Reader FAQ

Why should I join Readers in the Know?

Because life's too short to read books you're not going to love, or to spend every day browsing book deals in the hope of finding one you will.

At Readers in the Know, you can:
  • Browse loads of great books at your convenience, knowing that every single one is matched to your preferences and will be on some kind of promotion within the next 90 days (assuming you selected 'Upcoming' from the 'Promotions' menu tab).
  • Set preferences for the exact category, content, genres and formats of books you wish to be shown, and have the books listed in the order of how well they match those preferences.
  • Add books to your own personal watch list, so we can notify you when they're on special offer.
  • Follow authors you like so we can notify you when they launch new books or schedule events.
  • Browse only those editions available in your selected country and always be shown the correct local currency and Amazon product links.*
And besides, it'll only take a minute and it's FREE!

* Assuming the correct information has been submitted by the book's publisher.

How many emails will I get?

As many or as few as you wish - from one a day to none at all.

By default, your preferences are set to include all books, and the option to receive automatic notifications of all books matching your preferences is set to 'Yes'. This means that by default, on any day that books are on promotion, you will receive one email listing the 20 books that best match your preferences.

If you narrow down your preferences, you will of course receive fewer notifications.

If you set automatic notifications to 'No', then you will only receive notifications for the books you have added to your watch list.

So if you don't add any books to your watch list, and automatic notifications is set to 'No', then you won't receive any emails at all. But of course then you'll miss out on all the great offers!

I registered, but didn't get the email with the activation link. What do I do?

First thing is to check your spam folder. Sometimes these emails get incorrectly tagged as spam by over-zealous email clients.

If you still can't find it, then send us a message using the contact tab above and don't forget to include either the username or the email address you entered so we can find your account and activate it for you. If we do this, then you should make sure that the email address you entered is correct, since if not, this would explain why you never received the activation email and of course we won't be able to contact you for anything else either.

How do I set my reader preferences or change other account details?

Once you have created an account, check your email inbox (and spam folder) for an email containing the account activation link. Assuming you receive this (typically arrives in five minutes or so), click on that link. This will activate your account and log you in automatically. After this, you will be able to log in and click the link at the top which says:

'Edit preferences for Reader: Your Name'

You will then be presented with forms allowing you to change any of the details of your account.

Make any changes you need and then click one of the two 'Save' buttons at the bottom of the page:

  • Click 'Save permanently' to permanently store any changes you've made to our database.
  • Click 'Save for this session only' to experiment with different search criteria without changing your stored preferences. These temporary settings will remain in use until you click 'Clear temporary preferences' on the home or promotions page, or until you log out of your current session.

Now, when logged in, you will only be shown books that match your preferences and the order in which they are listed will depend on how well they match, with the highest match scores appearing at the top. For more details of how preference matching works, click here.

I changed my preferences and now I can't see any books at all. Why?

To check whether it really is your preferences that is the problem, try unticking the checkbox on the home page labelled Use saved preferences for all other criteria and click 'Update'. If the books all reappear, it means you have restricted your preferences to the point where they no longer match any books on our database.

If this is the case, try the following:
  • Is your minimum star rating set to its maximum of 5? Even the very best books tend to get a few negative reviews and so very few will retain a perfect 5 star rating for long. Try 4.0 or even 4.5 if you want to be really exclusive, but remember that selecting any value at all for your minimum rating will immediately exclude all books which have not yet received any ratings, since these effectively have a rating of zero.
  • Have you set the minimum number of reviews too high? Don't forget that many really good books can take a few months to earn Amazon customer reviews, so you may be missing out.
  • Have you been too restrictive in your choice of genre tags? It is a very long list and it may be some time before we have books tagged with every single category, so try ticking a few more and see what happens.
Yes, clicking this icon on the home or promotions page, will take you to a sortable, searchable table view from which you can search by:
  • Title
  • Author
  • ISBN - shown when you hover or click on the format icon in the table.
  • ASIN - shown when you hover or click on the format icon in the table.
  • or indeed any other value displayed in the table.

