Saturday, November 14, 2009

Since now the FTC requires all bloggers to disclose whether they received any payment or perks of any kind for reviewing products, this is my disclosure/disclaimer to apply to all of my previous reviews on this blog.

No one ever paid me to review anything on this blog. No one ever gave me anything for the explicit purpose of reviewing it. True, I did not buy everything I reviewed--often, I borrowed things from libraries and from friends, none of whom had anything to gain from a positive review of the items. Anything I received as a gift--be it a book, DVD, food, drink, or whatever--came as a gift from a friend or family member, probably for my birthday or for Christmas. They gave it to me because they loved me and wanted me to have it. If I really liked it, I reviewed it on my blog so other people would also see that it was cool. I have never received any "freebees" as bribes for reviewing anything. Yes, even my Jones Soda reviews of the past were done without any kind of compensation whatsoever, other than getting to drink the soda (as much a punishment as a reward with some of those flavors). Those were Christmas gifts from a friend unconnected to Jones in any way.

The only reviews on this blog that I have a truly personal stake in are the ones related to Crossed Genres magazine. They paid me a flat fee of $10 for my short story "Stay," which was published in Issue 12. I received a 25% discount on the print copies I purchased. Since the cost of two print copies, even with a 25% discount, exceeds $10, I have already paid Crossed Genres more money than I have earned from them. Of course, I have the enormous benefit of having my story published. But they did NOT pay or even ask me to post anything to my blog. I genuinely like their publication. And I want everyone to read my story.

I will try to remember to include some kind disclosure every time I review something in the future, but if I miss a post, consider this the default: I review things because I want to. No one bought my review.

If I ever do get any kind of compensation or freebee, I will say so. But I really don't want to get into the business of professional reviews. I did have one offer a few weeks ago--someone offered me a complimentary copy of some software if I would review it. I refused, because I didn't know the person and I had no particular use for that type of software. I never got the software, never did a review, and promptly forgot what it was even called and what it was supposed to do.

So there you have it. I am a fan and not a professional reviewer.

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