The 10 Best Blue Light Filter Glasses of 2019

Is it just me or does anyone else spend a crazy amount of time on their cell phone? No? Perhaps your computer? Or maybe tablet or e-reader?

Nowadays, it’s kind of hard to avoid. We are in the age of technology after all. The Digital Era. But as much as this tech can make our lives easier or entertain, it can also put a strain on our minds and bodies. More specifically through harmful light rays.

Enter blue light and UV blocking lenses and glasses.

These lenses can help to alleviate problems caused by prolonged exposure to harmful light. But remember… Not all glasses are built the same. There are so many duds and fakes out there on the market. Let’s help guide you away from the knock-offs and towards the best blue light filter glasses out there.

The 10 Best Computer Glasses Ranked Best to Worst

Best Blue Light Glasses Reviews

#1. KLIM Optics Blue Light Blocking Glasses (Best Overall)

The KLIM Optics Blue Light blocking glasses score our overall top pick. Their sleek design offers one of the highest blue light filtering percentages out of all the glasses we have scoped out. They are exceptionally lightweight and comfortable for your face. Although they pack a punch quality-wise, they are not too hard on your budget. With these, you get more than you pay more. These truly are one of the best blue light blocking glasses. 

  • German Made Lenses
    • These German made lenses filter out a whopping 86% of blue light. This rating is much higher than the industry average.
  • Durable and Lightweight
    • The frames are made partly out of TR90, an extremely durable yet lightweight material. The glasses weigh in at only 20g, so they will rest comfortably on your nose.
  • Yellow Filter
    • The yellow tint actually helps to further reduce your blue light exposure. It will take a minute for you to adjust after putting them on, but you will be glad that you did.

#2. Holland & Jagger Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses (Best for Home Use)

These blue light filter glasses are the ultimate in blue light protection. They have a maximum blue light filter allowing zero blue light access to your eyes. The Holland & Jagger’s are actually FDA approved so you can rest easy knowing your product will be top notch.

  • 8 Separate Protective Coatings
    • Each pair of glasses comes with 8 different protective coatings to help enhance your experience. These include anti-glare, scratch resistance, and anti-UV coatings.
  • Maximum Blocking Power
    • These glasses boast to prevent 100% of blue light from entering your eyes. And with its FDA claim… that speaks volumes. With that being said, the yellow tint on these are much heavier than other glasses.
  • Great Customer Care
    • These glasses come with a protective case and cleaning cloth to help prevent the wear and tear of extended use. They also come with a 90 day money back guarantee for all those not sold on its abilities.

#3. PROSPEK – Premium Computer Glasses (Best for Office Wear)

The Prospek premium computer glasses are our selection for the most professional looking pair of blue light blocking glasses. There is no yellow tint on them. Gone are the prying questions and silly looks you may get from jealous coworkers. On top of that, they actually function very well. 

  • 50% Coverage
    • These lenses block out 50% of blue light. Much less than the ones above it. Yet, the lenses are clear with no yellow tint. This makes them perfect for office wear with no color distortion
  • All Devices Covered
    • The Prospects were developed to ensure that all computer screens, phones, and tablet blue light frequencies are covered.
  • 90 Day Money Back Guarantee
    • These come equipped with a 90 day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee for those who feel these aren’t the right fit.

#4. Fitover Anti-Blue Blocking Computer Glasses w/ Flex Frame (Best Fitover)

If you wear corrective lenses, buying any form of eyewear can be an absolute nightmare. You need to take off your corrective glasses, but then you can’t see through your cool new shades. Or perhaps all you can find are extremely bulky fitovers. Either way, not fun. With these, however, you can still experience the benefits of blue light protection. 

  • Flexible Frame
    • These glasses have a much more flexible frame than most other fitovers on the market. No need to worry if you will end up snapping them when putting them on. Great for teenagers or unruly adults.
  • Amber Colored Lenses
    • These lenses filter out 100% of blue light and provide extra protection with their amber tint. These do require a bit getting used to due to the darker nature of color distortion. May not be ideal for gamers before an adjustment period.
  • FDA Certified
    • These fitovers are FDA certified ensuring that the the protection you want is the protection you are getting.

#5. GAMEKING Ultra Lightweight Blue Light Blocking Clip-on Computer Glasses (Best Clip-On)

Not a fan of the fit over style glasses, but still need something to wear with your corrective lenses? Look no further than the GAMEKING Ultra lightweight clip-ons. These clip-ons fit on almost every other corrective frame. 

  • Lightweight and Super Durable
    • These clip-ons weigh only 8g! Coupled with other lightweight corrective glasses, these can become the lightest blue light blocking glasses on the market. They are also incredibly durable. They have passed the FDA Drop Ball test ensuring maximum impact resistance.
  • Anti Blue Light and UV
    • They have a blockage percentage of 60% of all blue light. The lenses do allow some blue light to pass through to ensure long term effects of blue light deficiency are not experienced.
  • Lifetime Breakage Warranty
    • These come equipped with a LIFETIME WARRANTY! These clip-ons are definitely worth every penny.

#6. Swannies Gamer and Computer Eyewear (Best for Gaming)

In the world of competitive gaming, fashion is not overlooked. Many picture gamers as plain and drab. But the truth is… that is normally far from the case. For those looking for blue light blocking abilities with bold fashion, look no further. The Swannies come in an exotic tortoiseshell pattern sure to make a statement. But that’s not all they can do. 

  • Unique Lenses
    • These are outfitted with orange lenses that block blue light better than other lenses. They are made out of CR-39 for superior clarity and lightweight for maximum wearability. Also, they are coated with anti-reflective and anti-glare coatings.
  • Acetate Frame and Spring Hinges
    • The acetate frame is more environmentally friendly than other petroleum-based plastics. Coupled with spring hinges for maximum flexibility, these glasses surely will outperform the competition.
  • Sizes Available
    • We all know that “one size fits all” is normally a lie. That’s why these glasses come in multiple sizes to best fit your head. The glasses are even customizable all the way down to lense dimensions.

#7. GAMMA RAY 003  Computer Glasses w/ Magnification (Best for Reading)

You may not need full-time corrective lenses. Many don’t. But some of us still need reading glasses. Reading glasses are not necessarily corrective but provide a degree of magnification to cut through all the fine print. Gamma Ray Optics offers just what you need, but with blue light blocking technology. 

  • Differing Degrees Available
    • Whatever your needs are, Gamma Ray is sure to have a set of blue light blocking glasses for you.
  • Simple and Stylish
    • These come in an all black plastic frame ready to suit all occasions. They are not, however, the coke bottle frames of the past yet sleek, modern design.
  • Great Customer Care
    • Comes with a 90-day money back guarantee and a lifetime breakage warranty on both frame and lenses.

#8. Cyxus Blue Light Filter Computer Glasses(Honorable Mention)

For those of you searching for basic pair of blue light filter glasses. This is the pair for you. They are a simple black frame with clear lenses. They have no magnification or color tint. Their sole purpose is to block out harmful blue light. They are a global brand and able to ship just about anywhere.

#9. Gamma RAY 010 Slim Vintage Computer Readers(Honorable Mention)

These Gamma Ray Optics glasses are another set of plain and simple glasses. They do however come in varying grades of magnification as needed. They also come in three separate colors. You are sure to find a matching fit with a pair of these. These are shaped with a more vintage style than the previous Gamma Ray eye wear.

#10. TIJN Blue Light Blocking Glasses (Honorable Mention)

This pair of blue light blocking glasses is for those looking to make a statement. They are square shaped and completely transparent. Don’t let the transparency fool you though. They are well equipped with anti blue light properties. Although they will not block as much as the others on this list, you will look cool doing so.

Dave Asprey Glasses

Bulletproof 360 Guru and successful entrepreneur Dave Asprey have made quite a name for himself. He has created a successful program for a healthy way of life and is an INTERNATIONALLY BEST-SELLING AUTHOR! Maybe it’s his glasses?

Dave is a huge proponent of blue light filter glasses he has popularized his own style: True Dark Glasses.

Their reddish-orange tint and sleek design make seeing better look good.

Key Information You Need to Know about Blue Light

So, What Actually is Blue Light?

Ok. Picture this. Light can be represented on a rainbow scale.

You remember ROY G BIV from elementary school, right? If not… here’s a quick refresher.

R- Red

O- Orange

Y- Yellow

G- Green

B- Blue

I- Indigo

V- Violet

ROY G BIV is the order of the colors in a rainbow.

Now. Follow me here. Time to get our science on.

Science of Blue Light

Light has been observed to move in wave-like patterns. When represented on a graph, it looks a little something like this:

The upper most points are called the crests.

These crests are very important for determining wavelength. Because wavelengths are measured by the distance from one crest to another.

Back to those colors. It has been also observed that colors at the beginning of the rainbow– i.e. Red and Orange– have longer wavelengths.

That means that the waves are less intense due to a fewer number of waves transmitted in any given amount of time.

On the other hand, colors at the end of the rainbow– i.e. Blue, Indigo, and Violet– have much shorter wavelengths.

This means that these shorter wavelength colors are much more intense due to a higher number of waves transmitted in any given amount of time.

So, BLUE LIGHT is a high intensity, high energy form of light. But the most inconvenient part of this is… Blue light falls on the visible light spectrum (not all light is visible–different lesson for a different time).

And it’s becoming more and more common.

Common Sources of Blue Light Exposure

As I mentioned earlier, your favorite devices and gadgets may be causing more harm to you than you know.

You see, one of the most common sources of blue light is through LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).

LEDs today are found pretty much everywhere. From flashlights, to light bulbs, to your television set. Why is that? Because they are a wonderful source of pure bright light.

Other common sources of blue light from LEDs come from:

  • Cell phones
  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • E-readers
  • Digital Clocks
  • Smart watches

Essentially, any gadget with a backlit screen. Now, you may not stare at your digital clock for hours on end. But cell phones, computers, tablets, and e-readers pose an actual credible risk for overexposure to blue light.

