Digitization & New Technology

5 Key Research Sites You May Have Missed (Plus Cool Tricks)

I’m as guilty as the next person: I use Google for everything and don’t wander much outside it. (In fact, I use iGoogle as my browser homepage.) But as any astute researcher knows, Google’s search engine can rank poor-quality content very highly just because the site has good SEO (search engine...

Midlist Nonfiction Books: Too Much Effort for Too Little Return?

Pictured above: A slide from Margaret Atwood’s marvelous presentation at TOC on the future for authors When it comes to non-narrative nonfiction books, I don’t think of the authors of these books as authors. I think of them as experts, entrepreneurs or business professionals who are interested in authoring a book...

How to Start a Successful Newsletter

Next week, I’m teaching an online class on how to start a successful e-mail newsletter. This is a topic I’ve covered here at No Rules before, but this class will allow me to show you in-depth how to get started, discuss strategies, and go behind the scenes with free services so...

How to Build Your Website Without Knowing Code

Today I sent out the latest issue of my e-mail newsletter, which I call “3 Happy Things.” Each issue has a different theme, and this one focused on how to build a website for free, without knowing code, in less than an hour. Click here to view the newsletter on codeless...

Friday Mish-Mash of Cool Things

A lot of things have crossed my desk lately, so let me share them all at once. Above: Edgar Award winners Ruth Rendell, Lawrence Block, Peter Blauner, and others discuss their writing and what they consider the ultimate reward for penning a great mystery novel. StoryADay May Writing Challenge. This is...

Determination: More Important to Success Than Talent

Now that I’m a full-time teacher, one of the greatest pleasures I have is supporting the talent of my students. When I was in college, I often wondered if my writing professors could tell which students would “make it.” I thought it was connected to raw talent—and that professors could see...

Everyone Wants to "Help" Writers. But Whose Help Do You Really Need?

You’ve probably heard the “Wild West” cliche more than once this year in reference to all the changes happening in the publishing industry. For starters, there’s the Borders bankruptcy, the Amanda Hocking self-pub success story, the Eisler defection, and Amazon striking deals with New York houses for print distribution of their...

5 Innovative Poets to Watch & Learn From

As everyone knows, you can’t make a living from writing and selling poetry. Or can you? Well, it IS next to impossible to make a living by only writing poems. Sometimes I wonder if that’s why poets seem to be the ones I see most often experimenting and innovating. They know...

Helpful Insights for Self-Publishing Novelists

I moderated a panel at SXSW called The Self-Publishing Novelist, which included insights from 3 experienced experts: John Sundman. Read an interview with John here, Building an Enthusiastic Fan Base as a Self-Published Author. Carolyn McCray. Read her helpful articles over at Digital Book World, including Best Practices for Amazon E-Book...

My E-Book Production Process

Over at Christina Katz’s blog, I offer an inside look at how I produced my e-book, The Future of Publishing. Here’s a snippet: Writing an e-book that is high-enough quality to charge money for is not an easy undertaking. You must have had some concerns at the outset. Would you be...

Get Started With Your Own Website or Blog

If you’re serious about your career as an author, you need a website. And the sooner you get one going, the better. Why? The most important reason: There’s a learning curve. You don’t want to be scrambling to put together a site when your book releases, or when you have an...

3 Barriers You Must Eliminate to Maximize E-Book Sales

You have to be where the people are: That’s the first lesson I learned from releasing my e-book. To be sure, it’s something I already knew—but the friction of any purchase is made VERY obvious when readers encounter the following barriers. 3 Barriers You Must Eliminate to Maximize E-Book Sales An...

Future of Publishing Round Up

Okay, this is the last dedicated round-up (at least for a while) on the future of publishing! My interview with Writer Unboxed on the future of publishing My interview with The Writer Mama on the future of publishing Virtual Davis summarizes Web response to my thoughts on the future of publishing...

70% of Books Used to Fend Off Zombies

My predictions in The Future of Publishing (which releases today!) leave no stone unturned. For example, here is a graph illustrating what people of the future do with their old books: Would you like more predictions? Check out the 39-page book, just $1.99. You might also like:No Related Posts

The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations

Today marks the long-anticipated release of The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations! It is now available as an e-book (PDF only) for $1.99. It’s packed with 39 pages of juicy predictions. To get a taste of what’s in store, read this Q&A I did with Christina Katz on the future of...

How to Start a Professional Newsletter for Free

Last year, I talked about why authors need to start building an e-mail list … NOW. Even though it may sound antiquated in light of other tools available, e-mail is still one of the most effective ways to reach and engage with readers. (One exception: It’s not so great at reaching...

10 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Blog From Hackers

Today’s guest post is from Triona Guidry, a computer consultant and freelance writer in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Her blog offers tech support for Windows and Mac, security alerts, and advice on blogs and social media. — Writers depend on blogs to promote their work, interact with readers, and attract...

Best Tweets on Break (Enigma!)

Best Tweets is on break this week so that I can focus on The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations, releasing this Friday, April 1. It’s an e-book exclusive that will be available for $1.99 through Scribd and the Google eBookstore. I’m also preparing to teach an April 7 online class with...

3 Helpful Blogs I've Recently Discovered

While you can keep up on my favorite online reads here, it’s been a while since I discussed some of the newest and best sites I’ve found. Note that I am very pragmatic in my online reading. Aside from keeping up with industry trends, I look for nuts and bolts resources...

Bestselling Author Turns Down $500K Deal to Self-Publish

The breaking news today is that NYT bestseller Barry Eisler turned down a $500K deal from his publisher, St. Martin’s, in order to self-publish his next book. In honor of the occasion, he and JA Konrath have a conversation that extends 12,000 words. You can read/download the entire thing here as...

4 Key Categories of Self-Publishing

Let’s start with the obvious. The self-publishing landscape is changing rapidly. It’s becoming more difficult to explain the options available not just because there ARE more options, but because there are subtle shades of differences between the options that aren’t immediately clear or apparent—even to people inside the industry. With this...

8 iPhone Apps to Grow & Connect With Audience

Last summer, I did a post on Ultimate iPhone Apps: 30+ Productivity and Creativity Boosts. In a few months, I’ll update that list, but first, I’d like to share specific iPhone apps that can help you market, promote, and grow your audience. I’m dividing the apps into 2 categories: Key Tools....

Share Your Stories Using Broadcastr

A new iPhone app just launched this month that I’ve already fallen in love with. It’s called Broadcastr. I had an opportunity to talk with one of the founders, Scott Lindenbaum, while at SXSW. Here’s a little of what he had to say about what the app can do: Anybody anywhere...

The Future of the Novelist

This week, I’ll be at SXSWi in Austin, where I’m presenting a brief session on your publishing options at PubCamp (free!), and moderating a SXSWi panel,  The Self-Publishing Novelist. I can’t envision a more exciting or opportune time to be at a national event, guiding a discussion on self-publishing. Why? Take...

My Latest Thoughts on Writers & Social Media

While at AWP, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Caleb J. Ross and Nik Korpon to talk about writers, social media, and the digital era.You can listen to the 20-minute conversation here. Some topics we discuss: How is it writers are so attached to the physical book? Is aversion...