Tuesday, February 2, 2010

An Ethical Amazon Best Seller Campaign?

I would love to get feedback about this post and comments for others to read.  I stumbled across a blog posting concerning ethics and using Amazon and failed to bookmark the post otherwise I would provide a link to it. The post detailed what the author of the post believed was an ethical approach to creating an Amazon Best Seller Campaign.

Rather than the usual methods advocated, this campaign is based on the idea of giving away large amounts of valuable information or content if people purchase copies of the author's book during a pre-determined time frame. This approach probably would not be effective for fiction books, but rather for non-fiction books.  The example given was for a non-fiction book in which the author gave away an estimated $750 worth of information.

The purchasers of the book had to e-mail the author in order to prove they had purchased the book and the author in turn e-mailed all of the free information to the reader in the form of PDF files. There was no mention of how the author communicated the program to the readers but my guess it was done via an e-mail newsletter the participants received from the author or an appeal on the author's website or blog.

Is this approach ethical? Is the author "bribing" individuals to purchase the book in an effort to create an Amazon best seller? Or is this a legitimate marketing tactic that no individual would consider questionable in terms of ethics if a brick and mortar book store offered the same incentive to customers?

Amazon is changing how the book industry works, that much is certain. How individuals market their books is changing as well.