Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Making A Change

The book reviewing/blogging world has gotten their panties all in a twist over new regulations being put into place by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) This is a United States government run agency devoted to protecting the consumer. They recently posted an article about consumer endorsements through blogs or celebrities. Apparently, this will affect book bloggers as well. Those of us who receive payment for endorsing a book (through Amazon Associates program) or receive a book from an author or publisher and keep the book have to disclose this to the public.

Personally, I don't see what everybody is so worked up about. I seriously doubt the government is going to have time to see what little o'l me is doing in my neck of the woods. Seriously, I am small potatoes. I know. They know it. Why would they waste their time?

But, I am a born rule follower. Yep. I like to dot my "i's" and cross my "t's". So, to play it safe I will be adding a new addition to my blog. I will now disclose to you, the consumer, where I got my book from. You are used to the format I use when I set up a review, where I list the title, author etc. Here is an example of what the new format will look like using the book Shadow Touch:

Title: Shadow Touch
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Publishing Date: 2006
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: A
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Checked this one out at the library.

Consider yourself disclosed. May you make an informed decision!

PS. I haven't decided if I am going to go back through all my previous posts and include this information. It is going to depend on my time and how seriously I take the rule following issue :)


Wendy said...

I am a member of the Amazon Associate program, so I'll likely be adding disclaimers to my blog sidebar and on my wiki. As for ARCs? I'm thinking I'll just add a tag at the bottom of the review. Something like "ARC Review." I don't accept very many ARCs, so I'm thinking the tag is the way to go for me.

Nicola O. said...

I don't think you have to retroactively disclose anything.

Leslie said...

Like you, I don't think FTC is going to bother with me. I already disclose if the review is from an ARC copy so I won't be making any changes. Agree with you, don't see what all the fuss is about, just another thing to get people worked up over I guess.

Mandi said...

I'm going to do something similar going forward.

Jill D. said...

Wendy - I know, I don't accept that many ARC's either. It just so happens that this month I have more than usual. A's for ARCs, LOL. I am more likely to have a fan girl moment over a favorite author than an ARC.

Nicola - God, I hope not. I have over about 300 past reviews. That would take some time!

Leslie - Yeah, there has been a lot of discussion about it on Twitter. I say "big deal". I'll adjust and move on. Plus, I don't really get alot of ARC's anyway and I have only had one sale through my Amazon Associates account. I think it would be a bigger deal for big blogs.

Mandi - Good deal. And away we go...

Erotic Horizon said...

I do like this idea of your - I live in the UK and this doesn't affect us, but I do like the direct approach and just letting readers know where the book are coming from.


Anonymous said...

How one got the book isn't as important to me as their actual relationship with the author. Now that I'd like to see disclosed on all reviews! Such as "Author is my mother" or "Author is my boss's wife", "Author promised to write good reviews for my books too"...etc. :-)

Jill D. said...

Erotic Horizon - Well, I don't have anything to hide so I might as well lay out all my cards :) Yes, this is only for the United States. I wonder how they will put this into effect though.

Anonymous - LOVE IT! I couldn't agree more with you. I know when I read Carolyn Crane's book that comes out in March, I will have to disclose that I have been following her blog for a couple of years now and think of her as a good friend. But, I could also be shooting myself in the foot if, God forbid I didn't like her book! :)

Christine said...

I like your solution, Jill. I think I typically state in my review if I'm reviewing an ARC (not that I post many reviews these days anyway), but I may just add a one line book disclosure like you describe at the end of my review.

I definitely don't think you need to go back and disclose stuff in the past either.

Amy said...

The only books I've reviewed over on mine are books that I have in my own TBR. Because, seriously, I could start my own book warehouse from it! But over at the site I review for, she'll have to post a blanket statement or something. At the end of the day, it doesn't affect me or restrict my Freedom of Speech right...but it was still an eye opener. For a minute.

Jill D. said...

Christine - Yes, that's right I do remember you doing that. See you are ahead of the game!

Amy - If you follow a review site long enough, you know whether or not they are full of fluff. I don't have that many ARC's myself. I think it might be kind of neat to keep track of where I got the books from. I have a good mix from the library but also buying them used and new.