I don’t get it.
While I also read “real” books, I buy most of my eBooks from Amazon. And most of those titles are literary fiction, well-written women’s fiction, well-written memoirs and well-written running/adventure memoirs.
So why in the hell do such unlikely and badly matched books appear as Kindle ads on my device? Amazon has a clear record of the over 300 books I’ve purchased, and none of what is advertised comes close, and I mean not even a smidgen close, to the titles that I regularly buy via Amazon.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not putting down these authors or their works. Writing a book is like running a marathon. It takes a tremendous amount of patience, willpower, fortitude, guts and too many hours to even mention. I get that. I appreciate that.
My problem is with Amazon. Can’t it adjust its algorithms? Can’t it look through my buying and browsing history and do me the courtesy of suggesting titles that have a small semblance of familiarity in terms of my reading likes and purchases?
So just for fun I decided to showcase the Kindle ads that assaulted me this weekend, along with the accompanying blurbs.
Instant Management Development Programme: Essential training for new and aspiring managers by R. T. Ellis: For new or aspiring managers, this easy to read guide sets out all you need to know to help you manage teams effectively and develop your people.
–Okay, cool, except I’m not a new or aspiring manager and I have no desire to manage teams or effectively “develop people.” Added kicker: When I looked this up on Amazon, the blurb was misspelled as “Porgramme.”
My Little Book of Putting by G.A.Finn. Some indoor and outdoor putting improvements practices could make next season special for you in the most important area of the game—the money shot!
–Maybe golf buffs would be excited about this but as a distance runner, the idea of golfing makes me want to eat a sandwich and fall instantly asleep. I would like to make “next season special” for me, though, but alas, just not in the realm of golf.
Goals suck by M.F. Stone. Goal-setting lowers your productivity, decreases your quality of life, and slows your progress in areas that matter most. There’s a better approach …
–How odd is it that all of these authors use only their initials? Do they not want to print their full name on their book cover? Or is it the same person writing under numerous pen names? Still, as a goal-orientated person, I don’t care about this one (but good luck to selling your book without a goal, M.F. Stone).
We Have Lost the President by Paul Matthews. A brilliant new comedy-thriller for lovers of British humor. Join Howie Pond in London 2044, as he tries to find a president.
–Well, one could only hope that we’d lose the president, eh?
Worth the Wait by Claudia Connor. From NYT bestselling author …He broke her heart. Now the FBI agent will get down on his knees to win her back. Read the first chapter!
—Okay, this one caught my attention because of the hunky guy on the cover. While romances are not my thang, Connor gets points for the sexy dude. P.S. Can I just have dinner with him and forgo the book?
The Code Thief by Justin Conboy and Robin Smith. Hacking was HARD, Hacking out was even HARDER!
–When I read this and saw the word hard, I immediately thought of sex (Probably I was still flustered from the hot dude Connor’s book cover). Then I realized it was about hacking and I, like, totally lost interest.
The Happiness Animal by Will Jelbert. Backed by research from the world’s leading psychologist and full (sic) entertaining and yet poignant anecdotes, this is a candid road map to a better life.
–I’m happy enough already, thank you very much. But still, cute cover.
Lost Dragon by Abraham Williams. At the base of Mt. Fuji Japan, Joseph finds the courage to endure a feud that began ages ago, over the famous Dragon Blades of Clan Dragon.
–Again, totally not my thing.
Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grisson by George Leopold. The first Gus Grissom biography in 10+ years, among the first to extensively research the tragic launch pad fire that killed Grissom in January 1967.
–My partner, who reads mostly biographies, might like this but it’s not at all my style though it did spark my interest enough to momentarily consider Googling Gus (alas, this never happened).
And then finally, finally, one true and real ad that actually fit with my reading style, an ad for an upcoming movie based on a book that I actually read on my (gasp!) Kindle:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
–Oh, praise be god to you, Oprah.