Posted in All Articles, Writer's life

How I fell in love with e-books after years of being a die-hard fan of paper copies

When I was younger, I was a die-hard fan of paper copies. Now, I’m a die-hard fan of e-books.

What changed?

First of all, I discovered some books I was interested in were available on Kindle only. It always takes at least a month for a paperback to arrive at my place. It’s impractical because if I want to read a book, I want to read it now, and not after a month. With e-books, I’m a few clicks away from reading, and it’s very comfortable.

Second, my grandfather had always complained that we already have too many books at home. And he was right. There is a perpetual mess in my room, because books occupy half of my wardrobes, half of my shelves, half of my desk, and the whole window sill. I wanted to throw them away, but it felt somewhat heretic.

I planned to give them out, but: antique shops already have too many books, orphanages want new books only, and libraries need classics. An option would be selling books online, but this requires more effort and patience that anyone would think: take one book, make photos of it, put it away, then take another book… It’s a great solution if you have 10 books not sell, and not 300.

After you’ve read the book, it becomes more or less useless. Yes, you can go back to it, but how many times can you read the same thing over and over again? 3? 4?

What’s worse, I often bought books and never read them. The cover was better than the content, or I had bought another ambitious books that wasn’t what I truly wanted to read. Money was spent, space was taken, the book was getting dusty on my shelf. “I’ll read it one day”. Of course. When is “one day”? Probably never.

In 2017, I moved to China. China cured me from buying paper copies. I am fluent in Chinese, but I’ve always spent little time with characters, hence, I can’t read that well. Also, books are always written with a literary language, which means slightly different grammar – and in Chinese, it does make a difference.

This helped me discover the pros of e-books:

  • I can take them with me wherever I’m going.
  • They don’t take space neither on my shelf, nor in my luggage.
  • I can read them on any device – not just on the Kindle reader.
  • There are many more e-books available online than there are paperbacks in local bookshops, which means a greater choice – and a greater exposure to indie authors, who are given equal chances in this way.
  • My virtual shelf is private, I can read whatever I please without feeling judged for it.
  • I can always buy ebooks in my preferred language, even when I am in another country.
  • I can start reading immediately after purchase.
  • E-books are much cheaper than paperbacks. I can buy 5-10 e-books for the price of one paperback.
  • E-books are often available for free.
  • E-books are ecological (no more cutting trees for paper!).

And now pros of e-books for authors:

Of course, if you have the possibility to release your book both in the digital format and in the e-book format, you should go for it. It’s not a mystery that books with more formats available sell better.

E-books have their cons as well – they are way easier to pirate than paperbacks. However, new laws are introduced to protect creators (and their earnings). I think that it would be a real pity to miss out on what e-books have to offer, just for fear of pirates. Also, I’ve noticed that more and more people are actually willing to buy e-books; because e-books are so cheap now, that nearly everyone can afford them.

What do you think about e-books? Or are you still for paper copies? Let me know in the comments!

Stay inspired!

Posted in All Articles, Writer's problems

How to cope when your friend writes better than you?

Ever felt jealous of your friend who seems to be much more talented at writing then you? Ever questioned your own skills after reading what they had written? Ever wondered if you can ever get to their level, and how? If yes, then this article is for you.

Being in this situation might not feel so great, but it is a blessing in disguise. Here is why:

  • You see area for improvement.
  • You know what exactly work on.
  • You can observe that person’s techniques.
  • You can ask that person for help directly.
  • It’s a great way to motivate yourself to level up.

If you feel envious about your friend writing better than you, it’s probably because you don’t believe that you can achieve that level of skill.

If this is the case, ask yourself why you doubt yourself right now.

Maybe they are older than you, or more experienced, or have been writing in your chosen language since ever. If yes, then you can’t blame yourself for the fact that they are ahead of you.

You have assets that they don’t have, even if you aren’t aware of it. Maybe your travels are allowing you to set your story in several different places, or maybe your everyday job as a teacher is helping you meet many potential readers for your book. Who knows?

If they are your age and in a similar situation, and you think that they are better because they have more talent, then maybe you should read this free article: Where does talent come from? Why isn’t it a prerequisite for success?

It is also possible that they are working in a different way that you do. Ask yourself, what are they doing that I am not doing?

I will give you an example from Rachel’s life. Rachel had a friend with whom they both did digital anime-style art, just that the friend was way more popular. What that friend did differently than Rachel, was:

  • drawing free art for everyone who asked for it;
  • going to anime conventions to meet more people in the niche;
  • asking the newly met people in the niche to like her page on social media;
  • organizing a national drawing contest;
  • signing up to new anime-style art groups to meet even more people;

Are you surprised now that she was more popular than everyone else? Because I’m not! She had a strategy, unlike everyone else. And what strategy does your friend have? In writing, in publishing, in marketing? 

A person who is doing better than us, is a gift for us, so that we can learn from them how to move forwards. 

If we stay envious, we are wasting a great gift given to us by the universe.

When I was in college, I’ve met two people who were exactly what I wanted to be at the time. I looked at their lifestyles and made a choice to live their way, and even though we parted later, I am happy that we met, because they helped me reach an inner truth about whom I wanted to become.

So – if your friend is better than you, observe, and learn from them. And always, always be respectful. There is nothing sadder than taking out your frustration on someone who never did anything bad to you, just because you can’t deal with your own envy. I wrote more about the importance of fair play in this free article.

I hope this helps!

Stay inspired.

Posted in About Always Inspired Writing, All Articles

A quick update on recent changes on Always Inspired Writing

Hi! Today, a quick update on recent changes on Always Inspired Writing, that will help you navigate the page more easily.

  • New domain – from now on you can access Always Inspired Writing using the link
  • Two content sections – so far only the free content section was available. Now, the member content section is available as well. The member content section currently contains 41 articles in 8 categories. You can take a look at the member content section using this link, however, the articles can be read only by registered members.
  • Member content section – New member articles are updated weekly, just like free articles. Member articles are always marked with a diamond sign in the front [✧] and available in the member content section only. In this way, you won’t confuse them with free articles. Member content categories are also marked with the diamond sign [✧]. I am really sorry about spamming your dashboard recently, but apparently it’s not that easy to publish articles without triggering the reader and e-mail notifications.
  • About BETA membership – Originally, I planned to launch the membership registration after preparing 100 articles. However, I realized that 41 articles is already a lot, and hence, I decided I’d start the BETA membership that will work until I can start the normal membership with 100 articles as base. Registering as a BETA member costs 11$/month. Registering as normal member will be available from April 2019, when the 100 member articles are published and the BETA membership ends. Those who sign up for the BETA membership in January, February or March will receive 20% discount for the normal membership registration later – just remember to send me an e-mail using the askbox! If you would like to sign up for the BETA membership to gain immediate access to a base of 41 member articles, click here!
  • Free content section – The free articles will be updated as usual, 2-3 times a week. The list of them can be accessed using this link. Free articles will always be free and available without registration.
  • Ask for advice – If you would like me to write an article on a specific topic that you have trouble with, please use the askbox. Asking is free and the articles based on your ideas will be free as well. I currently don’t get any asks, so please don’t be shy and tell me what you struggle with so that I can help!

It’s everything for now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in comments under this post!

Stay inspired!