Flannery O’Connor: “You can’t clobber a reader while he’s looking. Divert his attention, then clobber him and he never knows what hit him.”

Susan Orlean: “You should know more than what you put on the page. The reader can sense that.”

Marie Force: The results are in –2015 reader survey

  • In short, ebooks are still hot, especially on the Amazon/Kindle and Apple/iBooks platforms. Readers learn about authors via Facebook.
  • “Forty-three percent of readers in 2015 said “star ratings” on retail sites are not that important and they would try a low star-rating if they like the cover/teaser/sample.”
  • “66 percent of readers say they never peruse the New York Times bestseller list looking for new authors to try, 26 say they rarely check the list, 5 percent check monthly and 2 percent check out the list weekly.

General Assembly: New to social media marketing? Here are 6 best practices

In addition to maintaining your standards and representing your brand with excellence, here are six best practices that span all of the top five social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, and Instagram) and most other social media channels. In other words, if you start off using these best practices, your chances of early success will increase greatly.

(The 6 best practices are: make it brief, use attractive imagery, be inclusive, keep it short, use hashtags (properly), and know that Instagram is different/an outlier.)

Vice: How to come to terms with your attraction to fat girls

To you heterosexual men out there who can’t yet find it in you to outwardly admit that us fatties are capable of being just as attractive as thin women, ask yourself: Why exactly that is? What is it you really fear? The reaction of your friends? What kind of friends are those, if they so strongly want to stop you from being happy?

The bottom line is, fat women are sick of being treated like freaks, and those men who are attracted to us are sick of being treated like deviants. Attractiveness exists on a spectrum, and it’s time that spectrum show all of itself—rolls and all.

Huffington Post: What TV show “Married at First Sight” tells us about modern dating

I’m all for taking a realistic approach to marriage but this is taking it to the extreme. Jumping into marriage for an experiment is a recipe for disaster. But then at the other end of the scale isn’t waiting for the perfect person, and the perfect relationship at the perfect time equally as unrealistic for success? Where’s the middle ground? It’s likely both extremes will end up unhappy.

Fast Company: Why Thursday is a good day to start a new habit

The workweek tends to be slowing down by then. In my time surveys, I’ve found that Wednesday is the longest workday, and then the numbers fall off after that. One survey of HR professionals found that only 3% of people claimed Thursday was the most productive day in their offices. Fewer things are starting up, so you can concentrate your energy and focus on your new routine. You take your lunchtime walk with fewer competing priorities.

Friday lets you repeat the routine, reinforcing it, again with few distractions. Then over the weekend, you can evaluate (or keep going if you intend to). By the time Monday rolls around, you’re already several days into the habit. It’s not a new thing among other new things. It’s just part of what you do. When a new habit becomes just something you do, it has a greater chance of sticking.

Creative Live: The psychology of creating repeat customers for any business

“Instead of relying on expensive marketing or worrying about differentiation, habit-forming companies get customers to cue themselves to action by attaching their services to the customers’ daily routines and emotions. A cemented habit is when users subconsciously think, ‘I’m bored,’ and instantly Facebook comes to mind. They think, ‘I wonder what’s going on in the world?’ and before rationale thought occurs, Twitter is the answer. The first-to-mind solution wins,” Nir says.

Hootsuite: 5 social network features you need to stop ignoring (Twitter-favorites; Facebook-interest lists, LinkedIn-search for posts, Instagram-the following tab, Google-Google analytics snapshot)

Like certain spices in every rack, social networks have features that we simply pass over without giving them much thought. Sometimes we use them, but often as an afterthought with no strategy behind it. But these features were carefully thought out and built. They serve a purpose, a place in a recipe that many of us simply haven’t discovered yet.

Cision: Build your brand on Instagram

…being active on Instagram ensures you’re a part of this big party. But also, so many brands are struggling with how to use or aren’t using it at all, so for those of us on there, we can build our communities, grow our presence, and establish a foundation before everyone else catches on and are left playing catch-up. Instagram is a hyper-rich site for engagement too. With engagement rates 15X greater than Facebook and significantly higher than the other major social media sites, there is real opportunity to connect with and build a devoted audience on Instagram.

Time: How to attract good luck — The 4 steps are:

  1. Maximize Opportunities: Keep trying new things.

  2. Listen To Hunches: Especially if it’s an area where you have some experience, trust your intuition.

  3. Expect Good Fortune: Be an optimist. A little delusion can be good.

  4. Turn Bad Luck Into Good: Don’t dwell on the bad. Look at the big picture.

Inc.: 4 steps to give yourself a motivation makeover

  1. Find new sources
  2. Carve out time daily
  3. Create a social media toolkit
  4. Build a support team

Brain Pickings: The illustrated love letters, thank you notes and travelogues of great artists

Letter writing is probably the most beautiful manifestation in human relations, in fact, it is its finest residue.

Vitae: Ignore your haters and toot your own horn (good advice even if it’s from an academic point of view)

Stanford University: This is your brain on Jane Austen.

Phillips said the global increase in blood flow during close reading suggests that “paying attention to literary texts requires the coordination of multiple complex cognitive functions.” Blood flow also increased during pleasure reading, but in different areas of the brain. Phillips suggested that each style of reading may create distinct patterns in the brain that are “far more complex than just work and play.”

The experiment focuses on literary attention, or more specifically, the cognitive dynamics of the different kinds of focus we bring to reading. This experiment grew out of Phillips’ ongoing research about Enlightenment writers who were concerned about issues of attention span, or what they called “wandering attention.”

Finally, Miss Piggy covers “Bitch Better Have My Money” (the Rihanna version) and it is perfect. Hat tip to Twitter and my friend Deanna for letting me know about this.

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