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.


How One Author Is Using Scribd to Find Readers

I recently met Hyla Molander at the Capitol City Writers Conference, where she told me about her memoir, Drop Dead Life, which she is promoting on her own using Scribd. Molander began work on her memoir after the sudden death of her husband at the age of 29. Hyla has generously answered some of...

brooks

5 Rules for Writing YA

1. The life of the story depends on the writer’s ability to convince the reader that the protagonist is one of them. Teens despise fakes. You must know kids well enough to channel their voices, thoughts and emotions. 2. Don’t condescend to your readers. Young people won’t abide stories that suggest their turmoil or idealism...

One of My Most Embarrassing Moments at Writer's Digest

The first author I ever interviewed for Writer’s Digest was Richard Russo. It stands as the only major author interview I’ve conducted in-person. Russo was serendipitously stopping in Cincinnati for a book signing at Joseph-Beth, just a couple weeks after he won the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls. I prepared extensively and studiously. Aside...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/23/10)

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 best stuff I read each week? Click here to subscribe to my shared items. Quick plug for upcoming Writer’s Digest online classes:...

Back to Basics: Do I Need to Write a Book Proposal?

Book proposals are used to sell nonfiction book ideas. Instead of writing the entire book—then trying to find a publisher or agent (which is how it works with novels)—you write the proposal first, which convinces the editor or agent to contract you to write the book. Book proposals aren’t something you dash off in...

Make It Easy for Editors & Agents to Respond: Be Specific

Today I have a guest post over at Writer Unboxed: The Golden Rule of Professionals: Be Specific and Ask Good Questions What I love about this post is that it’s as helpful to established professionals as it is beginners: Beginners are often anxious or tentative in their queries, requests or questions. They might be...

Super-Powered Book Proposals Secret #1: There Is No Try. Do!

This post kicks off a series I’m writing on how to super-power your nonfiction book proposal. For the majority of nonfiction book ideas (except possibly memoir), you should prepare a book proposal first, rather than write the manuscript. To find out if you should write a book proposal, click here.Secret #1: There Is No...

New Tools: Read Twitter Like a Newspaper

This post is part of a series, New Tools for Entrepreneurial Writers, which overviews specific tools ripe with opportunity for creative & entrepreneurial writers. The only limit is your imagination! (If you’re the creator of a new software or online tool & would like it featured, contact me.) If you’re using Twitter, then you...

landau

5 Screenwriting Tips All Writers Can Learn From

No. 2: Start late. In individual scenes, don't waste valuable time on unnecessary entrances and hellos. See if a scene can be started in the middle. A writer who is willing to self-edit will often find that a scene is strengthened by cutting the first two, and often last two, lines of dialogue. No. 12:...

Publishing Is the New Literacy: 3 Things Writers Must Know

Since the release of Clay Shirky’s newest book, Cognitive Surplus, a flurry of interviews with him have appeared. It’s become cliche to say that we’re now experiencing the biggest change for reading & writing since Gutenberg, but it’s the truth. And it’s why you see such visceral debate on the topics of self-publishing/e-publishing, e-books,...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/16/10)

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 best stuff I read each week? Click here to subscribe to my shared items. Quick plug for upcoming Writer’s Digest online classes:...

What Is a Writer Without Insecurities Called?

Today on Twitter, Jeanne Bowerman sparked a question in my mind that felt like the beginning of a joke that needs a good punch line: What is a writer without insecurities called? As much as I wish all writers to feel more secure (and empowered), a few immediate words come to mind: Boring Insufferable...

Newest & Best From Writer's Digest

Here are the latest and newest happenings at Writer’s Digest! First—for fun!I wrote a brief piece for The Verb describing my work space. Go check it out! $10 Off Writer’s Market SubscriptionFor July only, we’ve lowered the prices on WritersMarket.com by $10. That’s 25% off an annual sub, giving you access to more than...

Four Ways E-Books Will Change Your World

Anytime I suggest e-books might become the primary or preferred format for reading, a lot of people get upset. They say they can’t possibly imagine giving up the satisfying, human, physical experience of reading a paper book. I think everyone knows where I stand on that issue—and much of my thinking also aligns with...

2 Concrete Ways to Keep Your Writing Career Moving Forward

Today’s guest post is by debut author Justin Kramon, author of Finny, which releases today. In its review of Finny, Publishers Weekly calls Kramon a find, so I am very delighted to feature his best advice for aspiring novelists here at There Are No Rules. You can also read this previous post, where I...

A Novel's Setting Can Be Your Marketing & Promotion Linchpin

Christine Lemmon is an example of self-publishing at its best, with nearly 50,000 copies of her books sold. After selling books in her own community of Sanibel Island (off Florida’s coast) and expanding regionally (through her own vigorous promoting and selling to local bookstores, hotels, gift shops and more), she is hoping to continue...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/9/10)

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 best stuff I read each week? Click here to subscribe to my shared items. Quick plug for this upcoming Writer’s Digest webinar:...

Using Poetry Techniques to Polish Your Fiction

Today’s guest post is by John Smith, a blogger and aspiring writer. Go check out his blog on writing! — A few years ago, I took a creative writing class that involved writing a 40-line poem. After finishing the poem, I went back and reread it. And you know what? It sucked. It felt...

The Secret to Writing & Publishing That Should Be Taped to Your Wall

Many adages of writing and publishing seem like common sense, and perfectly doable: Have a great hook in your query letter Catch the reader’s attention Take out everything that’s boring Learn how to pitch your work Underlying all of these adages, however, is a skill or perspective that’s difficult to learn and apply. You...

How One Writer Developed an iPhone App

For writers looking for a new creativity tool & prompt generator, I highly recommend The Brainstormer, created by Andrew Bosley. The Brainstormer was recently released as an iPhone app, and I was curious about how Andrew worked with the app developer, Joel Davis, to launch it. Here’s what they had to say. So The...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/2/10)

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 best stuff I read each week? Click here to subscribe to my shared items. Quick plug for these upcoming Writer’s Digest webinars:...