Is Multitasking Ruining Your Productivity?

Do you check social media while trying to write? Do you read emails while talking on the phone?

Our fast-paced society smiles on multitasking. Our lives are so full, that there are books and seminars dedicated to teaching people how to “do more in less time.” But, does it really work?

Multitasking

The Myth of Multitasking

The belief that multitasking helps us do more is really a myth. Studies reveal that multitasking is not what is claims to be.

1. Multitasking Lowers Productivity

In a time where everyone is trying to do more with the time allotted to us each day (everyone gets just 24 hours), studies show that multitasking does not help us be more productive. Research conducted by Stanford University found that people who multitask are actually less productive than those who focus on one task at a time.

2. Multitasking has a Negative Impact on our Brain Functioning

A study performed by the University of Sussex found that multitasking with digital devices may actually damage the brain. The study found that “people who used a higher number of media devices concurrently had smaller grey matter density in the part of the brain known as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the region notably responsible for cognitive and emotional control functions.”

3. Multitasking Can Lead to Burnout

Multitasking can cause mental exhaustion.  According to Dr. Natalia Peart, clinical psychologist, founder and CEO of Catalyst Innovation Group, and author of “FutureProofed, we  multitask as a way to dig ourselves out of the cycle of stress and burnout that is plaguing so many of us today, but instead, it is doing quite the opposite—it just makes our stress and burnout even worse.

Rest

Do Less and Accomplish More

Many authors are extremely busy individuals. We have jobs and families in addition to writing and marketing our books. It is easy for us to fall prey to the myth of multitasking. Here are two solutions to combat multitasking and accomplish more.

1. Serial Task

Serial task is just what is sounds like. Do one thing at a time. Focus on the one thing. Studies show that we can immerse ourselves in a task that takes a lot of mental attention for about one hour. After about an hour our productivity starts to wane, unless we take a break. You can use these breaks check your social media accounts or responding to text messages or emails—the things you would normally try to do while multitasking.

2. Recharge Regularly

In our fast-paced economy, we tend to turn to caffeine and sugar to give us energy to keep us going. In reality, our minds and bodies are asking for a break. It is important to take time to recharge your energy regularly.

To recharge your energy daily, take small amounts of time do leisure activities that you enjoy such as exercise, reading, playing a musical instrument, gardening, or cooking. However, these increments of daily time are only one piece of the equation for recharging regularly.

God, in his wisdom, created the Sabbath—one day a week for rest. Our creator knows that we need regular time to rest and recharge. Taking a Sabbath helps clear the debris that is clogging our connection to the Spirit, allowing us to be renewed spiritually—and also energizing us to continue to write God’s message.

Don’t neglect taking a day to rest weekly. You will be better—and more productive—for it.

Related Posts:
Is Multitasking Harming Your Productivity?
Five Tips for Staying Focused
Are You Following the Five Hour Rule?

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Are You Following the Rules?

Authors hate negative reviews of their books. Criticism is hard to swallow, especially when we feel it is not deserved.

authors hate negative reviews

Since reviews are simply opinions, some authors choose to not read reviews. What they don’t read can’t hurt their feelings.

Other authors tend to get their undies in a bunch over negative reviews. They want reviewers to change their opinions. These authors tend to be concerned that a few negative reviews will ruin their sales.

In an effort to get their book to “look better” these authors will ask readers to make their review nicer. Whether the author does this in a polite or rude manner, reviewers can end up feeling threatened.

I recently stumbled across this tweet on Twitter:

tweet on book review

This reader was seriously concerned. In fact, she was so worried, that she ended up deleting her review.

Authors, do not forget that you are influential simply because you have penned a book. This influence is a sacred privilege. Don’t abuse it.

In fact, Goodreads recognizes that authors wield a tremendous amount of influence. The community’s Author Guidelines state:

 

  • Don’t engage with people who negatively rate or review your books.We cannot stress this enough. Goodreads is a community for all readers to express their honest opinions about the books they choose to read and shelve. Engaging with people who don’t like your book will not win you any new readers. Remember that Goodreads is a public space; other readers will see a reaction from the author and interpret it as hostile regardless of how carefully the response was crafted.
    • If you feel a review is in violation of our Review Guidelines, please flag it to our team’s attention rather than responding. To flag, click the gray flag icon next to the content in question and follow the prompts.
    • Remember that not every reader will love your book. It is unrealistic to expect that your book will only get four and five star reviews. Bestselling authors get one star reviews too.

Goodreads also posts the following note on their website:

Goodreads policy

If you are an author who gets upset over negative reviews, I suggest that you follow Goodreads guidelines for authors—not just for reviews on Goodreads—but also for reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online stores that sell your book.

