A week doesn't go by that I don't get emails from strangers asking for a spot on my blog, links, promo, and one poor confused soul who wanted me to publish his book.
Really? Publish your book? He even spoke (illustriously) about himself in the third person. Now I understand why agents reject badly written queries. I can't imagine getting hundreds of queries like this one.
For me, the worst offenders are people who keep asking for guest spots, even after I refuse. It boggles my mind how many people assume that I should be happy to host them--total strangers who don't comment on my blog, know what my blog is about, or even write me a proper email introducing themselves.
Lately, the last few emails have been verging on belligerent, insisting that I need them.
Um...no, I don't. If you can't offer me a post that's useful or entertaining to my readers, I don't need you. If someone sounds insincere in a private email, how are they going to come across to my readers in a blog post? You guys are my first concern. I owe you a good post in return for your time.
This isn't a promo circus. I don't host anyone unless I'm assured quality work. This is where the networking part comes in. I know who can deliver the goods because I've been in this playground for a while.
Likewise when I write a guest post for someone else. I never pimp. Never. Those of you who've been with me for a while and have followed me to guest posts know that I always offer something of value, whether it's an insider's look at cover design, or insights into some facet of writing or publishing.
Even when I do something self-serving like an interview, they're not your run-of-the-mill interviews. I always add entertainment value to them so you don't stab your eyes out with a fork. Good eyesight is a gift, after all.
When I ask for a guest spot or review I always:
1. Research the site I'm interested in so that I can at least look well-informed.
2. Offer something of value in return, usually information, entertainment or potential new followers to their blogs.
If you ask for a favor, be it a cover reveal, guest spot, interview, or review, do your homework. Read that person's blog to see if you're a good fit. Write a good query letter--especially if you don't know that blogger. Introduce yourself like a civilized person and be sure there are links to your blog/web site in your email signature.
Case in point. I got an email from someone who claimed to have written a lot of content for other blogs, yet he neither provided proof or even a link to his own web site. Why should I believe him, right?
I shouldn't be so ranty on a Monday, but last week was a conveyor belt of ill-mannered emails. So this is more of a PSA for anyone thinking of asking for favors from strangers. Be nice. Ask politely. And write an excellent post.
Last week wasn't a total wash. I did get one very nice email from a popular book reviewer. Not only did she review Mistress of the Stone--(I asked her not to post it until after the print release in July)--but she wrote me a personal note telling me how awesome it was.
How great is that?! I don't know what her review says about the book, but I was awfully touched that she took the time to write me a note. That went above and beyond.
I know some of you have popular blogs. Do you get a lot of requests for guest spots or cover reveals? How do you handle the people you don't know?
Friends are easy. It's the people who just show up at my doorstep that make me scratch my head.
How do you ask for a guest spot/review from someone you don't know?
The Name the Goat contest is still going on for another week. Enter as many times or as many names as you'd like. I've been bowled over by the suggestions. This is going to be harder than I expected. Greg will make the final decision next week.