Thursday, May 8, 2014

Writing 101: What #AmazonCart Can Do for Indies

If you're an Amazon customer (and I suspect that you are), you've probably already been spammed with emails regarding the new #AmazonCart hashtag. But if you're like me, you erased those emails. I don't read spam emails, but I do research things that interest me. And if you're an indie author, like me, #AmazonCart should interest you, too.


Not Another Hashtag

In a new partnership with Twitter, Amazon has unveiled yet another way to sell their products: #AmazonCart. If Amazon tweets a link to one of their products, you can simply reply to it with #AmazonCart. Through the magic of the Internet, that item will be added to your Amazon account. But here's the beauty of it: you can reply to anyone who posts a link to anything on Amazon. Yes...including indie books. You don't even have to click a link, just hit reply and you're shopping without leaving Twitter.


But since nothing is ever easy, there are some drawbacks to be aware of:

  • Linkage: In order for this to work, you've got to link your Twitter account to your Amazon account. If you're an indie author and you've used Author Central then you've probably done this already.
  • Publicizing: If you start using the #AmazonCart hashtag, you're going to be making the contents of your shopping cart public.
  • It Doesn't Work: Unfortunately, #AmazonCart doesn't work for digital items. So that marketing campaign that you were building in your head is going to have to be tweaked a bit. Because while digital items can't be added to your cart, Amazon will issue an automated email including a full picture of the eproduct and a link that can be used to purchase the digital item. 

The new hashtag is an interesting novelty, and as it catches on it could change the Twitter landscape. But for now, it's probably a little bit easier to keep posting direct links and hope that readers will directly click on them. Once #AmazonCart starts working for digital items, I'll let you know.

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