Thursday Midday Links: FTC, one more time
I’ve seen some people say that I should just wait and see about how the FTC decides to interpret its new regulations. I’ve seen some people reassure me that it wouldn’t apply to Dear Author or it wouldn’t apply to me commenting on other blogs or Twitter or Facebook. I’ve seen other people argue that the FTC isn’t going after bloggers so there is nothing to be concerned about. Let me try to articulate why I am going to strictly comply with the FTC guidelines.
- Simply because there is a chance I won’t be targeted doesn’t mean that there is zero chance I will be targeted. I don’t think I’ll ever be audited by the IRS but that doesn’t give me free reign to ignore the IRS rules and regulations, even if I don’t agree with them.
- Even though the regulations do not go in effect until December 1 does not mean that they will change. It took two years to get this revision after periods of public commenting and voting.
- I am bound by my oath to uphold the laws of the land. Until the regulation by the FTC is ruled in a court of law as unconstitutionally broad, it is my duty to follow the law. In a court of law, regulations are deemed presumptively accurate interpretation of the law and if there are two competing interpretations (one that includes bloggers and one that does not) then the agency (FTC)’s rules are binding.
- The FTC regulations govern deception and truth in advertising. Truthfulness is at the core of a lawyer’s legal duty. My law license could be in jeopardy from a reprimand, suspension or revocation if I was ever found to be violating a rule on deceptive practices.
- Ultimately, even though the rule may not be enforced against me does not allow me to disregard the law. Further, I believe that is what kind of character you would expect from us here at Dear Author.
Despite the success of Dan Brown’s book, book sales are depressed.
And over all, according to BookScan, book sales were down about 4 percent compared with the same week last year, suggesting that neither of those titles or any of the other big fall books from heavyweights like Mitch Albom, Pat Conroy, E. L. Doctorow and Audrey Niffenegger were helping booksellers to overcome the sludgy economy.
Audrey Niffenegger was famously awarded a $5 million contract for her book, A Fearful Symmetry, a book that managed to only sell 23,000 copies according to Bookscan in the last week.
This decline in sales has shown itself in Barnes and Noble quarterly results. More at Publishers Weekly.
Total sales in the retail group fell 3% for the second quarter, which began August 2 and will close October 31, to $665 million, and comp-store sales were down 4.1% (sales are through October 3). Barnes & Noble.com had a good period, with sales up 8%. Sales in the quarter included sales of The Lost Symbol, which B&N said broke one-day sales records for an adult fiction title. B&N expects comp sales to be down 1% to 3% in the retail group for the entire second quarter and to decline 2% to 4% for the full fiscal year, which will end May 1, 2010 (B&N changed its fiscal year following the completion of the B&N College deal).
Are ad supported books coming closer to being a reality? Maybe if HotPrints takes off. HotPrints charges zero dollars for a photobook. Instead, they send you a bunch of tear out ads with your photobook (none are printed by your pictures). The limit is one per month, but it’s free. Even the shipping.
Galley Cat suggests that part of the decline in publishing is the wrong headed focus on the white literary crowd as the mainstay of publishing. The U.S. Census Bureau displays the growing number of minorities in the U.S. and Galley Cat questions whether publishing is missing the mark by not including more multicultural protagonists.
I’ve been in love with the vintage covers that Harlequin has been showing us and the titles went on sale this week. I admit to being reluctant to try one so I was glad when Keishon announced that she had bought one. Her review of I’ll Bury My Dead by James Headley Chase makes me glad that I hesitated over a purchase.
So how did I like this novel? I didn’t. This story was a chore to read. I tried in vain to engage myself but it just wasn’t hap pen ing. Why wasn’t I hooked into the story? Can’t answer that. Weren’t the char ac ters engag ing? Not really. I read hard boiled mys ter ies all the time and this one bored me to tears. I’ve even read some of Ed McBain’s stuff from the same era and his books hold up much bet ter than this.
Hold on to your wallets, international readers. Amazon has pinkie swore to abide by terrotorial rights in the sale of its ebooks. Territorial rights confer the right of a publisher to sell a certain book in a certain geographical locale. Currently Random House is not on board with Amazon over some kind of contractual dispute and none of those books will be available. Oh well. It’s not like the UKers or Europeans or Aussies or New Zealanders need books to go with their shiny new device, right?