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  • There Are No Rules

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.


Is It Time to Call It Quits?

One of my friends recently told me he was finally writing again. He commented, We’ll see if I end up hating it, as I have every single thing I’ve ever written before. … Read more

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 … Read more

Cliches for Aspiring Writers

Today’s guest post is from Rafael Yglesias. Rafael Yglesias is a master American storyteller whose career began with the publication of his first novel, Hide Fox, and All After, at seventeen. His fiction … Read more

How to Leave Meaningful Blog Comments

As readership on your site or blog grows, you’ll have to figure out a strategy for dealing with unproductive comments. There are 3 categories of “unproductive”: Straightforward spam. This is the stuff … Read more

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 … Read more

Best Tweets on Break (secret project)

Best Tweets is on break this week; I have some special projects I’m working on for Writer’s Digest (including this week’s webinar—see below!), plus a secret project of my own. You can … Read more

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 … Read more

10 Tips for Effective Book Covers

As more authors opt for independent publishing routes, I’m getting more questions about secrets to good book design, production, and layout. While at F+W, I spent hundreds of hours in cover design/review … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

Worksheets for Writing a Novel in 30 Days

If you think writing a book in a month is an irrational pursuit, you’re kind of right. Sometimes we have to do crazy things to get headed down the right path. A … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 2/11/11)

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. Want to know about the … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

Book Marketing For 21st-Century Authors

napoli

Almost three years after the deal got made with Crown Publishing Group, my travel memoir about my time helping to start a radio station in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan has hit the shelves. Hooray! But there’s little time to celebrate, and there hasn’t been much downtime for months—even though the actual book was complete well over a year ago.

Guest column by Lisa Napoli, author of the memoir, Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth (Feb. 2011, Crown). Publishers Weekly said of the book: “Napoli’s adventures … will delight readers.” Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

What I'm Looking Forward to at AWP

Today I’m headed to the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. I’ve been going to AWP since 2004, and it is one of the largest events I attend—more than 8,000 writers, … Read more

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 … Read more

Writing Above Your Head

In the latest Glimmer Train Bulletin, Clayton Luz has a wonderful piece about “writing above your head,” advice that he first heard from Richard Ford. Here’s a snippet of what Clayton says: … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 1/28/11)

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. Want to know about the … Read more

How Writing About Loss Helps You Heal

manning

Just a few days before my 27th birthday, she had a severe heart attack. I returned to Ohio, never imagining I’d remain there for over a year—Mom spending that entire time in one hospital or another, battling congestive heart failure, stomach paralysis, ventilator dependency, and lung cancer (the thing that would ultimately claim her life). I didn’t write during those months. I didn’t have any time. I was too tired. There was too much other stuff to think about.

Guest column by Sean Manning, author of The Things That Need Doing (Dec. 2010, Broadway), a memoir that Publishers Weekly called “a universal story … tremendously moving.” Read more

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