Ways to Avoid Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block:

  • No author likes to experience it.
  • Every author wants to avoid it.

Writer’s block is defined as a condition where an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.

To avoid this paralyzing experience, watch this video on 29 Ways to Stay Creative.

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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.

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Murphy’s Law for Book Publishing

Murphy’s Law is the name given to any adage stating that if anything can go wrong, it will. Things do go wrong in book publishing. Here are five Murphy’s Law book publishing adages that I found on the Internet. Can you relate?

Murphy's Law for Book Publishing

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How Long Does It Take to Read Your Book?

So many books… so little time.

Wise King Solomon said, “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

How long does it take someone to read your book?

We are all strapped for time. Numerous outlets clamor for our attention. As a result,  some people find it hard to commit to reading articles and books. These individuals feel like reading the article or book will take too much of their time.

To combat this issue, some website have begun to post the “read time” for articles on their site. Amazon’s Kindle provides readers a “time left in book” feature that tells each reader how long it will take him to finish reading the book.

Some publishers are also beginning to include the a “read time” on their print books. Morgan James Publishing is one publisher that is listing the read time on the back cover of their books.

Read Time on Book Cover

I think this is a great strategy. Putting a read time on a book lets a reader know approximately how much time it will take them to read your book. This small piece of information might be the deciding factor in purchasing your book for some readers.

How to Determine Reading Time

Reading time is based on the average reading speed. This is measured in words-per-minute. The average reading speed is between 265 and 300 words-per-minute. It appears that 275 words-per-minute is a commonly used number.

To determine how long it will take the average reader to read your book, simply take the number of words in your book and divide this by 275 words-per-minute. This will give you the  number of minutes it takes to read your book. You can leave the read time in minutes, or you can convert it to hours and minutes.

Adding your book’s read time to the back cover of your book is a brilliant idea. Consider using this little tip, especially if your book is a quick read.

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Photo courtesy of suju.

This Book Buying Behavior Can Affect Your Book Sales

Convenience stores have been around for decades. These small shops, usually attached to a gasoline station, offer everyday items that customers can purchase without having to make a specific trip to a grocery store. Clearly Americans like convenience because the number of these shops has steadily grown over the years.

Buyers Like Convenience

In a recent survey, BookNet Canada found that the single most important reason Canadian book buyers choose a particular store or website for their purchases is convenience. In the study, convenience ranked higher than other factors like good service and cheap delivery.

Amazon, the retail giant, understands this desire for convenience. To be more convenient, the company stores your credit card information and provides you with a “one-click” buying option. Amazon’s Prime one-day shipping is also convenient, unless you live in a remote location. Prime members in Alaska and Hawaii have to wait up to seven days and pay expedited shipping fees.

Clearly, what is convenient for one person is not necessarily convenient for another person. This is why it is important for your book to be available for consumers to buy where they shop. After all, not everyone shops on Amazon.

Just about half of all online paperback book purchases are made on Amazon. That’s 50%. The other half of paperback books are being purchased in other places. Since three-quarters (about 75%) of books purchased are print books, this is important.

If your book is only for sale on Amazon, then you are losing out on sales. Your book could potentially be selling twice as many copies if it were available in multiple online stores—think Books A Million, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and ChristianBook—to name a few.

I am continually surprised at how many authors publish their book through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and that is all they do. These authors act as if Amazon is the only store in town. I have news for them: It’s not!

One of the twenty marketing fundamentals listed in my award-winning book Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books is:

The more channels through which consumers can purchase your books, the more books you will sell.

If you want to sell more books, then your book has to be available for sale in multiple places. How many places online can people buy your book? If you are unsure, do a Google search for your book’s title or ISBN and see what comes up in the search results.

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