After my post regarding the new FTC rules for bloggers I received emails and blog links concerning how book bloggers should post book reviews. From what I received I believe that some book bloggers still do not understand the ethical complications behind the issue and how to post a book review.
Let's talk about the ethical issue here...
1. The Opportunity to Gain a Profit
I've been a book blogger for five years, who have received at least ten books a month. I still have most of those books save the ones I give away on the blog or to my church library, my hospital, and my other book charities. For the past two years I've housed those books at Public Storage.That's how many books I have.
If I wanted to open a used bookstore I could. But I'm not a bookstore owner, I'm a reviewer. Irregardless I have the resources to start a bookstore and here's the rub. If I were to open up a store, that housed all the books I reviewed my reviews would become advertisements for the books, not a review.
2. The Opportunity to Lose Credibility with Your Subscribers
That reality isn't the purpose for my blog. Christian Fiction Blog's purpose is to connect Good books to good readers, not sell the books I have in Public Storage to my readers. If I want the respect of my subscribers(mainly bookclubs and book buyers,) who have been selecting books because of my blog, then I want them to rest assured that my reviews hold no monetary gain for me. There is no bias in my review. The reviews are pure.
3. The Opportunity to Legitmize your Blog with Full Disclosure
This week I will step through this topic in more details. My goal is to show you how to separate your review blog from your endorsements and how to monetize your blog ethically.
If you look at my blog (Christian Fiction Blog) you will notice I have different types of posts:
- writing life
Then the books that I review with a full review are books I've received for the purpose of a review. There is a deadline for the book review and it is understood that I will post any rated book. One thing that can bring your book blog credibility is to post all book reviews good or bad. It is your prerogative, but your review blog carries more weight when your readers can also see what you do not favor, buttressed with a balanced reason. Moreover, it shows the publishing industry that your blog isn't just an endorsement, but a review.
These reviews have no links to purchase outside of a link to the author or publishing house website if provided.
I have used this policy since I began the blog. Yet, my blog is syndicated and monetized. This week we will talk about monetizing your blog without throwing up red flags to the FTC.
Please leave your thoughts in comments or tweet about them and tweet this post, so that I can respond to you on Twitter or Facebook.
Want to make your blog better? Get Problogger. Click here to view more details