So, I’m a strong believer in word of mouth. Many of the gems I’ve come across, be it books, music, television shows or movies, have all been at the suggestion of someone who’s opinion I value, who had insightful things to share. I do not take these suggestions lightly. Without them, I would never have found the Twilight Series. Or started listening to Paramore. Or rented the new BBC version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, only to fall in love with Captain Wentworth (he’s impossibly beautiful, but I digress).
Now, it seems, the government, in particular, the FTC wants to put a stop to these kind of valuable recommendations. I kid you not. Bloggers, beware. As of December 1, 2009, there will be some very strict review policies to follow or you risk being fined upwards of $11k.
For starters, the day of receiving ARCs may be over. Is an advanced copy of a book considered compensation for a review? I suppose my question is, how else is the review supposed to be written? And I suppose we could get the book, read it, and send it back… but that seems like a lot of work and I can see it generating a few headaches for authors and publishers in the future.
I suppose what outrages me the most is that the FTC is missing the big picture. Why not enforce something of substance? Like media piracy? An author friend of mine recently discovered her e-book was being pirated on a website and she’d lost out on thousands of dollars worth of sales. THOUSANDS. Try and put that into perspective. This is a woman with a family, and children, who takes the time to write books so others can enjoy them, and her hard work will never see the true fruits of her labor. But a blogger who gives her good press and reviews her book would be fined? It doesn’t make any sense.
What do you all think? I know many of you readers are also bloggers, are you outraged by these regulations? Do you feel it doesn’t really concern you? Discuss.