Better incentives for book reviews than Amazon
Oct 27, 1999 Write an essay on this topic.
Both Amazon.com (through it's Associates program) and Epinions.com(through its Eroyalties program) offer naked bribes for people to write book reviews and link through their sites. For Amazon, it's 10% of the take if someone
buys a book through your link; for Epinions, it's currently $0.10 if a registered user reads your book review. (The base rate for Epinions is $0.01, but they're offering $0.09 in "bonus" rewards). I'm participating in both programs, here's my take on both.
Amazon sounds like the better deal, because potentially you can clear $3.00 if someone buys a $30.00 book through your link. In practice, though, people don't seem to have a tremendous overwhelming urge to buy every book they hear about through the first link to it they run into. Since Amazon doesn't provide any sorts of tools for constructing
bookshelves full of books ready for linking through, it's relatively a lot of work for what seems to be very small potatoes rewards. I've gotten way too many pages sent weekly with "associates reports" that show search
engines regularly finding the same dozen books and never buying anything.
Epinions has equally small potatoes rewards, but they seem to be more capable at the moment of making a game of it. I was inordinately pleased to find that the few book reviews that I posted to the site had gotten enough traffic to put me in the "most popular reviewers" list for books. Let me tell you that's enough incentive to keep typing all by itself.
Amazon has a much broader and deeper collection of reviews on line right now. They have (random) people's opinions on pretty much everything in print. Epinions has a much smaller collection of reviews, but because you
can check up on what all else a reviewer has read it's an interesting place to surf around for ideas and reading lists. I guess I value an opinion more when I can give feedback on it and when I get feedback it turn for my own opinions in the form of these micro-payments.
Given the choice - write 25 words for Amazon, write 75 words for Epinions, or do either for Vacuum, I'll always choose Vacuum. But...geez, I've earned enough scrip at Epinions to pay for half a year's net access already. If it keeps up I can see contributing there and molding the form of the book reviews I do for Vacuum so that they're all archived separately at Epinions.
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