Tag Archives: social media

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

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Ready for More Social Media Clean-Up? Here’s How To Go About It (Part 2)

Did you do Part 1 of the social media clean-up yet? If not (and come ON already, why not? It’s not like you have writing or work to do. I mean), get on with it already. If so, yay you! I covered key updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Here’s your next assignment, should you choose to accept it (sorry, had to):

  • updating Instagram,
  • LinkedIn,
  • your blog/website and
  • Amazon author bio (if you have a book out).

Let’s do this thingy.

Social Media: Instagram

Many writers and bloggers either aren’t Instagram at all, are on it and post photos of their cats (*raises hand*), aren’t sure what to post so don’t post anything, or are caught up in nothing but selfie culture (ugh).

We can do better, writer friends! Instagram is no different than any other social media channel — be strategic. Use your keywords as a basis for your personal branding. Share what makes you, you.

Key ways to update your Instagram now:

  • Is your bio complete and updated? You have 150 characters only, so make the most of them. More than anywhere else, this is especially key here as it’s the only place on Instagram where you can have an active hyperlink (links do not work in individual posts unless you are paying to advertise). What do you want to link to? I suggest your most recent release, however, some writers prefer to link to their website. Your call.
  • TIP: You can update this hyperlink frequently (if you want to), based on your sales objective. Here’s mine as an example (follows appreciated):

Ready for More Social Media Clean-Up? Here’s How To Go About It (Part 2) by @BadRedheadMedia

  • Have a giveaway or an event? Change the link on your bio.
  • Have you transitioned to a Business Profile yet? It’s free and allows you far more options! This post walks you through every step. Why bother? Paid advertising. It also links to your Facebook Author Page — if you pay for advertising on your Facebook Page, the ad also shows up on your Instagram (and vice versa).
  • Find readers using hashtags in Search. This is NEW.
  • Use pertinent hashtags in your posts to attract readers.

Social Media: LinkedIn

  • Is your bio complete and updated? This is trickier on LinkedIn — there’s a lot to fill out. Here are some key tips from Grammarly on exactly how to do that.
  • Do you need to be there at all? I get this question a lot. Well, think about this: who’s your demographic? Do they work? Probably. Are they digital readers? Probably. Boom. That’s why you should be there. It’s also a great way to connect with others in the writing and publishing community.
  • Here’s a great read on how to make the most of your bio and connections (so you don’t have to just take my word for it). Plus, if you have a side business, you can create a ‘company profile’ attached for your personal profile (e.g., my LI profile is under Rachel Thompson, and I have a BadRedhead Media Company Profile).
  • Utilize LinkedIn Pulse (their blogging section). Why? Visibility! Either take posts you’ve already written or write original content. Either way, you are helping your SEO.

Not Social Media, But Still Super Important: Your Website About Section (aka, Bio)

Little bit different format here, so stay with me. What is the point of your Author Bio? It’s not really to list all of your accomplishments like on a resume (or Tinder for you young’uns); it’s to help the reader decide whether you’re interesting enough (sad, but true) for them to pay attention to and possibly buy books from. Here are a few expert tips on writing the best bio possible from Hubspot:

  1. Always write in third person (I know it sounds weird, but think about this: people will share your bio when you do things like blog tours, guest articles, and events — so having your bio in first person will be even weirder in those situations.) TIP: Create a media kit people can download for these occasions OR give permission for people to copy/paste your information.
  2. Remember: It’s not really about you. It’s about your reader. What will they gain from reading your blog posts, articles, and books?
  3. Establish credibility — truthfully. Everything is searchable, so be absolutely truthful with everything you share in regard to your credentials (not that you shouldn’t have been before, but you know). If you share that you’ve written for Forbes, link to the article. If you cannot provide that link, do not list it in your bio.
  4. Explain what you do. Most writers will say: I’m an author. Most bloggers will say: I’m a blogger. Yea, we got that. Do this instead: What will reading your books DO for people? What will they feel? What will they learn? What problem will it solve? Food for thought.
  5. Add a CTA (Call to Action). Your bio can be an appropriate place to add a simple Q&A pitch, e.g., “Want to learn more about rocking your book marketing? Buy BadRedhead Media’s 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge here (add link).”

Finally, and most importantly, be sure your book covers, banners, visuals, and links are all updated, and do this on a regular basis. TIP: go back through your old blog posts and update your book links, book covers, etc. I’m doing that now myself since I’ve republished all my books and the old links are dead.

Amazon Author Bio

Many authors upload their books to Amazon and think, okay, cool, done. Not so fast. You need to go to Amazon Author Central and create your Author Bio. Here’s a link to Author Central and info how to do the basic set-up.