Blue Light- Advantages and Disadvantages

Now. blue light isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it can be good for you. Let’s go over some of the differences between good blue light and bad blue light.

Good Blue Light

  • Regulates your Circadian Rhythm
    • Blue light is actually extremely important in maintaining your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal sleep/wake cycle. This is most effective when you receive blue light exposure during daytime hours. Prolonged exposure to blue light in the evening, however, can have an adverse effect. Too much blue light at nighttime– say from an e-reader– can actually mess with this cycle. Instead of reading to help you sleep, it can keep you awake and lead to daytime tiredness.
  • Great for Psychological Well Being
    • Blue light is also used for therapeutic purposes as well. Particularly for a syndrome known as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. This disorder is a type of depression that is related to the changing of the seasons. Blue light plays a major role in light therapy used to treat this.
  • Keeps you Alert and Active
    • When there is bright light around, your body produces 2 hormones. Serotonin and cortisol. Serotonin can be thought of as your happy hormone. Where cortisol is known as your stress hormone. Both of these keep you awake and active. When there is an absence of light, melatonin is produced. This is what helps you go to sleep.

Bad Blue Light

  • Can Lead to Macular Degeneration
    • Remember when we said blue light is more intense than other colors? Well, that intensity allows it to travel further into your eye. As a matter of fact, it travels all the way to the back lining of your eye known as your retina. This is not desirable. Repeated and prolonged exposure to blue light can begin to damage the light-sensitive cells of your retina. This leads to macular degeneration, a symptom when unchecked can lead to permanent vision reduction or loss.
  • Increases Digital Eye Stress
    • The intensity of blue light can do more than just affect the retina. The short wavelengths actually cause the light to scatter more across a surface. This scattering effect (also known as Rayleigh scattering) can cause your eyes to not focus as well as they should. It is most common when using digital devices such as cellphones, tablets, and computers.

Despite the benefits of blue light, the negatives can be pretty severe. This is why it is so important to consider wearing proper eye protection when using blue light emitting devices.


The 10 Best Book Stands of 2019

There are many things in this world that are underrated. The smell of freshly mown grass. Great home cooked meal. T. Rex (The 70s band, not the dinosaur– he’s still pretty BA too though). But what about in the world of reading and writing?

The unsung heroes of our realm are Book Stands. These handy devices are much more critical than many give them credit for. They allow for great hands-free operation for those with tired arms or dirty fingers. Some are even doing their part to help alleviate some of the challenges experienced by those with special needs.

So without wasting any more time… let’s bang a gong, get it on, and discuss the 10 best book stands of 2018.

Top 10 Book Stands Ranked Best to Worst

These are our choices for the best book stands you can buy in 2018.

Top Ten Book Stand Reviews

#1. Uncaged Ergonomics Adjustable Reading Stand(Best Overall)

Out of all of our options, the Uncaged Ergonomics stand came out on top. This stand can do it all. Whether it’s reading in bed or cooking in the kitchen, the Uncaged Ergonomics reigns supreme for all your book stand needs. Let’s take a look at why. 

  • Adjustable Height and Angle
    • The height is adjustable up to 21” making it ideal for almost situations Use it in bed or on your tabletop. The angle of the holding tray is fully adjustable and locks in 15-degree increments.
  • Open Space Bottom
    • This is a really useful feature. When used on your desk, you can minimize and even help declutter your workstation. Place your reading material on top and your other supplies underneath. Another great thing about this feature is when reading in bed. You can place it over your legs or lap minimizing the stress on your body.
  • Made out of Lightweight Aluminum
    • This makes it perfect for kitchen or workshop use. It is sturdy and non-porous which makes it great for using around raw foods or chemicals.
  • Collapses Flat
    • Not only is it lightweight, but it has the ability to collapse completely flat. This makes it great for portability and transportation.

#2. LEVO Hands-Free Book Stand (Best for Bedtime Reading)

When it comes to bedtime reading, the LEVO Hands-Free Book Stand really shines through. This makes reading in bed a much easier experience. Let’s take a look at some of the features that enable this book stand.

  • Fully Adjustable Design
    • You can adjust just about every aspect of this book stand! You can adjust the height of the stand from anywhere between 30-56” making this ideal for reading from any piece of furniture.
  • Cantilever Swing Arm
    • Its adjustable swing arm easily extends over your chair or bed. It also is easily adjustable on a five-point axis to make sure you have the best reading experience possible.
  • Sturdy Wheeled Base
    • The sturdy base of this unit is heavy enough to support a book weighing up to 4 lbs. Yet, it’s easy to maneuver around due to the casters mounted on its underside.

#3. ScanJig Pro Plus for Blind, Visually Impaired & Fine Motor Difficulties (Best for Special Needs)

Sometimes, life throws you curveballs. But, that doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t swing for the fences.  For those who need that extra boost, this is the perfect book stand. The ScanJig Pro Plus is much more than an ordinary book stand. It can be a real game changer for those with special needs. 

  • Scanning Stand
    • The ScanJig comes with stable support for your phone that you can use to scan your documents. These can then be used in coordination with different text to speech apps in order to help decipher the printed text.
  • Open Design
    • This stand is designed with open angles to allow maximum light penetration thus minimizing pesky shadows that interfere with scanning capabilities.
  • Travel-Friendly
    • This book stands folds up nice and neatly so it can be carried with you wherever you go. At full fold, it can be squarely placed inside your backpack.

#4. Reodoeer Reading Rest (Best for Messy Areas)

Ever need a reading stand in a messy area? Maybe you’re baking cupcakes and need a helping hand to hold that recipe? Or perhaps, you’re in your auto shop flipping through user manuals and repair guides? You need a sturdy book stand to handle it and one that can be cleaned afterward. The Reodoeer is just the stand for you. 

  • Sturdy Construction
    • This book stand is constructed out of a sturdy plastic and metal plate. This makes this an ideal book stand to be used around rugged areas. Plus, it’s non-porous. Meaning minimal pathogens can creep inside the materials.  Simply wipe down with your favorite antibacterial and you’re good to go.
  • Heavy Duty Holding
    • Since this book is made out of stronger materials, its weight capacity is much larger than most other stands. This allows for a very large book ranging from your standard run-of-the-mill textbook to a Standard Operating Procedure for a turbine driven electric plant.
  • Adjustable
    • The Reodoeer has seven different angles that it can be adjusted to. This ensures you always have the right angle when getting down and dirty.

#5. PSRVR Luxury Bamboo Bathtub Caddy (Best for Bath Time)

What’s better than a nice glass of wine, a scented candle, and a good book? Doing all this in the bath of course! And now you can with the PSRVR Luxury Bathtub Caddy. Keep your book safe from the bubbles with this bamboo book caddy. 

  • Multifunctional Trays
    • This caddy holds more than just your book. There are two trays on either side of your book that you can use to hold other things such as a bookmark or highlighter. The caddy also comes equipped with two indented rounds perfect for holding that glass of Pinot and a nice candle.
  • Waterproofed Bamboo
    • This book holder is made out of a lightweight, yet durable bamboo. This makes it easy to move into place or take down. Along with that, the bamboo has been waterproofed as not to deteriorate your product over time.
  • One Size Fits All
    • The caddy can be extended lengthwise to fit just about every standard size bathtub.

#6. [SmartMe] Portable Book Stand (Best for Travel)

Reading is one of the most popular options to do on long flights because let’s face it… those in-flight movies are never really that good. But a big problem with reading on an airplane is the space. You are in a very cramped area with no room to stretch (particularly in coach). Save your arms from awkward cramps and soreness with this book stand. The [SmartMe] portable book stand is perfect for these types of situations. 

  • Foldability
    • This book stand has the ability to fold into a size slightly larger than your standard flashlight. This makes it ideal for traveling in your backpack carry-on.
  • Lightweight and Durable
    • This book stand weighs in at just over 5 ounces. This is one of the lightest books stands on the market. You should have no problem transporting this or exceeding your weight limit due to this item. Although it is light, the [SmartMe] is constructed of a high-grade ABS plastic which helps keep it tough enough for your purpose.
  • Stable 4 Point Support
    • This feature helps to eliminate curling and folding of books and their covers– especially near the ends of the book.

#7. A+ Children’s Book Stand (Best for Kids)

Do your kids love to read? Or do they need a little encouraging? Perhaps a book stand of their very own is just what they need! The A+ Children’s book stand is great for those little bookworms in training. 

  • Kid Friendly
    • This book stand was designed purely with children in mind. It has smooth rounded edges with no sharp corners. It’s also made with safe non-toxic materials so you can rest easy with this around your tykes.
  • Easy to Setup and Learn
    • This book stand is super simple to use. There is no assembly required. Just slide the backboard into its desired position and you are ready to go.
  • Certified Safe
    • These stands have been tested in CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) certified laboratories in accordance with all Children’s Safety Regulations.

8. Standing Lectern by Christian Brands (Best for Presenting)

Are you part of a book club that reads aloud? Or, do you have a presentation you need to give? Most people don’t give enough credit to the lectern. These large, but versatile book stands are ideal for reading aloud in front of groups. There’s already the pressure of an audience. You don’t need that pressure being transferred to tired arms as well.

  • Beautiful and Simple Design
    • This lectern’s construction is an elegant, yet simple design sure to draw the attention of those before it. It is handcrafted out of genuine maple with a rustic walnut finish.
  • Wide Top
    • The top of this stand is 15” x 16” making it ideal for large books.

#9. HENGSHENG Bamboo Book Stand with Retro Elegant Pattern (Best Functional Decor)

Who says function can’t be fashionable? This is definitely the case with this awesome looking book stand. The HENGSHENG book stand is made out of ornately carved bamboo sure to get noticed. But not only does it look good… it works great. 

  • Stable and Sturdy
    • Made out of high-quality bamboo, this book stand can support books of all sizes.
  • Flat Folding
    • Folds flat when not in use to easily be accommodated in a medium sized backpack.
  • Adjustable
    • This book stand can be adjusted to 5 different angles ensuring that you can read at your leisure.

