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Review of "Amazon Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools" by Paul Bausch

Amazon Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools image
Amazon Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools
by Paul Bausch

O'Reilly Media, Inc.
$24.95 Suggested Retail Price

ur last book from O'Reilly's "Hacks" series presents 100 different "hacks" for using the web's granddaddy of bookstore sites - Amazon.com. Amazon is a hacker's delight because they deliberately make so many of their site services accessible to outsiders. But beneath the programmer's playground, of course, Amazon remains a behemoth of bookstores with untold nooks and crannies offering ways to both buy and sell, and other buried treasures. Amazon Hacks takes you on the grand tour.

The book naturally starts with using Amazon as a regular customer might - setting up an account along with an "About You" area. You'll find several tools for searching Amazon through browser add-ons, too.

But by far the majority of the book involves more sophisticated uses of Amazon. There are great hacks for adding Amazon services to your own website (as we do here at Rainbo Electronic Reviews), and I certainly found those to be of special interest. One area of Amazon that I've been meaning to look into is selling through their system. I do a lot of selling on eBay as well as through our sister Disney Collectibles site, so this isn't exactly all new to me. But every system is different and its a tremendous time saver to have an expert guide you past the pitfalls.

This one's definitely not for the common user. You'll have to be adept at Perl or PHP and JavaScript to really get the most out of this book, but those who can do some programming will find this book can dramatically expand the integration of Amazon into their website.

Rainbo Electronic Reviews published this review in our November, 2003 issue.

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