The other day one of the university press blogs emailed me with links that they hoped I would cite in one of my posts. I thought about it and arrived at the conclusion that I was not going to comply with the request. To be honest I was actually just a bit offended by the request. The historian is a prominent figure in the field, and I’ve mentioned the book in question at least twice over the past few weeks. Let me first say that I have no problem linking books mentioned on this site to either Amazon or the publisher in question. One of my goals for this blog is to highlight titles that I believe are worth reading and which will deepen the readers understanding of the Civil War.
My problem is that the request stems directly from the publisher and fails to include any compensation for utilizing space that I pay for. This is actually the second request that I’ve received over the past few weeks in addition to numerous requests sent from individuals who now see the blogosphere as a cheap and efficient way to market their books. I don’t blame them for taking these steps, but this essentially involves turning my weblog into a marketing tool and that’s where I draw the line. I will not be used.
Those wishing to utilize my blog for marketing purposes must send me the books in question for review. I wish to be treated as a book editor for an academic journal. Books should be sent for consideration on a no-return-basis. I will make it a policy to announce something along the lines of “books received.” In addition, I make no promises that books sent will be reviewed along traditional lines; brief citations may be the end of it. As I’ve pointed out before it only takes a hyperlink to connect the reader with the book.