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How Internet Pirates Affect Authors and the Publishing Industry – Jack White | Guest Post

Ebook piracy is a big threat that publishers and authors alike need to confront head on.

Ebook piracy has significantly encroached into the profit margins of the publishing industry. The recent online copyright infringement research conducted by Kanter Media estimated that about 4 million or 17% of ebooks are read through online piracy. The 7th wave research was a continuation of the original 2012 study that UK-based communications regulator Ofcom and Intellectual Property Office commissioned and funded, respectively.

Andrea Simmons, writing service provider, points out how the publishing industry has come a long way from its roots when Chinese inventor Bi Sheng created a movable earthenware type in 1045 and Johannes Gutenberg developed his own immovable type circa 1450 with casting innovations using a matrix and a hand mould.

In what proved to be the first legal decision regarding copyright dispute, King Diarmait mac Cerbaill’s intervention in mid 500s continues to reverberate up to these days. The king had to decide whether the Irish abbot and missionary St. Columba’s action of copying a manuscript by Movila Abbey’s St. Finnian was a legal one. The dispute was about a psalm, which contained a volume of the Book of Pslams. Eventually, the king’s judgement was succinctly quoted as “To every cow belongs her calf, to every book belongs its copy.” This came to be known as the Battle of Cul Dreimhne.

Forward to the 21st century, the definition of publishing has encompassed the dissemination of information, music, or literature. With the advent of technology, pdf versions of books albeit produced illegally using a range of readily available apps have pushed the publishing industry players to look at things seriously and with urgency.

It is worth noting that those who opted to read copyrighted materials through Internet piracy come from socio-economic groups that are categorized as better-off and belong to the 31-50 age bracket, said Stephen Lotinga of the Publishers Association.

It is high time that the millions of people who patronize ebook piracy see this issue from the perspective of the most affected and understand the impact of their actions.

 

Impacts Royalties and Bottom Line

With the drop in book sales, it is natural that authors and publishers, who have spent a huge amount of creativity and money into pushing a material into the public spectrum, are the most affected by ebook piracy. Consider the 29% decline in the median income of a professional author from 2005 data to 2013 at £11,000, according to a survey by the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society.

It has to be stated that every download of an ebook pirated material is a lost sale. The argument of people that ebook piracy is not a big deal as they will not be purchasing the book anyway is filled with ad hominems in a modern society where rules thrive over anarchy. This argument posits that authors need to be thankful to these people who bother to read their books without the former’s effort of encouraging the latter is a hypocritical example of simplifying things to evade accountability.

And surprisingly, as stated above, the people who are into ebook piracy are better of economically or most probably have access to formal education and who are friends or who have friends within their immediate network of creative people, book authors, essayists, graphic artists, among others.

 

Stunts Creativity

How many authors who have originally planned to launch a sequel etc. have aborted such moves because of ebook piracy? And how many publishers have to thwart collaborations with authors because it does not make sense to produce a printing material of a book due to the reality of being copied online eventually?

The answer to both questions is: A lot.

It is professionally hindering advancement of people who would follow the footsteps of great authors who have significantly contributed to the creative narratives that societies need regardless of geographical boundaries and situations.

No one will be encouraged to be authors or to dream big of having their works published because they are not compensated or recognized. The monetary side of publishing a book, for instance, is a manifestation of a person’s recognition of another person’s ability and creativity. By trivializing the act of downloading a material without properly compensating the author or publisher, you are, in effect, putting a big stop to the wheel of what we know as a creative process.

 

Encourages Intellectual Theft

Internet piracy attacks the very core of an individual’s right to be creative and contribute to society. By supporting pirated materials such as ebooks, you are supporting theft in digital form.

It was the Statue of Monopolies and the British Statue of Anne in 1624 and 1710, respectively, that established the concept of intellectual property. Centuries later, the United Nations created an agency called the World Intellectual Property Organization through a treaty. Eventually, countries adopted their intellectual property laws. As such, the goal is to provide protection to encourage innovation.

People who support ebook piracy must be aware that what they are doing is a violation of intellectual property rights of authors and publishers. Ignorance of current law do not exempt people from liabilities. Local and international laws have firmly defined what intellectual property rights are: industrial design rights, geographical indications, trade dress, plant variety rights, patents, trademarks, and copyright; the last one covers ebooks.

