Book Blogging 101: What is the FTC, and Why Should You Care?

June 1, 2017     The Bluestocking Bookworm     Book Blogging 101

Welcome to Book Blogging 101! Every Wednesday, I will be posting something new about being a beginner in this lovely world of book blogging.

Sorry about the one-day-lateness of this post. I was having some computer trouble.

This week’s topic is about the FTC, and what you need to know about it as a book blogger. Please note that I am not a lawyer and that this post does not constitute legal advice in any way. I am simply stating my interpretation of the guidelines, and nothing more.

What is the FTC

The FTC is the Federal Trade Commission, an independent arm of the US Government created for consumer protection and business transparency. We as book bloggers, are a part of the marketing plan for books, and as such, some of the FTC Act applies to us.

OK, so what does that mean for me?

The FTC website has a really thorough Q&A about endorsements. This is what we are doing as book bloggers. We are endorsing a product, and as we have been given the product for free, it is important to disclose that to our followers. While the FTC only has jurisdiction in the USA, and they aren’t actively monitoring bloggers, the FTC disclosure is a good practice to follow. It keeps the US-based publishers safe, and it keeps you accountable and showing integrity.

Wait, wait, wait. What the heck is an FTC disclosure?

This is the bit at the top of many blog posts and reviews that says “I received this book for free from [Publisher/Author Name] via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.” And that is all it needs to say! You need to clearly state that you received the book for free in return for your opinion on it.

Also know that the placement of your disclosure is important! The disclosure must be at the top of any and all applicable review posts. You can’t just put it in a footer or on a policy page, because that is confusing.

So, what about books I buy for myself?

Nope! You don’t need to disclose anything about books that you buy. You also don’t need to disclose anything about books from the library, but it might help boost your local library’s use if people know they have awesome books!

Anything else I need to know?

If you have any sort of affiliate links, you need to disclose that you will receive a commission from those purchases. Simple wording is fine.

I really hope this topic helped you out today! Did you learn something new about the FTC? Once again, this post is not any sort of legal advice, but simply my interpretation and opinions. Please feel free to comment below with any questions or just to say hi.

Stay bookish, lovelies!


Talk bookish to me!