Friday, October 9, 2009

Blogger homework, read the links

Irene Watson gave me a heads-up that the Federal Trade Commission was looking at the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in relation to bloggers. (see link #1 at the end of page).

I am not even sure I understand everything, so you'll have to read this stuff for yourself. Don't ignore it because the fine is BIG if you screw up and get caught. (see link #2)

One discussion Irene and I had was about non-American bloggers. Personally, I wouldn't think anyone blogging on American sites should ignore learning about this new development - it might apply even to foreign bloggers, if blogging is on an USA site. Yeah, policing might be a task.

My take on this is they didn't take this step because a few people get free books in exchange for a book review. Most of us know there is little control over how the review gets written, and frankly, it is kinda fun to see how they turn out. Nonetheless, I suppose beginning December 1, this year, we should consider noting compensation of any kind we get.

Sure it is the usual thing where everyone has to take notice because some companies set up blogs and hired people to give bogus endorsements - so goes the rumor, but anyone who pays attention to the industry already knew that. It was the news two years ago. It was also rumored that some companies tried, briefly, to hire people to write bad stuff about other companies.

All of that is childish and I don't think any of us grown-up types stoop to that stuff. The thing is, I don't care if someone gives me a book [I usually buy or trade books], if I hate the book, I'm not going to say I like it. I might not say anything, but I'm not going to Hell for lying over something like that.

So I guess it is true confession time. Maybe I'll write about my recent conflict of interest next week. Stay tuned.

Link #1
Link #2


Meet Irene Watson here:

No compensation has been given for this post. We are friends - that's why we talk about book stuff with each other.


  1. With all respect Nadine I think you're wasting your blog even bothering to mention it.
    The Federal Rules is reading for insomniacs.
    I can only think that someone somewhere thought how do I hang onto my job? I know I'll think up a new set of rules.
    The powers that be can't even control illegal downloading; this is all hot air from their bottoms.

  2. This has caused quite some turmoil in the book blogosphere. Personally ,I still didn't manage to make head nor tail of all these announcements. Let's see how this works out.

  3. Welcome to American bearcaticy. Of course it's boring reading. That is what those people do. I wouldn't want to be the test case, but it is unlikely I would be.

  4. There is one American review company I know of who does reviews for free, then gives the books to a used bookstore and receives part of the resale price.

    There could be a few people who blog then put the books on Amazon's used books section. (The author doesn't get royalties on these sales.)

    I suspect they have someone or several people in mind when they brought this to the forefront. Whether it is a paid for or free review, we have to send a book. Same with contests. Unless people are going to read our minds, we have to supply a book or two. For years major book publishers have given galley books to major newspaper reviewers.

    I think the blurbs on the back of the book are a more curious thing. Sometimes the book hasn't been read by the people who give the blurbs to their publishers (at the publisher's request) for other writers from the same publisher.

    The book industry is a strange creature. There's lots of swaps going on and no one really bothers to do it 'under the table' - we all know about coops.

    So who are they really after, casting this wide net?

  5. Nadine, your comment "There is one American review company I know of who does reviews for free, then gives the books to a used bookstore and receives part of the resale price." makes me smile. This company will now have to disclose they ask for two books of the title and sell them...making...hummm, I venture to say $100,000 per year???

    I don't think this is a bad rap - it's just keeping people honest. ;-)

  6. Irene, I found out about that company's practice because I usually write where I send books in them. It got put on amazon by someone who bought it at a used book store, then it made its way back to me...

    I like that you guys at ReaderViews donate the books you get to charities. That's cool, but especially the kids' books - that promotes reading at an early age to kids who might not otherwise get books.

    **No compensation was given for the comment about RV...yeah, I could get into doing this disclosure stuff.