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Sunday, May 06, 2012

If You Want To be On This Blog...

Hi guys!

I've already put together a review policy, which you can read separately. This is aimed at people who sometimes email me with a request to do a guest post or asking me to give a plug to something they're doing.

I don't mind, really I don't. I have done some plugs for things such as books for Sudanese kids, because that was book-related and teen-related and I have worked with Sudanese kids. I have happily put up a post about a writing competition to get an agent, even though it was no use for anyone outside the US, because I do have US readers and you never know.

But if you want to make an appearance on this blog, please make sure you have something to say related to books, writing, reading, reviewing and such. Preferably YA or children's books, but spec fic in general is okay.

Let me know you've actually READ this blog. Some of the requests I get make me wonder if the person concerned actually has seen it. I'm guessing in some cases they have sent the same message to hundreds of blogs on the assumption that someone will respond and say yes - in that case, it comes down to spamming. Or, at the very least, it's like a writer sending their manuscript to every publisher they can find, whether that publisher is related to what they've written or not. That's sloppy. It shows you don't care. I get vague, general "comments" that go, "I really like this blog, I'm doing research on XYZ and this post really hits the spot" when the post is about, say, writing groups and the comment says they've been researching jet fuel in Albania. I follow the link to the writer's "profile" which tells you nothing about them, not so much as an email, and any blogs they're "following" aren't remotely connected with yours in style, usually are advertising web sites and the profile has been up for about an hour.

I find that so insulting. I get a lot of hits, an average 1000 a week, give or take, but not many comments. So when someone emails and says, "I loved that post on XYZ, can do I do a guest post about ABC?" and they didn't bother to so much as comment on that post they supposedly loved, why should I give them space here for their advertising? This isn't an advertising site. I turned down a woman who offered to write a post on anything I wanted as long as I let her put in links to ads - bleggh! She sent me links to articles she'd written for other web sites where the article was written with links to advertising sites as part of the post. I told her politely that I do my own posting and that I have a reason for not having ads on the site, but if I ever did, I'd make my own arrangements. I didn't blame her for trying - she was a freelance journalist who had found a novel way to pay the bills - but she really should have taken a good look at my blog and seen that this was not being run by a business, which might appreciate a sponsored article. I'm guessing she just got the URL and the email address and sent off her proposal.

If you're a follower and have put up comments on a regular or semi-regular basis,  you will have a better chance than if you simply cold call a thousand blogs.

But most of all, make sure your request is relevant. If it's about writing, reading, YA, children's books or spec fic, I will definitely consider it. And I have a soft spot for charities, though I'm likely to put a charity plug without book references on my general blog, Sue Bursztynski's Page. Ask, by all means. But if your request is unrelated to anything I write about on this blog, don't be surprised if I say no, or don't respond at all.

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