Friday, July 16, 2010

Do I Ask Or Not?

What do you do when you want to ask something or state something and you’re not sure what the other person will think?

I find myself in this quandary from time to time and it is of my own making. I’m basically a shy person which isn’t a good trait for a journalist. When I have to be forward and ask the questions, I can. I guess I’ve always used a softer approach to it and for the most part it’s worked well.

Meeting and talking with authors in blogdom is pretty much the same way. I’m realizing more each day the amount of work and time authors spend writing the stories I love to read. For that reason I’m in awe of authors.

When I first started blogging I never imaged I’d meet and get to know so many wonderful authors and authors-in-the making. I’ve been thrilled and honored at the number of authors who have guest blogged here.

Now this brings me to my quandary which I hope those authors and soon-to-be authors stopping by will give me their take on this.

As I meet new authors I’d like to ask them to guest blog here or better yet give them an invitation to blog here whenever they’d like in order to let readers know about the author’s latest release. Sometimes after talking back and forth with the author, I’ll extend this invitation and others times I don’t.

The reason I don’t always extend the invitation is because I feel like I’m being pushy. The cases where I do extend the invitation is because the conversation has lead in that direction and I don’t feel like I’m saying, ‘nice to meet you, want to do me a favor?’

I would love to extend an invitation to all authors and soon-to-be authors to blog here because it’s a way to let others know about their latest work. With all the interesting and intriguing books coming out daily I can’t feature all of them in reviews so hosting the author is one way to help highlight their work.

From an author’s point of view is it being forward or pushy if someone gives you an open invitation to blog on their site? Does it put you on the spot even if there is no timeline involved? Or do you feel slighted if someone doesn’t ask you that has authors on their blog? Would most authors rather approach the blogger so that they can select sites that focus on the genre they write instead of being feature on a blog that covers different genres?

I realize time is a major factor in guest blogging. Shortly after I started hosting authors I extended an invitation to an author who had a book coming out. I received a nice e-mail saying thanks, but they were already booked. I was fine with that and completely understood. A number of months later the author’s publicist contacted me. The author had another book coming out and we were able to scheduled a post.

There was no pressure, just an open invitation at the author’s convenience.

So do I extend the invitation or not? Do I wait until I have ‘known’ the authors awhile before approaching the subject? Authors, please tell me.

BTW, this invitation is open to all authors (and soon-to-be authors) who read this - no pressure, just e-mail me if you ever want to guest blog here


  1. Hi Mason,
    It's yer olde NightOwl Aunty saying, PLEASE PLEASE extend the invitation! Believe it or not many authors (including moi) are nervous about asking to blog on someone's site. HONEST! Would Aunty lie to you?!?!

    I know I am not the only author who feels this way. I am not a salesman, I'm a writer. When I have to ask someone (esp. if I don't know them very well) if I can be there guest, I feel like that pushy guy who goes door to door. Yes, I love my book, and yes, I'd love for you to buy it, but I don't want to push it on you.

    Pretty funny that we are both in the same quandary! So please do speak up. You have a lovely blog and I know I was very excited to be your guest! I'm sure lots of other authors feel the same. ;-)


  2. ... and my ninth grade English teacher is probably rolling in her grave because I meant their guest... NOT there!

    Too many blogs, too few brain cells,

  3. Not an author, so this doesn't apply to me, but now is as good a time as any other to tell you how much I love your blog. And the painting you have up today is fantastic too.

  4. It's interesting, because I would imagine it would be the other way around. You are doing the authors a favour by asking them - after all, they need the promotion, you already have a great blog so you don't really *need* them. Of course some of them might not have the time, or some might not even want to guest-blog, but I can't imagine anyone being offended or sorry at being asked. I agree with Aunty Cindy up there, a lot of authors would probably be scared to ask!

  5. Always extend the invitation! You are absolutely doing the author a favor. Promoting books is so much work for authors these days, and much of the time, we have to find our own leads, so when a blog like yours extends an invitation without us having to ask, it's a good thing!

  6. Mason - It's an honor to be asked to guest blog, so most authors will be thrilled you invite them. Even when an author is busy, it's flattering to be asked. I would say, yes, extend those invitations. Authors really do appreciate the chance to get their work "out there," and guest blogging can be an excellent way to do that. And Ingrid's right; it's very hard to promote one's writing, especially if one's not a household word, so your invitation means all that much more.

    And Rayna, yes you are an author. You write...ergo you are an author.

  7. It is NOT being pushy! Please ask! We feel pushy when WE have to ask sometimes.
    Kinda funny - like two people both too shy to make the first move.

  8. Aunty Cindy, first thank you for guest blogging here. The welcome mat is always out and the door is always open for you to come back anytime. Second, thanks for the encouragement. It really helps.

    Rayna, thanks for the kind words. I agree with Margot, you are an author. You may not be published yet, but you're a soon-to-be author so you're invited too.

    Cruella, it's hard for me to think of an author being scared to ask. I can see them being too busy, but I guess I never thought about their worries too.

    Ingrid, thanks. I am understanding more each day just how hard it is for authors to promote their books. That welcome mat is always there for you to come back too.

