I love to read! Books are the one thing I never even think twice about spending money on. Well, I do wait for the price to come down on new releases, but before Kindle I only bought hardbacks for two authors so that's not much of a change. One of the reasons I chose a Kindle over a Nook or iPad, etc. is because of the ease of shopping with Amazon. I suppose the ease hasn't changed (it's still incredibly EASY to purchase an ebook - as evidenced by my smoking bank statements), but Amazon isn't doing a very good job of recommending books to me lately.
I like to try new authors (I already know how to find the bestsellers, thank you very much). And one of the ways I stumbled upon most of the fantastic books I've been blogging about recently is through the "Also-Bought" feature. Yet, when I went to Marie Force's Fatal Destiny page (because I'd downloaded it as a freebie and wanted to BUY the rest) HER OTHER BOOKS weren't on the page. What? I have to know an author's name and search for her books that way? I read A LOT (have I said that already?) and I can't always remember the author's name until I've read several of their books. But I usually remember the name of the last book I read...
I tried it again with another book and what do you know? Nothing but freebies by other authors on the "Also-Boughts". Seriously? If Amazon is trying to get authors to stop giving their work away for free, they should just stop matching free prices. Let's be honest - they're the shiz and by not price-matching to free, they're not going to lose any "sales". But if they are going to allow freebies, as a reader and consumer, I want to be able to easily find an author's other books on their own book pages. Yes, I do enjoy seeing the other books in the same genre/price range, but if I wasn't OCD, Amazon would have just lost several sales because I'm irritated.
The "Also-Bought" feature should be just that... books that have been purchased by readers who also bought the one I'm looking at. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt the only books "also" purchased were all free. I understand why author's give away a first book in a series - it's a loss leader to build readership. For me, it's hit or miss, but when I find one I like, make it easy for me to buy the rest!
Or maybe there is a culture of readers who purchase nothing but free books. If that's the case, show them nothing but freebies. But I know your algorithms are smart enough to recognize that is not the case on my account... show me the good stuff! Impress my with your intuitive technology.
For the record, as a reader I enjoy being able to try out a short story that leads to a series for free. I have discovered MANY new voices it might have taken me years to uncover with these free introductions. As an author? Well, that's another blog post...
So, if anyone from Amazon is listening - I love your "also-bought" recommendations when they are a true picture of what was also bought and for most author's, their own books should be in that category... can we go back to the good old days? Please?
Rant over :-)
- Heidi Hall
- I am an avid reader, animal lover, devourer of guacamole, storyteller and the author of An Unexpected Obsession, A Dose of Reality, Witch Way, A Coven by Christmas, Love Spells, Summer Solstice (coming soon), Flirting With Death, Flirting With Murder and the rest of the upcoming Assassins Anonymous series. I attended Arizona State University (go Sun Devils!) and make my home in the Valley of the Sun with my husband and three pampered pets. I like to discuss everything funny, sexy, sassy and absurd. But mostly I like to talk about books... and shoes... and outrageously expensive purses... and Chanel sunglasses ...oooh, and anything sparkly... or fluffy! So, come on in and let's chat!