Amazon Select: my own reader’s guidelines

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.

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About glenkrisch

Writer, freelance editor, runner, family man, wanna-be farmer, neo-luddite
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14 Responses to Amazon Select: my own reader’s guidelines

  1. Totally agree with this!

  2. Jaye says:

    Taking notes, Glen. Good list.

  3. This sounds like a great plan. I, too, am trying to implement some rules on myself when it comes to Kindle downloading. I just read The Art of Creation and Other Stories by J.A. Pak (for free), and then purchased another one of her kindle reads, Seal Skin, the next day. I reviewed them the very next morning. If you’re getting something out of it, why not give something in return? Makes sense to me.

    • glenkrisch says:

      It makes perfect sense! If you like an author, you probably want him/her to continue writing. The low cost of paying for the next title is a little bit of encouragement. Inexpensive ebooks are by far the cheapest (and one of the most enjoyable) ways to spend your leisure time. Thanks for the comment, Jenn!

  4. Paul D. Dail says:

    Some great points here. And good reminders. We do need to set up some sort of etiquette for this new revolution.

    Now if we can just get people to stop texting in restaurants.

    Paul D. Dail
    http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

    • glenkrisch says:

      How about stop texting altogether? I have a cellphone, but it’s really our landline. I never have it on me, unless I’m going to be driving for awhile. I’ve never texted. I hope I never do. Do I sound like I’m about 75 years old? I swear I’m only 37!

  5. thank you for articulating (does that word apply to writing!) exactly how i feel…. too many greedy ppl about…. if you like something..support it!!!

    • glenkrisch says:

      Thanks, Vix! I actually just decided to not download a freebie because I wasn’t sure if I would read it anytime soon. It’s an interesting book, but not so interesting that it would work its way to the top of my tbr pile.

  6. Pingback: The God and the Devil in the Details- My life shortlist | Paul D. Dail

  7. W. J. Howard says:

    Great plan, but I want to hear a plan for weeding through the spam free book offers and bogus reviews to find a decent free book to begin with. Do I sound bitter 😉 cause I’m getting there real quick.

    • glenkrisch says:

      I understand your bitterness, believe me! I think you need to look more critically at reviews. It’s just not overall average, but what the reviewers are saying about the book. Does it even seem like the 5* reviewer even read the title? If it’s a generic review that reveals nothing of the true quality of the story, and which doesn’t pointedly convince you that it’s a good read, it’s not helpful when you’re deciding whether you’re going to download it.

  8. Ken Preston says:

    This is a good list. I’m sort of making it a priority to help other writers this year, and encourage others to do the same. I’ve just put a blog up about celebrating good writing, whilst quietly ignoring the bad (hey, there are enough people already writing scathing reviews, why should I join in too?) and I think your list of pointers here is excellent.
    I think there are some people out there who think it is easy to write a novel, therefore a novel is not worth much, money wise. These are the people who chase after the 99c books, and the freebies, without thinking about when (if!) they intend to read them. Having said that, we all like a bargain, don’t we? 🙂
    Thanks for the post, very interesting.

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