In accordance with recently-issued FTC guidance, and lest anyone think my good graces as a reviewer can be bought with a free book, I have added a disclaimer to my book reviews where a free copy of the book or any other sort of remuneration (as if) was received from the author or publisher.
It seems silly to me, as I am the smallest of small potatoes, and my influence on anyone who happens to read my reviews is certainly infinitesimal, but the federal government seems convinced that bloggers have a supernatural power to cloud the minds of mortal men and that the disclosure of the staggering amounts of swag people throw at us will snap the public out of its zombielike trance and reveal us as just another sinister tool of the vast capitalist conspiracy to make people buy junk they don’t need.
Yeah, I know…little media should play by the same rules as big media, ethics are for everybody, full transparency is a good thing, etc, etc.
What I don’t need is some overzealous civil servant or greedy opportunist coming after me with a fine or lawsuit. Here’s a copy of the disclaimer:
>>This review is based upon a copy of the book provided to me free of charge by the publisher, a courtesy I appreciate, but which does not guarantee my recommendation. I strive to evaluate every book I review purely on its intrinsic merits.<<
If the disclaimer is not present, you can safely assume that I bought the book or story with my own hard-earned cash, found it at the library, or read an electronic copy freely and legally available on the internet.
That is all. We now return to our regularly-scheduled programming.