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.


5 Ways to Use Book Trailers to Drive Sales

Book trailers are one form of marketing that I’ve heard very few success stories about. So I asked Darcy Pattison, author of The Book Trailer Manual, to share tips on how book trailers can be used as part of an effective book marketing and promotion campaign. If the idea of book trailers is new...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 8/6/10)

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:...

How to Start Your Mystery Novel

No pressure, but the opening of your book is the gatekeeper in determining whether your novel will sell. If your opening is weak, it won’t matter if chapter two is a masterpiece. Editors and agents will stop reading before they get to it. This column excerpted from Hallie Ephron‘sWriting and Selling Your Mystery Novel....

Writing Memoir: Peering Into Memories and Mary Karr’s Life

Today’s guest post is by the incredible Darrelyn Saloom, who is working on a memoir with boxer champion Deirdre Gogarty. Follow Darrelyn on Twitter, or read her previous guest posts. (Pictured above: Window Dressing on Royal Street in New Orleans) When I first read Mary Karr’s memoir, The Liars’ Club, her story ignited my...

New Tools: Create a Book From Your Site or Blog Content

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.) Anthologize is a free software that...

Free Download: 101 Best Websites for Writers (+ Free Webinar!)

A quick update this week on the newest and best stuff at Writer’s Digest! Free PDF download of 101 Best Websites for WritersIf you don’t have the May/June 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine, that means you missed our 101 Best Websites article! I blogged about my favorite picks here. If you sign up...

How Book Club Readers (and Bookstores) Can Drive Success

Today I have the pleasure of sharing a Q&A with author Meg Waite Clayton. Meg is the author of the national bestseller The Wednesday Sisters, which has been popular with book clubs across the country. I was curious about this aspect of her book’s success, as well as how she came to writing and...

The Bane of Most Writers' Lives: Waiting

The new Glimmer Train bulletin is available, and in it you’ll find a lovely piece by Olufunke Grace Bankole, called “Going Solo.” Here’s a small snippet: There is a time, a season for each thing: a time to act, and a time to wait. When I forget this, I struggle to make progress with...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/30/10)

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 Writers Wish They'd Known Before Pitching

I’m posting from Muncie, Ind., where I’m speaking and networking with writers at the Midwest Writers Workshop. Through Saturday, I’ll be posting wisdom collected from MWW faculty. You can also follow along on Twitter by searching for hashtag #mww10. Today’s post is a brief summary of Dennis Hensley‘s kick-off speech. His speech was inspired...

The Best 101 on Self-Publishing + Resources

The best education on how to self-publish (whether in print or online) can be found in these 3 places: Self-Publishing a Book: 25 Things You Need to Know by David Carnoy (CNET) How to Self-Publish an E-Book by David Carnoy (CNET) Everything You Need to Know About Self-Publishing: the March/April 2009 Writer’s Digest issue...

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:...