Will ebook piracy push the publishing industry in general to oblivion?

That has to be determined soon.

There is a suggestion from an anonymous book pirate named The Real Caterpillar:

I guess if every book was available in electronic format with no DRM [Digital Rights Management; the ability to choose on which devices you can read and share a book — Books Editor] for reasonable prices ($10 max for new/bestseller/omnibus, scaling downwards for popularity and value) it just wouldn’t be worth the time, effort and risk to find, download, convert and load the book when the same thing could be accomplished with a single click on your Kindle.

Is this really what the publishing industry needs? Are people just ignoring and disrespecting established laws? Is ease of accessibility the right question to ask? Are we just skirting the issue of intellectual theft? Or do these book pirates understand that what they are doing is called stealing?

What authors, publishers, and industry players need to do is to be vigilant and seek the refuge of intellectual property rights available to them. With such scenario, the private sector needs the assistance of the government regulators to curb ebook piracy the soonest possible time. Another option for the publishing industry is to be innovative – find a unique solution to outsmart book pirates, enhance the suggestion of The Real Caterpillar, and save the publishing industry from all harm.

For writers, authors, designers, and other people whose main talent is their creative skills, it is their right to demand payment. It does include the millions of online users who are very much aware that they are accessing writing materials they did not purchase properly.

What is non-negotiable is that authors and publishers deserve to be compensated for their creative collaborations. That they need to be thankful for the book pirates is illogical and should never be entertained at all as such argument diminishes the value of creativity and supplants the time-honored intellectual property rights.

Stop ebook piracy now!

 

Jack White Bio picBIO

Jack White started at the bottom and worked his way up to become the excellent writer he is today. Jack White has had a varied career, but he found that he enjoyed writing and took it up as a full-time and professional career. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Millennials Market: How to Promote a Book on Snapchat – Brandon Stanley | Guest Post

Pic 2Millennials are people who have different values and completely different life approach compared to any other generation. For example, a lot of US millennials prefer Snapchat over Facebook. This is probably because Snapchat is appealing to a younger demographic, providing all the fun and interesting features that most millennials seek.

Considering that you’re an author or a book publisher and you want to be successful at selling your books to this particular segment of consumers, you should strive to find the most appropriate strategies and approaches.

An essential approach to effective marketing, which could also be perceived as an unwritten marketing rule, is the ability to promote your products only to the right audience. And if your book(s) are supposed to reach the eyes and hands of the millennials, you must only invest in the channels of distribution that the young people use.

– Michael Farley, book publisher and CEO at Rushmyessay.UK.

Well, there’s a special untapped opportunity right now, and the platform you’re probably seeking is Snapchat. This incredible social media network took the millennial generation by storm, managing to grow its user database to around 300 million+ monthly active users. Out of the entire US population, 30% of millennial internet users check Snapchat at least once a day.

In today’s post, we’re talking about some of the best ways to approach Snapchat to promote your book to a millennial generation. Follow these practices strictly and don’t forget to put your knowledge into practice!

 

Know Your Audience like You Know Yourself

When you try to publish a book, it is critically essential to understand who your main readers will be. There are millions of books out there and millions of preferences. You need to get your book in front of the right people, otherwise, you’ll be losing time, energy, and money.

To develop a better understanding of your primary target audience, you need to dig deeper. To do so, start by imagining the ideal book customer, which will be called your target persona.

Identify his age, gender, nationality, needs, problems, wants, desires, hopes, dreams, hates…everything that would give you a clearer understanding of where your ideal customer comes from will be truly useful.

Once you havedevelopedyour book’s target persona, you can use it to direct all your Snapchat marketing efforts. All your content and ad copy should be aligned with your target persona’s needs and wants, so your entire content will look better and more interesting to most of the people that reach it.

 

Grow You Snapchat’s Followers

Online marketing is always a number’s game, and Snapchat marketing does not abide by the rule. For more people to buy your book, more people need to be aware of its existence first. Therefore, there’s a big difference between 100 and 1000 Snapchat followers. When your profile’s follower numbers grow, your book will gather more attention.

