|Amazon.com Launches ''Amazon Connect'' Enabling Customers to Receive Messages Directly from Authors|
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 1, 2006--Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) today announced the launch of its latest innovation for customers, Amazon Connect, a new program in which authors can post messages directly to their readers via the Amazon.com home page. Authors interested in joining the Amazon Connect program can visit www.amazon.com/connect.
Many authors operate their own Web sites, but their readers may not frequently visit those sites. With Amazon Connect, a customer is automatically presented with author posts directly on that customer's Amazon.com home page. To ensure that author posts are relevant, the posts are shown only to customers who have purchased that author's work in the past, or to those who explicitly sign up to receive that author's posts. The posts are prominently displayed in standard blog format (reverse chronological order).
"We invite authors to communicate with their readers in a way that hasn't before been possible," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com's founder and CEO. "Amazon Connect brings the author's message to the reader instead of waiting for the reader to find the message."
"Amazon Connect creates a relationship with my readers that didn't exist before," said author James Patterson. "Communicating directly with my readers about anything I want, whenever I want, is extremely powerful."
More than 1,000 authors are enrolled in the program to date, including Marcus Buckingham, Michael Covel, Robert Crais, Nelson DeMille, Anita Diamant, Frank Gallinelli, Caroline Myss, Karen Katz, Elizabeth Kostova, John Lithgow, Elizabeth Pantley, James Patterson, Jodi Picoult, Ann Rule, Karma Wilson and Meg Wolitzer. Authors can post as often as they like, and their posts will appear to Amazon.com customers immediately.
Author posts can be anything from current musings or information about upcoming projects to reading recommendations. Promotional posts are not allowed. Recent posts include insights into the frustrations and joys of the writing process, tips for aspiring writers, opinions on popular culture, and even favorite travel destinations and recipes. In addition to the Amazon.com home page, posts will appear on book detail pages, a blog page and on a special author profile page that features the author's three most recent posts and entire bibliography. In addition, customers can sign up to receive posts from authors whose books they have not previously purchased on Amazon.
A few recent posts:
From: Brad Thor (Author of popular thrillers including "Blowback" and "State of the Union")
The New Scot Harvath Thriller
3:00:49 PM PST, January 12, 2006
My family knows me as the king of mixed metaphors and in that context I wanted to report that I have been busier than a one legged man in a paper hanging contest. In addition to collecting military t-shirts banned on bases for being inappropriate, i.e. Guns don't kill people. I kill people... The Road to Paradise begins with me... and my current favorite - It's God's job to forgive Bin Laden, we're just here to arrange the meeting... I have been hard at work finishing my latest Scot Harvath adventure, Takedown.
This novel has been a lot of fun to write and part of that fun has come from the many generous people I have been able to work with. The partial list includes members of the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit, several United States Marines, a couple of particularly talented Army Special Forces pals, some new friends at the U.S. Secret Service, and quite a few folks in the intelligence community who have loved the premise of this new book since day one.
Writing Takedown has not only been a lot of fun, it has also been very challenging. I wanted to do a thriller set primarily in the United States, but as an "international" thriller writer a few exotic foreign locations still managed to find their way into the plot. I also am a big fan of the film, The Dirty Dozen, and wanted to create a novel with an ensemble cast of characters. With that cast, I wanted to explore what it means to be a patriot and how people with completely differing opinions can still be considered as such. Examining the idea of loyalty and how people view their country and the war on terror has provided a lot of grist for the mill.
So, that's a quick update from my desk here as I roll toward the editing process. I should have more for you soon. In the meantime, I hope you are finding lots of good books to keep you company until Takedown arrives. If you are looking for suggestions, please visit my Amazon author page for a list of several of my favorites reads.
From: Caroline Myss (Author of more than 50 books on health, healing and spirituality, including "The Creation of Health" and "Advanced Energy Anatomy: The Science of Co-Creation and Your Power of Choice")
4:24 PM PST, January 16, 2006
Hello Everyone -
I am just delighted to be able to have a direct line of communication with all of you. It's my pleasure to respond to your letters and your questions and to open lines of discussion on matters appropriate to my work. I also want to thank Amazon.com for this opportunity.
