Update: Amazon has ceased offering Giveaways as of October 31st, 2019. I maintain the post below for archive purposes only.

An Update on Amazon Giveaways

Amazon | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Image: dailyfinance.com

In my recent post on how to set up an Amazon Giveaway, I had said that Amazon won’t allow you to give away an e-book. Well, I’m pleased to report that this is no longer the case. As Chris McMullen informed us in his excellent blog, Amazon just expanded their giveaway program so that all KDP authors (even if you’re not in Select) can run Amazon Giveaways for their Kindle e-books.

The only difference is that Ebook giveaway prizes are not eligible for refunds. If the giveaway ends with some prizes unclaimed, you will have the option to either create a new giveaway with the unclaimed prizes without additional payment or download Kindle gift codes to distribute them as gifts.

Still, removing the need to run giveaways for print books makes the giveaway process much more affordable, since e-books are less expensive and there are no shipping charges.

Chris is also sharing some fascinating statistics, which explain why this program has been a resounding success for Amazon:

  • Traffic to Amazon product pages increased by over 40% during the week of an Amazon Giveaway.
  • Over 300,000 new Amazon followers have been added as a direct result of Amazon Giveaways. Chris’s prediction (with which I agree) is that this number will shoot through the roof in the coming weeks, now that giveaways have expanded to include Kindle e-books.
  • Over 2,800,000 Twitter followers of authors have been added as a direct result of Amazon Giveaways.

Further Update

I’ve been told that kindle giveaways on amazon.com aren’t available to authors outside the US. Amazon will let overseas authors do giveaways for physical books, but not e-books, so that’s something to keep in mind.

An Update on Vanishing Reviews

Amazon's vanishing reviews | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Warning: vanishing cream will now be applied to reviews using affiliate links

You may remember the controversy on the issue of reviews, triggered by Amazon’s decision to remove all of Christoph Fischer’s 1,700 reviews. Amazon has done it again, this time removing all reviews written by Dianne of Tome Tender fame.

It looks like there is method to Amazon’s seeming madness, though, as my author friend, Effrosyni Moschoudi, recently informed me.

Bloggers who post their reviews on both their blog and Amazon need to avoid affiliate links when linking to the book. Amazon now deletes all reviews of people who use affiliate links to link up from a book review post to that book on Amazon!

Why? Because Amazon’s Terms Of Service forbid a reviewer to receive payment for a review. Yes! The few cents you would get via your affiliate tag for any sales incurred is now considered payment. So make sure to remove your affiliate tags on your blog from all your review posts.

Further Update:

A friend kindly forwarded me a copy of the email Amazon sends people considered to be violating the ToS. I hope none of you ever sees this. Still, it’s interesting to note that the Reply-to address is review-appeals@amazon.com, so at least you’ll have a chance to appeal their decision.

Reply-To: review-appeals+A3J9UDEOM73V@amazon.com
Subject: A Message from Amazon Review Moderation


We have determined that you may have manipulated Customer Reviews. As a result, you may no longer post reviews on Amazon.com, and your reviews have been suppressed.

Any attempt to manipulate ratings, feedback, or Customer Reviews is prohibited.

To learn more about this policy, please see our Customer Review Creation Guidelines (https://amazon.com/help/customer-reviews-guidelines).

Review Moderator Amazon.com