Author Topic: Amazon Giveaway Weirdness  (Read 246 times)

Bill Hiatt

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Amazon Giveaway Weirdness
« on: January 22, 2019, 02:26:39 AM »
From time to time, I've used Amazon giveaways for various purposes, but it's been a while. The other day, I decided to do one with my new release and was horrified.

It used to be that Amazon let authors set the lucky number for the lucky number option. I used to have about every fifth person win. Now the numbers are preset and ridiculously high. (600, 800, and 1000 for paperbacks; 100, 200, and 300 for ebooks). I guess Amazon is trying to make the giveaways run longer--in the old days an Amazon paperback giveaway advertised with the right hashtag on Twitter would be over in minutes--but to me it seems to be a way to disappoint an enormously larger number of people. That might not be so bad if there were a way to let losers buy the product at a discounted price, but that option is only available to pro sellers.

There also used to be a random pick option that selected all the winners at the end of a giveaway--gone. There used to be customization of welcome message and winner and loser messages--gone.

The option to ask entrants to follow on Twitter vanished long ago. The option to ask entrants to follow on Amazon is looking less and less attractive. I followed myself to monitor the system, and I don't think I got any notice on my last new release. This one has been out two weeks, and still no announcement--so really, why bother?

It's too bad. I used to think they were useful. Now the only thing they're good is if you want to incorporate books into your own giveaway. You can generate codes to give to winners through the everyone wins option. Aside from that, Amazon has managed to render the whole thing useless, at least as far as I can tell.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
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PaulineMRoss

Re: Amazon Giveaway Weirdness
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 08:46:32 AM »
The option to ask entrants to follow on Amazon is looking less and less attractive. I followed myself to monitor the system, and I don't think I got any notice on my last new release. This one has been out two weeks, and still no announcement--so really, why bother?

I've never used the giveaways (I think they were only available in the US, maybe?), but I believe that they were open to abuse. People were using them to manipulate ranks, so I'm guessing that's why the rules have been changed.

On the alerts to followers about new releases, they've gone from being wildly unpredictable to predictably awful. I was still getting alerts about November releases until a few days ago. I'm now getting stuff from early to mid December.

However, if you have a long enough pre-order that they can get their ducks in the proverbial, they will send out an alert on the actual day of release.

Writing epic fantasy as Pauline M Ross; writing Regency romance as Mary Kingswood
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