Happy September, SEers! If you live in the U.S., or Canada, I hope you enjoyed your long Labor Day Weekend. You’re with Mae today, and I’d like to share a summer reading challenge. It may sound odd to do a post with the word “summer” given we’ve now inched into September, but summer isn’t over yet.
I want to share something you may not be aware of, and apparently is currently in a beta version. I’m referring to Amazon Reading Challenges. I was invited to participate in my first one last February. It only lasted a month, but I enjoyed it. I’m a voracious reader even without a challenge, but I liked earning badges for different types of books I read. I don’t remember all the categories but one that sticks out in my mind was to read any book in a series. I also earned points and badges for the number of days I spent reading. When I completed the challenge, Amazon gave me a $5.00 ebook credit at the end of the month. SCORE!
Then near the end of June, this showed up in my mailbox.
Oh, the goodies inside! Thirty-five pages of books, with special recommendations geared toward my reading taste. Of course I devoured it, checking off every book that interested me. Amazon even provided a handy large bookmark with space to write a Wish List on the back. Hmm… wasn’t that thoughtful?
I still refer to this catalog when I’m looking for a new book.
Then in July, I received an email invitation from Amazon to participate in their Summer Reading Challenge, running from July 2nd to September 22nd. Maybe the February Challenge went over so well, they decided to make this one longer.
As with most things, we have a Good, Bad, and Ugly. Let’s start at the top and work our way down.
More rewards, and more fun! As I’m typing this (mid August), I’ve already earned badges for being a bronze level reader, reading any fiction book, reading from any nonfiction book (scholar badge) and triple threat (read any 3 ebooks). There are also simple rewards like visiting the challenge home page. For each completed badge, more points are earned. For every 400 points, Amazon gives you a $4.00 ebook credit. As of this writing, I’ve earned $12.00 in ebook credits–all quickly spent.
I’m spending money on books. Hey, I can think of worse things to spend money on! For me, it’s also not necessarily a bad thing, as it’s something I do anyway, but Amazon makes it more appealing. I spend, I earn more points, they give me more credits, and the cycle continues. Different ebooks will earn different points. The higher the price, the more points you earn. Print books also earn points, but at a lower rate. Here are some examples of points:
$2.99 ebook earns 15 points
$11.49 ebook earns 58 points
$12.99 new release ebook earns 65 points
(I don’t believe all books in all prices ranges are the same. It think ranking and author also factor into it).
That same $12.99 new release only earned 29 points in paperback and 38 points for a hardback, despite the higher price tags, so this challenge is definitely Kindle driven.
Hopefully, these items will all vanish in the future, but for now, the ugly list:
Amazon reading challenges are still in beta form.
They are by invitation only from Amazon.
Reading challenges are only open to U.S. readers at this time.
So how do you get invited?
According to Amazon, you can increase your chances by signing up for Kindle special offer emails HERE. If you like to read and you have a Kindle, this is a no-brainer. My guess is the more people who sign up, the larger the pool of readers Amazon will have to choose from. That may mean I might not get invited again. I have no idea if there were other challenges between the first I did in February and the summer challenge, but I’m hoping this isn’t my last.
Has anyone else heard of these challenges, or participated? If you were invited, do you think it’s something you’d enjoy? Do think challenges like these are beneficial in encouraging more reading? Let’s chat books and reading in the comments.
Ready, set, go!