I recently read about Amazon's invitation-only review service Amazon Vine whereby reviewers who have demonstrated a lot of activity on Amazon are invited to become a part of this program. I'm interested in any authors who have had first-hand experience with Amazon offering their own novels through this service. Is it by invitation only to authors?.

 

I suspect that Amazon links high ranking novelists with this service in order to further push their bestsellers online. Those of us who are further down the ranks will never be given this opportunity. Anyone know the mechanics of how Amazon works this program?

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This is the first I've heard of it. Reviews shouldn't be tiered. Putting walls up on reviews doesn't increase their value, it increases isolation.

 

Of course, that's my knee jerk reaction. I'm open to be persuaded otherwise.

Thanks for the information, Kevin. Still trying to figure how to get in touch with Amazon Vine to be able to make my novels available to reviewers, who might be interested.
OK, I do know a little about this.  I'd heard about it and put pressure on my publisher (Penguin) to send the ARCs for this.  Yes, this costs the publisher something since the reviewers get free books.  It worked nicely for me. Most of the reviewers were well-read and literate. The review will state at the top that the reviewer works with Vine and got a free book. The only novel of mine that went to the Vine program is THE CONVICT'S SWORD. I would do this again, if a publisher were willing.

OK, now that you've explained the process, I change my mind. This sounds like a good program. It rewards the best reviewers with ARCs to read. Makes sense.

Great information. Does anyone know how an author/publisher, who has self-published, get in contact with Amazon to provide these ARC's. I could not find that connection.

 

There you got me.  I can't even get permission to share downloads with reviewers.
The latest information is that they don't permit the sharing of mobi-files which can be copied by pirates. You may be able to get a special copy that is safe to share.
Oh, and Amazon Vine works only with print books so far.

My understanding is that companies pay for this.

So, I suppose one way to look at it is a means by which reviews can be purchased.  They do the same thing with other products, I think:  Sony or Microsoft or Corel or somebody can pay to be on the program and give away gizmos in order to score an early buzz and lots of stars.

 

It;s like the reviewers are on a newsletter that shows offered products.  So you'd pay to be listed in the newsletter, as well as giving away stuff.  This is not, I'm thinking, a "little guy" sort of device.

 

Somebody with 25,000 reviews probably has a house full of swag.

Not Amazon Vine. The reviewers get a book, which is standard practice.  You wouldn't expect them to pay for it out of their pocket, would you?

Well, perhaps I'm mistaken.

And these  people as well

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Vine

 

Or perhaps we aren't understood.

Companies pay amazon to list them in the newsletter, which offers free stuff to these select reviewers.  So you;re probably not going to be able to compete with Doubleday or Adobe or whoever.  I don't know how much they pay to be in the newsletter, and it's not something that seems very easy to find out.  But my hunch would be, it's worth quite a bit.

Well, I didn't know Vine also did merchandise/products.  Not sure how that works. I guess you get a free item to try out.  In the case of books, however, they get the book.  I rather like the idea that they pick which book they want.

The ads are a whole different business. Yes, you can advertise your book on Amazon and you pay.  No idea how much. For bestselling authors the publisher would pay.

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