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inncogneeto

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Anyone heard of Open Road Guidebooks?
What is the protocol for dealing with writers? The writer who contacted us from this company asked for a free room and said they may want to feature us....
After reading about the Rachael Ray fiasco, I'm not sure I even want to deal with this. I'm not sure it is quite "right" for a writer to ask you for a free room, what if they don't list you? Then you are out that revenue and they got free lodging, essentially using you and wasting your time.
If they are reputable, if they like you, shouldn't they just pay for their room and write about you? We did have a couple of other travel writers stay with us, they never mentioned they were travel writers until later in their stay and they never asked for a free room.
I told DH, we'll give them a free room if they put it in writing that we will be featured in their book. He says it seems like a conflict of interest, that a company should ask for the comp in order to be featured...
Yes, it's nice to be featured, and I can see the advantages of doing this, but....I can also see a lot of "writers" getting free nights lodging on our tab! (No offense to real writers!)
It also wreaks of a potential scam to me, how many free rooms could you get based on this premise???
Maybe.... I'll become a writer and see how far across the country I can get. My book, "Travel the USA on 5 bucks a day..." just tell them you're a writer!

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EmptyNest

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MAY write about you!!!! Sorry that doesn't cut it. No free room if they aren't guaranteeing a printed story in a good publication. There are lots of writers out there looking to "mooch off of innkeepers" and there is NO guarantee. Don't fall victim. Who uses guide books any more??? Then they may want you to purchase a supply to feature you. Forget about it.

Is this them?
 

inncogneeto

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MAY write about you!!!! Sorry that doesn't cut it. No free room if they aren't guaranteeing a printed story in a good publication. There are lots of writers out there looking to "mooch off of innkeepers" and there is NO guarantee. Don't fall victim. Who uses guide books any more??? Then they may want you to purchase a supply to feature you. Forget about it.

Is this them?.
Yes, it is, do you have experience with them?
 

DaisyMae

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i have always been under the inpression that an honest to goodness writer or a company sending out a writer, will not ask for freebies. also they will not usually accept a freebie offer.
not to say that this "writer" is not true blue, but...i guess i would be hesitant also. you know what they say, trust your instinct & when in doubt...don't.
 

EmptyNest

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MAY write about you!!!! Sorry that doesn't cut it. No free room if they aren't guaranteeing a printed story in a good publication. There are lots of writers out there looking to "mooch off of innkeepers" and there is NO guarantee. Don't fall victim. Who uses guide books any more??? Then they may want you to purchase a supply to feature you. Forget about it.

Is this them?.
Yes, it is, do you have experience with them?
.
inncogneeto said:
Yes, it is, do you have experience with them?
No I just found the site on line. From looking at the site, the have not done any B & B books before..so they are looking for ways to finance this effort.
I still don't think I would give a free night to someone without a guarantee of some sort. I would not take them up on this. Like I said..who uses these guidebooks??? Everyone I know just uses the Internet. Tell him you have already spent your marketing budget.
 

Penelope

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I would be very hesitant to give a free night to a writer who "may" feature you. I agree with Catlady. No free nights on a "maybe". In this situation, I'd be more ticked off if it turned out to be "maybe not".
Not only did they get a free night, but also your time, your food, and part of YOU.
Edited to add: On the other hand...anything can happen (and usually does happen) especially in this business.
 

seashanty

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no, i had not heard of them.
no free room so someone might write about your place. no free room so someone WILL write about your place. what kind of credibility does a guidebook have if they operate this way? and, horrors, what if they stay with you, DO write about you and write something negative? well, they only promised they might write something.
'no, thank you.' end of story.
 

inncogneeto

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They said they'd "like to include" us, which is better than a maybe, but still, it's the asking for the room that is off putting.
 

egoodell

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I don't give anything free unless they have something in writing or can show they are a working editor. I have given space on a wine tour to an editor for Virginia Wine Magazine as he was doing an article about visiting Charlottesville without having to drive around and he did include me in the copy.
I have had someone try and get a free tour / night stay saying they were going to be on a reality show about making wine. They tried to tell me that they would give me exposure. How??? The show was supposedly going to be filmed in California, and I am in Virginia.
This annoys me like the people asking me to donate from two states away telling me I can write it off, when I can't.
Riki
 

scrambled_eggs

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I probably wouldn't give them a free room if it is some guidebook I have never heard about. I have had the guy from Lonely Planet come and do a write up in the guide book. He never stayed here but just talked to me and did a great write up. I also had Fodor and Frommers stay here but I never knew they were staying here. I still don't know which guests were from those books because they never told me. I know that they had to stay here because they write about the pros and cons of each place and couldn't have come up with their "con" unless they stayed here to experience it. There is a book called Karen Brown Guide and they come by invitation only. I invited them to come but they still havn't yet. I don't know if they would request a free room but since they are a well known book I might allow it if they asked.
 

Morticia

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If the writer is really working for the book mentioned, they will have a request from the publisher to do so. Ask for that in writing if you are suspicious. You have good reason to be leery, many 'travel agents' book their own vacations and want freebies hoping you'll jump just so that person keeps you in mind, maybe, if they really are a travel agent.
Try not to let someone else's bad experience get you down. I was contacted by the same mag as K and I got into it. It's not always a bad ending...
 

