Editors Blog

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.


Can the Short Story Survive?

Matt Lapata wrestles with declining readership of the short story, and what can be done to keep the genre vibrant, in the latest Glimmer Train Bulletin. Here’s a little bit of what he had to say: If the [short story] is to survive (and I don’t have space to say why I think it’ll...

How to Get Reviews for Self-Published Books

Today’s guest post is by Joel Friedlander, one of the most informative people I know on the topic of self-publishing a book. Go visit his blog, or follow him on Twitter. — It’s never been a better time to be a self-published author, and there have never been more book reviewers available to the...

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 teens, college students,...

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 the attention of...

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 Writer’s Digest: 5...

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 will become the...

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How I Got My Agent: Stacy Pershall

"How I Got My Agent" is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at...

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 that can come...

Learn How to Sell Books on Amazon (From Amazon Employee!)

Tomorrow, Writer’s Digest is offering a live, online class on how to use Amazon to boost book sales, featuring Jon P. Fine, Amazon’s Director of Author and Publisher Services. Please note: Amazon has graciously agreed to help Writer’s Digest conduct this training session so that you can learn how to get the most out...

Brief Post on Commenting

In the 3+ years of this blog’s existence, I’ve been humbled by the amazing community that has thrived on Poetic Asides. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way everyone shares their poetry and shares their thoughts on others’ poems. It’s really great! That said, there have been a few times in which I’ve...

Writing Can Be Learned—But It Can't Be Taught

The following guest post by Lawrence Block originally appeared in the October 1982 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine. It ran under the headline “Crockpot Macramé.” – Good morning, class. Good morning, sir. I’d like to talk a little this morning about a teaching job I interviewed for last week. I put on a jacket...

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 a PDF. It’s...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 3/18/11)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the comments. Looking for more great resources? Sign up for “3 Happy Things,” where I curate more advanced tools/content and deliver it via e-mail. Also, check out these live,...

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 post, I hope...

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Creating Active Characters in YA Novels

Have you ever heard an editor or critic refer to a character as passive? Maybe, like me, you've found yourself frustrated by this term. What exactly does it mean, and what's so bad about creating a passive character? Isn't this a trait we often find in real people, especially certain teenagers, who can be...

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. These are core...

How to Write a Thriller That Sells

Tomorrow, novelist Hallie Ephron is teaching a live course on writing a mystery or thriller that sells. If you’re not familiar with Hallie’s advice, here are a few places where you can get a taste: The Art of the Page Turner. This is a recap of the session Hallie did at the Writer’s Digest...

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 in the world...

Creating Memoir That’s Bigger Than Me, Me, Me

Today’s guest post is from Tracy Seeley, author of My Ruby Slippers. Visit her site, or find out more about her book. – Memoir tells stories from our own lives. It says, “This happened to me.”  Should be simple. And yet in writing memoir, we face certain challenges: How do we rise above a...

Best Tweets on Break (SXSW)

Best Tweets is on break due to SXSW, where I’ve been speaking and attending panels. We’ll be back next week. Keep an eye out for my special project releasing on April 1, The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations. If you’d like to receive updates on this project, as well as other regular news/insights, sign...

The Best Education for Writing Memoir

Today’s post is from regular guest and favorite, Darrelyn Saloom. Follow her on Twitter, or read her previous guest posts. Pictured above: Darrelyn’s mother in 1969 as she works her way to owning her own business. – Mama owned an answering service and worked a switchboard under a beehive of red hair that matched...

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 p.m.A word from...

Ask the Agent Power Panel

This weekend, Writer’s Digest is hosting its first online “power panel” that features 4 agents ready to answer all of your questions related to getting published. The price of $129 comes with: A query letter critique from Writer’s Digest publisher Phil Sexton A 3-month subscription to WritersMarket.com (which includes all listings in Guide to...

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 these 3 high-profile...