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Go Fast or Go Slow

Should you go fast or go slow? Obviously, the answer to this question depends on what the activity or business is that you are talking about. I am asking this question as an author.

For transparency, I am also asking this as a Christian. Sometimes people get upset when I write from a Christian viewpoint, but I make no apologies. A person’s faith never operates apart from their social and business lives. Our true faith is demonstrated in how we live, work, and play. To think otherwise is to fool yourselves.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

One could say that I learned the craft of writing by going through the school of hard knocks. When I started out as a young man in his twenties, I knew little about writing other that I loved to read, had a great imagination, and not much else. While I am sure there were courses out there that were available, they were expensive.

But I was able to take one for a short time until I got laid off from work and had to cancel the course. But it did whet my appetite for writing. I discovered I had some talent, so my dream of being an author was galvanized.

But that was a time when I first answered the question of whether to go fast or go slow. I wasn’t a Christian. So, praying for guidance was not a factor. I went fast and seized the opportunity. While it fizzled out, I did learn some basics and was encouraged.

It wasn’t until I got saved, that is I received Christ as my Savior, that I began seeking His guidance. But God had some cleaning up to do in my life, so I continued to run in to writing roadblocks. But in 2000 it changed!

First, you need to understand that I have a Do It Yourself (DIY) personality. That doesn’t always work out for the best. In the field of writing, I had to learn a great deal about writing. This learning came about through failures.

I would begin writing a story, get about three to five chapters in and suddenly hit a wall. I didn’t know how to handle that obstacle and it invariably led to my dropping the book. But then in 2000, I was doing my morning devotions in the Book of Genesis and reading about Noah and the Flood.

I love history, so reading the historical account of the Flood triggered my imagination. And I suddenly realized that the Biblical account was all I needed for my understanding of man’s sin, and God’s judgment. But I also realized that there were individual stories only hinted at. And thus was born my first book, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles, which later was united with another book to form the basis for Perished: The World That Was.

Up until I wrote Refuge, I was ‘going slow’. But upon publishing my first novel in 2003, I opted to ‘go fast’. And I began pursuing greater knowledge and learning the art of being a DIYer.

With my first novel, I entered the world of DIY editing. Most professionals advise against editing your own work. A large part of their opinion is based on the fact that as the writer of the book, you know what you wrote, and it is quite easy to gloss over errors. I don’t mean you let them slide, but rather you don’t see them. Your mind tricks you into believing you wrote the right word or had the right punctuation and thereby you miss the error. If you want to be a success at editing your own publications, then you need to know the 1st Principle.

1st Principle : If you are going to go DIY, then know that it will be hard, very hard!

One of the reasons I chose to edit my own work, is that I didn’t trust the self-publisher I was using. I love the King James Bible and regard it as not only the best and most accurate Bible, but the only Bible for English speaking people. I was afraid they would change the verses that I used. (I integrated the King James Version verses into the book and the language of the book.)

Thus, I was now saddled with editing the entire book. And I quickly discovered that it was not easy. But I have never looked back at that decision and regretted it. Instead, my writing improved and so did my editing.

2nd Principle : Even professional editors make mistakes.

Over the years I have read some highly successful books. Books that are considered classics. And everyone had mistakes in them. What was the difference between their mistakes and mine? Mostly, the number of mistakes made. Professionals go over the book thoroughly and if you are going to do your own editing, you must do the same thing! This is a case of ‘going slow’.

In 2014 my wife and I formed T&R Independent Books and we became Indie Publishers. This started out as ‘going fast’, but in that same year and only about a month afterward, I had a heart attack. Needless to say, I had to slow down a lot!

But learning to be a master at writing, editing, proofing, and publishing at the same time was itself a slow process. But a necessary one.

3rd Principle : The hard work was worth it!

I have learned some professional traits along the way. But I also fell into a well-laid trap. We live in a world where making big money consumes most Americans. And that included me!

So, I became focused on the end result of making a lot of money. I read and listened to just about anyone that seemed to have success. I learned about funnels, give-a-ways, relationship selling, email lists, and much more. And yes, these did not always agree with one another.

