Industry News & Trends

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...

The Future of Self-Publishing

There are many predictions about the future of publishing (I’ll be making my own on April 1), but I haven’t seen many about the future of SELF-publishing. This month at Writer Unboxed, I tackle the issue: The Future of Self-Publishing Services I predict that self-publishing will become essentially “free,” since e-books...

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...

Catch SXSW PubCamp Streaming Live!

Tomorrow I’ll be giving a brief talk at SXSW PubCamp in Austin, along with some outstanding speakers from the publishing industry. The free event is now wait-listed, but catch it live and online here (link updated morning of March 11!). AGENDA 4:00 p.m. (CST)Keynote by Sarah Wendell, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books 4:30...

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...

What Does the Borders Bankruptcy Mean for Writers?

Tomorrow (Feb. 25), Writer’s Digest is hosting a free online event on how the Borders bankruptcy affects writers. As you probably have heard by now, Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 16. Though the ramifications of this move have already been discussed in great detail, many questions still remain....

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...

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...

I'm Speaking at SXSW on Self-Publishing

For the first time, I’ll be on a panel at SXSW. The panel is called “The Self-Publishing Novelist: Report From the Trenches.” Author John Sundman proposed the panel (remember the Q&A?), and I owe him my thanks for including me. I’ll have more to say—content-wise—about this panel in the coming weeks,...

The Misleading "Research" By McSweeney's

Let’s be clear: I don’t think print will die. But that’s no reason to concoct “research” about publishing that says “almost all of the news is good, and most of it is very good.” That’s what McSweeney’s has done with their series on “The State of Publishing” or “Some Good News...

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...

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...

Is It Tougher to Get Published These Days?

Over at Writer Unboxed today, I have a guest post that tries to pin down how much “trouble” the book publishing industry is in, and how that affects writers. It’s a highly complex issue, so my answer could be summarized as, “It depends on who you are.” There’s no doubt, though,...

My Best Posts From 2010

Here’s the very best advice I offered here at NO RULES in 2010. This can serve as a handy guide, or share this link with writers who might be new to NO RULES. (What a good Christmas gift, right?) Above: my cat Zelda. She approves of this list. Plus I don’t...

Agents & Editors: Take This Quick Survey

Cartoon from Toothpaste for Dinner I’m conducting a bit of formal research for a future blog post. I have a question from a writer that goes something like this: I’d like to know what happened in 2009-2010 in the publishing world. I’ve heard some amazing things (30% of employees laid off,...

An Agency Offers Paid Services—With Strings Attached

I’ve written frequently on agents and innovation of their model, twice for Writer’s Digest, and twice for Digital Book World: The Evolution of the Literary Agent (Writer’s Digest, August 2010) Agents Need to Develop Alternative Models (DBW, June 2010) The Changing Agent-Author Relationship (DBW, February 2010) The Future Role of Agents...