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.


Your Most Embarrassing Moment As a Writer (Part 2)

If you enjoyed my embarrassing story from last week, here’s another one. I was taking one of my very first trips to New York City, to meet with literary agents, in my early years as an acquisitions editor at F+W Media. One of the meetings involved dinner at an upscale Asian restaurant. I’m a...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 4/8/11)

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. Best of the Best What Grabs Readers versus What Keeps Them @cerebralgrump Thinking of self-e-publishing? 3 questions to ask first@annerallen Elements of a Successful Fiction Platform @thewritermama...

Organizing a Writers Workshop: Pre-Publicity (Part 1)

Today’s guest post is by NO RULES regular Susan Cushman, director of the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction Workshop. Pictured above: Three participants at the Yoknapatawpha Summer Writers Workshop in Oxford last June. L to R: Karen Rasberry, Gretchen Hargroder and Oxana Ribacova. — Last November I was one of three co-directors for the 2010...

What's Your Most Embarrassing Moment As a Writer?

Let’s face it: We all make mistakes. But the best writers learn from them, rise above them and even find ways to transform them into happy accidents. What embarrassing moment have you overcome to become a better writer? Here’s a story about MY most embarrassing moment! Whether your story is funny, humbling or an...

Get Started With Your Own Website or Blog

If you’re serious about your career as an author, you need a website. And the sooner you get one going, the better. Why? The most important reason: There’s a learning curve. You don’t want to be scrambling to put together a site when your book releases, or when you have an agent’s interest, or...

3 Barriers You Must Eliminate to Maximize E-Book Sales

You have to be where the people are: That’s the first lesson I learned from releasing my e-book. To be sure, it’s something I already knew—but the friction of any purchase is made VERY obvious when readers encounter the following barriers. 3 Barriers You Must Eliminate to Maximize E-Book Sales An unfamiliar site or...

Future of Publishing Round Up

Okay, this is the last dedicated round-up (at least for a while) on the future of publishing! My interview with Writer Unboxed on the future of publishing My interview with The Writer Mama on the future of publishing Virtual Davis summarizes Web response to my thoughts on the future of publishing My free e-newsletter...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 4/1/11)

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. First, check out these live, online classes from Writer’s Digest: 5 Essential Components of a Strong Author Website — presented by yours truly, on April 7. Best...

70% of Books Used to Fend Off Zombies

My predictions in The Future of Publishing (which releases today!) leave no stone unturned. For example, here is a graph illustrating what people of the future do with their old books: Would you like more predictions? Check out the 39-page book, just $1.99.

The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations

Today marks the long-anticipated release of The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations! It is now available as an e-book (PDF only) for $1.99. It’s packed with 39 pages of juicy predictions. To get a taste of what’s in store, read this Q&A I did with Christina Katz on the future of publishing.

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...

Pershall

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...