I was now ‘going fast’, too fast! And I had so much knowledge that I was confused as to what to do. Think of a race car spinning its wheels and going nowhere.

But just as God used my heart attack to slow me down, He also allowed me to see how that my focus was on the wrong thing. I saw that my reason for writing was not to make a ton of money, but to write a quality book that people would enjoy.

I slowed down and began to review my goals. I got a mentor who began changing my way of thinking. I learned to keep the knowledge that was more in tune with my reason for writing and tossed much of the rest.

Don’t get me wrong. As a Christian one of my motives is to spread the gospel. And that requires money. But instead of money just for myself, it was now money to achieve a godly goal.

Many changes have begun taking shape under the influence of my mentor, my own growth as a Christian, and my growth as a writer. Just yesterday, I got in my car and headed for a local bookstore to talk to the owner. I wanted to get her perspective on marketing my latest book, World of Joseph.

But I had forgotten that the bookstore was closed on Mondays. On the way home, God spoke to my heart. He had let me go there with the purpose of reminding me to ‘go slow’. Or better yet, to ‘wait upon the Lord’!

Oh, that is hard. I try to be a patient man, but it doesn’t always work out that way. God reminded me that it is always best ‘to wait upon the Lord’.

4th Principle : Listen to God. If you are born again, having received Christ and have the Indwelling Holy Spirit within you, then you have all you really need. God has your best interests at heart.

Should you go fast or go slow? The fact is that all of us need to go at God’s speed. He has the fast speed for some, slow speed for others, and still others are told to wait.

There’s a verse for that. In Isaiah 40:31, it says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Wait on God’s leading, follow the pace He sets for you, and true success will come according to His timetable.

All three formats of World of Joseph are available at Amazon. But the paperback and hardcover are available at TR Independent Bookstore where all our books are always discounted. Now that the special discount of World of Joseph of 20% ended at midnight of the 19th, both formats are still discounted the same as all our books. So, you still have great bargains!

Speaking of reviews, why not review one of my books. Next month I plan on submitting more books to be reviewed on Booksprout, but you don’t have to wait. If you buy one of our books from Amazon, you can post a review. Or you can try Goodreads where I am listed as R. Riddle.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Preparing to be Published

I am preparing to be published again. It is always the same feeling of excitement mixed with anticipation.

The manuscript has been proofed, the cover is ready, and I am nearing the time when the eBook will go on PreOrder status. But that is not all.

I have been busy upgrading my website. Why?

It is always a good practice to frequently update your website. It presents fresh material for the bots to explore and report back to their masters whether it be Google, Yahoo, or a host of others.

But in this case, I was updating to make the products I sell easier. Easier for you to buy and easier for me to manage. Earlier this year, I upgraded to WooCommerce on my website. Today, I added the PayPal extension that will allow my customers the safest, most reliable experience as they shop.

There are many trusted venues or gateways that businesses can use for their customers benefit. And I am sure that they do everything possible to ensure a safe environment and a smooth, reliable transaction experience. But, in my opinion, PayPal is the best.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

You may prefer other methods for customers to use. And that is fine.

I am writing this blog not to promote PayPal, but to emphasize that when you are done writing, you still have things you should do. One is to take steps to improve customer experience.

Sitting back and just waiting for the publication date is not being proactive. There are things you can do like developing ads, updating your website, and using Social Media to promote some buzz. In this way, you can help your own cause.

One of the actions I am currently taking is working on a video that I can email to people I know, insert in a blog like this, and upload to Amazon Central. All of these are actions that have the potential to help generate sales.

Whether I use this video or another remains to be seen. There are plans for a professional video shoot, but I want a good backup just in case. What’s the difference?

Well, I use my computer camera and mike, while a professional will use a more sophisticate camera. Also, a professional does it for a living either as photographer or as part of his overall business.

I have been doing all my videos which are admittedly amateur. They could be improved upon, and it would relieve me of the time of doing them myself. A new company, Pure Video, will be working with me in the near future. Right now it is a matter of getting all our ducks in a row.

