Monday, October 19, 2009

Full Disclosure for the FTC Ruling

Jen Forbus recently mentioned on her blog that the FTC has a new ruling that bloggers who blog about any goods or services and receive compensation for said goods or services must disclose the connection to the provider of the goods or services. According to the FTC this constitutes an "endorsement."

Jen responded much better than I can, but, as she said, I'm willing to make a full disclosure here. I have never accepted anything other than review copies of books. I have never accepted money for reviews. No author, publicist or publisher has ever influenced my reviews. Even when I accept review copies, no one has ever been guaranteed a positive review of any sort.

I have, at times, mentioned bookstores, but I have never received any gifts or money from those bookstores. I have mentioned them because I attend programs at the bookstores, or have worked with them for an author program, but I've never been paid for any comments about bookstores, books, or authors.

And, authors have become friends over the years, but even they have never been promised a positive review, or even any review, in exchange for that friendship.

In case you wonder, the choice of books to review, except when I reviewed books for Library Journal or Mystery News, has always been my choice. I receive a number of review copies, but no one is ever promised a review of any sort, positive or otherwise. It's very important to me that I continue to offer my honest opinions of books. I try to have reviews my readers can respect, knowing I am not influenced.

So, this is the full disclosure blog. Jen's statement on the top of her blog is too good to pass up. I'm going to post a similar statement on my blog, even though this ruling doesn't go into effect until December.

But, now you know. I receive review copies only, and will mark them as review copies in the book reviews. I never receive any other compensation.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I had no idea this was going into effect! The blogging book reviewers do a tremendous service for everyone and it's all for love of reading.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Lesa said...

I didn't either, Elizabeth. I picked it up from Jen's website. It is a little ridiculous, isn't it, to think we're influenced by receiving a free book? But, if the FTC wants full disclosure, that should count. I put it on my blog, and I'll continue to mark the books as review copies.