#10. Esschert Design Cast Iron Cookbook Stand (Best Iron Book Stand)

This iron stand is designed to bring life into any kitchen. Your cookbook will look just great when perched upon this stand. It does require some assembly, which may be difficult for some. Yet, when completed, this Victorian-inspired piece of art is well worth it.

  • Iron Cast
    • Sturdy and strong. This piece is very difficult to break.
  • Weighted Page Holders
    • This stand comes equipped with elegant weighted page holders ready to keep your pages flat and easy to read.

Things to Consider when Purchasing a Book Stand

Purchasing a book stand doesn’t have to be the most difficult decision in your life. Let’s take a look at a few factors to consider when purchasing a book stand to make your process a little easier.

Height and Weight

When purchasing a book stand, you must take into consideration the dimensions that you need. Some book stands are great for tabletop reading, while others excel for other places. But what is the ideal height for you?

Did you know that if you focus on something too close to your eyes that you are putting undue strain on them? Or that looking at something too far away does the same? It goes beyond just nearsightedness or needing bifocals. Those with perfect vision can also fall prey to these conditions. This can lead to future eye problems or worsening of current ones.

According to healthguidance.org, the book or paper you are reading should generally be between 16 and 21 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level. It’s actually easier to read looking down than looking up. Remember to keep this in mind when searching for a new book stand.

Another thing to take note of is the weight. For instance, would you want to get a cast iron book stand for an elderly individual or a child. Obviously, the answer is no. But besides from that why else should you worry about weight?

Let’s say you are reading in bed. You are following proper guidelines with the book stand on your lap with the book balanced inside. How heavy is your book? How heavy is the stand? Depending on the combined weight of the two, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. That could be just enough pressure to push down on your legs to reduce blood flow or place unwanted pressure on your nerves.

By keeping height and weight factors in mind when shopping, you are sure to make a better decision with your book holder selection.

Adjustability and Portability

Some people have a designated reading area. They have a special chair or bed they go to when ready to curl up with their next new adventure. But… others don’t. Some can just plop down anywhere and get right into it.

Now for those stationary readers using book stands… adjustability and portability become less of an issue. Simply find the right size with the right angle, and you’re all set. However, for those less static, these factors can become very important.

For instance, those using e-readers would love angle adjustability. We all know how it goes… sometimes the angle of our laptops or e-readers isn’t quite suited for the ambient light. Well with laptops, the solution is easy. Just angle your screen accordingly. E-readers or tablet-like electronics are a different story. These must be adjusted by being held differently and sometimes in awkward positions.

An adjustable book stand definitely can help with those kinds of situations.

Portability is another huge consideration. Is it practical to carry a full-size lectern from the living room to the kitchen just to hold your cookbook? No. What about travelers? Is it practical to bring a non-collapsible wrought iron book stand? Absolutely not.

Speaking of travelers, do you know the weight limit for international carry on baggage? It’s roughly 40 lbs. That includes the bag and its contents. Those who intend on doing some reading on a long flight may want to consider using their book stand. One designed for travel may be just what you need.

Material

Material considerations are definitely something you should pay attention to. Here are two reasons why.

  • Strength

Material strength can be very important when choosing a book stand. Let’s just say you spend most of your time reading heavy textbooks. A simple plastic stand just isn’t going to cut it. The plastic may easily snap under the weight of the heavy book. But if you are using the book stand for smaller books (such as bedtime stories for children), maybe a plastic stand is a better option. One common lightweight material used is bamboo. Bamboo combines the best of both worlds allowing for maximum weight with minimal strain on the stand. As we will see next though, bamboo is not necessarily the best for all situations.

  • Intended Use of Stand

There are many reasons why one would use a reading stand. Some use them in bed. Others at a desk. But what does this have to do with the material of the stand itself. Everything. For example, you use your book stand in the kitchen to hold up your recipe book. You are making your Grandma’s world famous chicken pot pie. YUM! Now, in this recipe, it calls for cleaning and preparing a whole chicken. As those who cook know… cleaning a chicken can get a little dirty sometimes. But that’s ok. We can just clean it up, right? Well, yes and no.

Let’s just say some of that chicken juice went flying and got onto your book stand. With wooden or bamboo book stands… this may not be desirable. You see, the wooden or bamboo stand may actually soak up some of that chicken juice along with whatever bacteria may be hiding in it. Wiping this down will help, but the risk of contamination is definitely still there. In this case, a metal or sturdy acrylic may be best. The Spruce Eats puts out an interesting article on this as it applies to cutting boards, but the principle is still the same. Use non-porous materials for kitchen use.


Best Floor Lamps of 2019

Birthdays. Graduations. Retirement. What do these all have in common? These are times for celebrations, and more often than not… gift giving.

Do you have any bookworms and bibliophiles on your gift list? If so, a great floor lamp could be just what you’re looking for!  These make great gifts for college students who study all night, late-night readers, writers, or just anyone who needs to spruce up a room.

But with sales rapidly coming and going, you need a game plan ready for your shopping. How will you know which are the best options for floor lamps? Let’s shed some light on the situation and break down the Top Ten Floor Lamps of 2018.

The Best Floor Lamps Ranked Best to Worst

This handy table will make light work of helping you to select your next floor lamp.

Top Ten Floor Lamp Reviews

#1. Brightech Leaf LED Floor Lamp (Best Overall)

Our overall winner for best floor lamp is none other than the Brightech Leaf LED Floor Lamp. It’s like the Mercedes-Benz of floor lamps but at a fraction of the price. It comes with a wide array of great features including:

  • 3 Brightness Settings
    • If you need the extra light, the brightest setting pumps out a whopping 1150 lumens to illuminate even your darkest situations.
  • An Omni-Directional Hood
    • Focus light where you need it while minimizing losses to ambient.
  • Touch to On
    • This wonderful feature allows you to simply tap the lamp for extreme ease of powering up or adjusting brightness levels.
  • Cool to the Touch
    • For those worried about heat generation (particularly around the hood), this is the lamp for you. This lamp was designed with Estheticians and Make-Up Artists in mind. Even if you accidentally touch the hood, you do not need to worry about burning yourself. This is also a great feature for curious and climbing children.
  • Universally Stylish
    • With its modern yet traditional styling, this lamp is sure to make a great addition to any room. The lamp is also rated for voltages up to 220V. This means you can run this lamp outside of the United States. Just make sure you have the appropriate plug and socket adapter for your country.

Product Specifications:

Height53”
Weight8 lbs
MaterialMetal
Bulb TypeLED
Warranty5 Year Warranty

#2. IMIGY Dimmable LED Floor Lamp (Best for Bedtime Reading)

This lamp is amazing! This IMIGY model is perfect for bedtime reading. Its sleek design and narrow frame allows it to be easily tucked behind a nightstand. The gooseneck can then be directed towards your bed for a bit of light reading.It was very difficult to choose between this model and the Brightech Leaf for our top model due to these great attributes:

  • 5 Different Color Temperature and Brightness Settings
    • With this lamp, you will receive 5 color settings:
      • Warm White
      • Cool White
      • Natural
      • Yellow
      • Warm Yellow
    • All of these colors can also be dimmed to 5 different brightnesses!
  • Flexible Gooseneck
    • The flexible gooseneck allows you to angle the light projection at exactly where you need it.
  • Remote Operated
    • This is one of the greatest features in my opinion. Long gone are the days of climbing out of bed to turn off your lights. Simply click the button on the remote and roll over and head to sleep. The remote not only controls power functions but the dimming and color temperatures as well.
  • Timer
    • The timer feature is what makes this lamp the ultimate in bedtime reading. Have you ever fallen asleep while reading? I know I have. (Of course, the book always falls out of my hands and lands on my unexpecting face…) But what about your light? It stays on driving up that electric bill. Well, no more! With this handy timer, you can set the lamp to turn off automatically. All of this is controlled via the remote control.

Product Specifications:

Height56”
Weight6.45 lbs
MaterialABS and Iron
Bulb TypeLED
Warranty5 Year Warranty

#3.Brightech Maxwell LED USB Shelf Floor Lamp(Best Smart Floor Lamp)

In today’s day of Amazon Alexa and Smart Homes, there’s gotta be some smart floor lamps out there. Right? Turns out… there are quite a few of them. But none of them really stands out above the rest. Except for this one. As our second Brightech submission on this list, the Maxwell model does it all. Its Asian-inspired accents will match well with any room in your house. Its multi-functionality can give any room that little extra something that may have been missing. Let’s go over some of these features.

  • Integrated Shelving
    • The lamp comes with three separate shelves that you can use for maximizing the space you will receive out of the room it’s in. Use these as functional or as decorative shelves.
  • USB Charging Ports and Electrical Outlet
    • The lamp and shelves come with 2 USB charging ports! Use these to power up your Apple or Android devices so you never miss that important call again. Not only that, but this lamp also comes equipped with an electrical outlet. This can be great for those with limited amounts of electrical sockets. Need light to work, but also need to plug in that laptop? No problem. Simply plug the lamp into the wall and the computer into the lamp. That easy.
  • Smart-Enabled
    • When paired with the appropriate smart outlet, this lamp is compatible with the 3 major smart home applications:
      • Amazon Alexa
      • Google Home Assistant
      • Apple HomeKit

Product Specifications:

Height63”
Weight12.55 lbs
MaterialAll Wood Frame
Bulb TypeLED
Warranty5 Year Warranty

#4. Adesso Trinity Arc Floor Lamp (Best for High Ceilings)

In homes with vaulted ceilings, having furniture or fixtures without the appropriate height can make the room a little underwhelming. That’s why this lamp makes our top choice for high ceilings. Its large arc reaches up and out accentuating your room’s vertical prowess. The three lamps hang from a height of 81.9”. That’s almost 7 feet tall! The burlap shades provide an elegant yet rustic look perfect for living rooms and dens.