To grow your Snapchat’s followers, you need to promote your Snapchat profile on more social media channels. Use your Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or perhaps Twitter profiles to lead potential customers to your Snapchat’s page immediately.

In addition to that, you can leverage your email list too. Tell your subscribers that they’re going to receive promising news and updates about your book’s development or launch. Announce discounts and create effective CTAs towards your Snapchat’s page.

 

Think Out-of-the-Box and Get Creative with Your Stories

Nobody follows boring brands, and especially boring authors and publishers. Believe it or not, your book can no longer be exceptional if your marketing is not creative. The content, the story, the characters – they might represent a modern masterpiece.

And yet, if you fail to promote your book well, you’ll never make it successful or popular. Snapchat’s stories feature gives you lots of opportunities to get creative.

Brandon Article pic 1

In the above picture, you can see how the guys from GrubHub, an online food delivery restaurant, managed to capture the attention of their audience through some really creative Snapchat stories.

The real message here is this: without out-of-the-box thinking, creativity, and innovation, you will not have a competitive advantage in front of your competition. As mentioned, there are so many books out there, and only the best marketing will win the battle for the attention of the customers.

Moreover, every time you post, make sure that there’s value in your content. With Snapchat you can try to show behind-the-scenes moments that highlight your creation process, footage withthe members of the team, funny moments, or maybe even story plot twists. Provide value, entertain, and never be boring!

 

Engage with Your Prospects Directly

Another way to market your book on Snapchat is to actively engage with your prospects, in a totally direct way. Snapchat allows for 1-to-1 communication, so you can reach most of your followers and start a conversation around different topics. Depending on what you need most, you should consider following these practices:

  • Seek feedback from customers that have already bought this book or your previous books. See how they enjoyed it/them and find out what could be improved.
  • Simply acknowledge your follower’s existence by saying “Hi, thanks for following my Snapchat, you’ll receive great value here”.
  • Research your followers’ profiles for a few seconds before engaging and refer to a personal detail that you’ve stumbled upon when observing their profiles. This shows that you truly did your homework, that you care, and it’ll strengthen your relationship with the prospect.
  • The next move is to ask the person if he/she would like to take advantage of a special discount and buy your book right now, obviously, asking it as non-intrusively and kindly as you possibly can.
  • Offer assistance to people who had trouble with the delivery, taxes, and other issues that might be present.

 

Develop Addictive Mini-Series Through Stories

Find a story that resonates with both your audience’s preferences and your book’s characteristics. If you’re promoting a non-fiction book, you can create mini how-to guides and put them in your Snapchat’s story section daily. Find the best images to accompany the text so your stories’ messages will become more powerful.

You can get even more creative and develop stories that would be similar to TV shows, having characters, a storyline, and a message that is emphasized indirectly. Use the “To Be Continued…” tactic and hook up your Snapchat followers. Pay attention to keep the subject of your mini-illustrations very related to your book’s subject!

 

Takeaways

Being a successful author or book publisher mostly depends on your ability to sell. Even if your products are amazing, they’ll be a wasted value if nobody gets to read them. Sometimes you have to stop thinking as an author and start thinking and behaving like a marketer. Snapchat’s the key to generating buzz among millennials. Use it wisely and skyrocket your book’s sales performance in no time!

 

Image Sources & References

Pic 1: https://www.snapchat.com/

Pic 2: https://adespresso.com/blog/ultimate-guide-marketing-snapchat/

Pic 3: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-millennials-use-snapchat-2015-2

Screen source: http://givingbooksavoice.com/snapchat/

 

Brandon StanleyBIO

Brandon Stanley is a professional independent journalist. He is interested in writing articles concerning marketing and promotion. Apart from that, Brandon loves traveling and playing the piano. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter

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Writing Successfully: The Tools of the Trade


You have heard me allude to a writer’s toolbox. We have included so far, that a writer’s experience and the books they surround themselves with into this arsenal. This week we will go a bit deeper. We will look at the tools you can use to help improve your writing after it’s written. No one wants their submissions to be rejected based on poor grammar and other errors.

