You should know by now that I’m involved with several podcasts.  Over at the Functional Nerds, I’m a co-host/producer, which means that I’m a part of every show, and I edit / produce every show.  Over at SF Signal, I am the host for the panel episodes, the main interviewer, and I put the the shows together each week.  For Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing, I take the files Mur creates and edit / produce them for her.

With SF Signal, I also book the guests.  My pet peeve is author websites that don’t have a way to contact the author or their agent / publicist electronically.  What’s even worse, is when the site has contact information that is wrong.

Let me explain.  Went to a fairly well known author’s site, saw the contact link, clicked it, and was presented with a phone number and a message that said something along the lines of, “Leave me a voicemail”.  Okay, different.  Most people have a contact form, maybe an email address, links to Twitter, Facebook, etc.

So I call the number and it’s disconnected.  You’re an author, you have a website where the only contact method is a phone number that is no longer in service.  No blog link, no twitter, no facebook.


You’re a great author, your books are really popular, but you have no way on your site to connect with people.  This means that I, as a podcast producer, must now move on to someone else.  You’ve missed out on a marketing opportunity that costs you little to nothing (except time).

I visit another author’s site.  This one has a decent looking site, much more modern versus the first.  There are links to news, bibliography, biography – all the things you’d expect to see, all done very nicely.  I click on contact, and am presented with a snail mail p.o. box.

Now I’m two for two.  Two great authors, one mediocre site, one much more modern looking, easy to navigate site – no way to contact them electronically.  No social media.  No email.

On a third author’s site, I find a great looking site, tons of information, easy to navigate.  I click the contact page and hallelujah- there’s an email address!  I click it, my email ap pops up, I write a nice invitation email to be on the podcast, and hit send.

Less than a minute later, I get a permanent failure / bounce back.  The email address is no good.


Seriously?  Seriously?




  • ganymeder Posted June 24, 2011 7:45 am

    Don’t the authors have a comment section for their posts? Maybe you could leave comments? Honestly, I’ve never given this any thought! *off to check my webpage…*

    • Patrick Hester Posted June 24, 2011 9:35 am

      A lot of the older sites are static html, not blogs – thus, they don’t have comment sections. 🙁


  • John Anealio Posted June 24, 2011 9:39 am

    I feel your pain. The way that I look at all of this is that there are plenty of authors who are connected and easy to contact, so that’s who I book. It is their loss.

  • Paul (@princejvstin) Posted June 24, 2011 9:56 am

    In this modern media age, its not only rude, its *stupid* and counterproductive.

    • mari adkins Posted June 25, 2011 2:09 pm

      mari concurs!

  • Jessica Strider Posted June 25, 2011 6:36 am

    Yeah, I’ve encountered that several times. Kind of annoying as it means I have to go back to researching who else to interview (I try to interview people with books coming out a particular month, so my options are already limited).

  • Heather Massey Posted June 25, 2011 7:10 pm

    Must be nice not to need the money from sales that such appearances could generate. 😛 Either that, or the wall they’ve put up is deliberate. I’ve run into this as well, but what surprises me more is when I can’t locate contact information for authors just starting out/off the beaten path.

    On the other hand, seems like we’re in a time of transition. Authors have to make a choice regarding learning new skills (e.g., marketing/promotion, social networking, becoming more Web savvy) or not. That would be a challenging decision for many.

    • Lisa Paitz Spindler Posted June 27, 2011 12:08 pm

      What Heather said. Also, you could try their agents. I agree, it might be deliberate if they’re well-established authors. My pet peeve is awful web site design. My eyes! My eyes!

      • Patrick Hester Posted June 27, 2011 4:38 pm

        So, you’re saying you hate my website, aren’t you? OMG!


  • Clifton Hill Posted June 27, 2011 5:01 pm

    Did you try the Who is directory? I presume you could also try contacting the publisher and ask to get in touch with their editor/agent. But yeah, that sounds cumbersome, to say the least.

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