Several years ago I received an e-mail from Amazon inviting me to participate in a brand new program called Vine. What the heck is that, I thought. In their e-mail they said that they would send me FREE books! I got to KEEP the books! So what’s the catch? I had to read and write a review for the books. Okaaaaayyy….. What’s the real catch? So I called them. Yes, it was true. This was a brand new program. They were inviting me to participate. Yes, I could keep the books. At the time there was some nonsense that I had to keep ALL the books they sent to me. Yeah, right. Do you have any idea how quickly those pile up? (BTW, that changed recently. I guess they got some complaints from hoarders about the number of books piling up.)
Anyway, I’ve been a Vine reviewer since the inception of the program. Now if you’ve read my previous posting about my addition to books, you know this is like asking an alcoholic if it would be OK if someone sent him free booze every month. Heh heh heh. And the answer to that question would be? Heck, yeah!
So the way the program works is this. Twice a month I receive an e-mail notifying me that a new posting has been made in a special compartment of the Amazon website where I get to choose a certain number of books. They mail them to me. I get to read and write a review about them. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Since the beginning of the program, it has been expanded to include all kinds of products, not just books. Food items, vitamins, toys…you name it. Whatever Amazon sells. I’ve received some really terrific stuff. Aside from the books, I’ve received some neat food products, earphones, a flat bed screener, computer programs, toys….I can’t remember everything.
The big misconception by the public and what I’ve read online is that the Vine reviewers have to give everything a good review. That is definitely NOT so! I have been very frank when a product has been a real stinker. And some of them have been. I actually do try to read and review every book but they do pile up which is the big downside of this program. I’m a reader and have a whole bunch of books that I want to read for ME, not just for Amazon. But who’s complaining?
Are all of the reviewers as conscientious? I couldn’t say. I only know that I read at least a couple of books a week from the program, not counting my own, or considering that I have a REAL life. I’m not even in the top 1,000. Do the top reviewers real ALL the books they review? I can only speculate. If you rely on the reviews for Amazon or any other website, at least be a bit skeptical. I would say that most of the reviewers do a great job but there might be a few who take shortcuts.
Anyway, thank you Amazon, this is a great opportunity. And, for you curious people out there, I use a pseudonym, not my real name so you won’t be able to track down my reviews. It’s better that way, don’t you think?