UPDATED (June 10): Thanks everyone for the thoughtful comments. To avoid any question ... going forward, I will disclose how I receive business books reviewed on the blog.
Lots of great conversation is happening about the ethics of compensating bloggers with cash, in-kind gifts, and special access privileges in exchange for writing a post about the product/service a business provides them.
This conversation has me thinking about how I’ve been compensated for some posts on this blog.
Because I frequently write business book reviews, publishers and publicity firms send me free business books. I’m under no obligation to write anything (be it positive, negative, or nothing at all) in exchange. While not cash, this in-kind gift has a monetary value of about $25 per book.
I’ve probably written over 100 business book reviews on this blog. Some reviews have slammed the book as worthless and others have praised the book as worthwhile. In every case, my authentic opinion has been expressed.
However, I’ve never disclosed when a review is from a business book I received as a gift or from a book I purchased. (By the way, the vast majority of my book reviews are from books I've purchased.)
I’m curious … Do you expect me to disclose whether or not I was gifted the book or paid for the book? Would you trust my review more with this type of disclosure?
Thanks for sharing your feedback.