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.


It's Not Business As Usual–Stop Acting Like It

In my role at Writer’s Digest I balance two key objectives that’s an odd, meta-publishing endeavor: Help aspiring writers succeed in the publishing arena Keep the Writer’s Digest business—as a publishing and/or content business—viable Because of my position within the publishing industry, I see up-close the effects of hard economic times, transformational technology, and...

15 Worthy Blogs I Just Discovered

I recently received the “One Lovely Blog Award” from Jillian Livingston (go check out isdisnormal—and you must if you are a mom). My thanks to her for introducing me to this concept. As a result of being honored, I’ve been asked to note 15 blogs I recently discovered that I find worthy of the...

How Twitter Is Helpful for Aspiring Writers

At this weekend’s Editors’ Intensive, Alice Pope & I were trying to explain how Twitter works and how it can be helpful for writers. There were many skeptics in the audience. So I posed the question to my friends/followers on Twitter: How has Twitter helped you as a writer? I love the responses I...

Gift Ideas for Writers

As many of you know, it was my birthday on Monday, and The Conductor—who treats gift-giving as a dramatic art—always looks for ways to surprise and delight. For this gift-giving occasion, he chose the New Yorker as his theme, so I received enough New Yorker product (calendar, book anthologies, and cartoons) to probably keep...

Don't Fall in Love With Your Research

In the monthly Glimmer Train bulletin, you’ll find some fabulous advice from working writers. Here’s a bit of what novelist Eric Wasserman had to say about research (Eric pictured above): Fiction writers can easily write themselves into a corner. For the writer of the researched story it almost inevitably happens when the details cease...

The Distribution Barrier for Self-Publishers: Less of an Issue?

When I started at Writer’s Digest in 2001, my first assigned beat was the self-publishing scene. I was given Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual and The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Marilyn & Tom Ross, as primers on the topic. I edited the magazine’s column on self-publishing (discontinued), the newsstand-only special issues on self-publishing (also...

Excellent (and Free) Presentation on Self-Publishing

At our conference last week, April Hamilton gave an in-depth presentation on the basics of getting started in self-publishing—or as an indie author. Click here to download her presentation as a PDF file. I blogged some tips from her session on the Writer’s Digest Conference blog, which I’m reposting below. April’s definition of an...

Best Tweets Returns Mid-October

Due to Writer’s Digest events & other travel (my birthday travel & my mother’s birthday travel), Best Tweets is on hiatus until the week ending October 16. Those who have been sending recommendations: I still have them on tap and will see if they’re still appropriate for the next round-up. Thankfully, after this hiatus,...

A Note About My Good Friend Earl

There’s a joke by Jay Leno that goes something like: Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. And there’s another saying, in publishing: Only work with authors who you wouldn’t mind being stranded with in...

Instant Publishing Tools: Getting Noticed & Visible

Today I taught an online class about instant publishing tools that can help you get exposure for your work in digital formats. Thanks to all the participants who joined me today. Here’s a summary of some of the sites & tools we reviewed (a handy reference for the attendees, as well as a good...

Do Agents Steal Your Stamps? (The SASE Conundrum)

Q: Do agents steam off the stamps on self-addressed, stamped envelopes (SASEs) and resell them?! The agents demand pages, SASEs, that sort of‑thing, but—and I know this sounds cynical—many of my queries disappear.—Don B. A:Of course agents don’t steam off stamps from SASEs and resell them. They steam them off and use the stamps...

Just One More Blogging Benefit for Aspiring Writers

As I catch up from being away at the Writer’s Digest Conference (read more than 100 posts with info here!), guest blogger Jane Koenen Bretl is filling in with some more advice on the benefits of blogging! When I started my blog jane, candid in January 2009, it was my starting point to create...

Benefit From Our Conference From Afar (or Nearby)

It’s definitely one the favorite parts of my job: speaking at events and meeting writers and other professionals in the business. This weekend, Writer’s Digest debuts its first stand-alone event in New York City at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square. (And there’s still time to register on-site at the event, for just a...

Your Friends & Family Are Wrong

Time for a little tough love. To all those writers who say: My family has encouraged me to write this story I had this idea while talking with friends, and they thought it was brilliant My [insert close friend or family member name here] absolutely love my stories I read my work to my...

The Benefits of Blogging (Your Feedback!)

There have been so many wonderful comments from you on the subject of blogging (on this blog, on my Facebook page, and on the Writer’s Digest Facebook page), that I wanted to share a few pieces of the helpful advice. My appreciation to everyone who has shared their experiences! From published (or soon-to-be-published) authors...

Should You Blog? And If So, What Are Best Practices?

Photo credit: Laughing Squid More writers are blogging than ever. And if you’re not blogging already, you’ve probably considered it. Recently, a writer asked me via Facebook about blogging. She said: [It is] my impression that blogs related to writing are primarily written by people with expertise in their field and who have valuable...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 9/11/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!) for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Best of Best Great post: “When should I consider spending my own money on...

Book Promotion: Like Shouting Prayers Into Hurricane

I first met author N.M. Kelby at the AWP Conference in Atlanta. The Writer’s Digest staff includes many fans of her work, so it was thrilling to talk with her about a potential book project. I’m now proud to announce the fruits of our collaboration, new to our list this fall:The Constant Art of...

Best Tweets Returns Next Week

It has been nearly 2 weeks since my last curated Twitter list—my apologies for the hiatus. This feature will resume at the end of next week. For those of you who have sent tips and additions for Best Tweets, my appreciation. I have your recommendations safely reserved. If you have a Best Tweet to...

5 Questions You Can Ask Yourself About Stories

A little more from Glimmer Train this month—from the bulletin they just e-mailed to their writers. Go read the full bulletin here. From Ingrid Hill:  The Devil’s Trampoline: My sweet grandmother used to murmur consolingly, when I crabbed about the misery of sitting with hot rollers burning my scalp, “Honey, you have to suffer to...

Zen in the Art of a Kiss and a Dream

Today’s guest post is from everyone’s favorite regular contributor, Darrelyn Saloom. Follow her on Twitter. Nineteen years ago, I read the nine essays of Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing and dreamed I met the legendary author. In the dream, Bradbury and I discussed a story I’d written called “The Last Housewife...

Back from Alaska Round-Up (3 Tips)

I just returned from my 1-week adventure in Alaska. It is certainly the most foreign place I’ve ever been within the United States. You can check out photos here. Here are 3 tips for your Alaska adventure: One glacier experience is probably enough to satiate your curiosity about glaciers. You haven’t experienced Alaska unless...