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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.


Writing 21st Century Fiction: A Sneak Peek

Donald Maass, bestselling author of Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction, now takes an in-depth, comprehensive look at the craft and method of writing 21st century fiction. You might … Read more

Top 10 Essentials to a Writer’s Life

This week, I finished Erik Larson’s latest narrative nonfiction, In the Garden of Beasts, which is still dominating The New York Times bestseller list. Excellent read. A few years back, I got … Read more

3 Steps to Successful Book Marketing

By Rob Eagar Marketing is a simple process when you boil it down to the fundamentals. Whether you’re a fiction or non-fiction author, you can achieve marketing success following these three simple … Read more

Snippets From a 1966 Interview With Helen Gurley Brown

Helen Gurley Brown, author and longtime editor of Cosmopolitan, died at age 90 yesterday. Her bestselling nonfiction book, Sex and the Single Girl, which took her career to the next level in … Read more

Stop, Look, and Listen for Better Book Marketing

By Rob Eagar Young children are often taught to “stop, look, and listen” before they cross the street. Stop to see what’s in front of you. Look both ways to make sure … Read more

Making the Most of Your Writing Time: Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who commented on my post about ways to Make Your Writing Time Matter. Sure, finding time to write (and to write well) can be a frustrating struggle, but it’s … Read more

Remembering Gore Vidal: 10 Quotes on Writing

The legendary Gore Vidal died yesterday at age 86. Here, we remember him with some stirring quotes from an interview we printed in 1975, showcasing him at his most “prolific, elegant and … Read more

Leak Exclusive Information to Maximize Social Media

By Rob Eagar If you want more people to follow you on social media, get into the habit of “leaking” exclusive offers or inside information that can’t be found anywhere else. By … Read more

How to Control a Media Interview

By Rob Eagar A good way to gauge your interview prowess is by mastering the ability to steer a conversation to only the topics that you want to discuss. Just because a … Read more

Free contest! Can you write an opening line to a story based on this photo? (Get published in WD)

Up for a writing challenge? We want to see Your Story. … Or at least the first line of it. In our Your Story contest, we give our readers a chance to get … Read more

Bonus Mystery Kits Just for You

Our July Mystery Kit sold out in record time, but I was given a handful specifically for readers of the No Rules Blog—including you! If you like writing mystery or thriller novels, this collection has everything you need to get your story started, in shape and ready to send to agents and publishers (and at a heavily discounted price). Check it out here. Read more

Make Your Writing Time Matter

Who hasn’t daydreamed about what we could produce if only we had more time? More time to write; more time to feel inspired; more time to read; more time to devote to … Read more

Marketing is About Success Not Perfection

By  Rob Eagar Life is about success, not perfection…and so is marketing. Case in point: A few weeks ago, I sent out my weekly newsletter that wound up having a couple of … Read more

Create Structure in Your Fiction Using Index Cards

I was reading through some of our older science fiction titles, and I came upon Worlds of Wonder by David Gerrold (published in 2001). As I was flipping through the book, I … Read more

Money is All that Matters in Marketing

By Rob Eagar Call me crazy, but I like money. Cash, check, direct deposit, wire transfer…I’ll take it. No, I’m not hyper-materialistic. I just like how money allows me to pay my … Read more

Logos, Brands, and Does It Really Matter?

By Rob Eagar Logos, brands, taglines, slogans…what’s the difference? Some authors think that having a logo means they have a brand. But, these are separate entities. Your brand is a phrase that … Read more

Create Powerful Imagery in Your Writing

We’ve heard the old montage “Show, don’t tell” so many times that it’s become stale–and what does it mean, anyway? It’s an easy phrase to utter, but how do you achieve resonant, … Read more

LeBron’s Lessons for Authors

By Rob Eagar I’m a 5-foot, 10-inch man who can barely jump. LeBron James is 6-foot, 8-inch basketball superstar who can jump so high that people wonder if he’s human. So, we’re … Read more

Remembering Nora Ephron: Before all the Hollywood Success

Nora Ephron died yesterday at 71. In her career, she worked as a journalist before reinventing the modern romantic comedy (Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally) while writing everything from novels … Read more

72 of the Best Quotes About Writing

A good writing  quote can give me goosebumps. For those days when the well is feeling dry and a tad echo-y, I keep a running list of my favorite quotes—things I’ve read, … Read more

Marketing Lessons from My Father

By Rob Eagar Marketing and sales are in my blood. That’s because I come from a distinguished line of salesmen. My grandfather was in sales. My father was in sales. In college, I … Read more

The Rules of Storytelling, Pixar Style

Anyone whose ever seen a screening of a Pixar movie (Finding Nemo, Up, and the Toy Story trio come to mind for me) knows that the writers of these charming, funny and … Read more

Why “Show, Don’t Tell” Is the Great Lie of Writing Workshops

I’m honored and excited today to be bringing you a guest post by critically acclaimed novelist and writing instructor Joshua Henkin. I first discovered Henkin’s work years ago when I received an … Read more

Turning Marketing Lemons into Lemonade

Recently, I attended the Book Expo America convention (BEA) in New York City to launch my new book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire. Unfortunately, when I got to the show, raring to promote my new title, the books had not yet arrived. As you can imagine, I was disappointed. But in that moment, I had a decision to make. I could let the problem get me down and assume the show was a disaster. Or, I could take matters into my own hands and proactively look for other marketing opportunities. I chose the latter. Read more

Showing vs. Telling in Your Writing

Show, don’t tell. Most writers have heard this maxim at some point, whether from a teacher, an editor or an agent. But what does this writing advice mean, in practical terms? While … Read more

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