Announcing new backpacking-related book?

Posted by: BrianLe

Announcing new backpacking-related book? - 12/08/12 04:27 PM

I've read the forum policies carefully and tried to contact admin folk via email to ask this question (I forget now why that contact attempt failed). I hope I can get this answered here.

Let's hypothesize that a forum member has written a book that s/he deems pertinent to the overall community, and wishes not so much to "advertise" as to simply "announce". I.e., a one-time announcement that this new book is out there, briefly what it's about, perhaps a link to where it can be found. Placed in one and only one most-pertinent sub-forum (Backcountry Books I guess).

Is that "advertising" and disallowed? I've seen cases where it's clear that a friend is acting as a shill and thus bringing up someone *else's* book, but that's just an end-around to accomplish the same thing --- but a bit less honorably. I feel a bit awkward about this, recalling the famous Admiral Hopper quote (easier to get forgiveness than permission), but best is if policy allows what should be allowed and vice versa.

If there's simply no way to do it on this site, so be it. I would --- hypothetically you understand --- like to understand the rule here.

Ah, and one other question. Let's further hypothesize that this hypothetical eBook at some point is available for free for one, or perhaps two days only. Is it also disallowed advertising for the author to let folks know that the book is temporarily free to download?

Awkward questions, I know! Thinking of this from the perspective of a typical forum member, I guess my own reaction is that I can tell when something is over-the-line advertising/spam but I can't easily and crisply define the boundaries. If a one-time (and in just one place) announcement of a new book comes out (whether by the author or by someone else) and the book is clearly very relevant to the overall purpose of the site --- then I'd be okay with it, but not much more.

Thanks for any feedback on this.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Announcing new backpacking-related book? - 12/08/12 05:34 PM

I'm just a relatively new moderator here, and Packlite, the administrator and owner of the site, has the final say. In other words, nothing I say here is 100% official. However, the following is how I've interpreted the advertising policy. Anything that seems borderline I refer to the other mods and Packlite through the moderators-only section of the forum.

I would consider an up-front announcement just fine. We do it for others (such as posting "Cottage manufacturer XYZ has just come out with a 20*F sleeping bag that weighs only 0.2 ounces" laugh ). Wandering_Daisy made a one-time-only announcement here when her Wind Rivers guidebook was available (several of us had been asking) and, as I recall, she provided the URLs for the websites. Such an announcement, in my mind, is information, not advertising.

We also get the occasional new product "startup" trial balloons in which we are asked for feedback (not counting these "Survey Monkey" things which we've just taken steps to ban). To the best of my knowledge, we've encouraged these. Once the product is actually for sale, though, continued promotion of it by its manufacturer in the forums would be considered advertising.

Continued free advertising in the forums is a no-no because it deprives this site of advertising revenue needed to keep it going. This would need to be negotiated with Packlite.

I don't see anything wrong with a one-time announcement of a free deal or reduced price, either, but that would also be a Packlite decision.

We have occasional feedback from manufacturers such as Tarptent responding to questions asked in the forums about their products, and that, IMHO, is great. I've never seen Franco or Henry wander off into advertising their products when they do this, and they do state their connection with Tarptent.

Of course nearly all the forum advertising we get is pretty blatant, if not downright automated spam, and that gets zapped pretty quickly. There is some that falls into a grey area, and we've treated that on a case-by-case basis. If you have a question about something you see, hit "Notify" and we'll look at it. If you have a question about something you want to post that might be interpreted as advertising, then PM Packlite.

OK, personal question: Are you writing a book? If so, I'd love to read it!
Posted by: BrianLe

Re: Announcing new backpacking-related book? - 12/08/12 07:40 PM

Thanks, OM! I've sent a PM to Packlite.
I have written a book but --- seriously, if it isn't okay with him (?) to talk about it here I really won't, but can PM you separately if that's the case.
Posted by: sarbar

Re: Announcing new backpacking-related book? - 12/11/12 09:35 PM

So what's it about? grin
Posted by: packlite

Re: Announcing new backpacking-related book? - 12/11/12 09:57 PM

I hope we'll get an announcement soon - maybe in the Backcountry Books forum ?
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Announcing new backpacking-related book? - 12/11/12 11:26 PM

It's already there!