TODAY'S "MAIN FEATURE":
This blog has been updated today, (May 3rd, 2010), due to the fact that I continually use this archived blog post to refer comics / graphic novel creators to for them to send in their work(s)... For possible mention or review in my Blog...
I refer to this because I keep getting asked questions if a creator can send their published work to me, because the publisher of their work doesn't send out 'comp copies' to bloggers or 'other media people'.
So instead of repeating myself over and over, I put together this blog post back on December 11th of 2009 to show what I am asking for to help me read and possibly mention or review YOUR work in my Blog.
Please Note the use of a 'key word' in the above title of this blog. That 'key word' is "Best".
You see, I am sent several publications to review every month. And No, I'm Not complaining! I enjoy reading what comes in, no matter what the genre the publication is in. It keeps me involved in what's being published out there inbetween attending comic book and pop culture conventions, where I am also handed hard copies of publications to possibly review in my Blog.
So again... Why This blog post?
It's because after reading the received publication and finding that I either want to blog about it in the Blog's "Main Feature" section, that is when I run into 'time management trouble'.
That's due to several problems. Which if they are 'problems' to me, they must be a 'problem' to other reviewers, but possibly in different 'difficulty' levels. I'll explain further below.
What I 'Need' from You to be able to post a "Main Feature" section in my Blog is the following:
1) NOTIFICATION: A notification that the publication is being sent to me for possible review. That should be simple enough. But it isn't always. If the publication is being sent via a physical mailing, then a brief letter with the sender's name, email address, physical address, and phone number would be sufficient.
Also, please make sure the envelope is sturdy enough for the contents inside. I have seen the periodicals sent in to me go from being 'sandwiched' between two pieces of cardboard inserts for protection and carefully enclosed, to just being literally 'thrown' in the envelope, with the flap barely closed and sent media mail.
If the publisher or creator thinks that 'little' of their publication being sent in... what should I think of receiving a package in such a manner? First impressions do count!
(UPDATED Note: As of May 3rd, 2010 - I am no longer accepting .pdf copies for possible mention or review in my Blog. I have a 'backlog' of these, as I just don't find myself reading .pdf files for 'pleasure' reading. Sorry, but I find myself to still be a tactile reader . If I have NOT mentioned or blogged about your previously submitted .pdf copy, that may be the reason, sorry!)
2) HOW TO PURCHASE: A note as to where the publication can be purchased by readers of my Blog. An url address link to an online site would be sufficient. If I don't know where You want me to send my blog readers to, I'll have to 'guess' if I can't contact you.
If it is self-published, and only sold via mail order, then please state so! If it is sold via LCBS using Diamond then let me know that. If it will be found shortly on Indy Planet, or other indy sites, that is fine also. Just communicate that to me. Plus if you've been reading this Blog for a while, you'll notice that I blog more about indy publications than I do 'mainstream' publications. That's basically because those get more 'publicity' anyways from other reviewers. I'm open to publications in genres that don't get all the attention!
3) PUBLICATION PHOTO: A .jpeg or .gif for the periodical that has been sent in for possible review. It does NOT need to be a 'print' quality photo, as I am reducing the 'size' of the photos anyways, usually no larger than 400 pixels wide to 555+ pixels in height. Usually I'll Photoshop the picture to move the 'k' size down to less than '75 k' in size for quicker page loading.
4) CREATOR PHOTO: A .jpeg or .gif of the main creator(s) of the publication. You would NOT believe how hard it is to find a photo online of many creators. Yes, I'm sure that a lot of creators would like to think that their works speak for themselves, but even Steve Ditko has a few photos online from 1950's that a reviewer could draw from!
Note to Creators: 'Branding' is very important in marketing your publication. I read other genres that I normally wouldn't because the creator(s) have 'branded' themselves as being good in another genre or media, thus leading me to 'try out' their endeavors in a different field!
5) PRESS RELEASE: A 'press release' or a promo piece about what your publication is about. Not a 'review' from another reviewer, but what the creator(s) think is what they had published. It would best if this is already online somewhere to send me a 'link' to that page. Thus I could just 'copy and paste' that press release.
6) CREATOR BIO: At times a short 'bio' about the creator would be appreciated, especially if the publication is basically written / illustrated / inked / lettered / etc. by that one creator. That would give that creator a little more 'exposure' or 'branding' as to who they are, what background they have, and why they are involved in this project. I have on occasion also blogged a special series called "Spotlight On..." persons that may or not be directly involved in comics or cartooning, but are in other pop culture fields.
Note: If You are on a Social Network, such as Facebook, please let me know that. Also if you have a 'Facebook Fan Page' or 'Facebook Group Page' that I could refer my blog readers to as well. Quite often my blogs or wall posts will go 'viral' which could lead to your Fan or Group Page obtaining more 'fans' or 'members'!
The above half-dozen requests would save myself time, as well as for so many other reviewers that could be interested in Your publication! It is still a wonder to me that so many creators don't 'market' themselves to bloggers or other reviewers with the basic information that is needed to present the publication and the creators in the best possible light.
Again, presentation is important when sending the publication(s) out. The first thing the reviewer see is the package the contents arrive in. Giving the reviewer the necessary background as to the project's origins is helpful. Also any 'press' or 'promotional' pieces is always appreciated. And of course, if You already have a web site with the photos of the publication(s) AND yourself, you are so much easier to blog about and refer blog readers to!
I still have a few publications that were presented to me that haven't been blogged about yet, even though they made the 'cut' to either be mentioned in my Blog's "Main Feature" section at the top of the Blog, or in the Blog's "Featurette" section at the bottom right of the Blog. Quite often periodicals that don't have the six necessary components listed above don't make the "Main Feature" section because it is too hard to obtain that info/photos to publish a well drafted blog. Thus the publication could end up in the "Featurette" section or not being blogged about at all... (UPDATE May 3rd, 2010 - I have 'discontinued the 'Featurette Section', at least for a while, as I was ending up writing two blogs in one.)
So there You have it! What I as a reviewer need to be able to blog about Your periodical here. I hope it helps! I definitely don't want to 'scare' anyone off, but it has taken some time to retrieve the necessary six components to properly blog a review here on several publications that were sent in or given to me.
I listed what I need from you, so here is the necessary info you need from me to be able to submit your publication(s):
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael D Hamersky
c/o Make It So Marketing Inc.
PO Box 130653
Carlsbad CA 92013
LAST NOTES IN THIS UPDATE As of May 3rd of 2010:
One: Several of my reviews are being reprinted in my New Column at Comic Fan! magazine published by Main Enterprises. So there is a possibility of even more exposure of your work via that channel. Not all reviews submitted to that magazine get published, but some do...
Two: Because EACH one of my blogs takes at LEAST an HOUR to produce, minimum, I only blog on works that I personally like, or that I find unique enough to stand out from the others that would be on the shelves at a LCBS.
Three: Continually emailing me or messaging myself as to why I haven't mentioned or blogged about your work yet, like is currently being done this week by a party who will remained unnamed here, does NOT get your work mentioned any faster, and if continued will be taken off the possible mention or review candidates list.
Sorry about the above last paragraph, this is the first time this has happened, after 3,120+ blogs that I have posted to date....
To end on a Postive Note...My thanks to All of those that have taken the time to either send a printed copy in via mail or given me a copy of their publication at a comic / pop culture convention this Year. I look forward to receiving more publications from those reading this blog post, that are motivated enough to send in their publications for possible review!