Whenever you publish (or re-publish) a book, you must claim it through author central for it to show up under your author name on Amazon (this also counts toward books you’ve contributed to, e.g., anthologies). This helps expand your backlist, makes your bio page more robust, and it’s totally legit. You did the work, so take the credit.

Other items you can (and should) add:

  • Your blog RSS feed
  • Events (e.g., speaking engagements or signings)
  • Up to eight photos — feature new books, upcoming promos or giveaways, even awards you’ve won. Remember, though: whichever photo you place in the first spot will be the one featured on your page (so if it’s an award and not your face, that’s what readers will see). **Update these photos frequently if you are using them for promos/giveaways which will be short-lived.
  • Videos – book trailers, typically, though you can share a YouTube video or FB Live video as well (or a speaking event if it fits your theme).

An important final note: all this work is for your Amazon country of origin only, meaning you need to repeat this process for international pages. You can’t do every country, but you can create additional pages in the UK, France, Germany, and Japan. Here are the links to all those Author Central sites:

I don’t personally speak French, German, and Japanese (I don’t know about you), so I hire someone who can help me. You can also use Google Translate and hope for the best.

And that’s it for now. Do the work, keep writing, and you’ll be set for 2018!

Source: badredheadmedia.com

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Which Social Media Channel Sells The Most Books?

 

Rachel Thompson has written a great article on the effectiveness of popular Social Media influencers over at her site at Bad Redhead Media. Rachel is considered one of the top Social Media Gurus for authors and has some great research to share in this article as well as her website.

 

“Which one social media channel will net me the most book sales?” an author asked me recently during my new weekly #BookMarketingChat (join any Wednesday on Twitter, 6pm pst/9pm est simply by typing in the hashtag).

Well, it’s not that easy. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just go to say, Facebook because that’s the EASY button, and violá! They will come, we will sell, and yacht-life, here we come. Alas, it just doesn’t work that way because well, a few reasons.

Let’s deconstruct.

 

 

Go check the rest of this article at Bad Redhead Media

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30 Ultimately Effective Social Media Tools For Writers

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Great advice by Kelly Marone from the good people at Writers Write

If you don’t implement proper social media tools in your daily routine, your efforts as a writer can remain unnoticed. Instead of thinking like a writer and waiting for readers to get interested in your work, you should think like a marketer and take action every day. In order to make your content attractive for a greater audience, you can use influential social media platforms.

Theses 30 tools will help you increase your popularity as a writer through a social media campaign.

 

Read the rest of Kelly Marone over at Writers Write

 

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Tumblr 101 for Authors [Guest Post]

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Publisher – Aggregator – Master Distributor

Another great guest post from Duolit! by Adrienne from Design Roast.

tumblrTumblr is a must for any author looking to build a following of readers. It is a platform to promote your writing within a tight-knit community, as well as a place to dynamically tell the world about you and your books through videos, quotes, photos, reblogging, links and just some straightforward text too. The most popular way to share on this site, however, is through the creative use of animated gifs.

What do all of these forms have in common? They’re short, easily digestible content.

Today, a variety of literary figures can be found on Tumblr, including book reviewers, publishers, booksellers and, of course, authors. Tumblr has many opportunities for authors, so keep reading to learn how to get started.

Sign Up for Tumblr and Set Up Your Profile

tumblr-johngreen

For starters, create an account. This means uploading a photo of yourself and creating a unique username. Since your username will be a part of your tumblr URL, choose wisely.

Some established authors, like John Green, have gotten creative with their username — his isfishingboatproceeds. If you’re looking to build a following, consider using a familiar title from your books, or simply your name/pseudonym.

The rest of the account settings are pretty straightforward. In the “About” section, share a bit of your background, as well as a few of your book titles. You can also set your preferences by allowing, or not allowing, replies from people – and since you’re building a community, it’s a good idea to allow these comments.

Another great feature is the “Ask” section. By turning this on, your readers can ask you questions; just be prepared for them to potentially ask about everything from your favorite place to write to further details about your characters and when your next book is coming out!

How to Customize the Appearance of Your Site

tumblr-themegardenThere’s a variety of functionality you can add to your site; one way to really stand out is to personalize the look of your site with a theme (found under Settings > Edit Theme).

If you have a header or background that you’ve designed, you can upload these here. Alternatively, you can simply change the color background to set a tone for your tumblr site. This area of the Tumblr settings even gives you the ability to change your site’s font.

Just keep in mind: Every setting you choose creates an impression about you and your books. Choose colors that will be pleasing to your audience, and fonts that aren’t too hard to read.

