Amazon Acquires Goodreads: Impact and Alternatives

Bookselling giant Amazon announced late last week that it’s far acquiring Goodreads.  The acquisition price was not revealed. The transaction is predicted to shut later this year.

Book lovers know Goodreads because the large and increasingly popular book-review site with a strong  social element.  At Goodreads you are able to review books, discuss books, and fasten with other readers in accordance with mutual interests. Goodreads says on its website that it is  “the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.”  Based in San Francisco, Goodreads has 16 million members and 23 million book reviews.

One of the plans is to make Goodreads integrate with Kindle.  Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler will report back to Amazon’s Vice chairman of Kindle content, Russ Grandinetti — a telling clue to where Goodreads fits within the overall Amazon strategy.

Goodreads Autonomy Not Assured

Goodreads might be run as a separate subsidiary of Amazon, just like Zappos.   a priority among Goodreads users is whether or not the review site can maintain neutrality toward other retailers, once it’s section of the Amazon family.

I logged in this morning to my Goodreads account and noticed that one in all my 700+ friends there posted this message – she’s clearly not pleased with the Amazon takeover:

Goodreads defector

While some will certainly make similar gestures, the announcement is unlikely to cause a mass defection immediately.  People don’t want to switch apps, and as I indicate below, there aren’t many Goodreads alternatives that supply an identical social community and ecommerce-platform independence.  The actual impact is determined by what Amazon does with Goodreads over the medium and long time.

Up to now Goodreads have been seen as independent of any particular retailer.  In an interview on Paid Content , Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler reiterated his desire for that retailer-neutral element to stay.

However, that call seriously isn’t as much as Chandler alone.  Autonomy has a technique of going out the window after ages, in most acquisitions.  Amazon has shown intolerance by way of using its data in sites that give visibility to competing retailers.  Goodreads itself discovered that last year, causing it to stop using the Amazon API .

Chandler said that Goodreads would continue to supply its own API.  The API gives third parties access to certain Goodreads data.

Goodreads for Business Books

Entrepreneur authors of economic books have caught directly to Goodreads as another place to develop an audience for his or her books.  Once I first joined the positioning two years ago, it had a decided talk about fiction books.  But up to now year I’ve noticed business books being reviewed and discussed more frequently there — and more business authors joining.

Goodreads encourages authors to connect to fans and develop a following, through its Author Program .  Authors will have blogs, and host giveaways and Q&As at the site.  There’s a self-serve advertising program — and thousands of book clubs at the site to tap into and fix with.

Goodreads Alternatives

For those interested by Goodreads becoming section of Amazon, there are some alternatives.

Shelfari will not be one in every of them.  Amazon acquired Shelfari in 2008.  Once promising, Shelfari seems to were eclipsed by Goodreads.   In fact, Shelfari never had as strong a social element as Goodreads.

LibraryThing is another reader site with an Amazon connection.  Abebooks, that’s owned by Amazon, has a 40% stake in LibraryThing . LibraryThing’s website says it has 1.6 million book lovers as members.

Google Books, through Google Play , offers a book app that mixes the facility to buy, store and review books.  The Google Books app on my Nexus 10 tablet has an easy elegant interface. Goodreads reviews are incorporated into Google Books as one review source (consisting of every other sources).  It’s not clear whether as a way to continue.  But Google is ramping up its own social review capabilities.  Whenever you leave a review on Google Books it ties in along with your Google+ account, in order that your connections on Google’s social network can see what you concentrate on a distinctive book, and vice versa, because the notice below indicates.

Goodgle Books reviews

Bookish , a three way partnership of 3 publishers (Hachette, Penguin Books and Simon & Schuster) was launched just this year.  It’s an e-commerce site but additionally gives users their very own book shelves.  As you may think with a domain owned by publishers, Bookish seems to be occupied with presenting and selling books from a publisher’s perspective, and promoting their big-name authors.  The community interaction element seems limited.

Book Crossing , 0 Book Rabbit 0 and 1 Revish 1 are three smaller book-lover community/bookshelf sites.

And then there are dozens of book apps – each seems to give some different combination of features.  Some are ebook readers tied to precise retailers (like iBooks, Nook and Kindle) that still assist you to keep track of your electronic books that you’ve purchased, but typically offer little within the way of social interaction and discussion around books.

2 Book Crawler 2 and 3 ReadMill 3 are two iOS book apps independent of any retailer and well-liked by readers.

4 Kobo 4 , headquartered in Japan, also has its own bookstore, tablet readers, and free reader apps.

If you realize of others, please share within the comments below.

Leave a Reply