As of December 1st, bloggers are going to be required to state in the review that you have been compensated. This means that if you keep the review copy, you must disclose it or risk quite the fine. You are going to have to include this on your taxes, too. Fun stuff, right? So, we are going to have change the way that we run our blogs. You also can't link to Amazon or anywhere that you can buy books. Not even author's websites.
I have a few questions. So, I am going to call the Federal Trade Commission on Monday. To ask them a few questions, so that I will be able to post my reviews right and run my blog in a lawful way and so that my parents' taxes can be filed the right way. So, if you have any questions that you would like me to ask, just leave it in the comments. I will blog about all of the answers. I know that this is a really confusing new law and we need to all stick together and find out, what to do.
Why don't you post the questions you are planning to ask, and that might spark some of your readers to add to or clarify them?ReplyDelete
Excellent idea, Sarah.ReplyDelete
I'm okay with not posting links to Amazon or the author website or anything, but I'm a bit confused about this compensation and taxes thing.
For instance, if I received a novel from a publisher, I reviewed it, and gave it away to a friend, or in a competition, or swapped books with someone, would it still count as compensation? I mean, do I have to send it back to the publisher for it to stop counting as compensation? If I gave it to a friend, would I still have to pay taxes on it?
What about e-books?
What if I sent a reviewer a print out of my book? Is that "compensation"?ReplyDelete
Don't they think that creating restrictive laws like this will have more negative affects than positive, like increasing book pirating?
That's a fantastic idea! I'll be looking forward to seeing what you find out....I can't afford an 11,000.00 fine, that's for sure!ReplyDelete
Ugh, I couldn't believe this when I heard last night, it's completely . . . stupid. I'm looking forward to hear what you find out. Thanks for doing it for us Sarah!ReplyDelete
At Home WIth Books had some interesting links yesterday about this subject. The fact that the FTC wants book bloggers to return books just boggles my mind!ReplyDelete
You can ask them why? What is the point of this headache? What do they have against us? But honestly, I'm with you when is it considered compensation? And how much is it worth, because an ARC isn't the same quality as the finished book, because ARC are usually paperback, so what kind of compensation are we looking at here?ReplyDelete
Steph and Chelsea: It is only considered compensation if the book is kept and a positive review is given. I know that seems a little silly, but they see it as a "reward" for giving that positive review. If you give the book away either to a friend, contest, send it back to the publisher (yes, that is something that they said), etc. then you do not have to worry about it. However, there is the question regarding the ARC since technically it has no monetary value. Plus all the other grey area that they have not discussed.ReplyDelete
Sadly, be aware that this issue also applies to Facebook and Twitter. If you receive something, you must include a disclosure post or tweet.
There are many great articles that are out there for information. But I think that it is too early to worry about since the regulation is still not final. I think as long as we have some sort of disclaimer statement and disclose where the books came from, there shouldn't be anything to worry about.
Sarah, I look forward to seeing your q&a which will hopefully clarify somethings.
*bangs head on desk* Blogging just got complicated. I'm off to find At Home with Books. I'd like to see it myself, show my friends, decide what we wanna do. Why'd they have to bring taxes into it, anyway? I do this for fun, not as a job!!! }:(ReplyDelete
Thanks for the heads up, Sarah, and for offering to post your Q's and A's. =\
um... confused... where on earth did this come from? how did you hear about it? what are we supposed to do?? i don't get it....ReplyDelete
It's so confusing. I still don't get this. I wonder if it applies to me. Apparently I live in Vietnam but I do receive books from US publishers. Could you ask them about it?ReplyDelete
if this is true, I have to say, my blog might be done. I don't want to have to worry about keeping track of all the books I review. Most of mine are bought, but I don't want to take the chance of getting fined. I did this for fun, but now it will turn into a job and paperwork. I won't enjoy it anymore if that is what they are trying to make us do. I will keep waiting to see if they don't go through with it.ReplyDelete
Thanks in advance for taking the time to call them.ReplyDelete
Please ask if:
Does this new guidlines apply to minors? I am sure there are people who are under 21/20/18 who are book reviewers. What does this mean for them?
Does this apply to those living outside USA?
What if the book we received was won from a contest? And we reviewed it?
The tax stuff is speculation right now. Where bloggers think it can lead, but at this moment is not happening. It's only about disclosure. How we have to disclose has not been decided yet. I can't imagine it will be more than simply stating an ARC is from the publisher. (if anyone KNOWS I'm wrong, can you please post a link?)ReplyDelete
AND they FTC has stated this is more about education, they won't fine the first time around. You will get a warning.
Although, I should mention that if you're making a substantial amount of money off the blogs through payment or ads, then YES that should be claimed in your taxes. However, this is nothing new and was not add by the FTC disclosure stuff. That's common IRS/taxes practices.ReplyDelete
So... what happens to things like the Amazon affiliate program?ReplyDelete
Also, I can't remember if I mentioned this to you last night. But ask about video reviews and podcasts. I read somewhere that this doesn't include video/radio media and I was wondering if vlogs/podcasts count as video/radio media. You and I both are involved in vlogging so it would be very good to know.ReplyDelete
Since most paperbacks are under $10, more like $7, then ARCs should be at least half price because they are poor quality and have errors in them. At Strand in NYC, they sell ARCs for $2. So does that mean that we should list them as $2 also?
Here's a good blog with some good questions:ReplyDelete
You might want to ask some of them.
I'm definitely interested in what you find out... what a hassle!!!ReplyDelete
Excellent idea, calling them, Sarah.ReplyDelete
I've linked to this post on my blog.
Ugh, all of this is so confusing. I mean I'm only in 9th grade, so I don't even pay taxes to begin with. Plus, if all of this stuff goes through, I'll probably have to close down my blog, which would just be devastating to me. :(ReplyDelete
I really hope this all can be resolved somehow that us bloggers aren’t really hurt by it.
Whoa, I'm so glad I checked here. I'm so confused. I might actually have to close my blog if this doesn't start making sense, or just stick to library and bought books? What about books you win and review? Ah, this is ridiculous.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for this post, I hope they figure everything out and issue a more concise statement. Ugh, this is crazy.
I might actually schedule a phone call myself....
I can't wait to see what you figure out!