Amazon.com is offering customers two new services: access to galleys and the opportunity to publish their own works.
Through Project Vine, readers with a history of posting accurate and helpful book reviews are being invited to receive advance copies for review purposes. And, through CreateSpace, a division of the company that already provides CD- and DVD-on-demand services, Amazon has added book publishing options.
Amazon Vine rewards the site’s elite reviewers by giving them access to advance copies. According to a representative at Amazon, invitations have gone out to the site’s “top reviewers,” deemed so by their review rankings, to become Vine Voices. The spokesperson added that the customers selected—who will get galleys from publishers that opt to participate in the program—will not be paid by Amazon and their reviews will not be altered by the company. The reviews from the Vine Voices will likely be among the first for those titles on Amazon.com.
CreateSpace Books on Demand will allow customers to have their works sold through Amazon and also be printed by the company. Amazon has dropped the fees it once charged for its on-demand technology; users can create their own customized e-store at CreateSpace.com.
Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s senior v-p of North American Retail, said CreateSpace Books “removes substantial economic barriers” to self-publishing, while also giving customers access to a wider array of titles. The program gives on-demand books the same features as other titles on the site, including Search Inside and Amazon Prime.