Tag Archives: readers

In the time you spend on social media each year, you could read 200 books

Somebody once asked Warren Buffett about his secret to success. Buffett pointed to a stack of books and said,

Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will…

When I first found this quote of Buffett’s two years ago, something was wrong.

It was Dec. 2014. I’d found my dream job. Some days, I would be there, sitting at my dream job, and I would think, “My god what if I’m still here in 40 years? I don’t want to die like this…”

Something wasn’t right. I’d followed the prescription. Good grades. Leadership. Recommendations. College. Dream Job. I was a winner. I’d finished the race. Here I was in the land of dreams. But something was terribly, terribly wrong.

Every day, from my dream job desk, I looked out into their eyes. Empty, empty eyes.

There were no answers.

In January of 2015, I found Buffett’s quote. I decided to read. I was going to read and read and read and never stop until I got some damn answers.

I didn’t quite make 500 pages a day, but, in these last two years, I’ve read over 400 books cover to cover. That decision to start reading was one of the most important decisions in my life.

Books gave me the courage to travel. Books gave me the conviction to quit my job. Books gave me role models and heroes and meaning in a world where I had none.

I want to say reading 200 books a year is an amazing thing. But the truth is, it’s not. Anybody can do it.

All it takes is some simple math and the right tools.

1. Do not quit before you start

When average Joe hears the advice “Read 500 pages like this every day,” his snap reaction is to say, “No way! That’s impossible!”

Joe will then go on to make up reasons to justify his belief without doing any deep thinking at all. These might include “I’m too busy,” “I’m not smart enough,” or “Books just aren’t for me.”

But what if we go a little deeper? For example, what does it actually take to read 200 books a year? Two years ago, I stopped to do the simple math. Here’s what I found: Reading 200 books a year isn’t hard at all.

It’s just like Buffett says. Anyone can do it, but most people won’t.

2. Do the simple math

How much time does it take to read 200 books a year?

First, let’s look at two quick statistics:

  • The average American reads 200–400 words per minute (Since you’re on Medium, I’m going to assume you read 400 wpm like me)
  • Typical non-fiction books have ~50,000 words

Now, all we need are some quick calculations…

  • 200 books * 50,000 words/book = 10 million words
  • 10 million words/400 wpm = 25,000 minutes
  • 25,000 minutes/60 = 417 hours

That’s all there is to it. To read 200 books, simply spend 417 hours a year reading.

I know, I know. If your brain is like mine, it probably saw “417 hours” and immediately tried to shut off. Most people only work 40 hours a week! How can we possibly read for 417 hours?

Don’t let your monkey brain turn you away yet. Let’s do a quick reframe for what 417 hours really means…

3. Find the time

Wowsers, 417 hours. That sure feels like a lot. But what does 417 hours really mean? Let’s try to get some more perspective.

Here’s how much time a single American spends on social media and TV in a year:

  • 608 hours on social media
  • 1642 hours on TV

Wow. That’s 2250 hours a year spent on TRASH. If those hours were spent reading instead, you could be reading over 1,000 books a year!

Here’s the simple truth behind reading a lot of books: It’s not that hard. We have all the time we need. The scary part—the part we all ignore—is that we are too addicted, too weak, and too distracted to do what we all know is important…

All it takes to start reading a lot more is to take “empty time” spent Twitter-stalking celebrities or watching Desperate Housewives and convert some of it to reading time.

The theory is simple. It’s the execution that’s hard.

4. Execute

We all know reading is important. We all know we should do more of it. But we don’t. The main reason this happens is a failure to execute.

I’m not so perfect at it yet, but here are some tactics that have helped me get results.

I. Use environmental design

If you were quitting cocaine, would you keep it lying around the house? Of course not. Media is designed to be addictive. Moving away from media addiction can be as difficult as quitting drugs.

The biggest bang-for-buck changes here are environmental.

If you want to read, make sure (1) you remove all distractions from your environment and (2) you make books as easy to access as possible.

As an example, here’s my immediate environment:

from original
(Charles Chu)

I travel a lot. That doesn’t stop me from reading. The picture on the left is of my “bookshelf” in Thailand. I try to keep books everywhere so I can just pick one up and start reading.

The picture on the right is my smartphone desktop. Notice there are only two apps. One of them—the Kindle app—is for reading. The other is for habits… Which brings me to my next point.

II. Upload habits

Willpower is not a good tool for lifestyle change. It always fails you when you need it most. Instead of relying on strength of mind, build a fortress of habits—these are what will keep you resilient in tough times.

