The Altmetrics service Altmetric.com announced yesterday that it tracks now discussions about books listed on Amazon in social media and other not primarily scientific publications. According to altmetric.com’s posting this new data source produces „huge volumes of attention data – in just a few days Altmetric has found over 145,000 new mentions of 3,000 Amazon-listed books from Twitter, and over 20,000 mentions from other sources such as news, blogs and policy documents. Around 2 million mentions a year that relate directly to an Amazon record for a book are expected.“
Since the impact measurement for book publications is considered to be complicated and as citations are considered to be of little use for this purpose, Altmetric. com integrated an important impact source for books. It should be noted, however, that smaller publishers in particular are struggling with the use of Amazon as a sales platform due to its high service fees. Should Altmetric. com gain in importance, this could lead authors to opt out of publishing with smaller publishers if these don’t use Amazon as a sales platform.