Don't worry if you can't remember the full title of the book or name of the author. The search function is incremental, meaning that as you start typing, you will immediately be presented with the best matches so far.

Please Note: If you are logged in and have changed your preferences from their default settings (which match all books), then your search will be limited to those books which match your newly saved preferences. To overcome this without altering your preferences just untick the option to Use saved preferences for all other criteria and click 'Update'.

What is 'My Watch List' and how does it work?


The 'watch list' is at the heart of Readers in the Know. Unlike other book sites which just show you all the books currently on promotion, Readers in the Know also lets you browse books with upcoming promotions - which is likely to be most of them. In addition to this, it will filter these results based on detailed, personally selected preferences.

Then, when you see a book that looks interesting, you simply click the green plus symbol to add it to your 'watch list'. The symbol will then change to a red minus, the book's watch list counter will be incremented by one, and you will receive an automatic notification email once that book comes on promotion.

You can view the books on your watch list at any time by selecting 'My Watch List' from the main menu.

Please note that you need to be logged in to use the watch list function and each book (edition) can only be added once by each reader.

What happens if I click the 'Follow' button on an author profile page?

Following an author will add them to an expandable summary list under 'My Watch List' -> 'Authors', and trigger an email notification (from us) of any new announcements or events from that author.

It may also occasionally qualify you for free book prize draws. This will happen if an author or publisher runs a 'giveaway' promotion on a particular book (usually a paperback, hardcover or audio book) and asks us to randomly select the winner(s) from their followers.

Rest assured however, that none of your details will be passed on to the author being followed and even in the event of you winning a prize draw (as described above) you will be given the author / publisher's email address and left to choose whether or not to accept and send your postal address - which of course they would need in order to ship you the free book.

How does the preference matching work?

Our books are classified by their publishers according to the same categories and options found in your preferences form.

In the case of the first two categories: 'format' and 'type of books', only books classified with the options you tick will match. So for example, if you untick 'Children' you will not be shown any books with an exclusive audience of children. However, if you still have 'Young Adult' ticked, then any book classified for both children and Young Adults will still match.

Content rating works a little differently, in that you select your maximum acceptable rating. So for example, if you select 'some' for how much bad language you are prepared to tolerate, then only books classified with either 'none' or 'some' (bad language) would be matched and any classified with 'lots' would not. The 'Explicit' category for sex, violence, and drug use, works in a similar way but is independent of the 'none', 'some' and 'lots' ratings.

In the case of 'Genre', your preferences will be matched for any book sharing one or more of your selections (assuming the previous categories are also matched). So for example, if you decided to limit your selection to only 'Romance' as a genre, then only books classified as 'Romance' (whether fiction or non-fiction) will be matched. However, this would also match books with additional classification, such as 'Humour' and 'Romance' for example. So the absence of a tick does not necessarily exclude books of that genre, it just means that their match score (the number of shared ticks) will be lower, and so the book will appear further down your initial listing.

Please also note that although the columns of the genre section loosely represent classifications for fiction and non-fiction respectively, many books will have ticks in both columns. For example a fictional novel with a heavy focus on Computers & Technology, might have this ticked as well.

Why do some authors give away their books for free or for just a few pence?

Before the advent of ebooks, the publishing world was controlled by a relatively small number of large publishers who served as gatekeepers to the market. Unless an author was lucky enough to be noticed by one of these companies, their book would never see the light of day.

For every J.K.Rowling, whose manuscript, after numerous rejections, was finally recognised and given a chance, hundreds of equally talented authors would not have been so lucky.

Now such authors have another option - digital publishing. With relatively little financial investment, they can self-publish their work for Kindle and let the market decide whether it's worth buying. In many cases, it is not, and such books inevitably sink to obscurity. In contrast however, a great many will succeed, finding audiences of which many traditionally published authors can only dream.

But this new ease of publishing presents a challenge - how to get the word out about one's book without the marketing budgets of traditional big publishers?