If you’re not familiar with habit science, my favorite book on the subject is Tynan’s Superhuman by Habit. It’s infinitely practical, and practical is all I care about.

Getting good at habit formation took me years. Many of the mistakes I made were avoidable. If I could go back, I’d find a habit coach. Here’s how I see it. One game-changing idea from a good book is worth thousands of dollars. If a coach helps you read ONE more good book a year, you already get your money’s worth.

(A shout out to Cherry Jeffs and Nathan Sudds, two coaches who have helped me out a lot.)

III. Go multi-medium

When it comes to reading, be a jack of all trades, not a specialist.

If your goal is to read more, you can’t be picky about where you read or what mediums you use. I read paper books. I read on my phone. I listen to audiobooks. And I do these things everywhere—on park benches, in buses, in the toilet… Wherever I can.

Make your reading opportunistic. If you have a chance, take it. If you don’t have a chance, find one.

I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.

— Orhan Pamuk

If I hadn’t started reading, perhaps I’d still be at my dream job. Perhaps I’d still be at my desk, taking peeks at the clock and wondering if that was how I was going to die…

If you’re looking for answers, give reading a try. You may find much, much more than what you were looking for.

Source: qz.com

Visit us at First Edition Design Publishing

Reality Check for Authors … What Were You Thinking?

I’ve often said that authoring can be (and is at times) a lonely number. When you are hunkered down, the less “outside” noise, the better. When you are wondering,

What was I thinking when I thought (and told everyone) I could write a book?

… it can be a scary thought. When you are taking on the role of publisher, it could be your Holy Moly moment.

Those of us who are long-in-the-tooth in the publishing world get all those feelings, thoughts and experiences. And one thing we all know, is that YOU are not alone. Ever. There are gazillions of authors and authors-to-be who go through those same moments. What was I thinking …

I’m a HUGE supporter of creating an Author Inner Circle. An AIC that serves as a trusted advisory board … just to you. Your AIC knows you, what your book is about, helps shape your publishing plans, and acts as a reality check.

Throughout the publishing journey, authors need feedback, reality checks and plain old-fashion butt-kicking. And authors need a little kindness. Few think about putting together an “official” type of board to serve in the feedback/reality check/butt-kicking honors. An Author Inner Circle … a type of Advisory Board. Do you have one? Have you thought about creating one?

Who Belongs in Your Author Inner Circle?

It’s a new year. How about creating yours? Your Author Inner Circle … trusted colleagues, friends, and always individuals who have “been there, done that.” Most likely, Mom, Dad and your siblings are not included. The exception would be that they are experienced in publishing on their own—otherwise, you take a pass on them.

What you want are individuals who “get it” … they have an inkling of what is going on in the publishing business. They are also someones who:

  • have a kaleidoscope of business experience;
  • are connected with others;
  • have a sense of humor;
  • will say it as it is;
  • will call out the elephant in the room (which could be you);
  • love to brainstorming and bounce off-the-wall ideas around;
  • move you to action;
  • get what social media marketing is about;
  • will embrace your Vision for your book and where you want to go with it.

That’s a lot of someones … individuals who rarely will encompass all the ingredients as a single person.

Here are my nine someones that can make the difference between success and failure in your publishing endeavors:

  1. You want someone who has got an inkling of what is going on in the publishing business. We all know publishing is in a combo evolution and revolution. Who is out there in the midst of it?
  2. You want someone who gets your Vision for your book and where you want to go with it. She or he gets it; gets you; and becomes your cheerleader. The passion you have and amount of time, energy and money you invest in your commitment to your book project is understood and supported.
  3. You want someone who is connected with others and opens doors. Yes you do—someone with a phone call, text, or email request can get you to a source—someone who knows someone else that can smooth your way or offer assistance.
  4. You want someone who has a kaleidoscope of business experience. Absolutely—one of the key failure factors in the authoring/publishing business that most authors don’t recognize. This person gets a P & L, understands contracts and negotiating. If he or she knows publishing, it’s a bonus.
  5. You want someone who loves brainstorming and off-the-wall ideas. Eccentric, a tad wacky—you name it, this person walks to a different tune … most of them you don’t get, but once in a while, your unique and odd-ball someone hits it out of the park.
  6. You want some who gets social media marketing. But there’s a catch, this person has to be able to articulate knowledge/concept/game plan in your mother tongue what he or she is saying and you understand it. It doesn’t mean that you are going to be the full time implementer of what social media you are creating and using. For me, I write mine—but I don’t push it out. I have someone on my team that does that task daily.
  7. You want someone who has a sense of humor. Not only can authoring and publishing be lonely at times as you tunnel yourself into the completing of your book—there are booby traps along the way. Being goofy can be a good thing.
  1. You want someone who will say it as it is and not side-step any elephant in the room, including you. Let’s face it; we all get stubborn at times; quite myopic in the author paths we get into our head. You need a reality checker. Who is out there and has the guts to tell you that you are off your authoring/book rocker?
  2. You want a “Go-Go-Go” person who gets you into action. No butt-sitting allowed or procrastination allowed.

