9 comments on “Armchair BEA – Ethics in Blogging

  1. I think there’s definitely psychological stuff that goes on in my noggin when writing reviews. If a book was free through netgalley, I’m likely to subconsciously be less hard on it because, hey. Free to me, right? At the very least I don’t have the added heat of buyer’s remorse to fuel a less than stellar review. That’s probably why the FTC is all about the disclosure. The government knows more about our brains than we do… And they’re probably hiding aliens. I’m just saying.

    • FTC guidelines are just frustrating because I’m not actually trying to get anyone to buy anything. If my review encourages you to read a book, great. If, to you, reading a book means spending money, so be it. But that’s on you, not on me. Not to say I don’t want to disclose the information if it’s relevant to my readers, but all the minutiae about when and where and what I need to say is just overwhelming for (what feels like) no good reason.

  2. This was a well-written post and I thought you made some great points. I agree the FTC guidelines are a bit troublesome to figure out. You bring up some thought provoking points about bias. Well done.

    LLM – ABookGeek

    • I honestly haven’t given them too much thought because I feel like they don’t apply to my tiny blog… but I know they wouldn’t consider that to be the case. Thanks for reading!

  3. When I worked at the bookstore we received tons of ARCs. They were given to the store so that the employees and/or managers would have some real time with the book before it came out. There were no expectations on how we’d react, although there’d be a lot of hope.

    We were not allowed to sell the books but that was pretty much it. We never had to credit the publisher for giving us the books and we didn’t. We weren’t under any obligation to read the books but someone usually would. No one came behind us requiring any verification and our customers never even gave it a thought–if they even knew.

    The same went for all the music we received, too.

    It sounds like some folks in the FTC are maybe getting a wee bit antsy about the Internet and disclosure. I can see you having to bear it all if there’s a quid pro quo and there may very well be some bloggers who are managing to make those types of deals. If so, then they should be upfront. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s that big an issue–but maybe times have changed.

    My having an ARC has absolutely no impact on whether I review pro or con. It’s about my reaction to the content of the book. (shrug)

    • Which is so funny because you actually WERE trying to sell books. Not for personal gain, but still more aggressive than what I’m doing here, which is really just sharing my thoughts. Thanks for commenting!

    • Yeah. I feel like it all comes back to being honest, which I do… but I know I’m probably not following all the nitty gritty details.

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