FTC ruling and book reviews

Over the past year, I have written book reviews for Story Circle Network. Reviews are published on the SCN website; SCN posts them to Amazon. I also posted them on Whiskertips as well as on NaBloPoMo.

Recently the Federal Trade Commission published a ruling concerning reviewers who receive free copies of books.  I haven’t read the ruling but commentary I have read suggests that bloggers must acknowledge receipt of free materials when a review is published or face penalties.  There’s a suggestion that reviewers should not keep the books after reviews are published.

So in the spirit of full disclosure–I have received several “free” books from SCN for the purpose of review. I’ve kept some and donated some to nonprofit organizations. Because I underline and write in the margins as I read, the books aren’t always in good condition when I finish with them.

Whiskertips is not a book review blog. It’s not a blog about anything in particular. I write reviews because I want to share books I’ve read with others who might enjoy reading them. Reviewing is also makes me a better reader and writer.

I do not write reviews so I can get “free” books. My compensation comes from seeing my words published on the SCN website. Period. I don’t try to “sell” books I don’t like. If I don’t like it, I don’t review it.

Until yesterday, I was unaware that my activities could create a conflict of interest. Now that I know–or until I know–what is acceptable, I have deleted the offending reviews from my blog.

One review–The Autobiography of the Queen–remains online. I bought and paid for that book myself.

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