There Are No Rules Blog by the Editors of Writer’s Digest

Get on the cutting edge of today’s publishing trends and how authors can succeed in a world of fast-paced technological change, guided by the editors of Writer’s Digest. You’ll get an inside look at the work, play, and passion of the publishing business and find practical tools for success.


Don’t D-Y-I “Do-Yourself-In” with a D-I-Y Mentality

by Rob Eagar I am one of the few original self-publishing success stories. And, I did it way before the advent of e-books, Amazon, and social media. Over 10 years ago, I left corporate America as a sales executive to pursue what seemed like a ridiculous dream to write a book. I had no...

All Marketing is a Felt Need

By Rob Eagar In my work as a marketing consultant, I’ve met numerous authors who work in academic circles, such as counselors, professors, pastors, and specialty book publishers. A common problem among these scholastic groups is the tendency to believe that their marketing should be exempt from the need to answer the consumers’ primary...

Ask a Literary Agent Anything: Here’s Your Chance!

Is there a question you’ve always secretly wished you could ask a literary agent? Maybe you want privileged information … or maybe you want real, tell-it-to-me-straight advice. Maybe something’s been bugging you for a while, but you’re too afraid of sounding like an amateur if you speak up … or you’re too professional to...

Promote Your Book with Power-Bites

By Rob Eagar The more you rely on technology to spread your message, the more you must be brief. We live in a world of smaller screens, smaller attention spans, and smaller conversations where media platforms continuously shrink discussions. For instance, radio and TV interviews these days are typically no longer 3 – 6...

The 10 Commandments of How to Write a Thriller

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. About 10 years ago, lawyer-turned-novelist John Grisham spilled the beans in Newsweek that a 1973 Writer’s Digest article paved the way for him to write his bestseller The Firm. Naturally, we’ve been geeking out about this...

Top 10 Blogging Tips: How to Turn Your Blog Into a Book

If you’d like to quickly amass content for a book—without the pressure of actually having to work on one—consider blogging a book. Blogging is a fast and simple way to generate a body of targeted content and build your platform, which are key components of landing a book deal in today’s competitive marketplace. When...

Cover

What’s the single best piece of writing advice? Harper Lee, John Steinbeck and Carl Sandburg weigh in

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Harper Lee’s birthday is tomorrow, so today I went on a hunt to find some Harper Lee quotes somewhere in our archives. I didn’t exactly troll up an entire interview (no surprise there, given...

How to Outline (the Easy Way) Like Janet Evanovich

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: Here’s to Janet Evanovich (and that we all might one day hit it as big as Janet Evanovich). The author of the bestselling Stephanie Plum series celebrates her birthday this Sunday, so I...

Interview With Expert Freelancer Kelly James-Enger

Today I’m talking with author and freelancing expert Kelly James-Enger, whose work has appeared in dozens of national magazines, including Redbook, Fitness and Self. James-Enger says that her success as a full-time freelancer isn’t the result of persistence or luck, but of learning the “secrets” of freelancing. You can find all 101 of these...

The Best New Advice for Getting Published

You can always tell when it’s officially springtime here at the WD offices. Everyone is smiling because of the sunshine. Everyone is sneezing because of the pollen. And everyone is buzzing about the release of our most popular annual list: The 101 Best Websites for Writers. (There are also some unruly Canadian geese who...

How to Build Online Community

By Rob Eagar If you want to build a following, especially online, the key is to position yourself as someone who is worth following. The best way to attract a large group is by becoming an object of interest, which means the ability to draw people to you by dent of your expertise or...

Amazon Lets Authors Spy on Readers

By Rob Eagar, author of Sell Your Book Like Wildfire Did you know that Amazon lets authors see who is highlighting notes in their books and tweeting content to friends? When someone reads a book using a Kindle device or app, Amazon stores the information they highlight. Plus, Amazon displays who used Twitter to...

How to Write Effective Dialogue

Dialogue serves several key functions in your fiction: It reveals your characters’ personalities and beliefs, heightens tension, provides an alternative to lengthy descriptive passages and, most importantly, advances your plot. The key to writing effective dialogue is compression. Dialogue in fiction shouldn’t mimic the “everydayness” of actual speech, with all of its unnecessary details...

Things to Write About: Great Places to Find Ideas

Look around and you’ll find there’s no shortage of interesting things to write about—whether you’re in search of blog topics or creative story ideas. But in spite of that, I found myself sucked in to the advance copy of a book I recently happened upon in my inbox: 642 Things to Write About, by...

How to Find, Rather Than Make, Writing Time

I’m always drawn to articles about being more productive. I come to them with a hopeful expectation that some gem inside will hold the power to transform my writing time. And usually I’m left feeling disappointed—more than disappointed, actually. Guilty. Because while these articles are great at pointing out things that can be seen...

Steal from Yourself for Better Book Marketing

By Rob Eagar When I consult with authors on book marketing issues, a common complaint arises about the need to generate content for free resources, newsletters, and social media pages. The necessity to write new articles, blog posts, or updates gets labeled as a nuisance, because the client thinks it will be difficult to...

How to Edit Your Novel

Completing your novel is a momentous achievement. After months (or years) of hard work and sacrifice, your first impulse might be to start submitting it willy-nilly—time is of the essence, right? In reality, you shouldn’t even think about sending your novel to an agent or publisher (or publishing it yourself) before you’ve put it...

Cover

Are Writers Born or Made? – Jack Kerouac Quotes

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: A vintage article and quotes from Jack Kerouac (On the Road), who in January 1962 wrote a piece for WD asking, Are Writers Made or Born? (This week would have marked Kerouac’s 90th birthday....

Writing Advice From Famous Irish Authors

In anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it might be fun to tap into the wit and wisdom of a few famous Irish and Anglo-Irish writers. While March 17 seems like a logical time to celebrate all things Irish, Ireland’s contributions to literature are worth noting anytime. From the Middle Ages to the...