Amazon Hacks is a collection of tips and tools for getting the most out of Amazon.com, whether you're an avid Amazon shopper, Amazon Associate developing your online storefront and honing your recommendations for better linking and more referral fees, seller listing your own products for sale on Amazon.com, or a programmer building your own application on the foundation provided by the rich Amazon Web Services API.
Shoppers will learn how to make the most of Amazon.com's deep functionality and become part of the Amazon community, maintain wishlists, tune recommendations, "share the love" with friends and family, etc. Amazon Associates will find tips for how best to list their titles, how to promote their offerings by fine tuning search criteria and related titles information, and even how to make their store fronts more attractive. And the real power users will use the Amazon API to build Amazon-enabled applications, create store fronts and populate them with items to be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon. And just about anyone can become a seller on Amazon.com, listing items, deciding on pricing, and fulfilling orders for products new and used.
Chapter 1 Browsing and Searching
Amazon Product Pages
Find a Product’s ASIN
Find a CD’s ASIN with the UPC
Jump to a Product Using Its ASIN
Create Shorter URLs
Link Directly to Product Images
Switch to a Text-Only Amazon
Take Amazon Anywhere
Browse and Search Categories with Browse Nodes
Power-Search for Books
Search Amazon from the IE Address Bar
Search Amazon from Any Web Page in IE
Add an Amazon Sidebar Search to Mozilla
Chapter 2 Controlling Your Information
Understand Identity at Amazon
Fine-Tune Your Recommendations
Enable 1-Click Buying
Set Up a Group Account
Create an “About You” Area
Create a Wish List
Add Items to a Wish List Remotely
Add Multiple Items to a Wish List at Once
Organize Your Wish List by Priority
Set Email and Messages Preferences
Get Movie Showtimes
Create an Amazon Event Reminder
Create Several Birthday Reminders at Once
Best Practices for Your Amazon Account
Chapter 3 Participating in the Amazon Community
Accessing Community Features
Write a Review
Link Directly to Reviews of a Product
Post a Review from a Remote Site
Add Pop-up Amazon Reviews to Your Web Site
Send an Email Alert if a Review Is Added to a Product
Sort Books by Average Customer Rating
Sort Your Recommendations by Average Customer Rating
Scrape Product Reviews
Publish Your Amazon Reviews on Your Site
Share the Love (and Savings!) with Your Friends
Create a Guide
Post a Guide Remotely
Add Product Advice Remotely
Scrape Customer Advice
Create a Listmania! List
Gather Your Friends on Amazon
Gather Your Friends’ Amazon IDs
Get Purchase Circle Products with Screen Scraping
Find Purchase Circles by Zip Code
Track the Ranks of Books Over Time
Group Conversations About Books
Add a “Currently Reading” List to Your Web Site
Chapter 4 Selling Through Amazon
Understanding Amazon’s Sales Programs
Sell a Book with Amazon Marketplace
Speed Up the Listing Process
List Several Items for Sale at Once
Sell What People Want
Scope Out the Marketplace Competition
List Your Items for Sale on Your Web Site
Put an Item Up for Bid at Amazon Auctions
Get (and Keep!) a Good Seller Rating
Collect Donations from Your Web Site with the Honor System
Show the Progress of Your Honor System Fund on Your Site
Chapter 5 Associates Program
Make Money by Linking to Amazon
Build Associate Links
Sell Items from Your Site
Sell Items with Pop-up Windows
Create Banner Ads for Your Site
Rotate Through Several Keyword Banners on Your Site
Add an Amazon Search Box to Your Site
Show Amazon Search Results on Your Site
Create an Online Store
Donate to Charities Through Associate Links
Format a Review for Your Site
Create Amazon Associate Links on Your Movable Type Weblog
Simplify Amazon Associate Links in Your Blosxom Weblog
Add an Amazon Box to Your Site
Deep Linking to Amazon’s Mobile Device Pages
Measure Your Associate Sales
Publish Your Associate Sales Statistics on Your Site
Paul Bausch is an accomplished web application developer, and is the co-creator of the popular weblog software Blogger. Among his recent applications is BookWatch, a site that scans weblogs for book mentions, analyzes them to find the most frequently mentioned books, and uses the Amazon API to display the results. Paul is also an accomplished writer, and is the co-author of We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs, published by Wiley.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The tool on the cover of Amazon Hacks is a machete. The machete is a cleaver-like knife that is normally used to clear land or cut a path through thick vegetation. Unfortunately, it can also be used as a weapon. Emily Quill was the production editor and copyeditor for Amazon Hacks. Melanie Wang was the proofreader. Colleen Gorman, Sarah Sherman, and Claire Cloutier provided quality control. Jamie Peppard and Mary Agner provided production assistance. Tom Dinse and Johnna VanHoose Dinse wrote the index.
