Thursday, August 02, 2007

Amazon Vine: A New Amazon Perk for Readers and Writers

Amazon is at it again. The possibilities of Amazon's new program called Amazon Vine in which Amazon supplies f r e e review copies to readers in return for a review on Amazon are mind-boggling. I'm not going to cover them all here, but it appears that Amazon will be offering media lovers (yes, books, too!) free product in return for a promise to review it on the Amazon site. It appears the program is by invitation only.

I can see all kinds of marketing possibilities here. Reading possibilities, too!

Yes, there may be some ethical issues involved. Amazon might receive payment from publishers to sponsor the review copy giveaway, as an example. Read more about that on Steve Weber's Plug Your Books blog, http://e.je/25.

It's also possible that if Amazon is giving regular readers books in return for weighing in with reviews, sales for the publishers and authors might be affected. Wouldn't lots of readers suddenly become Amazon reviewers to get the book they'd like to read free? Just wondering. Maybe not all bad if it encourages more reading.

Apparently, other than the review, this is a no-strings attached offer. Reviewers will be asked to stay within Amazon's guidelines, but will not be influenced to post positive reviews.

We'll see how Amazon handles it!
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author THIS IS THE PLACE; HARKENING: A COLLECTION OF STORIES REMEMBERED; TRACINGS, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T; and THE FRUGAL EDITOR: PUT YOUR BEST BOOK FORWARD TO AVOID HUMILIATION AND ENSURE SUCCESS.

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