Most advice you get will tell you to get professional help for editing, proofing, and marketing. But not everybody has the time or money to find the right professional for their project. It just so happens that I only learned about Pure Video recently from a friend who was starting it. I know him and already have confidence in him, so that simplifies the matter of research. I will probably do a blog about him in the near future.

The point I am making right now, however, is that don’t waste time between the end of writing and the launch of your new book! It is tempting to rest because you have been pouring your heart out in writing and it just might have tired you out. Also, it is easy to think that publishing is just flipping the switch.

The truth is that if you are an Indie Publisher, you still have work to do. In my case, I still had to access my KDP account and make sure everything is ready to go, including pricing. I also need to create the book upon my website, which I will be doing this week. Since I have a bookstore, I will need to determine the discounted price (all our books are discounted). This will be a special discount reflecting the fact this is a new book.

My newest book, The World of Joseph, will come in three formats: paperback, hard cover, and eBook. All will be published at the same time to give customers a good choice from the beginning.

On August 8, 2021, the eBook version will go on PreOrder and the actual launch will be August 12, 2021. As noted above, the paperback and hard cover versions will also be published on August 12, 2021. The printed books will be available at Amazon.com and at TR Independent Bookstore where they are always discounted. The eBook will only be available on Amazon.com although we will have a link to it from our store which is called TR Independent Bookstore.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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5 Proactive Actions for Authors in 2021

The Riddle Report 01 06 2021

Today I am writing about the pursuit of your writing career. The title is Be Proactive.

What do you mean?

One definition of proactive is: Acting in advance to deal with an expected change or difficulty. 2021 lies ahead of you. There are a lot of unknowns right now.

Take the election of the President. No matter the outcome of today’s voting, it is unlikely we will know who the next President is until the Supreme Court gets involved. There is a lot of evidence of voter fraud, certainly a great deal of mistrust of election results, and the abuse of power by state governors and their administrations.

That’s just one area of uncertainty. Connected to those issues you also have the economy, international relations, Covid-19, and so on. In other words, you, and all the rest of us, don’t know what 2021 will be like.

That being the case, I think we authors need to be proactively engaged. This blog contains 5 Proactive Actions for Authors in 2021.

  1. Budgeting

This involves looking back and forward. How did your writing budget work out last year. This would be a great time to analyze your success. While I am speaking of money, success has many faces.

You may not have made much money, but did you position yourself for success. In a moment we will talk about goals but positioning yourself involves financial investment for sure yet there is much more involved.

For instance, are you ready to write a new novel? I published some novels last year, but I have also laid the groundwork or have already started writing other novels. What about you.

If you been writing for any length of time you may have gotten to that stage where you can work on more than one novel at a time. If that is the case, it is a good thing. If you haven’t started working on the next novel, this would be a good time to start.

How about publishing and marketing? Now’s the time to start on them.

  • Goals

We hear about setting goals all the time and the reason is that goal setting can be very effective. Set short-term, intermediate term, and long-term goals.

For example, in locally marketing our TR Writing Services I began last year putting shoe leather to my marketing efforts. I began visiting local strip malls and getting out business cards and flyers to let people know about our products. I plan on continuing and expanding these efforts in 2021.

As for novels, I have three novels I am working on right now. All three were begun in 2020 and now being enhanced. In some cases, the novels may have major rewriting involved. Don’t know yet, but it is a possibility.

  • Writing

I just mentioned my plans for writing in the Goals segment. But being proactive requires more than just establishing goals. It involves actually doing some writing. Keep writing!

If you don’t have a plan for writing your books, develop one. It doesn’t have to be hard and fast, set in stone. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend that.

A better idea, specially if you are writing multiple books, is to work on one project and then switch to another. This will help keep your mind alert.

Plan ahead, maybe even schedule your books, but nothing set in stone.

  • Publishing

Publishing is a very important area. Have you decided to become an Indie Publisher? Whether you are traditional, self-publishing, or indie publishing, you need to start working on that now.

