Productivity – The Office!

I've given up and re-joined the rat-race. Sort of...

YES, IT’S HAPPENED – the pressures of working at home have finally overcome my sanity and I’ve found an alternative solution…

Find out my cunning plan in today’s video (along with some crazy camera angles). I’ll also talk about our launch plan for the charity boxed set, Galaxia, and the one key principle we’re using to maximise sales (and donations) during launch week.

OFFER: Are you an author with an email list of sci-fi readers? If you’d like to get your book featured on my readers newsletter – and get some extra exposure – consider joining the Galaxia Launch Team. If you’re part of the team, you can submit your book for a spot. 

Find out all the details and join up right here (opens in a new window)


Oh, and tell me in the comments – have you ever used a shared office / hotdesk? Any tips for dealing with the coffee-station politics? Let me know…


I’m supporting a charity promo right now and offering some detailed training on how to run successful boxed-set launches.

Normally this training would be $97, but I’m giving it away for free for anyone who supports Well Aware (a clean-water charity) by purchasing a copy of our new sci-fi boxed set, Galaxia.

We’ve already cleared well over 3,800+ copies during pre-launch and I’d love to show you how we did it.

Just buy a copy for 99c, support a great charity, and I’ll send you the training during the last week of September.

Click below to get the boxed set and receive the free training:

^^ I’ll email you with a link on September 17th (when the book officially releases) where you can enter a password and sign up for the training. The password will be hidden in the book, which you’ll get delivered to your e-reader on that date. So grab it on pre-order while it’s only 99c and I’ll do the rest!

Not on the email list? Sign up here to make sure you’re notified when the training link is released (mid September)

And please leave a comment!


  1. Icy Sedgwick says:

    Love the Edgar Wright style opening!

    1. Nick says:

      Thanks! Glad you got the EW reference 😀

  2. Patricia Renard Scholes says:

    You would think, being “retired,” that I don’t share your problems with interruptions in my writing time. Yeah, I thought so too, but now my husband has me “all to himself,” and it’s getting very old.
    I tried the old ways of reasoning with him, yelling that he just didn’t respect me, emphasizing everything with tears, reminding him that I never interrupted him when he worked, but now that I’m working at home I’m not really working?
    Of course, all that did was cause a whole bunch of hard feelings and caused a problem in our relationship. So I made a sign with my logo and office hours below the logo. Then I shut the door. I told him the house better be on fire if he either knocked on that door or just plain opened it.
    I really doubt the threats did any good, but the sign did. I don’t have a hotdesk, but since it’s still summer and my office gets very little ventilation, I have a hotoffice instead.
    Bottom line: this is working for us.

    1. MIchael Sirois says:

      I’m also retired, Patricia, and working on a new career as an author, but I’m fortunate because, even though my wife works from home (she’s a quilt pattern designer), she only invades my office for a short while in the morning to catch up on her e-mail, etc., then she’s off in her sewing room for most of the day. We each get about eight hours to do our own thing aside from mealtimes. Good luck.

  3. Laraine says:

    I sympathise with Patricia. I’ve been there, done that. I remember a customer and my husband having a lively discussion in my office when I was trying to type columns of figures. You can’t lose your temper in front of a customer! To add insult to injury, it was a Saturday. Then when I was doing elder caregiving I was tempted to buy a laptop and lock myself in the garage so I could get on with my last book. But in my mind I could hear banging on the garage door. So that wouldn’t work. Anyway, you can’t absent yourself when you are looking after an elderly person (in this case my SIL). I don’t know how many times I retired to my bedroom, kicking and punching the air and yelling (under my breath, of course) every swearword I could think of, while wishing I had more (and better) words. By the time I was able to return to my book (6 years later) I couldn’t find my way back into the world I’d created. I wrote the ending of the book and left it unfinished. It will be my “Edwin Drood”.

  4. Rai says:

    Nick, you come across as a very amiable and decent sort of chap, but I’m surely not alone in my gaping disbelief at what you are telling us here. Let’s just run through it a minute.

    Part one: you went to your hot desk this morning, and then ran back home (in your words) “to get this video all polished up and looking nice, and then get it sent out…and then it’s back onto the next novel, which is being planned and outlined…”

    Okay, let’s pause it there. So I take it, we are meant to believe that after shooting this video, you personally sat down at your desk, to edit, comp and grade it, adding a slick rapid cut intro with sound effects plus a fancy aerial effect of your car driving around a tiny rolling globe. That took you up until lunchtime, at which point you got on with your third sci-fi novel, while simultaneously promoting the launch of your first, and presumably getting the second lined up for preorder to boot. And all this in spite of your pepper pig and family compromised schedule.

    This was of course, a spontaneous video (not at all staged) and with your smart phone stuck to the dashboard, you were controlling the aerial drone that was filming your car from above, with a joystick attached to…er…what exactly?

    Okay, so now let’s pick up where we left off. On the subject of your third sci-fi novel, you then go to say this: “and WE’RE a few thousand words through that at the moment. So that’s gonna be sci-fi novel number 3 which is gonna be very, very cool.”

