Friday, May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013 - Armchair BEA – Ethics Discussion

Ethics In Blogging, the discussion

We're getting back into discussion mode in a big way today with the topic of "Ethics in Blogging." What guidelines must we follow as bloggers--attribution, disclosure, honesty? Have you had an experience with plagiarism (victim or perpetrator?), and how did you deal with it? Do you have recommendations to new bloggers about how to ensure that credit is given to whom/where it's due? 

These comments are mine and mine alone. If I offend anyone, I truly apologize before hand. 

Bloggers are an extraordinary bunch. We read, we write reviews, we interview authors, we have guest posts and giveaways, we participate in several fabulously popular Meme's like Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting On Friday, and Feature & Follow Friday to name a few. We are also a resilient bunch when it comes to change and what is expected from us. 

FTC's new outlay:

Let's take the current nonsense with the FTC's new disclosure guidelines that has a bunch of us confused and thankful that people like Rachel from Parajunkee was at BEA this week to give us an overview of what is expected from us. The FTC truly wants to know what our relationship is with authors, publishers, and if we are getting paid to participate in blog tours, writing reviews for compensation sake, or are the authors friends of ours. Personally, I think the FTC and the government itself asks for way too much personal information that they don't necessarily need, BUT, I'll go along with the idea of posting a warning saying that MOST of everything I've read has come directly from the publishers through NetGalley or Edelweiss with the rest coming directly via borrowing them from my local library which never asks for compensation, and probably never will. I will honor that agreement by saying that I HAVE NEVER BEEN PAID TO READ OR WRITE REVIEWS. Would I like to in the future? Absolutely!


Unless we've been living under a rock for the past year, or since last years Armchair BEA, there has been a bunch of silly nonsense where bloggers have chosen to steal comments, reviews, and ideas from others. This is just elementary that you JUST don't this EVER! If you can't come up with your ideas, then please don't try to post a stolen review! Plagiarism gives bloggers not only a bad name with the rest of the blogging world, but publishers become wary about working with you again in the future. 

ARC's provided by Publishers SHOULD NEVER BE SOLD!

Dearest, adorable Bloggers, I come to you today, especially the newbies, to say please don't try to sell your ARC's via Ebay or anywhere else. It absolutely gives the community a black eye and it's embarrassing. If you want to give them away to your friends, family, or libraries, or hell, just pass them to another blogger who really wants it since they most likely were DENIED by the publisher, then do so. This should be part and partial of the blogger initiative to inform those who still do sell ARC's to cease and desist before we ALL lose out

Giving Credit where Credit is absolutely due!

This sounds simplistic in nature but you would be absolutely surprised. Give credit to the authors, publishers, graphic creators, place where you "borrowed" the image from for your reviews, and above all don't try to push them off as your own design when you KNOW that you were not paid for putting the image together. Hey, if you were paid to put the image together, you are stellar and amazing! I personally don't get into quoting books when I'm reviewing. If I do, by chance happen to find something that will make the review even better, then I quote page, and whether or not it was an ARC or finished product.

I would encourage everyone to click on the links and take a peek at the rest of the bloggers who have graciously participated in this discussion. There are some awesome ideas this year, and one's that should be considered when posting your reviews, or doing any sort of giveaway.

Thank you so much for stopping by!



  1. These are all wonderful pieces of advice. I feel like these are all things that we should already know. But it's great to have them pointed out again.

  2. What a thoughtful post. There's so much to think about when you blog. Honestly, I never would have thought of selling ARCs.
    AH@Badass Book Reviews

  3. I get (sort of) why the FTC wants more visibility with reviews for products received for review. But I just don't think it's the same for books versus reviews for a computer, jewelry, etc. Book reviews are fairly subjective, there's no real huge incentive for someone who received a book to post a false review of the "product" and people who buy books aren't going to be fooled into spending a ton of money based on a few OTT positive reviews.

    Definitely must check out what Parajunkee had to say. Can't believe I missed all that.

    While I was aware of ARC selling, I just saw, a couple weeks ago, two people on eBay selling tons of ARCs. It made me ill when a blogger friend pointed it out. They go to conferences, ARC grab and then blatantly ignore the mandate and sell them.

    They're no better than ePirates.

    Hope you're having an awesome Armchair BEA this year!

  4. I agree with you, Shelley! I think the plagiarism among bloggers is what is the most sad :( Everybody knows how much time it takes to write a weel-thought-out review, and to write in our own voice. When someone just changes a word here and there to pass something off as their own, they must still spend time, but they spend that time stealing instead of being original.

    The FTC thing is still confusing to me, since I'm not even in the US - I have still posted a disclaimer, and I always state where my book comes from - if I won it in a giveaway, it was a present, I bought it, or if it was an ARC.

    And I don't understand that someone thinks it's OK to sell ARCs! Even un-solicited ARCs should not be sold, IMO.

    I've had a lot of fun with Armchair BEA this week, and it was my first time participating - if I can't go next year, I'll participate again.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews