Tuesday, October 6, 2009


OK I saw this yesterday, but really wasn't going to post or say anything about it until reading more about it, which I still haven't done. But seeing as a few others have ran across this as well I figured I would post as well and vent!!

FTC: Bloggers must disclose freebies or payments; testimonials to reflect typical results DEBORAH YAO, EMILY FREDRIX AP Business Writers10:39 PM EDT, October 5, 2009

"Starting December 1, the FTC will require disclosure from all bloggers whom they deem as being compensated for their reviews on any products. Meaning, if you review something for free and retain the product, you must disclose it or risk a mighty fine. Upward of $11,000. But you could always return it . . . That means book bloggers, people. Keeping a review copy is considered compensation and must be disclosed. Fun stuff, right?

This article goes into more detail thanks to an interview with a member of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.Don't say I didn't warn you! While they say the FTC will target the companies as opposed to the bloggers for fines (considering the sheer number of us), it still means we have to amend how we run things with our blogs. And our taxes. Remember, if review copies are considered compensation, they have a monetary value and need to be reported on taxes. OMG, fun!Aside from the ultimate level of suck this is at, I wouldn't get too worked up for it but at the same time I wouldn't brush it off, either. It's best to keep up to speed on things like this because the last thing you want is the FTC and the IRS on your ass. "
copied from Book Junkie's blog.

Below is a snippet from the article mentioned above:

"In the case of books, Cleland saw no problem with a blogger receiving a book, provided there wasn’t a linked advertisement to buy the book and that the blogger did not keep the book after he had finished reviewing it. Keeping the book would, from Cleland’s standpoint, count as “compensation” and require a disclosure. "

As a book blogger I am really having a WTF moment. OK first off I have only been approached once by an author to review a book, said book was sent to me in PDF. So now I am suppose to figure out what the PDF version of the book is worth and have my husband claim that on my taxes, ummm I don't think so. Every other review I have done have been on books that I have either purchased, borrowed from friend or library, or won from contests. So am I now suppose to make sure that I am noting on every review that I write how I came across these books and am I suppose to also claim the books that I have won from contests on my taxes if I write a review for them? I have been pretty fortunate in the past months with my winnings and could not tell you every single title that I have won. And because of my recent computer problems don't have most of my ebooks--- if they weren't transferred to my Kindle, I have most likely lost them.

I am really starting to hate all this bureaucratic BS!! Seriously how much money do you think these authors and publishers are receiving from our little reviews... isn't it just word of mouth. I know I managed to sell at least 20 books for JR Ward just by spreading the news on her BDB series to my family. Is gov't going to fine me for being a walking advertisement for the books that I love. I don't think that it is compensation that the authors are offering us but a big Thanks for being loyal fans and continuing to spread the word and keep the love of reading alive!!! I seriously think that there are bigger fish in the pond that the FTC needs to be worried about.


Lea said...

Say what? So the government is going to punish the publishing industry more by instituting punative measures on book bloggers for reviewing ARC's and stuff.

So by not keeping the book, does that mean if we throw it in recycle it's okay?

Wow Heather, thanks for the post, you really have to shake your head. :(

Well, we will see how the publishing houses and authors react to this. And, I don't know how they could possibly police something like this anyway.


I Heart Book Gossip said...

Are we allowed to ask for ARCS and are we allowed to enter contests?

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