Before we begin, I’d like to say that anyone who wants to be a successful writer needs to be willing to invest in their trade. If you are not serious enough to spend a little bit of money, then you are not serious about being successful. I thought I had it all figured out, but it wasn’t until I failed miserably that I saw the importance of using all the following tools I’m about to introduce to you.

Spellcheck

Our first tool is Spellcheck. A successful writer is one who takes pride in their work. A successful writer reads what they write, edits it, and rewrites it until it is correct. There is not much worse than a submission that is laden with errors. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are the big three. You do not have to have a degree in English to be proficient in your writing. Some tools can help you polish your project. Then, with time you will learn from your mistakes and commit them less.

Microsoft Word Spell Check is our first friend. It is built into Word and helps you correct as you go. As I write this I can see misspelled words; it even auto-corrects on occasion. It also gives you suggestions to improve your grammar and cues to insert or delete punctuation. It’s a handy tool that is free to use. But it does not catch all errors. This will take us to our next tool.

Grammarly is spellchecker on steroids. This program will show you additional errors that Word Spell Checker may have missed. Its basic plan is free to use, but it will not alert you to critical grammatical mistakes like weak sentence structure and clarity issues. Grammarly can be tied into Word as an add-on and you can turn it on and off as needed. I mainly have mine off as I am composing. I turn it on when I am editing.

Ginger is like Grammarly. It can also integrate with Microsoft Word. You may be wondering why there is a need for three spellchecks. Ginger functions, for me at least, as a failsafe. What Grammarly does not catch, Ginger does. And vice versa. While Ginger is not as detailed as Grammarly, its function is the same. It is also a paid service for premium features.

Google Docs is just one final check. It’s not necessary, but to be entirely sure I caught everything I will copy and paste my Word document into Google Docs then run a quick spell check. There have been several times that it will pick up on a misspelled word that both Grammarly and Ginger missed. Google Doc is free with your Gmail account.

Plagiarism Check

I have addressed plagiarism in a previous entry. If you need to copy someone else’s work for you to be able to write, then stop right here. Close the browser and give up. There is nothing worse, and I mean nothing, than to steal anybody’s work and try to pass it off as your own. That is not writing. Not only is it naïve it can get you into some serious legal trouble.

Under most circumstances the minute you write something you become the copyright owner of it. Now, that does not mean ideas. Plenty of people have written on the benefits of spellchecking, that does not mean that I am committing plagiarism by writing about it. If I had googled it, opened a site and took the points from there and used it word for word, then that would get me in hot water.

You are smart, and I don’t think any of you deliberately plagiarize. For your protection, this tool is for you. It helps you from inadvertently pirating someone’s work.

Copyscape is a site that will take an entered passage and tell you if it exists in the form that you have written it. It will also show you where that phrase exists. This can come up, especially if you are writing technical articles, SEO articles, and especially research articles. It is common to complete a thought only to find that someone else has expressed that same thought. When you use Copyscape, you can prevent a catastrophe later by merely changing a few words to make the idea your own. Copyscape is a paid service. You pay into an account and each search costs just a few cents.

Word Density Analysis

Finally, to fine-tune your writing, or if you are working on specific projects that require Search Engine Optimization, then these final tools will be of assistance to you.

SEO Book’s Keyword Density Checker will search your document and display, based on the parameters you set, how many times each repeated word or phrase is used. It is a free service. All you have to do is copy and paste your document into the field provided and search.

HOTH is a tool that will give you information about a particular word and how much that word is used on the internet. This can help you with SEO as well as provide you ideas about what other words or phrases that surround your keyword to give you a greater advantage of being recognized by search engines.

Readable is, just as its title states. It searches your article and will tell you the reading level of your writing. Once you complete your search, your document will be multi-colored highlighted. Each color represents a different issue. It assigns your work a grade and a list of the reasons behind it. For example; syllables and letter count of words, passive voice, and adverb count. Remember, as Stephen King says, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Readable gives you a few free searches. After that, it is a small monthly subscription.

Final Thoughts

I have refrained from giving you the cost of each service, not to be a nuisance, but prices are always subject to change. I don’t want anyone reading this a year from now and depend on an amount I stated, only to find it is higher. Regardless, these tools will be beneficial to your toolbox. Each of them will help you demonstrate the professionalism that you want your work to reflect.

