Amazon Prime – Is it Worth My Time?

Yesterday, I wrote about the need for book reviews and how important it is for authors to find reviewers for their books. I have been trying to buy one or two books a month to help support my fellow writers. Sometimes I can do this, other times I can’t.

I know the reviews of books that have been bought are the reviews that potential readers see first. The last time I read Amazon’s review rules, it said that authors can have 5 non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews each week. I have added the quotes below:

Here are some quotes from the Amazon site:

“Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.”

Additional Guidelines for Customer Reviews

“The following guidelines apply to Customer Reviews in addition to the other guidelines set forth above:

If your review is removed or rejected because it does not comply with our guidelines concerning promotional content, you may not resubmit a review on the same product, even if the resubmitted review includes different content.

Reviews may only include URLs or links to other products sold on Amazon.

Customers in the same household may not post multiple reviews of the same product.

Customers can submit 5 non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews each week. Non-Amazon Verified Purchase review counts are calculated each week from Sunday at 12:00 am GMT through Saturday 11:59 pm GMT. This policy does not apply to Vine reviews or reviews on digital and physical books, music, and video.

When we find unusually high numbers of reviews for a product posted in a short period of time, we may restrict the number of non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews on that product.

To learn more about Amazon Verified Purchase views refer to About Amazon Verified Purchase Reviews.”

Now, I have some questions, and if you know the answers point me in the right direction… I have been thinking about getting an Amazon Prime membership so that I can buy books for reviews and stream music to my Alexa device.

It is my understanding that an author is paid royalties by the number of pages read when the book is bought from Prime. If that is incorrect, please explain to me how this works. I only want to get Prime if the author is not hurt from the program. Obviously, I will read the entire book (good or bad).

The subscription is $99 per year, and I could buy all the books I wanted. Here’s the rub… Will my reviews be considered an Amazon Verified Purchase? If they are NOT, I see no reason to buy the Prime subscription.

If you know the answers to these questions, Please, let me know…

20 thoughts on “Amazon Prime – Is it Worth My Time?”

  1. Pingback: Writing Links…3/13/17 – Where Genres Collide

  2. I don’t know how reviews would be posted, but I do know as an author with many of my books in Select, the Unlimited (not Prime) members who download my books and actually read pages, results in a payment to authors of approximately $4.90 per thousand pages read. I’ve seen a steady increase in my monthly royalties from pages read. However, those pages read do not count toward our author ranking or book ranking, so technically, it’s not counted as a sale (which might answer the question about reviews with authorized purchase if you’re Unlimited–worthwhile to ask Amazon). It’s a mixed bag, and the winner is, of course, Amazon. I am not in Unlimited, although I tried it. It’s roughly $10 per month, and I think you can download 10 a month. When I did the trial, I think you had to read those 10 books during that month or they disappeared from Kindle. I am a Prime member ($99 or more per year) for the free shipping and Amazon videos for free (limited selection). Plus we can download one free book per month. I hope that clarifies things even more.

    1. Thanks so much, Pat. I think I will spend the $99 a year on buying books from my favorite authors. That seems like a much better way to spend the cash. I had the two programs confused. Thanks for your clarifications. <3

  3. Colleen, I’m a Prime member for everything on Amazon and have never run across anything other than better prices as well as donations to my MS Support group when I use the “Smile Amazon” option. Most of the book reviews I give, and all of the following of my progress seems to come from Goodreads, although when I “borrow” a book on my Kindle, it remains for the month allowed and then disappears, whether I have finished it or not. No immediate option to buy email but always that option is left open and to my discretion. I wish I could purchase all the books in the store, but with fading vision now I have to be sure to purchase only the ones I want to hand down to the person who will receive my device when I’m gone. I really love the Prime membership for the discounts, the donations to MS, and the ease of delivery both digital and shipped. Love yours, and looking forward to the hopefully soon day that I can add Volume 2 to my collection. If my eyes last that long! MS is a vicious disease! A.

    1. Hi, Angie. I had Amazon Prime, and Amazon Unlimited books confused. I was looking for a way to support other Indy authors by buying there books directly from Amazon so my reviews would stay and not be deleted. I won’t use most of the capabilities of Prime so I’ve decided to use the $99 a year to buy books. That seems like a better deal to me. Now, I am over the moon, that you are loving The Swamp Fairy. Book II is slowly progressing and Abby learns more about the fairy nymphs she serves. Watch my blog starting tomorrow for 3 chances to win a signed copy of The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy. <3

      1. I’ll sure try to win this one, Colleen. The friend I bought the hard copy of Book 1 finished it in one sitting, and loves is also. I was once able to read a book from cover to cover, but my eyes are older and MS is slowly taking them away from me, so reading is slower, but as long as i can see anything at all books are top of my list. My daughter is like me there–we both began Anna Karenina at the same time (she was grade 6 then) and while I stayed up all night, she took her copy to school and read during all her breaks. We both finished about the same time and that was kinda upsetting for me. I was sure I could read faster than she did.

  4. I just started getting prime the past few months. Like above, I have so many books to read, it’s hard to get around to them all. I wish I had more time. I do leave reviews of all the books I read either on my blog, amazon, or Goodreads if I can. I also have unlimited but I haven’t justified its price yet as I am finding catching up on my reading extremely limited. Oh, and by the way, it’s really not unlimited. You are allowed ten books. To get another, you have to let one of the others go. I feel I should review those books before moving on and I just haven’t been able to as of yet. I get offered so many books on a daily basis, I just can’t keep up with them all. I need to figure a solution to all this in the future, for sure. Hope this doesn’t make me sound like I don’t care about authors. The truth is: I DO, that’s why it’s so hard to move between the choices.

    1. Thanks so much for the clarification, Traci. I think I will take that $99 and buy books as I go. I am swamped too. We need more book reviewers! LOL. Of course you don’t sound bad. We know how hard you work at reviews! 😘❤

  5. You’re getting Unlimited and Prime confused, Colleen. You can get an Unlimited membership and that allows you to read as many books as you like per month (I think, I don’t have it) but they have to be books that are part of the unlimited promotion (none of my books are exclusive with Amazon, well, one I’ve published under another name, so they can’t be read by people who have unlimited). You’re right that if you submit your books exclusively to Amazon as part of unlimited, they pay you something per page read. Books that are not on unlimited, you still have to buy, if you want to.
    Prime gives you other benefits, including free delivery on most items (not only books, but furniture, food, whatever), and free streaming of movies and TV series (the ones that are part of the Prime catalogue, as these change, although Amazon own productions are always part of it). If you’re with Prime, it also gives you the option of getting one of the books from one of their imprints a month before it goes on sale (basically it’s a way to ensure that they get plenty of reviews when the book is published, although most of the time I don’t have the time to read them before they are published).
    I have Prime and I use it for watching a variety of content (that includes also games, and in the past, it included music but not the case any longer…) and it might be handy if you get a lot of stuff delivered, but I have too many books to read already and I’d never have the time to read more to justify Unlimited.

    1. Olga, thanks so much for the explanation. How confusing. I’m on KDP. The box that says you can read the book for free does not show up on my book’s Amazon page. O.K. I can see no real advantage to getting the book for free. Did you read the review rules? Those are ambiguous too! By the way, I took your advice and used Draft2Digital. Thanks for setting me straight. (Eye-roll). <3

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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