If you need assistance with your design, check out the “theme garden” by clicking on Settings > Find Themes. This “garden” is full of choices that can reflect what you and your writing are about. There’s a plethora of options – they even have a storybook theme perfect for children’s authors.

While some of these themes are free, others do cost a nominal fee, which is much less than what you’d spend hiring someone to do the design work for you.  Plus, you can do some customization after choosing a theme, such as change up the features – color, font, etc. – to really make the site yours. Just keep in mind the theme will only change how your readers see your page; it won’t change your home feed (where you’ll make updates and monitor other people’s pages).

How to Enable Comments

Many of the themes available through Tumblr include the ability to add comments through Disqus. If Disqus isn’t enabled, the only way people can interact with your content is by liking it and reblogging it. If you’re looking for more interaction on Tumblr, start by making a Disqus account and then adding your Tumblr site under “Your Sites” in Disqus.

Next, visit your Tumblr settings and choose Settings > Edit Theme > Customize. Once there, put your Disqus-supplied username in where it asks for your “Disqus Shortname.” Disqus also gives you the ability to check if it was installed correctly and allows you can set rules in order to moderate your comments.

How to Promote Your Books on Tumblr

authorstumblrNow comes the fun part: building up the content on your site! While you’re free to post about whatever you want on your Tumblr page, as an author there are some things you should focus on:

  • Quotes: Not only can you offer an excerpt from your books, but you can also quote reviews of your work or even just quotes by others who inspire you. Then, you can comment on the quotes you post.
  • Videos: Think book trailers for your work or just content you think has some relevance to your brand and the topics you love to write about.
  • Images: Have a new book coming out? Tease what it’s about through images that inspired you while writing, and then post the book cover to Tumblr.
  • Links: The world is your oyster when it comes to posting links. Share articles you’ve written around the web, press coverage, links back to your personal writing blog where longer text content resides and more. Like videos and quotes, you can provide some commentary on any link you post.
  • GIFs: Animated gifs are by far the most popular way to tell a story or share a thought on Tumblr. They can be about a TV show you’re inspired by or simply something fun to share with your readers. Find gifs to use on Giphy.

No matter what medium you use to blog on Tumblr, be sure to tag each and every post with keywords, so users other than your followers can easily find you.

How to Gain a Following on Tumblr

For starters, start following others. You find others by searching their email, URL, or username. Alternatively, search for topics and blogs that interest you. You can focus on publishing-related sites, but follow sites that simply interest and inspire you too. Some people might follow you back, some might not, but it’s a start within the community.

As for gaining followers and readers of your own, simply interact with the site. Like other people’s posts and reblog. Spread the love among Tumblr, and Tumblr will spread the love right back.

While the functionality of Tumblr is simpler than writing a lengthy blog post every day, its offerings are immense. Don’t be intimidated by the site; just get started with an account, explore hashtags and other people’s pages and have fun with it. You never know how it might help you in your next writing endeavor!

Adrienne is a freelance writer and social marketer who loves analyzing social media campaigns to see what works. To see more of her work, check out her blog about design.

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How Twitter Can Improve Your Writing #FED_ebooks #Author #Writer #Indieauthor

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Ways Twitter Can Improve Our Writing

Founded in 2006, Twitter quickly became one of the defining marks of the current web generation. With so much emphasis put on social media and social networking in the last decade, Twitter filled an important void on the internet left by MySpace and Facebook. In all its simplicity and straightforwardness, Twitter has allowed individuals to plainly express their thoughts moment by moment to the mass public. Essentially like text messaging for the internet, Twitter mastered the key concept of simplicity and vanity that every social media master seeks today. But, with huge success comes, almost always, widespread criticism. Social media hubs like Facebook and Twitter have received a significant amount of flak from various parties online for various reasons. Many argue that Twitter inspires poorly written half-thoughts for the sole purpose of self-promotion and distraction. While this may be true of some Tweets and some Twitter users, there is much more to Twitter than these critics take the time to explore. There are several insightful and worthwhile writing lessons Twitter instills in the hundreds of millions of users who use it each day.

Encouraging Concise Writing

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Twitter trains writers to focus on sentence content

Clear, concise thoughts are a sign of strong and intelligent writing. Though the trend in academic writing today involves endless academic jargon, complex sentence structure, and longwinded thoughts, simple writing remains highly valued. Limited to only 140 characters, Twitter forces users to create sentences that get directly to the point as clearly and as quickly as possible. Writers can often get caught up in the construction of a sentence, losing sight of the true purpose of their writing. Twitter encourages people to focus on the point of their sentence rather than the structure, language, and length of that sentence. At some point in academic writing, length and vocabulary became the perceived measure of intelligence and quality. However, this is simply not the case. Clean and concise writing is valued above all else. Twitter teaches writers to craft sentences that are succinct and brief. With limited space to convey your message, you cut out the dribble and get straight to the point.

