Guidelines for Publicity, Blurbing, Unpublished Work, Story Ideas, Retweets, Guest Blogging, Charitable Solicitations, Autographing, Educational Use and School Assignments

Whatever receives tens of thousands of daily views and my various social media feeds receive millions of impressions monthly, and I am a reasonably well-known author and online personality. As a result publicists and others have expressed interest in promoting their product and/or causes here. Here’s the deal on all of that.


Books: I don’t review books here, but I run features to promote other authors’ work here, most notably the Big Idea feature, and a weekly roundup of books/ARCs sent to me. Here is why I don’t review books on Whatever. Here is how to participate in the Big Idea. To send books/ARCs for the roundup, the address is below.

Music, DVDs, software, gadgets and other stuff: I am open to receiving materials in all these categories as well.

Small Business product: Site editor Athena Scalzi has an occasional “Small Business Saturday” feature where she spotlights a small business and its products. If you are a small business producing your own product, she is open to receiving samples of that product for consideration for the feature.

Yes, you may send books, music, DVDs, software, gadgets, small business product etc for consideration. No, I do not guarantee note of the material, or that the site will interview or run a feature on your creator/business. Please see here for a longer discussion of our policies on product solicitation.

Contact me at to query me about interest in your product if you like, but generally speaking it is not necessary to query me beforehand; just send it. Please do not call me unless invited to do so.

Please send materials to:

John Scalzi
Whatever/The Big Idea
9732 Horatio Harris Creek Road
Bradford, OH 45308

(If sending for Small Business Saturday, please put “ATT: SBS” on the package.)

Yes, you may follow-up via e-mail on the status of my interest. Be aware that my e-mail queue is busy and my time is limited. If you do not hear from me after a follow-up, you may assume I am not interested.

If you’re sending something you want returned (tech gadgets, etc), please include return postage and packaging. Otherwise the chances of you getting it back are slim indeed.

MP3s, PDFs, Streaming, etc: If you prefer to send electronic versions of product (or point to where they are available online), that’s fine; indeed, electronic versions of music are preferred. Hard copy is strongly preferred with books when possible; I get enough e-mail (and have enough of an aversion against opening attachments from people I don’t know) that electronic files often simply slip past me.


Yes, I am open to blurbing upcoming books from authors. I am very selective on what I will blurb.

All blurb requests must come through editors/publishers, not authors. This is to avoid me having to tell an author I don’t like their work enough to blurb it. That’s awkward. I will pre-emptively turn down requests from authors (which these days most often means just deleting the request unanswered). So if you’re an author who wants me to blurb your work, ask your editor to take care of it.

Editors can send along work to the address above, or query me for my interest at When sending manuscripts for consideration, please include the date by which a blurb must be received.


I will not read your unpublished work. Please don’t ask. And please don’t think you’ll be the exception to this policy. You won’t be. Here’s a long explanation why I don’t read unpublished work. Self-published work qualifies as unpublished work for these purposes.


Have a great story idea you think I should write, including story ideas within a universe I created? Don’t send it to me ever. I don’t want to know, because a) legal reasons, b) I have my own ideas, thanks. I delete these emails as soon as they show up and never respond. Likewise, I am not looking to collaborate on writing stories.


Yes, I have one, and it works for other social media too. Here it is.


Yes, I have one of these, as well. Here it is.


Yes, I have one of these, too! Here you go.


Yes, one of these too, as well! Click through to see it.


Teachers and professors may use Whatever posts for classroom instruction without charge. Please see here for full details. Students may also use posts here for classroom purposes.

Students: I will not be available to answer questions for your school assignments. One, because it takes up a lot of time. Two, because most of the very general questions you will ask are better answered for the purposes of your assignment by books and articles on writing/publishing. Libraries and Google exist for a reason. Use them. Three, because your teacher shouldn’t be assigning you to bother people on the Internet. You may tell them I said it’s a crap thing to do.

I do talk about writing quite a lot here, so if you like, you may use the search function on this site to find out if I’ve written on the topic you’re interested in. If using the search function seems like too much work for you, imagine how I feel being asked to answer questions for which you didn’t bother to use the search function to see whether I’d written about them.