As you start to build this team of individuals, take little steps. You may instantly know who will fill several of the slots I suggest. You may have other categories based on your genre that need to be added. Some, you will interact with one-on-one via phone, in person, or an online platform. Some, you might gather over Zoom, Go-to- Meeting, Skype or other online video mediums. And some may be let’s get together for breakfast or lunch.

This is a time I will say to you, just do it … it’s a new year for you and your publishing.

By Judith Briles
Source: thebookdesigner.com

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How To Get Book Reviews – The 5 Myths

 

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June 17, 2014

The Future of Ink article by  How to Get Book Reviews - The 5 Myths by Shelley HitzGetting reviews for your book is an essential part of the publishing and marketing process. However, there are many misconceptions authors have regarding book reviews.  In this post I address the5 common myths about getting reviewsfor your book.

Myth #1:  Customers Don’t Read Reviews

Reviews are important and research has actually shown they do impact buying decisions.  A research study conducted by Dimensional Research showed that 90% of customers reported reading positive reviews online impacted their buying decisions.In the same way, 86% of customers said reading negative reviews online impacted their buying decisions as well. Tip:  Make sure you don’t ignore this important step of getting honest reviews for your book.  They have more impact than you may realize.

Myth #2:  Anyone Can Post Reviews on Amazon

As an author, it is important understand each retailer’s terms of service regarding reviews.  For example, Amazon prohibits authors from reviewing a competitor’s book that would be seen as a “directly competing product.” Tip:  Even though “directly competing” authors are unable to post reviews for you,you can ask them for endorsementsYou can then put these endorsements in the beginning of your book as well as in the “Editorial Reviews” section on your sales page.

Myth #3:  You’re Going To Spend an Arm and a Leg on Review Copies

You may think that you have to spend a fortune to give out review copies of your book.  First, you have to pay for the print book copies and then you have to pay to have it shipped to your reviewer.  If the reviewer is international, the shipping will be even more expensive. Tip: However, you can significantly cut your costs by sending out eBook copies to reviewers.  You can send out PDF, mobi, and/or epub copies of your books to most reviewers.  You may still want to send print copies to certain high profile book review bloggers and/or potential endorsers for your book, but most reviewers will agree to review a digital copy of your book.

Myth #4:  No Reviews Are Better Than Bad Reviews

When writing, publishing, and marketing your book it is good to know upfront that you will get both positive and negative reviews.After pouring your time and talent into your book (and some of your hard earned money), it is natural to want to see all 4 and 5 star reviews. However, the reality is that you will NOT please every reader who buys your book. Even the very best authors still get 1, 2, and 3 star reviews on their books.

Even the very best authors still get 1, 2, and 3 star reviews on their books.

Sometimes negative reviews can actually be helpful.You may think that no reviews are better than bad reviews.  But if your book has all 5 star reviews, people may think all your reviews are from supporters: your family and friends. Tip:We encourage you to not be afraid of getting negative reviews. Expect that they will come and then move on. If you have written a good book, good reviews will continue to come in faster than the bad reviews and your overall rating will still remain high.

Myth #5:  Everyone Who Agrees to Review Your Book Will Follow Through

Understand that not all readers who agree to review your book will actually follow through. Don’t take it personally as your reviewers are volunteers and have busy lives, but make sure to send at least one follow up e-mail message. Tip:  We have found that sending a follow-up message to reviewers who have not posted a review can double the response rate. Reviewers will sometimes forget, or lose the links, to post the review. They are busy just like us. Sending a simple reminder can make a huge difference.   Read the rest of this article on The Future of Ink:http://thefutureofink.com/how-to-get-book-reviews/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tfoi+%28The+Future+of+Ink%29 logo v2 600x124 02

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