Practice in Editing

Editing and proofreading are two aspects of writing that the internet has seemingly hindered. Because the internet works at such a fast pace, much of the writing done online is messy and rushed. Skim through the average forum or Facebook page and you are sure to come across numerous misspellings, grammatical errors, and typos. However, editing is also an area that Twitter can remedy in many ways. Editing is one of the most essential tools and skills a writer can possess. Even the roughest of first drafts can be polished and perfected into a pristine piece after the right editing tweaks. Twitter is a great resource for learning to fine-tune your writing and narrow your arguments without sacrificing your unique style. Confining yourself to 140 characters helps you create sentences that are precise and pruned, while also remaining alluring and interesting.

Teaching People to Read Their Audience 

The basic principle behind rhetoric is finding a way to create material that has an intended effect on an audience or reader. This is one of the most under-recognized skills that writers posses. Twitter is a wonderful tool for honing in on how you read and cater to an audience with your writing. When Tweeting, you must always be conscious of who your audience is and what they are looking for. Much of the writing that we do on social media and social networking hubs is very reader centric. We write and post things with the hope that they will be read. In this way, Twitter constantly takes into consideration what your readers want to see. While many may think this is some form of selling out, writing really is about both the writer and the reader. A writer must constantly keep their audience in mind. Often we shape our Tweets around what we think our audience wants to read and how they might interpret what we’ve written. This is great practice in persuasive rhetoric and an important writing lesson to master.

SOURCE: www.bestcollegesonline.com

BY: Madeline Sanders

First Edition Design PublishingFirst Edition Design Publishing, is the world’s largest eBook distributor. Ranked first in the industry, they convert, format and submit eBooks to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, scores of additional on-line retailers and libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD (Print On Demand) division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. The Company is a licensed and approved eBook Aggregator, Apple Developer and Microsoft Solution Provider.

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#Pinterest Marketing Tips for Writers #FED_ebooks #Author #Writer #ebook

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Pinterest Marketing Ideas from the Pros

Pinterest now counts 11.7 million unique users, and one BEA panel helped writers learn how to use the site for book promotion.

First Edition Design PublishingAt a BEA, KMS Public Relations president Kathleen Schmidt moderated a “Pin it on Pinterest: Driving Traffic to Your Brand” panel. The experts includedWall Street Journal pop culture reporter Katherine Rosman, Book Riot executive editor Bethanne Patrick and Book Riot community manager Rebecca Schinsky.

During the presentation, Rosman recalled how she met the founders of Pinterest when they were working out of a small Palo Alto apartment last August. Since those humble beginnings, this photo-sharing site has risen the ranks and become the third most popular social media platform in America.

We’ve collected some advice below–be sure to check out our Pinterest Tips for Writers post and our collection of Pinterest Boards for Book Lovers as well.

Pinterest Marketing Ideas for Writers

1. Pinterest works especially well to drive traffic to highly “visual” (image-driven) content. It doesn’t have the same impact on text-based content. When using this tool Schinsky advised, “take the idea of your book and make it visual.”

2. “Follow some big names on Pinterest and learn from them.” The panelists praised publishers Chronicle Books, Random House, and Scholastic for building incredible Pinterest boards.

3. Being succinct with your text usually garners a more favorable response. Keep descriptions to 200 words or less; “if you can describe your image in 7 words, do it in 7 words.”

4. Highlight a juicy quote from a book review and then use shareasimage.com to pin the text onto your Pinterest board; both the quote and the link source will show up.

5. “You don’t ever want to use your Pinterest board or any social media tools purely for promotional purposes.”

Source: mediabistro.com

By Maryann Yin on June 7, 2012

 

First Edition Design Publishing  is the world’s largest eBook distributor. Ranked first in the industry, they convert, format and submit eBooks to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, scores of additional on-line retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD (Print On Demand) division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. The Company is a licensed and approved eBook Aggregator, Apple Developer and Microsoft Solution Provider.First Edition Design Publishing  is the world’s largest eBook distributor. Ranked first in the industry, they convert, format and submit Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic and Children’s Books to AmazonAppleBarnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, scores of additional on-line retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD (Print On Demand) division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. The Company is a licensed and approved eBook Aggregator, Apple Developer and Microsoft Solution Provider.

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First Edition Design Publishing ebook publisher aggregator master distributor Sarasota FL