  • Cycle Between Lamps
    • This lamp comes equipped with a rotary switch to allow you to select which lamps are illuminated. Turn on one lamp or all three. The choice is yours.
  • Sturdy Base
    • Because the lamp is so tall, it is important that you have a strong, steady base to support it. The Adesso has that base covered.
  • Smart Home and CFL Compatible
    • The medium sockets on the lamp accommodate energy saving CFL bulbs. The lamp itself can also be adapted for use with Smart Home technology such as Amazon Alexa.

Product Specifications:

Height81.9”
Weight33 lbs
MaterialMetal
Bulb TypeCFL
Warranty1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

#5. Brightech Sky LED Torchiere Floor Lamp (Best for Small Spaces)

Sometimes, we need to light up space but don’t always have the most room available. That’s why a torchiere-style floor lamp would be perfect for you. That’s why I recommend the Brightech Sky LED Torchiere Floor Lamp. Its slim design fits perfectly into any corner making this lamp the best floor lamp for dorm rooms or small offices.

  • Weighted Base
    • Due to the slim design of the lamp, a sturdy base is required. The base is weighted as to provide proper support for the lamp post.
  • Super Bright and Dimmable
    • This lamp produces a MASSIVE 1660 lumens of light. Making this lamp one of the brightest torchiere-style floor lamps around. However, sometimes that much light isn’t needed. Simply dim it down to one of three preset brightness levels.
  • Tiltable Head
    • In small rooms with limited light capabilities, it can be hard to fully illuminate the area. Using the Brightech Sky, you can use its major light-producing capabilities along with the tiltable head to maximize light projection to every corner of the room.
  • Wall Switch and Amazon Alexa Compatible

Product Specifications:

Height63”
Weight5.58 lbs
MaterialSteel
Bulb TypeLED
Warranty5 Year Warranty

#6.LEONC Design Creative LED Floor Lamp (Best Mood Lighting)

Sometimes, you need a floor lamp for mood lighting. The mood or aura of a room can really alter how much you enjoy being there. We all have our favorite room in the house. With the help of the LEONC Design floor lamp, turn any room into your favorite. This lamp is not only stylish but practical. Let’s look more into the LEONC Design.

  • Foot Powered On/Off Switch
    • The power switch is securely located near the plug and socket. This allows for ease of operation without having to bend over. This lamp is very friendly for seniors or others who have difficulty bending over.
  • Great Height
    • How many times have you seen a floor lamp that really should be called a table lamp? Not with this model. The pillar stands at five feet tall!
  • Collapsible and Replaceable Lampshade
    • The lampshade is of unique design. Yet, it is easily collapsible and foldable! This allows for ease of transportation from one place to another without fear of ripping the shade. However, if it is torn, it is easily replaceable through LEONC Design.
  • Easy to Assemble
    • The lamp may looks mysterious, but its assembly definitely is not. No tools are needed for its assembly. You can be up and running in just minutes.

Product Specifications:

Height60.2”
Weight3.75 lbs
MaterialFabric Shade, Steel
Bulb TypeCFL
Warranty12 Month Replacement Warranty

#7.DEMMEX Turkish Moroccan Mosaic Floor Lamp(Best Conversation Starter)

Now, I know that some of you are into entertaining guests. Having a well-maintained home comes along with that territory. But, what if you had that extra pizazz to go with it? I’d like to introduce you to the DEMMEX Turkish Moroccan Mosaic Floor Lamp! This lamp is the definition of a showstopper. It is sure to spark up the conversation at first glance. This lamp may not be for everybody though… Curious cats, dogs, and children are sure to find the lamp just enchanting as the rest.

  • Handmade Mosaic Globes
    • Each of the nine globes is handmade and unique. No two lamp are alike. You will truly appreciate the craftsmanship of this. This lamp literally is a functioning work of art.
  • Very Sturdy
    • This piece is extremely sturdy. This is due to its strong steel frame. The frame will easily support the weight given to help your lamp keep standing.
  • Customizable Globes
    • You do have the option of customizing your globes. This can add your own personal touch to an already breathtaking piece.

Product Specifications:

Height70”
WeightNot Available.. But we’re sure it’s heavy.
MaterialMetal, Glass
Bulb TypeE-12 Candelabra
WarrantyNone

#8.Hsyile Lighting Crystal Floor Lamp (Best for Elegance and Ambiance)

Sometimes, you want to add a little class to your space without going overboard. If that’s the case, the Hsyile Lighting crystal floor lamp is perfect for you. It has a simple yet elegant design sure to make anyone in the room feel like royalty. This is one item I recommend getting two of for a complete set.

  • Real Glass Crystal
    • These are not some cheap plastic crystal pieces. They are the real McCoy. Heavy pieces of hand-picked and polished crystal allow for some of the most stunning light throws of any product on the market.
  • Steady Base
    • The stand and post are both constructed out of high-quality steel to ensure that your lamp stays upright even with the heavy top.
  • 24 Month Warranty
    • This product comes with a 24 month (2 years) warranty. If anything breaks due to product error, Hsyile will replace the entire unit.

Product Specifications:

Height59.1”
Weight18.5 lbs
MaterialCrystal, Metal
Bulb TypeLED
Warranty2 Year Limited Warranty

#9.Brightech Eclipse Floor Lamp (Best for Trendy and Minimalist Design)

Today, minimalism is all the rage. It’s hip and trendy. Adopting a minimalist style also opens up space in your room you never thought you had. However, it can be difficult to find furniture and appliances that maintain a minimal structure with maximum results. Our last Brightech submission on this list does just that. The Brightech Eclipse is ideal for those seeking a trendy fixture with powerful light emission.

  • Unique Design
    • This design is one of a kind. It has two light emitting rings that can be tilted or rotated for proper light projection.
  • Energy Saver and Cool to the Touch
    • This lamp comes equipped with energy saving LED fixtures that can stay on for hours and keep the lamp cool to the touch.
  • Built-In Dimmer
    • The lamp comes equipped with a powerful light source, but it can be dimmed down two levels. One at 50% brightness and the other at 30%

Product Specifications:

Height75”
Weight9.3 lbs
MaterialMetal
Bulb TypeLED Ring
Warranty5 Year Warranty

#10. Simple Designs Home Mother-Daughter Floor Lamp (Best Budget Floor Lamp)

Let’s face it. Sometimes, we just need a good lamp at a good price. Nothing too fancy, and definitely not too expensive. This lamp is just right. Our best budget floor lamp is the Simple Designs Home Mother-Daughter floor lamp. But just because it’s cheap, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some useful features.

  • Adjustable Gooseneck Reading Lamp
    • The reading lamp is on a bendable gooseneck allowing you to direct light specifically for reading. The smaller lamp is on a power switch of its own making it completely independent of the taller lamp.
  • Plastic Shades
    • The lampshades are made of plastic. While not necessarily a desirable quality in high-end lamps, the plastic shades do offer some reprieve. They are much more durable than glass. Therefore, they’re much less likely to be broken. On top of that, the plastic shades do not heat up the way glass ones do. This means fewer burns from the shades.
  • Best Lamp for College Students
    • The durability and cost of this lamp make it the ideal lamp for college students. If for some drunken reason, the lamp is knocked over it is more likely to survive the fall. And if the lamp is broken due to a cause outside of its one-year limited warranty, it is much cheaper to replace.

Product Specifications:

Height71.5”
Weight9.35 lbs
MaterialMetal
Bulb TypeIncandescent
Warranty1 Year limited

Factors to Consider when Purchasing a Floor Lamp

Make sure to do your research before purchasing any floor lamps. This can prevent a lot of headache and regret. No need to be left in the dark on these issues.

What do Voltage Ratings Mean?

Is your lamp rated for 110V? Maybe 220V? Why is this so important? Most places in the United States operate off of a 110V power grid. So… when you plug in a device rated for 220V, you will not receive the full capacity of the product. Not only that, but the device will pull more electricity in order to try and run it.

This can lead to an increase in power bills. The device may begin to fail over time as well. You see, with reduced voltages, a higher current must be drawn in to compensate. This can start to break down the electrical components of your lamp leading to failure.

Plugging a 110V device into a 220V socket is much more spectacular. The 110V can receive up to 4x the amount of electricity it is rated for. An exploding light bulb is a minimal effect. This can cause severe damage to the lamp itself. Your lamp may no longer be able to work. On top of that… it’s a huge fire safety risk.

If you are planning on traveling or moving out of the country with your new lamp, check out these sweet safety tips that can keep you covered! Be sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into prior to buying that new floor lamp.

Lumens vs Watts

What exactly are lumens? According to lumens.com, lumens are:

“a unit of luminous flux in the International System of Units, that is equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one-candela intensity radiating equally in all directions.”

Right… what they said…

In layman’s terms, lumens equate to brightness!

But wait… doesn’t watts mean brightness too? In short, no. Watts are actually a measurement of how much energy is used. You see, back in the day, there were very limited styles of lightbulbs. Pretty much two categories.

  1. It worked.
  2. It didn’t work.

Actually, it was mostly just incandescent bulbs. As these bulbs, drew more energy they were able to get brighter. Thus more watts… more light.

Nowadays, things are different. With the introduction of LED bulbs to the playground, lumens and watts have begun to separate themselves. Ideally, you want to find higher lumens with a lower wattage rating.

It’s definitely become much easier with the assortment of bulbs out there.

Bulb Types for Floor Lamps

Luckily for us, there are many alternatives out there to standard incandescent bulbs.

  • Halogen
    • Halogen bulbs are quickly becoming the standard for replacing existing incandescent bulbs. Out of all the light bulbs types, Halogen bulbs emit the most natural light to that similar to actual daylight. They are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, but are more expensive and burn hotter.
  • Fluorescent
    • These bulbs you will normally find in office and commercial buildings. They produce a large amount of flat blue light and last a very long time. These are an economical choice for brightening up basements and attics.
  • CFL
    • These bulbs–although more expensive– are a good choice of a lightbulb for household use. They on average last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs and save 4 times the amount of energy. When these bulbs do burn out, remember they can be recycled.
  • LED
    • These are the most recent lights to hit the market. More importantly, they are the most efficient lightbulb in terms of energy and tend to last next to forever. However, there are some drawbacks with these bulbs. At the moment, LEDs can only provide directional light emissions. This means they need to be clustered or provided with reflective guides in order to illuminate a whole room.