All in all, your writing is what you make of it. I believe that no one has it all together. Anyone can make a simple mistake, even an English scholar. And to rely on just Microsoft Word spellcheck leaves you open to revisions or denial letters galore. Take writing seriously, invest in yourself and put forth the type of work that will be attractive to a client. The less work they have to do with editing, or paying an editor, will keep them coming to you. They will see how serious you are about submitting work right the first time and rely more on you, the successful writer.

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Writing Successfully: Where the Ideas Come From


So, what’s next. You’ve got the habit of writing down. You meet your daily goals. You have been reading to sharpen your skills. You continue the cycle of the writer; lather, rinse, and repeat. Yet you may still face times when the well is dry. You sit down at your desk and nothing. You stare at the screen, or piece of paper and you are thinking to yourself, “What now?”

A sudden fear comes over you; You wonder if you have written your last piece.

Then you doubt. You criticize everything you have ever written and doubt your ability to write.

I’ve heard it called “Blank Page Syndrome” You have no need to worry. It happens to all of us. Some days the words flow out of us, and we cannot keep our hands up with the speed our mind is working at, then there are those days when you can’t write to save your life. There are a few things you can do to get you out of the funk and spurred on to writing again. This week that is what we are going to cover; Where our ideas come from.

Write What You Know

When faced with that blank page, it always helps to go back to the basics. Write what you know. This is a big rule of thumb for a writer. I have heard pros and cons about writing what you know, and I can see both sides of the argument, but I tend to relate to the pro side of the discussion, so that is the position I will be covering first.

In quite a few of Stephen Kings novels, the main character is a writer. In Misery, Paul Sheldon was a writer. In The Shining, Jack Torrance was a writer. In Bag of Bones, Mike Noonan was a writer. And in The Body (you may better know it as “Stand by Me”), Gordie Lachance was a writer. So, in some essence, SK is writing about what he knows, or in some cases fears, about being a writer.

I have been a truck driver for about six years now. I know a bit about trucking. In the novel I am currently editing my main character is an ex-truck driver. He knows what it’s like to be on the road, truck stops, and getting that delivery there on-time. I am writing about what I know.

You may be a manager at a bank, an insurance agent, a grocery stocker, or heck; you may even be a writer. To write successfully, you must begin by writing what you know. It makes little sense to write about a ballerina if life is surrounded by truck stops and roughnecks. It’s okay to write about the life of a Customer Service Manager. Why? Because there will be a reader out there who is or was, a CSM, and they will relate to the character you are writing about and get deeper into the story you are telling.

Learn Something New

Just as Ecclesiastes 3 teaches us, “For everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” There is a time to write what you know, and there will be a time to write about what you do not know. This is the con of writing what you know; you don’t grow as a writer if you stick with only the things you know. That is the purpose of reading, to learn new things. As you learn new things, they can be adapted into your next project.

I write quite a few website content articles. Over the last year, I have been writing about things I had no clue what they were about. I was doubtful about it at first. A colleague of mine told me once that content writers are a jack of all trades, but master of none. This comment burned in my mind, and it opened my eyes to the possibilities of learning new things.

The more you know, the more you can write about. The more you can write about; the more opportunity there is for you to be successful in writing. Even if you get an assignment that you are vaguely aware of the topic, once you have trained yourself, you will have learned how to quickly study the material and write a coherent, educated piece. It works for all genres, not just content writing. If a secondary character in your novel is a nurse, then study about nursing, talk to nurses, and watch nurses.

Steal, but Make It Your Own

This one can be a bit dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. The worst thing that can be done to a fellow writer is to plagiarize their work. In my line of work of content writing, I cannot tell you how many times I have seen it. I have been handed assignments, written by other freelancers, to fix. As I am editing, I find that nearly half of it is direct quotes from other sites. Stealing another writer’s work is a slap in the face and totally disrespectful to the art of writing. Don’t do it.

One exception to this rule is making it your own. I don’t mean rewriting SK’s Carrie with the title Sherrie. Or writing a munchkin novel called The Duke of the Bracelets. Making it your own is taking an idea and putting your voice, your personal experience, and your words to it.

