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?