For more information on these different types of lightbulbs, check out this super neat article from HGTV.


Best Book Reading Lights of 2019

Whether you need a book light for reading in bed, or just need a book light to help improve your reading experience, I’ve taken the time to research, and test the best reading lights and book lights on the market.

In this book light review, we’ll be covering the best clip-on book lights for reading in bed, or for the mobile reader who wants a little light to help improve their reading experience.

Best Book Lights – Ranked Best to Worst

As you can see, we’ve listed the best book lights for you and included some of the differences between them like whether or not they are clip-on book lights, rechargeable book lights or whether they serve as a portable reading light.

Best Book Light Reviews

#1. RANIACO DAYLIGHT 12 LED READING LIGHT

The Raniaco Daylight 12 LED reading light gets my #1 best book reading light vote because not only is it the sturdiest of them all, it is the most powerful light with 12 LED bulbs and uses 3 adjustable brightness settings.  I found the adjustable lights incredibly important because it allowed me to change light intensity, thus making this the best reading light at bedtime.  Add that to the fact that this is the only one with 3-year money back guarantee, and it totally became my new best friend in reading.

The only thing I had against this one is that it isn’t the prettiest of them all.  However, I’m usually using these lights when in bed.  So, who am I trying to impress?

Features:

  • 12 LED Lights
  • 3 Brightness Levels
  • 3-Year Free Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • 24-hour battery life
  • Weight: 4.2 ounces

So, check out this sturdy, well built, highly luminescent book reading light.  It’s got a permanent place at my bedside.

#2. LUMINOLITE RECHARGEABLE WARM 6 LED BOOK LIGHT

The LuminoLite book light is not as powerful as the Raniaco, holding only 6 LEDs.  However, like the Raniaco, it does have 3 settings for light intensity. Because of the lower light capability of the LuminoLite, the battery lasts much longer and also the light weighs less.  I personally am not too concerned with this, because I’ve found the weight difference of 2 ounces to be minimal, and would prefer a more powerful light source if I need it.  Also, while I thought the battery life would be very important, I’ve been reading for over a couple of months and haven’t had to recharge my book light since.  So, the battery life isn’t that much of a concern.

Also, while the LuminoLite claims to have soft/warm light, I didn’t see much of a difference but did like the light’s illumination path.  This reading book light also includes a 3-year warranty, which is nice.  Therefore, because of the dependability and light illumination, the LuminoLite gets my #2 for best reading light.

Features:

  • 6 LED Lights
  • 3 Brightness Levels
  • 3-Year Free Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • 60-hour battery life
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces

#3. LUMINOLITE LED BOOKMARK READING LIGHT – BEST TRAVELING BOOK LIGHT

This gets the third spot in my list because of how sleek it is and easy it is to carry. Also, because of its flexible charging plug, it’s very easy to plug into my laptop while traveling.  Therefore, I decided to keep this one and permanently put it in my purse. The switch to turn it on isn’t bad either, with it being on the side.  This makes it so that it doesn’t inadvertently turn on like some of the others do.  I’ve had a couple of book reading lights run the batteries dead because the light was inadvertently turned on while I was traveling and I didn’t know it.  While not perfect, this one’s button design is better than most to stop this sort of thing from happening.

However, it only has 1 LED and boasts four light settings.  I found that the light produced, while soft and pleasant, didn’t show enough for my books.  Also, because the light isn’t diffused, it didn’t cover the entire area of my book.  Also, be careful with the battery life.  This one sports the lowest battery life of all.  But then again, I think that’s a sacrifice worth making for such a small and sleek light.

Features:

  • 1 LED Lights
  • 4 Brightness Levels
  • 1-Year Free Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in Lithium polymer rechargeable Battery
  • 8-hour battery life
  • Weight: 1.5 ounces

#4. CESUNLIGHT RECHARGEABLE LED BOOK LIGHT – BEST HANDS FREE BED LIGHT

I’m personally not a fan of these types of lights where they hang off your body like this.  I like to shift around while reading in bed, and I found that every time I do this, I have to re-adjust my lights so that they are in place.  This made me a bit self-conscientious about how I read and position myself – which isn’t enjoyable.

However, with that said, I know there are many readers that dislike the ones that clip-on their books, thus adding weight.  I get that.  So, I decided to test a bunch of hands-free versions out there and decided these were the best bang for your buck.

Features:

  • 1 LED Lights
  • 2 Brightness Levels
  • No Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in 700mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • 10-hour battery life
  • Weight: 3.8 ounces

#5. ELLESYE DUAL HEADS CLIP-ON BOOK LIGHT – BEST DUAL BOOK LIGHT

The Ellesye Duel head is a great clip-on book reading light that works best for those who want individual lights to highlight each page.  I get that.  It can be frustrating when the edges of the light don’t reach the entire page, and I catch myself straining my eyes as I get to the edge of a page.  If this is important to you, then look no further than the Ellesye.  It’s light weight and provides ample enough light with the two heads.  It also has the longest lasting battery life of them all.

However, I still believe the top two choices for best reading light provide enough light to catch all pages without having to hassle with two light heads.  Also, it doesn’t have any replacement guarantees.  Although, I didn’t experience anything that worried me about its durability.  The parts didn’t feel very cheap compared to others, and I didn’t see anything in the reviews that people experienced any unnecessary issues with its durability as well.

Features:

  • 10 LED Lights – 5 per head
  • 3 Brightness Levels
  • No Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • 60-hour battery life
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces

#6. TOPELEK READING LIGHT – EASIEST ON EYES

Having 9 different reading modes to use, the TopElek gets my best rating for being the easiest on the eyes.  You can change the color temperatures, and brightness levels in order to get the light to the most optimal level for your eyes.  With the easiness on the eyes and 1.5-year guarantee, why isn’t it the #1 choice for best reading light?

I found the 7 LED lights underwhelming.  There were times I wish it had the extra 3 LEDs that the top reading light has.  I also wasn’t impressed with its weight compared to the others.  Although it compares to my number #1 choice, I’d of expected the TopElek to pack enough punch. But alas, it didn’t.

Features:

  • 7 LED Lights
  • 3 Brightness Levels, 3 Color Levels
  • 1.5 Year Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • 60-hour battery life
  • Weight: 4.2 ounces

#7. ENERGIZER CLIP BOOK LIGHT – CHEAPEST AND LIGHTEST BOOK LIGHT

Although the Energizer Clipbook light is the lightest and cheapest of the lights, it’s light lacks in intensity, and does not have a replaceable battery.  The CR2032 are not a commonly owned battery and it only lasts 25 hours.  I found that this was very problematic and would cause issues for future long term use.

Features:

  • 1 LED Light
  • No Brightness Levels
  • No Replacement Guarantee
  • 2x CR2032 batteries
  • 25-hour battery life
  • Weight: 1.3 ounces

What to Look for in a Book Reading Light

If you’d like to learn more about book reading lights, be sure to check out these characteristics:

  • Rechargeable Book Light vs Replacement Batteries

    • Are you the type that prefers rechargeable abilities vs batteries? For readers who do a heavy reading at night, replacement battery costs may begin to grow expensive. If that’s the case, you should consider a rechargeable book light. Check for a model similar to this Mighty Bright.
  • Clip-on Book Reading Capability

    • Sometimes you need portability for your book light. Clip on book lights are great for on-the-go readers. Models like this LuminoLite may help you solve your dilemma of needing a clip-on book light for reading at night.
  • LED Light Intensity

    • Look for a book light with adjustable brightness. Excessive light intensity can damage your eyes– and keep your spouse awake at night. Maybe a book light such as this RYCYN would best suit your needs.
  • LED Color Settings

    • Studies have shown that different light colors can affect our eyesight. According to the EastWest Eye Institute, reading with excessive blue light at night can throw off your circadian rhythm and over prolonged exposure cause retinal damage. Look for a book light with multiple color settings such as the HOLIFE mini rechargeable light offered by Amazon.


3 Self-Publishing Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs

Self-publishing is as much about avoiding the wrong things as it is doing the right things.

I’m a strong advocate that almost any self-publishing tactic can work well if applied properly and mastered.

However, doing the wrong things will always hurt you, each and every time.

The following are some of the main mistakes I’ve seen people make. Avoid them at all costs!

Ignoring Your Competitors

While it’s definitely more important to work on your own goals and projects than it is to focus on your competitors, a balance needs to be struck.

Too many self-publishers take the ‘indie’ label to heart and see themselves as being totally independent and unique. This is a massive mistake. As humans, we learn a lot better when we pay attention to the moves others are making.

After all, none of us has all the knowledge and experience. It, therefore, makes sense to benefit from the perspectives and insights that others have.

Some of the ways to apply this principle effectively include –

  • Scheduling a set time for competitor research. This allows you to strike the right balance between paying attention to what others are doing and working on your own projects.
  • Look outside of your niche. As authors, we run the risk of getting stuck in an echo chamber, where we only hear ideas and thoughts similar to our own. This can be amplified further if we keep a small circle, such as authors within the same specific genre as us.
  • Look outside of self-publishing all together. For example, Kyle of fooddeliveryyguru.com releases a mix of interesting content types, such as his recent guide to smoothie services. His mix of content has inspired several ideas for future articles of my own, albeit applied to self-publishing.
  • Keep an ear to the ground. Often, hot topics in the self-publishing community, such as changes to CreateSpace royalty payment dates, will emerge in the forums and Facebook groups before they make it to the blog posts. By keeping an ear to the ground, you stand to benefit from the hottest news out there.
  • Deliberately listen to people you disagree with. From an ego perspective, it can be nice to only listen to people who hold similar views as us. However, sometimes people we don’t agree with are actually the ones we need to be listening to most.

This is by no means a suggestion to rip off your competitors, or to spend too much of your time keeping an eye on them.

