Conferences/Events

5 Excellent Tips for Platform Building

This past weekend, I had the honor of keynoting the Writers' League of Texas Agents Conference in Austin. During that weekend, I also had the opportunity to hear some wonderful advice from other publishing experts. Here's some excellent online marketing advice I heard. All are direct quotes unless in brackets.

Best Tweets + Upcoming Events

Best Tweets is going on an early summer break due to upcoming conference travel and holiday travel—plus I’m wrapping up the academic year at University of Cincinnati. Look for its return in mid-July. Here are some excellent upcoming events where I’m teaching: 6 Key Components of an Online Author Platform (online...

6 Key Components of an Online Author Platform

Next week, on June 2, I’ll be teaching a live, online class on building your author platform. To help make “platform” more understandable and approachable as a topic, I’ve boiled it down into 6 key components. Here they are, briefly. VISIBLE Your website (your hub, or Grand Central Station) Your social...

Is Email the New Blogging?

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...

Organizing a Writers Workshop: Marketing (Part 2)

Today’s guest post is by NO RULES regular Susan Cushman, director of the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction Workshop. Last month, I wrote about how to plan the budget, faculty, venue, housing, meals, and social events for a writing workshop—specifically for the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction Workshop. Today’s post is about what...

How to Start a Successful Newsletter

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...

Friday Mish-Mash of Cool Things

A lot of things have crossed my desk lately, so let me share them all at once. Above: Edgar Award winners Ruth Rendell, Lawrence Block, Peter Blauner, and others discuss their writing and what they consider the ultimate reward for penning a great mystery novel. StoryADay May Writing Challenge. This is...

Back to Basics: Writing & Publishing Memoir

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...

Helpful Insights for Self-Publishing Novelists

I moderated a panel at SXSW called The Self-Publishing Novelist, which included insights from 3 experienced experts: John Sundman. Read an interview with John here, Building an Enthusiastic Fan Base as a Self-Published Author. Carolyn McCray. Read her helpful articles over at Digital Book World, including Best Practices for Amazon E-Book...

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...

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...

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...

How to Write a Thriller That Sells

Tomorrow, novelist Hallie Ephron is teaching a live course on writing a mystery or thriller that sells. If you’re not familiar with Hallie’s advice, here are a few places where you can get a taste: The Art of the Page Turner. This is a recap of the session Hallie did at...

Catch SXSW PubCamp Streaming Live!

Tomorrow I’ll be giving a brief talk at SXSW PubCamp in Austin, along with some outstanding speakers from the publishing industry. The free event is now wait-listed, but catch it live and online here (link updated morning of March 11!). AGENDA 4:00 p.m. (CST)Keynote by Sarah Wendell, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books 4:30...

Ask the Agent Power Panel

This weekend, Writer’s Digest is hosting its first online “power panel” that features 4 agents ready to answer all of your questions related to getting published. The price of $129 comes with: A query letter critique from Writer’s Digest publisher Phil Sexton A 3-month subscription to WritersMarket.com (which includes all listings...

The Future of the Novelist

This week, I’ll be at SXSWi in Austin, where I’m presenting a brief session on your publishing options at PubCamp (free!), and moderating a SXSWi panel,  The Self-Publishing Novelist. I can’t envision a more exciting or opportune time to be at a national event, guiding a discussion on self-publishing. Why? Take...

6 Common Plot Fixes

The following post is an excerpt from “The Ultimate Revision Checklist” by James Scott Bell, featured in the Writer’s Digest special issue, Write Your Novel in 30 Days. If you enjoy this post, check out Bell’s upcoming seminar in June on how to sell your novel. Key Questions to Ask About...

Bid on a Consultation With Me (for Charity)

As part of a Red Cross fundraiser, I’ve donated a 30-minute writer/author consultation. Click here to read more and to bid. This online fundraiser event celebrates Red Cross Month (March). It is intended to raise funds and awareness for the Red Cross and its work in communities across the country. Check...

My Latest Thoughts on Writers & Social Media

While at AWP, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Caleb J. Ross and Nik Korpon to talk about writers, social media, and the digital era.You can listen to the 20-minute conversation here. Some topics we discuss: How is it writers are so attached to the physical book? Is aversion...

What Does the Borders Bankruptcy Mean for Writers?

Tomorrow (Feb. 25), Writer’s Digest is hosting a free online event on how the Borders bankruptcy affects writers. As you probably have heard by now, Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 16. Though the ramifications of this move have already been discussed in great detail, many questions still remain....

Do Your E-Book Right

You’ve probably read the reports that some bestselling books now sell as many e-book editions as print editions, at least through outlets such as Amazon. With the wider adoption of e-book reading devices, authors such as JA Konrath have been making a pretty penny by releasing their own e-books and keeping...

Excellent Online Learning Opportunities (Free + Paid)

There are so many interesting opportunities coming up for online education that I wanted to take a moment to round them up! FREE: The Evolution of Self-Publishing webcast, brought to you by Digital Book World and Publishers Weekly. Feb. 22. Go register here. Building Your Author Platform, a new 8-week online...

I'm Speaking at SXSW on Self-Publishing

For the first time, I’ll be on a panel at SXSW. The panel is called “The Self-Publishing Novelist: Report From the Trenches.” Author John Sundman proposed the panel (remember the Q&A?), and I owe him my thanks for including me. I’ll have more to say—content-wise—about this panel in the coming weeks,...