Iv'd recently had two articles denied from Owlcation. The first is a book review (I read on another forum that that's where book reviews should be submitted, although it doesn't make sense to me). The second is a photo play-by-play of an nearly extinct bug working in my yard, The American Burying Beetle.
Both articles received this canned email response:
"Thank you for submitting your article, American Burying Beetle - Flesh Eating Bugs (With Time-Lapsed Photos), for consideration on Owlcation. Unfortunately, your article was not selected. Since you already confirmed that your article is free from content and structural issues, it is possible that it was not selected due to the nature of its topic. Perhaps your article:
is about a current event and written in a way that won't be relevant to readers in the future. Perhaps you can expand on your topic and offer historical analysis or additional insight beyond covering the facts of the story.
is about a very general topic that is already extensively covered on Owlcation or elsewhere online. Perhaps you can add a new spin on the topic to make it your own. If your article is a popular (e.g., chocolate chip cookies) recipe, adding gorgeous, original, step-by-step photos is a great way to make it stand out from the rest.
is unlikely to satisfy readers for some other reason. Your article might be deeply valuable to you, your friends, or your family, but not be written in a way that is useful or accessible to a wider audience. Or perhaps your article could be useful to readers, but it doesn't convey your experience or involvement with the topic.
is about a YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) topic. YMYL articles need to be written by a professional or expert on the topic, by someone who has had personal experience with it, or list credible, well-cited sources.
didn't address the changes requested by the site's editor.
You are welcome to rework this article and submit it for re-review in 60 days, but please keep in mind that the topical issues above can be difficult to fix. Your effort may be better spent publishing a new article, or submitting a different one for Owlcation after the 14-day wait period.
If you need more help, or would just like to get some additional opinions and perspectives, we invite you to post in the Improving Your Article Forum.
I'd like your feedback on both articles. What can I do to improve on them and is there a more appropriate niche site to which I should submit?
Here are the links:
https://hubpages.com/literature/IMAGINE … ook-Review
https://hubpages.com/education/Flesh-Ea … e-to-Amaze
I really appreciate your help and please be honest with your feedback.
I received a generic email like that late last year for one of my articles. (The wording sounds quite familiar.) It was just my luck though that a newspaper found the hub on Google several months later and compensated me for any loss that I had at HP. It worked out very well in the end.
Shauna, another door could likely open for you down the road that will compensate you for your short-term loss at HP.
Just a quick reply that hopefully will help you get on your way - Before that though I just want to say that you should be commended on writing an article about something that took a while to research first hand and document. There are few articles on here that do this and the time and effort you put into the photographic series,
First, book reviews go on Owlcation for whatever reason, possibly because literature analysis is on there under humanities so they have decided book reviews should go there as well. I didn't look at your book review but can do so later.
In regards to your other article a few things quickly stand out - First, there are typos, grammatical errors and other mistakes through out. There is a typo in the very first sentence which is off putting and will make readers negatively judge the article as low quality without even reading the rest. Second the series of photos one after the other, although interesting, are too similar to keep the readers attention I understand that they are time lapse and intended to be a series illustrating the point of your article but perhaps using the text that addresses the various stages and moving it in between pictures or adding content to separate pictures would help. Third, while it is clear that it is a first person, personal experience piece, it might benefit from a bit more formality as it is on what could be considered as a scientific phenomena. I would suggest just making your language slightly less informal and taking out things like "Yuck!" etc. Finally, HP likes for articles to be broken up with different capsules and appropriate SEO subheadings.
One last thing may just be ignorance on my part - your title says that it is time lapsed photography - I thought time lapsed had something to do with video and filming with something related to frequency of the frames (yeah - sounds pretty ignorant even to my ears). Isn't it video that when you watch it a sequence of something occurring seems to be unfolding at a faster rate so you can see the whole process in a much shorter period of time? So then would this just be a photo series or would the fact that we see the process in a limited number of pictures which can be quickly reviewed make it time lapse?
Hope this gives you a few ideas to help you get your article approved. Best of luck!
Natalie, thanks for your feedback. I'll have to take a closer look. I try not to let typos and bad grammar slip into my articles unless I'm being silly, which isn't the case here. I'll also look up the term time-lapsed. I didn't originally have that in the title. I added it thinking it would draw Googlers.