However, you need to devote at least some of your time to keep an eye on what’s going on out there, otherwise, you run the risk of missing out on important knowledge or information.

Reinventing The Wheel

Similarly to how many self-publishers neglect the importance of carrying out competitor analysis, as described above, many also try to reinvent the wheel which, as we all know, costs a pretty penny.

It’s good to be creative. It’s good to be original. However, it takes a certain level of arrogance and a lack of realism to feel you are doing something truly original.

After all, even Shakespeare’s stories were based on existing tales! Are you better than William? Are you?

Some of the ways this problem manifests include –

  • Failing to respect genre tropes and conventions for your book cover. Readers don’t care enough to look past whatever creative intention you had at the time.
  • Refusing to place your work in any particular genre. There are genres for almost everything. If you feel your work can’t be classified, you probably don’t know it well enough.
  • Ignoring marketing ideas that are tried and tested, such as an author website, or building an author mailing list. No one is above the process.
  • Failing to benefit from the mistakes others have made. There’s nothing noble about being easily avoidable errors in the name of being stubborn. It’s a lot smarter to stand on the shoulders of giants, and benefit from the trial and error of those who have walked the path before you.

There’s no harm or shame in being creative or trying something original. However, failing to at least consider tried and tested good and bad ideas is a foolish level of arrogance that will condemn you to a certain frustration and failure.

Failing To Use Tools To Grow

Some writers take a weird pride in being Luddites.

I’m sure you know the type. Writers who take a weird pride in not having a smartphone or some other quirk.

While I’m not a slave to any piece of tech, nor am I a blind advocate for tech I do strongly feel that many authors miss out on valuable opportunities offered to them by tech tools.

Some of the opportunities I see people miss out on include –

  • Not generating keywords automatically for their AMS or other advertising campaigns. There is nothing noble about doing this by hand! Give yourself a chance guys.
  • Not using editing tools or digital writing coaches, such as ProWritingAid. Yes, human editors are awesome, irreplaceable people. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t waste their time by not using a writing checker first.
  • Not being open to using tools such as book title generators to help you break through a creative impasse.
  • Failing to carry out any type of keyword research or SEO for author blogs. Why waste your valuable writing time and effort on a post if no one is even going to read it? Wouldn’t you rather help people by offering something they are actually searching for?

Like all things in self-publishing and in life, there’s a happy middle ground to be struck when it comes to using tools. Don’t come to rely on them too much, but also don’t overlook the genuine ways they could benefit you as an author and self-publisher.


Best of 2018 (so far) for Self-Publishers and Book Marketers

We’re already almost a quarter of the way through 2018.

This year has seen a wealth of amazing content aimed at helping self-publishers and book marketers succeed and experience the best return on their time and effort.

It can be difficult to keep track of all the valuable content published amidst the never-ending stream of blog posts and social media content. As a result, it’s often easy to overlook some of the most useful blog posts.

To help you out, we at NerdyBookGirl have gathered together some of the best content from 2018 so far. We’ve extracted a key quote and a few takeaways from each article, but would urge you to read the full piece of content. Each site is also a quality resource in and of itself, so if you like any particular article, please check out the rest of the site.

Without further ado, here are the highlights from 2018 so far.

Writing.ie – ‘On Blank Pages and Being Inspired’

To start off, we have an inspirational piece from Writing.ie on the importance of remaining inspired no matter what your personal situation happens to be as a writer.

The article reflects on how even the most successful writers started out with a humble beginning. No one makes it overnight and the early struggles that writers experience are just part and parcel of the road to success.

KEY QUOTE –

“Why am I telling you this? Because every writer who is published, whoever hit a list or won an award or went to a fancypants publishing party was, once upon a time, struggling and aspiring, staring at a blank page and – quite possibly – weeping into their eighth cup of coffee that morning. I was so that soldier.”

TAKEAWAYS –

*No writer makes it overnight

*Struggling is part of the process

*Inspiration can be found by mixing with other writers

Draft 2 Digital – ‘Book Launch Best Practices’

Launching a book is one of the hardest things to get right. It also happens to be one of the key success factors which can make or break your book’s success in the long run.

Draft 2 Digital present their take on the best practices to keep in mind when launching your next title. They emphasize taking the time to learn and focus on the launch practices which produce the best results for your book, in order to only expend effort on activities which produce a tangible return.

KEY QUOTE –

“When it comes down to it, you’ll need to test and experiment and learn and grow, and ultimately do the things that get you the best results, consistently and with as little investment on your part as possible.”

TAKEAWAYS –

*Defining a target market, and writing to market, are keys to launch success

*Sunday is the best day of the week to launch a book

*Your marketing activities need to be consistent

Jane Friedman – ‘Launching Your Second Book and Beyond’

Jane Friedman is one of the most reputable names in the self-publishing and indie author community and her blog is a treasure trove of useful information.

In this post, a focus is given to long-term approaches to author marketing, with a particular focus on book launches after the first. This is an essential read for any book marketer who sees their publishing career as being a long-term endeavor.

KEY QUOTE –

“Before you publish their first book, your marketing plans are mostly speculative. But once you’re a year or two in, you’ve seen which efforts were successful in terms of generating publicity, boosting your social media engagement, and converting into sales—in other words, what worked for you and what didn’t.”

TAKEAWAYS –

*Know what worked and didn’t work from your first book launch

*Understand what makes your new book unique and interesting

*Focus on targeted forms of social media that produce results for your niche or genre

The Book Designer – ‘9 Types of Pitches to Use When Promoting Your Book’

Pitching your book to the various key players in the publishing world is a key skill you need to develop as an author. However, for many writers, it does not come naturally, and this guide from The Book Designer will be much appreciated. This article looks at nine types of pitches you can use. It caters to the specific nuances of pitching to different types of people and the things to keep in mind and focus on when doing so.

KEY QUOTE –

“Before you pitch anyone, you must identify your ideal readers, journalists and other people and organizations who you will be pitching. They must be a perfect fit. Your pitch must explain what’s in it for them or their audiences.”

TAKEAWAYS –

*Know who you are pitching to and what their interests are

*Think outside the box and consider pitching to less obvious people such as radio

*Ensure your follow up pitch is well thought out

BookWorks – ‘Authors: Don’t Put All Your Eggs In The Facebook Basket’

In this article for BookWorks, the recent Facebook algorithm changes are explored, and it’s emphasized that authors should diversify their marketing channels and not rely on any one platform for results.

This is a useful reminder guide to the fundamentals of building an author platform and the different marketing channels that can be used in doing so.

KEY QUOTE –

“Consumers (readers!) use keywords to find a new book or to locate information on a topic they want to learn more about. Learning about keywords and how they work is a great way to build your audience and sell more books.”

TAKEAWAYS –

*Don’t rely on any single marketing channel

*Your mailing list is a worthwhile long term investment

*Optimize your blog posts to gain organic search traffic

Write To Done – ‘How I Went From Being Scared Witless To Being a Published Author’

This article from Write To Done explores how authors gain confidence, self-belief, and discipline to help them along their author journey.

This is a heartfelt guide to finding time for writing and saying no to the things and people that hold you back from getting where you want to go. If you struggle with confidence or feel that you could use a boost of inspiration then this is a great place to start.

KEY QUOTE –

“Your biggest challenge in writing is the belief that you can do this. Lack of belief causes you daily problems in discipline – the discipline needed to be a successful writer. It stops you sitting each day and writing the words you need to hit your target and finish that post, or book or screenplay.”

TAKEAWAYS –

*Give yourself permission to take time to write

*Say no to negative people that don’t believe in you or your work

*Believe in yourself over the opinions of others

Adazing – ‘The 6 W’s of An Awesome Author Network’

It’s an old but true saying that it’s not what you know, but who you know, that helps you to succeed.

This is very true in the case of authors. Having a strong network of fellow writers and book marketers is a key factor to help you learn and get to where you need to go. This guide from Adazing teaches you everything you need to know to build the author network you need and to do so in the right way.

KEY QUOTE –

“A successful network is a web of mutually-beneficial relationships.  They say that a rising tide raises all ships. You want to be able to contribute to others just as much as you want to find ways that your connections can help you.  If you approach building your network with a “what’s in it for me” mentality, you’ll struggle.”

TAKEAWAYS –

*You have to contribute as well as take

*You can build your network both online and offline

*Author networks can provide mutual marketing opportunities

The Write Practice – ‘How to Write a Brilliant Twist Ending’

If there’s one storytelling device that audiences have proven to love time and time again, it’s the twist ending.

A well-executed twist ending is a kind of thing which gets readers talking, both online and offline and generates an incredible word of mouth buzz. If you want to learn to write an effective twist ending, check out this guide from The Write Practice, along with a practical writing exercise at the end.

KEY QUOTE –

“But it’s totally worth it. For many of us, great storytelling twists motivate us to tell our own stories. We long to recreate the catharsis of an unpredictable twist.

So do it right. Focus on choices and the seemingly contradictory reasons why characters make them. Don’t simply hide backstory, but use it to complicate the difficult decisions every character has to make.”

TAKEAWAYS –

*A twist ending can generate word of mouth buzz

*A twist ending works well when revealing a hidden motive

*Don’t rush your twist ending as it takes time to find the right end

Location Rebel – ‘How To Wake Up Earlier, 3 No-Brainer Tactics’

As book marketers, there are endless demands on our time, and it can be difficult to find enough hours in the day to get everything done that we need to.

This guide from Location Rebel offers three practical ways to get up earlier. This allows for more time in the day to work and the opportunity to take the entire afternoon as a period of leisure and socializing.

KEY QUOTE –

“Once you get past those first few excruciating minutes, and throw the covers off, turn the lights on, and get the coffee pot going – you’ll be treated to the very best hours of the day. The hours that many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world swear by.”

TAKEAWAYS –

*Waking up even an hour earlier can create room in a packed schedule

*Waking up earlier will require an adjustment period

*Planning out activities the night before can assist motivation upon waking

Independent Publishing Magazine – ‘Millenials Market: How To Promote A Book on Snapchat’

Although it’s come in for some criticism lately, there’s no denying the fact that Snapchat is one of the most popular apps and social networks among millennials.

