 2014 my wife, Teresa, and I went out to lunch at a small McDonalds located in Murdock, part of greater Port Charlotte, and made a very important decision. As we sat there we discussed my writing career and the possibility of hers although at that time she hadn’t started writing her first novel yet. The upshot of that meeting was the establishment of T&R Independent Books.

Let’s look at the 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
  • They control the cover
  • They determine the royalties
  • I still had to do the marketing

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

  • Have control over the content
  • Have control over the cover
  • Determine the royalties
  • Still do the marketing

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t consider myself a control freak. Rather I believe that if the author is going to invest his or herself into writing a book, any book, then they deserve to benefit from it.

Case in point. 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 I just used may not be accurate (I did it from memory), but the concept is true.

But by doing my own publishing I can receive 35% or 70% right from the start! That is a major 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. 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 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. 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 republish at no cost to myself!

What about the Cover?

In last week’s Free[dom} of CreateSpace I spoke about the Cover Creator and the Photo Gallery. I won’t go into all the details again other than to say I can use one of their free pictures or I can upload a picture of my own. I don’t have to deal with the publisher to get permission like I did with my previous self-published books with a publisher. Even though I had a certificate proving I owned the rights, they rejected the photo and the certificate. But as the publisher I can use them.

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. Yes it requires more work on your part, but it’s worth 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 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.

The Free[dom] of CreateSpace

The Free[dom] of CreateSpace

If you were to really know me you’d know that a favorite saying of mine is, “My middle name is free.” I like free as do most people.

Sometimes “free” is not all that great. The saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” But sometimes “free” is rewarding. I have found over the years that CreateSpace (CS) can produce quality books with “free” tools. As a result I make use of them.

My philosophy is simple, if I can get a job done with the least expenditure of money I will take a serious look at it. Sometimes I may need professional help, but almost all the time I check out the “free stuff” first.

A good example of this is the Cover Creator. It is a “free” tool with a relatively inexpensive enhancements available. With this tool I can easily create a quality cover. Here you have a good selection of themes and styles enabling you to create a very good cover.

An associated “free” tool is the Cover Gallery where I can search for pictures, etc. to use for the cover. Now I’ll admit right off that the gallery needs to be broadened and expanded. That said, I always take a look at the pictures, etc. offered for “free” and most of the time I’ve been able to use one of them.

In addition, Cover Creator allows you to upload pictures from your computer to be used as a cover. That is tremendous!

Another “free” tool is the ISBN. They actually offer an ISBN for a small price. Plus you can go elsewhere to get the ISBN. But most of us can do alright with the “free” version. This “free” ISBN works across the CS platform for publishing and marketing.

If that isn’t enough for you, they also provide “free” resources for your use. These can range from writing to publishing to marketing. And it is all free and practical. Plus they might point you to inexpensive sources.

In my opinion every author who wants to be independent and keep costs down should take a serious look at CreateSpace. And CS didn’t even have to pay me to put that little plug in here. I guess they also appreciate free.

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.

Insights From World of Shem Part 3

Insights From World of Shem Part 3

In this issue I will speak about the Copyright Page and ISBN.

The consensus opinion is that you need to have your book copyrighted. Now the truth is that the moment you create the work it is considered copyrighted. This means that you can include a copyright designation in your book (example: copyright © 2017).

You can also file with the government to get the book copyrighted. While there may be additional protection (key word is may be) you are generally safe with the above example.

Along with the copyright you should include for legal protection a statement like the following:

“All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other – except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.”

If your book is being published by a publisher other than yourself they will automatically include such a statement. But if you are using Createspace or a similar service or you are publishing the book yourself then you will need to include the statement on your copyright page.

Your copyright page should also include who you used to print the book. For example, my World of Shem copyright page has the following: Printed by Create Space, a registered trademark of Amazon.com.

Also stated is: Published by T&R Independent Books, Port Charlotte, Florida.

Although I’ve been criticized for including the following statement it is necessary for legal protection:

“This is a work of fiction. Apart from obvious historical references to historical figures and events especially mentioned in the Bible, all characters and incidents in this novel are the products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to people living or dead are purely coincidental.”

In this sue crazy world we live in you need to protect yourself from being sued. You will notice I stated “apart from obvious historical references.” The book is a novel. Parts are facts but mostly it is fiction. To decipher which is which simply compare to the Bible.

If your book is not based on Bible characters or events you can remove the reference to the Bible. If you publish your book outside the United States there may be different requirements, but the above is recommended for books published in the United States.

Finally, you will want to show your ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 plus your company logo (if you self-publish).

Think of the ISBN as a library index card. It stands for International Standard Book Number and identifies the publisher. This worldwide number is required on all books seeking to be sold to bookstores, libraries, schools, and the like.

There are different resources available for getting an ISBN for your book. In fact you can buy a package of ISBNs. Of course they do come with a price tag. But I’m only going to deal with Create Space. Here is a brief description of ISBNs used with Create Space:

Create Space Assigned ISBN

Free; enables you to select Expanded Distribution for CS Direct, Bookstores, Online Retailers, Libraries and Academic Institutions (through Baker & Taylor). This also enables Standard Distribution which gets book into Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, and the eStore.

Other Assigned ISBN

Same as above except for Libraries and Academic Institutions

There is more involvement than this, so be sure to independently investigate ISBNs on your own. Each author probably has a different marketing or distribution need, so you need to find out what is best for you.

You might be wondering what these Insight articles have to do with serving. I am running these blogs because part of serving is doing your very best. The idea is to share with you ideas and concepts that will enable you to do your best as an author, publisher, and marketer.

Hopefully this article has been helpful to you.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for reviews. Not only for World of Shem, but Perished The World That Was (Book One), and World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two). 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 World of Shem. 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.