I post a lot of reviews to Amazon and often notice those names with that little ‘Amazon Vine’ by them, like they’re special, or more
authoritative. I know their reviews carry more weight than the average review, but I didn’t know who they were or how they were selected–or pretty much anything about them.
Then Amazon made me a Vine Voice.
Here’s what I found out:
Launched in 2007 in an effort to encourage top-notch reviews, Amazon selects individuals with unbiased, well-written, balanced reviews to join a cadre of Amazon reviewers called Amazon Vine Voices. They are offered free products, then asked to review these for Amazon. There is no pay involved, just the free products like books, CD’s, movies, computer products, food–anything that is sold on Amazon. Every time they review a product, be it from the list awarded by Amazon or one of their own selection, it carries the logo for ‘Amazon Vine Voice’.
Here’s what Amazon says about it:
Amazon Vine™ is a program that enables a select group of Amazon customers to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make educated purchase decisions. Customers are invited to become Amazon Vine™ Voices based on the trust they have earned in the Amazon community for writing accurate and insightful reviews. Amazon provides Amazon Vine™ members with free copies of products that have been submitted to the program by vendors. Amazon does not influence the opinions of Amazon Vine™ members, nor do we modify or edit their reviews.
How do you join the Amazon Vine Program?
Amazon invites you to join. You can’t request the position or fill out an application. One day, you’ll be sitting at your computer, writing your next book, and an email will arrive asking if you’d like to become an Amazon Vine Voice. You, being a clever person, will immediately respond with a Yes.
Do Amazon Vine Voices Get Paid?
No. That would destroy the authenticity of the review. No one I’ve ever reviewed for has paid me. It’s normal to receive the product for free, shipped to my house, but nothing else. In that way, I feel no pressure to post anything but the truth.
What’s the Process Once You Become a Vine Voice?
Every month, there’s an email in your e-mailbox. From that list, you select which products you are willing to review. Amazon takes care of shipping them to you. When your review is ready, you post it as you would any review.
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