This page contains policy guidelines for bloggers, staff and others.


Solicitation of product and/or services for reviews on Amazing Stories

NOTE:  This is an evolving policy, one that I am seeking input from the community on.

Many of you do reviews on your websites and have various mechanisms for obtaining materials for such.

Amazing Stories has already received a few such solicitations (inappropriate for what we are doing right now) and I anticipate many more.

I would also like to extend to all of you the opportunity to make such solicitations under the Amazing Stories letterhead (so to speak) if and when you believe that such could assist your efforts.

However, it should be obvious that there are several potential pitfalls here; an individual or company may not appreciate receiving multiple solicitations from the same entity (different bloggers all asking to review the same thing on Amazing Stories); arguments over one person getting a review copy of something rather than someone else, presenting an unprofessional front – I’m sure you get the picture.

I also do not want to have to act as a clearing house, receiving a pile of stuff that I then have to distribute, preferring instead to recommend an appropriate reviewer and having the source send whatever their product is directly to that person.

Here is my proposal for handling this issue. Please free free to critique and suggest.

If you receive an unsolicited item for review AND you plan on writing it up as a blog entry for Amazing Stories –

inform me once you have received the item. I will let the blog team know that the item is already receiving review coverage on the site.
If someone else also receives the same item there is nothing preventing them from also doing a review on site; depending upon timing we might want to coordinate the reviews (two takes on…), or not.

If you wish to solicit a review copy specifically for a review on Amazing Stories –

First come, first served. Email me with the particulars (contact, item, etc). I will either send a solicitation on “Amazing Stories letterhead” on your behalf (including your particulars) or send you the official AS solicitation letter to forward under your own email address. The former is preferred as it helps insure conformity of requests and helps avoid conflicts of interest, but in some cases the soliciter’s name/address will open doors faster than Amazing’s currently does.

If you are solicited to write a review of a specific item “for Amazing Stories” –

Direct them to me where appropriate and/or answer them yourselves where appropriate.  Responses ought to include a “standard” response (that we’ll develop) that ought to include:

stating that you are a freelance blogger for the site and that Amazing Stories is under no obligation to print what you submit

that, even after receipt of the item, YOU are under no obligation to write and have published a review, nor are you obligated to provide a positive review

that you will be stating somewhere in the review that you received (whatever), free of charge,  for review purposes

that yours may not be the only review of the item appearing on the site

that you may pass the item on to another blogger on the site for review

The above is CYA, boilerplate type stuff. It should go without saying that you should say “something” to me if you are offered large amounts of cash, sexual favors and/or fully paid trips to Cancun if you agree to write a review of whatever. (Make sure to collect your bribe BEFORE writing the review AND, I get 10%.)

When I receive unsolicited review items I will do my best to figure out who it is most appropriate to send it to. (You all should send me a note stating whether you are or are not interested in doing such); I may from time to time ask for someone to volunteer to review and/or may keep it for myself to review.

Things NOT to do:

Do not claim affiliation with Amazing Stories just to get free stuff.

Do not claim to be the official reviewer of (books, movies, comics, collectibles, whatever) for Amazing Stories in order to get free stuff.

Do not blanket email every publisher (or whatever) stating that you are now doing reviews for Amazing Stories, please send free stuff.

Do not write a positive review of something, post it to the site and then write to the publisher/producer/whatever requesting recompense for the promotional work you just did for them

DO NOT engage in extortion of any kind (“if you don’t do X, I will pan your Y in Amazing Stories”)

Do not use a potential positive review to solicit favors (“if you really, really like me, I’ll really, really like your book”)


What I am trying to avoid is two situations, one internal, one external.

I don’t want two or more bloggers fighting over the all expenses paid trip to the Oscars (to write a review, of course) and

I don’t ever want to see or receive a communication from someone saying that “because we have received so many (annoying, unprofessuional, etc) solicitations from your company for free stuff, we will no longer be sending anyone associated with AS, anything, ever.)

In other words, we need to coordinate this and we need to approach it professionally.