Editors Blog

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.


How One Writer Developed an iPhone App

For writers looking for a new creativity tool & prompt generator, I highly recommend The Brainstormer, created by Andrew Bosley. The Brainstormer was recently released as an iPhone app, and I was curious about how Andrew worked with the app developer, Joel Davis, to launch it. Here’s what they had to say. So The...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/2/10)

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 these upcoming Writer’s Digest webinars:...

How Music Can Help Us Write About the Unnamable

The July bulletin from Glimmer Train is now available, which includes an incredible and beautiful piece by writer Justin Kramon, “Musical Inspiration.” Here’s a passage: That summer I parted ways with a woman I loved very much. At the time I thought I’d lost her forever, and it opened up a kind of gaping...

6 Tips on How to Build a Platform and Sell Books

For nonfiction writers, the most significant development of the past decade has been the insistence by the publishers that authors have national platforms. For fiction writers, authors’ platforms matter less. However, it never hurts for a fiction writer to be charismatic, articulate, a vigorous promoter, and media savvy. Children’s book writers and illustrators also...

Google Voice for Writers

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.) – Google has recently opened up...

The Big Catch-22 for Memoir Writers

“You have to choose: Live life, or tell about it.” (Sartre)I’ve long struggled with two conflicting values in life & writing: To be interesting or compelling, you have to be focused outward. (Boring people are such because they can hold no interest in others.) To get any good at writing (a solitary pursuit), it’s...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 6/25/10)

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 these upcoming Writer’s Digest webinars:...

What If Everything I Told You Was Wrong?

Today I have a guest post over at Writer Unboxed that, in some ways, de-emphasizes all the advice and information I’ve ever given you. It’s all about having fun, and loosening up. My recent kick on letting go of the guilt, and worrying less about things like grammar, may be related to some of...

Agents Won't Survive Just By Charging a Higher Commission

Last year, I wrote a piece in Writer’s Digest (September 2009) about the future role of agents. I had three key points: Agents need to innovate on contracts to keep themselves, as well as their authors, alive through the transition. Richard Nash has the right thinking in this area. Agents need to partner and...

Summer Writing Events: Meet Me & Get Advice on Your Career

This summer I’m speaking to writers in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and California. I hope to meet you at one of these events. For a full schedule of where I’m speaking through 2011—and to request me to speak for your group—click here. Tomorrow! Evansville, Indiana (June 19), FREE!I’ll be at the Red Bank library in...

Your Excuses About Writing Are Vitally Important!

Writers are often commanded to “stop making excuses” for not writing. You know the drill: Stop saying you don’t have the time.Stop saying, “You’ll get to it when …”Stop wasting your time with less important things.Start the sacrifice.Start the schedule.Find the commitment and discipline to write. I hear this advice so often, I’ve stopped...

10 Fabulous Articles for Writers & Other Cool Stuff This Week

As usual, I want to bring you up-to-date on the latest and greatest stuff at Writer’s Digest, as well as other free tools and resources I love! The BrainstormerHave you seen this ultra-cool prompt wheel? It’s free to use online, and also available as a $1.99 iPhone app. (I hope to interview the creator...

It's Never Too Late to Start Writing

Today’s guest post is by Tim Glore. During his senior year in high school, he took on his first writing assignments as a reporter for his high school newspaper, “The Liberator.” Tim realized he loved writing when he couldn’t wait for the next journalism class. He wanted to become a writer. But, with five...

My Cheatin' Heart

Today’s guest post is from the incredible Darrelyn Saloom. Follow her on Twitter, or click here to read more of her guest posts. The painting above is “Velma and the Diamond Ring” by Francis X Pavy. His work reflects Darrelyn’s hometown in Acadiana. Writing a book takes time. I spend hours and hours a...

Writers' Lives Change When Abundance Is the Problem in Publishing

Kevin Smokler recently commented, “The day Clay Shirky does not say something fascinating is the day we all pack it in.” I discovered Shirky last year when his article on newspaper declines spread like wildfire. Go read his blog post, “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable.” Since then, I’ve read his book, Here Comes Everybody:...

The Most Important Marketing Acronym: WIIFM

How often are you asked a favor? How do you decide whether or not to extend the favor? You probably decide based on: The relationship you share with this person (or organization) WIIFM, or: What’s In It For Me? When it comes to marketing yourself or your work—or building your career—you have to assume...

Best Articles Writers Should Have Read (1st Half of 2010)

I love uncovering great online articles and bloggers. Even better, I love sharing them. This week, I’ve scoured my Google Reader to find the best of the best stuff I shared in the first half of 2010. Here’s a list of what I think every writer ought to have read. Flip the Stick by...

How Travel Renews Your Writing Life

“I have conquered an empire but I have not been able to conquer myself.” —Peter the Great (pictured above is Peter’s summer home near St. Petersburg, or Peterhof Grand Palace) I just returned from a week’s vacation, cruising the waterways around Scandinavia and Russia. (Click here to browse all photos.) If you’ve been hanging...

Success Is Defined Differently By Everyone … But …

Today I have a guest post over at Writer Unboxed that attempts to explain how I can tell if a writer is going to be “successful.” Of course, success can be defined in many different ways, but in this case, I’m primarily talking about success as earning a living from your writing or having...

The 3 Best Takeaways for Writers From BookExpo America

I spent this week in New York at BookExpo America, the book publishing industry’s annual trade show. This year the show moved to midweek, and was two days instead of three—reflecting the struggles of the industry. I focused on attending educational sessions, hearing the best and the brightest talk about the challenges we all...

Authors: Build Your E-mail List—NOW

Since April, I hear the drums getting louder and louder: E-mail lists are the strongest tool in your marketing and promotion arsenal. I’ve heard it from large publishers, from small publishers, from authors. Here are three examples: Small publisherSophia Institute Press has a small and focused e-mail list of people who have purchased their...