Hanna Dyer designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is an original photograph by Ellie Volckhausen. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's Helvetica Neue and ITC Garamond fonts.
David Futato designed the interior layout. This book was converted by Andrew Savikas to FrameMaker 5.5.6 with a format conversion tool created by Erik Ray, Jason McIntosh, Neil Walls, and Mike Sierra that uses Perl and XML technologies. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Helvetica Neue Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia Free-Hand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. This colophon was written by Emily Quill.
Mention the word "Amazon" today and most people will not necessarily think of the largest river in the world, especially the very young. The common perception of Amazon.com is that it is a web-based bookstore, but like its namesake river, Amazon.com is much more than merely a place to buy books.
Today, Amazon.com is really a complex web application. Instead of just a place to buy various items, Amazon.com is a tool you can customize and adapt to your own uses. This includes participating in the Amazon community, earning money through Amazon's Marketplace and Associates Programs, as well as improving the way you interact with the site.
This latest addition to O'Reilly's very successful Hacks series shows readers of every level how to tap into the power that Amazon offers. Through these industrial-strength tips and tools, readers will learn how to get the most out of Amazon.com.
Over Amazon's lifetime, the company has invested $900 million in technology. Though Amazon.com is more often thought of as an online "shop," today the company is really a highly advanced technology company. More and more, Amazon.com is in the business of providing technology to other businesses, as well as their customers. For example, 30% of Amazon's business is from third-party sales. This means other businesses, and sometimes even competitors are making money through Amazon.com.
In this super new "Hacks" title, we have a call to all true hackers out there to innovate on the platform. By lowering barriers to entry and experimentation on top of the Amazon platform, true hackers are invited to extend and enhance the platform for all to enjoy.
There are tools and tips here that will appeal to a wide variety of audiences, including online shoppers, web site owners, sellers of products, and software developers. Readers are also encouraged to remember that some of the hacks in the book will continue to evolve. You can always find the current ingredients for any serious software development, the Amazon.com API, at www.amazon.com/webservices.
When Amazon.com first opened its virtual doors on July 16, 1995, it was one of several online booksellers. As Amazon embraced the technology to categorize and display millions of books in one space, people embraced the ability to search for and purchase books in a new way. The experience of building a successful business based on an open system like the Web has influenced Amazon throughout its history.
Amazon has consistently pushed the technology envelope in their quest to provide a satisfying, personalized experience for their customers. What started as a human-edited list of product recommendations has morphed into a sophisticated computer-generated recommendation engine that tailors product choices for tens of millions of individuals by analyzing their purchase history and the patterns of other Amazon customers. As the Web evolved into a two-way space for discussion and community, Amazon developed features that let anyone post information and advice about products.
With this intriguing history, it should not have been a surprise when on July 16, 2002 Amazon released a free Web Services interface that gave developers programmatic access to Amazon's vast collection of product and customer data. With this interface, Amazon combined their core features of recommendations, affiliate marketing, and marketplace commerce into a single technology platform that can be used to build applications and businesses.
"Amazon Hacks" is not intended to be merely an exhaustive explanation of Amazon's features. Instead it's intended to highlight some lesser-known features, show some tricks for working with Amazon efficiently, and document ways to access Amazon programmatically. Developers are already creating new features for Amazon through the Amazon API, and it is this book's intent to convey some of their creativity and excitement, inspiring the hacker in you.
Summary of Table of Contents
The 100 Amazon hacks are organized into 6 chapters, including the following:
1 - Browsing and Searching
2 - Controlling Your Information
3 - Participating in the Amazon Community
4 - Selling Through Amazon
5 - Associates Program
6 - Amazon Web Services
Key Topics Covered
This book will show you how to do the following:
Find just the product you are after among the millions available at Amazon
Access, control, and fine-tune your Amazon preferences, recommendations, and information
Participate in the growing Amazon community and integrate Amazon features into your own Web site
Become and Amazon Associate, develop your own online storefront, and hone your recommendations for better linking and higher referral fees
Sell products online using Amazon's billing, inventory, and marketing infrastructure
Build full-scale desktop and server applications on Amazon's Web Services API
304 pages; foreword by the Amazon technology team; preface; figures; tips; sample scripts; index; cover colophon
About the Author
Paul Bausch is an accomplished Web Application Developer, and is a co-creator of the popular weblog software Blogger (www.blogger.com). He co-wrote "We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs" (John Wiley & Sons), and posts thoughts and photos almost daily to his personal weblog onfocus (www.onfocus.com).