Many authors are outside of the target demographic and don’t know how to use Snapchat. As a result, they are missing out on a unique form of marketing and an effective way of staying in touch with younger readers in particular. This guide from The Independent Publishing Magazine will turn even the least familiar author into a savvy Shapchatter.

KEY QUOTE –

“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!”

TAKEAWAYS –

* Millenials prefer Snapchat over Facebook as a social network

*Cross-promote your Snapchat profile on other social media platforms

*Use the ‘stories’ feature to market your book creatively and artistically


Awesome Self-Publishing Resources For 2018

How was your 2017 in terms of self-publishing success?

Perhaps you achieved all the goals you set and are aiming to take things to the next level in the new year.

Maybe 2017 didn’t quite go as planned. You might not have completed everything you intended, or maybe life threw you a curveball and things didn’t work out the way you hoped.

No matter how the past year was for you, 2018 represents a chance to refocus, hustle hard, and turn your dreams into achievements.

To offer a helping hand, we’ve gathered up some of the best content from round the web.

If you find any of the following useful, please take the time to check out the blog or website and see what else they have on offer. Each and every blog or website is a rich resource packed with useful ideas you are sure to love.

Enjoy, and here’s to your success in 2018!

Self-Publishing School’s Newbie Guide

One of the most common problems I find with self-publishing content is a presumption of existing knowledge.

I get why it happens.

For writers, publishers, bloggers, and other authorities, the knowledge and skill needed to release a book is almost second nature. A lot of people offering advice have been active in this niche for years.

For newcomers to the self-publishing world, this can feel very discouraging. It’s easy to feel like you’re late to the party if you don’t have a grasp of the basics.

Self-Publishing School is a great place for newcomers. Their content is easy to digest and presented in a friendly and non-intimidating manner.

A prime example is Self-Publishing School’s 13 step guide on how to self publish a book.

Chandler Bolt breaks down the lengthy process of publication in 13 simple steps which anyone can easily understand.

If you’re just starting out, or know someone who is, Self-Publishing School is more than worthy of your time and attention.

Develop Habits With The Help Of NYT Bestseller Jeff Goins

If you didn’t achieve everything you wanted to in 2017, the chances are you didn’t have the right habits in place.

Jeff Goins is a bestselling author and all-around helpful dude who shares concisely written, personal gems of wisdom on his blog, GoinsWriter.

In his guide to setting habits, Jeff talks about how choosing the right daily habits has been a lot more effective for him than setting goals that never seem to get fulfilled.

It’s definitely worth it to read Jeff’s full article, as he has a way of expressing profound ideas concisely that is inimitable.

To get you thinking along the right lines, envision something you really want to achieve in 2018. Next, try and imagine the regular habits that will make it come true.

If you want to write a novel, what kind of daily writing habit would you need to put into place to make it happen? If you want to learn a new skill, how much time each day should you dedicate to it?

Jeff’s blog is full of beautifully written content that has the feel of a friend offering heartfelt advice. No matter what problem you face, Jeff probably has a blog post to help you out.

An Injection Of Inspiration Courtesy of Jane Friedman

Self-publishing is not easy. It requires focus, a tolerance for risk, multiple skill sets, and a little bit of luck.

It can be easy to become dejected and put writing and publishing on the back burner when life gets tough.

If 2018 gives you some difficult hurdles to overcome, I’d urge you to check out Audrey Berger Welz’s guest post for Jane Friedman.

Consider the following extract –

“Truthfully they expected I had about twenty minutes of life left in me, but I surprised them. I lived! They went in and operated, again, and again, and again—four major surgeries in two weeks. I was put into a medically induced coma for close to three weeks, and was on feeding tubes for about a month. Later I was told that I had had less than a one percent chance of survival. Yet I held onto my dreams. I hadn’t quite finished my novel and was oh so close. I hadn’t held my book in my hands, so I could not die.”

Isn’t that one of the most inspirational things you’ve read in a long time?

Drawing on positive and inspirational role models is one of the best ways to find inner strength and determination when we most need it.

In addition to this inspirational guest post, Jane’s blog is packed full of smartly written, useful content from someone who has truly walked the walk in the world of writing and publishing.

Keep Your Knowledge On Course With Create If Writing

We probably live in a time when knowledge is more readily available than ever before.

How cool is it that we can learn almost anything from our computers?

It’s often possible to take a high-quality course which makes a genuine difference to our daily life and work without paying a single penny.

Kirsten Oliphant runs the Create If Writing blog which is an upbeat, quirky place full of cool content.

Particularly useful is the list of free online courses specially chosen with self-publishers in mind.

Kirsten’s list covers a wide range of topics including writing, social media, blogging, and even broader life skills. No matter what you are looking to improve upon in 2018, there is almost certainly a free course on the list to help you on your way.

Happy New Year From NerdyBookGirl!

Hopefully, you’ll take action and check out the above resources.

After all, there’s no time like the present to start walking the path towards your goals for the new year.

NerdyBookGirl will continue to bring you a mix of ideas and inspiration throughout the coming year.

Until then, Happy New Year, and here’s to a successful 2018 for us all.


Best Ways To Invest In Your Self-Publishing Career

“There is no more profitable investment than investing in yourself. It is the best investment you can make; you can never go wrong with it. It is the true way to improve yourself to be the best version of you and lets you be able to best serve those around you.”

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Like anything in life, it’s important to spend both your time and money improving your skills and knowledge in the area of self-publishing.

It’s important to seek out smart investments that stand a good chance of adding to your self-publishing capabilities in order to give you a better chance of success. It can be difficult to know the best investments to make. In actual fact, there isn’t a one size fits all approach to investing in yourself as a self-publishers.

The best choice of investment you can make in your self-publishing business depends upon the stage you are currently at, and the investment you think will be most aligned with your aims and objectives at the time.

With that in mind, we’ll now consider some of the smartest self-publishing self investments you can make, and some tips on making a smart choice for where you are at in your career.

Courses For Self-Publishers

Self-publishing has many skills and techniques which must be learned in order to give yourself the best chance of success.

Even something as simple as writing a book has a lot of different steps which must be understood and put into practice. That’s before you even get to advanced ideas such as creating long-term strategic marketing strategies, building an author platform, working across different genres, or offering services to other authors as an additional stream of revenue.

Some of the best types, of course, you may wish to consider investing in include –

  • Writing courses. You may wish to take a general writing course if you are just starting out. You can also consider taking a specialist course to improve an area of writing you feel less confident about, such as world building, or dialogue. You can also take a specialist course for writing in a certain genre if you think it represents a good business opportunity, but aren’t sure of the conventions and tropes you will need to draw upon.
  • Editing courses. Although it’s always a good idea to make use of a specialist pro editor, it’s useful to have the type of skills that editors possess. This helps in several ways. You will be able to self-edit your own work which will save time and make the job easier when you turn your work over to a pro. You will also be able to consider offering editing services to other authors to give you an additional revenue stream.
  • Technical courses. Being a self-published author in the current business environment means you will benefit from having a certain amount of technical ability. Some of the technical areas you may wish to invest in include building and maintaining websites, running an author mailing list, and using apps to manage aspects of your business such as design, formatting, and marketing.
  • Marketing courses. Taking a scattershot approach to marketing is unlikely to produce the best results possible. Instead, it’s smart to learn from the best. No matter whether you take a course on Facebook advertising, Amazon advertising, or any other form of marketing, you are likely to get better results if you’ve learned from a reputable course.

Specialist Software For Self-Publishers

We’ve looked at some of the best knowledge investments for self-publishers in the form of courses. Now, it’s time to consider some of the best specialist types of software self-publishers should consider purchasing, the and the benefits that come from doing so.

It’s astounding how many self-publishers just use the basic tools available to them, such as Microsoft Word. If you are serious about success, you need to equip yourself with the tools that will give you an advantage.

  • Writing software. Although it’s possible to create great work with even the simplest of tools, when it’s time to produce longer works, the job is a lot easier with the use of book writing software. Some of the advantages of using specialist software include being able to have all your research in one place, being able to edit and reorder your work with much less hassle, and syncing across devices, such as writing on your home machine and editing on a tablet.
  • Cover design software. If you take the time to learn book cover design, you can save yourself a lot of money on pro cover design, and you can also offer cover design services for other authors in order to create additional revenue for your business.
  • Admin software. If you are receiving income from multiple different sources, such as some ad revenue, some book royalties, and some payments for services to other authors, it can become difficult to keep track of everything. Investing in financial admin software can make it easier to manage your books, keep track of your taxes, and avoid any financial problems down the line.
  • Marketing software. Marketing can become almost a full-time job in and of itself. Some of the benefits of using a specialist marketing tool include being able to manage multiple marketing platforms from a single app, schedule a batch of content for a time period in one go, and to respond to and manage social connections in one place. Using marketing software can save you time to spend on writing and other things you enjoy.

Platform Building For Self-Publishers

The key difference between amateur and pro-self-publishers is between those who think ahead and invest their time and energy into building a long-term author platform, and those who think in the short-term, not thinking further ahead than their next release.

Building a long-term author platform requires smart choices and clever investments. Some of the ways you can invest in your long-term author future include –

  • Advertising to build your mailing list. Perhaps the most important part of building an author platform is growing and maintaining a mailing list. By using the advanced targeting capabilities offered by Facebook, you can carefully target your ads on the specific people who are most likely to become fans of your work.
  • Investing in your website. There’s no need to have a super fancy website. However, investing to make sure the user experience is as good as possible, and the site is as quick, clear and functional as it can be, is a great way of investing in your long-term success as an author.
  • Video creation. A video is one of the most effective forms of content. It has a high engagement rate and is also very shareable on social. Investing in decent video shooting and editing equipment can give you an advantage over your competitors and give you a capability not many people have.
  • Hiring an assistant. Virtual assistants can be hired quite cheaply and for as little as a few hours a week. By letting a virtual assistant do things to build your long-term author platform, such as website or mailing list admin, you can focus on the high-level creative tasks that only you are capable of.

