Friday, October 09, 2009

Review Disclosures

Booksville Disclosure Policies for Book and Product Reviews and Articles
By Alan Eggleston, writer, editor, and bookseller

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now requires that I (and any other blogger and reviewer) disclose any relationship that I have with an author, book publisher, or product manufacturer when I write about their book or product.

Here are the practices by which I write reviews and articles for Booksville and BizBooksPlus:
  • I never accept money or incentives to do a review on a book or product. I read the books, use the products, and write the reviews or articles on my own.
  • I usually pay for the books and products about which I write or review; however, occasionally an author, publisher, or manufacturer may send or offer to send me a book or product to review. I will state that in the article or review; otherwise, you may assume I purchased the book or product with my own money.
  • When I create a link to a book or product in an article or review, I will get paid a commission if you purchase the book or product via my link, which goes through my online bookstore and Amazon or other affiliate store. If the link does not materially benefit me, I will state so. (I also use links for SEO ranking purposes.)
  • When I write a review or mention a book or product in an article, I will give you my unvarnished opinion, regardless of how I got the book or product. I don't write reviews professionally, so it's very likely that I purchased the book or product because I found it interesting, and I am writing about it because I wanted you to know about it. However, it's likely I will tell you what I like about it, and if there are things about it I find strongly disagreeable, I will tell you those, too. No author should assume that if they send me a book that they will receive a winning endorsement -- I won't feel obligated to provide one.
Note that while the FTC now requires these disclosures, I am fully supportive of them. You, as a reader, should know whether a reviewer or writer is being influenced by financial or material interests. The biggest problem for bloggers and other reviewers is knowing how to explain their practices and where to position them. Feel free to give me your feedback on this disclosure either in the comments section or by e-mail.

Thank you!

Alan Eggleston, president
e-Messenger Consulting Corp.
Writer, Editor, SEO, and Bookseller

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