Amazon to Buy Goodreads

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I woke up to this news this morning. (Official press release here.) And I have to say – I’m shocked…and worried. Kudos to Amazon, though. It makes me wonder if their competitors are all:

I know I am, a little bit. The problem is, Amazon tends to roll out incentives to those who publish exclusively to them, and punish those who don’t (KDP program and certain royalty rates). It makes me wonder if I, as a self-published author, will not be able to reap all the benefits  Goodreads has to offer because I am not exclusive to Amazon. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to even think about it, considering the majority of my sales now come from iBooks.

On the plus side, I think Amazon can help bring Goodreads into the digital world. So far, Goodreads hasn’t really been integrated into e-readers, and I am sorely disappointed in their smartphone app.  Heck – Goodreads doesn’t allow ebooks in their giveaway section. It is print books only.

Until now, Goodreads has been a wonderful ‘crowd-sourcing’, review generating outlet. I hope it doesn’t lean too far toward its for-profit owner, but how could it not?

If Shelfari (Amazon’s other review site) is any indication of what’s to come, we can say goodbye to Goodreads and hello to whatever new book review platform Google or Apple might roll out. Maybe – just maybe, Amazon competitors are cheering…

What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Amazon to Buy Goodreads

  1. I hadn’t heard about this. Yes, it’s unfortunate. I really appreciate having a site that isn’t tied to any publisher. It’s a balance for the amazonian monolith.

    It’s true, though, that the interface isn’t ideal, and the limitations are substantial. I haven’t been to shelfari, but it does make one wonder why they need Goodreads as well. Looks pretty anti-competitive to me. (Who would be surprised if amazon is anti-competitive?) I suppose we can hope that they will dump some of their massive resources into improving the functionality of Goodreads while leaving it otherwise alone, right? Um, yeah.

  2. I hope nothing really changes on Goodreads. Before Goodreads, I was other a few other similar sites like BookTagger and weRead, but didn’t really like them. Then I found Goodreads and I’ve stayed with the site because I really like it. Next month will be four years since I’ve been on there. So, I hope Goodreads stays the same. It’s a really great site for people who love books.

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