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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The details of how it works are in those links.

None of this has anything to do with advertisements on amazon.  It's about paying for the opportunity to give stuff to reviewers to get action on the item pages in the form of reviews.

Yeah, Doubleday or whoever would pay to be in the newsletter to the Vine people.  I'm betting you can't compete with it.  But who knows?  I'd love to see a rate sheet for getting included in the reviewer buy thing.

I still don't think there is money involved.  I'm supposed to get some publicity on the newsletter for my new Kindle book, but in exchange, I've given Kindle an exclusive for one year. I haven't paid a cent.

 

The idea that the Amazon Vine reviewers get paid to write good reviews is untrue.  There is another organization that makes e-books available to their reviewers.  They charge an administrative fee of 68.00 dollars, or some such. I also do not consider that paying for reviews.

 

I should add that I have never paid for reviews.  At one time, Kirkus offered such a service, infuriating many of us who get reviewed for free by their trade operation every time a book is released. I don't think that is in business any longer.

 

What is even more disgusting is the way some authors form clubs where they trade 5 star reviews for each others' books.  That sort of thing is extremely common on Amazon reviews.

I didn't see anybody say that they get paid to write good reviews, just that the companies pay to list their give-away offers.   

 

When people have a lot of different opinions on something, I usually try to post some sort of citation to back up what my impression is, not just say, "I don't think so".   If you've got something to show on how this works, by all means post it.  I'd be interested to know more.

 

Of course being given expensive products does sort of lean things that way.

Kirkus still sells reviews, far as I know.  And the reason I think that is because they say so on their website.

 

 

 

I did not go to the Kirkus site.  This is getting ridiculous.  I did read the entire Wiki article. Nowhere do they say anything you are claiming.  The article deals with how reviewers are selected, not how merchandise is is selected for review.

 

Furthermore, the Wiki publications are not 100 % reliable in all cases.

Well, like I say, I'd sure welcome any information you could show on this.

 

The Wiki info is repeated on many sites.  It, in fact, DOES go into some detail about  how the reviewers pick products from a newsletter that companies pay to have their free products included in.  That newsletter is widely discussed on writer sites as seen on Google.

What that Wikipedia site said was:

The Vine Voices newsletter is usually sent to Vine Voice members the third Thursday of each month (holidays excepted). Sometimes Vine members are offered an additional newsletter to choose from.[citation needed] Amazon states that this newsletter is targeted to its recipients. There are at least several versions of the targeted newsletter, which vary significantly in both the number and kinds of items offered. Members quickly select their targeted merchandise and the merchandise is promptly shipped by Amazon for Vine Voices to review.
The fourth Thursday of each month is the "leftovers" newsletter.[citation needed] Vine Voice members may select from a list of all available "leftover" merchandise. Each month, 2 or more items may be selected from the targeted newsletter. An additional 2 or more selections are available from the "leftovers" newsletter.[citation needed] Once or twice a year, after an excess of unchosen items has built up, Vine Voice members are permitted to choose four items from the "leftovers."
Amazon states that targeted newsletters are based on review/purchase history, but many Vine Voice members have pointed out that their targeting seems to have little relation to their purchases, Vine requests, or reviews posted. Voice Voice members frequently speculate on the Vine forum about how targeting is done.

 

I can't think of anything that's 100% reliable, (and the wiki article states, right up top, the limits to the strength of citation.

And, as ususal, the real value of Wiki stuff is frequently in the links at the bottom of the page, presumably as valid as any other internet information.  The point is it IS information, not just speculation.  

I feel that anything being discussed benefits from as much information as can be brought to bear on it.  Like I say, cite something.  I think it would be interesting to know more about this thing.

 

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