Did You know? #AmazonReadingChallenges

close up of woman, face partially concealed behind open hardback book

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.

THE GOOD

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.

THE BAD

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.

THE UGLY

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.

THE TAKEAWAY

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!

Bio box for author, Mae Clair

62 thoughts on “Did You know? #AmazonReadingChallenges

  1. I never heard about this until today. I do read a lot but I doubt I will be chosen since they won’t let me leave any reviews. Not sure I want to try and fit in books of Amazon’s choosing. I am thinking about it. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know about your review situation, Michele and think it’s terrible. I wish Amazon would change that.

      Even without reviewing, the Kindle Challenge is great for earning Kindle dollars. I love that they give something back in return!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never even heard of this despite the fact I read a great deal. Lol- people always think that I am some kind of savant because I often get through three books in a week. The opposite is true, I just have a really dull job that allows me time to read throughout the day and I am an insomniac and so can be reading most of the night. Surely Amazon must know this from the purchases I make. It passed me by.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love to read, so these challenges are perfect for me, Judi, and the badges are definitely fun and intriguing. I love that the points add up to Kindle dollars which keeps me reading even more.
      The catalog was a really nice bonus as it was based on my reading tastes! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Most interesting, Mae. I was aware of this but hadn’t looked into it to any extent. The only challenge I’ve participated in, as an adult, is the yearly Goodreads challenge. This piques my interest, though, as I too am an avid reader. I’ll look into it more. Maybe it will stick around. Thank you for sharing the good, bad and ugly!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love the Goodreads challenge too, Jan. Like you, I do that one every year. Maybe since Amazon owns GR, that challenge is what prompted them to test one out on Amazon in beta form. Since you’re an avid reader I think you’d really like participating. I do hope it sticks around and Amazon makes it available to more readers.

      Like

  4. This is fascinating. I read a blend of fiction and nonfiction, and the latter is often paperback. Compared to you, I’m definitely a slow reader, usually just before bed. Thank you for sharing this possibility. I’m happy Amazon is incentivizing readers! Excellent post, Mae.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Gwen. My reading time is mostly before bed too, but weekends (especially summer) I squeeze in a lot more.
      Like you, I buy my nonfiction in paperback, mainly because I like to read with a highlighter!
      I’m glad to hear you like the idea of the challenge (it’s fun!) and enjoyed the post!

      Like

  5. Super post, Mae. This is great information for mega readers. I get through maybe 15 books a year (night-time reader), so this isn’t my cup of tea. My TBR is my primary focus, and I’m not sure I will ever catch up. Thanks for the super share of information.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Woohoo! That’s so exciting, Jeanne! I’m glad to hear you’re participating as well. I’m working toward my gold badge too now, though I’m not sure I’ll reach it. I read a few hardbacks and NetGalley books during the challenge period. The only other badge I haven’t earned is the Neverending Bookshelf. You used to be able to borrow a book from the Kindle library, but that one looked like you have to sign up for Kindle Unlimited to earn it and I didn’t want to do that.

      I hope they do more of these challenges. And I’d love to get another fat book catalog from them in the mail. Happy reading!

      Like

    • I go back and forth with paperbacks and ebooks, Dan, though I’ve probably upped my ebook reading due to this challenge. There’s some books I just want to have in hardback, and I always order nonfiction in paperback. It has been a fun challenge. I hope they expand it to more readers soon!

      Like

  6. The only time I heard of this was when you mentioned it. I’ve read more this year than in the past several. The downside is I’ve written fewer words. Thanks to Net Galley and renewing my local library card, I’m getting more free books. The challenge sounds like fun but I figure Amazon won’t offer anything that won’t make them more money. I could see many readers spending more just to get the badges.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been reading a ton more this year too, and just added an e-library book card. I think you were the one who mentioned that before, Joan. I haven’t used it yet, but it’s nice to know libraries lend ebooks, too. And I love NetGalley.

      I’m always buying books from Amazon, so for me the challenge has been a good one. Some of the badges are really simple things that don’t require spending money, but the “points” system for buying books is definitely geared for spending. My guess is they’re keeping it in beta stage until they see if they’re making more than they’re giving away.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m all for encouraging people to read too, Sarah. I hope when this moves past beta stage, Amazon will open it to countries outside of the U.S. I guess we’re the testing ground! 🙂

      Like

    • I get some really good reading recommendations for Amazon, Jill. Others are junk. They sent me one yesterday that had me scratching my head. But mixed in with the “doesn’t interest me” is plenty of books I’ve purchased, and of course, I was excited to be invited to a reading challenge–twice now!

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  7. I only knew about the challenge because you mentioned it before in conversation. I stopped doing the Goodreads challenge. I don’t know if I’d do this. It feels like pressure, and I like to read for fun. But it’s cool that they give rewards. It’s certainly something to consider. Thanks for the info.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love the Goodreads challenge! I still do that one every year. This one has been a lot of fun, too. I’m especially thankful they give Kindle dollar rewards. As if I don’t already have enough on my TBR, I keep loading on more, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

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