By rolling out Amazon Select, Amazon has shaken things up, not just for writers (the decisions to be made over this program are stressful!), but also for readers. It’s a free-for-all out there at Amazon.com, a virtual wild west. Until things shake out, until some order is brought to the morass, I’ve decided to regulate my own usage of the program as a reader. Here are my own reader’s guidelines for Amazon Select:
1. I will only download a freebie if I think I’ll read it relatively soon. By soon, I mean within the next six months. This program is creating a generation of gluttonous book downloaders, people who download until their Kindles are bursting at the seams. I don’t want to fall prey to one of the se7en deadly sins, now do I?
2. If I download something for free, I will let the world know. This is the least I can do for the author. If I’m not willing to at least Facebook wall-share the fact that I’ve downloaded something, then I’m not really invested in the book, and I most likely won’t get around to reading it. I will also add the title to my Goodreads to-read list as a gentle reminder to get around to reading it.
3. If I read and like a book I’ve downloaded for free, I will write a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If I like the book, why not spread a little word-of-mouth? Hey, I didn’t pay anything for the hours of enjoyment the book provided me; writing even a few sentences of praise won’t be too time consuming.
4. If I like a free download, I will purchase (for real cold hard cash) another title from the author who so generously allowed me the free download. This is the least I can do. I’ve already done this with a couple of Blake Crouch titles. Blake set most of his listings for free during the week of Christmas. I’d already read and enjoyed Blake’s work, but the enticement of free books hooked me completely. He’s now on my “buy every new release list.”
I hope other people try to bring some order to their own usage of the new era of Amazon freebies. If this post makes even a little bit of sense, please consider adopting it when trying to decide on your next download.