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.


5 Things That Make Me Stop Reading Websites & Blogs

Just in case you missed it, my first contribution to Writer Unboxed went live last week: 5 Things That Make Me Stop Reading Websites & Blogs It’s generated a lot of excellent discussion (45 comments!), where I’ve contributed some additional tips and answered questions. I think the discussion also made me aware of the...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 12/18/09)

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. Always welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Best of Best 8 Ways of Seeing People that Can Sabotage Your Writing by @dahveed_miller@mystorywriter Big writing secret:...

I'm Now a Regular Contributor to Writer Unboxed

I’m very proud to announce that, starting this week, I’ll be a regular contributor to Writer Unboxed. My first post, to appear this Friday, will discuss the 5 things that make me stop reading an online site or blog (based on my experience curating Best Tweets). —— Housekeeping note: I’m taking a little holiday...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 12/11/09)

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. Always welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Best of Best What a Bestselling Author Can Teach You About Hooking Your Readers@copyblogger Top 10 Question Dutton...

Every Author Needs Professional Headshots

I don’t consider myself a formal person, and you can tell by the name of this blog—There Are No Rules—that I’m hesitant to put an absolute on anything. That said, I’ve been in the publishing business long enough to know and understand how important a professional photo can be (just like a professional website)...

A Big Mistake to Avoid in Story Openings

I’ve read countless manuscripts that begin by describing a character writhing in pain. Mental pain, physical pain, emotional pain, you name it. For instance: John clenched his throat and tried to stop the flow of blood, but he couldn’t. His skin became whiter and whiter, and he broke out into a cold sweat. He...

When You Share, You Win

Below I’ve posted two letters from writers who attended our September event in New York. You can find information on all Writer’s Digest events here. The lesson I find in it? You never know what’s possible when you share something and give freely. Sometimes, you get a mention on Oprah. Sometimes progress is a...

How I Drive Writers to Drink (In a Good Way?)

This is a guest post from Kevin Derr, who shares his experience of a writing workshop I gave last weekend in Evansville, Ind. Find Kevin Derr on Facebook. Big thanks to the Evansville Public Library & the Midwest Writers Guild for their promotion of the event, to make it standing-room only! — More than...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 12/4/09)

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. Always welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Best of Best According to @joefinder these are the 14 biggest mistakes even best-selling writers make@mystorywriter Easy on...

A Long Fall from the Top of a Tree

Today’s guest post is from the talented Darrelyn Saloom. Follow her on Twitter. To read more from Darrelyn, click on “Guest Posts” under the Categories head on the left nav. Pictured above: Sisters Jane Ellen Wilkerson Kane (1951-1983) and Darrelyn on a typical summer day (1966). One of the most painful parts of being...

Twitter Tips for Writers

Today, Alice Pope & I taught an online class on using social media to help you succeed in publishing. During the class, I asked my Twitter followers to share their best tip for using Twitter. Here’s a compilation of those tips. My thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute. Design and follow...

The No. 1 Disappointment of Published Authors–And How You Can Avoid

While all authors’ situations are unique, they tend to experience the same disappointments during the publishing process. The most common disappointment (and the one that can have the most damaging effects on the author-publisher relationship) is: (Real or perceived): Lack of marketing and promotion support This disappointment is becoming more and more common as...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Sunil Robert

This is a new recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Sunil Robert. Sunil Robert is the author of I...

10 Fun Things at Writer's Digest

November was a quiet month for me last year on this blog (because I was stuck in Thailand), and it was a quiet month again this year—but for different reasons (budgeting!). While I’ve been crunching numbers, lots of cool things have been happening at Writer’s Digest that I didn’t get to tell you about,...

Self-Publishing: A Different Game in the UK Market

I received the following note from Jeremy Thompson from Troubador in response to my post about the 3 Self-Publishing Paths You Should Understand. For my UK readers, I felt it important to share. I encourage comments from UK writers on the issue. Dear Jane, I read your WD piece on the three choices for...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 11/27/09)

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. Always welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Best of Best Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket By Writing Only One Book @EelKat [linking...

The 3 Self-Publishing Paths You Should Understand

Since Monday’s post, a few writers have been informing me that self-publishing ought to be free, or close to it. To underscore their point, they point to services like Lulu (no upfront cost for uploading and selling an e-book if it’s completely ready to go), or Lightning Source, which the traditional publishing industry often...

Harlequin's Self-Publishing Venture: Is It the Future of Publishing?

As I observed the writing community’s reaction to Harlequin Horizons last week, I felt incredible sympathy for the people at Harlequin. It appears they’ve been blind-sided by vitriolic outrage from all sides—unpublished writers, published authors, writers organizations, industry professionals. For those who aren’t familiar with the story yet, Harlequin announced a partnership with AuthorSolutions...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 11/20/09)

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. Always welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Best of Best 4 mistakes commonly made by beginning writers (by Caro Clarke) @inkyelbows 24 Agents Looking for...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 11/13/09)

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. Always welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Best of Best Great post from an agent about why books are rejected@BubbleCow @RachelleGardner on when/how a book...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 11/6/09)

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. Always welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Best of Best 3 Questions To Better Understand Your Novel@FictionMatters 3 Storytelling Exercises That Can Get You Published...

Marketing in a Digital Age

More than a year ago, I left a comment on the Booksquare blog by Kassia Krozser, on a post titled “Why Publishers Should Blog.” Kassia argued that publishers needed to be more vocal about supporting the titles they publish. I responded: Definitely agree, but I have to wonder if the lack of enthusiastic comments...

Every Writer Needs a Little Salesperson Inside

It’s not a natural thing for most creative people to sell their work, but when it comes time to publish, you have to know something about how to sell. You have to put in the effort, make the calls, not get beat down by rejection. (It’s why I love this Alec Baldwin video, and...