Posted On August 30, 2017 by Print This Post

RU Ready? by the RU Staff

RU READY?

We at Romance University first asked that question on May 16, 2009 when we shared our first post. Then, as now, we posted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and the schedule for our first week was as follows:

Monday, May 18, 2009 – BRENDA NOVAK, “Staying in for the Long Haul”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 – MILTON GRASLE, “Women Writing Male POV”

Friday, May 22, 2009 – THERESA STEVENS, “Got Backstory?”

Our “motto,” then and now, was “Empower Writers, Entertain Readers.” Since that introductory post, we have published 1,880 additional posts.

At that time RU was staffed by our founding members, TRACEY DEVLYN, ADRIENNE GIORDANO and KELSEY BROWNING. The full rota included the founding members plus CARRIE PETERS and JENNIFER TANNER, followed later by BECKE (MARTIN) DAVIS and ROBIN COVINGTON.

As the founding members became published authors, they gradually left RU to focus on their deadlines. Before long, Robin Covington joined the list of published authors who were formerly RU staffers. Over the years, we have been blessed with amazing contributors from all aspects of the publishing world and beyond.

Nearly every year, Romance University has been singled out for honors including the Writers Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers, and the 100 Best Websites for Writers Award. The list of our followers has snowballed on Facebook, Twitter and in our regular subscribers.

This year for the first time we stopped publishing on holidays. And now we are debating whether to schedule a summer break for RU in the future, or maybe switch to a two-day publishing schedule. The fact of the matter is, it’s down to three of us now and we are swamped.

We have been hesitant to put out an open call for submissions, because we have struggled to bring you high quality posts with useful information, and we aim to maintain our high standards. The majority of our guest bloggers, also called “Visiting Professors,” are published authors or other industry professionals. We occasionally feature posts by not-yet-published writers who are actively pursuing a career in publishing. No one likes to be rejected, but in order to keep our guest posts up to a high standard, we do sometimes reject a post or ask for it to be rewritten.

It can be difficult to fill our schedule with published authors, editors and agents because all of those people are, by definition, professionals. And professionals have to give their deadlines the highest priority.

We have also made a point of NOT turning RU into a promotional site. While we are happy to include book cover images, and a buy link and back cover blurb for a guest poster’s upcoming release, we don’t review books and we don’t promote editing sites or writing materials. We do occasionally feature a writing conference or workshop that our followers might find useful.

With the RU staff down to three people, we have to make some tough decisions. We need your input. How would you like RU to continue – the same as now, but with a break over the summer? Or maybe a Tuesday/Thursday publishing schedule instead of Monday/Wednesday/Friday?

Would you be interested in submitting a guest post for our consideration? Or if you have posted with us before, would you be interested in joining RU as a regular contributor (maybe once a month, or once a quarter)?

When submitting a guest post to RU, please indicate your preference for a publication date. If your post is accepted, we will get back to you with a few available dates within your preferred timeframe.

Here are the RU guidelines:

  1. Post should be sent to Becke (Becke@romanceuniversity.org), Carrie (Carrie@romanceuniversity.org) or Jennifer (Jennifer@romanceuniversity.org) at least two days before the blog date. Your post will go live just after midnight, Central Time, the night before your scheduled date.

 

  1. Guest headshot in .jpeg format.

 

  1. A short bio with links to your blog and/or website, FB, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media links.

 

  1. A book cover in .jpeg format and a short blurb of a recent or upcoming book, typically a back cover blurb. We will include a buy link. We can include two additional book cover images with your post.

 

  1. Post length…700 to 1,500 words. No worries if it goes over 1,500 words.

 

  1. A discussion question at the end of the post.

 

  1. You are welcome to do a drawing for a giveaway if you want, but it’s totally optional. Please indicate if you want to do the prize drawing or if you’d prefer us to do the drawing. Let us know the format of your giveaway, and if you have restrictions. (Some authors limit paperback giveaways to residents of the Continental U.S. because of shipping costs.)

 

Posts at RU cover a wide range of topics, but most are in some way related to writing craft, the writer’s journey, or some aspect of the publishing business. Scroll through old posts to get a better idea of what interests our followers. Also, while it’s not specifically mentioned in the guidelines, we tend to keep RU pretty G-rated.

