Bloggers receiving books

Mark Grimsley and I are not the only bloggers receiving Simon & Schuster titles, it seems. Here's someone who waxes indignant:

But I do have a problem with bloggers who are not being honest with their readers. How many bloggers who have taken part in this whole Thirteenth Tale exercise have stated that they are doing so on their blog? How many have put up their hands and said, look, S&S emailed me about this contest, so I'm taking part? How many have made it clear that the book they are reviewing is a FREE copy?
(Unfortunately, the books mailed to Mark and myself had no lucrative contest attached.)

Miss Snark, a literary agent, laughs at all this.
Here's a MAJOR clue for everyone who gets "free books". Publicists pull up a list marked "fiction outlets" or "romance outlets" or "true crime outlets in Romance, Arkansas" from their ten thousand name data base and they send a form email. Or a book. Or an offer. Sometimes all three.They are ecstatic if 10% of the places they send books even mention them, let alone say something akin to "you should buy this". The idea that a reviewer or a blogger cares about keeping a publisher happy demonstrates a very skewed idea of how publishing works. Talk to any publicist in any publishing company. They're pretty sure their job is to keep reviewers happy.
Not to say I don't feel guilty about slamming books sent gratis. After the 1,000th or so incident of that, the conscience does numb a little, and it gets easier.

Snark adds, "If you look and sound like a shill for crap, we'll only assume you've been paid off rather than you're a bad writer or an idiot with no taste. You can make the same assumption about me."

Sounds like a plan.