The great myth of the digital age was that once we got rid of those expensive printing presses there would be no barriers to entry and costs would come down. But guess what? It costs a lot of money to build a system like Amazon's. An even bigger barrier to entry is brainpower. You need armies of smart engineers to build and run these online stores. There simply aren't enough of these brainiacs to go around.
-Don't iTune Us by Daniel Lyons for Newsweek
This weekend chatterbox question comes from a lot of chatter in the blogosphere regarding the future of monetized blogging. Amazon. com and the state of North Carolina are at a crossroads now that NC wants to tack on a sales tax for any items sold in Amazon affiliate blogs that have NC mailing address. Amazon is threatening to drop NC from participating in the affiliate program.
North Carolina is the latest state to go after the low-hanging of e-tail taxation. Facing a budgetary gap in the billions, North Carolina is hoping to pass a bill that would force out-of-state Internet retailers such as Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) to charge and collect sales tax on orders originating in the state...
North Carolina is arguing that the Amazon Associates program -- through which the leading online retailer pays commissions to website and blog operators for sales arising from their direct referrals -- gives the company a physical presence in the states where those operators live.
Amazon is fighting back. It's threatening to eliminate relationships with all of its affiliates residing in North Carolina before it has to begin adding 4.5% in sales tax to orders placed in that state. The tax is not just a hassle for Amazon; it would put the company at a pricing disadvantage to rival online merchants who don't run affiliate programs.
Who's winning this debate? And for product review bloggers- which includes book review bloggers who are also Amazon associates, how will it affect them?
so according to this post full disclosure is imperative to blog advertorials, endorsements or paid reviews. However for the novice blogger or member of a book blog alliance will they know what is required of them?
The Internet is becoming so rife with paid blogging that the Federal Trade Commission, which guards against false advertisements, is examining whether it should police bloggers. As it updates nearly 30-year-old advertising guidelines, the FTC is proposing that bloggers, and online marketers and companies that compensate them, be held liable for misleading claims. A decision from the commission is expected this summer. If it approves the guidelines, violations could spur investigations that in turn force bloggers to discontinue deceptive practices. If the deceptions don't stop, the FTC may require companies to repay customers.
-Paid to Pitch: Product Reviews By Bloggers Draw Scrutiny by MIGUEL BUSTILLO and ANN ZIMMERMAN for the Wall Street Journal
This year I limited my book reviews on Christian Fiction blog for seven reasons:
- conflict of interest. I reviewed the book for a magazine and must honor that contract.
- conflict of interest. The book is being considered for a book awards.
- conflict of interest. The author, publishing house or lit agency & I have a business relationship.
- the book doesn't fit the blog.
- the author, publishing house or publicist did not ask to be reviewed
- the author, publishing house or publicist never sent the book to be reviewed
- The publishing house, author or publicist demanded too much for a review here.
Christian Fiction Blog is monetized, because I am a BlogHer reviewer. Those cute ads in my sidebar pay for a spot on the blog. Perhaps I'm old school I think ads are reserved for the sidebar or at the end of a blog post and very separate for you to see the difference.
Although I have been offered opportunities to review a book for payment, I have yet to take that offer. Which is sort of good, afterall I'm a cheap blog date. Offer me a good book to review, understand that I may not review it, and wait to hear from me.
What is a surefire way not get a book reviewed here is to give me conditions on how and what to post. I don't charge to give book reviews, because personally I think it's unethical and also because I want to make a clear distinction between this blog and DGP. But most importantly, I want readers of Christian Fiction Blog to trust my reviews. There are no ulterior motives tied to the review. I spotlight what I like. I review what befits the blog. I don't always give a great rating. I have no problem giving a book a poor rating, but I always find a good quality in the story. I do review books based on story and packaging. I read the entire book, starting at the last chapter and then going back to Chapter one. I don't read prologues or epilogues. I don't. And that's what you can trust about a review from me.
Now back to the Weekend Chatterbox question:
With all these pending new rules, regulations and changes concerning blogging do you think any of them will make life better for you or worse?