It is similar to the YA novel series that are out there. The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent. All three are pretty much the same story, but each has its own way of telling that same story. On a side note, if you have not read any of these, put all of them on your reading list. All are excellent. And the movies do nothing to compare with the works of each writer. (I’m ashamed of what they did with The Maze Runner, but that’s another story for another day.)

The point of taking an idea and making it your own is that when you are finished, one cannot tell that it belonged to the other writer.

Final Thoughts

But still, there are going to be times when you hit that brick wall, and all creativity comes to a stop. There are a few things you can do to try and overcome writer’s block.

The first thing you can do is to free-write. Whether it is a writing prompt, a journal entry, or just typing incoherent blabber, get your fingers moving. Writing prompts can be great at tapping into your creativity. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get you going again. A journal entry can get you past the anxiety you are feeling by simply writing what you feel. Write about your doubts and fears, then try and transition into how you want to overcome those feelings. This exercise can help you climb up over the obstacles in your way.

When all else fails, take a break. Walk away from the computer, the typewriter, or the pad of paper. Do something that will get your mind off of the block. Watch TV, read a book, do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. If you exercise, go take a walk or hit the gym. Unless you are under a deadline, you can always come back later. After you have taken your mind off of the blank page and refocused it on another task, ideas may begin to flow again. That TV show or chapter in your book may spark something, just remember when that happens, be sure to make it your own.

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Why You Shouldn’t Limit Yourself to Deadlines When Writing? – Warren Fowler | Guest Post

Frustrated businessman in need of inspiration

Whether you are a freelance writer, an author, or a student, knowing how to handle your time is crucial. Tasks can be demanding and time can be short. Thus, asking yourself, “is there anything I could improve in my work approach?” is a good start to developing better work habits. If the answer is “yes,” but you don’t know exactly what you should change, you are in the right place. We can help you!

You just have to think outside the box. While society sets odd rules and foolish standards, you should never stick to the “usual.” Successful people find ways to flourish by using out-of-the-ordinary operational mechanisms. “Out of the ordinary? What does that mean?” some might ask. Good question! There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. A new work approach varies from person to person. People don’t think or act the same, so we cannot generalize and only use one rule.

What we can do is offer new perspectives and ideas from which you can choose. Improving your work approach and boosting your productivity should be a number one goal, so I am really glad that you are here. Writing is a beautiful art, yet deadlines can transform this art into a regular job.

So, our question for today: should you, or should you not set deadlines when writing? Let’s see why and why not.

 

You Should Use Deadlines

  • Deadlines and Goals

In order to stick to your goals, it is essential that you use deadlines. If you don’t have any targets, procrastination and distractions could become an issue. You might develop a slow and unhealthy working pace. On the short term, that might not affect you that much, but on the long term, there is a high chance you will lose track of your work.

Our bodies work like programmed machines most of the time. If we have determination and commitment towards our goals, we move faster and we get things done easier. Goals help us stay on top of our work, and keep us entertained. We get the satisfaction of “seeing the view” after climbing the mountain; the view is our goal.

  • Deadlines Encourage Reliability

If you are a freelancer, respecting deadlines will show employers that you are a responsible person determined to succeed. You can’t really avoid deadlines when working for somebody. Think about it. Being a student requires you to respect deadlines (you must turn in “that paper” until “that day” at 11:59 PM). If you are a content writer, you must obey your employer’s rules if you want the money; and if you are an author, you still have to publish some of your work in a decent amount of time. Otherwise, how are you going to survive?

In a nutshell, deadlines show society that you are trustworthy and reliable. You can’t really write those two qualities down on your resume; but what you can do is write, “finished a $2mil.project with a deadline of fewer than 2 weeks.” I am sure your next employer will be amazed by that!

  • Deadlines Keep Us Focused

You won’t afford losing time if you are on a set timetable. Having no deadlines could mean procrastinating, yet respecting a certain time limit means no time for having fun. While that could potentially be a negative aspect of respecting deadlines, we could also look at it from another perspective: deadlines equal no distractions from our daily work. And what does that mean? More focus on your tasks, and increased productivity!