As I sit here in my office at home, I am reminded at how extraordinary technology has become. I admit to a personal agenda, which is to be a source of encouragement and support to any and all of my readers in this world that grows ever more intense. If I could place one jewel of inspiration in your soul this evening as I write this to you from my office, it is to tell you that every thing you do, say, think, feel, and all of your actions - are channels for grace in this world. You are a channel for and of grace. I wish people could experience the truth of that statement for just one second. Treasure your life and the gift of life on this planet. We are all we have...
I look forward to hearing from you and it is my absolutely pleasure to be in touch with you via Amazon.com.
From: Robert Crais (Author of action, adventure and suspense novels including "The Two Minute Rule" and "The Forgotten Man")
1:41:33 PM PST, January 26, 2006
This is seriously cool, gang -- a place on Amazon where you and I can get to know each other. I have a new book coming soon, and a website, and all manner of neat stuff to share, so let's get this dance started. ..
Most of you probably know me from the Elvis Cole novels. My new book, THE TWO MINUTE RULE, is not part of the series, but it began as an Elvis Cole novel. I was thinking about the nature of Elvis's clients -- the people who come to him for help. When you are the victim of a crime, you go to the police, right? But what if you couldn't go to the police? I realized only one type of person could be so totally alienated from society; completely outside the system and friendless -- a criminal. That's when I met Max Holman, the main character in my new book, and realized this wasn't an Elvis Cole novel. The real power of the story is Holman's isolation. He's a criminal, he's broke, and he is the ultimate outsider. So how does a man like Holman catch his son's killer when he believes the killer is a cop?
You can find out more about THE TWO MINUTE RULE here on Amazon, and you can also visit my website, www.robertcrais.com, where you'll find my tour schedule. Maybe I'll be coming to a city near you.
By the way, are there any other VERONICA MARS fans in the house? I LOVE that show.
From: Michael Bar-Zohar (Author of historical, non-fiction works including "Massacre in Munich: The Manhunt for the Killers Behind the 1972 Olympics Massacre" and "Lionhearts: Heroes of Israel")
The tragedy of Ariel Sharon
10:58:47 AM PST, January 16, 2006
Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, is lying unconscious in his hospital room, immersed in a deep coma. I know Sharon well for many years, since he was introduced to me by David Ben-Gurion, the founding father of Israel. I spent about fifteen years of my life working with Ben-Gurion and writing his biography.
In 1973 Ben-Gurion suffered a massive stroke. I hurried to the hospital where he was lying and was let into a quiet, white room. Ben-Gurion was lying quietly in his bed. He couldn't speak, he just looked at me with his deep, wise eyes. He communicated with me by tightening his grip on my hand. I was looking at the quiet, calm face of the father of my nation, the man who made me and so many homeless Jews a people again; and I thought of his moral testament to all of us. "The existence of Israel," he told me over and over again," depends on her force - and on her righteousness. We must be a light into the nations." I had never met another statesman or political leader for whom moral values were so important, who believed that his nation will have the right to exist only if it sticks to those moral percepts, given to us all, Jews and Christians and Muslims, in the Bible. I don't know if we have succeeded to accomplish this moral commandment of Israel's Old Man. But I see it as a call to my generation and those who will come after me - to try to build a country worthy of the teachings of Israel's ancient prophets.
Amazon Connect posts will appear in Amazon customers' personal log or "Plog" in the center column of the Amazon.com home page. Each customer's Plog is different (hence the name), and just like a blog, Plog posts are sorted in reverse chronological order. Each post also gives customers the opportunity to provide feedback to the sender or to respond with their own comments. This feedback loop means that each customer's Plog becomes even more relevant and interesting over time. A Plog will appear only if the customer is logged on to Amazon.com, and if posts relevant to that customer's purchase history have been submitted. In the future, Plogs will also help customers discover products that have just been released, track changes to orders and much more.
Amazon Connect and Plog are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
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Forward Looking Statement
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