Well, it turns out that one of the most effective answers to this question is to run 'free' or 'discount' promotions. By offering one's book for free or with heavy discounts for a few days every once in a while, it may find its way onto the Kindles of thousands if not tens of thousands of potential new readers, some of whom will like it, tell their friends about it, post positive reviews on Amazon and look out for future books from the same author.

For most authors, just knowing that people are reading and enjoying their work is as important, if not more so, than the royalties they earn from sales. So if you've enjoyed a book and wish to thank the author, then the best thing you can do is spend a few minutes posting a favourable review on Amazon. This not only boosts the author's morale, but will actually help him or her to sell more books at the regular price.

Why do you need to know which country I live in?

There are several reasons for this. The most important are:
  • So we only show you books that are available in your chosen market.
  • So the links to these books take you to your chosen Amazon store. (Although most book websites happily provide links to, this is little use if you happen to live outside the US)
  • So pricing is shown in the currency of your chosen market.
  • So our authors and publishers can better tailor their promotion and event schedule to our global membership.
See our current membership demographics.

Why do you need to know my gender and age range?

This is best answered by visiting this link to our membership demographics page.

I clicked on the 'Buy Now' link for one of the books currently on promotion,
but Amazon is still showing the regular price. Why?

There are at least three possible reasons for this:
  1. If it's a "giveaway" rather than a "free" or "discount" promotion, then this is normal. If you go to the book's dedicated page on this site, you will find details of what you need to do for a chance to win a free copy. Typically this type of promotion is used on paperbacks, hardcovers and audio books.
  2. If it's "free" or "discount", then it may just be that Amazon's servers have not yet been updated with the new pricing. Please note that Amazon 'FREE' promotions usually begin soon after midnight, US Pacific Time (which is 8am GMT)
  3. It is also possible (though hopefully unlikely) that the promotion has been incorrectly scheduled by the book's publisher, in which case please let us know by selecting the 'Contact' tab above. If verified, we will remove the book's promotion status and notify its publisher immediately.

Why is the total number of reviews shown here higher than the number shown on Amazon?

Amazon has not (yet) fully centralised its review system across all markets.

This means that a book with 100 reviews on and 50 on for example, will show either 100 or 50 depending on which country's store you happen to visit but never the total, 150.

Here at Readers in the Know, we feel that this system under-represents authors with a more international following, and for this reason we scan the review pages of all English-speaking markets and sum the total of all reviews we find.

Similarly, we further average the 'average ratings' across the same markets.

In fact, since we have no direct access to Amazon's review system, it is likely that our totals may be a little under the current combined value, especially for books with a particularly high rate of review posting.

Why is there no facility for creating reader reviews on this site?

We thought about this, but decided against it. The main reason for this decision is that if our members were to create reviews here on Readers in the Know, they would be less likely to post reviews on Amazon, and while reviews here would undoubtedly hold some value to the authors and publishers of those books, they would probably not be as valuable as Amazon customer reviews.

Amazon customer reviews not only help other customers to make purchase decisions, they influence Amazon's ranking algorithms, which in turn influence how often a book is presented to new potential customers and thus ultimately affect sales.

What about privacy? Do you guarantee not to pass my details to any third party?

We will NEVER pass your details to any third party and have taken every reasonable precaution to ensure that all stored data is properly secured against unauthorised access.

I forgot my password. How can I reset it?

Just click here, enter your user name or email address as prompted, then check your email inbox for a message containing the reset link.

Can I delete my account?

We would really rather you didn't, but yes, of course you can.

However, if you just want a break from the notification emails, why not just untick the automatic notification option and clear all the books from your watch list? You will then receive no more automatic notifications, but your account will remain valid, so you can still log in any time and check the latest deals.

If you still really, really, really want to leave us, just go to Edit Preferences, click

Edit Profile
and then click
Delete my account

Alliance of Independent Authors /
Accept Cookies?
Provided by OpenGlobal E-commerce