Concentrating on our work and getting things done in a fast manner is essential, especially when people are relying on us. It is important to have the motivation to start working on our assignments. Focusing on specific targets is also a great way towards our long-time development. Since we are constantly working, we progress quickly. Thus, our results improve and our productivity raises. And isn’t that what we all desire?

 

You Should Not Use Deadlines

  • Increased Creativity

Of course, there are also many disadvantages of using deadlines as a method of increasing productivity and boosting results. You might wonder “What could possibly be the reason?” Well, it’s really not that hard to guess. Creativity. When we are pressed for time, always in a hurry to finish tasks and assignments, overly stressed, and extremely agitated, we won’t have time to think outside the box.

While some believe that to be a small disadvantage, I consider it humongous. Albert Einstein once said “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” And he could not be more right. Having the freedom to choose our own tasks and deadlines is less stressful. When we are relaxed, our minds open, imagination expands, and creativity gives birth to amazing results (maybe even more productive than if we used deadlines).

As writers, we need creativity in our lives. It is not enough to solve problems, finish tasks, and go to bed. We need to constantly use our imagination in order to produce quality content. As students, teachers, freelancers, or authors, we must use our minds to develop delightful stories or give out reliable advice.

  • You Find Self-Motivation Within Yourself

It takes a lot of time and effort to become self-aware of our desires and long-time goals; but once we do, we become self-aware of ourselves. While deadlines keep us focused on our work, there is something wrong with using them as an incentive. That is because our incentives should be our own personal targets. Deadlines stop us from evolving personally to some degree. They give us momentarily reasons to finish our work, yet leave no space for us to ask, “why am I doing this?” We finish our tasks because we must respect a deadline, not because we truly want to achieve our personal goals.

Having no deadlines makes it easier for us to self-develop. We become aware of our inherent desires and realize why we do what we do. If we can’t find any good reasons for continuing, we stop. Ralph Salazar, content writer at UK BestEssays and world traveler, believes that “Using deadlines is stupid. Yes, as harsh as it sounds, there is no better way to put it. When you concentrate on deadlines, you stop concentrating on your own wishes; but aren’t your wishes and your goals the ones which define who you are? Letting go of your own self is stupid. Nobody should do that.”

By using no deadlines, we are not distracted by constant assignments anymore. We can focus on ourselves and what we really want. And hey! If we realize it’s time to stop, we stop doing something we don’t enjoy anymore. Deadlines can make us forget how thinking outside the box feels like – and that should never happen!

  • Unpredicted Events

There are times when new problems or new tasks pop up out of nowhere. These events are unpredicted, thus there is no way we can control them. If we use deadlines to finish our projects, these events will draw us back. Why? Because unanticipated phenomena cannot be stopped or avoided. It just happens. But when we set clear deadlines and promise to finish a project by a certain time and date, we must keep our word. So, what happens when we must finish, but we can’t, because of a sudden event has occurred?

We stress about it even more. We overthink, become nervous, irritated, angry, and annoyed. Our health suffers, as well as our creational process. We are not able to focus well on our tasks anymore, and we freak out about any small detail that “was not supposed to go that way.” Soon, we become burnt-out. We might even lose track of our thoughts, and we definitely overload ourselves with an abundance of tasks. Working excessively and lacking sleep is really bad for our bodies, and it can easily make us lose productivity.

So, what do you think? Deadlines or no deadlines?

 

Wrapping up

While there are many advantages to using deadlines as an incentive and proof of reliability, there are also many good arguments for the opposite side. Deadlines can be damaging as well. They can affect our creativity level, and limit us to thinking inside the box. It can make us lose track of our desires and long-time goals. So, before you start using deadlines, make sure you take both parts into consideration. Find the perfect balance for you! Good luck!

 

 

BIO

Warren Fowler is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at UK BestEssays, who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online! You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Radio Espial: Publishing, Self-Publishing and Technology with Paul Cohen (Monkfish and Epigraph) [VIDEO]

Paul Cohen of Monkfish and Epigraph Publishing joined presenter Mick Rooney on Radio Espial to discuss all things publishing, self-publishing, digital publishing and technology.

