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.


“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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.)...

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...

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...

Looking Into the Future of Bookstores: 4 Angles

There’s lots of emotional activity over on my Facebook page—and everywhere else online!—about the future of bookstores. Some of the activity feels like examining the veins of the leaves on trees (e.g., I must have the ability to read my paper book in the bath tub, dammit!). Let’s take a wider view....

Borders Failure Is a Small Part of Bigger Phenomenon

Today I was on NPR’s Morning Edition, offering my take on the Borders’ liquidation. Click here to listen. Many of my colleagues insist Borders’ failure had nothing to do with e-books. Yes, bad management played a big role here. Borders has been a weak player for years, and it’s survival of...

Why Take the Time to Read Your Work Out Loud?

On July 11, I was a featured speaker at True Theatre. True Theatre is a Cincinnati storytelling event, where everyday people tell true stories about their lives to a general audience. Each evening has a specific theme—independence was last week’s theme—and I told a story about traveling to Thailand on my...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/15/11)

  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 Best Put Your Personality at the Center of Your Brand @DanBlank Five MUST-DO Book Publicity Tips @Writeitsideways 10 Ways to Beat...

More and More Days

Today’s guest post is by longtime NO RULES favorite Darrelyn Saloom. Follow her on Twitter, or read her previous guest posts. I have never met Cynthia Newberry Martin (pictured above), but it seems like I’ve always known her from perusing her blog she describes as “a net for catching days.” I’ve...

Creativity Isn’t Magic

Building on a guest post earlier this week by Todd Henry, I wanted to share a recent discovery, Everything Is a Remix. I particularly love part 3, which starts out by saying this: The act of creation is surrounded by a fog of myths—myths that creativity comes via inspiration, that original...

5 Factors to Help You Evaluate Blogs & Online Authorities

    Today, over at Courage 2 Create, I’m the featured interviewee. I discuss online authority, and how to decide which people and organizations you should trust. Here’s a small snippet: Authority comes in a variety of forms, and we each have different values that can lead us to disagree on...

3 Great Blogs for Children’s Writers

I rarely cover the children’s market on this blog, since I haven’t directly worked in that area of publishing and I consider it the province of my colleagues. But here are the 3 sources I frequently recommend when asked: Alice Pope’s SCBWI blog. Alice is a longtime industry expert on the...

Seeking Qualified Judges for Writer’s Digest Competition

          The Writer’s Digest competitions department is seeking first-round judges for the Self-Published Book Awards. Judges are responsible for completing critiques due the first week of August. Judges are sought in the following categories: Genre fiction Mainstream fiction Inspirational works (fiction and nonfiction) Qualified judges include agents,...

Be Strategic in What You Consume to Boost Productivity

Today’s guest post is from Todd Henry, founder and CEO of Accidental Creative, a consulting firm that helps organizations like P&G, Mattel, and State Farm generate creative ideas. He has one of the top business podcasts, The Accidental Creative. This post is an excerpt from his recently released book, The Accidental...

The Hidden, Secret Ingredient of Platform: Relationships

      Today I’m a guest over at Marketing Tips, a blog by Tony Eldridge. I try to tackle one of the more difficult aspects of platform, relationships. Here’s a small snippet: We all have different strengths, and banding together can be an excellent way to extend your platform in...

Speed: Writing Fiction That Reads Fast

Today’s guest post is by writer Susan Cushman. Read her personal blog, learn about the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction Workshop, and follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Above: John Brandon signing his latest novel, Citrus County, for Susan at Off Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. — John Brandon gave a terrific...

The Importance of Defamiliarizing Words

                The latest Glimmer Train bulletin is available, and I love this piece by Kevin Haworth on why he started to read poetry to improve his fiction: I understood what my professor meant about extending my vocabulary, not just with new, fancy words, but...