(Today is a post from Chris the Storyreading Ape. Enjoy and check out his site.)
Author Guest Post Etiquette
My thanks to Charles for inviting me to discuss Guest Author Etiquette (although, an APE discussing etiquette does seem a bit odd, however, since there’s no food involved let’s give it a try and see what happens…
First, there is the obvious question from authors with their own blogs all nicely set up to
tout sell their own books…
“WHY should I promote other authors and their books on my blog – I want people to buy and review my book(s)?”
By featuring other authors and their books on your blog, it will bring new visitors and followers to you; and your books (which are probably on display somewhere nearby, e.g., in widgets showing the covers, embedded with the purchase links, on the column beside the article) will be seen by visitors as well and may even result in them getting your books as well.
The second question is…
It’s What should Guest Authors do?
a) Read the Host(ess) blog submission Terms and Conditions fully and carefully.
b) Submit everything required first time to avoid delays, disappointment or rejection.
c) Do not argue with your blog host(ess) about what they will or will not accept, remember that it’s their blog that they are offering to use on your behalf and benefit.
d) Keep in touch with the blog host, that includes following their blog, they may accept further submissions from you.
e) Never, ever consider using a guest post only as a “Buy My Book” advertisement – there are other vehicles you can use to do this, e.g., Book Promos, Giveaway Announcements, Freebie Day Announcements, New Book Release Announcements, Book Tours, etc.
f) Never, ever share a personal secret online. Ambitions, hopes, things that inspired or comforted you are OK for public consumption, but never, ever, a personal secret. It could be just as damaging as sharing an embarrassing photo of yourself on Twitter.
g) Visit the blog and respond to any comments made on the host blog about your published guest article, especially thank the folks who have re-blogged your post, they are helping spread your fame further afield.
h) Visit the blogs of commenters and re-bloggers, you might like what you see there, become a follower, gain a friend and maybe even appear on that blog in future
i) Share the published blog post in as many media groups you are a part of, not just by re-blogging it, or doing a quick tweet, or even uploading it onto your Facebook page.
j) DO NOT SPAM – overdoing the sharing will have a negative effect on your popularity and your books and could also adversely affect your kind host(ess).
k) Offer to either interview your host on your blog or just generally promote their blog to your readers. Whatever you do, make sure you reciprocate in some way and keep up the association, whether the blogger is also an author or not, the worst thing they can say is “No”.
The third question that may arise, from authors who want to be host…
“Apart from being a charming host(ess) what else do I need to do?”
1. Set up a dedicated blog section to state your terms and conditions for submissions and make it easy to find.
2. As well as stating what you will accept, include what you will not accept.
3. State everything you may need, e.g., photos, book covers, synopsis, links, etc.
4. In the case that something is missing from the submission, send a polite request to the submitter, requesting the missing information be sent as soon as possible.
5. Provide a dedicated email address – not one you use for getting blog notifications, or personal / business correspondences – where the submissions should be sent, or provide a form at the bottom of the T&C‘s blog section so submissions may be inserted for your consideration and possible use.
6. Always contact the submitter to thank them and confirm whether or not you intend to post their article – if the answer is yes, give them a day, date and time when it will be posted (learn how to use your blog post scheduling facility).
7. Always send the submitter a copy of the direct link to the article after it has gone live (like you, they’re busy people, so they need the reminder.
8. Either set up your blog so your posts are automatically Tweeted, sent to Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, or wherever, or, share your articles manually to all of the above (I do both).
There you have it, simple guidelines from a simple ape, so there’s no excuse for you humans to get it wrong, is there?
So GO and be a