Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

Privacy Policy

The protection of your privacy when you visit this site is very important to me. These are the basics of my approach to web privacy:

  • I don’t ask for your information unless I actually need it, and in cases where any additional information is gathered (like demographics, opinions, or other poll topics), participation will be entirely voluntary.
  • I don’t share your information with anyone except to comply with the law, develop my products, or protect my rights.
  • Your information is not stored on the server unless it is necessary for the operation of the site.

I am currently a sole operator and this is a website devoted primarily to providing visitors like you with useful information, and providing myself a platform to promote my own work, whether it’s books or art or whatever else I may end up making. I’m also a fan of privacy, and my basic policy here, which is stated in somewhat longer form by the more legal language below, is that I’ll collect as little personal information as I can, guard that information and not sell it off, and generally consider the primary goal of this site to provide value to you, so I’m not here to exploit you or your information. I consider my visitors to be fond acquaintances and friends, not assets.

Like most websites, this site collects non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor request. The purpose of collecting non-personally identifying information is to better understand how visitors use this website. These usage statistics help me determine what content is most useful to site visitors, and how I can improve the content and services here.

This site also collects potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for logged in users and for users leaving comments on our blogs. This site only discloses logged in user and commenter IP addresses under the same circumstances that it uses and discloses personally-identifying information as described below, except that blog commenter IP addresses are visible and disclosed to the administrators of the blog where the comment was left. IPs are also used in the administration of security on the site, to block attacks on the site and blacklist spammers.

Certain visitors to this website choose to interact with me and the site in ways that require the gathering of personally-identifying information. The amount and type of information gathered depends on the nature of the interaction. For example, visitors who comment on the blog are asked to provide a username and email address, or log in with credentials for other social sites. Those who wish to receive updates via email, their names and emails are collected. In each case, the site collects such information only insofar as is necessary or appropriate to fulfill the purpose of the visitor’s interaction with the site. I do not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below. And visitors can always refuse to supply personally-identifying information, with the caveat that it may prevent them from engaging in certain website-related activities.

This site discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only to those of its employees, contractors and affiliated organizations that (i) need to know that information in order to process it on my behalf or to provide services available on the site, and (ii) that have agreed not to disclose it to others. Some of those employees, contractors and affiliated organizations may be located outside of your home country; by using this website, you consent to the transfer of such information to them. (For example, to solve a problem with your email address subscription may require enlisting staff at MailChimp to help. I don’t have any employees or contractors, but you never know what the future may hold, so we’ll keep this legalese here, just in case.) We will not rent or sell potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information to anyone. Other than to its employees, contractors and affiliated organizations, as described above, this site discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only in response to a subpoena, court order or other legal governmental request, or when we believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of myself, third parties or the public at large.

Newsletter Sign-Up and Privacy

Your name and email address are collected through MailChimp (see their terms and privacy policy for their specifics) when you voluntarily submit that information to the newsletter sign-up form. Your email address will not be automatically added to the newsletter mailing list if you provide it for any other purpose than joining the mailing list, such as to leave a comment on an article. My mailing list will also only be used for the expressly stated purposes: to keep you updated on my latest work, whether it’s book releases, new artwork or products, new blog posts, or anything else of that nature. My list of subscribers will never be sold or provided to third parties, though it is managed by MailChimp, which is a well-established and highly trusted email marketing service.

When email newsletters are sent through MailChimp, the service will collect individual data like whether emails were opened or read, how many subscribers did not open the email, and so on, which helps me to know which emails are most appealing to readers, which content generates the most interest and reader response, and so on, so that I can more specifically tailor both my content and my messages to your preferences. (And please feel free to contact me if you have a suggestion you’d like to share, whether it’s a topic to cover or a pet peeve about the emails you receive or anything else, really.)

Use of Cookies

 

A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor’s computer, and that the visitor’s browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. This site uses cookies to help identify and track visitors, their usage of the site (for instance, to tell me which pages people visit), and their website access preferences. Visitors who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before using this website, with the drawback that certain features of the site may not function properly without the aid of cookies. The cookies used on this site are as non-invasive as possible, and provide functions like easily linking you to your social sharing accounts if you’d like to share a post, keeping you logged in or remembering the data you last entered on a similar form, so you don’t have to sign in again each time you’d like to leave a comment, or tracking which pages on the site you visit to provide me with user statistics that help me know what topics visitors most like to read here.

Websites you visit via links from this site, such as other blogs that may be linked, Amazon product pages, or generally other sites outside of this one, have their own cookie and privacy policies, and may collect other data, including cookies that can persist for a longer period of time, track your buying and browsing habits, or serve you ads that you might find relevant.

Protection from Tracking Across the Web

If you’re concerned about privacy in your web browsing, plug-ins and utilities like Privacy BadgerGhostery, Disconnect, and others can help you both track and eliminate the use of cookies for tracking your activity across the web. (Using them might make your web experience a little more inconvenient, but will definitely help if you’re concerned about cookies, ads, and other forms of tracking.) I particularly recommend Privacy Badger, which has terrific features and is a project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit devoted to digital privacy, free speech, and innovation.

I don’t discourage use of services like these when you visit my site; I don’t currently run ads, don’t have any stake or interest in the collection of your personal information in any way but what you explicitly consent to provide me, and am a user of Privacy Badger and Ghostery myself. I’m not in any way obliged to share this info with you as part of my privacy policy, I’m just providing it for your information.

Participation in Affiliate Programs

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Basically what this means is that many or most of the links on this site to products, such as books or writing tools, are affiliate links. Should you make a purchase by following those links from this site, I’ll receive a small commission, which helps to pay hosting and other fees to keep this site going (and books to help with research for my many research-heavy post topics). Your support is very much appreciated, and if you’re planning to purchase any of the books I’ve recommended (such as those from the Horse Writing recommended reading list), I hope that you’ll do so through my links so I can earn the commission for it. There is no additional cost to you for purchasing through my affiliate links.

Changes to Privacy Policy

Although most changes are likely to be minor, I may change this Privacy Policy from time to time, and at my sole discretion. I encourage visitors to frequently check this page for any changes to this Privacy Policy. Your continued use of this site after any change in this Privacy Policy will constitute your acceptance of such change.