Digitization & New Technology

Do Your E-Book Right

You’ve probably read the reports that some bestselling books now sell as many e-book editions as print editions, at least through outlets such as Amazon. With the wider adoption of e-book reading devices, authors such as JA Konrath have been making a pretty penny by releasing their own e-books and keeping...

New Tools for Entrepreneurial Writers

I received a great tip today from Christina Katz, making me aware of Lynda.com. It’s a lovely (paid) online education community for becoming more technologically savvy and capable in virtually every area of media and software. Lynda offers about 1,000 unique courses; the curriculum is based on video and exercise files....

Excellent Online Learning Opportunities (Free + Paid)

There are so many interesting opportunities coming up for online education that I wanted to take a moment to round them up! FREE: The Evolution of Self-Publishing webcast, brought to you by Digital Book World and Publishers Weekly. Feb. 22. Go register here. Building Your Author Platform, a new 8-week online...

How to Meaningfully Grow Traffic to Your Site/Blog

It’s a problem that every new blog or website faces in its early days—or every day (!): How to get readers (also called traffic). There are a few well-worn pieces of advice in this area, such as: Comment on other people’s blogs. Virtually all comment systems ask you to leave your...

The Evolution of Reading

Today’s guest post is from writer Susan Cushman, a monthly regular here at NO RULES. You can also find Susan over at A Good Blog Is Hard to Find and Pen and Palette. (Pictured above: Herman King, Doug McLain, Sonny Brewer and Susan Cushman on the square in Oxford, Mississippi.) —...

What Digital Natives Can Teach Us About Publishing

First, I don’t really believe in the idea of “digital natives.” Digital natives are the students entering college right now who have never experienced life without the Internet. (See more about the history of the term at Wikipedia.) At UC, I’m teaching roomfuls of these so-called digital natives, and while I’m...

You Don't Have to Blog, Tweet, or Be on Facebook

I’m often giving many reasons for writers to start a blog, be on Twitter, or use Facebook. But the truth is, you don’t have to do any of these things to get published or to sell books. (Sidenote: You’ll often hear stories of bestselling authors who don’t use social media, but...

Listen to Full Audio of AWP Social Media Panel

As you can probably tell—due to lack of Best Tweets—I am still catching up from being away at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. BUT—I have some wonderful things to share with you related to the event. (My own insights will come later in the week.) 1. Full audio...

Who's Listening to You? (AWP Thoughts)

While delivering a session at the Writer’s Digest Conference (read this very kind & generous recap from George Davis!), I mentioned a few ways that writers can waste their time: By not submitting your best work to commercial publishers or agents By publishing your work digitally when your audience wants print...

5 Key Takeaways for Authors From Digital Book World

Last week, on the heels of the Writer’s Digest Conference, more than 1,000 publishing professionals gathered for Digital Book World to discuss the challenges of transitioning a very traditional business into the digital age. While I didn’t attend the show this year (had to teach!), I’ve read a considerable number of...

Thinking Beyond the Book: What's Your Demand Curve?

At the Writer’s Digest Conference, Richard Nash delivered an inspiring keynote. Writers loved it. Deep in his talk, a slide flashed up on the screen that, to the untrained eye, might not have seemed like much. It was a piece of innovative and critical business advice that spoke to the transformation...

MASTER Recap of 2011 Writer's Digest Conference

This post is a collection of: Best tweets from the 2011 Writer’s Digest Conference Links to official live blog posts of selected sessions Best recaps of the event by attendees & presenters BEST TWITTER TIPS BY CATEGORYSearch #wdc11 to view all tweets from the event. (Pictured above: Me hunched over at...

A Luddite Enters the Digital Marketplace

Today’s guest post is from author Nath Jones. In 2011, Nath Jones will finish an MFA in creative writing at Northwestern University, where she was a nominee for The Best New American Voices 2010. Nath’s work is influenced by small towns, small business, the army, the ocean, and cornfields. She is...

An E-Publisher That Specializes in Original Short Works

The digitization of publishing has spawned many new presses and publishing models, and one of them is 40K Books. 40K takes advantage of the e-book format by specializing in novelettes and focused original essays. Based in Milan, Italy, they handle world rights, translating and selling their e-books in different languages (English,...

The Evolution of How I Use Twitter

I’ve written several lengthy posts on how writers can use Facebook to platform build. I’ve said very little about Twitter use. That’s because it’s so difficult to give advice on how to use Twitter that would apply to everybody. So much depends on: What type of audience you’d like to reach...

When (or Why) Social Media Fails to Sell Books

There are countless articles/posts out there, by professionals as well as established authors, that claim social media has had no (or marginal) impact on their sales or success. Such posts then get trumpeted by writers everywhere who feel like online marketing and promotion responsibilities have been shoved down their throats (and...

New In-Depth Interview With Me at Writer Unboxed

Last Friday, part 1 of an interview with me went live over at Writer Unboxed. Here’s a quick snippet: Overall, social media tools—and I use that term broadly, to include all types of person-to-person interaction online—have driven transparency and opportunities to communicate with and reach a very distinctive and unique audience....

What Can Set You Apart: Your Ability to Focus

In an excellent interview by Dan Blank, Christina Katz talks about practices and skills of successful writers. Here’s a brief (edited) transcription of the opening message of the conversation. There’s a lot of confusion out there for writers. Writers are being overwhelmed with messages telling them you gotta do this–no wait,...

Online Marketing Works If You Have the Long View

These days, it seems like everyone has become a big skeptic of social networking’s effectiveness—or even believes that cultivating a site or blog can harm or stall a writer’s career. In the following post, I explain why I think authors aren’t getting the results they want (or why they fail in...

Kindle Singles: A Big Opportunity for Smart Writers

Just last week, Amazon announced the launch of Kindle Singles, a new imprint specializing in short nonfiction works of 10,000–30,000 words—which, if you didn’t know, isn’t considered a marketable length for any traditional print publisher. I see this launch and immediately wonder: Why didn’t an innovative publisher announce an imprint like...

Meet Me at the 2011 Writer's Digest Conference

Mark your calendars! In January, I’ll be speaking at the Writer’s Digest Conference, joining a stellar line-up of publishing professionals and successful authors. The conference has many different features/facets, including: The now infamous Pitch Slam, with more than 50 agents ready to meet you and hear your pitch A keynote address...

The Future of Publishing: You Get to Decide

The topic of my talk at the Y-City Writers Conference (this past weekend) was “The Future of Publishing.” While I talked a bit about tech and gadgetry, what I really focused on was how much power writers now have in deciding what their future is. Meaning: Now, more than at any...

5 Articles You Should've Read Over the Summer

I share many publishing-related articles via Facebook and Twitter (and through Best Tweets), but I know many of you aren’t involved in those networks. So, I’d like to highlight 5 articles that I think every writer should have read over the summer. Where Will Bookstores Be 5 Years From Now? by...

Are Bloggers the New Gatekeepers in Publishing?

Today’s Q&A is with Michelle Black, who is the author of six novels set in the Victorian West. Aside from writing, she has been known to practice law, own a bookstore, publish a Cheyenne language course, and snowboard. She and her husband divide their time between a home near Boulder, Colorado,...

Should You Hire Someone to Design Your Website?

In publishing, we often say how critical it is to hire a professional editor if you plan to self-publish. Or we say how valuable a professional publicist or PR person can be. As someone who isn’t trained as a designer (but who has worked with many designers over the years, and...