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.


Ask the Agents

A panel of literary agents talk about their role in the publishing industry and reasons why they reject query letters, proposals, and manuscripts.

The Skinny on Social Networking

Guest post by Rob Eagar Marketing books via blogs, Twitter, and Facebook has become an extremely confusing topic for many authors. Some people herald social media as the saviour of marketing. Others complain that their online efforts rarely produce tangible results. As an expert who has coached over 400 authors on the subject, below...

A New Direction for No Rules

2011 was a year of transitions at WD. We re-launched WritersDigest.com. We remodeled the email newsletter. And with another fresh start, it’s fitting that we begin 2012 with a new group effort here on No Rules. Find out a bit more here.

Success Breeds Success – Especially When You Have Success Stories

Guest Post by Rob Eagar I’m a big fan of Compassion International (www.compassion.com), a non-profit organization that helps provide food, education, and medical treatment to children who are stuck in poverty around the world. As a supporter of Compassion, I receive their quarterly print newsletter that looks like a first-rate magazine. And I’m always...

Your Top 12 Author Marketing Moves for 2012

Guest Post by Rob Eagar As we face a new year, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with resolutions and the desire to improve upon last year’s success or the lack thereof. But, sometimes the hardest part is placing proper focus on the right priorities. With a plethora of choices to market your message, it’s...

What Makes Word-of-Mouth Work? Part 2

Guest Post by Rob Eagar In my previous blog post, I explained how word-of-mouth spreads faster when authors help people start a conversation around their book. However, creating a conversation is only half of the battle. If the conversation doesn’t take place within a community, then the word-of-mouth will soon die out. For instance,...

The Persistence of the Author Brand

There was a time, in the pulp-era of publishing, when authors put out a new book on a monthly basis. Many of these books were written under “house names” that belonged to the publisher and very often multiple writers contributed to the brand. Perhaps the best example of this is The Shadow, by Maxwell Grant. “Grant”...

What Makes Word-of-Mouth Work?

Guest Post by Rob Eagar I recently switched my TV provider service from a cable company to DirecTV. I’m absolutely thrilled with the change for several reasons:  DirecTV has a free app that lets me watch live TV on my iPad – how cool is that?! DirectTV saved me over $60 a month from...

“Are We There Yet?” Set Proper Expectations for Platform Growth

Guest Post by Rob Eagar Too many authors short-circuit their marketing success by mistakenly expecting perfection from every promotional activity they attempt. For example, let’s say you’re an author who decides to send out your first monthly newsletter. You put a lot of time and effort into creating the content and wait expectantly for results to...

Cool Tools to Track Author Platform Growth

Guest blog by Rob Eagar Most authors want to build a larger platform and sell more books. But, how do you track the success of your marketing and platform-growth efforts? There are several obvious factors you can use, such as increased book sales, speaking engagements, Twitter followers, or newsletter subscribers. However, I want to...

Make Your Own Luck

Hello everyone I hope you had a fantastic holiday weekend and got a lot of writing done – particularly those of you participating in NaNoWriMo. Be sure to check out our Cyber Monday sale as well. There’s a ton of great stuff for writers – excellent gifts for you or your writer friends! You’ll...

Break the Rules to Build a Bestseller

Guest post by Rob Eagar. The publishing industry is going through an incredible amount of chaos and transformation. Some of this change is good, such as new technology, lower prices, and easier ways for people to get access to information. In contrast, some changes are bad, such as Borders bookstores filing for bankruptcy, publishers...

Success Stories – An Author’s Best Friend

Guest Post by Rob Eagar I enjoy watching the television show, The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan on the National Geographic channel. I don’t own a pet, but the show is appealing because of what takes place during each episode – real life change. The program is about people who beg The Dog Whisperer...

Monday Marketing Tip from Rob Eagar

By Rob Eagar, author of Sell Your Book Like Wildfire (Spring 2012, Writer’s Digest Books) Recently, college football fans were treated to an amazing game as Michigan State upset highly-ranked Wisconsin on the last play of regulation. As time expired, Michigan State’s quarterback threw a last-ditch, 44-yard, “Hail Mary” pass that was bobbled by two players...

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 Book Deal and...

What does it really take to succeed?

For most of my writing life, I assumed that if I was a strong writer, with a good story to tell, or good information to convey, and I was tenacious about getting published, I would be successful. (“Successful” meaning able to write for a living – at least in this case.) As I grew...

How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Online Marketing Efforts

Today I’m a guest over at Writer Unboxed. I discuss 5 reasons why your online marketing might not work. Here’s a snippet: 1. It’s not personal. None of us like impersonal message blasts. I’m going to assume you’re already smart enough not to do that. But you can still be impersonal with a one-on-one message....

The Value of Experimentation

I’ve recently come to know and appreciate Brad King‘s work, both as an innovative media professional, as well as a university professor. So I’ve been keeping an eye on a project that he and his talented students have launched: The Invictus Writers. There’s a lot to say about it, but—in brief—for the first volume, each contributor...