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Amazon Offers Author Blogs

BoingBoing and The New York Times mentions that Amazon has a new feature called Amazon Connects, which gives authors a chance to “talk to their audience” via Amazon sponsored blogs.

This could be very exciting, a way for authors to get a little more fame and have the ability to dialog with their readers. Still, as a writer myself, I barely have enough time to write and run my business let alone monitor tons of comments and reviews. This could be great, or a lot of work.

The most exciting aspect is that now users have another way of keeping up with their favorite authors, including following announcements on upcoming books, special events, book signings, lectures, and other information that fans like to know. I have several authors whom I would love to hear speak on any subject including their books, just to understand how they think and why. They have the required websites but they are rarely updated, with a couple of them listing their “current” schedule from 2003. A “blog” with Amazon would allow a broader audience to get that information, which might be more of an incentive to keep that information updated.

I’ve tried to find a single active Amazon Connects on Amazon, but it involves searching author names and checking every single page to see if they have a blog set up. So I have only seen the examples that are only available for viewing if you are signed into Amazon and visiting their help page. It looks interesting from the screenshots and a neat way for authors to leave notes to their public, though I’m not so sure about any conversations.

The Guardian has a different opinion about Amazon Connects.

From the Amazon demo page, it seems the “blog” is the users’ Amazon home page, not the authors’. The users’ home page then displays messages (or posts) from various authors, as and when they create them.

It could be a good idea for Amazon to host authors’ blogs, but this ain’t it.

Again, the issue of what defines a blog (or not) comes up. As I don’t see many of the Amazon “blogs” becoming blogs featuring endless opinion and day-to-day posts on a writer’s life, though some may use it so, I do see it becoming a marketing tool. So should it be called “Amazon Author Marketing Blogs” or “Amazon Authors Personal Pages”? Using the word “blog” is fine for me as I don’t have an agenda with the definition, but it does make you think. As this is in the beta testing stage, we’ll have to see how it develops.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

2 Comments

  1. Posted January 9, 2006 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Many thanks for bringing this to my attention. I had no idea that Amazon had added this functionality. I currently have one book, Tips and Traps When Buying a Business for sale on Amazon and they have my next book Tips and Traps For Writing an Effective Business Plan listed too.

    It has been frustrating to be isolated from being able to get changes made to the Amazon listing page – changes have to go through my publisher and are dreadfully slow. For example, they still do not have an image of the book cover up on the page that sells my book. I am told that it is in the ‘system’, yikes!

  2. Posted January 10, 2006 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    You can learn the correct format for the image (Amazon has an entire set of pages to inform us on specs and the like) and send a new image to Amazon via ftp, if you are web-savvy. (First you have to ‘request a pw’ and yes, it is a small process to endure, you gotta want it.) I know it may be less gratifying to chase after these details that, perhaps, someone else could tend, or that time might just right eventually, but the truth is, little is more gratifying than tracking down some of these things and correcting them yourself. It fills the waiting period that is so unbearable, waiting for someone else to take care of something. I’m not much of a waiter.

    I speak from experience, of course, as I am also an author (and illustrator), and I tired of waiting for some ethereal force to correct these changes. There are others online that frustrate me, but some sites are not responsive to being nagged. Pity.


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] With the introduction of author blogs on Amazon.com, many authors who didn’t blog before are now being challenged to blog in order to help promote their books, events, and future projects. [...]

  2. [...] With corporations now monitoring blogs more closely, it was interesting to highlight for you the growing trend in business blogging with “McDonald’s Starts Internal Corporate Blog” and Amazon Offers Author Blogs, along with a few others. Everyone wants to get into the blogging business. [...]

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