A Letter to Our Reviewers Concerning the FTC

Dear Reviewers,

As you’re probably aware, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently passed new guidelines impacting both traditional and online media, including blogs, podcasts, Twitter, and social networking websites, effective December 1, 2009. Under these new guidelines the review copies we send may be considered compensation, and should you choose to review the book, your review may be considered an endorsement. Therefore, you must disclose to your readers that you received a book gratis from us for the purposes of review.

If you have a review or disclosure policy on your website, then your readers are informed of the situation and you should be in accordance with the FTC guidelines.

If you don’t have a review or disclosure policy on your website, please include a short statement with your review. Here is some suggested wording: “A copy of this book was provided free by the publisher for the purposes of review.”

We understand that this is a new development and the FTC is trying to bring order to a space where there has been some abuse—for example, undisclosed pay-per-post advertising or paid celebrity endorsements. Publishers have a long tradition of sending out free books for review with the belief that the reviewers will express a frank evaluation of the work. That is the spirit in which we send free books to large and small magazines, newspapers, television, and radio as well as to websites, bloggers, podcasters, and twitterers. We don’t seek to influence your opinion, but would like an honest appraisal of the work.

If you are interested in becoming active in the discussion of these new guidelines, you can follow the #HeyFTC hashtag on Twitter, and find more information on our blog HERE.

You can download a copy of the endorsement guidelines HERE.

If you would like to share your opinion with the FTC, write to:
Richard Cleland
Federal Trade Commission
Bureau of Consumer Protection
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20580

Thank you and we hope you enjoy our books!

Sincerely,

Irene Majuk and Alice Northover
AMACOM Publicity Department

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