Morticia

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MAY write about you!!!! Sorry that doesn't cut it. No free room if they aren't guaranteeing a printed story in a good publication. There are lots of writers out there looking to "mooch off of innkeepers" and there is NO guarantee. Don't fall victim. Who uses guide books any more??? Then they may want you to purchase a supply to feature you. Forget about it.

Is this them?.
catlady said:
MAY write about you!!!! Sorry that doesn't cut it. No free room if they aren't guaranteeing a printed story in a good publication. There are lots of writers out there looking to "mooch off of innkeepers" and there is NO guarantee. Don't fall victim. Who uses guide books any more??? Then they may want you to purchase a supply to feature you. Forget about it.


Who uses guidebooks? Europeans. I checked each one they brought thru the door to see who was in them and who wasn't. I wanted to check the prices listed for me and what amenities they stated, or didn't state. I also saw a fair number of 'us' with guidebooks. Even tho the web is out there, sometimes guests don't want to wade thru all of that. They want someone else's suggestions and 'referrals'. (Which is why those mag articles mean so much...there are guests who will do EXACTLY what Rachael or Martha tell them to do.)
 

EmptyNest

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MAY write about you!!!! Sorry that doesn't cut it. No free room if they aren't guaranteeing a printed story in a good publication. There are lots of writers out there looking to "mooch off of innkeepers" and there is NO guarantee. Don't fall victim. Who uses guide books any more??? Then they may want you to purchase a supply to feature you. Forget about it.

Is this them?.
catlady said:
MAY write about you!!!! Sorry that doesn't cut it. No free room if they aren't guaranteeing a printed story in a good publication. There are lots of writers out there looking to "mooch off of innkeepers" and there is NO guarantee. Don't fall victim. Who uses guide books any more??? Then they may want you to purchase a supply to feature you. Forget about it.


Who uses guidebooks? Europeans. I checked each one they brought thru the door to see who was in them and who wasn't. I wanted to check the prices listed for me and what amenities they stated, or didn't state. I also saw a fair number of 'us' with guidebooks. Even tho the web is out there, sometimes guests don't want to wade thru all of that. They want someone else's suggestions and 'referrals'. (Which is why those mag articles mean so much...there are guests who will do EXACTLY what Rachael or Martha tell them to do.)
.
Yes, but consider.. you get lots of "drop in's" who don't call you in advance nor make plans in advance. Many folks get Europeans..but many do not. I can on both hands the number I had in 7 years.
I don't want to generalize because that is dangerous...but let's just say, in my opinion, most Americans don't use guidebooks and they plan ahead...even if it is just a few hours:)
I think anyone lucky enough to get mentioned is the big magazines..definitely get the return. If Rachel says stay there or Southern Living for example...THEY STAY THERE

This is different than a $10 travel guide book. And, If Rachel called me for a room...she'd get it...no matter what.

 

egoodell

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MAY write about you!!!! Sorry that doesn't cut it. No free room if they aren't guaranteeing a printed story in a good publication. There are lots of writers out there looking to "mooch off of innkeepers" and there is NO guarantee. Don't fall victim. Who uses guide books any more??? Then they may want you to purchase a supply to feature you. Forget about it.

Is this them?.
catlady said:
MAY write about you!!!! Sorry that doesn't cut it. No free room if they aren't guaranteeing a printed story in a good publication. There are lots of writers out there looking to "mooch off of innkeepers" and there is NO guarantee. Don't fall victim. Who uses guide books any more??? Then they may want you to purchase a supply to feature you. Forget about it.


Who uses guidebooks? Europeans. I checked each one they brought thru the door to see who was in them and who wasn't. I wanted to check the prices listed for me and what amenities they stated, or didn't state. I also saw a fair number of 'us' with guidebooks. Even tho the web is out there, sometimes guests don't want to wade thru all of that. They want someone else's suggestions and 'referrals'. (Which is why those mag articles mean so much...there are guests who will do EXACTLY what Rachael or Martha tell them to do.)
.
Actually we got written up in Frommers and they are good as the write up is also on their website and we have had guests come on our tours because of Frommer.
There is a spot you can go to on their website and email them your information. That's how we got in with our wine tours. I think they used us something like 2 years after I send the email. We also don't know who it was as they don't tell you when they book.
Riki
 

gillumhouse

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We were written up in the Pittsbirgh Post-Gazette in 1999. I offered a free stay. The writer was assigned and stayed here and PAID telling me - "We are not allowed to accept a freebie." and I have heard the same from other papers. I cannot remember where the line gets drawn - perhaps it was staff. Freelance is different.
I have given several freebies to writers - most of them were sent to me by Tourism which told me they were valid. I have had several that I gave cover my cost rates to. I would be leery of someone who called me that asked for a freebie without being vetted by Tourism. And a guidebook? Since when does a guide book "feature" an inn? All the ones I have ever seen were listings with blurbs about the inns.
 

gillumhouse

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They said they'd "like to include" us, which is better than a maybe, but still, it's the asking for the room that is off putting..
I owe an apology. I said something without knowing what I was talking about - therefore owe apology.
In today's e-mail was the Guidebook America newsletter. I had forgotten about it because I usually just delete it. It is not a print publication, it is e-mail. Having said that, I still think I would stand by my statement of no to a request for a freebie. Id I make the contact and offer a freebie it is one thing - to be requested to give it makes me wonder if it is not just a ploy for a getaway (plus anyone who is on the list to get Guidebook America could say they were a writer for it. What proof is there that they are legit?
 
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