Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why does Amazon advertise my books, and yours?

On the day after the 2012 elections, I found an AP news report on about states approving gay marriage and pot-for-fun. 

Strangely, the page also included two nice ads from Amazon promoting books I've written -- that have nothing to do with marriage or pot. One of the ads was a "slide show" that displayed multiple book covers.

Book publishing is a very strange business. I'm not paying for the advertising.

Amazon explains it this way: "You were just shown an ad personalized by Here's how it works: The browser you are using recently visited this product's page on No personally identifiable information has been shared with the website you were viewing or any other third party. What are personalized ads? Personalized ads, sometimes referred to as targeted or interest-based ads, are based on information about you, such as the products you view on, your purchases on, visits to websites where we provide ads or content, or use of payment services like Checkout by Amazon on other websites."

I'm not likely to pay the retail price for books I've written and published, but I am impressed by the technology.

And sometimes I laugh at the technology. At the top right of the page you can see an ad for Outskirts Press. Slightly below it is an ad for my book that explains how shitty Outskirts Press is. Advertising is a very strange business.

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