Guest Rants and Giveaways


GardenRant welcomes “guest ranters” who want to take over our little piece of cyberspace for the day. Authors with books to promote, people in the plant industry, and ordinary gardeners with an axe to grind are all invited.  Because GardenRant is read by garden writers, editors, publishers, and other garden bloggers, it’s a great way to get your story out to gardeners, communicators, and industry insiders.

And if you’ve got a product to promote, we can skip the guest rant and just do the giveaway.  Read on.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Get in touch with one of us through the About Us page–just follow the links at the top.
  2. Let us know what’s on your mind.
  3. Once we work out the details, we’ll pick a day for you to post.
  4. Send us your post as a Word document or in the body of an email.  Be sure to include photos and links to websites if you have them.
  5. You might want to check GardenRant throughout the day your post is up and respond to readers in the comments.

Isn’t that simple?  Well, there are a few more things you might want to know.

What, exactly, is a guest rant?

First, it’s short. 500 words is plentyGardenRantGuestBadge

Second, it’s highly opinionated.  Take a position on an issue, pro or con.  Rant or rave, just have a point of view. Be unguarded and informal.  Tell it like it is.

Third, it’s interesting.  Well, that goes without saying.  But seriously, tell us an interesting, behind-the-scenes story.  Surprise us. Get people talking.  Because if you get them talking, they’ll go away and continue the conversation on their own blogs, and that helps spread the word.

One piece of advice:  Please don’t write a general, musing, rambling piece about how passionate you are about whatever the subject of your book is.  Pick one interesting thing related to your work and be specific about it.  The temptation is to write a broad-brush, “here’s-what’s-so-great-about-my-thing” piece.  Please resist that temptation and go for some specifics instead.

Did we mention that it should be interesting and personal and off-the-cuff and fun?  Seriously, no PR talk, and no how-to.  Pretend you’re e-mailing a highly amusing tale to some friends.  Now pretend we’re your friends.  See how easy that is?

What about giveaways?

Yes!  We love giveaways. In addition to (or, sometimes, instead of) your guest rant, we can test-drive a product ourselves and write about the results.  Then we come up with an interesting question, pose it to our readers, they answer, and we pick a winner.  We get the winner’s address, send it to you, and you send them your new book, DVD, product, plant, whatever. It gets people talking about your stuff, both on our blog and on their own blogs.  Want some examples?  We have given away everything from garden gloves to snow blowers.

Can you give me some examples of guest rants?

Of course.  Jim Nardi promoted his book with a great graphic of all the critters in a friend’s compost pile. BoingBoing picked it up, so it was read by their bazillion readers, plus it sent over 8000 people back to GardenRant in one day to read the full post.

Jeff Gillman wrote a very fun post about a topic that was TOO HOT to go in his book!  We love this cutting-room floor stuff.

Eric Grissell wrote a guest rant about bee, ant, and wasp sex, and we asked our readers to write baudy bug sex limericks to win a free copy.  Which they did. (Then we asked his publisher to read the limericks aloud and post a video on YouTube.  Which they did!)

Debra Prinzing told us what inspired her to write her book, Shed Style.

Love Albrecht Howard wrote a wonderful rant based on her book, So You Want to Be a Garden Designer.

In almost every case, when we have an author on, their publisher is willing to donate a book to give away. We choose a winner and send the winner’s address to the publisher.