    Yes, I’m sure we’re all agreed: very, very cool indeed. And extremely prolific. But of course, the clue to your superhuman level of productivity is that little word, “WE,” isn’t it? You make no secret of the fact you have a busy team around you, and perhaps we can excuse the fact that it’s not actually you who edits, grades, comps and adds the foleys to your videos, but what might be a little harder for your audience to accept is that it’s not actually you who is writing your books!

    The fact that you admit that it’s “WE” and not “Me” working on your products – sorry, I mean, novels – begs the question, what is the relevance of your advice to independent authors, working alone – NOT with a team like the one you have? That is, writers who write their own books and who also have to promote their own books.

    I’d be interested to hear what other people think. Am I being too cynical or am I just pointing out the glaringly obvious? Personally, I’d be more inclined to take your advice seriously if you gave your entire team a long holiday and started doing it all yourself, just like most of your audience have to. That would give everyone a much better idea of what’s actually possible.

    1. Nick says:

      Actually, yes:

      7am – 11am: looked after kids
      11am – 3pm worked at the office
      3pm – 6pm: edited + graded video in Final Cut Pro (using LUTs makes life quicker, plus I enjoy it + know what I’m doing)
      6pm – 8pm: spent time with kids
      8pm – 9:30pm: built webpages + wrote email

      I didn’t do any writing that day at all. That’s what I’m doing today.

      Final edits for the next novel.
      Getting words down for the one after.

      ^^ Also bear in mind that each novel takes several weeks to get to a first draft stage, then re-writes, then edits, then proofs… would be rather silly just to stop working while waiting for those to come back.

      And there was no arial drone, it was a 360 degree camera (insta 360 one X) on a stick.

      “Personally, I’d be more inclined to take your advice seriously if you gave your entire team a long holiday and started doing it all yourself.”

      ^^ I learned how to achieve the things I want to achieve (the books, the videos, the emails) without a team to help me. Now I have a team who handles customer support + back-end website / CRM tech. Everything you “see” is all me.

      It involves years of practice, many many long nights, lots of mistakes, and lots of learning how to cope + scale. And that’s what I enjoy sharing with people – totally up to you if you want to listen.

  5. Virginia Neely says:

    Most days I’m alone at home, so as long as I ignore the phone and doorbell I can work at something. Unfortunately most of the time it isn’t writing. It’s impossible to get anything done when hubby’s home. There’s no “hot desk” office in the town where I live, but the library is a short drive away and they have wifi, so I might go there to work. Never thought of it until now.
    BTW, Nick, I ordered Galactica but it was at $0. when I did. I don’t know if Amazon made a pricing error or what.

  6. Sylvie Laflamme says:

    Thank you for this video. I cannot work outside of my home because I care for many handicapped cats who need special cares all day long. It is very difficult to work by a portion of 5 to 15 minutes at the time. But I do my best. When I was at the office, we had a way to use the coffee-time: we created a list of subjects to speak about together. It was a great solution to create a wonderful climate for work. (Sorry for my poor English) I’ve bought your book. Thank you for this offer.

  7. Amy W says:

    You forgot the most important part of being able to get away to write….you have a wife.

    Those of us who have spouses who work either at home or in an office, we can’t just pick up and head to a hot desk (or a coffee shop, or even hide under the bed).

    Good on you for making this happen for yourself. I salute you from my kitchen counter where I’m currently held hostage with a hot glue gun, a mountain of air clay, and a toaster.

    1. Nick says:

      Spouses can be very useful. Mind you, you’re the one packing a glue gun…

  8. steve says:

    Well, Nick. Unlike your usual videos, this one buffered every three seconds, which made it impossible to watch. Probably my tech, but, hey-ho, there you go.

    1. Nick says:

      it’s all hosted on Wistia… they have servers all over the place, so any buffering is likely a connection issue to them in your particular area. They usually fix themselves fairly quickly!

  9. Jackie Mitchell says:

    I love seeing you drive on the wrong side of the road It reminds me of England. I haven’t been there in years. My British cousins come over here for vacations more often than I go over there.

  10. Helen says:

    Hi Nick,
    I’ve tried a number of things. (I have 5 kids – last year the last 3 were in high school & one or other began school at 7am with their instruments.) So, I’d do the band drop to school & hit the coffee shop until 10am (where at starbucks I pay for one coffee and get free refills as long as I don’t leave). It’s tricky with the snow here in Canada sometimes, so I have been known to chicken & return home. If I don’t go to the coffee shop, I got hit for two more school runs. Having the 5 kids, I’m always in when I’m out. So I’m just used to it. Summer is 10 weeks. This summer has been different – I got caught for all the early and v. late job runs with them as they save for Uni. So, I got up at 3am and did my work until 8am, having only to fit in minimal things during the day. I liked it, but the family didn’t like it, so I had to stop. It was sincerely fab! Well, this past weekend and four went of to Uni/college around Ontario. (7 UK’s in Ontario) Just one at home now. My husband works in the basement – hahaha, except for when he’s away in other countries. I’m not as fast as you, but . . . one day . . .!
    PS: My husband goes away this Saturday, and by the time he gets back from UK, I’ll have the 3am start perfected! lol! Bring. It. On.

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