Natalie, I just took a look at my article. Please point out the typos and grammatical errors. I don't see them. I always make an effort to have neither before I hit the publish button, as bad grammar "bugs" the hell out of me. I did, however, take "time-lapsed" out of the title.
Again, please cite the typos and grammatical errors.
Hi, Shauna. I expect Natalie will respond in more detail when she's able to. With respect to the first sentence, however, perhaps you meant "I've ever seen" instead of "I've even seen"?
Shauna, seeing our own errors is very difficult because the mind fills in the blanks whenever possible. I was horrified when I received an email on my last article informing me that although it had been accepted to a niche site, it had been run through Hubpro and several typos had been corrected. What? I'm an editor? How did I miss those. I looked at their markup version, and sure enough, there were several instances where I'd hit a comma instead of a period, and spaces before punctuation. I knew those had been because of reckless cutting and pasting. The point is that after a couple of careful reads, I'd missed them. It was a humbling and humiliating experience. Nobody who read my article mentioned my goofs, and I'm sure somebody had caught them. I'm just thankful that HP's computer did.
Shauna - I didn't have time to read the entire review but looking at your John Lennon piece - you have reproduced a page either from the front of book or a copy online which is a page of text - a review from the Independent. I realize you wanted to include the author of the books picture but the text on the page would be considered plagiarism even though it is clear you aren't trying to claim you wrote it. This is enough to keep it from being approved. If you want more feedback on this one I'd be happy to take a look at the full review a bit later. Good luck!
Natalie, I'd love to hear your in-depth review of my review. The photo to which you review is a shot I took of the book itself. Do I not show the source of that photo as from my personal library? Is that still considered plagiarism?
Even with the source, printing an entire page of text from somewhere else, which also constitutes a separate review is an infringement of copyright. If you want a picture of the author do a search through google images an filter by labeled for reuse. The image you have included is also copyrighted and unless you have gotten written permission you can't legally use it. I'll take a look at the review when I have the chance.
It it's true you can't post a photo of a book (that you personally own), how can Amazon post the front, back and a few pages of the books available for purchase on their website? Or any site that sells books, for that matter.
If you are reviewing a book it's perfectly fine to use the cover image. It comes under Fair Use, and authors/publishers are happy for reviewers to do this as it is publicity for them. You might even find some relevant info for journalists/press on the publisher's website.
Edit: This is from Harper Collins.
"What is Copyright?
Copyright is a legal concept that applies to original work giving the creator of the work exclusive rights to control its distribution. Copyright lasts for the life of the author and for a period of 70 years following the author's death, after which the work enters the public domain. There are exceptions where a limited amount of material may be used without permission of the copyright owner. Some of these exceptions are listed below:
1. For research and private study
2. For criticism or review
3. In examinations
4. For visually impaired people
theraggededge, you just made my day! I've written articles about plagiarism and how to combat it, so being accused of violating copyright really rubbed me the wrong way. I also try to use my own photos in all my articles, unless I don't have what I need in my vast photo library. In that case, I search for photos that are pubic domain or authorized for use.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this very valuable information!
Yes, however she is not posting the cover image. My understanding is she is just intending to post the picture of the author and the text happens to be on the same page so she isn't intending to use the text in anyway. Plus, the text isn't text from the book it is someone else's review of the book which she is obviously not reviewing or critiquing. If she just wants to use a picture of the author of the book then I'm sure there are other was to get it. Posting someone else's review verbatim doesn't fall under fair use. I'm not accusing anyone of plagiarism. I was simply pointing out a potential problem. What really rubs me the wrong way is when people ask for advice then when it is provided don't want to hear it, as they are only looking for people to tell them how wonderful their writing is. I also don't intend to point out every mistake in the article. If you want to repeat the same word over and over be my guest. It doesn't read well and sounds amateurish. But of course it's up to you.
I see the front cover and the back cover.
There's no review, apart from a single line taken from the Independent. The rest is the back cover blurb. I'm pretty sure that neither the author or the publishers would take exception as, again, the blurb is part of their marketing strategy. They actually want people to see it. It's also an image, not plagiarised text.
As to the writing, It could do with a little tidying up, but I've seen far worse on the network sites recently.
If you took a photo of your book from your personal library, that's not plagiarism. I usually put an Amazon link to a book review anyway, hoping my review will encourage the person to read the book.
