Tuesday, February 3, 2015

FTC rules

So lately I noticed that a lot of blogs have been adding disclaimers and statements citing the FTC rules about disclosing whether or not the book you've reviewed on your book blog was an ARC or another otherwise free copy or not. I wondered why this was suddenly so common and I did some Googling about it and frankly it made me nervous. After more than 4 years, I don't want to lose this blog to something as stupid as neglecting to mention that a book I review is from NetGalley, as opposed to my large TBR pile, the library, the bookstore, a loan from a friend, or whatever else. And I don't do ads or affiliate links or ads on my blog, mainly because I don't want to clutter up the joint with a lot of ads, links, and other stuff.

The FTC has apparently stated that a single post like this is not considered sufficient for a statement - you have to specify in each post whether or not the book was a freebie in exchange for a review. I think this is meant to apply to "sponsored" posts, but I don't really have those. In 4+ years of blogging here, I have only been contacted 3 times by an author directly, offering an electronic copy of a book in exchange for an honest review (and I gave the books my honest reviews in exchange). Any other "freebies" I get are books I have requested through NetGalley, which are also given to me, for a limited time, in exchange for an honest review - so I am free to dislike them (and I have, in fact, done so). The FTC seems hung up on the idea that someone like me is somehow getting "paid" to review books on this blog, and/or that my reviews are influenced by outside sources. Nothing could be further from the truth. I do get free access to electronic versions of books from time to time, but I don't even get to keep them indefinitely - they expire after a certain amount of time, and my opinions are entirely my own.

TL/DR: I guess what I am trying to say is I blog for free, mainly just to keep track of the books I read and to have fun with reading challenges. I do not "get paid" for doing anything at all on this blog. Nobody "sponsors" any of my blog posts. I do read free books through NetGalley, but I also read free books from the library, and both types of free book are impermanent, so although they cost me nothing, I don't get to keep them forever either. All of my reviews are my honest opinions of the books I read - my opinions are purely that - they are my opinions.

I don't want to lose this blog, so I guess when I do read NetGalley books, from now on I will begin my review post with some kind of canned disclaimer/statement. It's annoying but oh well. I just wanted to explain to readers why you will start to see these mentions pop up in my posts. I apologize in advance for how stupid it will look.

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