This post feels a little self-important, but I’m receiving enough requests for blurbs and retweets (RTs), as well as requests to support Kickstarter campaigns or host guest posts, etc . . .
This is actually a good thing, because it means that my social media megaphone is getting loud enough to the point where folks are wanting to take advantage of it. But I want to lay down some ground rules here.
I do stump for other people’s projects. Joshua A.C. Newman can tell you that I’ve gone on a fairly concerted campaign to hype his *awesome* new game, Mobile Frame Zero. My last blog entry pumped Howard Tayler‘s amazing Guest of Honor Speech at Lunacon. I relentlessly promote the books of authors I love, like Peter V. Brett, China Mieville, Jack Campbell and Mark Lawrence. I am a *huge* proselytizer for things that wow me.
At the same time, I am very cognizant of my reputation, which is possibly the most valuable asset a writer has. When you put your name on something (and endorsing a thing is most certainly attaching your name to it), you are putting a little of your own credit with your audience on the line. If I say that I think a book or game is great, and it turns out to be iffy, the public who saw me endorse it will question my own writing as well. If I endorse a charity fundraiser, I am (rightly or wrongly) giving the impression that I personally support the charity in question.
This is why I only endorse things that I am 1000% behind. Things I *love*. Things I wish I had written/made. Things I am completely sold on. “Yeah, it was pretty good,” isn’t enough of a reaction for me to feel comfortable endorsing something. It has to really reach me.
Keeping this in mind, I absolutely welcome folks with projects they’d like me to endorse to reach out to me. I consider being asked to endorse a project the highest form of flattery. I take it as a huge compliment. But:
* Please reach out to me over PRIVATE channels (email, DM, PM). Please do NOT @ mention me on Twitter’s public feed asking for a retweet. That makes me REALLY uncomfortable. Because then, if I decide I don’t feel comfortable RTing it, I have somehow publicly rejected the requestor. Please do not make these requests on my public facing Facebook or Google+ walls.
* Once you have asked (sent the email, sent me your manuscript, etc . . .) DROP IT. Do not bring it up with me again. If I want to endorse your project, I will contact you. If not, I want you deliberately unsure if I didn’t like it, or if I was just too busy to get around to considering it. This is really important to me because I like to maintain cordial relationships with everyone, and I don’t want anyone pissed off at me for not liking their work enough to give it an endorsement. I’d far rather have you assuming that I got snowed under and couldn’t get to it, instead of risking any bad blood.
* My blog is my personal megaphone. I want to have the freedom to host whomever I want on it, whenever I want, without having to explain why. I may reject a guest post from a New York Times Bestselling author, and then let my 8 year old niece post the next day.
Hopefully that all makes sense? My goal here is not to put on airs, or push people away. There’s a TON of great stuff being made out there, and I want to be made aware of it, and to have the chance to like it before anyone else does (which I consider to be a hallmark of true nerd-life). So, yes, please reach out to me. Just *don’t* do it in the public square and stick to the fire-and-forget mode. Once I agree to look at your project, leave it alone and if you hear from me, you hear from me.
Hopefully that came across as even-handed and not-dickishly as I intended. Thanks.