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.


Writer's Digest Hits Top 10 Amazon List

Just got word that our recent release, And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations With 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft by Mike Sacks, hit Amazon’s Top 10 List of Best Entertainment Books in 2009. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review, and said, “Veteran journalist Sacks conducted dozens of interviews with the top humor...

Looking for Your Feedback: What Do Established Writers Need?

One of the biggest criticisms or complaints about Writer’s Digest (usually the magazine) is that it’s for wannabes, and that after a few years, the advice/information either becomes repetitive or irrelevant, especially for someone who works at the professional level. I’ve been daydreaming about how to develop a new periodical that would offer information...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 10/30/09)

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. Always welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Check out new Twitter lists: List of Tweeps most often included in weekly Best Tweets for Writers (always...

The Battle of Resistance

This is a guest post from monthly contributor and storytelling genius Darrelyn Saloom. Follow her on Twitter. The photo above shows Darrelyn’s youngest son, Jesse, emerging from battle to hand his mommy a pink crayon and a gardenia on his first birthday on May 28, 1987. (For more great stories from Darrelyn, click on...

The Day I Picked Up a Hitchhiker

Risk more than others think is safe.Care more than others think is wise.Dream more than others think is practical.Expect more than others think is possible. —Claude Bissell There’s a story I love to tell in the presence of The Conductor, because it upsets him so much (in a cute way). When I was 17,...

The Age-Old Battle Between Author & Publisher

To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author. —Charles Caleb Colton Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being. —A. A. Milne...

Writing & Publishing: More Than a Patience Game

My partner in crime, The Conductor, recently forwarded me the following, from an interview with Lost Producer Damon Lindelof: In today’s film and television industries it seems like there are far fewer writers willing to take risks for originality’s sake. What advice do you have for aspiring writers who are passionate about a particular...

Your Simple Checklist for Getting Known & Getting Readers

There’s such a wonderful comment on yesterday’s post that I wanted to bring attention to it (slightly modified to apply to all genres). Thank you, Banana the Poet (aka Michele Breton)! Follow her on Twitter or visit her site. Simple Checklist for Getting Known, Getting Readers, Building Platform Blog your work and gather readers...

Turn Your Book Into an iPhone App

This is a story about an energetic author who deserves an award for truly living by the adage, “There Are No Rules.” In fact, I shall start an honorable group, “There Are No Rules Crown Club,” for people who live up to this moniker, starting with Al Katkowsky. Al e-mailed me over the summer...

Achieving a Dream of Mine

Years ago, back when I was directing the trade books and market annuals for Writer’s Digest, I would often have a conversation with author Christina Katz that went something like: CK: Hey, you guys should bundle together XYZ!Me: Yeah, I wish we could! We’re not set up to do that, though.CK: You should also...

The Much Maligned Adverb

Today’s guest post is by Jim Adam, who wrote a wonderful 3-part series on protagonists & goals. Read the part 3 here (which includes links to parts 1 & 2). Visit Jim at his site or follow him on Twitter. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Laureate, went on record several years ago saying that he...

How to Get Your Book Published

The No. 1 question we get asked at Writer’s Digest is “How do I get my book published?” As the Brazen Careerist has noted, sometimes people don’t ask the best or most focused questions if they want a meaningful answer (or if they want to respect the person they’re requesting information from). In my...

The First 5 (Simple) Steps for Growing Readership on Your Blog

One of my posts last month, The Benefits of Blogging, received a number of valuable comments. For anyone wondering about the value of blogging, this is a must-read for the variety of perspectives. The next question that naturally arises—after you decide to blog—is how to gain readership. Before I mention specific tactics, 3 things...

3 Sure-Fire Ways to Insult Someone in Publishing

1. Design your own book cover, or better yet, have a loved one do so for you. Bonus points if that loved one is a child (either young of full-grown), and creates abstract art. 1.5. Draw your own illustrations or have a loved one do so because they’re really good with Microsoft Paint. Books...

Remove These Phrases From Your Writing Life

I’m on an inspirational kick this week. I recently connected on LinkedIn with my very first boss at F+W. I always remember the advice he repeated to me that went something like: “Imagine you’re 80, looking back on the fulfilling, beautiful life you’ve led. Now go do that.” I come across too many people...

It's Not Business As Usual–Stop Acting Like It

In my role at Writer’s Digest I balance two key objectives that’s an odd, meta-publishing endeavor: Help aspiring writers succeed in the publishing arena Keep the Writer’s Digest business—as a publishing and/or content business—viable Because of my position within the publishing industry, I see up-close the effects of hard economic times, transformational technology, and...

15 Worthy Blogs I Just Discovered

I recently received the “One Lovely Blog Award” from Jillian Livingston (go check out isdisnormal—and you must if you are a mom). My thanks to her for introducing me to this concept. As a result of being honored, I’ve been asked to note 15 blogs I recently discovered that I find worthy of the...

How Twitter Is Helpful for Aspiring Writers

At this weekend’s Editors’ Intensive, Alice Pope & I were trying to explain how Twitter works and how it can be helpful for writers. There were many skeptics in the audience. So I posed the question to my friends/followers on Twitter: How has Twitter helped you as a writer? I love the responses I...

Gift Ideas for Writers

As many of you know, it was my birthday on Monday, and The Conductor—who treats gift-giving as a dramatic art—always looks for ways to surprise and delight. For this gift-giving occasion, he chose the New Yorker as his theme, so I received enough New Yorker product (calendar, book anthologies, and cartoons) to probably keep...

Don't Fall in Love With Your Research

In the monthly Glimmer Train bulletin, you’ll find some fabulous advice from working writers. Here’s a bit of what novelist Eric Wasserman had to say about research (Eric pictured above): Fiction writers can easily write themselves into a corner. For the writer of the researched story it almost inevitably happens when the details cease...

The Distribution Barrier for Self-Publishers: Less of an Issue?

When I started at Writer’s Digest in 2001, my first assigned beat was the self-publishing scene. I was given Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual and The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Marilyn & Tom Ross, as primers on the topic. I edited the magazine’s column on self-publishing (discontinued), the newsstand-only special issues on self-publishing (also...

Excellent (and Free) Presentation on Self-Publishing

At our conference last week, April Hamilton gave an in-depth presentation on the basics of getting started in self-publishing—or as an indie author. Click here to download her presentation as a PDF file. I blogged some tips from her session on the Writer’s Digest Conference blog, which I’m reposting below. April’s definition of an...

Best Tweets Returns Mid-October

Due to Writer’s Digest events & other travel (my birthday travel & my mother’s birthday travel), Best Tweets is on hiatus until the week ending October 16. Those who have been sending recommendations: I still have them on tap and will see if they’re still appropriate for the next round-up. Thankfully, after this hiatus,...