Thursday, October 08, 2009

New FTC Book Reviews Blogger News

So most everyone has heard about the new rules by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). If not, go read it here

My thoughts? Are you kidding me? Seriously? If someone sends me a copy of their book and I read it & like it and post a review, I need to make a note that I was given a free copy? Are you serious? What kind of nonsense is this? Hasn't the best promotions been word of mouth recommendations? If I read something and like it, blog or post about my thoughts of it, that's my business. That's my first amendment right to state my opinion. Doesn't mean anybody has to agree with me. Doesn't mean anybody has to run out and buy a book because I liked it. Just means that's my opinion. ]

Forgive me, but what's next? We must "disclose" to our family & friends if we receive a free book, love it, and verbally recommend it?

Sheesh....

So, what are YOUR thoughts?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you!! It seems like it's beginning to infringe on our privacy. Sure our blogs and websites are public viewing but they are our personal property. What else will this filter down to next?

Robin Caroll said...

Exactly, anonymous. When I post up on my blog about my dog, do I need to put a disclaimer that I got him from our local humane society? It's getting ridiculous.

Sabrina L. Fox said...

It bugs me too. It's like we're not allowed to have any control over anything anymore.

I think it would be different if we worked for some consumer review type site, maybe, but come on. Our blogs are basically opinion based diaries. People who read the blogs come there to see what "we" think. They know what they're getting. Our readers are not stupid people.

Even when we post on Amazon, that's our business too. They're reviews. Opinions. Last time I checked we were still allowed to have opinions, but then, who knows...

Cara Putman said...

It also puts burdens on teh publisher that I wonder if the FTC would put the author in that role when we arrange blog tours, etc. I don't know every day that someone is going to post about a book. So somehow I'd have to police that the blogger posts the right information. And what about if they aren't a blogger but post only on Amazon or CBD? Ack!

Robin Caroll said...

I hear ya, Sabrina. You know, I've always felt like my blog was an online version of what that tv show from the 80s (or was it the 90s) closed with every episode...Doogie Howser, MD. He made a journal entry of what he'd "learned" that episode. That's how I treat my blog. My rants. My raves. My joys. Just sharing a part of what I think/feel with others.

Everyone has an opinion, and to put "regulations" on voicing those is a bit too much "big brotherish" for me.

Robin Caroll said...

Cara, I know, right?

I like hearing certain people's thoughts on books and movies. It has never mattered to me if the person I'm reading their opinion is given a free book or not. I don't think it matters to most people.

Crystal Laine Miller said...

It is just another invasion of our privacy by a government entity and I wonder, as well, if it is Constitutional.

The stiff fines and coming after people who accept a free book smells of regimes of the past. What next? They come in the middle of the night, dragging you out because you LIKED a certain book?

It is disturbing.

Robin Caroll said...

Scary thought, isn't it, Crystal?

Maybe it's just me, but I get a little on the paranoid side when government seems to infringe upon our personal ideals, values, and opinions. Aren't we protected by the 1st amendment? Should I start teaching my children not to have an opinion, or better yet, it's wrong to voice them?

Robin Caroll said...

And here's another question...what about members of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance? How will this affect them?

Pattie said...

I'm in CFBA and I posted a disclaimer on my blog that they send me books to review. I don't know what else to do, because the "create your own legalese" disclaimer sites don't fit me.

I can sort of see why they want to do this, and I don't see why I can't say "thank you to Robin for sending me her book to review" or whatever...but to be forced to do it? What if I forget? What are the consequences? These are the things that would have me, as a reviewer, consider seriously whether or not I want to continue.

Robin Caroll said...

Pattie, that's what I take issue with....being FORCED to write any type of disclaimer. I think it's just wrong, and an infringement on my personal and constitutionally protected rights. But, that's me

Robin Caroll said...

Here's the latest interview/report:
http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/jennifer-vilaga/slipstream/ftc-bloggers-its-not-medium-its-message-0

But still, it isn't the threat of a fine that gets me, it's the infringement on my right to post my opinion about a book without some disclaimer or such!

Pam Meyers said...

One thing I noticed on CFBA is that Bonnie moved the Amazon link to the side bar and told the reviewers to not put it in the body of the review anymore. Even so I think some things are going to have to be fleshed out. I don't do as many reviews for them as I used to, but other than the disclaimer I don't know what else I can do.

Also no more drawing names to win a free book. Just pick one, but unless someone leaves a comment how can I pick someone who read the review? Do I just pick out a friend and send them the book? Huh?

Pam Meyers said...

One thing I noticed on CFBA is that Bonnie moved the Amazon link to the side bar and told the reviewers to not put it in the body of the review anymore. Even so I think some things are going to have to be fleshed out. I don't do as many reviews for them as I used to, but other than the disclaimer I don't know what else I can do.

Also no more drawing names to win a free book. Just pick one, but unless someone leaves a comment how can I pick someone who read the review? Do I just pick out a friend and send them the book? Huh?

Pam Meyers said...

LOL, I didn't mean to post twice. I needed to sign in before I could post and then I got two!

Anonymous said...

Well, yes, but if you look at the big picture, some people are being paid to give only good reviews of items. The FTC is trying to protect consumers from being taken in by people who received money, products, gifts, etc in exchange for favorable reviews of products that are utter crap.

Books, music, movies, etc really should have been left out of there simply because those are subjective - what I like, you might very well hate.

But dragging the First Amendment into it is ludicrous. This is not censorship. They are not saying you can't post the review or say what you want to about the book. They are merely saying that you need to mention it if you got a copy of the book for free. Like one or two sentences saying "I was sent this book by the author/publisher for free so that I could review it" is really going to kill you.