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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Odds and Ends: My Feelings on Amazon Buying Goodreads



By this point in time, most of you lovely bookish people have probably heard that Amazon has bought Goodreads.The more I'm thinking about this, the less I'm liking it. I absolutely love Goodreads. I actually started using Goodreads well before I ever started book blogging. It's great for keeping track of books I've read, books I want to read, and connecting with other fabulous bookish people. I liked that it's independent and there doesn't seem to be the same sort of censorship or uh... trolling that seems to be present sometimes on Amazon.

After conversing with a couple other book-minded people on Facebook about people writing nasty things on their book reviews on Amazon, I realized that I didn't really know if I had ever gotten comments on the reviews that I posted on Amazon so I decided to look because my curiosity often gets the best of me and guys, I was sort of sorry that I looked. There was quite a bit of trolling going on there. If you don't like my review fine, but let's be adults and be diplomatic about it, eh? Why people are willing to be so nasty online I will never know but there you have it. Is that sort of behavior going to spread to Goodreads?


In general, the people of Goodreads seem to be nice. I love the community feel of the site and I am wondering what Amazon might change as I'm assuming part of their want in buying Goodreads is to increase their bottom line. Tis business, you know.

The censorship issue is another thing for me. Right now, Goodreads lets anyone post a review on any book. Admittedly this does not always work out well. Some people will rate a book before they have read it based on their interest in reading it, which can skew a book's rating. Authors are allowed to write reviews of their books, which again can skew the rating (is any author seriously going to rate their book baby lower than 5 stars? really???). It is not a perfect system but I like that everyone has free reign over what they post. Author reviews are designated as thus and it's easy to see when someone hasn't really read the book or if they're trolling in some way.

Additionally, I liked that Goodreads gave you a lot of options of where to buy books from. I'm assuming this will change with Amazon. I'm wondering how this will affect indie authors who do not currently sell their books through Amazon. Will they still be allowed to be on Goodreads?

I am really hopeful that I'm worried over nothing...

How do you feel about Amazon buying Goodreads?

21 comments:

  1. I had not heard this but it makes me upset. I read and review on goodreads because it has nothing to do with books sellers pushing. It is supposed to only be the authors and their readers. If Amazon changes it, I might just give it up.

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    1. I'm really hopeful that Goodreads won't change. I use it as a way to organize all of my posts before I post them here on my blog and I don't want it to change at all!

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  2. I am hoping they keep it separate. I tried Library Thingy and hate it..lets cross out fingers otherwise we all need to find a new hang-out

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    1. Ugh, I don't know what I'm going to do if they change Goodreads. I like it the way that it is. They finally have the mobile app to the point where its useable for all of the functions that Goodreads currently has and I don't want them to add anything more!

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  3. I am not liking Amazon buying Goodreads at all. I love Goodreads, it is my favorite place to check out new books. I hope Amazon does not ruin it.

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    1. I am hoping nothing changes but if it does, I don't want Goodreads to become a platform for simply trying to feed Amazon's bottom line!

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  4. Yeeaahh, this little purchase of Amazon's isn't best news of 2013, I figure.

    My best guess is that Amazon will combine Goodreads with Shelfari. I was concerned at the start that Goodreads might be closed entirely, but nah, there are too many users for such a move to make sense.

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    1. I had read another article somewhere talking about the wealth of data that Amazon would be able to collect from Goodreads users and I think that's way too valuable for Amazon to want to give it up or shut it down!

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  5. I'm not happy about the announcement. I like shopping at Amazon, but, geez, do they have to own everything? I guess we wait and see what happens...

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    1. I really like the independence of Goodreads and hope that we won't lose that...

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  6. I'm not too thrilled about it either. I love GR and don't want to see it spiral down. Can't anyone stand up to Amazon? I guess we will have to wait and see what happens.

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    1. I am guessing that one of the issues that Goodreads has is making money to keep the website running. They have very few ads so I'm not really sure where they make money from. Amazon swept in and probably offered them major money for the website. It would be very difficult to say no!

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  7. I don't really know what to think, although I have a gut feeling that I'm no longer gonna enjoy being on goodreads. I hope my gut is wrong in this case because I haven't even had my goodreads for a year. Maybe Amazon won't screw it up, I guess time will tell.

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    1. I am hoping that both you and I are wrong and that Goodreads will stay more or less the same!

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  8. I'm going to reserve judgement on the whole thing and see how it goes. I don't know that it will necessary be a positive thing, but until I start seeing evidence to the contrary, I'm not going to consider changing to another site because GR has what I want and need.

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    1. Yeah, I'm definitely going to wait around to see what happens. I love Goodreads. It helps me organize a lot of my blog posts before I post them here. If I did jump ship, I'd have no idea where to go anyhow!

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  9. I'm concerned. I'm an indie who sells on Amazon and it's been the bulk of my sales, but they can be ruthless. They recently started "KDP select", offering to divide a giant pot each month among authors who enroll their books to give away to readers for free. Great huh?
    Not so much.
    In order to participate, you have to pull your books from ALL other retailers and be exclusive to Amazon.
    The shape of things to come?

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    1. Oh, Derrolyn, yikes!!! I haven't heard of "KDP Select" before! As a consumer of books, I'm for books being offered as many places as possible! I wonder how many people are signing up for KDP select... it doesn't sound like a great system to me!

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    2. I hear it's pretty good money for the authors, but it's such an obvious bid to kill the e-pub format (B&N Nook) in favor of the Kindle.
      Amazon is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers - It will be interesting to see how they change Goodreads.
      I'm sticking with Smashwords etc, because they've been so good for indies, but I can't help wondering if I'm being an idiot! (A loyal idiot, but an idiot) :)

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    3. E-pub is the more open domain file, I believe. I believe you can use it on other e-reader devices beyond just the Nook. I really hate that Kindle has a proprietary file system. I do have a Kindle but I think it's better to have some competition between the various file types that can be used.

      I love Smashwords mostly because you have the ability to read the books just about anywhere!

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  10. I don't like the sale at all. I'm trying out LibraryThing, and so far I really like it. It isn't as 'pretty' as Goodreads, but I actually think it is a better set up for ORGANIZING my collection. An I like that I can give 1/2 stars there. What I don't like is that I don't have any friends there yet, so I don't see their reviews pop up at the top. I don't know what I'll do in the long run but for now I am using both until I can make a good decision.

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