6 October 2009

"Book Blogging Isn’t What It Used To Be…"

The Federal Trade Commission is taking a stand on Book Reviewers and Bloggers with “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials”. And it’s pretty detailed and confusing.

According to Publisher’s Lunch:

“The main point of essence for book publishers, and book bloggers and online reviewers, is the determination that “bloggers may be subject to different disclosure requirements than reviewers in traditional media.” They judge that “a blogger’s statement on his personal blog or elsewhere (e.g., the site of an online retailer of electronic products) qualifies as an ‘endorsement,’ — i.e., as a sponsored message — due to…the value of the merchandise he has received and has been asked to review by that advertiser,” and that such a connection must be disclosed.

In other words, bloggers–as well as “reviewers” posting to sites like Amazon and LibraryThing, or receiving books through programs ranging from Bzz Agent to Nelson’s 10,000-blogger initiative–who are writing about a book after receiving a free reviewer’s copy are expected to disclose that information. And publishers who “sponsor these endorsers (either by providing free products – directly or through a middleman – or otherwise) in order to generate positive word of mouth and spur sales should establish procedures to advise endorsers that they should make the necessary disclosures and to monitor the conduct of those endorsers.”


I haven’t read through the 80 page document, but apparently even if you “tweet” about it, you have to say if you’ve been given the book freely. Now if you get the book free and then give it away that’s not a lasting compensation. However, if you link as a affiliate (i.e. amazon) when you’ve gotten the book free, you could be fined. Here on Words of a Writer, I haven’t endorsed books in a while, but on YA Fresh I do so a lot and now I’ll have to say whether I’ve been mailed a book or purchased it myself. I’ll certainly only be linking as an affiliate to my own books from now on.

You can download the document here. These new guidelines will be put into effect on December 1, 2009. Read more updates on the galley cat at the following links:

FTC Blogger Rules Carry $11K Fines

Book Publishers, Bloggers, & the FTC Guidelines

Who Gets to Be an Online Book Reviewer?

An Open Letter to the FTC

Mind boggling.

10 October 2008

"Headline: Nora back to straight romance"

Ms. Nora Roberts is kicking off a new series (of straight romance) books scheduled for publication in 2009 with Berkley Books reported by the Galleycat:

Megabestselling author Nora Roberts came up to New York earlier this week, and she and Berkley Books threw a tea party in the penthouse suite of her hotel to lay the promotional groundwork for “The Bride Quartet,” a series of novels about the women who run a Connecticut wedding planning agency that kicks off with Vision in White next May. “I wanted to go back and do some straight romance, which I haven’t done in a long time,” explained Roberts(…) She’d had so much fun being involved in the preparations for her youngest son’s wedding that the concept came to her pretty quickly, and soon she’d sketched out the four characters— the photographer, the florist, the pastry chef, and the event planner—and chose the Connecticut setting, rather than some place close to her home in Maryland, partly for the huge estates but also because it made it much easier for the women to run into New York City.

I have to admit I’m a fan of her Romantic Suspense novels, but will definitely try out her new Romance series.


11 September 2008

"Headline: Reality Star to be YA Author"

Do you know who this young woman is?

If you don’t, you just don’t follow celebrity gossip much or stay far away from MTV land. This is Lauren Conrad from the hit reality shows The Hills and previously Laguna Beach.

She’s a TV star, a fashion designer, and now a soon to be young adult author. Lauren’s snagged a 3-book deal with HarperCollins.

From People mag:

“…the publisher tells PEOPLE. The books – the first of which is scheduled to hit shelves in the summer of 2009 – will be loosely inspired by Conrad’s own experience going from an ordinary teen to a reality TV star.

‘It’s definitely influenced by my own life,’ Conrad tells PEOPLE. ‘The books are about a girl who moves to L.A. and stars in a reality show, so obviously there are some similarities.'”

I’m sure she’ll sell a good load of books. I do wonder why she didn’t go with the MTV line…but it might have been a case of the best deal.

11 June 2008

Headline: Memoir coming from Madonna’s brother

S&S has had a mystery celeb memoir under wraps with a printing of 350,000. It was rumored to be Madonna’s, and now it has come to light that is indeed about Madonna but written by her brother.

The mystery is solved: Madonna’s brother, Christopher Ciccone, is writing a memoir about his sister, to be released in mid-July by an imprint of Simon & Schuster, the publisher told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The imprint, Simon Spotlight Entertainment, had been promoting a celebrity memoir for July, without identifying the author or contents. The book will have a first printing of 350,000. Financial details were not disclosed.

[…] Ciccone will work with Wendy Leigh, who has written biographies of Liza Minnelli and Grace Kelly and a highly critical book about Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Ciccone, 47, has worked often with his older sister, designing and directing her “Girlie Show” tour in 1993 and serving as artistic director of her 1991 documentary, “Madonna: Truth or Dare.” But according to Madonna’s spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, they are no longer close.

Madonna, who turns 50 this summer, is among the most popular recording artists in history, with such hits as “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl” and “Vogue.”

Rosenberg had no initial comment on the book, but told the AP that “Madonna has not cooperated with any biography about herself.”

So this has got to hurt, having a memoir focused on you by your brother without your consent. Yikes. And if you’ve followed Madonna’s career in the media you know she’s had an interesting one.

9 April 2008

"America’s Favorite Book"

On Friday, I participated in a Young Author Mentoring program (I’ll blog about that soon). Unfortunately, with all the handshakes and in a room full of people, I caught the flu with cold. I’ve been sick since Saturday, and hoping to make a full recovery soon. argh.

For now, I thought I’d share this article: America’s favorite book poll

So What is America’s fave book (out of 2,513 adults, anyway)…

When it comes to literary pursuits in the United States most people agree on at least one thing — the most popular book is the Bible, according to a new survey.

While the Bible is number one among each of the different demographic groups, there is a large difference in the number two favorite book,” Harris said in a statement announcing the results.

Men chose J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and women selected Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” as their second-favorite book, according to the online poll.

But the second choice for 18- to 31-year-olds was J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, while 32- to 43-year-olds named Stephen King’s “The Stand” and Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons.”

Picks for second-favorite book also varied according to region. “Gone With the Wind” was number two in the southern and midwestern United States while easterners chose “The Lord of the Rings” and westerners opted for “The Stand.”

Whites and Hispanics picked “Gone With the Wind” as their second-favorite book after the Bible, while African-Americans preferred “Angels and Demons.”

“Finally, they may not agree on candidates, but one thing that brings together partisans is their favorite book. For Republicans, Democrats and Independents, the top two books are the same — the Bible followed by “Gone With the Wind.”

Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown, “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand and “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger rounded out the top 10 favorites.