With apologies to Dire Straits for the title, I want to talk about free books today. Recently, the FTC announced new rules for bloggers who are given free items in exchange for advertising. While the biggest concern is over bloggers being paid to shill for corporations and not disclosing the remunerative relationship, it is something that the reviewers here at FanLit have to keep in mind because we get lots of free books.
Literature bloggers are now part of the official publicity push for publishing houses. We are frequently sent ARCs, advanced review copies or advanced reading copies, so that we can have our reviews out either before or on the day the book is officially released. Positive reviews are even quoted by the publishers in their advertising material. However, we are not paid in any way for our opinions. We do get to keep the ARCs though.
While I can officially say that I’ve never had my opinion swayed by whether or not the book was a free copy, it is an interesting issue that I thought I should bring up with you, my dear readers. Does it change your assessment of our site that we are getting books for free to review? Would you want us to disclose in the review if that particular book was an ARC?
Oh, and SB Frank said that since I’m posting on the blog I have to give away a book (one of those ARCs) for the day, too. So, if you comment on this thread, we’ll enter your name into a drawing to win a copy of Nancy Holzner‘s Deadtown, which will be published on December 29, 2009. You’ll get a spiffy new copy close to publication day. And check back often because we’ll be giving away books on a regular basis. This drawing will last 24 hours from time of posting and will end at noon eastern on Friday, October 23rd. Check back to see if you’ve won!