Coming soon: Amazon Book Clubs

Coming soon: Amazon Book Clubs

I recently was looking at an e-book page in the Kindle store, and saw a new feature:

Amazon Book Clubs

It was labeled for me as “early access”, which presumably means I was randomly selected as a beta (pre-release) user. Note that anybody can join Amazon Book Clubs right now: only early access users (like me) will be able to create clubs.

What is it going to be?

There will be both public and private clubs. Anybody will (eventually) be able to create a club. With private clubs, access will have to be requested. With public clubs, anyone can join.

Only the book club adminsitartor will be able to add books. You can add books the club has previously read (they want you to consider migrating existing clubs to Amazon, which might be convenient for tracking). It’s worth noting that they include the option to have a location…this is designed to be able to work for p-books (printed/physical books) with members meeting IRL (In Real LIfe), in addition to online.

It’s worth visitng the page now: you can browse (and join) clubs, but another feature is a list of books that are being recommended a lot across all club membership.

I checked one public club: “Unforgettable reads”. It has over 65,000 members at time of writing. The curent book is the novel, Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt.

Club members can add comments and have a discussion.

You can search for clubs. I was curious so I put in UFO and got four results. All of them were public: the one with the most had 71 members.

Searching for “Doc Savage” didn’t seem to work at all: they were all false positives, having the word “Savage” but not being about Doc Savage. That was true even with the search term in quotes.

A similar problem happened with “Star Trek”…it found clubs that had nothing to do with the show.

“Sci-Fi” did give me some results.

I’d say discovery could use enhancement. I’d want to be able to browse by most members, or most active, for example.

I do think this is interesting, and could be pretty engaging. Their challenge right now, I would say, will be to improve discovery and overcome the “noise to signal” ratio. There appear to be lots of clubs with under 10 members in them. Maybe it’s better for the people who are already in clubs, but I would think encouraging people to join clubs would be a primary goal.

I’m interested to know what you think! Feel free to let me know by commenting on this post or you can let me know on my Twitter feed:

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Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get.  Shop ’til you help!  

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog

Note: if you see ads below this, I didn’t put them there and don’t get any revenue from them. 🙂


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