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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.

The Evolution of Reading

Today’s guest post is from writer Susan Cushman, a monthly regular here at NO RULES. You can also find Susan over at A Good Blog Is Hard to Find and Pen and … Read more

What Digital Natives Can Teach Us About Publishing

First, I don’t really believe in the idea of “digital natives.” Digital natives are the students entering college right now who have never experienced life without the Internet. (See more about the … Read more

Book Marketing For 21st-Century Authors


Almost three years after the deal got made with Crown Publishing Group, my travel memoir about my time helping to start a radio station in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan has hit the shelves. Hooray! But there’s little time to celebrate, and there hasn’t been much downtime for months—even though the actual book was complete well over a year ago.

Guest column by Lisa Napoli, author of the memoir, Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth (Feb. 2011, Crown). Publishers Weekly said of the book: “Napoli’s adventures … will delight readers.” Read more

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 … Read more

You Don't Have to Blog, Tweet, or Be on Facebook

I’m often giving many reasons for writers to start a blog, be on Twitter, or use Facebook. But the truth is, you don’t have to do any of these things to get … Read more

The Misleading "Research" By McSweeney's

Let’s be clear: I don’t think print will die. But that’s no reason to concoct “research” about publishing that says “almost all of the news is good, and most of it is … Read more

Listen to Full Audio of AWP Social Media Panel

As you can probably tell—due to lack of Best Tweets—I am still catching up from being away at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. BUT—I have some wonderful things to … Read more

Who's Listening to You? (AWP Thoughts)

While delivering a session at the Writer’s Digest Conference (read this very kind & generous recap from George Davis!), I mentioned a few ways that writers can waste their time: By not … Read more

What I'm Looking Forward to at AWP

Today I’m headed to the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. I’ve been going to AWP since 2004, and it is one of the largest events I attend—more than 8,000 writers, … Read more

5 Key Takeaways for Authors From Digital Book World

Last week, on the heels of the Writer’s Digest Conference, more than 1,000 publishing professionals gathered for Digital Book World to discuss the challenges of transitioning a very traditional business into the … Read more

Writing Above Your Head

In the latest Glimmer Train Bulletin, Clayton Luz has a wonderful piece about “writing above your head,” advice that he first heard from Richard Ford. Here’s a snippet of what Clayton says: … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 1/28/11)

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 … Read more

How Writing About Loss Helps You Heal


Just a few days before my 27th birthday, she had a severe heart attack. I returned to Ohio, never imagining I’d remain there for over a year—Mom spending that entire time in one hospital or another, battling congestive heart failure, stomach paralysis, ventilator dependency, and lung cancer (the thing that would ultimately claim her life). I didn’t write during those months. I didn’t have any time. I was too tired. There was too much other stuff to think about.

Guest column by Sean Manning, author of The Things That Need Doing (Dec. 2010, Broadway), a memoir that Publishers Weekly called “a universal story … tremendously moving.” Read more

How to Spot Questionable Writing Advice

Today, I’m a guest over at Writer Unboxed, where I detail how to identify what might be “bad” writing advice: How to Avoid Being Fooled By Bad Writing Advice Usually what constitutes … Read more

Thinking Beyond the Book: What's Your Demand Curve?

At the Writer’s Digest Conference, Richard Nash delivered an inspiring keynote. Writers loved it. Deep in his talk, a slide flashed up on the screen that, to the untrained eye, might not … Read more

Are You a Renaissance Soul? Use It to Your Advantage

Today’s guest post is from Michelle Ward, aka The When I Grow Up Coach, who has worked with over 100 creative types to help them with their career goals. – Are you … Read more

MASTER Recap of 2011 Writer's Digest Conference

This post is a collection of: Best tweets from the 2011 Writer’s Digest Conference Links to official live blog posts of selected sessions Best recaps of the event by attendees & presenters … Read more

A Writer's Platform: How to Make It Natural and Happy

The following guest post is by writer Erika Robuck, who attended the Writer’s Digest Conference on Saturday and generously offered to recap the sessions she attended. “The business of writing is the … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 1/21/11)

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 … Read more

A Luddite Enters the Digital Marketplace

Today’s guest post is from author Nath Jones. In 2011, Nath Jones will finish an MFA in creative writing at Northwestern University, where she was a nominee for The Best New American … Read more

An E-Publisher That Specializes in Original Short Works

The digitization of publishing has spawned many new presses and publishing models, and one of them is 40K Books. 40K takes advantage of the e-book format by specializing in novelettes and focused … Read more

How to Find a Direct Line to Your Readers

On tap today we have a Q&A with author and independent publisher Patricia V. Davis, who will be a featured speaker at the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC. I first met Patricia … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 1/14/11)

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 … Read more

My Session Picks for the Writer's Digest Conference

If you’re attending the WD conference next week in New York, there will be an embarrassment of programming riches to choose from. Here are my session picks based on what you’re hoping … Read more

Get Your Nonfiction Query Critiqued By Me

Next week, I’m teaching an online class on landing a nonfiction book deal. The registration fee ($89) includes a critique of your query letter or hook, up to 300 words. If you’re … Read more

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