This post, by J.A. Konrath, originally appeared on his A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing blog on 9/4/12. .
THE WRITERS’ CODE OF ETHICS
1. I will never pay people to write positive reviews of my books.
2. I will never use a false account (aka a sock puppet or anonymous account) to leave negative reviews of any of my peers.
3. I will never use a false account to review my own books.
4. I will never send reviewers copies of my books if they review in a periodical where my publisher buys advertising.
5. I will never ask friends, family, peers, or anyone who knows me to write reviews of my books, since they are biased toward me.
6. I will never ask fans to write reviews of my books, since they are biased toward me.
7. I will never pay a publicist to send out books of mine to be reviewed, since I am essentially paying someone for reviews.
8. I will never allow a publicist working for a publisher to send out books of mine to be reviewed, since they are being paid to do so.
9. I will never allow anyone to send out copies of my books to be reviewed, because if they were doing that they must know me, and if they know me it is impossible to get an unbiased review.
10. I will never allow any review from anyone I’ve ever met. Every review must be from someone who has never met me, heard of me, or read me before, and must come with a signed affidavit proclaiming such.
11. Every review must be from a professional reviewer who has true integrity. But this professional reviewer cannot accept money in any way, shape or form, because getting paid for reviewing could compromise their ethics.
12. I will personally interview every reviewer to make sure they are unbiased, and then ask them to remove their review because upon meeting them (The Konrath Uncertainty Principle) I may have affected their review, which renders it biased.
13. I will never blurb a book by an author I know.
14. I will never accept a blurb from an author I know.
15. I will never blurb a book from any author, because I may know them some day.
16. I will never review anything, or blurb anything, or allow any of my books to be reviewed of blurbed.
17. I will never allow anyone I have ever known, or ever might know, to blurb or review anything.
18. I will never use a sock puppet or post anonymously online about anything at all, because I should stand by my own words.
19. I will never post anything at all online, ever again, because it might impinge upon someone else’s ethical standards.
20. I will publicly chastise, denigrate, ridicule, mock, and lynch anyone who has breached any of the above.
21. I will tattoo this code of ethics permanently upon my back to show all how ethical and moral I am.
22. Those who don’t ask about my ethics will still be forced by me to memorize the tattoo on my back, in public, as many times as I demand.
23. All who do not comply will never be allowed to write again, and will broken on the wheel, their intestines forced down their own lying, cheating, dishonest, unethical throats while they beg for mercy, then they’ll burned at the stake, drawn and quartered, their charred, smoking, crispy body parts placed on spires for all to view. This punishment will be meted out to any person, living or dead, who has ever had contact with, or has heard of, the offending party.
Joe sez: If you haven’t figured it out yet, this isn’t about dishonesty. It’s about degrees of dishonesty. And everyone, to a degree, is dishonest. Glass houses and throwing stones, folks.
The only way to make the system pure is to never allow anyone to do anything, ever. But that’s impossible. So instead we have people pointing fingers and masturbating to their own smug sense of superiority because they haven’t been caught in the "ethical lapse du jour" yet.