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Marvelous Monday with Lexi

It's supposed to be spring but with the cold temperatures and some snow in my neck of the woods, you'd think it was still winter.

Changes to Terms of Service

I changed the Terms of Service to include a clause about disclosing when I received a free copy of a book to review. If you've been following me for a year or two, you know how I feel about it but I thought it would be prudent to put it in writing.

I decided to do this because I wanted to be very clear about On My Kindle Book  Reviews' compliance regarding disclosure; regardless of how authors, other bloggers, and my followers interpret the law.

My decision to clarify this was precipitated by a discussion in a book blogging group that I participated in. One of our less experienced members brought up the subject of disclosures in the group, specifically the wording and placement of disclosures. A lot of us who also post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads provided her with examples of how we disclose. However, a few people tried to tell her that she wasn't "required" to disclose and that I was being "misleading."

When the clause for endorsements and disclosures in the FTC Act first came out, I followed the law because I wasn't sure if I needed to or not. Shortly thereafter, the FTC started publishing guides to help people and businesses to comply with the law and I discovered that On My Kindle Book Reviews, along with other book bloggers, were required by law to comply. It didn't take very long for Goodreads, Amazon, or Google to change their policies regarding how people who receive free products should disclose this fact in their reviews or endorsements.

I presented the information to the group and the people who asserted that it wasn't "required" by law argued that they had "state immunity" from the law. One member of the group told me that she had consulted a lawyer and the lawyer told her that that state law supersedes Federal law in this case. I replied that even if this was the case, that most blogging platforms, hosts, Amazon, and Goodreads have policies that require these disclosures. The conversation devolved and those who disagreed with me got hateful and became even more disparaging toward me, so I left the group. 

Earlier, I'd reached out to a couple of my blogging mentors from back in the day. They advised me that state law does not supersede Federal law in this instance because of "The Supremacy Clause" in the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately, the response to my inquiries appeared after I left the group and I wasn't able to share that information with them; however, I can share it with you.

To the book bloggers out there who think, "The endorsement laws do not apply to me:"
I support the indie author community. Since it is not in the best interests of indie authors to have reviews of their books taken down because you refuse to disclose, I will continue to encourage the authors and PR agencies I work with to take steps to ensure that bloggers post these disclosures. I will continue to advise our peers against ignoring the law.

You can disparage me and you can try to bully me; however, I'm not backing down because not disclosing is unethical, illegal, and it hurts the community I support.
Yeah, I knew this was happening before I joined the group. I just didn't realize the extent of it, even though the laws regarding endorsements have been enforceable for a while now. If I had known, I would've clarified my stance much, much earlier.

Currently Reading

I managed to get a fair amount of reading done last week. I just wrote a review for ISAN...

ISAN by Mary Ting on Goodreads
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

and I'm about halfway through Raven.

RAVEN by Tim Pearsall on Goodreads
Horror, Thriller, Supernatural, Paranormal

Up Next

GOLDILOCKS LIVES IN LEAMINGTON by Geetanjali Mukherjee on Goodreads   THE GOLD DRAGON CAPER by Phyllis Entis on Goodreads   WINDWALKER by H.G. Chambers on Goodreads

I think I'm at the point where I'm reading more books than what I'm receiving. Hopefully, this trend will continue so I can read and review the books I've been meaning to get to on my TBR list.

Lexi and I would like to wish you a Marvelous Monday and a stellar week!

#lexithemaltese1, On My Kindle Book Reviews, Instagram