I seem to get a ton of emails from Amazon, most are commercials and most I ignore. When I received an email about Amazon Vine I ignored it.
Later I read a blog post on Selling Books about it and realized what Amazon Vine was. It is a new service by which Amazon is the go-between with top customer reviewers and publishers. Through Amazon's site, we may request to review certain new products and the publisher will send them to us for free.
I then went back retrieved my unread email (which I miraculously had not deleted yet). I re-read it and saw it was an invitation to join Amazon Vine. They were inviting me because I am still ranked as a Top 500 customer reviewer. So I filled out the online forms to become an Amazon Vine member.
So I did join the Amazon Vine. I was not clear on how it would work.
I received an email dated yesterday which was a listing of products much like a commerical. If I wanted to review that item, I could click the link and submit the request to send it to me.
However imagine my surprise when every single item I clicked on was already gone, meaning, all the review copies were already taken.
So really what happened was I read the paragraph about the item and was the recipient of what really was a commercial. And I have no product for "free" and no review to write.
But what I am left with is a curiosity to seriously want to read one of the books. So really so far my experience was to be the receiver of a commercial!
Anyhow, after reading on Selling Books that publishers are paying Amazon to be included in the Amazon Vine program, this really seems like a win/win thing for Amazon. I am a bit suspicious that we suckers, we unpaid customer reviewers have just been tempted by the lure of free product to get a lot of emails from Amazon which are really commercials. Hmmm.
I wonder how many review copies of these books the publishers are giving to customer reviewers versus the number of reviewers on the Amazon Vine. Is this more of just a commercial or is this truly going to pan out as a book reviewing service?
In the meantime, here is Steve Weber’s second blog post on the topic of Amazon Vine.
Technorati Tags: Amazon Vine, Amazon customer reviews, book reviews, Amazon.com.