Self-Publishing Investment Final Thoughts

It’s important to invest in your self-publishing success. Some of the key investments include –

  • Investing in knowledge and skill to improve your own work and unlock additional revenue streams outside your core author activities.
  • Invest in software to help you produce better work in less time.
  • Invest in platform building and ways of establishing a long-term strategic presence.

What are the best investments you’ve ever made as a self-publisher? What has been the worst?

Please let me know in the comments.


Inspiration For Writers

It isn’t always easy to feel inspired as a writer.

Sometimes, you feel overflowing with creativity and inspiration. It can be difficult to keep up with the sheer cascade of ideas you have.

Other times, writing is like getting blood from a stone. Each word is a genuine struggle and even thinking about writing is painful and unproductive.

For most writers, their level of inspiration usually falls somewhere between the two extremes. Some writers experience a fairly consistent level of motivation while others have a far greater ebb and flow.

No matter how inspired or not you may be feeling, it’s always valuable to have some go-to ways of topping up your inspiration. The following five sources have proved powerful for countless writers, and may just give you the boost you need.

Books

It’s incredibly rare for a writer to not also be a reader. Therefore, it’s only natural that books about writing are some of the most valuable and treasured sources of inspiration for writers.

The best books on writing will offer both emotional inspiration and practical advice. A perfect example is ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King.

Writing offers the inspirational story of how Stephen King went from a financially struggling teacher to one of the most successful authors ever. In addition, it also provides King’s own method of writing and editing as well as plenty of practical advice.

The type of writing book you find most inspiring is likely to depend upon your situation. If you are lacking self-belief, it can be useful to listen to someone who has overcome a similar, or more serious, struggle than yours. If you are struggling with a particular area of writing, such as outlining or writing dialogue, reading a specialist book by a master of that aspect of the art could be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Books are wonderful as they provide an incredible depth of information relative to their price. It’s often possible to learn far more from a book than from a video course for a fraction of the cost.

Support Groups

Sometimes, we need a personal and human element to our writing inspiration.

One of the best ways to get inspired is to join a writing group.

This can be either an offline, in-person group or an online option such as a Facebook group or writing forum.

Some of the key benefits to writing support groups include the personalized advice you will receive, the chance to give back by contributing and helping out others, and the personal connection that comes with being part of a group of people over time.

Support Groups

Sometimes, we need a personal and human element to our writing inspiration.

One of the best ways to get inspired is to join a writing group.

This can be either an offline, in-person group or an online option such as a Facebook group or writing forum.

Some of the key benefits to writing support groups include the personalized advice you will receive, the chance to give back by contributing and helping out others, and the personal connection that comes with being part of a group of people over time.

TUCKEN READING LIGHT

You’ll like this one.

If you are seeking support from a writing group, there are a few things to keep in mind. You should seek out a group which has the right vibe or feel for your own personality. Some groups are formal, others very informal. Finding a place you will want to spend time and will feel at home is important for making the most of your group.

You also want to choose a group with the right level and type of information for your needs. If you are just starting out, an advanced group probably won’t be the best fit, and if you write nonfiction, but the majority of your group talks about fiction, you should look elsewhere.

Podcasts

Podcasts are an underappreciated source of writing inspiration.

There is something really special about being able to dip in and out of podcast episodes no matter where you are or what you are doing. You can use podcasts to make your commute a useful and enjoyable experience or to get some fresh writing ideas while on the treadmill in the gym.

The best podcasts for writers contain a mix of practical advice and general inspiration. Podcasts are perfectly suited to interviews, and as a result, offer some of the best opportunities to hear authors you admire talking about their work. There’s something really special about hearing a writer you love sharing their wisdom in their own voice.

It’s useful to develop go-to podcasts for different situations. For example, if you find a particular podcast which gives you inspiration whenever you listen to it, make a note of it. That way, you have inspiration on tap when it’s running low. If there’s a podcast which always makes you laugh, be sure to give it a listen anytime you feel frustrated and everything gets too much.

Online Courses

Online courses are some of the best ways to learn in-depth information. You get the personal touch of having an instructor cover the material with the convenience of being able to log in and cover the content at your own time and pace.

Learning from an online course is great if you prefer to watch someone else actually carry out the topic being taught. For example, if you are struggling with inspiration for brainstorming plot points, you can watch a real writer show you their actual process. This is often a lot more educational and inspirational than merely reading about the same process.

If you are looking to learn from an online course, be careful. A lot of courses are slickly marketed but talk the talk a lot better than they walk the walk. Before investing in a particular course, it’s worth thinking about whether –

The course covers the material you need
The course is taught in a way which will be inspirational and effective for you
Real reviewers have praised the course in a way which resonates with you
The course represents value for money and time

You can find online writing courses at Masterclass, which has the benefit of being taught by incredible superstar instructors, and Udemy, which has a wider range of courses and teachers.

Writing Retreats

Sometimes you might feel the best way to regain or boost your inspiration is to change your environment and attend a dedicated writing retreat.

This is a big step to take and is something which obviously can’t be used as often as listening to a podcast or reading a chapter of a writing book. However, if you need a supportive environment away from the mundanity of everyday life, a retreat might be your best bet.

Retreats are expensive but offer the most drastic chance to completely focus on your writing. They also serve as a form of vacation and can be superb for general rest and relaxation purposes.

Attending a writing retreat is likely to be a rare step and saved for special occasions. However, it’s a valuable option when you really need to turbocharge your writing inspiration at all costs.

Writing Inspiration Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article will provide you with a menu of inspiration to feast upon whenever needed. Whether you need a quick five-minute boost of inspiration from a podcast or a period of serious retreat and reflection, there’s something for your situation.

No matter how uninspired you may feel, there is always a solution. Be brave and hold on until you find it.


Best Bargains For Self-Publishers

If you’re serious about self-publishing, you’re likely to come across an endless array of products and services to spend your money on.

It’s important to strike a balance between being frugal, but also unafraid of investing in quality offerings which will make a difference to your self-publishing journey.

Unless you have the terrible problem of an unlimited amount of money to spend, it’s wise to seek out genuine bargains. Quality choices that are a good fit for your circumstance, have a real opportunity to help with your goals, and won’t break the bank in the process.

Three of the best possible areas for your investment are in software, information, and services.

Let’s take a look at the smartest bargains within these three areas of self-publishing.

Bargain Self-Publishing Software

The array of software used by self-publishers is as varied as the writers themselves.

Some people have a specialist, high-end tool for every aspect of their creative process. It can be tempting to fall into the trap of assuming higher-priced software will instantly equal higher quality output. Of course, this isn’t the case. Otherwise, becoming the world’s greatest photographer would simply be a matter of buying the best camera.

Instead, it’s smarter to think about the problems you have with the way you are currently doing things. Is there a cumbersome or frustrating aspect of your process? Could you become more efficient by using fewer tools?

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to self-publishing software, as everyone’s process and method are slightly different. Some people take a hands-on approach and therefore need to be able to design covers, format their books, and film promotional videos. Others focus on core aspects of their own business and invest only in these.

One of the best software bargains which will be useful to the vast majority of self-published writers is Scrivener. It’s a superb writing tool which makes the process of creating complex written projects much easier to deal with. Scrivener is fairly inexpensive, but you can get an even better bargain with a Scrivener discount.

Some of the most useful tools actually cost nothing, and are therefore the potential biggest bargains. Canva and Google Drive are great tools with no upfront cost for creating and collaborating quickly online.

If you are using any expensive software, it’s worth considering whether a free or cheaper alternative would be capable of offering the same level of benefit at a lower cost.

Bargain Self-Publishing Information

A lot of the best information out there is free. There are endless high-quality blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to providing actionable and game-changing information.

However, free information isn’t always the right choice. Sometimes it’s worth investing in a quality book or course which will go in-depth on a particular topic and provide you with the knowledge you need, presented in the way you want.

Just because you’ve decided to spend money on information, it doesn’t mean you should forget about finding a good deal.

If there’s a particular course or book you’re interested in, follow these steps to take a smart approach to find an information bargain –

  • Make sure there isn’t a better option for the information you want to learn
  • Read reviews and consider the feedback from real people rather than marketing hype
  • When you’re sure a course or book is right for you, research to make sure it isn’t on offer at a better price elsewhere
    Search online for coupons and discounts – you might be surprised at what you find
  • Some information providers offer deals, such as regular sales (for example, Udemy offer seasonal sales, and Amazon have prime day). If there’s a course or book you want, consider waiting until the promotional time to grab it.

Bargain Self-Publishing Services

Self-publishers may well require a wide range of services depending on their own publishing plan. While some have the skills and time to take a DIY approach for the majority of tasks, there are some that should be outsourced.

When looking to buy services, some of the most important things to consider are –

Is the price fair? Shop around to get a feel for the different prices service providers charge. Expect to pay more for experience and quality, and less for someone just starting out. The price point you’re looking for is your choice – just make sure it’s justified.

Are there hidden costs? Sometimes, you’ll have to factor in fees for online payments, taxes or other hidden costs. Do your research to make sure you don’t get hit with an unexpected cost.

Are there other platforms that offer similar services at a better price? Don’t follow the trend. Just because a particular platform is a high profile, don’t assume it’s the best deal for you

Is there any discount available for batch work? Often, you will be able to secure a discount on self-publishing services if you confirm you will purchase a larger quantity than a one-off order

Self-Publishing Bargain Summary

Overall, self-publishing is worth investing in, but it pays to be smart.

Don’t buy software for the sake of it, but look for genuine opportunities to make an improvement to your working life

If you want to purchase paid information, make sure the investment is the best option for your needs, and there isn’t a better price available

Take the time to find the right freelancers for your projects, and watch out for any hidden fees that may arise

Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong way to handle your self-publishing spending. Different businesses have different needs.

It’s always good to find a bargain, but only if the bargain is right for you.