If traditional you need to have an agent who can find the right publisher for you. If you are going Self-Publishing you need the money so you can pay upfront (remember, it could be $800 or more). If Indie, it may not be money, but it could be getting all your pawns in order.

Whatever you plan on doing in 2021, now is the time to think about it and put your plans in action.

  • Marketing

Marketing is the final step. It involves advertising, selling, and record keeping. You may be one of those persons who can just do it and don’t need a calendar or some other reminder. Me, I need reminding.

And we all need good record keeping. I am not going to go into any detail on that because we all have different needs and expectations. But now is the time to get started!

Here at TR Writing Services, we stand ready to help you. Our motto is “We edit, proof, and publish the book within you.”  As for marketing, we can advise you and provide certain tools, such as your own dedicated book page that you can use to begin marketing. This page is free and designed to help your prospective reader to find and buy your book.

For more information see below.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com 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 marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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How to Start Writing Career

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at How to start writing career.

To learn more about writing contact TR Writing Services at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

You’ve got an idea for a book, be it non-fiction or fiction. All you need to do is sit down write the book and you’re done. Right? Wrong.

What Should I do to start a career as a writer?

Well, you could try just writing your book starting right now. But while it seems easy, that method would probably prove very exhaustive and tiring. Here are some tips.

First, ask yourself why you want to write. Is it because there’s money to be made? Well, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make money. Is it because your idea is the best idea ever? Well, that’s dubious. Is it because you have a real desire to write? Now you’re talking, but that raises other questions.

Assuming you have a desire to write, what experience or skill do you have?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to start out with experience or skill, but it certainly helps. Can you handle basic grammar and spelling needs? There are books on grammar and dictionaries for spelling that should help you with that.

In fact, I would suggest you invest in a simple dictionary at first and later get a combination dictionary/thesaurus. Both of those should be considered essential tools. Books on grammar, spelling, and even on novel writing are excellent helps.

What I’m saying is that you need to have writing aids available to you. You might think you don’t need them, but you do no matter your education or experience.

Then I can start writing?

Sure you can, but you might want to set up a space in your house, apartment, or condo that is meant for you to write. You should consider a desk, writing table, or even a lap table. Having your own private space is conducive to good writing. Also having your files, resource books, etc. nearby can be a good help.

Now I can write?

There’s nothing stopping you, but there are other things you should consider before you begin. One thing that many writers suggest is that you check out on the internet and see if the book you plan on writing has already been written and check out what genre you are in. There’s truth in that. For example, the title itself may already have been used. You might want to have a new or fresh title.

It’s possible someone else has already written a book with the plot you’re thinking of. That doesn’t mean you can’t write the story you have in mind, but it might mean that you need a fresh twist on the plot so that it is different.

Surely now I can write?

Like I said, there’s nothing stopping you. However, you might want to set yourself up as a businessperson. The moment you commit yourself to writing a book you are a businessman or businesswoman. You need to set yourself up so that you not only have a concept of making money, but have a plan for receiving it, tracking it, and making use of it. And don’t forget that eventually you’ll need to market your book

Wow! I don’t have a clue how to start!

That’s fine. There are a lot of businesses out there willing to help you. Unfortunately most are not cheap. Some are expensive and misleading. They promise you a best seller within weeks! It sounds great, but in this day and age unlikely.

My wife and I recently started a new service that is offered by our business T&R Independent Books. It is called TR Writing Services. And it is designed to help the beginning or even the established writer get their book written and published. This service is available at very reasonable prices. Want more information, contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and we’ll send a free booklet on our different plans and a free copy of our TR Writing Guide.

You’ll guide me?

Yes, to an extent. I will be honest with you and do my best to steer you in the right direction. But we don’t believe that you have to do things our way. In the end you are the boss. But we will certainly keep you informed about what we know or think is right. We’ll also help you set up a KDP account if you don’t have one. If you’re going with KDP then we’ll be right with you through the publication process. We are unable to offer that concerning other publishing platforms, but we are experienced with KDP.

I am currently developing a FREE Writing Course that will cover the business of writing, writing itself, websites, and publishing. Hope to have it available in near future. If you’re interested in the course just write me at my email address (below) and I’ll send a link once the course is ready.