    Margot, your words of encouragement mean a lot. Helping to promote all the wonderful authors and great books is one of the things I enjoy about blogging, besides meeting some very special people. Remember the welcome mat is out for you as always.

    Diane, LOL you're right I guess I never considered authors being shy too. You are always welcome back anytime too.

    Thanks all, it helps hearing from an author's point of view. Since I'm in awe of you, I never stop and think you might be shy too (like Diane mentioned). I'm off to work shortly so it may be late before I pop back in, but I really appreciate this help.

  9. I'm not an author, just a reader and I've discovered so many new-to-me authors reading your blog.

    I think you should invite them and put a note in your email to them offering a guest spot on your blog and this way you leave it up to the author when they're ready.

  10. Some of us are really shy, so you need to ask us!
    And you did offer to host me on my tour this October, so I need to get with you on a date.

  11. I say yes, put the offer out there. I'd imagine some authors might file the info away until a more convenient time, while others might post right away. But it's always nice to know there are promo options available.

  12. My opinion is YES ask them. It's not pushy because your blog is about interviewing writers. You do a service for your guests and your readers.

    And, and keep up the good work. :)

  13. I agree with the others - it's an honour to be asked to guest blog. I can't imagine ever thinking someone's being pushy in that case. I think most people would be delighted. :)

  14. Yes, I, too, agree with the others. It is an honor to be asked. It is not being pushy at all. Conversely, as someone else said, it can be difficult for an author to ask to guest post. You are providing a lovely service to writers here, Mason. Don't worry so much about what others think. Follow your heart. In this case, it is such a loving thing you are doing here.

  15. I think the open invitation would be fine. You'll probably find yourself overbooked. Have a great weekend.

  16. Personally, I think most authors are probably eager to have an opportunity to talk about their work in as many venues as possible (I suppose unless they are REALLY famous). I know I would appreciate it!

  17. Actually, I think it's the other way around--most authors are worried about seeming pushy. I think lots of writers will look at their blogs and think, "I'd really like to have an interview or review there--but I haven't established a relationship with the book blogger, or commented on the blog." Then they worry that it'll look like they're just interested in self-promotion.

    I think most writers are really *relieved* when they get blog invites. I know I am because I hate asking. :)

  18. Timely post Mason. I have been considering hosting authors on my blog, but am plucking up courage to approach those I have met along the way.

    I think it is a case of just ask. Good luck.

  19. Trust me, authors are terrified of self-promotion and we are too shy to ask. If you ask, they will come. Please don't worry about being's a compliment to be asked.

    As soon as I'm ready to promote, you'll be my first stop. :)

    Lovely choice in art for this post.


  20. Hey there! I got hooked into hosting authors through Authors Promoting Authors and their Blog book tour, and I've enjoyed it, and I've learned a ton. That PARTICULAR set, I didn't personally invite (and some really worked and some pretty much didn't). Elizabeth, who visited yesterday, I INVITED. I don't have any PROBLEMS with the other way, but this 'inviting someone you've gotten to know' worked 10X better--my intro was more personal--we could TALK about what I'd like her to feature. I have another guest coming that I SET UP (Alex) and I think that will be great too.

    Authors with book releases LOVE the opportunity to guest blog--you have a large enough following it is definitely worth it. Maybe frame it: when you are ready to do a blog tour, I would love to host you."

    ALSO, if you want to have a themed run... maybe you want to do a month where you tell readers about a bunch of different genres and then invite writers OF THOSE genres to present them... or something like that--I think specific projects with you asking for particular content... totally works.

    It is HARDER if it is a more general offer. "hey, I'd love you to guest blog some time" is sort of intimidating because other authors don't know your readers like you do. YOU are best at setting the tone and asking for things to go with that. (I think that is what is missing with those authors I didn't formally know--the relationship that would have allowed me to ask them for what I wanted)

  21. I agree, ask! I can't imagine anyone not being flattered by such a gracious invitation. Also, extending the invitation is a chance to open a dialogue that might encourage a writer who is initially hesitant (too shy) to come forward.

  22. I think you have consensus here, but I have to weigh in as well: ask, ask, ask. It is not a favour for you, but an offer you're extending. And one that most authors would be thrilled to know is an option for them. It is lovely that you do this and a mark of your generosity (not blogging "laziness", right?).

    ON that note, if they say no, it's paradoxically not a rejection of your offer, just something they choose not to do for any number of reasons...

    On behalf of writers everywhere: thank you for being so hospitable and open!!


  23. I don't think it would be considered pushy. Most of the authors I talk to would be thirlled by the chance to share their ideas and their work. Besides, you have an awesome blog so most people would probably consider it an honour.

  24. I'll just chime in with what everyone else has told you -

    Authors NEVER see it as ‘nice to meet you, want to do me a favor?’

    For us, it is heard as ‘nice to meet you, can I do you a favor?’ and that is the best 'nice to meet you' we can ever receive.

    When I met you, I was just beginning a massive household move with two little kids, two big dogs and the gear that goes with them. Your invitation was a bright ray of sunshine in an otherwise bleak week. I'm still waist deep in the move but I'll have that guest blog by August 31st and you can be sure I'll be giving away lots of books to show my gratitude!

    Thanks for all you do for writers. We probably don't say it enough, so THANK YOU!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.