If you are, you should know it – some how, some way. NPR ran a brief story on the new FTC guides that bloggers who blog product endorsements must make such relationships known to their readers. Of course, how they do so is still a bit sketchy. And just to clarify – NewPages has never blogged for money. None of the “products” mentioned on the blog have ever paid for their placement there; any mention of them has been earnest sharing.
Also somewhat sketchy is whether or not reviewers are taking “payment” if they receive free books and then review them on their blogs, regardless of whether or not the review is favorable. This is pretty much the way of reviewing – either review writers request “review copies” at no cost or are sent unsolicited copies. Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) may help avoid this sketchy area altogether as they do not carry a sale price, and while some review publications accept only ARCs, here at NewPages, we rarely see ARCs, nor do they even exist for literary magazines.