Please send the post you’re submitting plus your bio, headshot and any book cover images to Becke, Carrie or Jennifer at one of the email addresses shown above. We will respond to you all as soon as we can – thanks for bearing with us!

WHAT WOULD YOU PREFER – a summer break from RU, or a reduced number of posts throughout the year (twice a week instead of three times)? We’d love your feedback!

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Discussion

14 Responses to “RU Ready? by the RU Staff”

  1. I’m an avid reader of RU, and always find the posts very helpful. I can’t tell you how many times just the right post will be published right when I need help with that very issue. I’m always forwarding them on to my critique partners. I vote for 2x per week, or even 1x per week rather than a summer hiatus.

    Posted by Allison Collins | August 30, 2017, 8:24 am
  2. This has been one of the most valuable resources for my journey as a writer. You don’t know how many times I’ve searched your archives for a topic I didn’t even know I needed.

    If you have to cut back, I say do it.

    I’m also excited that you consider submissions. Not to get the word out about my book but to contribute to a website that helps so many. That, more than anything, has made me feel like a “real” author.

    Posted by Nicole | August 30, 2017, 8:32 am
  3. I’d prefer 2X a week, with no summer break.

    Posted by Beth | August 30, 2017, 9:10 am
  4. I say 2x per week AND a summer break is fine. This way you can keep RU going without feeling an undue burden.

    Posted by Tracy | August 30, 2017, 9:48 am
  5. Thanks for the feedback so far! We LOVE knowing there’s people benefiting from out work!

    And absolutely, we’d love submissions, feel free to email any one of us with your ideas for a post! Let’s fill up the calendar!

    Thanks everyone!!!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Peters | August 30, 2017, 9:50 am
  6. I can certainly understand how hard it is to keep a blog going once the original members have to focus on deadlines. What you do is a labor of love that requires lots of time and effort. Thank you to all of you for the time and effort you’ve put into making RU an incredible resource.

    Twice a week with a summer break sounds perfect.

    Posted by Reese Ryan | August 30, 2017, 9:57 am
  7. Thank you all so much for your encouraging responses! And thanks for the emails, too. My granddaughter just arrived so I’ll be off my computer for several hours. I’ll respond to any incoming emails later today.

    ((hugs))

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | August 30, 2017, 11:19 am
  8. I completely understand your position. It is very difficult for us to keep up with our own posting schedule (3 days a week). When we need to, we move to 2 days and don’t stress it.

    You guys should do whatever works best for you, including summer breaks if you need them. Another suggestion would be to stay with 2 days a week, and on the third, do a “Peek into the Archives” post where you repost an older post. Most writing content is evergreen, and you have a huge database of old posts. Why not share some of the great ones again, especially as new readers come aboard all the time, and won’t have seen these older posts. 😉

    Posted by Angela Ackerman | August 30, 2017, 11:40 am
    • Great idea Angela! =) We’ve gotten so many good ideas and great responses that we’re almost overwhelmed. =)
      Thanks everyone!

      Posted by Carrie Peters | August 30, 2017, 2:53 pm
    • I second Angela’s idea. I’ve been reading RU for a long time now. Faithfully, I check the site on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

      A big thank you to everyone who contributed to RU, and of course the staff whose hard work keeps the blog going. Your dedication to helping writers is much appreciated.

      Posted by Mercy | September 1, 2017, 5:09 pm
  9. As writers, I think we all understand how life can creep in and some things get pushed aside. I thoroughly enjoy reading the RU posts, but have to admit that sometimes I don’t have the time to read them. They are archived and saved for a later date. Having said that I think you all have to do what is best for you. Twice a week would be good, but even once a week works for me. I really like the idea of sharing older posts (mentioned in another post). Perhaps if you were to post once a week and shared an older post once a month. Whatever schedule works for all of you! I am sure your readers will support you.

    Posted by Meghan Stuart | August 30, 2017, 5:41 pm
  10. I’d prefer twice a week with no summer break. And it has been my honor to be one of your “visiting professors.” Thanks for the opportunity.

    Posted by Helen Henderson | August 31, 2017, 7:41 pm
  11. I would prefer 2x a week with no Summer break. I love RU and have learned a lot from your posts!

    Posted by Janice Hampton | September 3, 2017, 5:32 pm

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