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Writing Successfully: You are What You Read


As a writer, I tend to get wrapped up in the process of writing. Whether I am completing a project or trying to land that next writing job I am always in the act of writing. While it is good to have the habit down, you should always give yourself some downtime. Allow your fingers to relax and the smoke coming off the keyboard to clear. Don’t worry; you will be active in other things. I know how concerned I can get when I am not writing. I am sure you feel that same anxiety if you are not writing as well.

Last week we addressed a couple of things you need to know about being a successful writer. The first was to be writing regularly; setting a daily goal and meeting it. The second was not giving up; no matter what type of rejection you get. This week we continue with a suggestion that some writers often overlook; reading.

Reading: Take a Break

If you have learned one thing from me, it is that I am a big fan of Stephen King. Throughout this Writing Successfully series, I will use quotes from him quite often. Here is one, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others; read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcuts.”

I cannot think of a better way of using my spare time than to take a break and read a good book. Most likely if you are a writer, you read quite a bit already, so this is basically a reminder of the importance of soaking in all you can to mold yourself into a better writer. American literacy expert and author, Pam Allyn is quoted, “Reading is like breathing in, writing is like breathing out.” You learn from what you read, and the effect is evident in the writing that is produced.

Another author I take joy in reading is Max Lucado. I love how he tells stories within his books to make a point. He uses stories he has heard, or more often he uses life experiences to give his reader insight into Biblical truth. Within my personal blog that I have, I have emulated that style. It helps that I am older now and have acquired those stories that help me to convey the subject I am writing on. I will cover more on that in next week’s entry about where a writer gets ideas and how to implement them into your writing.

Now that you have a writing goal set for yourself, it is now equally important that you have a reading goal set as well. Last year I set out to read one book a month, it was the first year that I set goals and didn’t want to set the bar too high. Well, I ended up reading 29 books. This year I have upped my goal to read 40. So far, I am 4. You may be able to read more or less. The point is to set a goal that you are comfortable with, and sure you can accomplish. For a beginner, one a month is most certainly doable. If you end up reading more, then that’s great.

Reading: Sharpen Your Writing Tools

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” –Stephen King

Yes, another quote from SK. He talks about another reason to read a lot. The first was the simple pleasure of reading and using that pleasure to help you create your style. That is done by taking the styles of those you read and adding your own flare to the mix. This one brings about the importance of reading to sharpen your writing tools.

I read a quote, and even after some research I cannot find who said it, but it goes like this, “I always read books twice. The first time you appreciate the story, the second time you appreciate the writing.” While I do not read all my books twice, this quote has caused me to read a little slower; trying to take in both the story and the style that I am reading. During the current book I am reading, The Horse and His Boy, I am trying this method. I love how C.S. Elliot puts in his asides. In the middle of his story, he pauses and talks to the reader. It’s usually about a point that needs to be made, most of the time referring to a previous event or something that took place in a previous book.

There is more than just appreciating the writing. It’s about noticing the structure and cadence of an author’s writing style. This can be learned through works of fiction as well as non-fiction, like instructional books. I have read a couple of instruction books on writing. One was suggested in Stephen Kings book, On Writing It is called The Elements of Style by William Strunk. That book alone has made a difference in my writing. It is essentially a book of rules about writing. Another is called Spellbinding Sentences by Barbara Baig. Its title is indicative of its content. A great tool I have used for my writing.

Final Thoughts

If your passion is to write, then you should have an equal passion for reading. It is through reading that we develop our skills for writing. What you choose to read becomes who you are as a writer. If you read little, then you will produce little. Yes, you may still write, but that writing will never evolve. Remember, our subject here is successful writing. To become successful, you must grow. I leave you with a story as illustration: (Thank you to Max Lucado’s writing style)

My son Chris is a weightlifter. He is part of the Powerlifting team at his school. If Chris never went to practice his muscles would eventually be lost to atrophy. If he never added five pounds to his lifting max, then his muscles would not build upon themselves for him to continue to lift more. The same goes for your writing. If you do not add weight to your writing toolbox, then you can never grow as a writer. You add to your toolbox by reading and educating yourself about writing. You can never learn too much, and your toolbox has an endless capacity.

Go out there. Read, learn, and write. Work out those literary muscles. It is a cycle, just like breathing in and breathing out.