That is even reasonable and there’s nothing wrong with people being paid for their work. The possibility of unethical and scamming a course in miracles, however, in various, sometimes small, but nevertheless serious ways. Before you submit your book to a blogger, here are some things to watch out for:
It is the law now that anyone who receives a profit when he or she endorses a product must disclose that upfront. A legitimate website will have an FTC disclosure statement on it that the owner is receiving a commission (whether through click-thru or the direct payment by the author or product owner) for promoting the work. That does not mean the blogger is being dishonest in providing a good review of the product. In fact, if the FTC disclosure is there, it’s a good sign the blogger believes in being honest about the product. If the FTC disclosure is not there, don’t participate.
Before you send your book to someone to review it, look at the past reviews at the site. A lot of bloggers (and book reviewers) claim that they review books when, in fact, they simply copy the product description as it appears at the author’s or an online bookstore’s website, or they copy the back cover description and post that as a review. That is not a legitimate book review because it does not reflect the blogger’s personal opinion of the book and it’s a good sign the blogger didn’t even bother to read the book to find out whether it deserves to be endorsed. The blogger is simply trying to get as many products featured on the blog as possible so more commission can be earned.
If bloggers request more than two copies of the book, it’s unlikely they want the books for review or giveaway. It’s understandable the blogger might want a book to read and then another to send to the giveaway winner. However, it’s much more sensible for the blogger to request only one copy and then after the giveaway’s winner is named, request that the author personally send the winner an autographed copy. If a blogger requests more than two copies, it’s likely the blogger is collecting inventory to resell-perhaps to a local used bookstore, or perhaps at an online store, thereby making a profit off copies of books he didn’t pay for and that the author thought would be given away.
4. Drawing Results-An honest blogger running a book giveaway is going to disclose the names of the winners, although for privacy’s sake, it might just say Amanda W., Syracuse, NY or George T, Salt Lake City, UT. What is suspicious is not giving any indication that there are winners.
If you are still unsure whether to submit your book to a blogger’s book giveaway, contact the authors of some of the previous giveaways and ask them whether it helped them or they ever heard from any of the readers. If the blogger is running a legitimate contest and gives the author the email and mailing address of the giveaway winner, you can contact the person and rest assured that your book is going where it should.
If the blogger is mailing out the copies himself, you don’t have proof the books are being mailed out. In fact, I’ve heard from some authors who have participated in such giveaways multiple times that they have never received a thank you or any feedback from the people who supposedly received their books. While not receiving feedback is not necessarily a sign of dishonesty, when you do receive feedback it’s a sign that everything is functioning as it should.