The Mail I Get

Barbara Early sent me this amusing email

I thought you'd like to know what Amazon is recommending to readers of your books. I'm not sure what make of it. 

Dear Customer,

We've noticed that customers who have purchased or rated Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse by Lee Goldberg have also purchased Inside Animal Hoarding: The Case of Barbara Erickson and her 552 Dogs by Arnold Arluke. For this reason, you might like to know that Inside Animal Hoarding: The Case of Barbara Erickson and her 552 Dogs will be released on March 15, 2009. 

The book is described as an indepth look at "one of the largest and most intriguing cases of animal hoarding in recent history." Why that story would be of interest to Monk readers is beyond me. But it does give me an interesting idea for a character that Monk can encounter in the next book…

6 thoughts on “The Mail I Get”

  1. Amazon’s attempt at “free association” has always amused and terrified me. If I buy the latest Barry Eisler thriller, why does Amazon think I’ll also like the true story of a married couple who are both autistic? If you want true randomness, turn on the “Genius” feature of your iTunes store. Because I already own a bunch of George Harrison songs, it recommended that I might like Michael Jackson. Um… why?

  2. Publishers pay Amazon to create the link. The book pages of popular authors are considered exploitable turf by both Amazon and publishers who purchase the link.

  3. Maybe it’s because dog hoarding has to be an obsessive compulsive behavior? Amazon’s computer must highlight certain words and phrases from the book description, tags, etc.?
    Still pretty much the opposite of anything Monk would do. It would fit better with Mr. Monk in Outer Space, since Ambrose makes an appearance.

  4. Amazon has long given 2 weeks notice to people who have purchased or rated an author’s book that the next book by that SAME AUTHOR will be coming out soon.
    For example, this went out on 3/1/09 to people who purchased or rated a Laws book:
    “As someone who has purchased or rated books by Jim Michael Hansen, you might like to know that Voodoo Laws will be released on March 15, 2009. You can pre-order yours at a savings of $1.65 by following the link below.”
    The publisher (Dark Sky) did not pay for this. It is automtically generated by Amazon.
    The Firehouse email, however, is the first that I have ever heard of Amazon giving email notice of a DIFFERENT AUTHORS book, although it wouldn’t suprise me as teh start of something new because it is another way for Amazon to send an email and remind the world it is alive.
    Did the email recipient in this case actually purchase or rate Firehouse? That would be interesting to know. When you look at the “Customers who bought this also bought” listing on the Firehouse wegbpage, there is no mention of the dog book, and vice versa.

  5. Yes, Jim, the email recipient did buy Firehouse. I don’t recall if I rated it or not. And no, I passed on the dog book.
    Right now Amazon in inundating me with ‘new releases’ by Daniel Defoe.


Leave a Comment