New Tools for Entrepreneurial Writers

Platform, Platform, Platform

We’ve just announced initial details for the Writer’s Digest Conference 2012 and couldn’t be more excited about how the speaker line up is taking shape. One of our presenters is none other than Christina Katz, a well known contributor to the WD writing community and author of Get Known Before the...

How to Create Free Video Tutorials

This past week, I’ve been in a tech workshop for faculty at the University of Cincinnati. (Yes, even I need to broaden and sharpen my skills!) So I’ll be sharing some of the more interesting tools and tricks I learned here at NO RULES. The first tool that I love is...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

The Power of an E-mail Network (10 Years in the Making)

My Q&A with Hyla Molander—on her success finding readers with Scribd—sparked many people to contact me about their success too in using the site. However, even before Hyla, I had met Ransom Stephens, who is further along in his journey. His novel, The God Patent, was recently released in print from...

New Tools: Create a Book From Your Site or Blog Content

This post is part of a series, New Tools for Entrepreneurial Writers, which overviews specific tools ripe with opportunity for creative & entrepreneurial writers. The only limit is your imagination! (If you’re the creator of a new software or online tool & would like it featured, contact me.) Anthologize is a...

How One Author Is Using Scribd to Find Readers

I recently met Hyla Molander at the Capitol City Writers Conference, where she told me about her memoir, Drop Dead Life, which she is promoting on her own using Scribd. Molander began work on her memoir after the sudden death of her husband at the age of 29. Hyla has generously...