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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 we’ll send you a PDF of the book.

 – – – – – – –

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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Everyone Has A Story

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

– – – – – – –

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Publishing with Create Space

Last Friday I was helping a friend set up a publishing platform. So I thought it appropriate to discuss Publishing With CreateSpace. This may end up being multiple parts, but here goes.

Why Should You Avoid the Big Publishers?

That’s a good question. There are of course good reasons for using the big publishers, more often known as traditional publishers. In brief, they are established and well known, which gives them a marketing edge and they pay royalties, sometimes good ones. But beyond that they are the ones who are in control and reap the profits.

Traditional publishers exercise literary control. They decide whether your book will be accepted or not for publishing; they have control over the content; and they control most of the publishing process.

What About Self-Publishers?

When I started writing in 2003 I began with AuthorHouse. I was pleased with its quality, its low price (about $400 back then), and the guidance I received. But as time went on I became dissatisfied. At $400 per new book it wasn’t all that cheap.

Self-Publishers are better than traditional but they still have ultimate control. If you want to have control of your writing, publishing, and marketing then you need a different approach. That brings us to CreateSpace.

What is CreateSpace?

CreateSpace is a publishing platform that offers you the control you desire and, along with it, the ability to reap the profits. Would you like to start getting 35% royalties at the first printing? Or how about 70% royalty? Either one is possible.

When you publish your book through CreateSpace you can also transfer the document to KDP Kindle. However, I recommend publishing the Kindle version directly through KDP. Or you can begin the process through CreateSpace and once transferred to KDP, go to KDP and replace the content with content that has been customized for Kindle (ie., removing paging, headers, and anything else that is unnecessary for an ebook). I always copy the finished CreateSpace book to a name such as [Title] + “for Kindle” so that I have one for print and one for Kindle.

What Other Advantages are There?

With Self-Publishers you will probably pay for your ISBN number (either within price or extra), which is necessary if you want to sell your book to libraries, schools, or even worldwide. CreateSpace will provide FREE ISBNs or they will sell you one. The CreateSpace ISBNs automatically are eligible for Expanded Distribution which allows for CreateSpace Direct (wholesale, etc.), Bookstores and Online Retailers (e.g., Barnes and Noble, Ingram, and NACSCORP.), as well as Libraries and Academic Institutions through Baker & Taylor.

It all depends on your needs. Generally, I have found their free ISBN to be what’s needed.

Another advantage is the Photo Gallery. While it is not extensive and, in my opinion, needs to be expanded, the gallery provides many photos that can be used as covers. And if you have a photo you’d like to use they allow you to upload it (needs to meet their standards). Or you can hire someone to make a CreateSpace compatible cover for you. Except for a few rules, you have control.

You have control over the size of your book, and the pricing of your book. Over and over again, you are given the tools to exercise control. And for the most part, it is free!

How Do I Set Up a CreateSpace Account?

It’s actually pretty easy. You’ll need an email account, which will serve as your ID, plus you will need bank account information so that they can pay you your royalties. There may be some tax questions as well. Those are the essentials. After that it is simply following the prompts and answer questions.

How Do I publish a Book?

Again, it is easy. You sign in and are taken to the MAIN PAGE. Here you will select Add a Book. Once you have selected this you will be given a choice of how to proceed in creating your book. You will want to take the guided tour.

Each step of the way you will be guided and asked questions. The first decision will be the Title information. Title information is required and can be changed. It is necessary for you to receive an ISBN number. Once you’ve created a title and selected what type ISBN you want you will save the progress. From that time on the ISBN cannot be changed; it is locked in. However, you can change the title information.

To upload a book it may require a PDF manuscript. Simply save your Word copy to PDF and upload that version.

Do You Recommend CreateSpace?

Since we created T&R Independent Books we have found CreateSpace to be an excellent publishing platform. It works very well for us. We have used it since 2014 and plan on continuing to use it going forward. Your needs may differ from ours so you will need to make that decision yourself.

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.

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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.