Wednesday, May 23, 2007

For Authors: A Guide to Networking with the Peeps

First, let's keep this real. This blog is a happy little endeavour... but not the New York Times. Six people are subscribed to the feedburner feed and about forty unique users visit each day.

Nevertheless, some authors out there like to pop by the blog, and in the back of their mind they want to say either (to the reviewers) REVIEW MY BOOK! or (to our blog readers) BUY MY BOOK! Which I understand. I do. Actually, that is what we are here to do, but there are ways and there are ways. The primary goal is to get a review. This is what to do.

This is Good:

* Let's say I have read one of your books in the past. I have emailed you directly about this book which suggests a significant personal interest in your work. I have recommended this book to others. I really liked this book. Let's say you have written another book that you think is even better. Yes, you should email and tell me, this is something I want to know. Yes, you should offer to send me a review copy. This will make me very happy.

* Let's say on the other hand that you have had no direct contact with any of our reviewers and you want to send a review copy. Well, we are open to paperback submissions only at this time. You might submit a paperback. You might wait for ebooks submissions to reopen. You might send a short query email giving us some reason why we might look at your ebook outside of normal submission periods--for example by looking through the blog to see if your genre is of particular interest to one of our reviewers (hint: gay fiction, sci fi, poetry, western, romance) or make the case that your book is of particular interest for some other reason (e.g. award winning or very timely) or remind us that we like you (reviewed your previous work positively, have seen you around the blog). However, do not expect that we will necessarily jump at the offer. That isn't personal, like you we keep pretty busy so we are sure you will understand. We attempt to reply to all emails ("we" in this case being Dawno) but sometimes this is not possible or there is a delay.

* Let's say you sent us your book and haven't heard anything for over a month. You should feel free to check on the status of your book. Just email.

* If you have had a book reviewed here you might want to post a comment to it. You might want to link back to it. You might want to comment on other posts and generally stay in touch. When it comes to 'off season' queries this will dispose us to being helpful. We appreciate our regulars.

This is Not Good:

Please do not...

* Comment on the blog with some brief, generic praise of the site and then link to your book. We are here to provide reviews not spam opportunities.

* Submit an unsolicited ebook. (If you really want to you may query, a query is an email attempting to solicit our interest to which the book itself is not attached.)

* Subscribe me to your newsletter to announced all your future works, reviews, thoughts and musings. Being spam-blocked means we your emails won't even get through when we reopen to submissions.

* Respond to a negative review with insults (any emotional comments will now be immediately deleted). I truly appreciate corrections of fact, typographical errors etc. But the reviewer's opinion is their opinion. Whether you agree with it or not the gracious thing to do is thank them for their time, or remain silent. Please don't comment while annoyed, sleep on it and think about it first. If you have a lapse of this etiquette and did not subsequently apologise please do not submit future works to us.

...and finally

Thank you to the over forty authors who have allowed us to read their work. We do this because we want to support writers and we enjoy good books. I have been gratified and honored to have the opportunity to read the books submitted to POD People over the last 16 months.


Scriptorius Rex said...

This is a Pretty Neat Thing you're doing. I hope you can help improve the whole lot of POD books, I think I've yet to read one I like.

Talia Mana said...

I agree with scriptorius. The concept is sound and it will help a lot of people. Perhaps if you put an FAQ prominently in the top right corner for people to read prior to submitting?

Leah J. Utas said...

Good for you for laying down the law like that. You're performing a valuable service.

Peggy said...

That seems like a reasonable set of rules. It's so easy to forget that other people aren't as emotionally invested in my writing as I am

Dawno said...

If you've emailed recently and have not heard from me, I'll be catching up on them tonight and this weekend. It's probably a good thing to note here that I do most of my POD People catching up on the weekends.

Emily Veinglory said...

Thank God for weekends :)