More Administrivia

“Administrivia” was a term I used to use when I worked for the Federal government. It perfectly described some of the mundane/inane  things we needed to do in the name of productivity.  Lately, I’ve been using it to refer to my efforts at blog maintenance, today, I’m taking it back to its bureaucratic roots.

Yesterday, Galley Cat published an article about the Federal Trade Commission’s revisions to its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials. Jason Boog (author) specifically noted that the rules “urging bloggers who review products, from a book to a video game system, to disclose if they received the product for free when giving an endorsement.”

Like many of you, when the flag was raised earlier this summer, we took a long look at our review process and made a few adjustments.  We also clarified our Review Policy.  Well, as in all things bureaucratic, duplicate and triplicatte are the names of the game. So, we have gone back AGAIN and further clarified our process and policy. Frankly, nothing has changed.

  • We accept for donation children’s and young adult literature. We read every book, we do not guarantee a review.
  • When we finish reading your book, it is given to a non-profit that works with at-risk readers (kids who don’t have books and/or kids struggling with reading).
  • When we ship books to reviewers, we pay for the return shipping JUST to ensure that the books will be given to a nonprofit, not kept for personal use.
  • We identify the source of the book whether it is donated to us, borrowed from the library, or part of our personal collection.
  • We keep detailed records on the receipt and disposition of all books.  Books are shipped in batches, as funds allow.
  • We provide links to affiliate partners for the purpose of offering our visitors easy access to additional information about a book. We do not always recommend a book for purchase and specifically say so in our reviews.
  • We explain that any income from affiliates is plowed back into the organization for the purpose of offsetting operational costs, specifically hosting fees, web-related tools and services, and shipping books to nonprofits (not reviewers).

I have re-reviewed the policies and tweaked them to ensure they are crystal clear … and also offer an email in case someone wants so see our detailed records.  It will be interesting to see what – if any – impact the new guidelines have on industry events where books are given away for the purpose of promoting buzz and generating potential sales.  I have no doubt the conversations will go on for days … and if the kidlitosphere listserv is any example, they will be useful (and sometimes humorous) discussions of things you find useful in answering the “what does this mean for me” question.

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