Book Update

A guide for writers with or without published work. A comprehensive resource that every writer should have in their library in order to learn how to publish, promote, and market themselves on the Internet.

Is your book project ready for the next E-Revolution?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Amazon cuts social-networking features for authors, customers

Amazon cuts social-networking features for authors, customers

Posted by: "Jayy" missjyy@gmail.com   missjyy

Wed May 20, 2009 2:57 am (PDT)

Amazon cuts social-networking features for authors, customers
<http://www.weberboo ks.com/uploaded_ images/jeff- 763198.jpg>Amazon killed its
"Friends" networking feature that had enabled authors and readers to forward
messages through the online retailer.

It's the latest in several recent steps Amazon has taken restricting
communication among authors and customers. (Update: please see the first
comment below this post; Amazon has blocked new authors from its Connect
blogging feature.)

Until recently, Amazon's "Friends" feature has been a popular way for
authors to recruit amateur reviewers to critique their work, as explained in
this guide<http://www.amazon. com/gp/richpub/ syltguides/ fullview/ RNCWTLEMV71VM>

Here's how it used to work: Authors who visited a reviewer's profile could
click a link to send a "Amazon Friends Invitation." If the invitation was
accepted, the friends were listed on each others' Amazon profiles, and could
exchange e-mail through Amazon. Privacy was assured because neither friend
needed to make their e-mail address public.

The Friends feature had enabled self-published authors to supply
complimentary review copies and compete with big-name authors with more
resources. Few independent authors can afford $15,000 to enroll their book
in Amazon Vine <http://www.amazon. com/gp/vine/ help>, in which Amazon mails
advance review copies to its Top
Reviewers.<http://www.amazon. com/review/ top-reviewers>

Now, do-it-yourself authors will need to work harder to find reviewers. On
the redesigned profile pages, there is only a yellow button on the top right
labeled "Add to Interesting People." Clicking here produces a pop-up box
containing a checkbox for "Add as an Amazon Friend." But the process is no
longer reciprocal; Amazon does not notify the person you've selected as a

If you have an Amazon account, you can visit your own Amazon profile page at
this address: http://www.amazon. com/gp/pdp/ profile/. Here are examples of
other Amazon profiles:

http://www.amazon. com/gp/pdp/ profile/A2KEKKJ9 CAC2KC
http://www.amazon. com/gp/pdp/ profile/A2BMBIS5 SKD7AB
http://www.amazon. com/gp/pdp/ profile/A3UM5IR9 AZL1WZ

Clearly, this eliminates most of the benefits of being "friends" on Amazon.
If there is no way to communicate, the value of the friendship is

My personal take on why Amazon has been scaling back these features: certain
account details -- such as wish
lists<http://www.amazon. com/gp/registry/ wishlist>,
birth dates, "favorite items" and recent purchases -- were visible to other
Amazon Friends. Although these displays can be adjusted using profile
settings <https://www. amazon.com/ gp/pdp2/profile/ edit/ref= cm_pdp_edit>,
Amazon has received complaints by folks irritated by a perceived privacy

The good news is, there's more than one way to contact Amazon reviewers:
Googling their names and the hometown they list on their Amazon reviews. For
example, when I published my latest book, there were several dozen new
reviewers I was able to find by Googling their name (provided they didn't
use a nickname when signing their Amazon reviews). Eventually you can find
contact information from the reviewer's blog, Web site, or other
social-networking profile.

Amazon has been gradually cutting its social-networking features available
to authors. Other recent changes:

- Authors' Amazon
Connect<http://www.amazon. com/gp/help/ customer/ display.html? nodeId=15700651>blog
posts are truncated on book detail pages. Previously, the three
most-recent posts appeared on book detail pages in their entirety, now only
a few lines appear. Also, authors can no longer specify which titles the
blog posts will appear with, which severely reduces their value.
- Book detail pages no longer contain a link to the author's profile
page. Currently the only practical way of finding a profile to search Google
for "Amazon.com: profile for [name]."

One more detail: Technically, it's still possible to send a Amazon Friends
invitation, but you need to know the person's Amazon-registered e-mail
address beforehand. If you do, click the link at the bottom of your profile
page labeled "Invite new
friends."<http://www.amazon. com/gp/pdp/ profile/invite/ ref=cm_pdp_ inv_fr>

Jackie Young, Author - Love's Reparations
www.jackieyoungwrit es.com
"Writing truth to light...Soul Deep, Spirit Wide"

Sylvia Hubbard
Author, Blogger and Founder of Motown Writers Network
http://aaeln.com (African American Electronic Literary Network)
Author of Romance & Suspense and Internet Marketing for Writers & Business
NOW AVAILABLE: Secrets, Lies and Family Ties order your copy now
Coming Soon: Tanner's Devil www.redrosepublishing.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Download the book that will help you understand your journey on the Internet. ONLY $5!