Amazon Follow Lets Authors Connect With Fans
Whether it’s through an email list or social media following, one of the best ways for an author to pitch their next book is through direct promotion to their fans. And now Amazon has provided another way to do just that.
The retailer has quietly launched a new way for readers follow their faves. Not quite a blog’s RSS feed and not quite a social network account, Amazon Follow lets fans stay abreast of an author’s latest activity.
Readers can choose which authors to follow, and if one of those authors releases a new book (or makes it available for pre-order) the reader followers will be notified shortly thereafter. Amazon will also notify a reader if a person they follow publishes an article.
An author’s follow button can be found on their author page, and readers can manage their privacy settings as well as the authors they follow on each reader’s public profile page.
All in all, that’s not a bad tool – assuming you don’t mind that Amazon is going to have control of the connection between reader and author. That is a downside, but not everyone wants or is able to connect with author or fan via social network so it is good that Amazon is providing an additional option.
jjj July 20, 2015 um 8:13 pm
So they are copying Apple’s Music connect feature and likely that’s why it’s so basic for now, they had no time to do more just yet. The funny part is that it’s a very old idea that Amazon (and others) could have implemented long ago for all kinds of media.
Not sure how things work on Goodreads but i assume the details are quite a bit different.
The goal here is to exploit the fame of the author to keep users from jumping to other services. So Follow would have to become a lot more and facilitate interactions , access to exclusive content and so on. The problem is that it gives even more leverage to Amazon/Apple and that never ends well.
Nate Hoffelder July 20, 2015 um 8:39 pm
That sounds about right.
DaveMich July 20, 2015 um 11:18 pm
Amazon is exploiting author fame? Amazon is the one that has the eyeballs.
Maria (BearMountainBooks) July 21, 2015 um 1:56 pm
That isn’t new. It’s been on the author page for a couple of years. It doesn’t work well though. I follow a few authors and I don’t always get notification about a new book (Frank Tuttle was one, jacka Benedict another…but I did get notification for Ilona Andrews.)
They used to have "like" buttons on the author page, but the follow with supposed notification choices has been there for a while in various guises (I think the original version you had to follow and then select whether you wanted to hear about new releases.)
Nate Hoffelder July 21, 2015 um 2:07 pm
Actually, I checked the Wayback machine at the IA and the help pages did not mention this back in May 2015 or March 2015. That’s why I thought this was new.
Maybe they had the follow button before but no way to send notices? That could be what is new.
Maria (BearMountainBooks) July 21, 2015 um 1:57 pm
Also, I’ve been "following" myself the entire time and never been told when I have new book out. Amazon also missed telling me about Patricia Briggs latest.
GR, OTOH, has been very good about telling me about new books if I enter to win a book.
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Anne July 24, 2015 um 6:57 pm
I’m inclined to guess that the follow button has been around at least a year based upon posts in Amazon’s kindle forum. I know for a long time I only saw it in Firefox but it’s been available for months.
I can only assume that I’m receiving all the notices of new releases on the authors that I follow and I’m pretty happy with it so far. I’d far rather get an email from Amazon than try to track social media of any kind. Many authors don’t get that I really don’t care about their kid(s), cat(s), partner(s), politics, etc.
Recently I received two "articles", both were from indie authors announcing pre-orders. I don’t usually do pre-orders but both of these authors have made a practice of pricing new releases at $2-3 for the first 30 days so I did order one of them.
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Pat Shaw August 15, 2015 um 1:26 am
This is a great idea although a bit slow on the uptake. I’m sure it will all come out in the wash. I can understand the anguish for some people who would like this as an added feature as being an author and listed on Amazon.