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Sunday, 5 December 2010

How Not to Approach an Author Interview as a Guest.

Along with other blogs, this site has offered authors guest spots for interviews, where they can promote their work for free to a growing readership. It's quickly become clear to me that writers fall into two distinct groups when it comes to approaching such an opportunity. There are those who understand that this is a chance to showcase their work and that it benefits the host very little. And there are those who see it as an easy way to get their name known at the expense of their host's time and expertise.
I initially invited all published authors to take advantage of the opportunity on my blog; especially encouraging independent writers, who would otherwise get little exposure. A short while ago, I posted a question about modern manners and it seems that topic could equally apply to some of the authors I have hosted here.
Let me make it clear, this post is not inspired by anything that has recently happened, but is the culmination of experiences over the months I've been doing this.
There are some writers, and I won't name them, who clearly feel it's fine to leave the bulk of the work involved to the blog owner. Others, those with sense and consideration, go to great lengths to ensure their interviews can be presented with minimum effort by their host.
So, here are some tips should you wish to take advantage of offers and invitations to have your work presented on someone else's blog.
How NOT to do it:
·       Present your answers without reference to the questions asked.
·       Make your links either generic or completely unlinked to any site (instead of presenting them as specific hyperlinks to the sites involved).
·       Allow your host to cobble together a bio from your blog or website.
·       Use a format clearly not matched to that of the blog you're guesting on.
·       Ignore any specific requests for images so that the host has to search for and copy images from elsewhere.
·       Don't check your spelling and/or grammar so that readers can see just how careless you are as a writer. (This is guaranteed to make people either stop reading your interview or to refuse to take you seriously as a writer, of course).
·       Assume the blog host has nothing better to do than to promote your work free of charge and with little reward to him/herself.

So, I've had my moan.
Let me now thank those writers, the majority, who made the effort and understood the nature of the opportunity offered and placed a value on my time.
If you're invited to guest on someone else's blog or website, please do as much of the work as you can and save the time and effort of the host providing space and publicity for you. 

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