September 30th, 2012

bare foot dressed in shadows

My Policy on Passing Requests to Pros

I was just writing a response to a friend to let them know I have a blanket policy of not passing on personal requests or manuscripts to pros that I am friends with or otherwise know through my conrunning, from friends who otherwise do not know that person. It occurred to me that it might also make sense to mention that somewhere in public, so here goes.

If you are someone I know and:

  • You have a story, book, script, picture, or other creative project you would like me to pass on to a Science Fiction Author or Editor I know, as you are trying to use this Social Networking thing to get something personally handed to someone's attention in particular: No.
    If I read or watch or otherwise experience something I think is just terribly exciting and of interest to someone I know based on its own merits, then (like most friends) I may mention it or send it to them. But I do not do that on request.

  • You are producing a play or independent film and wonder if I would use my contacts in the industry to pass a request to someone very famous to see if they would perform a cameo in your production: No.
    Even if I know someone who probably can contact said very famous person, I won't. That seems to me like a good way to quickly stop having professional contacts that are worth anything.

  • You are working on an event and are trying to contact a Science Fiction Author or Editor I know to invite them to the event: I will probably be happy to forward your invitation to them (and/or their assistant, as the case may be). I may or may not be willing to endorse the event, depending on whether or not I have been to it and like it. If it is a first-time event, I will not endorse it, but I can still forward an invitation.

  • You are working on an event and one of my friends is confirmed to be a guest at that event but you are having trouble getting a response from them about something. If I am also working on the same event, I may be willing to help you. But generally speaking, this is what the Guest Liaison is for. If that's not working for you, you might need a new liaison. NB: conventions should make sure to get at least two ways of contacting a guest on file when they sign them on as a guest. Sometimes people get backlogged on email, or lose it.

  • You and I are both attending an event where a pro I know is on the program and you would like me to introduce you: this is a distinct possibility, if it looks like there is a good opportunity for that.

If you would like to send something to someone I know and are just unable to figure out how to do that, I may be able to point you to that information, or to their policy on people sending them things. This sort of thing is often on someone's website under their FAQ or Contact Me information. If you are thinking of sending something to a favorite author, however, I recommend you first read Lorraine Garland's handy guide, Top Ten Things Never to Send Your Favorite Writer.