A couple posts back I mentioned I was working up my PR Unfriendly page and I'm proud to say that it's now live... In fact it's this post repurposed into a page. But before I start I should mention that "repurpose" is one of my least favorite business speak words... Fun Fact.
I used to do a Gear Thursday feature, but at some point writing about gear got really boring for me (not saying Gear Thursday is totally dead but it's hiding better than Bin Laden). Aside from the boredom I was soured on reviews by all the emails I'd get for companies asking me to pimp their stuff. If you blog you know what I'm taking about.
I'm not going to write a post about some stupid product, movie or such that has enough cash to hire a PR firm but expects bloggers to write about it without compensation... Or maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll receive a sample and a few for my readers... Eh... not interested.
And that's why I've come up with my PR Unfriendly policy. But, because I'm me, I decided I'd write it up in response to an email I received to review a book. This would be a perfect moment to an Adaptation style thing and mention the book while slamming the process of reviewing... but I'm not going to do it.
And I should mention I feel kind of bad for the dude that sent me the email, because he seems nice-ish, but I decided I'd write to the next email I received one day and this was it.
Dear Eric Smith
Thank you for your email regarding the book you'd like me to review. I have recently changed my policy on reviews. I will be updating my blog with said policy but you're lucky enough to be the first to receive the new policy. You can consider this an exclusive and I would encourage you to write about it on your blog if you have one.
I now charge $10 to read emails. My time is very important to me so I've had to place this rule into affect. You'll be pleased to know that I will not be sending you a request for payment for this email as the policy was made after your email was received. In the future please send me $10 in a paypal payment to this email address. Please include the subject of the email in the notes of the payment so I know which one to read.
As for book reviews I will have to ask that you send an audiobook version as, like I stated earlier, my time is important to me. I'm always at a loss as to how to refer to the act of listening to an audiobook. I still call that reading because I don't think anyone has come up with a better term. "I listened to that new Jonathan Safran Foer book" just doesn't sound right. Also I should probably let you know I've never read his stuff but I've been told I'd like him.
Even though I'm asking for an audiobook the cost of the review will be $5 a page based on the printed book. Rest assured I will not be charging for any of those front or back pages that have the Library of Congress info and all that stuff no one cares about.
I also have to ask that any audio version I receive should be read by Malcolm Gladwell, David Sedaris or Jim Dale. I can't stand listening to poorly read books and, if not read by one of these folks, I can't guarantee I will listen to the book. I can however guarantee charging for my time.
It looks like you only work for a book company but since this letter is going on my blog and you may go to another company at some point I'll give you the rest of my review policy.
My policy for gear reviews are as follows. Let's say you want me to review a snowboard, a bike, a camera or lens. I will require a product for the review. So if you want me to review a snowboard send me a snowboard. Want me to review a camera? Send me a camera. I will send the product back if needed but unfortunately I will have to charge a nominal fee of 3 times the cost of the product as a handling fee.
This gear policy is a little different than other blogs policy so please let me explain a bit more. I do accept reviews for products other than snowboards, bikes, cameras and lenses however one of the things on the list will need to be sent along with the product you want reviewed.
For example if you have a new baby toy you can send me info on that toy along with a snowboard (I ride a 156 and it has to be a good board). Or if you want me to write about a great new snow globe why not choose a lens as payment? They are both made with glass so they compliment each other well. Please note I will only accept Canon or Sigma lenses, with Canon mounts.
Do you have a movie you'd like me to review? I would of course need to see the movie before reviewing. Also I should mention that I only see movies with Seth Green. Before you say "who would want to see a Seth Green movie?" please reread the statement. I only see them with Seth, I wouldn't actually see one starring him. We try to see a movie every couple weeks and then we switch off who buys the popcorn. In case you're wondering it's his time to buy next time.
I will require an advanced payment of $5 a minute based on the time of the movie and all but the first two previews, Seth's always running late, plus $12 for snacks. So a two hour movie would cost approximately $687 ($600 for the movie, $75 for previews and $12 for the snacks).
I also welcome reviews of music. I charge a minimum of $500 per CD. Cost is based on the quality of the music... if it's complete crap a review could cost as much $1400 but that is the maximum. For instance if you want me to review a Foo Fighters CD please send paypal payment of $1400. For a Weezer CD the cost would be the same as they have gone to shit. The Beastie Boys album that comes out soon would only cost $500.
I should state that I don't know if the Foo Fighters or Weezer are coming out with new stuff but they were the first examples of bad stuff that came to mind.
These guidelines should cover most any review needed. If you're ever in the need for a review of travel or other services please contact me an we can work out something to get that review done. My charge for an estimate of a review is only $137. Half of that cost will go towards the actual review cost.
I know we're both excited about working together and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Please remember to send along a $10 paypal payment when you contact me next.