I read the beetle hub too. It was interesting, but I felt like I knew very little after reading it and had to go to the Wiki link to learn more. Why are those facts not in your article? Your comments at the bottom indicate that you have learned a lot about the beetles, but the info you give is very casual and not what most people would be looking for in a reference article.
(Not sure how often people search for these beetles per month, but you can use a tool like ubersuggest to find keywords to add to your article. It needs to be edited.)
I am not sure if the photos are affecting the Owlcation selection or not, but you should decrease the number so that there is faster loading time. I think just 5 would be enough to demonstrate what is happening during the process.
Thanks for taking and sharing those, by the way. There are always a lot of cool things happening around us but we are usually in too much of a hurry to even notice.
Dr. Mark, I'll take your feedback to heart and do some editing. I actually wrote that article years ago. I tend to agree with you that I've not offered enough information and perhaps have too many photos. By the way, it was an amazing thing to watch. I'd never heard of The American Burying Beetle until I saw what I saw. I had to Google the bugs myself as I'd never seen them before that day.
I love the photos! I think I would put them as thumbnails, so they have to click on each picture to enlarge it. Also. The text at the bottom is more informative. I think I would move that to the top. Finish up with the story of how you found the rat and took the photos
Great suggestions, Sherry. Clearly, I need to spend some time revamping the article. It's such an interesting phenomenon; I really haven't done it justice.
Can we still use thumbnails? I was trying to remove thumbnails from my hubs because I didn't know if it was ok to still use them. I hadn't seen any information on their use.
I still have them on a couple of hubs that I show a step-by-step process. The highlighted pic is full-width, then you click each one in turn. I've never been told that it was not OK.
When you have a lot of pictures, they dont take up so much space.
Wow. Those are cool (or creepy...jury is out) beetles. Might I recommend you crop a photo of the bugs to highlight them as best you can and putting it in a photo capsule right at the top. When I click on it I want to see the bug right away and end up scrolling past all the text to see it which then I just flip the photos and never go back to read.
Just a thought. It's really cool you got to see this.
Looks as though you have gotten some great feedback so far. It is great that you took the time to take the photographs you did. My one suggestion would be to take your images and string them into a video of your own.
It is easy to do on YouTube and then that would help break up some of the bulk of your images. Keeping a few stand alone images throughout the hub to break up the text capsules. Then add a video of your time lapse images as well. You can still leave the other video you have linked already but add your own time lapse as well.
Well if you want to post a book review and if they won't accept it here, see if you can post it here: https://www.goodreads.com/
Thanks, Neutrastaff. I know several people who frequent goodreads. I've never actually checked it out.
I'd say it's well worth it. You can post any kind of book review and you can rate it from 1-5 stars. They also allow others to provide feedback and comment on your reviews as well. The only thing is I believe you have to make a profile, but as I said I think it's something you'd like
Do you earn pennies for posting reviews on goodreads?
I don't believe so, however they do provide books that teach you how to earn money more efficiently online. I can post a link to one if you would like
Neutrastaff, I appreciate the offer. I work full time and don't have a lot of time to devote to earning a living as a writer. That's why I love HP. I'm earning regularly on articles I've written and posted, although I've not posted anything new since 2016.
Here's the link, I'm not sure how well it'll help you, but those who checked it out gave it mostly five star reviews
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/239 … ney-online
I'll also share this with you, it seems that you can get paid work from goodreads, but it all just seems like software stuff and advertising, here it is if you want to check it out, just scroll down to the jobs:
The natural progession of decompostion may seem too raw for general reading, too quirky? It is fasinating, though. As well as, the info you give us with the book review. I enjoyed both articles! Thank goodness for the forum, because the HP platform, or Google, would not have helped me find them.
I have had book reviews rejected, as well. Who knows why? I want to read "Imagine" after reading your article. In the end, how does that help HP? Where is the profit for HP if you write a good review? Reading is so much of American culture, but HP is very narrow about allowing book interests into their niches. I guess it does not mesh with their agreements with Google Adsense.
Thanks for your comment, paperfacets. It's nice to get a compliment when you're asking for feedback. You make a good point about HP not making money off book reviews. I look for product reviews before I buy something, but I've never blatantly sought a book review. I'm not even sure how I found Julia Baird's book about her brother. I was probably on Amazon looking for something else and happened upon it.
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