You’ve got a great idea—but how can you tell if it’s weighty enough for a novel, or would work best as a short story? Here are five key factors to consider.
by Elizabeth Sims
Writers who leverage their skills as copy editors can earn bigger paychecks, diversify their portfolios and spend more time doing what they love. Learn how you could be one of them.
by Rebecca Smith Hurd
My post last week, The “Self-Pub Is Crap” Debate, has probably generated more comments than any other post in 2011. Reviewing the comments provides an excellent to-do list of how self-published authors can be taken seriously by readers. Hire professionals for editing, proofreading, and design. Put most of your cost toward editing. That means,...
Writers often ask if it’s wise or helpful to self-publish their work if they have “near-misses” with agents or publishers. There’s no one answer that works for everyone. But I’ll try to help you come to the right conclusion. YES: Go ahead and try self-publishing a book You know how to reach your readers...
At some point in writing your novel, you have to start thinking about “chaptering,” the process of deciding exactly when and where your chapter breaks will go. Here are three simple, essential techniques that can help you make effective chapter pauses.
by Aaron Elkins
The meme these days seems to be that e-mail newsletters (or content marketing through e-mail) is the new blogging. Actually, I lie. It’s a fairly old meme—I can at least trace it back to this blog post by Jason Calacanis, a longtime respected blogger, who decided to start a paid e-mail newsletter instead of...
There’s something a little silly about being interviewed on your own blog. However, Walt Wojtanik made it a fun experience, which is part of the reason he was chosen as the 2010 Poetic Asides Poet Laureate. Walt manages several blogs, including Through the Eyes of a Poet’s Heart, Across the Lake, Eerily (with Marie...
Pictured above: A slide from Margaret Atwood’s marvelous presentation at TOC on the future for authors When it comes to non-narrative nonfiction books, I don’t think of the authors of these books as authors. I think of them as experts, entrepreneurs or business professionals who are interested in authoring a book because of the...
Next week, I’m teaching an online class on how to start a successful e-mail newsletter. This is a topic I’ve covered here at No Rules before, but this class will allow me to show you in-depth how to get started, discuss strategies, and go behind the scenes with free services so you see how...
Today I sent out the latest issue of my e-mail newsletter, which I call “3 Happy Things.” Each issue has a different theme, and this one focused on how to build a website for free, without knowing code, in less than an hour. Click here to view the newsletter on codeless websites. Also, there’s...
Agent Daniel Lazar talks about queries, his dream project and his biggest career surprise.
With so many great ideas, how do you organize them into some sort of coherent outline that will guide your writing? Here's how.
by Laura Whitcomb
Let’s step once again into the mind of the unconvinced, perhaps even curmudgeonly or fool-hearted editor: What harsh rejection letters might the authors of some of our favorite hit books have had to endure?
This time we take on John Grogan of Marley & Me fame.
Think someone stole your idea? Not so fast. Here’s what you can learn from two authors and their tale of “simultaneous discovery.”
by Eileen Cook and Lara Zielin
Here are 5 simple steps to set up a free website/blog using WordPress.
by Meryl K. Evans
Award-winning writing, quick-witted characters and the kind of suspense every reader craves—his books may be classified under mystery or thriller, but Harlan Coben seems to have it all. And he’s willing to share his secrets.
by Jessica Strawser
E-mail gaffes are all too easy to make—and all too common. Here’s how to recover from four cringe-worthy mistakes.
by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Rachel Friedman.
Rachel Friedman is the author of The Good...
It can be very difficult to sell a memoir when you’re not famous. Without a celebrity’s fan base, or a loyal and captive audience, then you need to write like a master, or have such a fantastical story that no one can divert their attention from it! The other question that often arises with...
This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Glen Retief.
Glen Retief is the author of The...
Sooner or later, we all get stranded in the middle of our manuscripts. Use these 6 steps to jump-start your story so you can keep on driving.
by John Dufresne
Like confronting a dark past, publishing your own book can be daunting. Weldon Long found one bold way to do both—and earned top honors in WD’s Self-Published Book Awards.
by Melissa Wuske
As everyone knows, you can’t make a living from writing and selling poetry. Or can you? Well, it IS next to impossible to make a living by only writing poems. Sometimes I wonder if that’s why poets seem to be the ones I see most often experimenting and innovating. They know that large-scale publication...
Announcing the Mainstream Fiction winners of the 18th Annual Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards.
Announcing the Children's winners of the 18th Annual Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards.