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Try this method of time management for writers

Try this method of time management for writers

I bookmarked ‘This Google Employee Has a Brilliant Time Management Strategy‘ with every intent to never read it, or any of the other 45,879 articles I’ve bookmarked. But I’ve been struggling with scheduling recently. Like in the last 14 years. Something about the article called out to me and it kept creeping into my head. The kind of creep that’s usually reserved for cat videos or Late Night clips. So I rolled my eyes at myself and read it.

Color me impressed, with a shade of hero worship thrown in. Jeremiah Dillon has done something special here. He’s taken a few dozen good ideas about time management, many of which you’ve probably read about, and he’s compressed it into an email that just plain makes sense. I won’t quote from the post too liberally. Please go read it if you’re looking for a refresh on your weekly schedule. But his ideas are captured well with this general calendar:

Monday: Energy ramps out of the weekend — schedule low-demand tasks like setting goals, organizing, and planning.

Tuesday, Wednesday: Peak of energy — tackle the most difficult problems, write, brainstorm, schedule your Make Time.

Thursday: Energy begins to ebb — schedule meetings, especially when consensus is needed.

Friday: Lowest energy level — do open-ended work, long-term planning, and relationship building.

 

Always bias your Make Time toward the morning, before you hit a cycle of afternoon decision fatigue.

Yes, yes and yes. This looks like a breakdown of my inner week — you know, the one that makes the work week a success or wretched. Make Time is the term used to define the time where you, well, make. No meetings. No phone calls. No bill paying.

Do you need a time management refresh? What do you think of this idea? Let us know in the comments!

You’ve arrived, WriteAnglers! Here’s your resource page.

You’ve arrived, WriteAnglers! Here’s your resource page.

Greetings WriteAnglers!

I’m writing this before I get to meet you, but I’m sure I had a great time. You’re my people!

I just wanted to give you some easy links to some of the stuff I either mentioned, or intended to mention…

First, here’s a great cheat sheet by Facebook on writing ad copy.

Second, here is Mark Dawson’s course on building your newsletter list.

Third, here’s my post on how Twitter recommends you promote your tweets.

And finally, here’s a comprehensive list of WordPress themes that authors can use to sell books.

You can browse through all of my posts about online book promotion here.

Comment on any of my posts if you have questions and I’ll get back to you quickly.

Good luck and have fun!

Ben

P.S.  I promised I’d share the blog tour company I used. Here they are!

http://tlcbooktours.com/

If you use them, please let them know I sent you!

Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments.

 

Join John Logsdon and me every week for the author podcast, You Should Be Writing!

Join John Logsdon and me every week for the author podcast, You Should Be Writing!

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Humor author John Logsdon and I are having a blast with our new author podcast!

It’s called You Should Be Writing! (With the exclamation point! Just because!) We’re up to episode 14 and each one has been more fun to do than the last. Does that mean that each one is better than the last? Absolutely not even a little bit, no.

After having such a good time on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing podcast, (with Lindsay Buroker,  Joseph Lallo and Jeffrey M Poole) JL and I decided to try out this podcasting stuff on our own. Are we good at it? Not yet! But we have some good info on everything self-publishing.

We discuss the indy book publishing world and all of its peaks, valleys, oceans and trolls under bridges. Reviews, newsletter sign ups, the newest gurus, the latest tools… we have it all. We do the podcast every Friday (though we’ve missed a few over the hectic summer). If you want to keep up to date and maybe even show up for the taping, just Like our YouTube page.

Thanks. We hope you enjoy You Should Be Writing! Now go on and get some writing done, will you?

 

 

Using Facebook to find friends of friends to buy your book

Using Facebook to find friends of friends to buy your book

This is either a “No duh, Ben” post or a “Holy cow, that’s cool!” post. I was playing around with Facebook search the other day and found it to be much more useful than I thought. There may be a buried tool in there to help people find you and buy your book…

I typed in the name of a friend of mine to see what he’d been posting recently. I usually see much more chatter from him and I was worried about his Facebook silence. He’s also a fan of my work and we share a love of Fantasy books that will keep us close, even in the afterlife (where I’m sure our perspectives on Fantasy will likely change).

Well, I found that he’d been posting as often as ever but Facebook decided to show me less of his life. Thanks Zuckerberg!

But I noticed something cool in my friend’s Interests column. He’d recently liked Snow Crash (he’s slow sometimes) and it got me thinking.

Can I search for all of my friends who like Snow Crash?

I typed “Friends who like Snow Crash” in the field and, boom, got a list of friends who like Snow Crash. Okay, maybe that makes sense to you. Facebook is, after all, a social network!

But then I typed “Friends of my friends who like Snow Crash” and you know what? I got a list of people, most of whom I don’t know, who like Snow Crash.

How is this useful?

Well, imagine that you’re targeting lovers of Snow Crash in your marketing efforts. Now imagine you could compile a list of people who may be interested in your book and they’re a free nudge away from giving your book a shot. All you have to do is let your direct friend know that you think their friend may be interested in your work and ask them to call out their buddy in a FB post.

So this is how it would work:

1) Determine what books your book is similar to.

2) Search for friends of friends (FoF) who like each of these books.

3) Make a list of FoFs, who your mutual friend is, and which book the FoF likes.

4) On launch day, announce your book and then ask the friends with FoFs to comment on your launch post with a direct call-out like: “Hey [FoF name] I think you may enjoy this book. It’s like [Name of similar book that the FoF likes].”

Yes, you could spend a few bucks to reach the same person but they’re more likely to respond to a recommendation by a friend instead of a sponsored post in their feed.

Mind you, I haven’t tried this myself but it seems like a no-brainer way to get the word out about your book.

What do you think?

I got to play with the Oculus Crescent Bay VR headset and my brain shifted

I got to play with the Oculus Crescent Bay VR headset and my brain shifted

I got a peek at virtual reality yesterday thanks to my old buddy Bernie Yee. He flew out from Oculus’ Seattle HQ to show me and my SVA students a peek at the future.

Wow.

There were a number of demos to enjoy, but my two favorites were the Alien and the Mirror Room.

With the headset firmly on my noggin, the alien emerged on a barren landscape. He was a cute guy — long neck, kind eyes. His motion was peaceful, even deferential. The only problem with writing about the experience is that, well, I’m writing about the experience! No words will convey that the alien was right there. In front of me. I could lean forward and see up his nose (which I did). I could get too close to him and make him back away. It was easy to relate to him and I felt an attachment that made me want to know more about him.

The Mirror Room demo was a different kind of experience. Imagine being in Dumbledore’s office and standing in front of a huge mirror. But when you look in this mirror you don’t see yourself, you see the face from the witch’s mirror in Disney’s Snow White. And your face changes as you move your head around. At one point my head turned into an adorned box, with beautiful details that made me lean in close to see more. It was like being nose-to-nose with a mirror and seeing someone else. Someone magic! I think this experience was my favorite because it not only changed the world around me, it changed ME!

So thanks Bernie and Oculus for the peek at the future. It has me thinking of the storytelling possibilities. I can’t wait for the launch of the headset in 2016!