8 Reasons Reading Makes You a Better You
Think back to the last time you read a book. Like a real book. One with chapters, characters, a story-line and possibly a happy ending. Most people get their daily reading through the news, Facebook, tweets, and directions on the back of their frozen dinners. Reading novels have significant benefits and by skipping daily reading, you could be missing out. Here are the top 8 benefits to reading daily…
1. Brain Upgrade
People who read have higher GPA’s, higher intelligence, and general knowledge than those that don’t. In Anne E. Cunningham’s paper What Reading Does for the Mind (pdf version), she found that reading, in general, makes you smarter, and it keeps your mind sharp.
2. Stress Reducer
Books are a great way to forget about your everyday stressors and get away. It can be like taking a trip without actually ever leaving!
Reading everyday is important for a clear mind. Reading forces you to sit down after or before a busy day. With instant text, messages, videos, our minds and bodies can use a quiet space to revitalize ourselves.
4. Problem Solving
Cunningham’s studies have found that analytical thinking is boosted by reading. People can improve their general knowledge by picking up a book and reading. More importantly they are able to spot patterns quicker and solve problems easier.
5. Expanded Vocabulary
Reading improves vocabulary more than talking or teaching. Reading forces people to look at words that they might not have seen or heard recently in daily conversations.
Reading helps retaining information. Simple as that.
7. Enhanced Memory
By reading daily you can increase your memory. The brain-stimulating activities from reading have shown to slow down cognitive decline in old age.
8. Deeper Sympathy
The study, conducted by Rose Turner from Kingston University in London, found that individuals who enjoy reading are more friendly and understanding.
Of course everyone has a different taste in reading. However, I promise there is a genre for everyone. Whether you are into romance, sci-fi, biographies, there is something out there that can push your imagination and get you turning pages. Find what gets you excited and start reading for a better you. Next time you have some spare time, put the phone down and pick up a book.
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10 Worthy Instagram Tips for Writers
Younger generations (and even some older) are turning to Instagram for its feed of gorgeous images. It’s been this way for some time now, but for the book industry, it's been the last year that Instagram is the platform to be present on. Why? How? Are people really selling their books through Instagram? YES! Yes, they are and it’s easier than it sounds.
Another social media platform might seem taunting or excessive, however, Instagram is known to be one of the easiest social media platforms to engage with your targeted audience! Here are some easy tips to help engage with your targeted audience on Instagram.
1. Post Often
Posting often is a must to keeping a profile fresh. Don’t go weeks or months without posting and try to post everyday if you can. By being an active user, more readers will see you post. Use trial and error to see what times of the day you have the most engagement. If your targeted audience are adults posting at 9 am might not be the best idea because they are likely on their way to work. You need to think as if you were your targeted audience and post accordingly. Another option is to see when authors like you are posting and follow their engagements. This will help you gain a better understanding on what works and doesn’t.
2. Strategically Use Hashtags
Hashtags play a major role in the Instagram world. These “keywords” are what help people who do not follow you see your post. There are millions of hashtags you can add to your post, however, adding more than 30 Instagram will automatically delete your caption so keep it below 30. To find good hashtags you can again, look up authors similar to you and see what they are using or start with the most popular hashtag in the industry, #bookstagram. We recommend adding these at the end of your post and even coming up with your own hashtag as apart of brand building.
3. Remember the 80/20 Rule
The good old marketing rule that says you should only promote your own work 20% of the time and the other 80% should be other good content. This stays the same on Instagram. DO NOT make every post about how someone should by your book. Create good content as far as blog post, release dates of new work, and other things besides a sales post. It is also a great idea to share content from other people you admire that also correlates with your brand.
4. Host Giveaways
Giveaways are a great way to help gain followers while marketing your book all at the same time. Easy giveaway prizes could include a signed copy of book or a combine deal with another author. It is always a good idea to add a more well-known author’s novel into the giveaway as people will know more about their book but will also be exposed to yours. The best way to host a giveaway is to set it up so the entrants have to tag a certain number of friends in the comments section. You can add “bonus” entries by having people share in their Instagram stories or posting a photo by using a special give away hashtag.
Note: There is some official language you need to include in your giveaway, which you can find out about here.
5. Engage! Engage! Engage!
We can’t stress this enough! Have conversations with fan/followers about shared interests. Engage with their post and become a friend among your Instagram “community.”
6. Turn Opportunities Into Post
Turn those day to day events into an Instagram opportunity. If you pick up a new book or get new marketing materials in for your own book SHARE IT!
7. Ask Questions
Asking question in your post is a great way to give your followers an easy way to comment. The more comments and likes you get on a single post, the more likely the Instagram algorithm will push your content into more people’s feeds. Ask what people are currently reading or what they have planned to read? Maybe post a picture of your favorite book and ask for followers to share there’s?
8. Don’t Buy Followers
No matter how tempting it is, don’t do it. Fake accounts won’t be engaging in your content and engagement is more important than the number of followers you have. It takes more time to build an account organically but in the long run it will be worth your time.
9. Sponsor a Post
You can create sponsored ads on Facebook to run on Instagram. Boosting post every once in a while, can be a great way to target your readers.
10. Worthy Pictures
People will keep scrolling if your pictures are blurry, uninteresting or hard to read. Research what other authors are posting and other people are engaging and go from there. Remember… practice makes perfect so if you feel like it’s hard and first do the research and keep practicing.
MaryAnn Ball: Author, mother and friend.