I'm just sitting down to read a book for Amazon Vine, and not to bite the hand, so to speak, but I'm once again annoyed that I can't read the book digitally. Amazon makes and touts its ebook reader and pays God-knows-how-much on postage sending books to Vine reviewers, yet won't combine both programs. Quite frankly the response to my query a month ago was weak at best and lame or nonsensical at worst: "At this point of time, we cannot provide Vine books for Kindle...[because] the Vine program is a newly launched program..."
How old is Vine now? It's gotta be a couple of years old, because I was asked to participate when still the publisher at AAR. So to call it a "new" program, and inferring that its newness is the reason why Vine review ebooks can't be made available to reviewers in the place of print copies is just not good enough.
Here's why it matters, at least to me: I have been trying to convert my print library into a digital one for the past couple of years. My library, in addition to books tbr, also includes books I keep. Some are Desert Isle Keeper reads, others are parts of series, but basically, if I grade a book B- or higher, I want to have a copy.
I review lots and lots of books - for PW and now for Amazon Vine - and currently, when I like a review book well enough that I want to keep it, I'm forced into a difficult position of either buying a digital version of a book I already own and have read, or finding another way to download one. I won't trade or donate an ARC, which means the print copy ends up tossed in the trash, which is a waste.