Christian authors, I urge you to never forget who is in charge of your book reaching the people who need its message the most. If God has called you to write and publish your book, then He is responsible for helping those individuals who need your book’s message to buy it in spite of a few negative reviews mixed in with the positive ones.

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One Technique for Requesting Book Reviews
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Easy Ways to Get More Book Reviews

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Photo courtesy of Sebastian Herrmann.

Self-Publishing Keeps Growing!

The descendants of Abraham are “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore” (Hebrews 11:12). It’s beginning to feel that the same is true for the number of books published.

4,200 book published every day

Self-publishing is showing no signs of slowing down. Bowker, the agency that assigns ISBNs to books, just released their data on the number of self-published books for 2018.

1,547,341

That is the number of PRINT books that were self-published (including small publishers who produce less than 10 titles a year) in 2018 in the United States. This is a 46% increase from the 1,060,821 PRINT books self-published in 2017.

This means a self-published PRINT book is published every 20 seconds in the U.S. That is over 4,200 books self-published a day!

These are just the figures for PRINT books. This does not include books that are published as ebooks only. Nor does this number include the books that are published by traditional publishing houses.

Here is the kicker: 1,416,384 of these books were published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)—formerly CreateSpace, which existed until the end of 2018 when it was folded into KDP. This means that 91.5% of all self-published PRINT books are published through KDP.

Fierce Competition

With over one million books self-published in 2017, 2018, and again in 2019, the number of books available for sale keeps growing exponentially. Books are not going out-of-print much anymore. The sheer number of books available to read or buy boggles the mind. This means that every year any given book is competing against more and more titles.

books

In fact, many readers are beginning to experience overload. They have more books to choose from than they can conceive. Scientists believe that while the presence of choice is appealing in theory, in reality, people find more and more choices debilitating.

This means that for the self-published author, selling books is harder. The book marketing techniques that have worked for years no longer have the same power to persuade people to buy your book. More and more, a personal connection with an audience or standing out in some significant way is required for a book to sell.

If you are a self-published author, then you need information and tools to be as effective as you can be at promoting your book. It is not enough to just write and publish a book anymore, you also must take the time to learn how to market your book effectively.

CIPAChristian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) is one resource available to self-published (indie) authors who need guidance in marketing Christian books. The Association provides its Members with information and tools for success in publishing and marketing Christian books.

You can take advantage of CIPA’s Fall Membership special. For just $105, you will receive Membership through December 2020. Sign up to join today at https://www.christianpublishers.net/membership/become-a-member.

Related Posts:
New Record: One Million Self-Published Books
Your Book: A Needle in a Hay Stack
What Influences Book Purchasing Decisions?

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Photo courtesy of MontyLov.

 

Six Ways to Promote Your Books as Gifts

Did you know that 42% of Americans start their holiday shopping in November?

Now is the best time to start promoting your books as great Christmas gifts. Here are six ways you can promote your books as Christmas gifts.

Six Ways to Promote Your Books as Christmas Gifts

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Print or Digital? No Choice Required

Black or white. Hot or cold. Night and day. Rich or poor. Digital or print.

When approaching marketing, many authors have an either-or mentality. They either invest in digital or they invest in print.

Print informs our digital activity.

The most successful book marketing is not an either-or mentality, but a both-and mindset. Print and digital work together to bring the best results.

A popular journal for church leaders recently switched to a digital-only format. Previously, the journal had been mailed to subscribing church leaders. With the switch the publication is now only available for reading online.

In moving to a digital-only magazine, it would make sense that the entire process would become digital. In other words, subscribing church leaders would be reminded to read the online journal via their email.

However, the creators of this publication knew better than to embrace an either-or mindset. They knew that switching from a print publication to a digital publication would cause them to lose a number of readers unless they embraced a both-and mindset.

So, instead of moving to all digital, this publication decided to mail print postcards to subscribers each month to remind them to read the latest edition of the journal online. Then, the publication polled their subscribers to find out what they thought of this new model: a postcard reminding them to read the publication online.

Magazine

About 1,000 subscribers responded to the poll and 92% reported that they were fine with the postcard reminder to view the latest issue of the publication online. Only about 8% reported that they preferred the print copy mailed to them.

Here is the takeaway lesson from this situation:

Print informs our digital activity.

Have you noticed that signs and billboard include URLs? Have you seen URLs in other printed ads? We don’t live in an either-or world. We live in a both-and world where what we see in print influences what we do in the digital world.

What does this mean for book marketing?

Just like authors and publishers must embrace both-and for producing books in both digital and physical format to reap the most sales, so too, you must embrace this mindset for marketing. Use print to drive readers to purchase your books in the digital world. Combine both print and digital marketing strategies for the best success.

Related Posts:
Print Is Not Disappearing
The Growing Demand for Paper
Are You Marketing Effectively?

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Photos courtesy of gillnisha and stevepb.