“Reading” into American Politics — Amazon.Com Launches Election 2008 Store
With only 57 days remaining until the general election, and the Democratic and Republican national conventions just completed, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced the launch of the Amazon Election 2008 Store (www.amazon.com/election2008).
“We thought it would be fun to show our customers what their political book purchases would look like on a red and blue map of the country,” said Russell Grandinetti, vice president of books for Amazon. “Of course, Amazon customers read widely and often buy books that don’t necessarily fit their own views. We’d be very surprised if our map matches the final Electoral College outcome in November — it definitely didn’t in 2004 — but we hope that the Election Store and the map will provide customers with an interesting and lighthearted way to follow the exciting political conversation across the country.”
The central feature of the Amazon Election 2008 Store is an interactive map of the United States highlighting “Red” and “Blue” states based on sales patterns of identifiably “Red” and “Blue” books from the past 60 days. Books are classified as “Red” or “Blue” based on political leaning made evident in book promotion material and customer classifications such as tags. As customers move their mouse over the multicolored map, they will see a meter showing the overall “Red” and “Blue” percentages for each state with the corresponding state reflecting the leading color. To compute each state’s “Red” and “Blue” totals, Amazon uses the top-selling 250 “Red” books during the 60-day period and compares those sales against the top-selling 250 “Blue” books of the same time period. All sales during the period are given equal weighting in the calculation. Updated daily, the map offers an entertaining and dynamic way for customers to follow the 2008 presidential election by enabling them to see what books people in their state are reading.
In addition to “Red” and “Blue” percentages, customers can also view a sampling of local political book favorites in their state. For customers interested in a historical look at the map, the store includes a “Red” and “Blue” versions of the map in two-month increments throughout the entire 2004 election as well as the 2008 election to date, illustrating how customer purchases have changed over time.
In addition to the interactive map, the Amazon Election 2008 Store features:
— An Obama/McCain meter, comparing the sales of all books written by the two candidates, and a Biden/Palin meter, comparing the sales of the most popular books about the vice presidential candidates.
— Books recommended by senators John McCain and Barack Obama so customers can read what the candidates are reading.
— Bestseller lists of “Red,”"Blue” and “Purple” political books.
— Booklists organized around top issues and presidential politics to help customers catch up on what they need to know before Nov. 4.
— Featured author interviews in the store throughout the election season to include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, author and former presidential speech writer Peggy Noonan, current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and journalist and author Ron Suskind.
— A customer discussion board where customers can voice their opinions about the upcoming election.
To check out the Amazon interactive “Red” and “Blue” book purchases map and listen to expert commentary about the current political climate and upcoming presidential election, visit the Amazon Election 2008 store at www.amazon.com/election2008.
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