Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Big Brother is watching

This is probably going to get a lot of attention in the next couple of months and I wanted to, briefly, touch on it here at Not Enough Books.

Starting Dec. 1, 2009 Big Brother ( aka the FTC) will be requiring bloggers to put a disclosure in their post whenever they review a product. We will have to tell our readers if we received the product for free and if so, who we received it from. At least, that's it in a nutshell. I read through most of the document, skimmed it really, and encourage others to do so. It can be found on the FTC website, here's a direct link to it. I also did go to the FTC GOV website and found it myself just to make sure it was a real document.

So what does that means for my readers. I admit, and have done so in the past, that I receive books to review. I love receiving free books, gives me more money to spend at the scrapbooking store. haha! However, I rarely mention in my reviews if the book was one I was asked to review or if I bought it myself. My reasoning was that I didn't want people to think I gave a book a positive review just because I received it for free. I'm not saying you would think that, but I didn't even want to give you the option to think that. In the past I have given review books negative reviews, I've even quit on some and marked them as DNF. I've also reviewed several that I loved and encourage others to read. Rest assured, my reviews are honest regardless of how the book happened to get into my greedy little hands. Oh...but on to what that means for you. That means that starting now, because I want to be in the habit, I'll be disclosing if a book was given to me for free to review or if I bought it myself (or I guess was given a copy or rented the audio book from the library..whatever). It won't be a big change, probably just 1 sentence in my review.

Now...what do I think of this? I personally can understand why they are doing this. I don't think it's very relevant to those of us who receive books to review because the cost is very low. I can see them wanting to crack down on those getting free trips and items that cost a butt load of money. But...even though I can understand it, I still think it sucks and think they should stay out of my business. I don't think these laws/rules/whatever should go into effect, but I don't think they asked my opinion did though?


Literary Feline said...

Kris, I sometimes disclose where a book came from, more so now than before because I knew this was coming. I have mixed feelings about it. I kind of understand the purpose behind it, but I don't agree with what it's implying.

Like you, I don't write positive reviews just because I received a free book. I believe in being honest. I think most book bloggers do too and so this new law won't impact my respect for and opinion of book bloggers at all.

Are you planning to go back and write a disclosure on your old reviews? I've been wondering if we are expected to.

Kris said...

Literary Feline - I'm not planning to put the disclosure on any of my older posts. Since it goes into effect on Dec 1, it should only apply to posts that date and forward.

Literary Feline said...

That's what I was thinking too, but I wasn't sure. Thanks. :-)