Today I opened up my e-mail and found a message titled “One Woke Up”. I wondered, does this mean there’s some kind of issue with the book? Some kind of status update that could be good news?
Nope, it was a recommendation. They recommended my book, to me.
It’s not so much a triumph of a good algorithm as a broken feature. I’ve looked at my own product page a few times. Amazon has the option to turn off browsing history, but for some reason when you turn it off they keep collecting it. (I’ve reported this to them before. It went nowhere.) I routinely have to clear out my browsing history with them just so random crap I’ve looked at doesn’t stay in my recommendations. So because I’ve looked at the page, and Amazon is inappropriately making note of that, they think I’m interested as a potential buyer.
Once the book takes off I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be one of those first-timers who obsesses over every word in every review. And I’m pretty sure I’m gonna keep getting e-mails like this one.