On December 1, 2009, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission instituted new rules on using testimonials and endorsements in advertising. The ruling is relevant to this web site because I often recommend books and products to my readers.
In essence, what the ruling requires is that I need to let you know that if I recommend a book or product and you make a purchase through the links I provide, I will receive a commission on your purchase.
About My Recommendations
When I recommend a book, it is a book I’ve read or purchased and have found useful to my own work. In the case of fiction recommendations, if I find an author whose works are overall good, I may also recommend additional titles that I have yet to read.
On those occasions when I recommend products, they are either products I have purchased and used (and found useful) or that would be useful to me if I had a need for them.
Some of the books and products I recommend have ‘affiliate programs’ that pay a referral fee. Some don’t. My decision to recommend books or products is based on the usefulness of the book or product to me, not on whether or not an affiliate program is available.
One such program is through Amazon.com. I am a member of Amazon’s affiliate program. Any time you click the link for a recommended book or product and make a purchase, my affiliate code is included and I receive a commission on your purchase.
If you want the product but are uncomfortable with the affiliate program, don’t click the link I provide. Simply open another browser window, go to Amazon.com and search for the book or product.
Since most of my recommendations on this web site are books, there is a very good chance it will be linked through the affiliate program.
All recommendations I make are made in good faith and with the belief that anything that has helped me will also help others. But if you believe my participation in affiliate programs taints my objectivity in making recommendations, you should discount any such recommendations.
As with any recommendation, examine the books or products for yourself to determine whether or not they will help you. It is my belief that what helps me will also be of benefit to others, but not everything works for everyone, so I urge you to practice due diligence in any purchase.