Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Few Words About the FTC and Blogging

I have about 50 book blogs in my Google Reader and I've found one topic that keeps popping up in recent weeks: the new FTC guidelines and bloggers. The main issue is whether bloggers receive any monetary compensation for endorsing a product/service on their blog. And mainly the FTC just declares that "bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service." I usually do this anyway. If I receive an ARC or review copy of a book from a publisher, I tend to thank whomever sent it to me. I will continue to do that and in addition, will simply put a "Source disclosure" at the end of each book review either stating whether the book was purchased, borrowed (library), or received as a review copy.

In general, our book review policy is as follows:

1) We always give our honest opinion about a book. Even if we don't thoroughly love the book, we always try to find some redeeming quality to it and will never simply trash a book. We also tend to only accept review copies of books that we believe will be of interest to us or fall within the general topic categories of our blog (cozy mystery, children's fiction, YA fiction, adult fiction and mystery).

2) We attempt to review books in a timely manner, but can make no guarantee a book review will be published before a release date.

3) We receive nothing in return for any of our reviews whether our opinion of a book is positive or negative.

4) We do not sell any of our books whether they are ARCs or already published. We tend to keep most books because we LOVE to be surrounded by them. If we decide to part with a book either because we didn't love it, it's a duplicate, or for some other reason, we tend to pass it along to fellow book lovers through a giveaway on this blog, simply lend/give it to a friend, or we mooch it on


Chad Sayban said...

I think this whole FTC issue has become a tempest in a teapot. I really don't feel all that burdened by disclosing where a book came from and I have never altered how I review a book based on where it came from. In fact, it seems that most of the books I have received for free lately have scored much worse than the ones I have purchased. I just wonder why the FTC can't find a few more important things to be working on these days.

Holly said...

I agree that it all seems a bit much to me. But really, I don't see it having much effect on our blog as we usually disclose where we receive a book anyway. And, I've never received any sort of compensation or had and agreement for a positive review from a free book. I guess I look at this whole thing almost positively for book bloggers...or general bloggers who "endorse" anything. We're making such an impact in the marketing world the FTC feels the need to discuss it. I guess that's a good thing right? :-)

allisonmariecat said...

When I first read about the FTC guidelines, I jumped on my First Amendment soapbox. But really, I don't feel burdened at all. I review the book the same way no matter how I acquired it.

I like that book bloggers matter!